Obstacles all around me.

One cannot seriously think about the way that others treat them without considering the constant; themselves.

If a person is constantly being disrespected, perhaps there is something that person is doing which signals to others, ‘this is the way I am to be treated’. It would be almost certainly a subconscious choreography.

I imagine, for myself, that these attitudes I have fostered in others about myself are crafted through positive and negative reinforcement. If someone says something bad about me, like it or not, and injured though I may be, I agree with them on some level. If someone says something nice about me, I immediately summon the host of negatives that can drown almost any positive – covertly behind a polite smile and an inner dialogue of, ‘if you only knew!’

Those tortured inner core beliefs must manifest and others will take them as cues.

It’s really just our stupid way of making it hard for others to cheer us on. No! I want to be someone that others want to succeed, the poster-child of my own success, the hero of my own journey.

I want to remove the obstacles that prevent others from wishing for my success in life, in love, and in happiness.

How can you stop putting these barriers up in your own life?

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Bring it!

When I come to our workouts, I want to bring a level of energy and pop!   I want to burst and crackle and roar.   To shock and jolt and shake everyone around me because I’m alive and I’m here to work my ass off!

The alternative would be to show up and wait for something or someone to enliven me. That’s no good – that cannot happen.  I have to be better than that.  Every coach and every leader knows that you have to grab the loose power line with both hands and hang on – trust yourself and let fly the black flag – there will be no prisoners.

Imagine showing up and having to be dragged along, limp and lifeless, yawning and rubbing the sleep out of your eyes.   It’s so easy to think that everyone owes you their gratitude because, ‘at least you showed up at all’.. as if, just by showing up, you’ve already conquered the beast.   You have conquered that beast, and sincere kudos to you – that beast is no joke – but now is not the time to rest.   You woke up!  Now don’t be so quick to capitulate that life would act on you, instead of the other way ’round.

Roar, shake, crackle and burst.   Outdo your coach.  Bare your teeth and growl in real life as you lean into it.  Chuckle and laugh in the severity of your zeal as you show up and BRING IT!

 

Like a job that you love!

Imagine if we treat our fitness and workouts like we treat our jobs?   You wouldn’t miss your shifts, or you’d likely lose your job if you did.  You try to do things that add value to your bussiness.  You work to be more efficient, building job security, making connections and earning your paycheck through hard work and persistence.

Now imagine if you treat your job, like you (maybe some of you) treat your fitness.  How is your fitness-attendance rate?   How is your job satisfaction?   If you were to have a performance evaluation, would you be getting a raise if we applied your current fitness habits to your profession?   How well do you follow instructions?   When you encounter difficulty, are you more likely to give up or ask for help?  Would your workout-attitude transfer to the workplace?  Would your co-workers be inspired and motivated by you?

Think of the excuses you’ve been using to stop doing what you said you were going to do.  How would those play in a work environment?   Imagine telling your boss that you don’t have time to do your job – You’re too busy with other areas of your life to perform the job you were hired to do.   Or that you’re too tired.

Opportunity Costs

 

There’s this nasty little concept called ‘Opportunity Costs’.   Opportunity Costs are all the things you could be doing, except you decided to do something else instead.   Time is finite and our lives are short.   We don’t get to do everything, so we have to choose, and we have to choose one thing over another.  Sometimes, the choices we make keep us from doing the other things we want to do at the same time.  The opportunity costs of going out with our friends is that we don’t get to stay home and study or read or watch netflix.  Sometimes the things to which we give priority displace some other legitimate goal that we want to accomplish in our lives.

Fitness is like that.

It isn’t that we don’t want to be fit, it’s just that when the chips are down, we want something else more, and we choose accordingly.  It isn’t that we don’t want to lose weight, it’s just that when we get offered a slice of something bad for us and not on our diet, we make a choice that we want that delicious morsel more than we want to be fit.  We keep losing these little battles between a healthy choice and it’s counter-part, the unhealthy choice.  When you want something, you have to sacrifice other things that are taking up that slot; sometimes other interests that you could focus on and sometimes the very things that are holding you back.

If it were based on actions alone, I don’t think we could say that we want to be fit, while refusing to workout or clean up our diet.   We’re much more complicated than that, but there is that level where this kind of thinking is true.   When you want comfort over challenge, you can’t be a warrior.   When you want ease over hard-work, you can’t be champion.   When you want indulgence over restraint, you cannot be a well-oiled machine.

You can’t have it all.   You can’t be all the things at once.   You have to choose.   You have to choose what you will you give up in pursuit of what you want – at a macro level and a micro level.   That’s why it’s called a “life-style”, because it ecompasses everything you do and, more importantly, everything you are.

