Observing Cloud for Training Wisdom

1. Clouds change shape but keep moving, albeit sometimes very slowly. We can too. It is one of the qualities of adaptive training among crazy-busy pressures that would stress us into inactivity.

2. Clouds transport water, a resource to the lives of others. Training our bodies and minds builds physical courage that can support other acts of generous, giving courage.

3. An otherwise bright white cloud can have very dark, very water-dense little clouds nearby (see the banner). Suppose you are in one of those small, dark, water dense clouds. You’re likely to see all grey, all gloom, and feel all wet. Yes, until a beautiful, white sunlit cloud expands and engulfs you and you find that many of your problems were perceived right there within your own tiny individual cloud. You also realized how much water you have to give among others.

4. Clouds get out in the other elements, indeed, bring them together within themselves, contribute to them. So do we when we train, exercise, work, compete, and apply our physical training to something worthwhile.

5. Clouds make their own view by starting out light, rising, gathering, then supplying. A thunderstorm or snow storm is quite an exciting gathering, maybe even a competition, with lightening clashes, the refreshing ozone, and every gathered cloud a part in that great event. Gatherings of clouds bring out the best in each.

6. Clouds have training partners that truly inspire them with their energy, warmth, and mastery at conducting the weather as if it were a symphony orchestra: Mr. Sun and his band the Stars.

7. What shape will your training take today?

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Adaptive Strategies: Boost Your Immune System & Solving the Paradox of Success

The change of seasons puts the micro-bugs into overdrive. Are our immune systems ready?

For those who have undertaken the training life, this is an important, if confusing question.

It has to do with the Paradox of Success. When we feel fit and well, we become susceptible to undermining the behaviors we lived to get there: exercising, eating right, sleeping well, and feeding relationships (filling buckets).

Success invites a temporary sense of immortality mania. In this state, we tend to over-extend ourselves at the expense of sleep, rest, exercise, downtime, relationships, and soon, wellness. Then we get sick.

If we can early-detect our sense of mania after successes, this is our first sign of coming under a spell of over-extension. So it is with our successes.

Here are some WebMD pages on positive immune system boosting routines — followed by some counter-intuitive surveys of findings about immune boosting — as linked-to below:

Immune System Busters & Boosters

Super Foods for Optimal Health

How to Keep Your Immune System Healthy

Guide to Ginseng as Immunity Booster

Can Exercise Reduce Your Risk of Catching a Cold?

Ten Surprising Health Benefits of Sex

Exercise After Chemo Helps Patients Ward Off Future Cancer

Yet when you consider that inflammation and upper-respiratory mucous generation (mostly against nasal passage infecting viruses) are immune system responses, some survey reviews of a few years ago suggest that bolstering the immune system will only increase inflammatory, super-charged immune systems. Is that bad, or good? More research is needed, but consider the following perspectives:

How Not To Fight Colds

Why everything you thought about colds is wrong! Scientists have finally separated fact from fiction about those sniffles

Our Immune Systems Were Built for More Challenges Than They Get

Given the above contra-pieces, here is a summary of useful takeaways:

1. Let go of unnecessary stressors and poor stress response habits, then burn-off, let loose, and heal from inevitable stress with the following;

2. Bolstering human relationships;

3. Consistent exercise;

4. Healthy, nutritional, natural eating and drinking with little or no refined, processed sugars, MSG, etc.;

5. Put our children’s well being first. (for parents, and for those without children, someone else’s needs).

There is more to this topic than a blog post can touch. Researching and reading up on the latest using article alerts from trusted sources, and weighing, comparing, and testing them is sane way to continue navigating.

‘Farm Your Training Day’ Book Signing Event Downtown Denver at Federal Executive Institute Alumni Gathering

Federal Executive Institute Alumni Association

The Federal Executive Institute Alumni Association (FEIAA) consists of graduates of professional education programs of the Federal Executive Institute, serving federal government executives building on their talents, skills, and abilities for public service. It’s area alumni are gathering in Denver for a reunion and refresher tomorrow.

As part of those FEIAA proceedings I’ve been privileged to facilitate a conversation about my book Farm Your Training Day: An American Dream of Sustainable Personal Fitness. I will also sign-off on copies of the book for those in attendance who add it to their training libraries. I am looking forward to learning more about the adaptive training needs of these busy professionals.

I have Michael Anderson to thank for the privilege of meeting with his fellow alumni, and hope that everyone in attendance will come away with something permanent on which to build and improve as leaders of their own training lives.

After the event I’d like to post what I learned from a discussion of adaptive training with a group of dedicated professionals whose lives are quite busy. Public service can be an intense challenge, and work-life balance will figure into our conversation. More soon!

