Trying something new! We are, on Saturday…

Trying Something New

We are trying something new, as far as fitness goes, this Saturday.

Well, honestly, if I was to judge by the description of this thing…  It seems very similar to what we used to do in our own studio, starting 7 years ago.

And, to give credit where it’s due; What we did was started by Dave some 4 or 5 years prior to that. Who knows where he got it from.

So, this “new thing” we’re trying…

Well, it’s probably not all that new after all.

But that’s OK.

Humans can really only do 7 base movements. As a result, that “unlimited possibilities” thing isn’t all that unlimited after all.

We’re dealing with a finite number of combinations.

If you think about it, modifications to movement tend to wind up being;

  • “Creative” naming,
  • tempo,
  • resistance amounts, and
  • environmental factors.

That’s all there is to it.

Most people can actually come up with their own workouts, if they’re so inclined.

We just happen to realize that most of us would rather not. That’s why you’re here, isn’t it?

Trying something new, you said..?

So, back to the “something new” we’re up to this Saturday (tomorrow)…

Since it’s probably not all that new, here’s what I’m expecting:

It will kick our a**es (our conditioning needs some work!)

It will be in a gym with a “few” other people (scary!)

The environment strikes me as very “EDM club” like (so plenty of music to get the heart rate going, even before the workout starts!)

Working there as a coach; One of the most accomplished Parkour athletes I’ve met. She’s a bada*s! (And a wonderfully sweet human being.)

I tried her 9 minute “gut buster” routine. Consider my gut thoroughly busted!

When she smiles, I get a bit scared…

All in all though, I am quite excited about my new training experience tomorrow.

Hope you’ll enjoy yours today!

Burning A Candle At Both Ends Means You Catch On Fire

Burning-By Oregon Department of Transportation (DMV signs) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Burning At Both Ends

Burning at both ends will leave you in a pile of dust.

It does not make you better, smarter, or faster at what you do.

It burns you up and leaves you, at best, a pile of jelly.

What do you do?

Manage your time, set boundaries, and gain perspective.

Get The Lay Of The Land

Hopefully if you are in the thick of it, you will have a moment to step back and look out to how you are doing things, and how you can make it more simple.

Simple can lead to easier and more efficient.

Mistakes make people unhappy, and depending on the situation, be expensive.

Recognizing the terrain and staking out your claim, and the rules of engagement can save you time, and frustration.

Find Your Inner Badass

In order to make life more manageable, you may need to find your inner badass and let them loose.

Let them tell others what you need, and hold them accountable.

Were you raised by nice people, like me? Is it challenging to step out of niceness to think about why you are being nice?

Does the circumstance, or the person you are dealing with, need nice or do they need your badass.

Most people would rather have things simple, straightforward, and completed when expected.

What they do not like are surprises.

If you can give them what they expect, when they expect it, they will put up with your badass self.

Look at the government. Before whatever, you have to fill out a form and provide all the information they will need to process what needs to be done.

Without the paperwork, nothing happens.

Citizens know this and come prepared.

Make things work for you and stay crispy free.

Training is a place for you and your movement, leave the stress. Cheers!!

I forgot…

Oh, I forgot!

Did you ever wake up at 2 AM and the first thing you think as your eyes snap open is;

Oh cr*p, I forgot to …!

If not, you’re one lucky person.

For me, it’s a somewhat irregular, regular occurrence.

Take today… As in, right now.

Yesterday afternoon, I had promised Christine I’d write the reminder, and then… Work got “in the way”.

2:30 AM rolls around and something wakes me up. It may not have been the realization that I forgot.

But I can’t say it wasn’t either, since my first thought was to make sure the reminder had gotten sent.

Which it had not.

*Facepalm*

Occasionally, it happens with training too.

Yes, I can wake up with the thought that I forgot to train…

Obviously, neither of these things are truly life or death situations, so I do (too) find it a little weird!

