Dan John: Wandering Weights, Issue # 225

Wandering Weights
Our Epic Journey Through All Things Heavy, Issue # 225

New from OTPbooks.com:Greg Dea: Feedback and Cueing – Reliable Strategies, in which Greg details his favorite visual, verbal and tactile cues, including examples of scientifically reliable and valid feedback strategies.

I ask for very little. I am doing very well, I travel a lot, I have a wonderful family and I have more than enough quality people to call “friend.” Recently, I asked for help with finding a book and one of our readers, Rick Stevens sent his copy. A few weeks later, I asked for help with another book…and Rick sent that book, too.
That’s why I love our community. When something goes wrong for someone on our Q and A Forum, the response is overwhelmingly positive and helpful.
Three to five times a week, I walk into Epic Fitness here in Salt Lake City and meet up with Ben Fogel. I am not sure when we met, but like Dick Notmeyer and Buddy Walker, I trust him training my “body.” (I was going to say something like “This Machine” with lots of exclamation points, but…). Then, we go to work.
Ben has a “side story.” I asked him to share his story for this week’s WW:

It is an honor for me to announce that I have been nominated as a candidate for the 2019 Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) Man & Woman of the Year Campaign.  I am writing today to ask for your support of my efforts to help LLS find a cure for blood cancers and to assist patients and their families as they battle this disease.
Back in 2015, I was struck with the news of having a very rare form of leukemia (Large granular lymphocytic leukemia, or LGLL).  As a new father of two boys, a business owner, and an Olympic hopeful, this diagnosis changed my life in every way imaginable.
LGL leukemia is a rare form of blood cancer, with fewer than 1,000 new cases diagnosed in the U.S. each year.  The LGL cells become “clonal” which means too many LGL cells form in the blood.  These cells copy themselves and attack your bone marrow and joints.  Because it is so rare, doctors often overlook or misdiagnose the disease.
For almost the entire first year of fighting this disease, my doctors tried multiple types of chemotherapies that were not able to target the specific cell type of this leukemia.  I was able to use a targeted oral chemotherapy during my second year of treatment that turned things around for me, and that has now led me to almost two years of being in remission.
The overwhelming support from the LLS, and all of the resources they offered to me and my family, made a huge difference in my road to recovery.  There is currently still no cure to LGL leukemia, and it is one of my goals to help raise money to find a cure for this rare type of blood cancer.  My mission during this campaign is to make this type of extraordinary success with my treatment become ordinary for every person diagnosed with a blood cancer.
The important research that LLS is funding would never happen without amazing campaigns like this one that help raise money and awareness to a very specific cause – to end all blood cancers.  Every dollar we raise counts as one vote, and that is a vote that will lead to groundbreaking treatments – such as chemotherapy, radiation and stem cell transplantation – that are vital to treating blood cancers and many other forms of cancer.  My goal during this 10-week campaign from Tuesday, March 5th – Saturday, May 18th, 2019 is to capture the most votes and become The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Man of the Year.  I am asking you to join me in this ambitious campaign. 
You can cast your vote and make a tax-deductible contribution here.
Also, If you would like to make a contribution with a check, please make it payable to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and write BEN FOGEL in the memo section, and mail to Ben Fogel, PO Box 902188, Sandy, UT 84090.

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Tiffini and I obviously are huge fans (and donors); please consider joining us to help. I spent a wonderful weekend in NYC with Tiff and we caught Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. On the flight out, I opened my bag to grab a power cord and my seatmate noted that my bag was the most organized thing he had ever seen. I mentioned this in last week’s WW and, as I was looking for an old document, I found this list:
Travel Checklist
Ultralite Bag
Eddie Bauer Backpack
Glasses Pouch (Sun and Reading)
Bags with extra coffee, Crystal Lite, sauces.
Bag with toothpaste, armpit juice, floss sticks
Aspirin bag with Dayquil or whatever.
Fish oil, Vitamin D,
“Three Polo Shirt” Idea
Ex Officio Shorts, socks and tops
IPhone, two earphones, power cords, computer
A book!!! Hobbit???
It makes me smile now as I have 16 of those “three polo shirts” now. Let’s pop around and see what I came up with on the web this week:
This article is nothing new under the sun, but point two resounded with me.


