New Title Needed?

 

 

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The woman seated by me on the airplane was experienced in marketing words. Her confident conclusion was that Farm Your Training Day: An American Dream of Sustainable Personal Fitness is a bad title. Her tone was respectfully hushed, saving this unknown author from the ignominy of being known onboard as a bad-title-picker. I had visions of bad-title-air-marshals tackling me on the tarmac, and burning my books.

Truth is, my fellow passenger’s observation touched a nagging, bothersome, itchy insecurity I’ve often felt about my book title: if people have to read the book to get the title, that’s not a good title. The title is supposed to prompt people to dive into the book, not remain opaque to all who don’t first delve. A title should be a lead-in, and even if it’s semi-mysterious, its words should offer values that Gumby-ply the majority willpower to skate into that book. Is “Farm” such a word in the age of gaming and over-the-top pornification of just about everything except cereal (the sales of which are falling)? Well, maybe, a small voice counters, the extreme has been reached and the pendulum is returning to sanity, and in a sane world, farming is golden. Hmm.

Still, how many people would read my title and get it? And how many would go so far as to read the subtitle for clarification? My early assumption was that intrigued by the unusual title, they would certainly hone in on the subtitle. From the subtitle, they would have enough to prompt a quick “Look Inside” or a preview of sample pages. Then they’d be hooked!

Oh naïve self.

It is challenge enough for most people to finish a 279-page non-fiction book on new fitness philosophy without pictures that isn’t by an author with a Beverly-Hills-Household-brand-name like “Yogi Effuzio Zeus-Nero, former Navy SEAL,” or the like. I mean, I wanted to write an entrepreneurial mind-body conditioning book that provides an adaptive training catalyst for readers, not ensnare their self-critical envy for my beach-body, then move to Venice beach once I made it. I just want to afford to be able to travel and see our extended family more often while enabling all of us to be home more of the time. But I wanted to give something of quality to get there.

Maybe the Farm Your Training Day terminology in my book title is so smart, it’s dumb. The title tracks the adaptive principles and dimensions within that so broadly and deeply empower readers to trail blaze their own multidisciplinary training lives. That’s smart. The book is a reader-catalyst for achieving consistency with lifelong room to grow and modify one’s training life. Isn’t that what you’d expect from an adaptive fitness philosophy? That’s smart. The farming analogy is good for the reader because it does not create a need then sell to fulfill it. There is no fad-branded co-dependency with adaptive training. Instead, my book reveals that you already own what you need to exceed what any fad could ever sustain. All you’ve got to start with is the truth: you own your farm and your role as farmer of your mind-body. That is smart. And yet, true, smart concepts require implementation, and that’s what the 279-pages get at. But this fitness philosophy book does not market so well, since marketing is about stoking immediate-gratification impulses. As a marketing tool, my book is dumb.

Still, farming the mind-body recruits the readers’ minds and imaginations, something that teaches readers to fish for life by internalization while not giving them step-by-step photos they never have the patience to follow, being tantamount to serving-up cold fish they never finish cooking. Don’t shove knowledge at me, teach me how better to learn! Once readers use this catalyst to excel, they will hopefully overcome my sorry-title with solid reviews, and I’ll find my salary modestly paid before I die.

The scale of beginner to elite-level training is for readers to determine and navigate after consultation with their health care advisors, but my book’s baseline principles and training dimensions bring all readers to a zone of sustainable self-training consistency that forms their own unique, solid launching pad. The currently served, over-served, and underserved all stand to benefit from Farm Your Training Day. And the adaptive principles and dimensions don’t apply to physical training alone. They can apply to work, art, and service. There are takeaways for everyone.

The point of my book is not ‘who am I’ and never was. The point of my book is and has been, to help resolve roadblocks to wellness and conditioning in a country more flush with fitness brands than ever, but whose population continues upward in the obesity, overweight, and depression statistics. My answer, as may shock publishing houses, editors, and agents, comes from an ordinary person who researched, tested, and wrote the book with no intention of creating codependency on my brand for future training inspiration, but with the intention of empowering readers with a single purchase to become independent self-training athletes for-life, whose sports, arts, and physical work forms are their own. Blasphemy!

My approach is a catalyst for self-training ownership never to be co-dependent on contracts, subscriptions, fad-brands, or personalities to ascend to lifelong wellness, functional fitness, and improved performance in sport, art, and work. Time will tell if “farming” is a time-tested model for our training lives, and whether mass-corporate farming is any better than small, local, organic farming tailored to each individual and in the individual’s conscious control.

So what do you think? Should I change the title?

Training through the Narrows

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There is an old adage as true today as ever: “Be kind, for everyone is fighting a great battle.”

A great battle in a relatively affluent country is being jostled and pulled in too many directions. We become acquainted with deciding what not to do instead of what to do. As many opportunities morph into ‘needs,’ it seems that some primordial, upstream-salmon gene activates in our brains and bodies, pushing us to grasp for more than we can do.

