Weight loss and the athletic spirit

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When you’re overweight: there is the you that tethers your mind and emotions about your body to your body, holding it down, and vice versa.

Then there is the you capable of sensing your separateness from your own body that respects what the body can do if allowed.

This is your spirit that can untie your body from the current emotional state to let it move. It’s kind of like taking your dog for a walk when you feel half asleep. Or letting the parking brake off of your car. Or stepping up during an emergency.

The part of you who rises above the emotion-shackled body and body-shackled emotional state is the athletic spirit, the worker’s ethic, and the artists inspiration. This you is capable of adaptive training.

Turns out, freed from the body-mind and its every notion about the body (from aches to analyses) the emotions will serve the athletic spirit. Once moving, these two will lead the mind and body to freedom and greater well being.

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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!

Embrace your least favorite element of training

the open sky

the open sky

If you delve into your least favored training areas, be it endurance, primary muscle strength, core strength, or application in sports, arts, or work, you will be raising the level of your foundational condition.

Let tedium become self-training in the gift of focus.

Let hardship be your elevator.

Let slowness be your path to thoroughness in preparation, and prevention.

Cheers!

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.

If you’ve read the book “Farm Your Training Day: An American Dream of Sustainable Personal Fitness”…

..and you believe it will help others bridge gaps to a self-led, dauntless, consistent training life within their busy-tiring schedules…

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Vancouver Boating, Bicycles & Rainy Walks / Colorado Eldorado Canyon Run & Rain Aftermath

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To catch up on my periodic journaling of training experiences:

Vancouver, BC. Be it known that I skipped the hotel fitness center in Vancouver BC, and opted for family whale watching, walks in the rain, and bicycling in the sunshine.

On the whale boat I could have sat the entire journey and monitored the Pacific waters for sea life. But I spent some wonderful time holding my child and working on fixing on distant, relatively fixed points to avoid symptoms of motion sickness as we motored over the waves to where the whales were spotted off the coast.

Going up to the boat’s viewing roof, I found that riding those waves in a rain coat afforded me a nice, standing core exercise trying to stay balanced on the boat, minimizing dependence on the rails.

Movement with Forces training came into play staying out in the rainy, windy sea weather and exposing myself to the wet cold for a time. Cold, wet sea weather is a force.

Another force encountered was the motion of moving in circles on my feet on the top deck relative to the boat’s forward, swell-riding motion. The circling was to scan the ocean’s surface for whales and other sea animals, while keeping balance, orientation, and trying to mitigate motion symptoms. This was a unique experience. I might have slogged through it, jetting along with the experience incidentally, and trying to avoid the elements as sources of discomfort instead of sources of mind-body training.

Instead I decided to consciously engage the ride as a crossing of training dimensions, and I thoroughly enjoyed it while witnessing the stunning beauty of the NW coasts and isles. Along with others I got to share ocean air and space with killer whales, humpbacks, sea lions, porpoises, and varied seabirds. The salt on the air, the relaxing of the boat’s fellow riders, and the graciousness of the husband-wife captain-naturalist team really enhanced our day.

Our walks in the rainy city gave us many chances to negotiate the architectural inclines, hilly city blocks, and wall tops as we used our feet to move through the concrete, glass, and steel mountains. The sea air blowing between them was a bonus. After much cool weather walking about, you can imagine that fish and chips, coffee, and hot chocolate called out to us a time or two. Let me also recommend the practice for parents of safely holding hands with your child in the city, and swinging him over the lines, manhole covers, sidewalk designs, and props found along the city course. I think switching sides and getting both arms in on the child swing is a good practice. Teaching city safety  and enjoyment awareness at the same time is a bonus. During these walks, sudden footraces are known to break out, too. Race you to that monument — to that hydrant — to that vent – to that tree…

Our bicycle outing was just plain fun in the sunshine viewing the mountains we hadn’t been able to see for the clouds for three days straight. And walking some sandy, shelly, mossy, and very clean inner beaches came with the cycling trip through Stanley Park.

We had no time to hit all the most advertised destinations, but we saved a list for another time if it comes available.

