New Title Needed?

 

 

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The woman seated by me on the airplane was experienced in marketing words. Her confident conclusion was that Farm Your Training Day: An American Dream of Sustainable Personal Fitness is a bad title. Her tone was respectfully hushed, saving this unknown author from the ignominy of being known onboard as a bad-title-picker. I had visions of bad-title-air-marshals tackling me on the tarmac, and burning my books.

Truth is, my fellow passenger’s observation touched a nagging, bothersome, itchy insecurity I’ve often felt about my book title: if people have to read the book to get the title, that’s not a good title. The title is supposed to prompt people to dive into the book, not remain opaque to all who don’t first delve. A title should be a lead-in, and even if it’s semi-mysterious, its words should offer values that Gumby-ply the majority willpower to skate into that book. Is “Farm” such a word in the age of gaming and over-the-top pornification of just about everything except cereal (the sales of which are falling)? Well, maybe, a small voice counters, the extreme has been reached and the pendulum is returning to sanity, and in a sane world, farming is golden. Hmm.

Still, how many people would read my title and get it? And how many would go so far as to read the subtitle for clarification? My early assumption was that intrigued by the unusual title, they would certainly hone in on the subtitle. From the subtitle, they would have enough to prompt a quick “Look Inside” or a preview of sample pages. Then they’d be hooked!

Oh naïve self.

It is challenge enough for most people to finish a 279-page non-fiction book on new fitness philosophy without pictures that isn’t by an author with a Beverly-Hills-Household-brand-name like “Yogi Effuzio Zeus-Nero, former Navy SEAL,” or the like. I mean, I wanted to write an entrepreneurial mind-body conditioning book that provides an adaptive training catalyst for readers, not ensnare their self-critical envy for my beach-body, then move to Venice beach once I made it. I just want to afford to be able to travel and see our extended family more often while enabling all of us to be home more of the time. But I wanted to give something of quality to get there.

Maybe the Farm Your Training Day terminology in my book title is so smart, it’s dumb. The title tracks the adaptive principles and dimensions within that so broadly and deeply empower readers to trail blaze their own multidisciplinary training lives. That’s smart. The book is a reader-catalyst for achieving consistency with lifelong room to grow and modify one’s training life. Isn’t that what you’d expect from an adaptive fitness philosophy? That’s smart. The farming analogy is good for the reader because it does not create a need then sell to fulfill it. There is no fad-branded co-dependency with adaptive training. Instead, my book reveals that you already own what you need to exceed what any fad could ever sustain. All you’ve got to start with is the truth: you own your farm and your role as farmer of your mind-body. That is smart. And yet, true, smart concepts require implementation, and that’s what the 279-pages get at. But this fitness philosophy book does not market so well, since marketing is about stoking immediate-gratification impulses. As a marketing tool, my book is dumb.

Still, farming the mind-body recruits the readers’ minds and imaginations, something that teaches readers to fish for life by internalization while not giving them step-by-step photos they never have the patience to follow, being tantamount to serving-up cold fish they never finish cooking. Don’t shove knowledge at me, teach me how better to learn! Once readers use this catalyst to excel, they will hopefully overcome my sorry-title with solid reviews, and I’ll find my salary modestly paid before I die.

The scale of beginner to elite-level training is for readers to determine and navigate after consultation with their health care advisors, but my book’s baseline principles and training dimensions bring all readers to a zone of sustainable self-training consistency that forms their own unique, solid launching pad. The currently served, over-served, and underserved all stand to benefit from Farm Your Training Day. And the adaptive principles and dimensions don’t apply to physical training alone. They can apply to work, art, and service. There are takeaways for everyone.

The point of my book is not ‘who am I’ and never was. The point of my book is and has been, to help resolve roadblocks to wellness and conditioning in a country more flush with fitness brands than ever, but whose population continues upward in the obesity, overweight, and depression statistics. My answer, as may shock publishing houses, editors, and agents, comes from an ordinary person who researched, tested, and wrote the book with no intention of creating codependency on my brand for future training inspiration, but with the intention of empowering readers with a single purchase to become independent self-training athletes for-life, whose sports, arts, and physical work forms are their own. Blasphemy!

