Take Flight — a Memorial Day Reflection


Dedicated to those who are here who can hear for those who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of their fellows, their country, and principles for which this nation must still stand.

In the darkest nights of the soul the fuel for your Phoenix bubbles and boils around your spirit. From the ashes of some future ignition, burn, and flight, win or lose, you will rise again and be better than ever before; more capable in some way, known or unknown, to break through and see done what must be done as the reason for your being here. The darkest nights are never so dark as the dawn is light.

As the Marines say “pain is weakness leaving the body,” so the dark nights of the soul are selfishness of the past leaving the spirit, to be ignited in future service to those in need. These flammable drops may provide fires with which to liberate captives, empathize with and put sinners back on their feet, melt barbed wire, and elevate our human race just a little more before you die. No earthly reward could be better than simply completing our purposes for being. Each of us is given such a purpose, known or unknown, yet accessible more purely through standing again and believing.

The big picture is in our hearts, the sky within, from a vista point that can consider all people, all events, and all that must come with the indomitable commitment of a dedicated, singular spirit behind humble eyes, trafficking in the divine energy of love for all.

True independence

All words have a limited purpose, “for now.” “Independence” is that way. It is needed to get free of false supports, or false assumptions that lead to false needs. False needs erode time, health, and treasure. They tend to be sedimentary and inefficient for us.

We are wise to do an Independence Inventory from time to time to identify the ideas, notions, feelings, things, and habits that have settled in around us that are not aligned with the truest, most honorable, most loving, and most righteous (not self-righteous, but righteous by others) person each of us aspires to be. The “Look-Up” YouTube video of my previous post illustrates a thing from which we need independence.

Why try? Because what we aspire to be is what is in our heart.

Adaptive training seeks to adapt mind and body in service to our true heart, to our reason for being here. This means letting go of falseness, wherever found.

Free of false things, we are better prepared for interdependence in a way that will benefit, not harm others. We may “get up and walk.”

Like farming land, this farming of the heart, mind, and body is the purpose of training the mind and body to find harmony with the decisive, innocent spirit which we were given as children.

As I get older, I see that spirit of decisive innocence to clear the way for genuine love. Instantly, reflecting on this, trying to re-establish harmony with that divine spark, it is easy for me to see all my defects brought to light. My selfishness.

It is then I remember I must stand again, find my heart, and work the fields of this earthly testing ground another day.

Now Available on Amazon Kindle


Now on Kindle for $7.19

product_thumbnail10 adaptable, customizable principles, and 7 training dimensions / evolutions that provide a broad and deep base for whatever you’re training for, in sport, arts, or work. This is a book that harmonizes training philosophy and practical, very simple takeaways for sustaining a consistent, building, growing training life. Cheers!

Embrace your least favorite element of training

the open sky

the open sky

If you delve into your least favored training areas, be it endurance, primary muscle strength, core strength, or application in sports, arts, or work, you will be raising the level of your foundational condition.

Let tedium become self-training in the gift of focus.

Let hardship be your elevator.

Let slowness be your path to thoroughness in preparation, and prevention.


Review: Leather Medicine Balls

After some comparison shopping, I decided on a brand and type of leather medicine ball for all-around training purposes. I have not been paid for this short review.

Here is a close-up.:

These are called TITLE Classic Leather Max-Grip Medicine Balls. The synthetic leather segments alternate with tacky, pliable rubber segments with similar give and rebound. These were on sale at the time at TITLE’s online store. These medicine balls have written on them “Made In India,” which of course suggests that manufacturing them overseas is still more cost-effective than doing so in the US.

These medicine balls are not as soft as the natural leather medicine balls that cost hundreds of dollars each, and sometimes more, but the softness of their price makes up for what they give up to the natural leather. However, the synthetic leather and rubber are soft enough to do medicine ball throw and catch work that does not bruise or redden muscles or skin as some harder, all rubber fast-twitch medicine balls might. These medicine balls are boxing tools that can work the whole body.

These bounce off the body without bouncing away, providing opportunities for combination impact and unorthodox weight resistance mixed with impact. These balls don’t bounce off the gym floor, however. That is not their first purpose.

I wanted a classic medicine ball feel that gives with hand pressure, impact, and catching. When thrown and caught, or dropped on one’s abdominal wall for impact training, these medicine balls performed as classic boxing medicine balls should.

In using any athletic equipment, first obtain clearance for its use from your medical provider before training. Also obtain training guidance on how to use it. Impact training and medicine ball training may not be for everyone. You may not have similar results to me or anyone else. You use the reviewed medicine balls at your own risk, and this writer makes no representations that they will suit or satisfy any given buyer. Use common sense safety precautions when training with medicine balls or other sports equipment.


