38 Special Fix for the Loop Flop: Compelled to Obsess, Obsessed to Compel

Forbes entrepreneur blogger Eric Schiffer writes about breaking free of obsessions to reach goals, here.

Obsessing focuses not on what you are doing or even what you want, but on ill-timed imperatives. To set a summit goal then obsess on each stepping stone will tire out the best of ascendants, leaving them on the mountain in the dark, taking forever.

Focus and obsession aren’t the same thing. Focus sees something as it really is in its context. Obsession loses track of what something actually is in favor of processing it, and fears that if it isn’t done now, the sky will fall. Too much tension blows energy, forgets priorities, and trends in error.

A good way to memorize this principle is by singing to yourself the following 38 Special song, or at least the lyrics:

Fitness that adapts stays with you.

Best,

Mike

Practical Training Takeaway: About Workout Books and Swimming for Core with Cardio-Respiratory and Recovery Benefits Included

When I bought the book by fellow blogger and authors Reeves, Paglini, et al. Triathletes Swim First: 100+ Beginning Swim Workouts for Triathletes, I had planned at first to buy a hard copy.

I changed my mind and downloaded the e-book instead. The reason: I use the book by these athletes for one of many options to train the core muscles, and for mobility training of all muscle groups with cardio, breathing, recovery, and buoyancy benefits included.

Takeway Training Tip: With the book on my desktop, I can print-off one of the workouts from one or more pages, and bring it with me to the pool for guidance.

This is also true for all of those fitness, training, and health books that tend to get lost on your bookshelves with workouts, pictorial how-to sequences, and instructive tips in them. If you buy them in e-book form, you can easily print-off the pages with the content you want to work on, and take them with you.

You can even laminate them, create a card folio, and re-use them to save paper, and increase your fluency in variety training.

This is very much a simple way to put all of those sport, training, and fitness books to good use in your adaptive training life.

It also helps the athlete or wellness author to sell an e-book instead of a hard copy, as there is less production expense. Here, the green of the trees and the green of author profits come together.

Aerial Study: Mountain Biker Salivary Gland Triggers

IMG_2620Could photographs as above cause excess salivary activity in mountain bikers? Note the lower riverbed. From the air it is hard to tell if this terrain would be beautiful or burdensome to mountain bikers. Maybe both.

spirit

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…

spirit

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:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=14594652

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.

‘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!

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/

 

When a Run is Not a Run, But an Encounter with Physical and Energetic Forces and Conditions

Force of Heat

Force of Heat

Yesterday I did not hydrate to prepare for a run.

Yesterday I did not eat much at all.

Yesterday was not a running training day. And although I ran, I did not run.

At the height of the late day heat in the 90’s, in full sun, underfed for the day, and poorly hydrated, I strapped on a hydration system, downed a Gu (Trademarked name) and took off running. I had no distance or pace in mind. It wound up at 4.21 miles.

My sole goal was to encounter heat and full sun while feeling unprepared for my run. I had planned with the Gu shot, and the hydration system, for my own safety net after the halfway point. The Gu shot would kick in after about 20-30 minutes, and I would feel lousy for over half the exercise period.

During the run I purposely ran on several different surfaces, regular and irregular, to do something against my expectations. I ran on river rock, broken granite, asphalt, dirt, deep grass, groomed grass, concrete, and on a few mulch areas. The route was mostly flat with some subtle rises, but it was all in the open sun with no shade until the end stretch.

In the first 30 minutes of this run, I felt very hot. My skin felt hot, my head felt hot, the air felt hot, I was thirsty, and there was very little or no breeze. When I felt a little lightheaded at one point, I recognized it coinciding with that hollowed-out feeling of stomach emptiness during exertion without blood sugar. I slowed down to adapt to the energy drain, reduce heat build-up, yet still keep running by a purely technical definition, no matter how slowly. I began sipping water when I felt lightheaded to make this a training interval, not self-immolation.

When the Gu finally found my bloodstream I felt the boost and picked up my pace. My stomach emptiness eased, and I  found some tree cover for the last half-mile of my encounter with the heat and my own deprivation. I could have become a treehugger for shade.

Did I train? By someone else’s definition, perhaps not. But the definitions I set had to do with addressing obstacles I have run into before in my training life, not adopting someone else’s focus, but my own, in the present moment. By encountering and adapting to:

Heat

Hunger

Thirst

Finishing determination

and

my thoughts and feelings about it all…

..the goal was to train my mind to adapt to all factors and conditions to continue, not quit, and not fall to a heat injury. You see, long ago, I did reach dangerous temperatures while running hills in a 100 degrees-plus, humid, still forests of Virginia wearing pack, boots, helmet, and carrying a rifle. My temperature was 106.4 degrees Fahrenheit before a pugnacious young Staff Sergeant from San Diego pulled me down, and started pouring gallons of water over my head. He saved my life and I’ll always be indebted.

