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.

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.

Thanksgiving

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There is giving thanks and there is thankfulness as a path to giving.

Thanks follows receiving, and receiving teaches giving.

Giving and receiving, receiving and giving, creates a life flow of relationship to others.

Flow of life washes away impossibility thinking, connecting possibilities to and among our moving selves.

That is a snapshot of the training life, a life flow discipline helping us anchor our energy for giving and receiving, recovering and thanking, loving and working for others’ well being.

When a wall daunts us, adapting, we find a way. Believe there is a way and go, and a way will emerge in the wilderness.

Holiday breaks bring windfalls of time to establish new disciplines to develop and nurture in smaller increments in busier working times. Use the windfalls, and feast on new disciplines for your wellness and new capabilities.

 

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.

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.

Today’s Background and Banner Change in Honor of the Mountain Dimension & the Adaptive Vision of the Fort Carson Army Wellness Center

Whether earthen or architectural the Mountain dimension awaits your training life to let it in.

Inclines are everywhere to be found, and in death valley is there not a heat mountain to scale as some try their constitution and thermostat in that crucible of temperatures?

Mountains too, are icons of your goals. Each has a higher purpose than its own summit. Have a look at this pilgrim’s training incline called the Manitou Incline highlighted in Military Times:

From the website of the Army Wellness Center-Fort Carson at Forrest Resiliency Center:

We assist in the facilitation of healthy lifestyle programs for all ARMY component Soldiers and their families, retirees, and civilians. The clientele spans all ages from young adult to retirees.  The way ahead involves working directly with units at unit locations as well as with individuals and group classes at the Wellness Center.  Expansion of services includes sports medicine care, which will focus attention to readiness and rehabilitation.

Active Patience: Look for the Light in Moments of Temporary Dislocation

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‘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!