I tend to sleep pretty well, so what is it that suddenly, in the middle of the night, causes me to wake up with a startling “I forgot…” thought?

Scientifically speaking, I can’t know without trying to sleep with a bunch of measurement instruments attached to me, but if I were to guess…

A coincidence of random thought patterns, combined with the stress of the work last night, causing my body’s cortisol levels to remain unnaturally high as I went to bed.

Or possibly something I had to eat or drink?

Full disclosure; Had a beer last night, for dinner.

It could have messed with my blood sugar levels enough to trigger a cortisol increase, at the time of day when the opposite should be happening.

With a normal stress level – the evolutionary version of “normal” and unlike what most westerners live/experience – cortisol levels in the body are lowered through the day and increased a couple of hours before sunrise to help us to wake up. This is part of your body’s circadian rhythm.

Cortisol, being a “stress hormone”, it’s secretion is related to increasing stress levels, like waking up. Or training (stress), or food triggering an insulin response. Or work/life stress in general.

The end result?

I’m finishing writing this at 3AM on a Tuesday.

‘Cause commitments…

Enjoy your training in a couple of hours!

Just Do It! Really? What Happens When It Sucks?

Happens-Nose-Dive-By Deseronto Archives [No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons

When It Happens to Suck…

When it happens to suck what do you do? How do you know it sucks?

There are a couple of questions you can ask yourself to know if something is sucking and you may want to change your course.

One of them is simply; Are you getting better?

When you fail, are you learning from those failures and applying new ways to move forward and learn more?

Maybe you are repeating the same mistakes over and over again. It really is not resonating with you.

You do not retain the information that can help you find a different approach to try.

Maybe what you are doing just happens to suck and finding something different would be a better fit.

Worth Your Time

Another big question; Is it worth your time?

For instance, in my new position I have a 90 day review.

There are certain milestones that my boss would like to see me hit, and there are ones that I would like to hit.

Considering the above question and opportunities to learn, how is it going?

Is what you are learning, or doing worth the amount of time it will take to do it.

For me, I want to keep this new position. So, putting in the extra time and effort up front to learn will hopefully be worth it.

I am looking more at 180 days for when I will have an idea if this is really paying off.

Do I know what I am doing to a point where I can start to be more independent, and start to provide input in to how this position can be better?

With a physical activity there is always room for improvement.

Some improvements takes more time and effort. Is that time and effort worth what you have to sacrifice to make it happen?

If not. what can you do instead?

When my fitness goals changed from wanting to feel useful to wanting to stay healthy, my choice of activities changed.

What do you do, when “just doing it” actually sucks?

Training that keeps you doing what you want to is worth the effort. Cheers!!

Consume Enough For Your Activities

consume enough energy for activity

Consume Enough

Consuming enough food to provide the right amount of energy for your activities.

This seems pretty straight forward, but it can be a challenge to adjust.

Especially going from high activity to lower activity.

There seems to be a lag time between what your energy burns and what you think it needs.

You are used to eating to support a lot of endurance activities, then you get injured and need to rest.

You will need to adjust what you consume. It needs to be a little less.

Not a lot less, because the body burns energy fixing itself.

Depriving it of enough energy when it is fixing will slow down the fixing, or make the injury not recover as well as it needs to.

How to Tell

One way that people have measured if they are eating enough is by how much they weigh.

I find this interesting since it has more to do with appearance than performance.

Depending on the activity you are doing, sometimes you need to be lighter, medium, or even at a heavy weight.

I find sports like wrestling and boxing fascinating because of this.

You are allowed to participate regardless of what you weigh, as long as you compete against those in the same weight class.

But this can be challenging, because as an athlete tries to build strength and power, their body composition changes.

Depending on how they put on weight, they can be lean but not powerful enough, or they can be muscle bound and not powerful enough.

Same issue, different weight class.

The Rest Of Us

For us weekend warriors and regular athletes, we have to experiment as well.

