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?

The Black Track Cut No Slack

IMG_6242There are tracks like this in nearly every city or town with a school or recreation center. Sometimes running in an ellipse in the summer sun is just what I need. In off-hours, frequently, no one else is there. What a great opportunity to make a training meet-up with a friend who is at a fitness level close to yours. Early mornings on a track can also be invigorating. Remember this option; it’s a good one. Use it according to your needs, fitness level, and do check with your physician if there are any known conditions for which you should get a doctor’s OK.

Today for me, this is how I used the track.

warm up: 50 body weight squats (25 half, 25 full).

Ran 12 laps (3 miles)…

One Sprint per lap, or 1/4 mile…

Eleven 50 yard sprints…

Lap 12 was a 220 meter sprint…

1 quarter mile cool down walk…

It was 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

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.

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?

Night Hike in a Maelstrom

The Night Hike in Maelstrom

City lights, warmth in the body, and temperate breezes threw off the shackles from sedentary vigils in antiseptic rooms over the break.

Updated and Revised but Not Perfected: Is Perfection Really the Enemy of the Good? Why Yes, Yes it is.

Snowflakes prove there is no perfect snowflake...

Is there a perfect snowflake?

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Or flower?

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IMG_1004Or is there a perfect child, or grandparent, or wife, husband, girlfriend, boyfriend, or friend?

There are so many good, for the good makes room for a small, small world of countless differences.

Perfection, philosophers assure us, is the enemy of the good. Yet it is good to excel. What do we excel toward? Perfection. Then how is perfection the enemy of the good again?

Because while we excel toward perfection, perfection is not the goal. Perfection is a divine gift, an ideal that British radar pioneer Robert Watson-Watt said, “never comes.” I believe he should have said, “..in this life,” but that’s quibbling with his context. Also, there is an exception to every rule, and perhaps an exception to that rule too.

Perfection evades our grasp as entropy dogs us, the unexpected delays us, or survival challenges tax us. Yes, attachment to this world seems to anchor us down, unable to fly up to havens of perfection.

All the dreams of perfection we want, such as immortality, eternal love, and inalienable acceptance are retirement benefits that vest only after our own personal work as the farmers of our souls and as helpers of our fellow farmers, is done. And the work is only done when we die, true? At the end of this life, everything takes extra work. Just ask those living into the golden years. Earthly retirement is not real retirement, for the work goes on!

Living and dying while struggling to excel in goodness-for-goodness-sake is the work of our lives that we can and must excel at. Genuineness in this quest can’t be faked, and comes with letting go of desiring and grasping, yet receiving all blessings thankfully with hands that multiply and distribute them to others. Some call this renunciation of self, yet it is more. It is giving of self, enlarging one’s heart by letting go, and expanding in spiritual freedom and vitality by giving.

Death is retirement from this noble work in this life. Afterward, retirement benefits kick in, that is, the Divine Gift (some believe by other agencies) of immortality goes to those who farmed within their hearts the seeds of goodness. There is more wisdom in our entropic bodies than meets the eye, as they fertilize with humility the spiritual seeds for resurrection and eternal life awaiting the Sunrise. Eventually, the Harvester of growing crops comes and transplants them where all are nourished without eating, and there is no entropy or waste. People of love rise again and the Spirit says, “It’s all good.”

So let go of grasping for receiving, and grasp your partner to dance, or grab a hand and pull someone up who is down, or grab a rock and pull yourself up for a better view by which to navigate for a greater purpose and destination than temporary self satisfaction. We handle the good to give, not to keep, but to share and distribute once it has taught us what we are to learn on the day. We excel each time we do this. We plant new seeds and make our fields more fertile with humility each time we do this.

And how will we know when we are prepared enough? When we’re done. When our spirits have left our broken bodies. How does that all work? I believe we’ll find out. Until then, let’s help and inspire each other. Let’s imbue each other with value, making value, multiplying value, and giving the value of love and all of its goods to one another, and do so for our entire lives.

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.

Water

There are times you may not consciously realize that you need or want to renew your relationship to water in your training life.

Yet water and its properties are forces of nature that are part of your physical, mental, and if you will, spiritual being.

My Denver Half Marathon Half Rainbow

follow the path of movement

Take time to recover

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Lake in a snowstorm

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