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.

Updated into 2 parts, Part 1: “You’re Not An Athlete,” Analyzing an Early, Indirect Psychological Obesity Catalyst

If we give ourselves to the team, we will serve the good of all teams.

If we give ourselves to the team, we will serve the good of all teams.IMG_6242IMG_8962 Let’s talk about that.

Are you an athlete? Let’s talk about that.

I remember school, that grouping of children by statute in which arbitrary determinations of “jock” versus “gangster” versus “freak” versus “nerd” identified people according to the Plato’s Cave rule.

Have you concluded that you are not an athlete because of this caste-filing system? I believe many people have, especially those who drop out of physical conditioning, or who struggle with believing they belong in a training life of value.

Mass society, as Alvin Toffler the futurist pointed out in his “Previews and Premises,” and “Wave” books, has been reaching its limits over several decades and is forced to change. Mass approaches to the jobs society needs done are losing efficacy to nimbler, more adaptive, and custom modes of human endeavor.

An example: Mass culture’s investors swear to us that mass agriculture is necessary to support the populations it has made possible, what I call an AB-Argument (Addiction-Bureaucracy meme). But that system is changing what food is.

Change happens slowly under the weight of Addiction-Bureaucracy in part because bureaucracy demands consultation and control in that change. However, there are powerful sea changes to speed these processes along from time to time.

In Fitness, Adaptive Training is such a movement. It can take us from the mass commercial approaches to training to an individualized path. Community lives best by temporary confederacies of good purpose, and less by growing, monolithic, robotic authority. The central power theme with high adult to teen ratios provokes the arbitrary identifications like “jock,” “nerd,” “slut,” and other caste system labels that the very teachers it employs fight a futile battle to correct. While this may have been unplanned, authority can use these limiting legends to keep control over high ratios of students to coaches / teachers, etc.

There are Prom Queens and Homecoming Kings and MVPs and scholars by ritual popularity, however, not always by merit of character. And everywhere we hear the word “pride” credited with the wins. I realize this is a commonly used term that many people use to mean love of one’s team, school spirit, and  loyalty to their success. But using the word pride to describe those things is off-kilter. That’s because the same word means a narcissistic desire to hold one of the caste system titles, whatever it takes. That is the trend we see in professional sports.

From my perspective you are an athlete if you mentally and physically condition yourself to excel in your sport, art, work, ethical, and spiritual life no matter your age. To deny any part of one’s development for the more easily developed physical talents is to set-up the highly trained body and mind for a descent into character-rot.

An adaptive training life continually responds not to the rituals that flatter athletes, but to the greater purposes that give mortality its highest meaning for each one, and for all. The rituals may be part of the mix, but they do not govern the athlete. The athlete chooses his or her areas of endeavor, and leads her or himself to excel for the sake of seasoning the community with excellence in service to a community of persons, not to an industry or institution.

To serve people is to be a leader. To serve an industry or institution without remembering “by and for the people,” is to become a materialist willing to value things, wealth, and glory over people.

This leads me to sever this piece into two parts. The next part is on the use of the word “Pride” in athletics and other human endeavors, and how that backfires even when well-intentioned.

the inner game and self-allowance

giving the self-critic the job of helping, not hindering our working, functioning self

New possibilities arise when our egoistic self-critic is retrained to help our working self.

you can
you always could

The classics The Inner Game of Tennis and The Inner Game of Golfboth by Timothy Gallwey, address one of the most tender topics for every one of us. The part of our egos that self-protect when we are overcoming a weakness or attempting something that is challenging for us. Gallwey does a great job describing how this ego-self emerged in his tennis students to stymie their progress and pressure them to quit.

These books are on my shelf as long term references. I’ve read what applies to all sports and did not detail the tennis or golf aspects. I’m not a tennis player or golfer, but I’ve played both, enough to understand the phenomenon specified in the book. My key goal, however, was to see how the book applies to other sports, arts and work tasks. You can apply the lessons learned there to any task in sport, art and work, or any sub-task. Perhaps the lessons apply even to our communications with others, or our personality print on any given situation.

Think of the things you quit that you would still like to learn, become proficient in, or even master. Think of the the next thing you need to get better at. Think of new possibilities for you if you were able to tame your inner mind during the learning process. This is about precision, efficiency, economy and becoming a smarter performer so that your work goes much further on your behalf. The upshot of all of this includes having more fun at what you’re doing even in the challenging areas for you.

I’m not going to take credit for these insights, but I’ll refer you to the source. The books are at major book sellers online and likely in some used bookstores. You won’t find mine there, though.

It is my purpose to make the M7 Adaptive Fitness Guidebook one of those reference books that you want to keep on your virtual bookshelf. If you’ve read the books or if you read them in the future, feel free to comment on your experiences implementing the principles.

Cheers!