What I've Been Thinking About...
On Tuesday night I was at my daughters gymnastics class and while chatting with a few parents, a young kid worked his way in between us and started talking. The conversation begins with him telling me about his sister being in the gymnastics room, how old he was (8 years old), how much he enjoys swimming, his thoughts on video games and more. While discussing his love for video games he mentioned the game Minecraft. I told him I wasn't much of a gamer but he continued on the subject and mentioned that he also liked shooter games. I asked him why and he responded, "I want to see what it is like killing someone".
Those are strong words no matter who delivers them but when it is out of the mouth of an 8 year old, it really makes you wonder. As I was thinking about this conversation I couldn't help thinking about how what we consume effects our brain. When I was younger listening to gangster rap, I did not think the lyrics of that style of music would effect my opinion or thoughts much. Turns out, I was wrong. Those lyrics didn't lead me to commit violence or rob someone but it did kind of desensitize that type of behavior. I think the same is true for video games. If you take in negative stories or surround yourself with negative people, those traits will start to rub off on you. The inverse of that is also true. If you surround yourself with goodness and positivity, your life will be better. I can promise you that!
Fitness Tip of the Week
If you are anything like me, sometimes you just have a need for speed!
There may come a time in your life when you have to move fast. It could be running towards a situation to lend a helping hand or running away from danger in an effort to stay safe. Either way, what gets trained gets improved. Adding speed training into your current program is a fun way to improve your health and increase your capacity to be useful if the situation presents itself. Before embarking on this journey, keep one thing in mind: everything you do prepares the body for what is coming next. Take the necessary time to get your body ready for sprints by slowly adding intensity and reps each week. If you rush this, you will experience problems. It could be extremely sore muscles, a hamstring strain, a back tweak or something worse!
I broke all of this down in a video Speed Training Past your Prime! where I use a whiteboard to explain some of the drills. I would recommend watching it if you embark on this sprint journey. If you do not end up watching it, here is how I would implement it:
Lest Innocent Blood Be Shed by Philip Hallie
I first caught wind of the story of Le Chambon in Malcolm Gladwells book "David and Goliath", which I would consider a must read. I would also add Lest Innocent Blood be Shed to that same list!
It is not often that my expectations are blown away from a book but this Philip Hallie book has done it. I am kind of obsessed with the story and have been maniacally taking notes. Here is how the book is described: "During the most terrible years of World War II, when inhumanity and political insanity held most of the world in their grip and the Nazi domination of Europe seemed irrevocable and unchallenged, a miraculous event took place in a small Protestant town in southern France called Le Chambon."
This book is an incredible example of good beating evil through love, nonviolence, and taking care of their fellow humans.
One of Them vs One of Us...
In the aforementioned book, the residents of Le Chambon experienced something that still shows it ugly head in present time. There was a hard line in those days of the war for some people between "one of us" and "others". Some people felt they had a moral obligation to help only "one of us". This would mean that a non-Jewish European would refuse to aid a Jewish refugee due to the fact that they were not "one of us" and helping them would put them, and their family in danger.
The pastor in town Andre Trocme and his wife Magda did not agree with that line of thinking. They decided they would take care of anyone who walked to their door. If there was someone in need, they would try to fulfill that need, to the point that Magda fed the Nazi policemen who arrested her husband because they looked hungry. They were truly unique people.
The title for the book was taken from a Bible passage: "Lest innocent blood be shed in your land...and so guilt of bloodshed be upon you". They felt if evil was going to be done in their community, and they did nothing about it, then the would be complicit and just as guilty as those who committed the act. They followed their conscience and did what they felt was necessary.
Quote of the Week
"And in every one of us, there's a war going on. It's a civil war. I don't care who you are, I don't care where you live, there is a civil war going on in your life. And every time you set out to be good, there's something pulling on you, telling you to be evil." -- Martin Luther King Jr.
I hope you all have an awesome week!