Take Flight — a Memorial Day Reflection

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Dedicated to those who are here who can hear for those who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of their fellows, their country, and principles for which this nation must still stand.

In the darkest nights of the soul the fuel for your Phoenix bubbles and boils around your spirit. From the ashes of some future ignition, burn, and flight, win or lose, you will rise again and be better than ever before; more capable in some way, known or unknown, to break through and see done what must be done as the reason for your being here. The darkest nights are never so dark as the dawn is light.

As the Marines say “pain is weakness leaving the body,” so the dark nights of the soul are selfishness of the past leaving the spirit, to be ignited in future service to those in need. These flammable drops may provide fires with which to liberate captives, empathize with and put sinners back on their feet, melt barbed wire, and elevate our human race just a little more before you die. No earthly reward could be better than simply completing our purposes for being. Each of us is given such a purpose, known or unknown, yet accessible more purely through standing again and believing.

The big picture is in our hearts, the sky within, from a vista point that can consider all people, all events, and all that must come with the indomitable commitment of a dedicated, singular spirit behind humble eyes, trafficking in the divine energy of love for all.

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Winter Training: Light and Heat

Clouds Take on Light and Heat

Clouds Take on Light and Heat

Many times we shrink from cold weather training because, well, it’s cold out there and we feel chilled, or we imagine what discomfort we will encounter in coldness.

However, like clouds, our water rich bodies transfer heat and light energy, even use them to make nutrients.

We generate heat. Movement circulates it, and enlivens us with it.

If I spend a few hours writing and editing on a winter afternoon, I often notice my hands are cool. If I go outside in the freezing temperatures layered-up to train or labor, when I come back in, for a good long while my hands are warm and very comfortable.

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.

The Reset

Let the Reset happen. Your mind lets go of the intractables, puts them back into your heart, where the mysterious storms, the lightening, the oceanic forces of the Source break them up and produce a path forward for you.

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Train Your Children Well…

More than ever, children need daily exercise, a sense of purpose, and adults to lead by example in getting, and staying fit, functional, and capable of taking on new endeavors. In a word, adaptive parental leaders.

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Inner Strength, Outer Confidence

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A favorite running place.

Many say outer-confidence behaviors, even their pretense, will soak-in eventually to transform our inner lives. In sports, this is the performance-self toughness of the Loehr-Jansen-Evert book, Mental Toughness Training for Sports.

Others say, concentrate on inner strength, and all else will follow. This is an ancient principle passed down through the wisdom of many disciplines developed from antiquity. Dr. Loehr may call this our true-self, strengthened.

Either way, personal strengthening takes time. Perhaps using both ways shortens the time.

Outer-confidence may be a personal fear deterrent as we go among predator-types, i.e. those who may take advantage of our real or perceived weaknesses: intellectual, physical, social, etc. They’re out there, but probably not as often as we fear. So many fight their own battles, as Plato wrote in his case for kindness. Aggression or predatory behavior is often rooted in fear in the other. This reminds me of a lesson covered in Dan Millman’s “Way of the Peaceful Warrior.”

In some sense, outer-confidence is plumage. In another, it reduces self-distracting fear, improving our focus on what we are doing. It is not-bleeding, or sucking-up the bloodied nose, or swallowing the broken lip’s blood among sharks. And so it has real tactical value. ‘Don’t let them see you sweat.’

However, inner strength weathers a shark frenzy, and defeats the sharks. It is hyper intelligent, perpetually determined, and immortal. It defeats, deters, fools, or evades them altogether (more often the latter). It is the source of total focus. It determines what we do, not how we look. It is the final arbiter in our contribution to outcomes. Inner strength eventually joins with outer confidence, and multiplies it.

Observe, journal, test, temper, and learn. We are not alone, and each of us has a good purpose for being related to the rest.

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

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.

Encouragement to Physical Training

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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.

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Running through…

 

Running well below the profile of average runners, staying slow on purpose, I opened up to the ruddy and wheat hued fragments of crushed pebble and granite meeting my feet; the leafy spring air; the man pulling the bass from the water below me; the odd gait of a man ahead on the trail as he looked up into a tree; the approaching sound waves from the woodpecker he was looking at; then the sight of the downy- feathered, juvenile, white and black woodpecker drumming for breakfast on a dead arm of a great lakeside tree. I later saw the same man on the second pass, walking away from the area, and I got a profound sense of his solitude.

