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!

Storm Watch from Snowy Hills

An hour hike yesterday…

starting out

starting out

bit further along

bit further along

curious about that hilly ridge south of me

curious about that hilly ridge south of me

where the hike went off trail uphill to the south

where the hike went off trail uphill to the south

gained a hill shoulder, looking west into the storm...

gained a hill shoulder, looking west into the storm…

and east toward the plains

and east toward the plains

found a snow dune

found a snow dune

and a volcanic rock, a bomb from some ancient eruption or a meteorite or a foreign rock brought in by an old rancher as a joke on passers-by

and a volcanic rock, a bomb from some ancient eruption or a meteorite or a foreign rock brought in by an old rancher as a joke on passers-by

backtracking east to the curious ridge
backtracking east to the curious ridge

back west, snow dunes from above and the mountain storm
back west, snow dunes from above and the mountain storm

higher
higher

and the contrasting west

and the contrasting west

the curious ridge is edge of a flattop hill

the curious ridge is edge of a flattop hill

 

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storm views, a frozen lake from the top

storm views, a frozen lake from the top

At Below Zero Soup’s a Hero

When it’s like this outside…
photo 1 photo 2 photo 3You Need Something Like This Inside…

photo 4

organic vegetable and chicken broth (whatever you prefer); sparing on the noodles; carrot, red onion slices earlier in the simmer; orange and red mild peppers and garlic mid-simmer; and cherry tomatoes plus milled flax seed and a can of organic unsalted black beans; spice as desired, I used sea salt; olive oil splash at the end…turned out nice! [DO FOLLOW YOUR OWN DIETARY RESTRICTIONS AND OMIT WHAT YOU AND YOUR DOC’S HAVE RULED OUT!]

Winter Training: Light and Heat

Clouds Take on Light and Heat

Clouds Take on Light and Heat

Many times we shrink from cold weather training because, well, it’s cold out there and we feel chilled, or we imagine what discomfort we will encounter in coldness.

However, like clouds, our water rich bodies transfer heat and light energy, even use them to make nutrients.

We generate heat. Movement circulates it, and enlivens us with it.

If I spend a few hours writing and editing on a winter afternoon, I often notice my hands are cool. If I go outside in the freezing temperatures layered-up to train or labor, when I come back in, for a good long while my hands are warm and very comfortable.

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?

Image

Tensing and Releasing

Go for the flow.

Go for the flow.

Many know the relaxation technique of tensing the body’s muscles, head to toe, and releasing them, in a wavelike sequence.

It is a great relaxation technique, yet it is also a superb warming-mobility approach as well. As you well may know, static stretching of muscles without warming up, is now out.

Tensing muscles even more in their tighter states of unreadiness (i.e. when you feel tension binding your body, movement, and coordination), will bring the warming blood flow increase to the targeted muscle or muscle group. Relaxing then, the muscles loosen. Progressively, tensing again, and releasing tension again, brings yet more looseness and pliability to the muscles.

A good example to illustrate is that of leaning over to touch our toes, and stopping at the point of felt-tightness, hanging there a few moments. Feet are flat on the ground. From the ground, from feet through the lower back, including all hip girdle muscles, we tense all of our muscles that we can and hold that tension a few seconds. Then we release. We should then feel our fingertips and entire upper body descend more easily from the waist toward the ground, feeling a bit looser. Repeat the process and see how low you can go.

Remember to breathe, either exhaling or inhaling during tension and the opposite during release, and keep that going. Shake out your body when done.

If you feel dizzy doing this, touch or grab a fixture for balance and slowly recover the upright position. An alternative is to touch the ground, and if loose enough to sit down, sit down and rest until the dizziness is over. If the dizziness is major, you feel you are going to faint or blackout, or if you repeatedly get dizzy doing this, stop exercise and schedule a physical with your doctor and tell your doctor about your experience.

Otherwise, think of the many formerly static stretches you used to do by warming up more generally, and add this specific and gradual tensing, releasing, extending, and repeating process to build flexibility, pliability, utility, and strength in the many, many supporting and dynamic muscles of the body.

Please don’t go …

I’m re-blogging Lyle Krahn’s essay and photograph of a ruffled grouse here on Farm Your Training Day because this illustrates to me a person who is highly attuned to his outdoor experience. Of course he is tuned into the nuances and shades of wonder: he’s an outdoor photographer, right? That is exactly why I reblog him here: each of us has the capacity to develop that greater level of attunement for all that is around us each time we are training outdoors, whether spotting natural wonders in the city, rurally, or in the wilds. Such attunement to the natural is a powerful motivator to return to outdoor training opportunities wherever we may be.

Thanks Lyle Krahn at Krahnpix for sharing his attuned perceptions in the blogosphere so we can take it beyond into the three plus dimensional world.

Best, Mike