One-Thousand Five

photoWeight resistance movements today….45 percent iron, 55 percent body weight.

I’m grateful for this training day, that it was sound, safe, and injury free, with lots of variety of movement during WRT.

May your training day be great paying off for you and yours, and service to others!

700 Weight Resistance Movements 75% Bodyweight 25% Iron and an Adaptive Training Cure

Yesterday was a sound strength training day, and I found myself reflecting on this thought stream from a recent hike, simplified below:

Truth is so effectual, it needs no anger, pride, fear, or weaponized delivery to be heard. It only needs the telling absent those things, and if possible in love and humility, to resound, reverberate, be received, taken to heart, and possibly passed down for generations.”

As I reflected on this, I realized it has great potential for adaptive training, that is, slipping the punches to self and others that come with anger and fear attached to:

(1) the avoidance of some truth about self, or

(2) fearful or vengeful anger at those who are a source of injustices toward others, self, and worst of all, those we love.

How often does truth go untold or told to shut-ears because the mixture of fear and anger allowed to crowd out the simple, powerful, healing, even nucleus-changing truth?

The truth in matters of all sizes may be scorched, burned, or concealed in the fire and smoke of passions that crowd it, from fear to anger to pride to disgust.

And yet, the simple truth, said, in love and humility, will free the teller as much as those who can hear that truth told. And each one of us will be able to hear it when this untarnished, nourishing truth arrives.

Imagine what energy comes from a body, mind, and spirit un-fettered by fear of the truth, embracing the truth, and working truth through the whole being with every footstep, movement, and every labor.

Look at how truth-to-self was able to do the unexpectedly unthinkably powerful:

By writing this post, I am not claiming I could do what these two women did in their grace and forgiveness, in part imparted through many, in both cases from higher places spacious enough to deliver freedom from the intrinsic assault of traumatic injustice.

I don’t claim any foresight in the field of forgiveness, but I do see a simple truth  grasped personally by these two women which makes me wonder…

If much simpler truths about self, or what we witness in the misuse of power were not sources of fear, were unburdened by anger, and unpolluted by pride; if simple truth were told in love however love would wisely tell the simple truths, how much harm, hurt, suffering, and injustice could be extinguished, prevented, and instead nourishing relationships  and virtues grown instead?

Adaptive Training Medicine Ball: Pillar of Resilient Strength

credit TheAwesomer.com

Two posts ago, you may have watched Rocky Marciano kicking a medicine ball back to a trainer who threw it at his feet, doing a modified, repetitive rocking crunch at a fast clip for some functional impact, timing, muscle, and perhaps plyometric work. The cardiovascular benefits no doubt would track tempo, duration, and force.

Let’s take a soft medicine ball into a new context. We begin with a weight right for us. We take the medicine ball to a wall or pillar, where we will hold it against the pillar or wall with our upper back, head, neck, chest, well, really, any part of our body we want, with the objective of not letting it fall to the ground.

Go for time. How long can we keep it moving without it dropping? As it rolls up, sideways, down, diagonally, in curves, and countless configurations, our bodies must adapt to keep it there.

This is one way to stay interested in your strength training life.


spirit: a breakthrough word inspired by a post at Triathlon Obsession encouraging selection of a word to focus on for the New Year...

spirit: a breakthrough word inspired by a post at Triathlon Obsession encouraging selection of a word to focus on for the New Year…


The depthless, fathomless, soaringly timeless, state of being arising when a person digs deep enough to leave body and mind behind and achieve what those two weaker vessels could not on their own.

An example, the night raid at Riva Ridge by the 10th Mountain Division in 1945, and digging deeper the next day against stiff resistance to take Mt. Belvedere:


This is relative to mental and physical conditioning, for the person with lesser conditioning, if their body then mind gives way earlier than those more advanced in body and mind training, the spirit kicks in sooner. And for the advanced athlete, warrior, whatever…later, perhaps.

Will we ever come to the point where we run, perform, act, compete, work, and achieve from this state of being from the beginning of the effort, mind and body moved efficiently from this zone in our being? That would be a breakthrough. What endurance, strength, and other qualities would be possible then? Where are the limits? I guess we really don’t know yet, and that is an exciting frontier that those of us in a boundary set world can escape to every day.

