You Decide

To find, one must seek; to love, one must become the beloved.

DeBreen

You can decide what you choose to be consciously or unconsciously, but you cannot sidestep the deciding. It is either happening automatically, as a response, or intentionally, as a creation, but it is happening—continuously.

Neale Donald Walsch

The New Simple

“The basics of good nutrition can be summarized in these simple rules. Eat whole, unprocessed foods. Avoid sugar. Avoid refined grains. Eat a diet high in natural fats. Balance feeding with fasting!”
― Jason Fung, The Complete Guide to Fasting: Heal Your Body Through Intermittent, Alternate-Day, and Extended Fasting


Exercise Challenge: Week 4-2022

Lunge (Split Squat)

Challenge: perform as many repetitions as possible (maintaining good form) for at least five days of the week. Keep track of your repetitions on your calendar or journal. Which day did you perform the greatest number of repetitions? Celebrate your improving strength and share your outcome with a friend or training partner.

This exercise is great for strengthening the muscles of your hip, leg, and core. It also facilitates proper weight shifting and control over balance. Repeat this exercise 8-10 times on each side.


Owl’s Lullaby

Cuck-coo-whoo-whoo,
Startles me awake!
Cuck-coo-whoo-whoo.

Night Whispers, Night Echoes,
Owl Haunts, Owl Lulls,
Dreamer into Night’s Trance,
Cuck-coo-whoo-whoo.

Cuck-coo-whoo-whoo,
Sing Me a Lullaby, Owl,
Dream Me a Dream,
Remind Me a Memory,
Of Childhood Long Past,
Cuck-coo-whoo-whoo.

Cuck-coo-whoo-whoo,
I hear Owl’s Call,
Then the Other’s Response,
I breathe and wait in unison,
Breath Syncs into Owl’s Refrain,
Cuck-coo-whoo-whoo,
Cuck-coo-whoo-whoo.

Faint Your Cooing Stills,
Whisks To Far-Away Hills,
Mysteries and Rhymes,
Like Rock-A-Bye Chimes,
Cuck-coo-whoo-whoo,
Cuck-coo-whoo-whoo.

Fading, Lagging, Distant the Cooing,
Wishing Wings Were Mine to Sprout,
Take Me, Lead Me, Show Me, Owl,
Usher Me into Night’s Quiet Keeping,
Fly Me on Winds and Wings,
Sail Me on Winds and Waves,
Sing Me in Harmony, Owl,
Cuck-coo-whoo-whoo,
Cuck-coo-whoo-whoo.

Sweet Sleep, I’m Calling,
Rock Me, Lull Me,
Cradle Me Softly, I’m Falling,
Owl’s Chanting Night’s Song,
Dreams Calling, Trailing Along,
Cuck-coo-whoo-whoo.

Cuck-coo-whoo-whoo,
Owl’s Song, Off then On,
Night Echoes, Owl’s Haunt,
Owl’s Swoop, Owl’s Sweep,
Owl’s Mystery Dreams,
Itself, Myself, back to Sleep,
Good Night, Dear Girl,
Sleep Sweet.
Cuck-coo-whoo-whoo,
Cuck-coo-whoo-whoo.



Exercise Challenge: Week 3-2022

The Beast Hold Exercise

Challenge: perform as many repetitions as possible (maintaining good form) for at least five days of the week. Keep track of your repetitions on your calendar or journal. Which day did you perform the greatest number of repetitions? Celebrate your improving strength and share your outcome with a friend or training partner.

How to do a beast hold: Start on your hands and knees with your toes tucked under and digging down into the ground. The hands should be shoulder width apart, wrists directly underneath the shoulders; while the knees and feet are hip width apart; knees directly underneath the hips. The beast hold starts when you engage your abs, squeeze your glutes and raise your knees a couple inches off the ground. Hold for as many seconds as possible. (Count 3-10 seconds). Rest, repeat as many repetitions as possible.


