When I look in the mirror, I see that time does not slow down, nor does it stop. No matter how much we may wish for it to slow / stop. How often do you look in the mirror, and just wonder how much time has passed and what choices in life you have let slide thinking that tomorrow would be a better time to begin that new endeavor?
Well, health is not something that should ever be overlooked by anyone in any time frame for its decline is visible, and so are its effects on your body, and mind.
Movement, hydration, sleep, and nutrition (not in any specific order) are monumental for every human being. Healthy mind, healthy body, and you will benefit so much more than being idle and eating processed foods.
I’ve spent more time since the last time I wrote on this blog moving, resting, teaching, learning, and helping others reach their goals. How has it turned out? Heck, I’m blown away by it. Does it warrant me to post before and after pictures? Nope. The following will have to do.
Endurance athletes, with weights is what my crew should be labeled as. Neither the body builder, heavy weightlifter, endurance only athleticism is a type of mold or cookie cutter label they’d fit under or into. They are all around athletes and enjoying life because of it.
Work on them abs people! Six packs, Big bi’s, large tris, and the like is not what I hear when listening to them tell their tales of success, or work that needs to be accomplished to get to where they need to be for Goal success!
What I do hear is – “I ran without stopping”. “I was able to squat lower and did more reps too”. “I have never run that distance in my life before, much less entered any race prior to today!” “I am moving more weight, and not being broken down by it during the exercises, and I’m able to recover better because of it!”
“I ran today what you had programmed, and since I felt good with the amount of running previously, I decided to go a little further, and I ended up doing 4 more miles than I had planned for”.
These are some of the quotes I have received this past year. I am blown away by them (clients) with them putting in the work and trusting me with their health I am humbled. I’m very appreciative of each and every one of them.
As the temps have gotten a tad warmer say 20F to 38F (yes, that’s a jump) shedding of heavier clothing items and / or less clothing to wear is a break from the norm. It also means a brighter morning workout due to the start of Daylight Savings Time.
DST as it’s termed is this – Spring time jump one hour forward on your click so less sleep. Fall jump one hour back so you get an hour more of sleep.
Notice I did not say more time for work. Sleep is the issue. So plan your work times around such a break in your day. Rest periods are available to you so take them. Whether or not you nap just rest often. Keep a period of constant rest in your schedule to recharge and help you out.
Rest/Work ratio in practice is harder than planning it. It’s always a habit forming event for you so take the time to initiate the beginning of a lifestyle habit.
Along the line of habit forming acts there is a particular one that I struggle with and it’s simple in nature once you read this paragraph. It’s writing. Yes, re read this paragraph and maybe it makes sense to some about a writers block. No, I am not comparing myself to book writers they’re a breed of their own. However there are times when I have the urge to write my thoughts down and fall terribly short of it.
What helps me take this bull by the horns is coffee, no other humans around and coffee house classics or even Americana on the speakers. It’s also enjoyable with a cigar and sunshine since it makes me feel good.
Subject matter always falls on the particular of exercise, well being, mental health, nutrition and such. Then getting other titles to add to my repertoire helps when I’m writing about cooking. Yeah, cooking! I’ll have to make time to just dedicate a page on this blog of mine to post a few of my favorite recipes.
Writing has become a way to direct energy into action and mental prowess to make what I write come to fruition. There are times when you wish for something to appear and manifest itself without much ado. However the energy it must have to manifest itself from a desire, to action and finally end up with the final product must not skip the act of writing down the steps to help you visualize the progress, and hiccups that may happen.
Every plan must have alternate plans the meld well to progress. Plan A fails? Go plan B, C…. get it? Write down the steps to success. There will be Blocks and how you overcome these blocks is what the end product will more rewarding knowing that you had a vision, wrote down the plan, executed the plan and made adjustments accordingly.
Now, a successful plan really is a haphazard line going upwards and never a straight line at all. Just the ability to keep moving and reassessing when necessary.
Writing on subjects as stated above is not any different and I give a shout out to all of those authors that have made a commitment to their trade by continuing to make progress and have entertaining subjects to write about.