If you’ve read the book “Farm Your Training Day: An American Dream of Sustainable Personal Fitness”…

..and you believe it will help others bridge gaps to a self-led, dauntless, consistent training life within their busy-tiring schedules…

Then please feel free to rate and review the book at one of the following venues!


iTunes (iBookstore app download)

Barnes & Noble



The Contact Points of Functional Strength

Traditional weight lifting and even what are deemed functional training exercises do not do justice to hand strength as do manual labor or labor with tools. But not everyone has enough work projects with tools to make a difference for their hand strength.

Yet nearly everyone faces the following daily or weekly:

(1) Packaged goods, wrapped foods, and sealed containers;

(2) Fresh produce needing washing, peeling, processing;

(3) Goods that come shipped in boxes;

(4) And the old Charles Atlas standby, frequent yellow paged directories dumped on the doorstep from competing publishers.

With each of the above, most of us resort to tools, kitchen tools, or office tools to cut, unzip, peel, pry, snap, peel open, or otherwise process an item we must unpack or prepare. Because we have internet, many just throw the printed directories into recycling.

Yet here is food for thought: where safe and possible, can you devise a method to use your thoroughly washed, cleaned, and healthy hands to accomplish these tasks?

Think of all of the varied pulling, prying, separating, tearing, breaking, and other force- intensive functions you face with tools every week, and try to face them with your bare hands instead.

Use your mind and dexterity to unpack or process these products in a safe, controlled way that doesn’t send the contents flying all over the room or get you hurt. This often requires more thought, force, and functional strength to do under control. And this is why we normally resort to quick-draw tools without thinking.

Therein lies an adaptive training opportunity with our bare hands. Now add to that the use of hand tools in construction and yard projects, and this can amount to significant strength training for your points of contact with the material world: your hands.

Here’s to training mindfully and safely!

WARNINGS: Beware of some hard plastic encasements on hard goods in which the plastic becomes sharp on edges when pulled apart or cut away. DO NOT DO THIS ON ITEMS THAT COULD SHATTER, BREAK INTO SHARP PIECES, OR OTHERWISE CUT OR EMIT DANGEROUS CONTENTS UNDER PRESSURE. USE common sense to avoid uncommon injury.

The Story of an FEIAA Meeting and Book Signing

What a privilege to sit down and talk with Federal Executive Institute alumni and friends last night. These professionals brought up a host of great topics. We talked gluten freedom, how eating, drinking, and sleeping are self-trainable behaviors, and how intelligent attunement can benefit us in every dimension of physical action as well as perception. These civilian and military public servants, technical, and knowledge workers spoke in ways revealing their high accomplishment, and by their intelligence had found the many packaged fitness offerings in the marketplace unfulfilling or unsustainable. We also discussed the texture of real life: traumas, shadows, and challenges in daily life. Being with intelligent people can be a good time, but being with intelligent, feeling people is the best of times, and that is what last night’s gathering was like.

We talked nuts and bolts: Muscle, Mileage, Mobility, Midsection/Core, Mountains’ Meaning, and more. Everyone in attendance had been athletic in their lives whether they considered themselves so or not, and I made sure to point this out first of all. We must be clear about our identities, that we are among other wonderful truths, mind-body entities capable of athleticism in physical sport, art, and work. Yes, the basic adaptive physical training pathways can expand to intellectual and for some, spiritual athleticism.

On the sheer material side, a la Steve Martin in The Jerk, needing to hold onto some possessions on an anniversary date when I had once felt I’d lost everything, I brought some self-comforting props for my presentation. Rip’s Fire Engine 2 (TM) Plant Strong cereal (my strength), and Toblerone (TM) swiss chocolate (my weakness). They seemed like the props to bring at the time.

Along with a box of books and a gym bag with all I needed, I walked into Breckenridge Craft Colorado, home to craft beers and LoDo Denver venue-name dropping. You may remember our former mayor and now Governor Hickenlooper owned a restaurant in LoDo (Lower Downtown), where rough-hewn, red-brick mellow-looking pubs and brewers fill old warehouse buildings near lofts where nearly everyone walking around down there looks like they do Pilates during breakfast, Yoga during lunch, and feed intravenously through a liquid food bladder while running long distances through dinner.

Well, that may be an exaggeration but I’ll tell you what is not: most people living in downtown lofts are single, young, career starters enjoying urban life to the fullest, and throwing their pliable youthful bodies into one or two training modalities, sometimes not really bothering with long range thinking. They live close to their white collar work. They’re busy on various levels, but many don’t yet know the change that comes with rising in the ranks of responsibility, having a family, and having more and more people they are responsible for (at which time they often move out of the lofts). That doesn’t make them lesser or lazy, they just fill more of their time focusing on self-development than other-development because of their phase in life. Logic says juggling a one bean bag business is easier than juggling and adapting to three or more bean bags’ businesses…

Leading me to the course of our discussions last night: How do those with hairy schedules at work and home, extra-curriculars in the community, and little time to themselves make changes that temper for them a sound, powerful training life with consistency, excellence, and purpose? How do they overcome the crushing, conflicting, Hoi Polloi of Expectation-a-Legal living and not become unhealthy?