Who are you?

Are you what you eat? Nutritionists tell you this is so. Are you what you feel? Modern psychology says you are not your feelings. Are you what you say? Can we trust ourselves enough to tell our own truth? Are you what you do? Our capitalistic economies depend on us to identify ourselves by the things we do with our money. Or, are you what you think? Have you ever stopped to listen to what you are telling yourself about yourself? You should try it some time. Listening…to the dialog. You may have to sneak up on yourself, and pretend like you’re eves dropping on someone else’s conversation, but take some minutes in any given day to be quiet and alert to your inner dialog. Then notice how you feel about yourself after listening to your own talking thoughts.

“Remember first that everything you think, say, and do is a reflection of what you’ve decided about yourself; a statement of Who You Are; an act of creation in your deciding who you want to be.

Neale Donald Walsch

Do you have warm, accepting feelings about the YOU of your thinking? Or do you disdain and belittle the person, the YOU of your thinking? Do you realize YOU are the author of your life’s story? Can you wrap your mind around this truth: WHAT you think about yourself is WHO you become? Is it time for you to re-write your script?

In my profession as a personal trainer, people pay me to help them reconfigure their bodies. But what my clients may not be aware of, is that I am also training them to pay attention to their mind via what they are thinking and feeling…especially, what they are thinking about before and after they exercise. If a client thinks she can or cannot achieve the fitness goal she has set for herself, then I guarantee that she most certainly will achieve what she is believing about herself.

What you think means more than anything else in your life. More than what you earn, more than where you live, more than your social position, and more than what anyone else may think about you. Every problem introduces you to yourself. It shows you how you think and what you’re made of.”

George Matthew Adams

A very important part of my training program is to teach my clients how to be their very own best cheerleader.  When I am with them, I encourage them, with positive words, stories and suggestions to help them understand that they have the power to change a negative health behavior into a positive healthful habit. To make change in our life is just one choice away. But to choose one thing, means we must drop the other thing, the old thing, the old way. An exchange must be made, like the passing of a baton. To execute change one must first choose…to let go…to stop doing, or thinking or saying and believing those things that no longer serve our well-being.

Mind is everything; muscle–pieces of rubber. All that I am, I am because of my mind.

Paavo Nurmi, Finnish Olympian who won nine gold medals

When I am working with my clients, I hope to become a part of their changing landscape, a new voice in their head. If they spend enough time with me I have noticed these changes taking place in their life. It is often a slow, sometimes imperceptible process, but choice making and taking always induces change in their life-scape. Thinking becomes believing. Believing becomes being. The mind is the master, not the servant, of the body.

“Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.”

— Thomas Jefferson

Everyone feels lost and out of sorts in life from time to time. This is a natural by-product  of the human experience. Since we will deal with difficulties as long as we inhabit our physical body, perhaps we should consider our trials as benefactors in disguise. What if we turned our thinking around? What if we chose to think of those things we don’t like about our self or our life as gifts to help us discover who we really are or who we really want to be? What if we changed our perspective about our upsets or short comings? What if the challenges or frustrations of life were viewed as our soul’s clanging clarion call for recognition? for refreshment? for authentic, loving change?

Consider that your learning goal is the ongoing pursuit of a lifetime of consistent physical movement and self-care. If you are going to be successful staying physically active and taking care of yourself, you need to learn strategies that will enable you to prioritize your plans and be consistent, flexible, and creative as you learn to incorporate physical activity into the rest of your dynamic, ever-changing life. The strategy of beginning with the end in mind asks you to take the long view: Your goal is lifelong behavior change, and that’s what you want to keep in mind ~ always.

Michelle Segar ~ No Sweat

Now tell me again: Who are you?



Do Difficult Things that Force Engagement

By Steve Magness from TheGrowtheq.com

I remember the comment clearly. I was lying on the ground, drained of all energy, exhausted, unable to get up. My legs were a mixture of on fire and full of lead. I wanted to puke.

