What I've Been Thinking About
This summer brought on some crazy times and I got caught up in some negativity. The schedule was packed, I said yes to too many work obligations, we had a zoning hearing and my bank account was hacked by some scammers who did some serious damage. Because of this, I found myself whining and/or complaining a little too much for my liking.
Then, I came across a women named Yeonmi Park and my perspective changed. This women escaped North Korea and after hearing about what she experienced in her life, I realized that it ain't so bad over here in America. In addition, I heard a few stories this week about people that I know or who are friends of friends that are experiencing some hard times. I spoke with a high school kid who had a tumor when he was four and during surgery suffered a stroke. Currently, half of his body doesn't really work. Or how about the person who is battling a deadly disease or struggling with other life threatening behaviors and I realized that some of the trivial matters that I found myself complaining about pale in comparison. Perspective is key and something I hope to not lose track of again!
What I've Been Listening To
An interview with Jason Wilson on the Joe Rogan Experience.
A few years ago a video of Jason Wilson instructing one of his 9 year old students went viral. In it, a young boy started crying because he was struggling with his test. Wilson knelt next to him and told him it is ok to cry, it is ok to feel these emotions, tests are hard, challenges are hard, life is hard, but you can get through this. (I am paraphrasing, click here to watch it for yourself: It's Okay to Cry)
His messaging is beautiful and it was one of my favorite interviews in recent memory. He also authored two books which I look forward to reading in the near future. He is transparent about his own struggles personally as well as being a coach, father, and friend. His teachings through the use of martial arts has led to great success as his facility currently has a wait list of over 500!
To listen to the full interview, click here: JRE episode with Jason Wilson
As you take a look at your calendar for the year, understand there will be periods of time where you can crank it up and really get after it and other times when your training time will be limited and your options are minimal. For accountants, it will be during tax season. For teachers, it will be when school starts or during finals and for a high school football coach like myself, it will be during double sessions.
In years past, I would follow the principles outlined in the 40 Day Program to build strength with minimal time commitment but this year I decided to do something different. We can call this program the 3 x 3 x 3 program. Twice a week, I will be performing three exercises for three sets of three. To warmup, I follow Knees Over Toes guy on Instagram and hit a few of his exercises to get the blood pumping and work on some problem areas. Then, I perform three highly demanding lifts (Snatch, Clean, and Front Squat) for 3 sets of 3. It may not sound like much but this workout wipes me out and tends to leave me a little sore the following day!
In between sets I do a few mobility exercises for the upper body to maximize time and at the end of the session, I hang from the pullup bar for 30 seconds and then perform a pullup and perform some isometric rows (called Bat Wings by some). Depending on time, I will do a few sets of these and then head to work or practice. On the five other days that I do not lift, I try to walk or sneak in a short and quick kettlebell workout to get the heart rate elevated.
The Perks of Being a Bastard... according to da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci was born to parents who were unwed. This, by definition, led him to be referred to as a bastard. His mother was the mistress of a somewhat prominent figure in the local community. This was not uncommon as cultural historian Jacob Burckhardt once dubbed Renaissance Italy, "a golden age for bastards".
During this time, the first born son would follow in his fathers footsteps. For Leonardo, if he was a legitimate child, he would have taken over his fathers notary business. Because of his illegitimacy, he was free to explore. He didn't have to follow the cultural norms and he was able to carve out a career exploring and experimenting with more than just creating beautiful art. His relentless curiosity led him to become someone that is spoken of centuries after his death. That is quite an accomplishment, one in which I do not believe would have been achieved at the family notary!
Quote of the Week
"It is better to be a warrior in a garden, than a gardener in war" -- Chinese Proverb