What I've Been Thinking About...
I was a party recently and while snacking on some food, a life long friend came over and said, "Still doing the health thing I see". I responded with, "yes, I believe I am". Then they said, "it's practically your lifestyle at this point, right?" I said, "yes, I believe it is". They then went on to criticize the food choices they were making and moved on to converse with someone else.
Some of these people were friends with me for most of my life. They remember post-high school Chris as being a bit of a mess in regards to his health. He ate whatever, drank whatever and exercised in a way that wasn't always conducive to being fit. This was a path to slow destruction of my over well-being. The question of "how much do you bench?" was more important than "how big is your waist?" It took years to even get to the point of deciding to get healthier and the combination of a life altering experience (the death of my brother) and meeting the right person (that is you Marisa if you are reading this) finally got me on the right path.
So what am I getting at with all this? Life is a journey and each year, if you can make it a little more enjoyable, you are doing something right. Old School Chris had a lot to learn and over the years, he started experimenting with different habits. He threw out what didn't work for his lifestyle and kept what did. Over the years, this slow and steady approach has led to some drastic changes in mind and body. Small, incremental change can be a very powerful tool. So powerful that people who haven't seen you in 10 years don't recognize the person you have become...hopefully for the better!
Fitness Tip of the Week
A great way to maximize time and work on all areas of training is to create a mini-circuit or tri-set that includes the following three things: Mobility, Carries and Strength. Lets discuss how to build this program. Lets say you are going to do a pushup. What is involved in performing this act? Chest and shoulders. So, before doing your set of pushups, you perform a stretch that will help loosed those muscles to ensure proper form. Then you pick up a weight and carry it overhead to wake up the shoulder stabilizers and get your trunk warm and ready for action. Then, you perform the pushup. Lets say you are doing 3 sets of 8. Prior to each set, you perform the mobility and the carry. Same concepts for the lower body. Mobility to get loose, sled to get the muscles firing, strength move to get jacked!
These three tenants support every day life. We want to get up off the floor or out of bed with no discomfort. How do we do that? By staying supple. We want to be able to carry our kid or move a couch with friends without injuring ourselves. How do we do that? By carrying or pushing/dragging sleds for distance. Lastly, we want to fight father time by building and maintaining lean muscle. How do we do that? By performing strength exercises.
David & Goliath and Parenting
One of my favorite books ever written is Malcolm Gladwell's David & Goliath. I realize I must reference this book often as I ran into an old friend in Easton a few weeks ago and he said, "I read one of the books you mentioned in your newsletter". I asked which one and his response was "David and Goliath". The premise of this book is about how perceived advantages are not really advantages at all. In Goliath's case, he was a huge individual weighed down by armor and heavy weaponry. David was able to strike him at a distance because he was a skilled marksmen and was able to be fleet of foot. The size and armor meant nothing in this battle and actually was a hindrance for Goliath (RIP).
I was talking with a friend recently who was sharing a story about their child's school experience. While there, the kid gets wrapped up in certain tasks and when it is time to switch and transition to something else, they are in such a zone that they block everything else out, including the teacher talking the them. This leads to child being described as "doesn't listen" (perceived disadvantage) which to me is a bit harsh, unfair and short sighted. As I think about the big picture, a child who has the ability to focus on something with such intensity may actually be a gift. As the child grows in a world filled with endless distractions, this ability will serve them very well so long as what they find interest in serves humanity.
What I've Been Listening...
I have been listening to interviews with Gabor Mate, a physician and author that specializes in trauma, addiction, stress and childhood development, and each time my mind is blown. In conversations with both Tim Ferriss and Joe Rogan, the role of early childhood treatment and development is greatly emphasized. He even goes so far to say that the stress in a pregnant mothers life will greatly effect how that child perceives the world. Imagine a pregnant mother in an abusive relationship, or in his case, trying to evade the Nazi's, and the amount of stress hormones being released to the body and to the womb. That fight or flight response being constantly activated will impact how that child manages their feelings and their response to stressors as they go through their life.
Hearing it from him will do more justice than me writing about it but I will say this: if you are a parent, everything you do matters. How you talk to your spouse matters. How you handle a crying child matters. Where your child sleeps in the early stages of life matters. How you respond to conflict matters. It all matters. This parenting thing is no joke!
Quote of the Week
"If we learn nothing else from this tragedy, we learn that life is short and there is no time for hate" -Sandy Dahl, wife of Flight 93 pilot Jason Dahl who lost his life on September 11th
I hope you all have an awesome week!