“Your parents haven’t felt what you are feeling for 30+ years, if ever.”

It was an odd comment. We were at the track, absolutely spent after a session of 400m repeats, and my coach at the time, Jon Warren, made the comment to fill the space as he awaited the handful of us who were there regaining consciousness so that we could first stand up, then cool down to finish our workout. As my brain regained oxygen, Warren’s comment sunk in; it’s one that has stuck with me for years, because it was true then, and had greater implications now.

“When you’re done with competing and just enjoying running, don’t stop doing hard workouts.” This piece of advice came years later from a good friend and author David Epstein. I believe his point was this: as something moves from a pursuit where we are trying to get better to something we do just for health and fun, we often neglect the really difficult parts. We go jogging every day. We forget the gut-busting interval sessions. We default to the pleasant and easy.

This isn’t an article about remembering to do intervals, it’s about the value of doing something hard.

Hard things bring a flood of experiences. The feeling you get provides intensity, depth, and nuance. You feel the difference between local pain in your quads—be it burning or numbness—the queasiness of your stomach, and the effect a CO2 overload has on your priorly clear mind. You get a rush of hormones, from those that lift you up to those which contribute to anxiety to those that make you motivated, numb the pain, and feel euphoric. You feel what it’s like to be locked-in, in the zone, or on the flip side how to navigate distraction and discomfort.

It doesn’t have to be running until exhaustion. We get a similar rush of various experiences when we give our full effort and attention to sculpting, writing, mastering an instrument, or taking on much better opponents in the latest video game that we’ve fallen for. Each experience brings its own unique cascade of feelings, emotions, and hormones, but the experience of doing something challenging, something that pushes our limits, is immense.

We are forced to deeply experience what it means to be engaged in the moment. Doing difficult things brings value. Especially in a distracted world.

Perhaps the world’s most notable expert on myth and ancient mystical traditions, Jospeh Campbell, was once asked by PBS’s Bill Moyers if he’s ever had a mystical peak experience. His response was that he had been privileged to have a few. They all occurred while running all-out repeats on the track. 

This is pure conjecture, but I often wonder if when we don’t take David Epstein’s advice to keep on doing interval workouts, or we fall for coach Warren’s prediction, that we end up searching for something that comes with that flood of feelings, hormones, and engagement. We yell and troll people on facebook and Twitter to feel something (anger with a hit of adrenaline). Or we fall into a bit more productive habit of adopting the latest fad of plunging into ice water every morning. We feel invigorated. Well, it’s something hard, that causes a stress response and forces engagement. Are there health benefits beyond that? Maybe, but doubtful.
 
I think it’s part of our nature, the need to feel that flood of hormones, sensations, and feelings. And I think it’s important that it comes in something we choose to do, that we have control over. After all, we’ve got enough difficult things in our life (work, COVID, etc.), but most of that we have no control over. That doesn’t give us the same effect of hard intervals or even plunging into freezing water.

I prefer hard things that come with tangible benefits besides just being hard, and ones that I enjoy, even if only in a “type-2” fun kind of way: running a weekly hard workout, trying to wrestle with difficult topics and turn them into books, deep conversations on tricky topics with friends, and so forth.

The point is this: whatever your thing is, I think it’s important to be intentional about having something that is difficult in your life and that you have control over.


Exercise Challenge: Week 2-2022

Challenge: perform as many repetitions as possible (maintaining good form) for at least five days of the week. Keep track of your repetitions on your calendar or journal. Which day did you perform the greatest number of repetitions? Celebrate your improving strength and share your outcome with a friend or training partner.

Stand, with tall posture, facing the back of a chair, holding the back of the chair for balance. • Keep abs tight and slowly raise one leg slightly backward, keeping your knee straight until your foot is 3 to 4 inches off the floor. • Repeat 10 to 12 times with each leg.