That is what Farm Your Training Day was written to begin answering. It contains many specific guidances on HOW, not just statements and restatements of a vague vision. I couldn’t convey all of it in one sitting and standing. What I could convey are some of the broad brush adaptive training principles and dimensions, and suggest that the fullness of these is in the book. This includes illustrations, guidances, sources, stories, and some visualizable details over 276 pages and 17 chapters without pictures.

All I can say is, after reading the book, which is not a Polly-Anna Manifesto by any stretch, and which takes a look at the mundane and dramatic obstacles to a consistent training life that would wear us down and make us unhealthy, I think people find not only bedrock to stand on within themselves, but a process of remolding their bedrock again and again from the interior life. Their training lives spring out of this aquifer of intelligent, planned and unplanned energy and movement within that connects with the world around them. The book maps forward, not ‘out.’ I say forward, because every reader is invited to be the pioneer who adds to this map, innovates, and improves the book by going into other principles and dimensions of adaptive training.

I know something of what there is and wrote a book about it, yet part of that is seeing that I do not know the limits of what is possible.

‘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!

Inspiration for Sunday

Take the windfall today and make peaceful silence, quiet words of calm, and simple warmth for those you are with.


Movement with Forces: Vehicle Training (2:53)

Movement with Forces (inertia, velocity, momentum, gravity, etc.) training is one of 7 dimensions of training set out in my adaptive fitness book “Farm Your Training Day: An American Dream of Sustainable Personal Fitness.”

Here, vehicle training is a form of Movement with Forces training. The purpose of this training is a functional encounter with one or more physical and energetic forces at once, not mere weight lifting primarily engaging gravity by loading joints from above. With vehicle training you can train as with a blocking sled on the football field, emphasize pushing the vehicle with calves; emphasize lunging the vehicle; emphasize a hack squat / backward walk by engaging the bumper with the lower back, grasping it from beneath and walking backward, pushing it. You can pull it from the tow hook as well as shown in the clip. Just be certain to stay clear of wheels and use a flat area in which the vehicle cannot roll away. You can also execute various levels of presses with the upper body. These exercises should be slow going. Let up after feeling a significant new challenge. Train muscle gradually over time.

With vehicle training, physical forces and properties undertaken include inertia, gravity, isometrics, friction, momentum, and velocity among others. The benefits of vehicle training include engagement of major muscle groups, affordability, accessibility, natural Vitamin D, and multiple force training of the body.

When you overcome the stationary resting force of the vehicle, and train your body with inertia / gravity. Momentum/Velocity: You cause the vehicle to have velocity, and momentum when you move it. Then, to stop it, you must overcome the vehicle’s Momentum/Velocity, returning it to its resting, inertial state. There is a point within your stopping the vehicle’s momentum that you meet with yielding isometric forces since the vehicle acts as a fixed object, i.e. you push on it but it is not moving with your force. Its momentum / velocity is clashing with your personal force, slowing the vehicle and reducing its velocity / momentum. When getting it going again from a stationary position, there is a moment of fixed isometric force your body feels.


Overview and Table of Contents: Farm Your Training Day: An American Dream of Sustainable Personal Fitness


Overview and Preview as Seen at iBookstore, Lulu.com, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon (with some formatting changes here).
Adaptive fitness doesn’t revolve around someone else’s contract, facility, and schedule.

With this guide, you can take ownership of your physical training life and leave behind co-dependence on unsustainable, packaged dieting and fitness hype.

Here you will learn ten principles to help you rewire yourself to train adaptively, more consistently, and thoroughly. Seven training dimensions encourage you to train often, in more places, with more choices.