To counter the experience of sitting on planes, trains, and automobiles, I used the symmetrical carrying and lifting of luggage, treating it as if I were carrying kettlebells, and keeping the exercises with it closer-in and less conspicuous so as not to embarrass family too much. This included lunging it, squatting to lift it, shrugging it, variable one and two armed rows, curling it, shouldering it, and the like. Same with the carry on back pack. Luggage that I carry is often between 35 and 40 pounds, and serves nicely as a clunky kettle bell by the top handle. I also kick it up with my foot when putting it on wheels and pulling the handle out to pull it. Sitting in airport seats I am able to do wrist curls with my luggage, propping wrists on knees and grasping the top handle.

Trips can afford more than in my laziness I took advantage of.

M7 Missive: Envy is not a regenerative green for athleticism

Credit: Matrix Wiki website.

We all know envy, a vice, has become a lucrative marketing emotion, including within the fitness industry. Certainly this is not so in all venues, under all coaches, or with all players. Yet where it is, it corrodes.

Envy is tied to what another has, or is perceived to have, and is moved by their possession of it. Usually, the outcome of someone’s hard work is coveted, not the work itself. In this emotion the seeds of hating the actual sport, art, work, or conditioning mode are planted.

When the training life becomes a mere means to a visual end, the end of it is planted in its beginning — there is an expiration date on that inspiration.

Also, to envy someone else’s fitness is to tie ourselves to someone else’s performance, not lead ourselves by our own performance to ever excelling levels of capability and potential. Envy makes something old from the beginning, and so limits excellence.

To praise the beauty or performance of another and desire a like-experience to theirs is different. This is not tied to the person, but to the person’s example, the process, the sport, the training path, and focuses on their work ethic and character. It lauds them in a dignified way without attaching to them in a co-dependent twist. This is not envy exactly, but it is admiration of the character of another to the point of applying its principle to ourselves. It is recognition of something greater than both on which all may climb. It is participatory, and therefore, team building, community building, social, and fun.

Worse than envy is a kind of pride that begins with envy then morphs into the denigration of what another has with the implication that our experience must be better, will be better, and is already better than the other. Again, this is not about being the best we can become, but about bettering another. Here the sky is exchanged for exultation over someone else’s fall to earth. Such a morbid thought process misses the finest traditions of sports.

Where envy has infected sports, fitness, and physical arts, we can all do better if we extinguish it with grace. We must do better as a nation of competitors and lovers of sports.

Rocky Mountain Photo Journal: Seven Miles Dedicated to Snoopy’s Citadel

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About Adaptive Fitness (Hint: One of the Principles is called Interval Farming)

Sept 2006 Aspen mixed forest ground0001Adaptive fitness means owning your physical training life and ending co-dependence on unsustainable, packaged dieting and fitness hype. Learn ten principles to help rewire yourself to train adaptively, consistently, and thoroughly for life. Seven training dimensions expand your training spaces. Spread the word to everyone who wants a sea change in their physical conditioning, sport, art, or work life…

Farm Your Training Day!

Now Available at Lulu.com: Farm Your Training Day: An American Dream of Sustainable Personal Fitness

It’s official. Click on the book cover icon at the upper right side of this screen, and you can go there. The E-book will be available in about one week. For now, it is print on demand, with some extra cost of production. I tried to set as reasonable a print price as possible considering all factors. You can also click here:

Farm Your Training Day: An American Dream of Sustainable Personal Fitness

Farm Your Training Day: An American Dream of Sustainable Personal Fitness

Encouragement to Physical Training

flow

Physical training is where you go, and how that changes you. It is directly experiential, yet also relative to other life endeavors.It transcends the physical.

In the world, water flows cascade down steep inclines. The forces move according to structures and properties  of water, gravity, air, angular rock, and so on. The rocks are changed, and the water does countless things on the way down. By much work, the water is purified. Then, one day it evaporates, leaves the Earth and joins the clouds. I believe we are like that.

Play Is a Force of Nature

Do not underestimate the power of the Force…of Play. Parents who work at getting or staying fit sometimes think, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have an edge without steroids?”

Could you manage 90-minutes of constant, varied, physical, responsive, interactive, and emotionally alive play with your kid(s) or nephews or nieces? Sounds exhausting, and it can be, however, there is an energy loop that goes right back into you.