Those of you struggling keep moving forward. I’ll plan more rest times myself to make thinking and focusing much easier and be able to pen more often.
Well the season is changing once more to the tune of above 20F on a daily basis making things thaw, muddier and warmer. Well, if you’re like me where anything above 20F is warm then you’ll have plenty to be happy about that is except for the ice building up wherever there was snow.
Snow melt is cool, when it’s white. In the city it’s basically as dark and dirty, and festooned with garbage and road dirt. Who knows what else is in there, but enough to state that it is going away. I can safely say that wearing a windbreaker over a 1st layer of wool to workout in 25F weather is not unheard of since you’re shivering until you begin to move then you want that shell off also.
How in the world can people function wearing so much on their bodies while working out outside and feeling ok with 3+ layers on them is beyond my comfort zone, but hey they’re getting it done just the same. I heat up fairly fast once I start moving without really sweating under 15min of work. I have to really put out a lot of Jules to make me sweat plenty and at times the work at hand has me perspiring so much so that I can resemble a steam pipe at times. Funny sight to see steam rising off my body like i was doused with water and then unzip my shell and it’s like the steam pipe sprung a little leak.
With snot shots (farmer john’s) coming on a little more frequent when expending a lot of effort I find myself making sure the wind is always in my favor and not against me when I do them. I’ve seen may runners have a bad day when performing a snot shot (farmer john = holding down one nostril while blowing out snot from the opposite side and repeating the process on the other one) when it blows onto their forearm while performing such act is hilarious. I can state that I have not had that happen ever! Ha! Right, it’s happened to the most experienced of us all and it’s embarrassing but funny as hell also.
Enough about the snot shots. Let’s get to the sunnier days for training. Our training days had become a – ‘get out of the car, run to meeting area, get orientation, start workout, finish workout, take pics, and get the hell back into cars to warmup and head home’ affairs. There were days when it was so cold just waiting to start that jumping up and down became a constant warm up start of our warmup itself. Ever felt so cold that air would not want to come out of your mouth because it liked being warm inside you? Yeah, that happened on multiple occasions. Yet, here we are happy to state that we have made it to March!
March in the Midwest means different things to us than the rest of the country. Why? Well, we can expect at least more below freezing days regardless of what calendar day it is. We can expect more snow, and dreary days to come. It is what it is in the Midwest. Our winters can last longer than the calendar spring states. To which we just put on our ‘don’t give a F!’ Face, and attitude to continue doing what we do best. Live, Love, and Laugh at the changing climate that the season(s) throw at us to make us formidable individuals to face adversity with less angst.
Keeping things on an even keel makes things manageable and your stress levels low. Although we were pretty fed up with the snow here since we had no where to put it. All of the shoveling done within one week I had a stack of snow I shoveled to 1m/3Ft height and no place to turn safely out of my driveway on occasion. Helping others dig out really didn’t phase me due to my fitness, but man you’re going to really consider wearing the right clothes just to shovel since once again it must be stated that Cotton is NOT good for chores involving outdoors activities that require movement aside from just walking to the car.
Hydration on days like those mentioned above really is a must. Have you ever heard of anyone sweating while swimming? You’re not going to, but you do sweat and you need to hydrate. Electrolytes are a key, and you do need to make sure you get a balanced intake. Where can you get such items? You can Google electrolyte drinks, and you should choose a drink that should not have a LOT of SUGAR! Do yourself a favor and do your research since there is an unlimited amount of information on said drinks in the market. Be self sufficient and proficient on said subject matter since your health is at the forefront of your intake of electrolytes and the benefits you can have due to your intake.
I’ll leave you with this – make the time to get out in the sun. It’s coming out earlier and staying out longer. Walk, run, fast or slow. Get out and get your Vitamin D! Increase your potency. Be a healthier version of your previous self. Workout outdoors, enjoy nature even if it’s in an urban parkway. Find time to commune with Nature without distractions.
Be a better you, and when you can share that experience do so to enrich others with the benefits of a healthier lifestyle. It’s free to choose and be healthy. Lifestyles take time. One step, one min, hour, day, month, year at a time.