A husband and wife walked their dog around the lake, and on the third pass, we exchanged pleasantries. On my last lap, someone’s feet crunched on the pathway behind me. The first other-runner of the morning, a woman, ran past. For a moment, I almost protested this by boosting my pace. Instead of focusing on her, I looked inside at the impulse to do that, and laughed. I also felt the forces of her passage, and how her presence ahead created a wake in an athletic dimension inviting me to keep pace behind her. I could feel the impulsion to lock onto her pace, keeping a static distance. It was something dynamic in the atmosphere, unique to human beings training in proximity. I resisted this pace-setting force in order to better feel it’s pull, and I have to say, there’s more to it than me, the other-runner, and our minds. The other runner’s effort, whatever pains, feedback, and adjustments were happening, were happening because of her spirit pushing herself through the air and light.

I arrived at the end of this passage of this morning run energized that the goal of re-acclimating and toughening my feet, ankles, knees, hips, lungs, and circulatory system with the simple act of running, had begun again. The first part of my weekend mileage day was complete. I am grateful for another run.

Adaptive Humility: Wetlands Run on Book Deadline

adaptive humilityThe self-conscious caveat must be stated: when you run in Boulder, Colorado ye shall come upon runners whose exhaust ye shall breathe. Whether ye are happy about it dependeth upon thee and thy circumstances. Today I was happy to breathe that exhaust and dodge that dust. The vapor trail of this runner even cooled my brow a bit.

Deadline for the M7 Adaptive Fitness Guidebook approaches. Adapting to such a goal while continuing to train is itself a subject of the Guidebook underway. Using my sense of feel as to when my run should end in light of my priorities, I ended my run shy of where I’d normally end it, then headed off to place of writing.

It is humbling and humorous to write a book about sustainable adaptive training and to experience the hybrid passages of multidimensional training. Like sharing trails with faster, more efficient runners. This morning it happened at the end of my run.

On a sandy flatland trail this morning in the last half-mile of my run a young woman passed by who ran more efficiently by far than I. In the spirit of my own pace, I kept my cadence, yet it formed in my ears these words: “as you were.” Not even footfalls can escape the verbal energy of  book season.

“As you were.” Exactly. It was as if a ranking officer in the sport of running entered my running space, passed me by, and all I could do was hope to draft this human antelope and let my image in her wake inspire her to finish yet faster. However, this was a run-out and back trail, so this VIP would return, so the humility was not complete.

She apparently reached that milepost promptly and had turned around. I was grateful that I was further along than I thought I’d be when we again crossed paths. All I could do was give a snappy thumbs up with a salutary smile. I said, “Way to go.” I was very happy with the response. Rather than her smile betraying raucous internal laughter, she smiled a joyful smile suggesting happiness with her accomplishment and gratitude that someone had witnessed it. It’s a privilege to share the trail with those who enjoy their sport in which you are a visitor.

My multidimensional training life is one of forays into others’ sports. I enjoy learning from the excellence found there, as this morning observing the efficiency of a runner. Yet there is something in the comradeship of the running community that accepts everyone whatever the pace. You’re in it with the runners if you’re running. Even in competition, its a community.

Which leads me to a sustainability topic: comradeship. With humility and respect, nearly every sport community admits you as beginner, novice, rising star or champ with a sense of community. Aberrations from good sportsmanship are rare. Being serious about participation in the sport while participating is enough to belong. This is great cause for enthusiasm in getting involved sooner than later. Do not put off for tomorrow what you can start today. Starting today merely means we will arrive at ego pacification earlier, and sooner get beyond ego and into the sport, art or work we entered.

It doesn’t have to be your major or even your obsession although it may become that. Anything worth doing is worth doing the best we can while remaining faithful to our sense of feel and rightness at our respective levels. That sense will prevent injury and have us training into the sustainable fitness we aim for.

Strange as it may seem, humility enables excellence. It also sets the tone for the day when our vapor trail cools the ambitious brow of one of our competitors or fellow athletes. Winning and forging bonds that last puts winning on a whole new plane, a higher, sustainable, joyful plane. May you run there often.

Cheers!

Sport, Art, Work

Today I spent thirty minutes in my sport. I subjected myself to someone else’s standard. I felt the difference between the results I sought and the reality I experienced.

I entered the flow that is sometimes called “the zone” only briefly, and exited from it. I spent more time working on basic movements in my sport, revising and grappling with form, balance and relative position. It was rewarding to be engaged, learning and improving, even if incrementally.

Does it matter what my sport is?

From the standpoint of my inspiration, of course. From the standpoint of yours, which is the point of this blog, not really.

What matters is that we have something to which to apply raw physical conditioning work. Sport, art or work are purposes for training. These test our spirit, character and state of being no matter what age we are, no matter how we look, and no matter what anyone says or thinks.

And the results we can use for greater purposes. Who will we need to be strong for? What situation may arise? These questions are our foundations for training motivation.

apply excellence to your world

train and do