Sport For Fun, or Sport For Competition

sport-Pierre-Yves Beaudouin [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Sport Is Sport, Right?

When you think of a sport do you think of it at being competitive?

This past weekend, Parkour went going through some growing pains.

An organization called International Gymnastics Federation (FIG, ’cause; “French”) voted to adopt and include Parkour as part of the sport(s) they offer.

Which to me is fascinating because my experience of Parkour has very little to do with competition.

It is about pushing yourself, supporting others, and having fun.

Granted, Parkour at the gym Thomas goes to in Colorado focuses more on competition.

They have time trial classes. The point of a “Time trials” class is to run through a course as fast as you can.

Hopefully using the skills you have learned.

There is also a competition for athletes from around the world to qualify for the somewhat classical American version of “world” championships.

This is not so much fun for me, and there seems to be more of a focus on the individual and less on community.

Sport As Fun

I can be competitive, but it is usually with myself and less with others.

Seeing if I can do something. Something I think is a bit scary, or just out of my reach, skill wise, is fun!

Working with others to accomplish a goal is fun.

Trying to run as fast as I can through a course, is not so much fun.

I find this to be stressful.

I have enough of that in my life.

Learning to build skills through exploration is fun.

Half the time you are not aware of the skill building, you are just having a good time.

Repeating something without a purpose besides doing it is not so much fun.

If you look at lifting weights as doing it to lift the weight, that gets old fast.

Imagining that you are saving your family, by lifting a car, makes it a little more interesting.

Sport For Competition

When I played soccer I enjoyed competing. 

Winning was great, but connecting with teammates and make good plays, that was the best.

If we lost it did not matter.

Coming in first was never my goal.

Playing well gave us a better chance of winning, depending on our performance that game.

Competition brings out a side of myself that makes me uncomfortable.

I experience more emotions of aggression and defiance.

Sport for fun is much more my speed.

What kind of sport do you enjoy more? Why is that?

Now, go train so you can lift a few cars. Cheers!!

Yes, I want online training!

Absorbing Inspiration

Absorbing Inspiration

Absorbing Your Surroundings

To keep inspired, try absorbing inspiration from your surroundings.

Inspiration can come from observing someone you admire. 

Maybe you saw something you would like to try.

Somethings things have a natural next step. A step you can take.

When Thomas and I took the leap to doing Parkour, we were also exposed to a climbing community.

We had gone indoor climbing once, a couple of years back, but had not been since.

The gym in Boston where we had an opportunity to try climbing again was huge.

It was three times the size of the other on we had played in.

Try It

Part of this new gym experience was participating in a Saturday event called the “Savage games”.

We got to try Ninja type games of obstacles, climbing, parkour, plus strength and conditioning games.

We would bring these games and ideas back to our own gym and share what we could.

Take the opportunity to Bridge the gap between what we knew of training, while adding a little novelty and fun for our clients.

Pull From Your Surroundings

You can pull from your surroundings on the fly.

If you see a bench you want to jump over, jump over it.

Out for a run and see a trail that looks interesting? See where it goes!

Try running on snow as an unstable surface. 

What does that do for your training?

My guess is that your stabilizing muscles get more of a workout.

Keep yourself safe, but look around and take the skills you have in movement. Try to apply those skills in a different way.

Are you awesome at planking? Can you do a l-sit hanging from the monkey bars at the local park?

Up your game just a little and get inspired to move more.

Train for the fun of it. Cheers!!

Yes, I want online training!

Doing A Little Can Lead To A Lot

lead Waldir [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Lead To A Lot

Doing a little can lead to a lot. 

Every little choice you make is a step towards an outcome.

Say you want to get a good nights sleep.

Research and make a plan, then add steps that will lead you to bed at a logical hour, create a relaxed mind and allow you to sleep for as long as possible.

Do you want to lose a pound or two.

Think about a step you can take every day, at each meal, that will let you keep moving towards leaning out.

Is flexibility something you feel a need to improve, to make tying your shoes easier

What is one movement you can do right after you wake up, and right before you go to bed, that will help you nudge a bit closer to easier shoe-tying?

Little Picture

Seeing the big picture, the final outcome, all the time can make it hard to take steps to get there.

Finding the first steps that you can do and start adopting those steps to your daily life will get you further than dreaming big.

Some of my favorite stories are people who started walking, then running to get into better shape.