I do not recommend anyone else do this particular heat / hunger / thirst forces session. Perhaps you would never feel the need. I recommend training on full hydration; after adequate nutrition; being judicious about training times and types given your own personal, physical history, profile, needs, and objectives. In other words, a run is a run, a training run is a training run, but your intention in training, your focus can change the interval into something else.

For me, this was voluntarily facing a convergence of forces to train to adapt to them despite having fallen to them in the past. The purpose? To gradually increase capacity to deal should unexpectedly arduous conditions be imposed on me at some future time. Next time, I’ll go slightly further, and so on under similar conditions. This also trains mind and body to appreciate and stay aware of hydration, nutrition, and preparation. It also helps train my mind to adapt and function when those elements are lacking — to push the envelope back and retrain my body’s capacity to adapt, endure, and do so functionally.

Had I wanted to enjoy the feelings of a “run in the heat” I would have prepared properly for it and billed it as a run. A run it was not. A forces training day it was. So if you are a runner, always prepare. Always adapt with as much preparation as possible. You will train longer, with fewer interruptions, and less wear and tear on the body with excellent preparation.

Think of the many times you have said or read about someone having a “bad day” training. A low energy day. Preparation would likely solve a healthy percentage of those days. Adaptation, a survival and enhancement skill, is the follow-up to preparation when unpredictable things happen.

Train prepared friends!

Weight Shifting Is a Shooting and Spending War, Not a Matter of Health Care Alone (Revised)

Defining Terms to Get Results

“Weight-loss” or “weight-gain” are too abstract to help us perceive what is involved in the overweight casualties of the New Millennium.

Truer terms are “Weight-shifting” and “Mind-Body War.” For-profit, the Weight-Shifters strategically bomb us with ill-messaging about food, good-times, and ourselves. We are taught that we are significant because we are brand-supporters. Tactically, we are disarmed by bright lights, warm colors, and enticing photos of food and drink.

Crazily, the image of ourselves as fit can even make us indulge, thinking we can “take it” at the drive-through, or that “fit people eat here.” We are guerrilla stricken during commutes, when we are tired, rushed, feeling deprived, getting in late, and grappling with daily problems. We are “too tired to fix dinner.”

Yet there is hope. There are natural and organic grocers, and grocery sections. There are often free samples of healthy fare at the grocery stores to ease the urgency of hunger. Or just buy a small green juice first, and sip while shopping.

Our Appetites

Our appetites are the most vulnerable, non-critical, and primitive pressure points in this weight-shifting war. Each assault exploits the tensions of the busy-life schema that put us in urgently hungry states of the primitive brain.

Each attack, and each battle lost, takes a permanent toll. The hit-and-run nature of the anti-health raids impels us to hit-and-run ourselves with the false notion that it will only be “this time.”

Mind and Emotions

A sober, stoic war-footing toward these messaging phenomena would help galvanize and unify our minds and emotions against these false-comfort attacks. Think about who you want to be when attacked, not what you want right then.

False comfort is fizzy, melted, hot, salty, sweet, fatty, calming, and ultimately, a Dopamine-dumping chemical frenzy to ease our tension, cull our cognitive dissonance, and crush our health. It also drains our wallets.

True comfort is being truly free and under control of our life direction. Shopping and preparation burns calories, and deepens our relationship to fresher, purer food.

Body

When we eat the refined, processed, sodium-filled, grease-bombs that explode in our tummies and calm our nerves, we are descending into sickness. Thinking the situation through is not so easy.

Thinking outside of our bodily frenzies is the beginning of freedom. Detaching a part of our higher minds to float above our animal-drives can help us become self-aware of our total beings, not just our Pavlovian-Lowest Common Denominator. We can trump our immediate appetites.

Conclusion

Adaptive fitness assumes that eating, drinking, and sleeping are self-trainable behaviors every bit as much as exercise and sport are trainable. We can eat, drink, and sleep in accord with who and how we want to be.

What Is Adaptive Fitness Training?

Sticky note for the peak register at Mount Parnassus, CO. A favorite photo because someone dedicates the summit hike “to Kristen who has never hiked above tree line.”

Soon it will be time to release the title, cover, and the book on adaptive training principles and dimensions.

Once the book is released, please feel free to share the book with your friends, family, and anyone you believe may benefit.

Adaptive training principles and dimensions can help anyone create their own best foundations and pathways to new levels of training consistency and fitness.