I think one reason why adults get so upset with children for asking “why?” all the time is that it reminds us how rarely we ask ourselves that same thing.
In fact – that is the first question I tend to ask 99% of individuals who come to me with fitness problems. – “Why do you think you need to go to a gym?” – the athletes, the competitors, someone who's taken the leap and signed up for a race or event… They are the easy ones. They have a solid answer. They have numbers and measurable goals. They have a concrete reason… – but for most of us the answer is more vague… “i want to be healthier/stronger/more fit” – “i want to be lighter/more muscled/leaner” –
In most cases these are symbols and not the source – if you just want to lose belly-fat or tone up your arms, or grow a bigger butt- why don’t you just get liposuction? Why don't you get injections or implants? really....
In the beginning, the little things don't mean shit.
It's hard enough to lace up your shoes and get your ass moving. The weights are heavy.
You may be sore for days at a time.
This may discourage some & reaffirm others that a hard effort had been given.
You can half-ass workouts, skip them, do them hungover…
Nonetheless, along the way, you assimilate the work & begin adapting to it- you learn lessons.
Progress becomes rapid.
The feedback- overwhelmingly positive, and you wish to hold that feeling forever.
More positive feedback & tiny wins follow until quite suddenly, one day, you begin to reach the upper tier of your performance. A level that demands everything from you just to keep up with your new & improved, high performing self. The thrills of positive feedback & speedy progress rapidly fade. You remember it, but cannot seem to...
I stepped into the trap this weekend. I overdosed on intensity. I blunted my spear.
Physical activity has always been a metaphor to me though.
A lens to focus on something larger: life…Generally.
Exercise taught me that effort matters.
That what I put out usually corresponds to what I get out.
Output informs outcome.
Sometimes output equals outcome and those days are the best — when we give everything and at the end of the day receive it all back.
Exercise taught me to focus. When we want to improve- on anything, we must concentrate. Concentration means exclusion- if it has been decided that the current performance or condition is unsatisfactory, we must first exclude. & do only what improves.
Ignore what distracts or degrades. Reject what opposes.
Focus means just that: making the subject crystal clear & blurring the periphery—or all the other shit that doesn't matter.
Exercise taught me honesty. When you are honest with yourself about your current...
I was never patient until I had to be. I always got away with pushing barriers out of my way. Or I climbed over them. I bent what resisted me with sheer force of will. Sometimes I turned it to advantage. It was easy. I was alone, with no one to count on and no one counting on me. When all I knew was intensity I “made” it work for me. And then one day - or one year - it didn’t work anymore. I had to take a different path.
Training hard produces results when you have never done it before. & of course, it strokes the ego to gut through something you never believed possible. It’s a great feeling that fades just as quickly as you can make it happen. What then? The prescription is, “Again, faster.” …Or whatever.
Just keep repeating yourself harder, faster, heavier, longer & over time, I'll tell you-
Intensity repeated mindlessly loses its shine.
Because (like a drug) intensity- what you once did doesn’t get you high anymore...
We are changed by the effort such that those who chose the work beforehand may weaken & so lose their belief in the ability to finish along the way.
Advised by this doubt, one may question whether to continue or not.
Thus begins the hard conversation: “quit or don't quit.”
Such internal dialogue is not restricted to sport or exercise, but high intensity effort compels its asking commonly enough that the negotiation itself appears to be an integral part of physical training. Consistently hosting this conversation allows us to change the outcome- hence many of our workouts feature the built in opportunity to do so.
However, understanding the difference between quitting & failure is prerequisite to the “quit/ dont quit” dilemma. Rather than resorting to the merriam-webster definitions, we shall have a look at the broad terms relative to responsibility, ego,...
Unless pre-fatigue has something to do with enhancing the main course, the prescribed warm-ups in Homebodies PERSIST cycles are intentionally short, sweet & to the damn point..I frequently get my head wrapped around an axle on how one should prepare themselves for hard efforts, but it is incredibly difficult to translate & sometimes a mistake to generalize.
So, in our daily practice- we simply prime & prep the muscle tissue just enough to get the party started.
There is very little to be heard &/or understood when one is in the throes of a truly intense effort. The world seems a blur…
& yet, most believe—incorrectly—that this is where the magic happens.
It is not.
Yes, intensity is required for improvement, but improvement is at the crossroads of intentional action and conflict with self—I would say most of it occurs before conflict with self.
Progress happens when repetition is under a most conscious state- it is directly...
"Watch your thoughts,
For they become your words.
Watch your words,
For they become your actions.
Watch your actions,
For they become your habits.
Watch your habits,
For they become your character.
Watch your character,
For it becomes your destiny."
We CANT directly choose our circumstances,
but we CAN choose our thoughts & words…
& so indirectly, yet surely, [re]shape our circumstances.
"Can't" is a seed of doubt planted in the mind,
taking root to produce more of its own-
invasive weeds that blossom with no action, bearing no fruit-
…only unpleasant external conditions.
Thoughts of doubt & fear never accomplish anything, and never can.
They inevitably always lead to failure.
Purpose, energy, power to do...
Enough forgiveness & acceptance to diminish the impulse to improve..
Enough to slide by & be average-
We seem to fear our highest possibilities (as well as our lowest ones)
Allowing the fear of our own heights lowers our own ceiling for growth.
This normalcy is a kind of sickness that we share with everybody else & therefore don't notice.
normalcy or averageness becomes the best we can expect.
We become content with it.
You can perform only to the level of your expectations
& if you are constantly expecting to forgive yourself;
It is only rational to expect stagnation.
Growth & comfort unfortunately cannot coexist.
Replace entitlement with effort-
Take extreme accountability & ownership of yourself- your time, your...
Life becomes really fucking simple once you begin to understand that your rewards compound the longer you delay them. Delaying gratification requires discipline. & discipline is hard because it's about doing hard things.
It starts with waking up early & moving your body every single day. Making yourself stronger, faster, more mobile & healthier. It is eating the right foods to fuel your system correctly. It is maintaining control of your emotions to make good decisions & controlling your ego so it doesn't get out of hand & control you. It's about treating people the way that you'd want to be treated and doing tasks you don't want to do, but you know will help you.
Discipline is about facing your fears so you can conquer them.
Taking the hard, uphill road- to do what is right for you & for others.
So often, the easy path calls us: to be weak in that moment....
A drunken & brilliant poet once said-
“Find what you love & let it kill you.”
I say- ‘figure out what's important & master the art of the inner bitch slap.’
disciplined architects don't ride backwards horses with dull saws
- an aphorism for figuring out what's important & creating your perfect morning routine.
There is a tale of an old wise man who came across a young feller sawing feverishly at a large oak tree in the woods-
The old man asked “what are you doing, son?”
The young fella barks impatiently at the old wise man-
“I must saw down this tree, stack the wood & make it home all before dark”
“That's quite a load of work you've got there.” The wise man replied.
“I have been at it for over 5 hours & still have so much yet to do.”
After having a look...