At first I walked up and down my street. Slowly, over time, I started to run off and on. Then I started to run regularly and now I am doing a 5K.

A lot of different people

Their intention was to move, and to keep improving.

They did not think of the 5K on that first day. Nor did they think of the long journey ahead to get there.

Can I make it to the end of the block and back today?

By the end of the week, will it feel easier?

Big Dreams

Big dreams can be helpful sometimes. 

Usually when you think it may be some realism to making it happen.

A friend of mine wanted to do a triathlon. 

She was a strong swimmer, but not a biker, or runner.

We started off real slow.

I got loads of questions.

“Will we really be ready for this, going at this pace?”

My question to her was; “Do you want to enter the race and finish the race?”

Her answer was yes.

Speed was not our goal. Endurance and duration was.

All we had to do is keep adding on.

We finished, which was fantastic.

Next time we did it a little faster.

Regardless of your goal, find the first little doable step and then take it.

See where that leads you.

Training is a step to a little bit of a fitter day. Cheers!!

Yes, I want online training!

Darkness Happens Earlier

darkness-By Ville Miettinen from Helsinki, Finland (Machu Picchu at dawn) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Notice: This Friday we will be conducting a fitness test during your workout.

Darkness Advantage

With the darkness of the fall back time change, opportunity to train early comes up.

I am not the best morning person.

When it gets dark, I feel like curling up and falling asleep.

Now that the clocks have turned back and we have more morning light, it may be a time to take the opportunity it presents.

Having problems squeezing in a little workout at the end of the day?

Now that it is getting dark earlier your energy will drop even faster.

So what you can you do is to take advantage of that hour in the morning.

Sleep In At Night

Instead of using the morning to sleep in, sleep in in the evening. Go to bed just a little bit earlier.

Enjoy that extra hour of night.

In the morning, get up and enjoy the extra hour of light with a little tour out in the world.

Or, turn on a training/workout show and move around a little.

Maybe you like yoga, dancing, or body weight calisthenics.

So many options to move a little in the am… Without feeling like you need a nap afterwards.

It can feel like a stolen hour, if you like.

Leave Work In the Dark

Leaving work in the dark can feel really blah.

It is hard to be motivated to do much, besides get warm, eat good food, and laugh a little at your favorite show.

I like to read at this time of year.

Loose myself in a book, it is a guilty pleasure.

I feel less guilty if I get in an early morning training session.

How about you? What do you do when the winter darkness sets in?

Train a little and brighten your day. Cheers!!

Notice: This Friday we will be conducting a fitness test during your workout.

Yes, I want online training!

Barefoot training

By Nevit Dilmen [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], from Wikimedia Commons
Notice: This Friday we will be conducting a fitness test during your workout.

Something I’m fairly certain you probably don’t do enough of? Training while barefoot.

Don’t feel bad about it.

Most people never train barefoot.

We forget the fun we had while we were children.

The feeling of bare feet on soft grass in the summer.

Walking on the beach, almost burning our feet, but feeling the warm sand flow between your toes.

Running on hard surfaces without it hurting.

Yes, sure, it can be uncomfortable.

We hear, over and over again, how “our arches need support“. Especially if you’re a runner.

But do they?

As the article from Britannica describes, certain arches built from wedges become more resilient as the load increases(!).

Then there’s the fact that the arches in our feet are supported by muscles and tendons.

So, if we stop loading our arches, give them a rest with some solidly arched shoes, what will happen to the muscles that support them?

They’ll probably atrophy and get weak, right?

Training barefoot for better arches

During a training session today, a colleague of mine mentioned how a significant number of kids he coaches have no visible arches when they move.

Think about that for a second… (We’ll wait!)

Some of the reasons for this could be genetics and isn’t something you can easily remedy.

But often, the reason has to do with the fact that we’re not using our feet all that much.

The arch in our foot is part of an extremely complex (yet simple) impact absorption system. 

Like most things in the body, the arches exist to help protect your brain from impact (just try running barefoot, but with heel-strikes).

Collapsed arches – aka fallen arches/flat feet –  will cause ankle pronation (they point inwards). Pronated ankles can result in knee valgus. Knee valgus can lead to hip problems.

All of these, both alone and combined, messes with the leg’s ability to absorb impact efficiently.

All-in-all, we probably want to avoid collapsed arches!

