Not A Fan Of Daylight Savings Time

daylight

Daylight Where Its Needed

I would like a little daylight in my mornings, and a little darkness in my evenings.

We just had a blizzard the first week of daylight savings time.

Do I need the extra hour of daylight in the evening right now?

Nope not really.

Would I like a little sun earlier in the day?

Yes, I would.

It is easier to get up in the morning and maybe get in a walk.

Cozy Evenings

Cozy evenings are nice. I like cuddling up with some tea or wine watching a show, or reading a book.

That is the evening activity I enjoy.

All of a sudden I now feel this pressure to go out and do something.

All that changed was an hour.

It feels like soo much more.

Starting work in the dark feels a bit lonely.

I do like my solitude, but it feels like everyone else is sleeping.

Even though I know that is not true. Someone has to be making the donuts.

Reverse Depression

I doubt it is a thing, but I feel a little melancholy yesterday and today.

It has been a little stressful with work.

Not feeling that I have enough time, even though I actually spend extra time.

As least for the first time today, I do not feel like my eyes are ready to shut at 5pm.

This was a bit of a self-indulgent rant about losing an hour of time in the morning.

I used to love the idea of “sleeping in” when fall comes around.

Not so much now, since I really do not have a choice.

Where you live, do you have daylight savings time? If so, how do you deal with it?

Move a little, laugh a little, live a little. Cheers!!

Yes, I want online training!

Warning, It’s Winter

winter

Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall

Today we had a winter blizzard in Denver.

I won’t fault you for thinking a blizzard at winter in Denver should be expected.

Those of us who live here know how unusual it actually is.

This specific winter blizzard seems like a fairly mild thing, here in the city.

I’ve lived in New Hampshire and Norway, so snow accumulation measured in inches and not feet seems fairly “not all that blizzard like”.

But on the plains, without trees or cover, I can imagine how snow blowing sideways could be a bit scary.

You would not care all that much about accumulation when you can’t drive because the wind it too strong and you can barely see.

Seasons

Lucky for us a storm comes and goes, just like each season.

It is a great reminder that nothing is constant.

Change is the norm, not repetition.

I wonder if it’s possible to find repetition in the adaptation to change.

The thought that change becomes the comfort of being alive.

Not settling into a routine which, when it gets up-ended, sends your life in S

I like small routines, like a good morning ritual.

But some things cause more stress. That is, unless they are “handled”.

We have a vacation coming up that needs a little planning.

I do not want to be the one to set the plans because then I want to stick to that plan.

I find it frustrating to spend time getting things organized, only to have spontaneity make light of your plans.

Going with the flow seems easier.

Letting someone else take the lead. (Ed: Message received!)

What do you like?

To take the lead and make a plan, or just follow along?

Is adapting to change its own form of comfort?

If you feel that way, why?

Enjoy the season you are in while training, it will be gone soon. Cheers!

Yes, I want online training!

Inspiration From Frustration

frustration

Fruits of Frustration

Have you ever felt frustration from thinking you could do, or contribute, more?

Sometimes when you get bored, or demotivated, it could be because of your frustration with how things are done.

I have lived with someone who is always looking to improve systems, for more than twenty years.

When you have an idea that you believe will make life better and no one listens, it can be very demotivating.

One idea for how to cope is to plant seeds of inspiration in those around you.

Find people who will talk about and advocate for your idea.

Slowly, over time, an “out there” idea might get some backing from people who can actually make it happen.

Find Your Friends

Gathering people who share your frustration, or have some of their own, can help to spark creativity.

How can your experiences come together and support each other.

Maybe you have tried to solve things one way, and they another.

Combined the solutions are even better.

Being open to other people’s ideas, while nurturing your own can be tricky. I find this to be more true if the ideas are really different from “normal”.

Compromising your way out of your idea is not a good plan either.

Finding commonalities that you both can build on may lead to something different. Maybe better…

Instead of giving up or getting complacent, try to harness the creativity that can be born from frustration.

While you train, think about it? Cheers!!

Yes, I want online training!

J E T L A GGGG, A State of Tiredness

state

State of Tiredness

After I have been in Denmark for a week and now back, jetlag has put me in a state of tiredness.