To start decluttering your mind of its endless to-do lists, Carroll recommends grabbing a notebook and pen and following these steps:
1. Create a mental inventory. Carroll says, “Write down the things that you need to do, the things that you should be doing, and the things that you want to do.”
2. Consider why you’re doing each of these things. “You don’t have to dive down some existential rabbit hole,” he says — just be mindful of why you’re doing the things you do. “We burden ourselves with unnecessary responsibilities all the time,” says Carroll. “We’re so distracted by all the things we should be doing and could be doing, but we completely forget to ask ourselves … ‘‘Do I even want to be doing those things?’”
3. For every item on your list, ask two questions: “Is it vital?” and “Does it matter to me or someone I love?” Carroll says, “If your answer is no to both of those, you’ve just identified a distraction, and you can cross it off your list. For every item you cross off your list, you’re becoming less and less distracted.”
4. Take what’s left, and divvy it up. By now, your inventory will consist of vital things (such as paying bills and shopping for groceries) and things that matter. Of the latter, Carroll recommends taking anything that matters but you haven’t done yet (or you’ve made little headway with) and breaking it into small, actionable projects.

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I thought this was inspiring. I had dinner with an old friend last week and we discussed how there is a vacuum in modern education (we focused on the lack of reading and basic manners), but this article moves into the area of food.


After a few more years of trying unsuccessfully to treat Shicowich’s diabetes, his doctor recommended that he try a new program designed to help patients like him. Launched in 2017 by the Geisinger Health System at one of its community hospitals, the Fresh Food Farmacy provides healthy foods–heavy on fruits, vegetables, lean meats and low-sodium options–to patients in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, and teaches them how to incorporate those foods into their daily diet. Each week, Shicowich, who lives below the federal poverty line and is food-insecure, picks up recipes and free groceries from the Farmacy’s food bank and has his nutrition questions answered and blood sugar monitored by the dietitians and health care managers assigned to the Farmacy. In the year and a half since he joined the program, Shicowich has lost 60 lb., and his A1C level, a measure of his blood sugar, has dropped from 10.9 to 6.9, which means he still has diabetes but it’s out of the dangerous range. “It’s a major, major difference from where I started from,” he says. “It’s been a life-changing, lifesaving program for me.”

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This article picks up on the general principle here, but if all you have is junk food and what I call “beige food,” it’s going to be hard to use intuition.


In that way, intuitive eating is just about as grassroots as a food ideology can get. Tribole and Resch sell their books and do trainings for other health professionals, but otherwise the method has no marketable products or services. You can read all about it online for free, including all of the important principles that make it possible to practice on your own. There are no meal plans, no nutritional shakes, no branded food-storage systems, no frozen dinners in your grocery store. In the end, the goal is to stop paying the professionals who might have introduced you to the idea. “Once you get it, you get it,” Bahr says. “You don’t have to do therapy and meet with a dietitian for the rest of your life.”
That’s not to say that intuitive eating is a guaranteed way to lose weight or fix whatever you think is physically wrong with you. “If any health professional or coach or Instagram influencer says you can lose weight with intuitive eating, run away,” Tribole says. “No one can tell you what’s going to happen to your body, including me.” It all depends on where you already are relative to your body’s natural weight, which might or might not match up with traditional notions of what a “healthy” weight would be for your height.
Preliminary studies have found intuitive eating less effective for very short-term weight loss than traditionally restrictive diets. But research has also found that it can improve body image in young women, and that mindfulness practices such as meditation, which (like intuitive eating) are intended to better attune people to their bodies, are effective ways to mediate binge- and emotional-eating tendencies.

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Wait…I thought Merlyn transported these stones?


Because the rocks are from the north side of Preseli Hills, the researchers think it’s more likely the massive stones were dragged over land from Wales to England, rather than transported on river tributaries located near the south side.
It’s also possible the rocks were first used to build a stone circle in the local area before being paraded to the Salisbury plains, according to the article in the journal, Antiquity.
Archeologists now want to focus on the prehistoric connections between early people in the Preseli Hills and the English plains to the east, Pollard said. The team is also hoping to get access to the buried stumps at Stonehenge to confirm their origins.
“It remains one of the most remarkable instances of long-distance movement of megaliths in the ancient world, yet was curiously under-studied,” Pollard said. “I’m sure we’ll be back.”