 

“The Suck”

Inspired by one of my runners.   TY N_

Running sucks.   It’s hard, you have to get up early (here in Tucson), which means you have to get to bed at a reasonable time.   This puts you in a foul mood.   Then.  You start to run and, yep.. it sucks.

So two quick things.

One.  In order to have a good run, sometimes you have to have a bunch of bad runs.  Being committed means doing the runs regardless to whether they will be good or bad – and you won’t really know until you do it.   You do the run because you promised and, even if it’s a bad run, you did it and you kept the promise you made to yourself.   If that doesn’t make you feel good – I don’t know what will!

Secondly, embrace the suck!   The suck is there to make sure you know the value of good health, fitness, strength, improvement.   It isn’t free – Boy HOWDY is it anything but free. You have to work for it, it hurts, it sucks and it might NEVER feel good, but you still made progress toward fitness despite every.. single.. thought.. in.. your.. head.. telling you to “STOP! this madness!”.

The overall lesson here is that sometimes the things you want won’t come to you – you have to go out and get them, beat down the obstacles that stand between you and your goals, overcome the doubts and excuses.  You walk when you can’t run, you crawl when you can’t walk.. you keep.. pushing..forward, and you get it done.

“The Suck” is strongest when you need it most!

“Dougies” Pt. 2

After a 9 mile run up Phoneline Trail in Sabino Canyon, and then back down again along the tram road, I feel I have a pretty good grasp on the “Dougies” I was testing and now, without further ado.. here’s my review!

The CWX compression shorts (platform) on which the Dougies are built were new to me and a welcome item.   It makes sense too because adding weight in water-bottles to anything else and your shorts would constantly be down around your ankles.   The bottles I used were two Ultimate Direction 20oz bottles.   I think the Dougies would do better with a flator oval flask instead of the round bottles but once I cinched down the waist string, even with the round bottles sticking out just that much more, the Dougies stayed up and on (very important in a running short!).

It was a little odd at first, having weight in that area.   Perhaps because of the awareness or because of the weight itself, my hips and my glutes seemed to be working harder or working more consciously – I felt the muscles.   What I didn’t feel, which was a releif, was a ridiculous bouncing on either side.  The fit was snug and the built-in draw-strings kept the bottles securely in their holsters.   The draw-strings were excellent and easy to use both taking the bottles out and putting the bottles back.   At one point I did miss and ran for about a mile before realizing that the draw-string wasn’t secured around the head of the bottle – I wouldn’t have noticed had I not gone for the bottle.   This speaks to the snug fit of the bottle in the holster itself and reinforces the idea that the bottles are tight enough that they don’t bounce and most likely, even on a trail like Phoneline, won’t bounce out if you somehow fail to secure the draw-string like I did.  That’s pretty cool.

The double pocket in the very back of the shorts, part of the CWX design, was extremely useful for my car key and several gels.   Everything about the Dougies, from the holsters and secure draw-strings to the organic features of the CWX shorts themselves was really nice for portage on the trail.

As I said before, I can imagine uses for these shorts for shorter runs and extremely long runs.  Imagine, two hip-flasks, two chest-flasks, a 2L bladder and two hand-helds PLUS.. a water filter in the back pocket or in your hydration vest?  That’s a TON of water, heavy, but on a slow 100-miler might be just the thing.   Especially for training when you have no aid stations!   Legit!   S.A.R.A. volunteers could drastically incrase their carrying capacity and range simultaneously, not to mention recreational runners and elite-competition athletes.

Yesterday, at The Running Shop, a Sherrif’s department officer came in looking for something that wasn’t going to be in the way and that he didn’t have to carry in his hand.  A vest was too much, a belt didn’t sound comfortable so, I told him about the “Dougies” – he said that sounded exactly like what he needed.

I couldn’t agree more.

 

“Dougies” Pt. 1

Today, I’m testing out a really cool new product in developement by my friend, Doug Loveday.   These are compression shorts with holsters for water bottles that ride on your hips.

This is the first time I’ve worn compression shorts and so far, I really like them.  The holsters seem to be in the right place, they have a draw string to secure them on top and this version has pockets in the middle back – which I really LOVE – where I can put keys, gels, and maybe even some light running gloves.. other smaller items.   I’m excited to test this out because it’s a hands-free system for mid-range and long-runs and it adds capacity to really long runs and races.

The trail I’ll be using for this test is Phoneline Trail in Sabino Canyon.  The run is about 8.6 miles roundtrip with a good amount of climb and lots of bouncing up-and-down movement.   Depending on how I feel, I might follow this up with a tram-road run – 7.4 miles out-and-back – which will be smooth pavement running.

Wish me luck.. and stay tuned..