What I've Been Thinking About...
Early education teachers are something special!
This past week we got to check out our daughters kindergarten classroom and meet her teacher for next year. She was amazing and we feel pretty fortunate that we found a school with such incredible people teaching. After giving us a rundown on their day to day activities, she opened the floor for questions and one of the parents raised their hand. The question asked involved conflict resolution and how they handle it with kids of their age. Some of the other parents nodded their head in agreement as this is a tricky situation for all parents, coaches or teachers.
According to the teacher, most kindergarten conflicts stem from lacking in one or two things: a voice and a choice. Kids get frustrated when they feel their voices are not being heard. I cannot blame them here. When you feel like people don't listen to you, it will lead to frustration and resentment. If not addressed, things can, and will, erupt. The same can be said when people feel they don't have a choice. Feeling stuck with no options is a terrible place to be but often times, there are other options out there, you just haven't found them out yet. If we learn to resolve these two issues (lacking voice & choice) then I believe most conflicts will go by the wayside, for kids and adults!
Fitness Tip of the Week
Last week I was doing some farm work and found myself to be extremely winded. The task I was doing was difficult but I thought my conditioning was a bit better than what was on display. Due to this unfortunate feedback (aka sucking wind while working), I decided to start implementing a change in my cardiovascular training. Enter the 4x4 Interval Program.
My favorite types of programs are the ones that practically have the directions in the name. The 4x4 program requires you to perform four-four minute intervals. It is simple in theory, but hard in practice. The benefits of this style of training is pretty remarkable. There are multiple studies that found that following this exact protocol will improve your VO2max which is your bodies ability to utilize oxygen while training. By doing this, not only will you improve sport performance but you will also increase the likelihood of living longer as there is a positive correlation between longevity and VO2max. Sounds like a win win to me!
Here is how we do it...
I begin each session with walking for about 10 minutes in an effort to warmup. Once the 10 minutes is complete, you begin to run the first of your four intervals. The pace for this is pretty fast as you want to be moving anywhere between 80-95% of your maximum heart rate (MHR). To find MHR, take 220 and deduct your age from that number. For a 40 year old, the equation would look like this 220-40 (age) = 180 (MHR). Your pace would be between 80-95% of 180 (MHR) which equals 144 bpm and 171 bpm. This is a fast pace, one in which you cannot carry a conversation at. Once the four minutes is up, you then walk or slow jog for three minutes to allow your heart rate to return to about 70% MHR (126 bpm). Repeat this for four total reps and then cooldown. Give yourself about 45 minutes to complete.
Keep in mind, it is not about what you choose to do for the interval but rather the intensity at which you work. The heart and lungs don't care if you use a bike, stair-climber or elliptical. All they know is that they are being stressed with physical activity and that is exactly what we are looking for.
A Winning Mindset
Carol Dweck is a psychologist, professor and author of a great book titled Mindset. In it, she discusses the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. To define these simply, the fixed mindset believes that things like intelligence, skill and talent are innate. You either have it or you don’t. On the other hand, the growth mindset believes that your current state is just a starting point. It believes that the abilities that you have are not set in stone and that with hard work, things like intelligence, skill and talent can be improved. In her research, she has conducted numerous studies on the topic of mindset and below, I share one that had me in disbelief!
The study began with a test that every student took. These tests were graded and it was fairly simple. One half of the class was praised for their intelligence and the other half was praised for their effort. In the end, everyone was feeling good about themselves as they scored pretty well on it and were ready for whatever the teacher had in store for them. Then things began to get interesting…
To continue reading, click the following link to read my latest article titled: A Winning Mindset
What I've Been Reading...
Animal Farm by George Orwell
This is the book that got me on the Orwell bandwagon a few years ago. I really enjoy satire and this book fits it to a T. Orwell creates a world where farm animals decide that their living conditions are poor. After listening to the elder animal on the farm share his dream for the future, they decide to lead a rebellion and overthrow the owner. It is the animals hope to create a society where they can be equal, free, and happy. Ultimately, the ideals that led to the rebellion get betrayed under the dictatorship of a pig and the farm ends up in a state as bad as it was before. Unfortunately for these poor animals, not all revolutions have a happy ending!
According the Orwell, this book satirizes the events leading up to the Russian Revolution of 1917 and then on into the Stalinist era of the Soviet Union.
Quote of the Week
"Satire is tragedy plus time. You give it enough time, the public, the reviewers will allow you to satirize it. Which is rather ridiculous, when you think about it." -- Lenny Bruce
I hope you all have an awesome week!