_ Real quick, I have a good collection of posts ready to go, but I don;t have internet in both the gym, and mine and Lindsey's new digs, so, it's tough to get to a WiFi hotspot to get the posts up! Hopefully that will all change next week.
So, are you prepared? This can become a pretty loaded question when you get into it. What happens when all hell breaks loose in your world? What would you do? I’ve actually had this conversation with a few people over the past year or so and it’s so interesting to hear what people think they’d do. Look what has happened around the world over the past ten years; natural disasters, war, craziness all around! I am willing to bet that most of my readers have never been caught in anything like this, and probably have never even experienced it (myself included! The closest I have ever come was the beginning so Hurricane Irene hitting the Gulf Coast as I frantically drive north after a baseball season in Pensacola, FLA). But with all the logic in the world, you can not deny the fact that the way our world works nowadays, it should really not be all that surprising if something happened right here in our back yard.
A well-traveled buddy of mine once said that America is the only place he knows of where we expect good things to happen to us all the time, and get surprised and issued off when bad things happen. He said that almost everywhere else he has ever been expects crap to happen, and is joyously excited when good happens. Now I am not here to go into detail on that point, I like thinking positive at all times, but also don’t want to be that douchbag who gets all pissed off when the weather is “too crazy” to go outside (said in a whiny voice). So, I prepare myself both physically and mentally.
This does not mean that every day I wake up in a paranoid frenzy, collecting bread and water in a safe room and waiting out the apocalypse. This simply means that I allow myself the versatility of training, practice, thought and conversation to better understand and comprehend all that might happen. I train in the cold, in rain and snow, in water, in heat, in the woods, the beach, up on mountains and in canyons (obviously when I can with all this stuff). I don’t use weather as an excuse NOT to train, I use it as an exciting opportunity to got more comfortable with extreme situations. I lift awkward things, I climb, swing, crawl, throw and so much more. It’s as simple as all of sudden being caught inn a flash flood, would you be able to one, be in a non-panicked state of mind, and two, be able to physically do all the things demanded of you? What if you were kidnapped? What if you got seriously lost, anywhere? What if there was a nuclear war? This conversation could go in all sorts of directions, and all sorts of extremes. But in the end, the real question is: are you prepared?
Maybe it’s time to head out and expand your comfort zones a little. Imagine how great every day life would be without needing to worry about weather or not you can simply survive.
Never Stop, GET FIT.
__ Without putting any thought into it, mine is freaking wonderful desserts. I feel like I have an emotional reliance on them sometimes and at one point, about a month ago, I honestly fed off them like crack, no joke. Upon further analysis, I would say actual “shtick” is something along the lines of this: I over-analyze to a point of being overwhelmed. Say something goes wrong in my life. When this happens, I tumble into a whirlpool of thoughts, break-downs, reasoning’s and theories, trying to figure out not just what happened, but how it all happened. That’s just how my brain works. When someone reacts a certain way towards me, I don’t simply respond, I break down their reaction and search for WHY they did each and every thing they did. I will go so far into this where I will break down my own childhood just to figure out why I only crave soda later at night. I view movies, books, music, training, and friends, pretty much everything, like this. And it tires me out so much. I do not have the ability to just chill out and let things simply happen. I need to know how and why.
Imagine hearing a song, one that is catchy, that makes you bob your head and tap your feet and hope you hear it again soon. I hear that song and I am immediately breaking down the melody patterns, how the different instruments were orchestrated to pull an emotion out of the listener. How the lyrics interact with the melody and either harmonize or distort the instruments to add to that emotion and expression of the song. Simply put, I geek out on this sort of stuff, but its overwhelming to hear so much in something that most people simply use as minor entertainment. It sometimes takes the fun out of it.
This is my shtick; this is what I deal with on a daily basis. The only time I have ever felt my brain NOT act like this is when I’m running around deep in nature; this is why most of you know me as a dude who would take any opportunity to escape to the woods and run around. It is the only place I know of where I can get any sort of extended escape from my own mind.
Now I realize this sounds maybe a little crazy. But the fact is, everyone in the world has something that takes them to the point of being viewed as “crazy” by another person. Someone might be a hypochondriac, someone else might be an obsessive organizer, yet another person might desperately need to be around other people at all times. No matter what it is, everyone has something that causes them anxiety and/or distress. The real question I have here is: how do you react to it?
Do you try to overcome it, suppress it? Do you fight it and claim you don’t have a problem? Do you defer to focusing on other people’s problems rather than focus on your own? Do you run or workout to relax your mind? Do you drink or do drugs? Does it make you depressed, overwhelmed, act out, or something else?
I had a great conversation with a really good friend of mine about this today and we came to a sort of conclusion that accepting this thing, whatever it is, as who you are, is the quickest and healthiest way to deal with it. Think of the movie “A Beautiful Mind”, the dude hallucinated other people for crying out loud. And in the end, he didn’t stop hallucinating, he simply accepted that his mind was different than others and he learned to deal with it. He stopped forcing a change, and in the end, when you think about it, he changed more than he ever imagined.
I over-analyze. If I try to force myself to stop over-analyzing, I will drive myself insane. The best thing I can do is accept the fact that my mind functions like this, and learn the best ways to live my life so that it does not overwhelm me all the time. Embrace your crazy. Look at yourself in the mirror, I mean SERIOUSLY take a good look at yourself, and work on recognizing who you are, all the pros AND all the cons. Do NOT suppress them. Instead, acknowledge them, accept them, appreciate them and learn to react to them. When I find myself doing this healthy approach to what I view as my negative personality traits, I find I get so much done. I find myself having amazingly colorful conversations with my true friends about art, philosophy, fitness and fantasy. I find that my mind as also a beautiful thing in that fact that it is completely unique to me. And all if you are exactly the same. You are not me, you are not the person sitting next to you, or the person on TV, you are you. Accept that and you will become the greatest version of you you could ever imagine.