Today, for instance, I can already tell that when the sun goes down, I will be useless.

True, I have been in bed by 8:15 the past two nights and asleep in about 5-10 minutes…

In Denmark that same time is the 4:00 am golden hours. The last two hours of sleep before I had to get up.

Each day I felt like I could sleep until real late.

But, I love my morning routine when I am there, so it gets me up and going.

It makes my day pretty good.

Routine To Fight the Jet Lag

What gets me up in the morning while in Denmark is the amazing breakfast at the hotel and the nice walk to work, though a couple of parks.

One of the parks is a favorite of the local dogs, so there is always dog watching on my way to and from work.

A dog can easily put a smile on your face, even if it is cold and rainy.

Back here in Denver, my routine does not have the same perks.

I do not get fresh hearty bread, three different ones to choose from.

I’m not getting really good coffee, coffee that does not seem to get me all hyped up.

And of course, the walk with dogs and the amazing buildings to look at.

At home, I mosy on from bed to the shower and then find myself something to eat.

Next I am on-line and working.

I keep hoping to get in a morning and afternoon walk.

With daylight savings time, my mornings are once again back in the dark.

I am not very comfortable heading out for a walk around 7:30am.

Pretend

I do think it would be fun to pretend that I’m walking to the office and then walk home from the office.

That way I would get in two half hour walks, each day.

My body would thank me for that and so would my mind!

How are your morning routines going? Did you consider how those help set up your day?

Train a little and get off to a great start! Cheers!

Yes, I want online training!

Stronger than you think

You've heard it before, but have you thought about what it means physically?

Maybe you’ve heard this before, but… You’re stronger than you think!

Most of us associate the saying with mental strength.

That’s not the wrong, nor a bad, association.

It’s just…

Incomplete.

Yes, we are indeed mentally stronger than we think.

Parkour, as a sport, is pretty much founded on that principle.

We’re also physically stronger than we experience.

Hysterical Strength

Maybe you’ve heard of cases where humans have lifted something we believe only possible in fantasy.

Stopped a car, pressed a 1500 lbs rock that fell on top of them, etc.

It sounds impossible.

But it has really happened.

So why can’t you simply go over to the weight rack, put on a (quite) a few 45lbs plates and lift them?

On one hand, our brain is pretty impressive.

On the other, it’s also really, really(!), careful about making sure you’re not hurting yourself.

Need an example? How about a time where your range of motion was impacted by an injury.

Without plenty of Physical Therapy, your brain would normally disallow your limbs to return to the position where they got injured.

Although this is a good (great!) thing, it can be frustrating if your performance depends on the full functional range of the injured limb.

Then, because it was injured, it will take a lot of safe repetitions to return the limb to its former functional range.

Your friendly neighborhood protector

This is all due to the brain.

It’s not as if the muscle itself knows it needs to “chill out”.

But the brain thinks it does.

So it “protects” you from getting back into that position again.

Back to that whole lifting a car thing…

Some of the answer has to do with bone strength v.s. muscle strength, muscle strength vs tendon & ligament strength.

Basically, if you were able to always recruit the full strength of the muscle.

One estimate puts the typical muscle fibre recruitment at “maximum effort” – i.e. without going into the hysterical strength range – at 60% for “normal people” and peaking at 80% for athletes. The 80 percenters are athletes who train specifically for maximum muscle recruitment.

For ur mere mortals, the reality of the situation is that our brain worries about us.

Not just about our muscle recruitment ability, but also about what 100% recruitment means to our ability to continue moving/fighting/acting.

The energy required to recruit all of our muscle fibers will drain us. Possibly to the point where we can’t run away or avoid the next threat.

Also, it may cause injury to some of our limbs (pulling tendons off the bone, tearing muscles, etc).

Both of those are things our brain wants to make sure doesn’t happen.

Why?

Because in the wrong situation, that would mean we couldn’t defend ourselves. Nor could we run away.

Not at all optimal!

So your brain protects you from idiotic things.

Until you actually, truly, need it.

Then your body shows you what an amazing machine it is!

How about to increasing your muscle fiber recruitment during today’s training session?

Yes, I want online training!