My approach is a catalyst for self-training ownership never to be co-dependent on contracts, subscriptions, fad-brands, or personalities to ascend to lifelong wellness, functional fitness, and improved performance in sport, art, and work. Time will tell if “farming” is a time-tested model for our training lives, and whether mass-corporate farming is any better than small, local, organic farming tailored to each individual and in the individual’s conscious control.

So what do you think? Should I change the title?

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Mountain Dimension: 8.2 Mile Road and Trail Run at Eldorado Canyon State Park

ran up the road at the canyon base, then joined Fowler trail and doubled back up on the mountainside (see trail opposite the climber) …there were climbers on the rock today and the natural springs pool was packed with whooping, hollering, happy people escaping the heat…saw a lot of smiling people today.

Parked Eldorado Canyon corner store at Highway 93 and ran up Highway 170 through Eldorado Springs, a climber’s haven. Passed through town, past the sheer cliffs, and found Fowler Trail, running it back down to join back up with Highway 170 then back to start. The run was a little over 8 miles, about 50% road and 50% trail.

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

The Black Track Cut No Slack

IMG_6242There are tracks like this in nearly every city or town with a school or recreation center. Sometimes running in an ellipse in the summer sun is just what I need. In off-hours, frequently, no one else is there. What a great opportunity to make a training meet-up with a friend who is at a fitness level close to yours. Early mornings on a track can also be invigorating. Remember this option; it’s a good one. Use it according to your needs, fitness level, and do check with your physician if there are any known conditions for which you should get a doctor’s OK.

Today for me, this is how I used the track.

warm up: 50 body weight squats (25 half, 25 full).

Ran 12 laps (3 miles)…

One Sprint per lap, or 1/4 mile…

Eleven 50 yard sprints…

Lap 12 was a 220 meter sprint…

1 quarter mile cool down walk…

It was 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

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.

3.6 Mile Run with Two Sprint Intervals

It was 88 degrees out today, and with the smell of firework gunpowder still with me, I ran gentle hills on asphalt in the hot summer sun. I put in two sprint intervals, both uphill. I loaded enough water before starting.

I love our country.

Happy Fourth of July!

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.

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!

Run and Cut

To those who want to expose more muscle anatomy features through their skin:

Run.

And run more.

And when your body and mind tell you that you can eat extra-extra helpings because of your up-tempo, allow only extra-extra helpings from the fresh produce section.

Everything else, reduce to the high-yield, lean, non-processed versions, and eat less than usual.

Keep it up for at least a month and a half to see how this suits you.

IF YOU HAVE DIETARY GUIDELINES FOR ANY PHYSICAL OR MEDICAL CONDITION, OR NEED QUICK CALORIES TO KEEP HEALTHY AND FUNCTIONAL AT CRUCIAL TIMES, DISREGARD THESE SUGGESTIONS AS NEEDED. MODIFY ALL SUGGESTIONS ON THIS SITE TO SUIT YOUR PERSONAL PROFILE AS ARRIVED AT BETWEEN YOU AND YOUR PERSONAL PHYSICIAN AND OTHER HEALTH CARE ADVISERS WORKING AS A TEAM.

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!

Running Surfaces: 3 mile run in the cool Spring air

On my road running Altra Torins I ran 3 miles in intervals on the following surfaces:

+asphalt (has some spring, and impact absorption)

-concrete (almost zero spring or impact absorption, hell on joints, hell on eyes in bright sun)

-Ice under snow over asphalt (courtesy of JustDeb who says, “Don’t run on it!”)

+sandy clay (nice absorption, poor drainage, muddy)

+ground red granite gravel (best for all around drainage, absorption, nice on eyes in full sun)

+road base rock (good variety for lower extremity muscles, rougher on shoes)

+dried clay mud (variable, better absorption, sometimes hard / trippy, crackly / dusty)

+wild grass (variable, take a quick break or two to police for ticks – catch ’em early and tweak ’em off)

Can you guess which surface I do not recommend for running but which nearly every short-sighted developer and city planner in my area prefers as a trail building substance between subdivisions and open spaces, and in some cases, through open spaces? I’m sure you can.

