Attention: Workers, Deskers, Bloggers, Office Jocks, & Vigil-keepers

be a happy snow person

be a happy snow person

Make one rule.

Make it no more complicated than this.

Stand up every time you feel like it, and sit back down.

Do it 100s of times a day and make it an art to keep working when you do.

Want to add something? Go ahead. Make each one a proper form squat. Two lunges. Ten calf raises.

Take as needed, get up easier the next morning.

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.

The Story of an FEIAA Meeting and Book Signing

What a privilege to sit down and talk with Federal Executive Institute alumni and friends last night. These professionals brought up a host of great topics. We talked gluten freedom, how eating, drinking, and sleeping are self-trainable behaviors, and how intelligent attunement can benefit us in every dimension of physical action as well as perception. These civilian and military public servants, technical, and knowledge workers spoke in ways revealing their high accomplishment, and by their intelligence had found the many packaged fitness offerings in the marketplace unfulfilling or unsustainable. We also discussed the texture of real life: traumas, shadows, and challenges in daily life. Being with intelligent people can be a good time, but being with intelligent, feeling people is the best of times, and that is what last night’s gathering was like.

We talked nuts and bolts: Muscle, Mileage, Mobility, Midsection/Core, Mountains’ Meaning, and more. Everyone in attendance had been athletic in their lives whether they considered themselves so or not, and I made sure to point this out first of all. We must be clear about our identities, that we are among other wonderful truths, mind-body entities capable of athleticism in physical sport, art, and work. Yes, the basic adaptive physical training pathways can expand to intellectual and for some, spiritual athleticism.

On the sheer material side, a la Steve Martin in The Jerk, needing to hold onto some possessions on an anniversary date when I had once felt I’d lost everything, I brought some self-comforting props for my presentation. Rip’s Fire Engine 2 (TM) Plant Strong cereal (my strength), and Toblerone (TM) swiss chocolate (my weakness). They seemed like the props to bring at the time.

Along with a box of books and a gym bag with all I needed, I walked into Breckenridge Craft Colorado, home to craft beers and LoDo Denver venue-name dropping. You may remember our former mayor and now Governor Hickenlooper owned a restaurant in LoDo (Lower Downtown), where rough-hewn, red-brick mellow-looking pubs and brewers fill old warehouse buildings near lofts where nearly everyone walking around down there looks like they do Pilates during breakfast, Yoga during lunch, and feed intravenously through a liquid food bladder while running long distances through dinner.

Well, that may be an exaggeration but I’ll tell you what is not: most people living in downtown lofts are single, young, career starters enjoying urban life to the fullest, and throwing their pliable youthful bodies into one or two training modalities, sometimes not really bothering with long range thinking. They live close to their white collar work. They’re busy on various levels, but many don’t yet know the change that comes with rising in the ranks of responsibility, having a family, and having more and more people they are responsible for (at which time they often move out of the lofts). That doesn’t make them lesser or lazy, they just fill more of their time focusing on self-development than other-development because of their phase in life. Logic says juggling a one bean bag business is easier than juggling and adapting to three or more bean bags’ businesses…

Leading me to the course of our discussions last night: How do those with hairy schedules at work and home, extra-curriculars in the community, and little time to themselves make changes that temper for them a sound, powerful training life with consistency, excellence, and purpose? How do they overcome the crushing, conflicting, Hoi Polloi of Expectation-a-Legal living and not become unhealthy?

That is what Farm Your Training Day was written to begin answering. It contains many specific guidances on HOW, not just statements and restatements of a vague vision. I couldn’t convey all of it in one sitting and standing. What I could convey are some of the broad brush adaptive training principles and dimensions, and suggest that the fullness of these is in the book. This includes illustrations, guidances, sources, stories, and some visualizable details over 276 pages and 17 chapters without pictures.

All I can say is, after reading the book, which is not a Polly-Anna Manifesto by any stretch, and which takes a look at the mundane and dramatic obstacles to a consistent training life that would wear us down and make us unhealthy, I think people find not only bedrock to stand on within themselves, but a process of remolding their bedrock again and again from the interior life. Their training lives spring out of this aquifer of intelligent, planned and unplanned energy and movement within that connects with the world around them. The book maps forward, not ‘out.’ I say forward, because every reader is invited to be the pioneer who adds to this map, innovates, and improves the book by going into other principles and dimensions of adaptive training.

I know something of what there is and wrote a book about it, yet part of that is seeing that I do not know the limits of what is possible.

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

Generating Power with Water

generate energy and change

Move mountains with water.

We are mostly water with women’s bodies being 55% H2O and men’s about 60%. Children are more and babies have the most water onboard.

Water is is a powerful element, and it is in us.

Water can move mountains. Water makes our bodies pliable, flexible, functional and strong. Water supplies our muscles as they work. The brain is 70% plus water.

When you think of power or strength training, think in terms of work that you could do that you might otherwise have abdicated to a machine.

Think in terms of gradualism, moving from light to heavier resistance. Use your sense of feel, learn proper form and go only to resistance levels that are safe for you and feel right, even if they may challenge you some. How much challenge you can handle is a judgment for you and your physician to come to, but once you do, you can move mountains with water.

Today was one of those days when water moved heavy materials from the Earth.

The specifics of this training evolution will come in the M7 Adaptive Fitness Guidebook due out in December before Christmas. It is a way to strength and power train intensively without overloading joints, staying functional, and combining muscle groups in the process. And, it is affordable, simple and easy to access. Yet it is just one method. It is also fun.

Midsection

When your day has been one service item to the next, responding to life’s priorities, obligations, deadlines and more, you can get home and feel like you need your last rites. Training feels like an impossibility.

Or suppose your muscles are sorer and stiffer than you remember 2 or 3 days out from a workout, and you don’t want to take another recovery day, but it seems all that you can muster.

Try a short interval of midsection and core work before dropping off to sleep. Put in 10 minutes, go slow and as continuous as you can, and see if you can relax extremities while working the trunk.

As warmth builds in the midsection, see if you can gently and gradually increase range of motion in the hips and back, and push circulation to the sore muscles that are dogging you, and to renew your tired body. Breathe continuously as you work with the basic leg lifts, bicycles, crunches, knee raises and the like.

Ten minutes later, you can come to a rest, breathe on, and go to bed.

There. You trained. It’s a success.

carry out a training run

putting in a building block today…

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.