Table of Contents

Introduction ………………………………………………………………………. vii
Organization, Content, and Safety Notice ………………………………..ix

Part I. Principles of Adaptive Training ………………… 1

Chapter 1. The Training Day Principle ……………………………………3
Chapter 2. Interval Farming Principle ……………………………………..7
Chapter 3. Adaptive Journal Principle ……………………………………40
Chapter 4. The Working Principle ………………………………………..45
Chapter 5. The Gradualism Principle …………………………………….60
Chapter 6. Windfall Principle ………………………………………………71
Chapter 7. Attunement Principle …………………………………………. 74
Chapter 8. Adaptive Eating, Drinking, and Sleeping Principles….90
Chapter 9. Objective Principle: Identify & Excel in Your Sport,
Art, and Work …………………………………………………. 107
Chapter 10. Navigation Principle …………………………………………. 111

Part II. The Seven Dimensions  of Adaptive Training …127

Chapter 11. Dimension One: Muscle …………………………………….130
Chapter 12. Mileage ………………………………………………………….. 155
Chapter 13. Mobility …………………………………………………………. 173
Chapter 14. Midsection + Core …………………………………………… 183
Chapter 15. Mountain ……………………………………………………….. 192
Chapter 16. Movement with Forces (MWF) …………………………..206
Chapter 17. The Seventh Dimension: Mind-Body Training via
Sport, Art, Work ………………………………………………254


“Park Core” on Swings (affordable, accessible, at your own risk)


Hip and Leg Shimmy with Core Muscle Slack: Feet in adjacent swing  seats, pull together as hip adduction, try to simulate walking, crossing, etc. Experiment safely, slowly, gradually. DON’T EVEN DO THIS UNLESS YOU ACCEPT the risk of FALLING OFF and getting HURT or KILLED. Holding onto the chains helps.

Superman Pretense to get Laughs from your Kid Exercise. DON’T DO THIS unless YOU ARE willing to fall and suffer the consequences of injury or death. Cheers!

Rowing Pull-ups Using Swing

Rowing Pull-ups Using Swing: Start out standing, slide under, grasp seat evenly, heels are point of contact with ground, torso is aligned with head, try avoid excessive arching (draw-in tummy to help), and execute rowing pullups. WARNING: DON’T DO THESE UNLESS CLEARED BY YOUR PHYSICIAN, AND YOU UNDERTAKE RISK OF INJURY OR DEATH. Yay.

The Solar Savings Angle to Training in the Park: With as little natural Vitamin D as people get, as many taxes paid, it seems only right to be able to use one’s park for personal self-training so long as you take responsibility for yourself, the risks, and making sure you are using common sense, going slow, and testing yourself at your level of growth. Besides, economics sometimes make gyms and clubs too expensive, too logistically tedious, and yet again, more indoors activity.

Other Safety Tips: Make sure park rules don’t prohibit what you’re doing, and that the fixtures are stout enough to handle you. Some parks have weight limits. Some equipment is rusty. Don’t do this stuff over concrete, or thinly covered concrete or hard dirt. Find a park with soft ground under  your swings. If you’re an adult, give kids first dibs on the park. If they’re using it, use a nearby field for calisthenics, sprints, i.e. whatever else you are cleared to handle by your doctors and physical configuration.

Mother Teresa: Personal Trainer

What? This:

By internal and external silence, we may bypass barriers, snags, and diversions from purer, more efficient training, study, and accomplishment.

How often does inner or outer chatter delay movement, and this delay, like gum on our shoes seems to swallow time.

I take this inspiration from my a current book in my reading list, entitled, “No Greater Love,” by the late Mother Teresa, a saint.


She also wrote that you can’t learn humility by reading about humility. Only by undergoing humiliations (which are guaranteed throughout our lives) do we learn humility. I wonder if typos are included?!

Trad-WRT: Drop-In at the Neighborhood Recreation Center

Weight resistance training boosts strength, improves metabolic activity, and enhances functional performance. With so many methods out there, the traditional weight resistance facilities at your local recreation center may seem reductive, but do not be fooled by false premises of ‘new-is-best’ marketing.

For your local recreation centers, the price is right, the drop-in terms flexible, and often the equipment is very good. As part of your multidimensional training life, using good form at your local recreation center weight room may trigger your next gain in physical fitness. Every investment counts. You don’t need a shiny, expensive club to excel in weight training.

Paid $5 and a few cents to train at a local rec center last night. It was a great investment, not very crowded, and time-saving.

How do we deal with Aging and Training?


the ascents…

How do athletes deal with aging? Answer may differ for each of us.

Something helps me. Remembering what I’m training for besides the immediate feel, look, and function. Or besides the next race, competition, game, event, or expedition. I wanted to share this:

If I find myself running one day with a gait that looks like my knees and ankles have been tenderized with hammers, what will I then be training for? I will be training with the goal that every person who looks into my eyes finds the peaceful warrior’s ageless resolve.

Ten Principles, Seven Dimensions

Make a sea-change in your training life approach, and reach for the sky:

sky shadowed light

Internalize the Ten Principles, Train the Seven Dimensions, and Live a Sustainably Free Training Life for the Long Run.