Great times come from some adversity. I’m not sure who coined that term, but darn tough times create individuals that can withstand some of the hardest storms thrown at them. Well, it is without a doubt that getting through a winter with some bone chilling cold workouts is a cause and effect to anyone involved with athletic endeavors here in the upper midwest. We don’t have Mountains but we have cold spells that can challenge some of the most ardent winter warriors out there.
Winter is mild here without much of a sprinkling of snow (< 3″) at any snow fall, and usually disappearing within 3~4 days. This is where that chill comes in. See, with snow we can be assured of some sort of buffer from the chill that comes along in January and usually stays until maybe mid March. It is comical you see. Here we want a bed of snow to help damper the effects of the bone chill of the cold that comes along around this time of the year. I believe it does help keep the dew point a bit low keeping that chill going through you like an ice pick.
Well, we’re patiently waiting for the day when we get that damper of snow fall to see us through the early morning workouts since it is freaking icy cold as soon as you step out of the house and you’re cold as hell right from the start. Getting out of the car I get a chill going down the back of my neck as if I had a little snow drift going inside my jacket even though there is no snow around. Funny how perception is in the mind of the individual. I for one begin a breathing tempo no matter what exercise I’m about to perform from just walking with my ruck on or performing an exercise to breath only through my nose. Deep inhale, pacing / tempo of 3 in with 3~4 out. Nothing via the mouth.
I have to slow down a little more than usual to catch my breath if I go faster than my breathing pattern allows, and it mitigates discomfort than just mouth brings. I have to admit and be transparent on this method. It clears my mind, makes breathing feel good, watery eyes are not always an effect of nasal breathing. However snot rockets are NOT unheard of. Make sure you perform the ‘farmer john’ really well. No half assed attempts on that issue since you don’t want to wear snot on your clothing/beard/mustache. Or even worse blowing it out while a runner/rucker is going by as you do it. Funny as hell, but dangerous also since it’s your health that will be affected if you don’t miss that said individual.
Since temperatures have been dropping we’re having to move with a bit more intent. Getting warm, and keeping warm are two things that meet in the middle. Difference is effort and effect. You can walk and get warm, and to some extent while warming up for exercise / workout you can be specific on movements to mimic what you’re about to perform on said workout to get your muscles and connective tissue to move better without the possibility of injury. Rucking is so unique a movement when just putting on the ruck weighted to specific weight for the workout is more than enough to warmup said body within a certain period of time and movement that it feels more comfortable and you’re breathing a little more labored than just plain ol’ warm ups do. Trust it will do the same for you.
Living in a cold climate is something that many have learned to adapt to, and to some extent thrive in. As I grew up watching people dress differently in changing climates there was always a fringe few that really did not follow the norm. I found them to be interesting how when the temps dropped to 30 F /1C they’re still wearing freaking shorts!!! Ok, do they know something I don’t? Like what rocket fuel is in their bloods that precludes them from wearing normal clothing like me (2~3 layers) to get warm. I mean, come on. I’d love to be able to do that. Then, I stumbled upon none other than the Iceman himself Wim Hoff, over a year ago and I have learned that you can become more than what you perceive you are limited to being.
This should come as not surprise to anyone that there is health to be had if you fix yourself, not just by resting, and eating right. Not only exercising alone will help and according to Mr. James Nestor who’s done some serious research and paid his dues/cut his nails on said subject matter on this subject. What subject is that? Breathing. Yes, breathing will get you squared away. Don’t take my word for it. I’ll not be paid for not expect to be paid for expressing my desire for you to try it. Firstly read his book. Breath – The New Science of a Lost Art. Secondly, practice it. You will be leaps ahead of your peers in health, and stamina. Don’t take my word for it. Just try it.
These past couple of weeks at RuFF we’re getting a little more comfortable doing things in the cold, and frigid temps are not going away any time soon. So, layering and moving will continue to be our focus. Getting and staying warm through breathing, and moving is key. Then coffee (for me) is essential post workout. Enjoy.
Stay warm, but get cold to start. It’s important and beneficial for you to exercise in the cold. I will change your outlook on winter dramatically. Trust to process, do the work, and reap the benefits.