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I finally have a bit of a break and I will be home for a few weeks [Editor’s note: This is where the world sees Dan accidentally committing to record his new book for Audible next week ~ Laree]. I need this. I need to really focus on my rehab and my general training.

So, until next week, join me as we keep on lifting and learning.

The story of the origin and evolution of Dan’s Hip Displacement Continuum will give you the understanding you need to move powerfully in a much simpler, safer and sounder way.

The Sword in the Stone, Part 81

The last stalk might have been a nightmare, but to the Wart it was heavenly. Suddenly he found himself filled with an exaltation of night, and felt that he was bodiless, silent, transported. He felt that he could have walked upon a feeding rabbit and caught her up by the ears, furry and kicking, before she knew of his presence. He felt that he could have run between the legs of the men on either side of him, or taken their bright daggers from their sheaths, while they still moved on undreaming. The passion of nocturnal secrecy was a wine in his blood. He really was small and young enough to move as secretly as the warriors. Their age and weight made them lumber, in spite of all their woodcraft, and his youth and lightness made him mobile, in spite of his lack of it.
It was an easy stalk, except for its danger. The bushes thinned and the sounding bracken grew rarely in the swampy earth, so that they could move three times as fast. They went in a dream, unguided by owl’s hoot or bat’s squeak, but only kept together by the necessary pace which the sleeping forest imposed upon them. Some of them were fearful, some revengeful for their comrade, some, as it were, disbodied in the sleep-walk of their stealth.
They had hardly crept for twenty minutes when Maid Marian paused in her tracks. She pointed to the left.
Neither of the boys had read the book of Sir John de Mandeville, so they did not know that a griffin was eight times larger than a lion. Now, looking to the left in the silent gloom of night, they saw cut out against the sky and against the stars something which they never would have believed possible. It was a young male griffin in its first plumage.
The front end, and down to the forelegs and shoulders, was like a huge falcon. The Persian beak, the long wings in which the first primary was the longest, and the mighty talons: all were the same, but, as Mandeville observed, the whole eight times bigger than a lion. Behind the shoulders, a change began to take place. Where an ordinary falcon or eagle would content itself with the twelve feathers of its tail, Falco leonis serpentis began to grow the leonine body and the hind legs of the beast of Africa, and after that a snake’s tail. The boys saw, twenty-four feet high in the mysterious night-light of the moon, and with its sleeping head bowed upon its breast so that the wicked beak lay on the breast feathers, an authentic griffin that was better worth seeing than a hundred condors. They drew their breath through their teeth and for the moment hurried secretly on, storing the majestic vision of terror in the chambers of remembrance.

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I’ve had this sensation before: “It was an easy stalk, except for its danger.” Wart is, in a modern phrase, “getting high” on the adventure. White’s description here, “wine in his blood,” artfully draws us both the forest, the raiders and the inner monologue of Arthur. There are times when White’s writing transports us deep into the story.
When I first read this, I was envious of Wart. I would have loved this night woodcraft.
And, then, the Griffin (Griffon or Gryphon are both correct, too. Since Wart may have not read Mandeville, I insist that we do:
In that country be many griffins, more plenty than in any other country. Some men say that they have the body upward as an eagle and beneath as a lion; and truly they say sooth, that they be of that shape. But one griffin hath the body more greatand is more strong than eight lions, of such lions as be on this half, and more great and stronger than an hundred eagles such as we have amongst us. For one griffin there will bear, flying to his nest, a great horse, if he may find him at the point, or two oxen yoked together as they go at the plough. For he hath his talons so long and so large and great upon his feet, as though they were horns of great oxen or of bugles or of kine, so that men make cups of them to drink of. And of their ribs and of the pens of their wings, men make bows, full strong, to shoot with arrows and quarrels. ~ Sir John Mandeville
Griffins were said to lay eggs and these nests contained gold nuggets, so some readers may know the color gold as associated with griffins. “Auric” is often used in relationship to gold; Goldfinger’s villain is one of the best named bad guys in history “Auric Goldfinger.”
The French soften “auric” into “or.” And, as an Harry Potter geek (like me) knows that Harry belongs to Gryffindor. It’s a variation of French griffon d’or (“golden griffon”).
I am no longer amazed when I find parallels between Wart and Harry.


How can you balance the strength gains of traditional training with the mobility that comes with functional training? Chuck Wolf works through the layers of blending traditional training with integrated training.