True Value of Sleep

When going to work takes less than 30 seconds...

Do you know what I learned today?

A little something about the value of getting enough sleep.

I can summarize my lesson in a quick li’l equation:

iPhone + Washing Machine != A good thing

So, here’s what happened.

I decided I needed to do my laundry this morning.

Not a big deal, perhaps.

But in my case there’s a correlation between laundry need and ability to go outside.

If I want to wear clean clothes.

So, I threw my clothes, including what I wore yesterday, in the washing machine.

Then I went to work[1] for an hour, while waiting for the washer to do its thing.

Since I needed to prepare for a few meetings tomorrow, I stayed on top of my laundry chores! (This is where you could pet me and say “Good Thomas”!)

Next thing, the little vignette chimed. It lets me know the wash was over. I ran over and moved my clothes to the dryer.

Started it and almost immediately heard a noise I didn’t expect.

It sounded like I had thrown in my shoes as well.

The good news was that I wasn’t trying to wash and dry my shoes.

Instead, I found my phone.

It was very clean.

And 100% not functional.

In a desperate bid to try and get it working, I emerged it in rice (helps pull the moisture out of the device).

Since I’m in the middle of a number of meetings and business deals with Christine abroad for the week, having no phone right now is more than an inconvenience.

So I had to spend my day getting a new phone. Then restoring my old phone backup.

It’s been great…

What does this have to do with training?

Very little.

Maybe it was why I was so tired this morning? Too tired to check the pockets of my training pants.

It’s been an expensive mistake.

And an important lesson I doubt I’ll forget anytime soon;

Always check your pockets before you load your clothes in the washer!

Now, head on over to your gym.

Oh, and the true value of sleep (for me, today)?

More than 700 USD.

Like I said, it was an expensive lesson to learn!

[1] – The banner photo on this post is “my office”. It’s literally less than 10 seconds away from my bed. And 5 seconds from the breakfast table…

Enjoy your training and try not to work so hard you make the same mistake I just did!

Yes, I want online training!

The best kind of training

A conversation this morning got me thinking about what I consider the best kind of training.

If you’d asked me 15 years ago, I’d have said “none”.

Then something happened and some 5 years later the answer would have been very different.

At the time, my answer was whatever workout where I was so exhausted, I barely managed to drag myself to bed, shaking, before I fell asleep.

It was a dumb answer.

It’s an answer based on ignorance and thinking “harder” equals “better”.

Turns out, that isn’t completely true.

As with all things the human body is capable of achieving, the answer to “what is the best kind of training” (intensity) is…

It depends.

If your goal is to improve your cardiovascular capacity – your breathing and recovery during exercise – and you’re NOT an elite level athlete, training at between 40-80% of your VO2max is more effective than higher intensities.

If you’re untrained, keep to between 40-60% of your VO2max to give yourself the most effective/quick adaptation.

The more trained you are, the higher the intensity needs to be to get the same degree of adaptation.

If you’ve trained for a while, feel in decent cardiovascular shape and want to get better, you have to kick the intensity up to between 70-80% of your VO2max.

What is your “VO2max“.

Since your VO2max is the maximum amount of oxygen your body can use during intense exercise, it can be measured objectively.

To get an accurate read it just takes a bit of equipment and serious effort. The effort will be all yours.

However, you there are several methods you can use to estimate your own VO2max with a bit of math and knowing your actual min/max heart rates.

This isn’t as precise, but if you use the same method it will help you identify relative improvements.

It is, speaking frankly, all most of us need.

To know what the best kind of training (intensity) is going to be for you, start by figuring out what your VO2max might be.

Then figure out where you fit in the typical ranges for your age bracket/sex.

Know that and “Bob’s yer uncle!” when it comes to training intensity.

Occasionally, you should go above or below your “optimal range”, but most of the time try to stay right in the middle.

If you do, you’ll see some interesting changes to how quickly your heart rate recovers during exercise.

And that – how fast your heart rate returns to normal/recovers – is the best sign of how fit you actually are.

Now, get out there and do the best kind of training (for you) today. Cheers!

Yes, I want online training!

Push-up progressions

Why not try a push-up negative to test your weaknesses?