One way to indirectly help avoid this is to train barefoot every now and then.

Training barefoot will help you learn the movement patterns that work best for you when it comes to absorbing impact. 

It should also help you with the simple activity of walking.

Now, like all things with the body, you can’t – obviously – go out and run for miles while barefoot. That is, unless you’ve trained your feet (arches) to handle the load.

Over-use is over-use, regardless of what “nature intended” (it never intended for you to do something dumb like a 5 mile run, barefoot, without any training and get away with it!).

If your feet are flat already, do your research. Then go see a physical therapist to learn how to train yourself back (to as close to your previous arch-state as possible).

If you haven’t succeeded in flattening your feet already, well done!

Let’s keep it that way, shall we?

There are tons of resources online to help you, but I’m personally a fan of simply living more of my life barefoot. 

A great place to start is in the gym.

Be warned though, you may d

So, step out of the shoes, take of those socks, and feel the gym floor under your feet.

Let’s get cracking with some training, shall we? 

Notice: This Friday we will be conducting a fitness test during your workout.

Yes, I want online training!

Organization..Key to Freedom?

organization-By Cristian V. [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Organization for Freedom

Can organization be a key factor leading to freedom?

I used to think I was an organized person.

That I liked systems over chaos, clutter, and mess. 

I find that being methodical requires you to slow down,

Speed can give you the illusion of being efficient.

It does not take into consideration the consequences of having to redo, to search to find, or forgetfulness.

Speed feels like stuff is getting done.

File Systems Rule/Suck

File systems, whether on-line or in the real are amazing, and they can suck.

I do find it easier to organize physical things, then visual or conceptual things.

After something gets populated and I know what types of items need to be organized, I can create a system around it.

On-line file systems help you to find things again, or can hide things from you because it does not make sense.

Now that there are overall search functions, it helps you to find the item you organized so well it stayed hidden.

In my new position I have to track orders.

I created a sheet that has too much.

It needs to be fine tuned. Down to what really matters.

At first I came at it like I had to show it to someone.

Now, that takes up too much time.

It needs to just work.

Of course I did not know this at first. It has taken trial and error to get to a place where I know what I need to know, and share with my customers.

Life Organized

Most of what we learned about building habits had to do with how you organized your life.

Your daily activities, weekly activities, and monthly activities.

Each one either added to your sense of wellbeing, or it detracted.

I still have not transitioned into new habits around working for a company again.

Baby steps is all I tell myself. That in now is not forever.

How does organization add to or detract from your life?

Do a bit of training in your day to make it a great one. Cheers!!

Yes, I want online training!

Training Is A Privilege

privilege-By Rjgunn007 [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Privilege of Training

Do you feel that it is a privilege to train?

Even though I enjoyed gym class, growing up there were certain activities which I did not enjoy.

Running did not, and does not come easy to me. I understand pace a lot better now and know how to make running not suck as much.

In high school, when we had to run a nine minute mile as part of our fitness test, I always sucked wind.

You know that burning sensation in your lungs that leaves you hacking up imaginary fur balls. 

Every semester we had to do it and I felt like it was torture (Ed: I like running and that still sounds like torture!)

Humble Pie

What I wish had happened was a shift in perspective.

To stop thinking how bad I am at running, and instead think about how lucky I am that I can run.

It never occured to me that being able to run was a privilege.

If I had then, maybe I would have been pleased to be running and not so worried about how fast I ran it.

Yes, it was a test, but what were they going to do..? Not let me run?!?

No, what they did is tell me I needed to run faster, that I was not healthy.

I blamed my slow speed on being short, not on a lack of fitness.

Training was not on my mind back then.

We practiced. That is what we called it.

Practice

A question I heard all the time is “Are you going to practice”.

Whatever activity you were involved with, you practiced. From a musical instrument to the soccer team.

I like the word practice better than training. Practice implies your goal is to improve.

Training sounds like it’s serious work.

Being able to practice, or train, is something that it is easy to take for granted.

Not realizing that for many people it is not possible. For many reasons.

Even if you get to do only a little, be thankful that you can.

Head out to practice today with a purpose of being your best! Cheers!!

Yes, I want online training!

Grand Plans Or Simple Moments

grand-By John Kees [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Grand Plans

Grand plans can help you achieve what you did not think possible.

Seeing a possibility and wondering if it can be done.