Many opportunities may knock, and when they do, be on the lookout for Mr. or Ms. Burnout at your door. This solicitor has bad teeth, dark circles under his eyes, a dehydrated look, burning flames of ambition receding in the irises, and a smoky smell – not cigarettes – but the reek of the grinding, engine-melting residue of neglect. For if we are not paying the insurance premium of exercise regularly, and descending from healthy habits because of it, succeed as we might elsewhere, we may not be around long enough to enjoy it.

One way to guard against a visit from this phantom of temptation is to adapt to it by physically training during his visit. This ends-justify-the-means ghost grasps at the wheedling, whining frustration of our unfinished goals; our haunting imperfections. It would ride them as your horses, pulling you and your life behind, clinging to uncertain ropes.

Imagine yourself answering the door as he or she knocks, earnestly beseeching you to listen and pointing to the pale horse out front; asking you to get behind this high-functioning stressor.

And you answer wearing your running shoes, shorts, and t-shirt. You tell the ghost you are going for a run, and you would love to listen to the pitch along your running route. As you establish your cadence on the asphalt, on the trail, and through the physical world of sunshine, air, seasonal scents, and sweat, you notice that he is having a very hard time keeping up. It seems you have come down to earth, and by doing so, entered a state of peace that cooled and moistened your brow, eased your mind, and helped you find your heart. Gratitude for what you have dawns in your heart, and you realize how much better you could devote yourself to what you have.

What is most important? Your run gives you a real opportunity to meditate on that. As you let the run go through your body, making you stronger, you let your mind drift over the topography of your life, and realize what are the tectonics, the foundations of your peaks and troughs. Soon you can distinguish between what is wise for you and what is not. You have outrun the pressure sell.

And that is a mighty fine pace for anyone to make.

Take Flight — a Memorial Day Reflection

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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.

updated: why the wise are silent

The wise are silent because they realize what it takes to love as God loves.

The wise are silent because they’re listening within.

Silence listens to love and grace, the sunshine and rain in the fields of being.

We sow, we reap, we harvest, we weed, we nourish, we plow, and so many other efforts.

We also write. Is that wise?

 

Round 3 with the Versatile Round Timer

Three minutes can make a difference, fuel some inner heat, and force better breathing to keep on…

If you do this get cleared by your personal physician for it and get a tutorial on wrapping your hands. Have fun!

Note, the round timer has a clip on the back, suggesting it can accompany and time you at whatever kind of interval training effort you would like, except underwater:

IMG_2126and it says something really important for all of us, now matter who we are or what we’re training for. I took a close-up and made it the Header photo so you could read it!

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?

February Flight Scenes on Sunday Family Walk

When we have trained a lot two days in a row, and want to push it, sometimes we need to take advantage of something I call “active patience.” If you need recovery time from arduous training, but don’t want to take that time, then walk with your family, friends, or solo if that is your recharge inspiration.

You’re still active, staying mobile, and improving your recovery experience.

Winter’s last deep freeze?

The morning’s snow fog cloaks trees in ice, an eagle flies North, and the days of February blow forward. Is Spring training near?

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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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personal genesis

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There is a place deep inside you can go, and through a window is a book, the book of life. There you will see the truth about you and why you are here. When all seems lost, when all appears hopeless and confused, go there to your personal desiderata without words and be renewed. There is no time or entropy there, and no corruption. The center of choice, of freedom is there. Energy beyond all energies, is there. Not destructive, but the Genesis. When the seed coat falls as a gift returned, there the ever future becomes present.

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In the lyrics of this piece, I see translated in a few words what the above says.

Don’t Give Up

Paula Cole and Peter Gabriel put this message to song so beautifully:

For all who train, race, compete, and more importantly, love.

Don’t give up is just another way of saying “I love you,” and love is life’s truth and meaning.

 

For more of Paula Cole’s heart reviving music, see:

http://paulacole.com/home

For Peter Gabriel:

http://petergabriel.com/

 

Short on Time Blocs: 2-Run or not 2-Run? Do a Double Day

You awaken with enough time one morning to run a short run but want to run longer. Your calendar balks.

Should you run 2-runs today? One early, and one later to experience that longer endurance experience, and add some mileage to your body’s training base?

If you are cleared to run for fitness and sport, why not, so long as you are not over-training in the larger context of your training days.

This piece at Runner’s World goes into some detail about the benefits of “doubling.” And Jeff Galloway chimes in here.

And this is not only true for running. Other training modes may be mixed, matched, and doubled. Again, don’t over-train, but do adapt and excel. The experience boosts training and performance confidence, in part because few people make room to train twice in a day, or few seize the intervals as discussed in the ‘Interval Farming’ chapter in Farm Your Training Day.

Write in, comment, or, write a guest piece for my blog about how you leverage a “daily double” into your training life from time to time. Thanks for dropping in!

 

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Early

and

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Later on…

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.