I was at the gym, watching a few people work on their Push-Ups today.

It’s always interesting to watch people train, without being the one training them.

I learn a lot from what I see.

Sometimes I learn a new cue.

Sometimes I learn how not to cue.

During my observation today, it wasn’t what the coach said or didn’t say that caught my attention.

It was all about how the student decided to implement the instructions they were given.

The exercise in question is one I love;

The push-up

Even if you know you can’t complete a push-up there are still so many ways to perform a version of it.

My preferred option for people who can’t complete a full one unassisted?

The push-up negative.

Heck, I like using the negative with people who’re basically experts at doing them.

You can learn a lot about how and where you’re compensating by doing an exercise slowly and only working through the eccentric (negative) part of the movement pattern.

Most of us have some form of compensation we do.

Often, it’s momentum.

The slow and negative variant of the exercise forces us to realize that something isn’t quite right (if that’s the case).

But, back to what I was observing today.

When asked to do perform a push-up, the student went looking for an incline.

This too is a fine way to work your way up to being able to do a full body-weight movement.

But I believe the push-up negative is more effective.

So then, while observing, I’m faced with a dilemma.

Do I choose to be “helpful” and step in?

Or do I let the student and assigned coach figure out whatever they need to figure out on their own.

A few years ago, I probably would have “helped out”.

These days I try hard to avoid being “helpful” to other coaches during their sessions.

Unless I’m asked to help, I don’t offer it.

So instead I was enjoying watching the student take herself through the progressions until she hit her current limit.

In this case, that involved changing the angle of the incline until she couldn’t complete the requested number in the set.

It’s not as if she did any damage to herself. Instead, she got to explore what developing her own method means.

It truly was fun to see.

Speaking of slow negatives…

Can you think of something in your training routine today you could do a couple of (really) slow negative versions of.

To see if you learn something about your own strength and movement…

Yes, I want online training!

The mental game

Is your Mental Game on point?

I was talking with a friend today about why I started watching the Patriots Football team. For me, it’s been all about the mental game.

We moved to the US and New England in 2000, the same time as Tom Brady arrived as a 6th round draft pick (number 199).

I had no clue who Tom Brady was at the time, obviously (being foreign and all).

Nor did I know much about the Patriots or American Football.

I’d watched a few Denver Broncos games on TV while going to school in Colorado.

Then some of the 1997 and 1998 Super Bowl appearances where the Broncos won. We watched those two games in Norway.

They were rough games to watch, starting after midnight.

We arrived in New England a few months after Tom Brady was drafted.

Tom Brady’s Mental Game

I believe I had my eyes opened to the phenom that is Mr. Brady during the Patriot’s 5th game in the 2001 season where they played the San Diego Chargers.

The team trailed the Chargers by 10 points in the 4th quarter and Brady led the 10 point pick-up which led to the field goal win in overtime.

If the team had lost at that point, it wouldn’t have been a big deal.

To watch a relatively fresh quarterback complete drive after drive at that point in his career tipped me off that something was different about this guy.

I’ve always been interested in the mental strength some athletes show when everything appears to go sideways.

The ability to bring focus and determination when it matters.

To lock out all distractions…

And simply deliver.

It may not sound like much, but if you look, you’ll find a few interesting examples of superstars who can’t do this.

For me, Payton Manning was an example of someone who didn’t quite have the same mental strength.

Not that he didn’t perform. His record speaks for itself.

But, when it really, really mattered, Manning seemed to crumble. Time after time. Just look at the Colt’s losses in the 2006 and 2009 Super Bowls.

Brady on the other hand seems to shift into some secret mental 6th gear and take off.

Of course, there are cases where that doesn’t happen.

The 2019 Super Bowl overtime drive was a great example of this behavior.

Before that final drive, you couldn’t be faulted for thinking Brady had lost a step or two.

At overtime, they win the ball. Brady is handed the ball and ends the game.

It was first time all game where he’d been able to execute a “traditional” Brady drive.

And it happened the one time it really mattered for his team.

Now, I’m not going to pretend the successes and failures are due to the Quarterback alone.

That’d be dumb.

But there is something about having a leader who doesn’t quit.