Never Stop, GET FIT.
I have always been one to advocate the importance of taking good care of yourself, physically AND mentally. But recently it has been on my mind more than normal. Perhaps it’s been the attention of the CrossFit Games process where I ate like relative crap, skipped workouts and moved across the country while training to compete as one of the “Fittest In The Word” (obviously didn't work out so well). Perhaps it was my near death experience a few weeks back when I flipped my car. Perhaps it’s been connecting with a whole slew of young athletes who have no idea what health actually means (generally not their fault at all on this one...ahem...parents...). Or maybe it’s being around a decent number of people who just let things slide, over and over again until all of a sudden one day it all comes crashing down on them. Whatever it is, I have been reading, researching, studying and talking more and more about what it takes to be a healthy person, and I have come to find that it’s all about a shift in perspective if you want good and lasting results.
First things first: I have never, and I repeat, NEVER met a human being who truly knows how to take care of him/her self both physically and mentally (myself included here!). I have talked with a good deal of people who are on the right track (serious CrossFitters are the closest I have seen), and I have met a real lot of people who think they know what they are doing, but this is so easily the most difficult thing to recognize in life. If I had a nickel for every time someone explained their “healthy” lifestyle to me to get my opinion and it involved sneaky amounts of complex carbohydrates, sugars, alcohol, lack of sleep, high stress, imbalance, and splotchy activity I'd be a millionaire! So often do I wish I could just violently shake these people while screaming, “just read a book on health and fitness and your life will be 100% percent better! Seriously, like any book!” Shoot man, I'll buy it for them!
But, who am I to define health? I have my opinions; I have my beliefs on the best ways to live if you want to have a life filled with activity, not too much body fat, general happiness and fun relationships. But I am not everyone else and it’s not up to me to dictate how you want to live your life. Unless you ask, unless you want help, unless you are doing something that is clearly detrimental to yourself and others around you, I have come to the realization that there is nothing I can do. All I can do is whole-heartedly believe in what I passionately know to be true, support the people who want to get better, and not talk down to and alienate myself from those that don’t. I say this last part because I also believe that a person who chooses to do something unhealthy will eventually be motivated to make some form of change. And when that change is wanted to be made, they, like everyone else in the worked, deserve help and support from others. So, to all you people out there striving to be healthy, wanting so badly to fight the craziness of bad food and inactivity in the world; don’t be a source of fear and conflict to those who are not like you. Rather, be a source of inspiration and motivation.
I little piece of cheesiness I like to share with people when talking about how to lead a healthy lifestyle goes like this: When we are born we are given nothing but two guaranteed things: our bodies and out minds. We are not guaranteed family, friends, wealth, food, cars, houses and on and on. If we get those things, they are all additional gifts that we are lucky to come by and have. If you can take a step back and see that the only two things we enter this world with are usually the things we take most for granted, your life will instantly become that much better. Make a priority of giving both your body and your mind the most care, and it will be impossible for things to be bad in your life. Every pesticide, every bite and sip of processed poison, every lazy day in front of the TV on your couch in the blasting AC, every car ride (you get the picture here) deteriorates your body and mind just a little more. Take the time to take care of them, and you will be rewarded with a truly healthy, happy, positive life.
Never Stop, GET FIT.
There seems to be an excuse for everything these days: too hot, too rainy, too busy, too tired, too overwhelmed and on and on. And what makes this sort of attitude so frustrating to me is that being surrounded by it tends to have a somewhat negative effect on me! The age-old concept of surrounding yourself with people who make you better continues to grow stronger and stronger in my mind, while the trainer, coach and motivator in me desperately desires to be positive influence. But negativity begets negativity. Negative parents have negative children, negative friends have negative friends, and on and on until we sink into a society that is overflowing in negativity, excuses and horrible health.
While reading Robb Wolf's awesome book The Paleo Solution, he mentioned a little something I tried today when I went down to the local coffee shop to get some work done. I sat for a good 10 minutes and watched people as they came and went and did an immediate assessment on how they looked. Tired? Happy? Fit? Ill? Fat? Now this could be construed as being judgmental, but I made a point of keeping it as objective as possible. Hell, I know that sometimes looks can be deceiving, so I simply looked at them and moved on. What hit me so quickly was how depressed and out of shape everyone looked. I literally saw nobody over the age of 15 that held themselves in that oh-so-obvious "I feel damn good right now" way. I also saw not one single person, children included, that appeared to have any real athletic ability. Again, many of them may have, and of course sitting at a coffee shop in the burbs at 11am is probably not the best place to hang with fitness geeks like me, but seriously?
Whatever issues you have: stress, stomach problems, insomnia, IBS, headaches, back problems, anything; it is because of poor choices you have made in your lifestyle. Go ahead and blame it on anything you'd like, but I can pretty much guarantee you that if you take a little time, you'll be able to trace it all back to YOU. And when you're sitting on your couch, eating take out, or snacks, or desert or whatever, soaking in all the insanity TV has to offer you each and every night, perhaps a little spark can light up somewhere inside of you that says "right now I am getting sick". Maybe tomorrow night when you're done with work you can go outside, no matter what the weather is like; you can grill dinner over an open flame no matter how long it might take; you can sweat a little and get an elevated heart rate no matter how tired or overwhelmed you might be? Perhaps tomorrow night you can decide that you are going to be a little healthier than last night, and that the next night a little healthier. Perhaps you can take a few of you're precious moments to learn a little about what is really good for you and what is really bad for you. Perhaps you can feel better than you do right now...
Or will you have an excuse not to?
Never Stop, GET FIT.
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