That time before second guessing kicks in, or misgivings about taking on such an adventure.

It is exciting and brimming with potential. All the “what-if’s” are good “what-if’s”.

They have not turned the corner to “what if … it all blows up in my face!?!”

Taking on a grand plan is a way to find out what you can do. Not only the achievement, but the process of getting there.

Are you resilient? Can you make it through the grind as well as the good times?

Learning about yourself, in that moment, is a great side benefit by taking on a challenge that pushes you out of your comfort zone.

Simple Moments

A simple moment is a moment where you realize that what you thought would be difficult is becoming routine.

Noticing the joy that you get from being part of a process.

Seeing the happiness in someone else’s face who is along for a journey.

Discovering that you like to do something, something that at first seemed horrible.

I loved watching people grow into loving lifting weights.

At first it is a pain because there is so much to learn.

Then it gets a to be a little more fun, as you test your strength and power over and over.

Then you become addicted to the experience and thrill of becoming stronger.

Perhaps doing a little dance when you lift more than you thought possible.

Looking at yourself in the mirror, wondering how the body reflected back lifted all that weight.

Humbling

Both grand plans and simple moments can make you feel humble.

They’re peeling away the stories you may be telling yourself and leaving you with a clear focus and view of reality.

Of course, you have to be ready to receive the message…

Jump in and give yourself a pat on the back for getting in your training today. Cheers!!

Jump, Crawl, Dodge, Them All

dodge-By U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Soo C. Kim [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Dodge It

What does it look like to dodge?

I always think of jumping and sliding to the side at the same time.

Like I learned to do when playing dodgeball as a kid.

Having a medium sized plastic red ball thrown at you while standing in front of a wall will make you move all kinds of ways.

My main move was to jump to my side and twist out of the way.

As a kid, the idea of hurtling yourself out of the way seemed to have very few  consequences.

As a middle aged adult I put a little more consideration to how I move.

Bringing Awareness

Just because I am more considerate with how I move does not mean I will not jump and twist.

You will not find me playing dodge ball, but maybe instead doing a calculated 360 jump.

This can challenge balance, coordination, and make you use power for movement.

You have to coil up your power and spring to get high enough to twist 360 degrees.

Something as a kid we would do for fun, is something as an adult that is good for us.

Crawl A Little

Regress even furthur back to crawl a little.

That stage in life where everything is new and one big adventure.

Crawling is a great way to build core muscle strength and build coordination.

In many ways you have to get out of your own head.

Allow your body to move naturally with little thought.

At first crawling can take your breath away.

After all, it does help build cardiovascular capacity as well.

Adding a little fun with jumping, crawling and dodging to your training will help you stay mobile, flexible, and agile.

Why not change up your warm up, if you would like, by adding some of these moves?

Cheers to a great day of training.

Too Tired To Move, How About A Stretch?

tired try to stretch

Too Tired…Stretch A Little

Some days you may feel too tired to move with any real energy.

What can you do? Why not try continuous stretching. This is something that I picked up in dance class, back in my younger years.

As part of warming up, we had a set of stretches that we would move through with a little rhythm.

If you know you are sore in your shoulders and neck from a lot of tension,  how about doing shoulder shrugs, arm rotations small and large, and rotating each joint wrist, elbow and shoulder.

Even wiggle your fingers after stretching them  wide, and then make a tight fist. Repeat.

Do not forget the wiggle!

Small Holds Meaning

You can still benefit from movement, even if it is not fast, or ballistic.

Those days where you are bounding with energy are great for high intensity plyometric movement.

But on those days that the sofa is calling, consider focusing on range of motion and circulation.

Rotating joints, and leaning into your opposites.

Opposites mean, for example, side bends. First bend over to one side, then the other.

Bend over forward at the waist, then arch your back with your chest high.

Swing your hips side to side. Bend and straighten your knees.

I think you understand my meaning.

It is an easy, without too much thinking, way to stretch your way down, or up, your body.

Running With the Feel Goods

Once you are all stretched, and hopefully a little more present, take advantage and really relax.

Do whatever it is that will allow you to disconnect and rejuvenate.

Reading, hanging in water (shower or bath), talking to a loved one, cuddling an animal, focusing on gratitude, reminding yourself of your why, etc.

Stretch, bath, love, on days that feel a little more tiring than others.

Training early may help avoid the tiredness. Cheers!!