If you are a runner there is a sweet spot of being light enough and strong enough to run fast or long.

Sprinters are muscle bound since they need explosive power. Long cross country runners are more lean and need endurance strength.

One way to find out what is going to work for you is to make minor adjustments to your diet and then see and measure what happens.

Two to four weeks is usually enough time to get feedback.

If you do a complete overhaul, it is hard to tell what is working, and what may be holding you back.

Little adjustments tell you more.

Hope your training session is a good one. Cheers!!

Connecting With People Through Compassion

compassion By Wonker (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Connecting With Compassion

Connecting with feeling compassion for another’s circumstance can be eye opening.

I have read and heard many stories of people visiting a place where they witness extreme levels of poverty and are prompted to take action.

They create a charity, write a book and speak about their experience.

The exposure is necessary to bring in the finances to make what they want to accomplish happen.

All of them come from a place where they felt such a depth of compassion they could not step away.

Does this make them a better person? I do not know…

Did it make an impact on those people who’s experience and work drove the compassionate ones to work for their cause? I do not know…

My guess is that they do walk a path of feeling connected to certain people they have meet along the way.

As long as the people triggering the reaction gets help, they are good.

Empathy is Hard

Empathy is being able to imagine what it is like to live or experience someone else’s path.

You feel an emotional understanding. Not a feeling of distant horror.

We notice this when we watch movies. It is easier to connect with characters we identify with. If they hurt, we feel it. If they love, we feel it.

As a person living in the Northern American hemisphere, it is difficult to understand real poverty.

Images of people waiting in line for a bowl of rice in sweltering heat will forever be burnt in my mind from the TV infomercials that ran while I was kid.

I have never personally experienced such heat, nor that level of hunger.

Compassion for their situation is what I can feel.  Being a witness to humans who are having one of the hardest of life experiences I imagine there could be.

Through the fortune of my birth place, I will most likely never know what they know. And the opposite is also true.

I can sort of connect by the simple fact I’m human and wanting better for my family and loved ones.

Knowing, what that better we each seek is, maybe drastically different.

I know love, kindness, and fear. That I can connect with.

Showing kindness and compassion can give you a chance to connect with others who have a whole different life experience.

While training today, during your rest, think of a time you have felt compassion, and a time you felt empathy.

Getting More Worn Out…Your Recovery Sucks

worn By Asim18 [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Worn Out

If you find that each day that goes by you are getting more worn out.

You need to recover better.

Simple, but not easy.

Recovery from what eats up most of your energy is a challenging thing when that thing hasn’t ended.

If it is a room full of people and noise, like going to school, or if it is needing to be responsive, quickly.

Some people find recovery in the opposite.

Around a lot of noise, seeking out quiet allows them to recharge.

Being on call, ready for action. The action may work for their recovery.

Explore The Possibilities

Maybe short breaks throughout doing the thing that drains your energy is a way to not get worn out?

Every hour, if you can, chill for 10 minutes or so.

Listen to music, move, get some cold water.

Something that will help whisk you away and recharge your battery just a little.

Like plugging in your phone and putting it on flight mode for a fast recharge.

Whatever you do, try something. Don’t keep wearing yourself out.

What happens when your phone battery goes? Your phone stops working….

We do not want to experience that.

Is training a break for you?

Knowing If Things Are Going Well

Going Well Pierre-Yves Beaudouin / Wikimedia Commons

Are Things Going Well?

How do you know if things are going well?

Is coming up with a checklist of expectations, needs, wants, and desires a good way to evaluate circumstances?

Understanding fear, and the role it plays, can also make a difference.

Feeling the roller coaster of a task well done, and then the next going off the rails is both confusing and tiring.

When each moment can bring a new high or low, is that exciting or exhausting?

How can you tell?

Back To List Making

Before the new circumstance starts there usually is an idea or picture of how you hope things turn out.