To My CrossFit Friends: Try Adaptive Training for the Long Haul

Adaptive training is sustainable, body-wise, and freer compared to many manifestations of CrossFit. CrossFit has gems to offer, but I believe they were borrowed gems. Those gems were adopted from elsewhere and combined in a “Box,” or a “crucible.” The toughest gems came from elite forces training, that is, combat training. Do or die training. Still, part of military training, even elite military training, is readiness. And readiness involves recovery, and non-injury. If you’re injured, you’re not ready. If you don’t recover properly, injury risk spikes.

For some that may have temporary appeal, especially to younger people. Yet younger people lack experience, and seldom see conflicts of interest in business models that target them. Young people often appear non-conformist…all at the same time in the same way. It is a vulnerable time. And some people are lonely. Lonely as hell. The comradeship they lack they may seek in an intense, physical, shared experience. For that reason, they are less likely to see those conflicts of interest lurking.

Let’s think outside the Box a bit. What is a healthy versus unhealthy gift of individual power to a culture or authority for mind-body training? Some CrossFit groups may dial-in a healthy balance in their approach, especially after recent controversy. On the other hand, there are the other reports:

Getting Fit Even If It Kills You

CrossFit’s Dirty Little Secret

Idea Fit Discussion

Navy Times

How CrossFit Forges Elite Failure

And you can Google the rest of the negatives, of which there are many.

On the other hand, you will also find the positives and Google them too. Any CrossFit member or gym owner will be more than happy to tell you the positives. Yet others will say if you aren’t committed, they don’t want you. And I’d say you should be ready to respond with a laugh at that manipulation game. Just remember, not every useful wonder of chemistry is good to mix at the same time. You can get hurt or die from the ensuing explosion or gaseous poisoning. True it is also of training. Excesses are not consistent with durable endurance or sustainable fitness, and therefore excesses in training are not always consistent with readiness.

Military, sport, art, and work readiness is about fitness and conditioning, but training isn’t about getting injured, it is about proofing against it when the real thing trained for is going on. Studies in stress inoculation make it just as much about mindset, adaptive sleeping, recovery, and rewiring after traumatic experiences. The stresses are measured and periodized by time of exposure and response during training. Check out this summary of researched-supported points in the work of Lt. Col. David Grossman, specifically:

Section three describes the mental attitude necessary to be a warrior. The book goes into greater detail about stress inoculation and its importance to effective, realistic training. There are also some important training principles outlined.

Principle 1: Never “Kill” a Warrior in Training. Learners are expected to complete a scenario even if hit, stabbed or shot. As a trainer, tell them, “You’re not dead until I tell you you’re dead!” Don’t give up, always win.

Principle 2: Try to Never Send a Loser off Your Training Site. Have your participants go through a scenario as many times as necessary in order to have them succeed. Scenarios designed to make the trainee look foolish or fail just prove that the training designers are jerks.

Principle 3: As a Trainer, Never Talk Trash about Your Students. Don’t ridicule or try to tell funny stories about the last trainee who tried to complete your scenario. Your role as a trainer/leader is not only to pass along knowledge but also to inspire. You cannot do this when you are not respected. If criticism is to be given, give it in private. If praise is warranted, do so publicly.

I’m sure this could include: don’t give Rhapdo to your trainees. Don’t injure your troops in training so they are disabled for the real fight.

But are you training for combat? It is as much about mindset, and handling what your body does. Listen:

LTC David Grossman interview.

So to some extent CrossFit, run by those who are trained coaches, can achieve some of these training goals. Yet not everyone is training to be a warrior any more than every tool in a toolbox is a hammer. However, even military training leaves boot camp behind and graduates into a more sophisticated, measured, and periodized experience over time. It mixes individual control with leadership. Most individual civilians who are training for combat don’t have the rest of the training. They are not warriors per-se, but want to be ready for what this society teaches them to fear — which is about everything. Which begs the question: should training be motivated by fear? Or should training be inspired by the commitment to master fear?

For now, let’s discuss.

Combatting Loneliness By Training Life

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Loneliness does not discriminate. Probably everyone knows what kind of life events, states of being, and physical burdens correlate with it. Whatever isolation and loneliness comes from, those who suffer from it know why solitary confinement is one of the worst punishments prisons dole out.

A training life can move you out of the lonely place into a new life.

Growing your own training life from the ground up will lead you into short, manageable social interactions that begin slowly and gently to drain away the loneliness with each outing. You’ll have time to think, to hold problems up to the sun in your mind and heart, and to subject them to the light that dawns as you move.

The sunshine can boost you up some more.

Start simple: a walk or hike. Go to a nearby running track, a trail you know, or a park with long sidewalk pathways along a lake or river. Or just make the city blocks in a familiar area your training scape.

It is training, and retraining your brain, nerves, muscles, and body chemistry simply to get out and move in the outdoors. So much happens when you do this, there is an automatic element to outdoor outings.

Dress in what’s comfortable, do what you need to do to feel comfortable to get out the door. Then soak up the world’s outdoor riches as you journey.