Someone who doesn’t seem to quit, and actually seems to play ever better when things are going badly, will inspire the whole team to reach that bit further.

There are plenty of examples where you see the mental strength of the athlete being the difference between winning and losing.

It’s more difficult to discover in team sports because the whole team contributes.

An easier place to find examples are in individual sports like running, golf or tennis.

Just look for athletes or players who seem to be having a rough period, yet somehow manage to pull themselves back up again and win when it really matters.

The ones to look for win consistently, in spite of the difficulties they’re facing.

Therese Jordhaug

Another off-the-top of my head athlete would be the Norwegian cross-country skier Therese Jordhaug.

In 2016 she tested positive for steroid use. She had received a cream to treat acute sunburn on her lips from her doctor.

The doctor bought the cream at a local pharmacy during training in Italy. Jordhaug had trusted her doctor, so she didn’t check the ingredient list.

It contained a banned substance.

Her doctor stated he’d failed to notice this fact and submitted his resignation.

The amount she had taken indicated she had indeed been exposed by applying something to her lips. Also, the detected levels were too small to have had a performance enhancing effect.

The normal suspension for a first-time doping offense is four years.

However, due to the “non-significant fault by the athlete”, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) set her penalty to 18 months.

This was long enough to cause her to miss the 2018 Olympics.

Jordhaug was prevented from training with her national team during her ban.

Being a 28 year old at the time, there are quite a few athletes who’d have retired.

In spite of this, Therese Jordhaug continued to train, mostly on her own, and returned to the Cross-Country Skiing arena after her ban in 2018.

Her season so far, after 2.5 years off?

She’s been crushing her competition.

Taking eight individual gold medals in eight World Cup starts between November and January making her the current World Cup leader.

Plus she captured 3 gold medals and a silver during the 2019 World Championships.

Some of her victories are nothing short of impressive exhibits of physical (and mental) strength, considering the distances and the quality of the competition.

Working on your own mental strength

Before you hit the gym today, what could you come up with to improve your own mental game?

How can you become more resilient and able to elevate your performance when it really matters?

Can you learn something about reaching your peak performance, in spite of everything stacking up against you?

Something to think about while you train today?

Yes, I want online training!

Winging It vs. Preparation

winging-Jonathan Wilkins [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

Winging It

The Figuring out when winging it is the way to go, versus getting prepared.

Some people only believe in preparation, while others go for winging it the majority of the time.

From what I have read and discovered myself; If you are hoping for a certain outcome, preparation is the way to do.

If you do not really care about what the outcome is, then winging it can work just fine.

In some ways, winging it can add to the adventure and lead to some amazing outcomes.

A lot is left to chance and circumstance, but as long as you are not married to a specific outcome, that is part of the fun.

Preparation

Preparation is important if you have a specific goal in mind.

You can gather information, make a plan, and execute your plan.

More than likely, you will get pretty close to the goal that you want to achieve.

All that matters is being realistic about the goal and about the amount of time you expect it to take to get there.

Even when preparing leaving room for adjustments is important.

If you have training goal, tracking your progress and reassessing weekly or biweekly will allow you to either push your progress, or pull back and add recovery ias needed.

Once you commit to a training program it is important to stick with it until the end.

There will always be good and bad weeks.

If you abandon ship and start a different program mid-way, your outcome becomes a little more unpredictable.

If you have milestones that you are not hitting and you have time, then you may want to consider a program switch.

But if you are training for one event within the year and there are other events beyond that, in your future, stick with the original program.

The only way to know if it will work or not is to see it through to the end.

Amateur

This is easy to say as an amateur. There is not a livelihood on the line, or future opportunities.

It is my ego that is mostly driving me.

Sometimes our ego can get in the way of what is practical and helpful.

Insecurity can kill momentum and do it impossibility fast.

It convinces you the best move is to jump ship, or retreat.

Finding a way to work through insecurity.

To get to a headspace where you make a balanced decision is important. It doesn’t work well to wing it in those situations.

What has your experience been? Is winging it your preferred way to experience life, or is it all about preparation? Why?

Train a little, laugh a little and have good day. Cheers!!

Yes, I want online training!