Try and go back and make a list of those things, and see if it holds up to the real experience.

Think about what that can tell you.

Write out what drew you to the circumstance in the first place.

Are there key experiences that you are having, that connect to what attracted you in the first place?

What have you learned about yourself already?

Gut Check

Getting ready to ask yourself the real tough questions is a step you may want to prepare for.

Question that ask you about how you feel when…

What happens when you think about…

The questions that will allow you to tap in to your gut and what your gut is telling you about your circumstances.

The insight that you get may help you to shift your perspective, choose to take action, or continue down your current path.

Checking in will let you avoid waking up wondering how the heck you got down a road you never really wanted to travel in the first place.

It can also help you face demons that will show up, regardless of the circumstance, because they come with you.

What questions do you like to ask yourself, as a gut check, about how things are going?

Try using your training as a way to connect with your gut.

Taking A Little Step Turns Into A Lot

little step-By Augustus Binu/ www.dreamsparrow.net/ facebook [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Turning a Little Into A Lot

Sometimes I wonder how one little thing can make that big of a difference.

Can doing 5 to 10 to 15 push ups once a day, twice a day, then three times a day make difference in your upper body strength?

After you have worked your way up to 15 push ups, three times a day, you know you are stronger than one set of 5 push ups a day.

The idea of doing 15 push ups three times a day right now may seem like asking to jump over the moon.

Breaking it down and finding a path of manageable chunks can turn a little into a lot.

One More Veg is Better Than One Less Veg

Is eating one more serving of vegetables going to make you look like a new person?

Probably not.

Can it help you to eat better and feel better? Yes it can.

Even if it seems like a placebo effect, it is helping.

For most of us, eating another serving of veggies is a good thing.

More veggies equals more nutrients that we need to function well.

Veggies also have fiber which helps us digest food better.

Do you have to have a salad replace a meal in order to get enough veggies?

If that does not work for you, then no.

Adding a carrot, peppers, celery, cauliflower, or cucumber, to any meal or a snack, is quick simple way to get one more serving in.

Learning Just One More Thing

Are you one of those people who adds one new word to your vocabulary a day?

Using your new word throughout your day so you get to really know it.

Instead of a word, maybe it is learning new tasks, or a process.

Picking up one more link in the chain will lead you to knowing all the links down the road.

Shake of the overwhelm of the journey by only looking at the next step.

in which ways have you been able to make a little into a lot?

Each day we train, we get a little stronger, quicker, and sharper.

Moving to the Beat of The Music

beat-By Truls [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Beat of The Music

Training on your own? How about moving to the beat of music.

Or the beat of anything. Maybe it is banter on a podcast between the host and an interviewee.

When you are going at it alone, finding ways to keep a pace and get out of your own head may be necessary.

What do I mean by “out of you own head”?

I mean the self critic. I do not mean watching your form and staying focused on engaging muscles that need to be working.

If you are busy critiquing yourself you’re not focused on form…

Finding A Balance

There are days when we train alone.

Maybe you are used to them and find them invigorating.

On the other hand, they may be a struggle and you find that it is harder to get your training done.

Each time that seems right, you find something more pressing to do.

You come up with a new and improved plan, which will work out great!

Then that plan gets replaced by another when something even more important comes up.

The cycle continues.

Beat It By Building A Training Playlist

Every now and then I see discussions on social media about finding your power song.

I have even written about power songs before…

How about creating a playlist that build to your song, or just give you something to look forward to during your training session?

Select music that can be invigorating, but that also stays in the background.

Allowing you to focus on making the most out of your training session.

If you are a person who can listen to people talk, and keep focus on your training, maybe a podcast or audio book can work for you.

Talk about motivating… Only allowing yourself to listen to your book if you training. Murder mystery training sessions, so much fun!

Do you build playlist to train to, have a power song, or listen to a book? If so, how does it work for you?

Cheers to a kick off of another great week of training.