Focused, physically active play is challenging, varied training. There are high-intensity chases; intervals of quiet role playing to exercise recovery breathing and listening skills; dance; uproarious laughter; hiding (and controlling breathing while hiding); suspense;  evading and wrestling, just to keep the game going; avoiding water, foam projectiles, and martial arts moves; throwing; catching; holding; throwing games; target practice games; dancing; towing; falling; rolling; getting up again; and many, many more.

Marcus Aurelius said that life is more like wrestling than dancing. Focused play is both of these and more. The laughter, joy, communication, and satisfaction you will get because your child is happy from the undivided play time with you will go beyond calories and into the health benefits of sheer happiness, if you put yourself into it. Everyone will also sleep well, a boon for the immune system and brain.

Obviously exercise total focus, awareness, and preventive safety whenever playing. I don’t advocate hide and seek in places away from home where you lose sight of your child. One’s own safe and secure home is best for that.

"A force of nature, play is." --Yoda

“A force of nature, play is.”
–Yoda

Favorite Training Experiences

What are some of your favorite training memories? Those special experiences you come back to in your mind are worthy of reflection.

Shorter, intense training has been the rage in the time management age.

Yet one of my favorite training experiences was taking a 15-mile Fall hike up a closed, paved summit road above timber line, with some jogging intervals thrown in both ways. The summit was harsh, with gale force winds. The road switchbacks were long and tedious. I took my pack, found a long, established snow field and glissaded down, bypassing about two miles of road. I remember hiking down in the dark under a clear star flush sky, the wind a memory. The moon was out, and it was reflecting on the face of an alpine lake deep in a gorge below me. Something was agitating the water in that lake, perhaps wind, and the reflection of the moon would disperse into what looked like white fireflies circling above the lake. It was surreal and beautiful.

By the time I was done, I had logged 18 miles of bliss, adrenaline, and appreciation for life.

Use Numbers

just a few counts

no big deal

You’re not gonna train today. Bad case of inertia. Little bit tight. Some fatigue. Weather’s changing.

You’re just going to walk for 20, that’s all.

Maybe run 2.

10 slow pushups only if it feels right.

A mere 5 pull-ups and that’s it.

You’re just going through the motions today. You might count the motions, but you’re not training today because of inertia.

Enjoy the training day.

Consistency Reflection

Imagine yourself free of all obligations. Would you train for anything? For anyone?

blaze trails together

back up your people by training yourself

What would you have to prepare for? Would you train for the sake of training? Could that sustain you?

What do personal relationships have to do with your training life? What does your training life have to do with your relationships?

Here’s a concept some enjoy as real: relationships and self-training become mutually nourishing.

Thanks for being here with your thoughts. Feel free to share your thoughts in comments if you have time. We can all learn more about making our lives richer in relationships.

Updated: Training + Journal Entries = Problem Solving and Insight

train when you can

train by the day

To keep a journal on your exercise doesn’t necessarily mean repetitions, times, distances and the like. It might, but for many, what comes into or out of the heart and mind while training is a higher value of training. For those people I say, journal about your training, sport, art or work. Let that stay with you and motivate you to seek more insight with training as your catalyst.

To be sustainable, training must be adaptive. Not in the sense of using Darwinian terms as marketing triggers. Adaptive training must flex with the priorities in our lives: our work, our families, our elders’ needs, our community involvements, our sport, work or art.

Through journal work, our training can also help us focus on and solve problems we or others we serve may face. We may feed our problems into our subconscious while training.

May an adaptive training life be yours so that what was daunting yesterday becomes a topic laced with lightness and humor for life today.

Training is energy generation. A life without it is a vehicle that does not refuel or burn fuel efficiently. Our participation is required in efficiently generating the energy that we need. By that we can share more. Yet by that we can also go distances mentally, and catalyze internal change that gets us moving where we had previously been stuck.

8.2 miles in Merrell Barefoots

Adapt and Run Better Where Possible...

shameless logo plug…

It was a warm weather evening run, just trying to get some mileage under my feet at no particular pace. This was my longest minimalist shoe run and second longest training run in preparation for the Half Marathon. Miles 6.5 through 8 featured tightening of a front calf muscle requiring slowing and stretching to unglue and relax the spasming muscle. It helped, and it worked.

By feel, I think this was the right distance and pace for my last training cycle before the 13.1 mile race two weeks from now.

May your training renew you.