Dan John: Wandering Weights, Our Epic Journey Through All Things Heavy, Issue # 7
This newsletter is beginning to get some traction. I had a nice email from one of our readers, Gregory Solomons, who added a sweet little reading on this idea of thinking double, or simply being comfortable with contradictions. In 1952, Noah S. “Soggy” Sweat, Jr., a member of the Mississippi House of Representatives, was asked about his position on whiskey. Here’s how he answered.
“If you mean whiskey, the devil’s brew, the poison scourge, the bloody monster that defiles innocence, dethrones reason, destroys the home, creates misery and poverty, yea, literally takes the bread from the mouths of little children; if you mean that evil drink that topples Christian men and women from the pinnacles of righteous and gracious living into the bottomless pit of degradation, shame, despair, helplessness, and hopelessness, then, my friend, I am opposed to it with every fiber of my being.
"However, if by whiskey you mean the oil of conversation, the philosophic wine, the elixir of life, the ale that is consumed when good fellows get together, that puts a song in their hearts and the warm glow of contentment in their eyes; if you mean Christmas cheer, the stimulating sip that puts a little spring in the step of an elderly gentleman on a frosty morning; if you mean that drink that enables man to magnify his joy, and to forget life’s great tragedies and heartbreaks and sorrow; if you mean that drink the sale of which pours into our treasuries untold millions of dollars each year, that provides tender care for our little crippled children, our blind, our deaf, our dumb, our pitifully aged and infirm, to build the finest highways, hospitals, universities, and community colleges in this nation, then my friend, I am absolutely, unequivocally in favor of it.
"This is my position, and as always, I refuse to compromise on matters of principle."
“I refuse to compromise on matters of principle” is an absolute truism in performance sports…unless something new emerges! I still remember those scientific papers that proved that Dick Fosbury’s high jump method was inferior to the straddle. Find me ONE elite jumper who doesn’t basically flop as Fosbury taught us. Part of our job in sport is to always remember that methods and principles might not stand up to the changing landscape in the field of play.
This list, 100 Lessons, really underscores the point. I don’t know much about the site, but take your time exploring it—it looks very smart. The material on the high jump is worth reading.
As a strength coach, I used tumbling as a central part of my extra conditioning, armor building, and injury prevention. I always tried to add free running, but I didn’t have anything other than the stuff you see in James Bond films. This is a good primer:Beginner's Guide to Parkour.
Any time you can build conditioning with some fun is a good thing. Obviously, you can go too far with anything, but a well rounded four-year program should have some of this free running.
I enjoy the television show called Forever. Its premise is about a doctor who continues to be reborn at age 35…every time he dies. It's a popular theme in science fiction and adolescent books. This article discusses a new movie coming out on the topic and some simple ways to stay young.
I agree with Woody Allen here: I want to achieve immortality by not dying.
My accountant gave me good advice a few years ago: Make as much money as you can. I still think it was the best financial advice I've ever received, right up there with save 10% of your income and own your own dwelling(s). Laree sent me this very interesting musing about the writing industry, and the lessons are just as true for any field. The idea that writing is hard is something very few seem to understand. If you put “coaching,” “training” or “elite performance” in the place of “writing” in this article, you'll see why I like it so much.
We've had some great discussions on intermittent fasting and its impact. Like everything in fitness, some have taken the idea way too far. I like this counter argument from Doctor Mike, someone I think we'll hear about a lot more in the future.
I'm becoming convinced, though, that after a certain age—let’s toss out 50 as a starting point—two meals a day might be right. Since we now train in the mornings, I've shifted to a brunch and a dinner, and that seems to work just great (plus striving to eat eight different vegetables each day). This article points out that I should stick to just breakfast and lunch, but, frankly, I can’t see it happening.
In my library, you'll find books that argue for one, two, three, five and six meals a day. Wait, I almost forgot: I have one that argues for three protein shakes and one meal. If you're looking for the next niche, here you go: seven meals a day.
I saw this article about kettlebells and throwers, and it reminded me of a workshop I gave in 2005. These are the notes, but the hands-on was about taking a kettlebell to the field to train between throws. I thought swings, cleans, presses and juggling were all a good idea between sets of throws. I still do.
I love the promise of the New Year. My “resolution” this year is to continue to declutter and reorganize one or two aspects of life each month. Like Earl Nightingale warned years ago: A little bit of thinking goes a long way. Happy New Year.
Use the code DJNY2014—here's a link to get you there.
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