Concrete has many positive uses. Running trails are not one of them.

Disclosure: I find it a pain to take photos while running so I cannibalized past photos of multiple surfaces…

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Trails in Boulder County Open Spaces closed from flooding Monday, so a street hike was the next best thing. Mostly. Except seeing flood damage.

off-road shoes see first action

Brooks Cascadians

Brooks Cascadians…

A Brooks shoe that finally has a toe box wide enough for me is a trail runner. It pairs up with my Altra Torins for road running. These two pairs make my feet happy for road and dirt running days ahead. The Merrell Barefoots were worn out on the sole, and did not repel the sharper rock impacts from the deep tissues of the foot.

If I don’t blog more about these shoes, you can assume they’re doing their job!

May your running-training days be timeless and full of light.

Spring Beckons my Running Shoes

Like Smaug the Dragon, the eyes of my road running shoes open at the breath of Spring in the air, fair winds blowing upon the great icy mountain of doubt. Stand to train again.

Why “Farm” Your Training Day?

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Plant your training efforts in time and space, and watch yourself grow. Nurture these actions with good eating, sleeping, and drinking habits as you would water and feed crops. Harvest the bounty when the time is right, by executing your sport, art, or work better than before. Share the yield and nourish others with your gains.

Hit the Road Jack

Mountains catch light and shadow so subtly and differently from moment to moment, their beauty brings enough surprise to feel transportive. There is a sense of renewal given by myriad conditions.

It is the same way when you hit the road for a walk, run, or cycling. Part of the reason for hitting the road is to put variety in your life. There are so many roads, routes, directions, and orders of taking them that hitting the road will often have reset value for you.

So hit the road. Renaming yourself Jack is optional.IMG_8282

Saturday V.VI miles Running with Horses

laugh it up buddy

laugh it up buddy

With subtle rises and downhills, fenced horse ranch properties, and long, quiet country lanes, I enjoyed this first mid-range (for me) run on my new Altra Torins. I was looking for any unusual feedback from feet, ankles, knees, and back with the new shoes. Turns out the only feedback I get is from one of the horses I run by in these parts.

When I ran alongside two beautiful brown horses, one trotted alongside, and I am almost sure this horse was on the edge of laughing at me. I’ve heard whinnying and that wasn’t what this horse was doing. And that smile, the one that says, “how can anything go that slow and sound like it’s running?”

I said, “Well, of course. You’re a big beautiful horse, built for running. You must think my pace is a hoot.” At that point, I was glad that this was not Mr. Ed.

Once out of view of the horses, I finished my run with dignity, working on a more efficient form. I had put a full water bladder on my back initially planning to run much longer, and that threw me off a bit.

I am planning to put in a sprint interval next time I run by that fence with those two smart ass horses.

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.

Country Road Take Me Home, OR Five.Oh.2 after Week of Adaptive Immune System Training

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Ran the fine country and ranch roads of Northern Colorado in the cool, sunshiney air and logged 5.02 miles.

The run felt humble in phases, especially during intervals in which I stepped up my pace, however, finishing I felt immediately better and recovered quickly. I think this bug is about gone.

You know how it is when you think it’s gone, you’re trying to tell someone something, and the mere intake of air to speak draws a cough, and you feel like your 400 years old because of it. Still, it didn’t make me feel like staying home today and eating gobs of hot salsa with chips and drinking 400 gallons of water.

Yesterday, though, it did make me feel like eating medium hot Thai fried rice, a veggie spring roll, and a pot of hot green tea. Later, invited out yet again, dinner involved Miso soup and a small flask of hot sake. These are comforting substances at the end of a virus.

Also comforting was letting garlic flakes sit on the back of my tongue, and sort of marinate and waft through the upper respiratory tract with the believed knowledge that garlic is a natural antibiotic. Anecdotally I felt less inflammation around the cough zone in my throat after trying that.

I think we both know you’ve heard enough. I’m just glad you stop by from time to time. It’s a privilege for this writer.