Dan John: Wandering Weights, Our Epic Journey Through All Things Heavy, Issue # 32
I always carry a handkerchief on Father’s Day. Maybe one day I'll tell the story. But I always wish both my mother and father would have lived long enough to see my kids and my career path. If you'd enjoy some fine reading related to fathers, here you go:
"'Your father was here when the flag went up, and you're here as the flag comes down,' Allen Bishop observes in his empty office. The acting charge d'affaires, himself a veteran eight and a half years in the Corps, explains in somewhat subdued fashion that the embassy is closing at the end of the week, the victim of budget cuts mandated by the Bush administration: The president who had campaigned on his war record had authorized the closing of the embassy on the island where the marines had won the Pacific War.
"'I hope we can reestablish the embassy,' Bishop tells me. 'They're a very pro-American people.'”
The whole story is illuminating.
Let’s honor our fathers with some success. James Marshall sent this link, explaining that he gets 90% success with it. This sums it:
“I mentioned earlier that it is easy to fill out a form online, but much harder to do the underlying work.
"That is why at every squad session we do a group run or circuit: it keeps everyone honest. I keep my mouth shut, and the rankings speak for themselves. On January 2nd we did a run on Frank Clarke's Hill in Willand, which is pretty steep. This was the toughest thing some of them had ever done. Others were unable to run more than 50m up the hill without walking…
"We are now in the situation where 80% of the squad members are really trying to get better.
"There is a work ethic within the squad, and I get asked good questions about how they can improve their golf fitness.
"We have a few more sessions left, but already this year we have made further progress than last year.”
In case you're losing focus lately, here are 12 “secrets” to help push you through.
“This one’s tough, but it’s crucial when you need to get down to business. Like an athlete, your brain adapts and expands as a result of its training, so if you’re constantly pivoting from one activity to the next, your brain will grow accustomed to being interrupted, and as such, have a harder time honing in on one activity.”
James Clear has been amazing recently. I thought this was brilliant not just for the point, but also for the story about studying the fish.
“Pick any industry of life and you’ll find that very few people actually do the work.
"Rather than read the original study, most people cite the headline from a secondary source. Rather than spend 100 hours observing every detail of a fish, most biology students would look up the description of the fish online. When most people say, 'I read an article on climate change,' what they really mean is, 'I read the title of an article on climate change.'
"This is exactly why doing the boring work more consistently is actually a competitive advantage. Ignore the expert advice and pay attention to what gets results for you.
"Look, and see for yourself.”
Study the fish. James then followed up with a story about one of the greats in our history…and the need for front squats!
“So many of the problems I have run into as an entrepreneur, as a writer, and as an athlete have been because I have tried to grow too fast. I was so focused on getting a particular result that I ignored the fundamental habits that would have made my growth sustainable.
"Fast growth forces you into a higher cost environment and if you don’t have the systems and ability to handle those costs, you’ll end up paying for it.”
If you choose to keep overdoing it, there's a cost. I found this whole concept of overtraining eye opening.
“Being away from running forced Wolfe to reassess what the sport that had defined his life for nearly a decade may have done to him. If nothing else, he wants to recover the passion that attracted him to running in the first place—the simple joy of a long, grueling adventure in the mountains. 'I found that when I’m ground down to a fine dust physically, my mental excitement and passion for running dwindles,' he says. 'I tried so hard to maintain my stoke, but it just wasn’t there.' Finding it again would be the mark of full recovery.”
You can push yourself into a long funk, or you can train with some kind of plan.
Sadly, this article wastes our time on Crossfit. When Fred Hatfield speaks on training laws, let him talk. But, these seven laws are worthy of being put up on the wall.
Frankly, I don’t understand this obsession that Breaking Muscle has with these segues into Crossfit. It’s like those old Bigger-Faster-Stronger videos knocking on Nautilus training. Enough is enough.
“Pavel Tsatsouline calls this principle 'greasing the groove.' If we want to get better at something, we must do that something. If we want to get better at pull ups, do pull ups. Although leg presses might generalize to the squat, the squat itself will build greater squat strength.
"This rule doesn’t indicate that we shouldn’t do ancillary exercises. For example, we might want to work grip strength outside of the deadlift to better hang onto the bar. However, we don’t want to do only ancillary lifts as the main exercise benefits our neurological system the best.”
I've done a lot of interview coming off the recent release of Can You Go. (Do you have your copy yet?)
Bill Kociaba does a nice job steering me back to the point. Usually when I talk with Bill, my dog insists on joining in. This time you only hear a little clicking and tapping in the background as we cover a lot of ground:
- What category determines what you need
- Tiny habits by B. J. Fogg
- A sip of water
- Why can’t you stand on one foot for 10 seconds?
- It’s all about self awairness
- The1-2-3-4 assessment
- Finish the program
- Build upon your successes
- Food is food
- Take care of your teeth
- A, not A
- It’s not what you want it’s what you need
This interview with Ru went well, too.
Well, I am hot and sweaty at discus camp, but I go home soon, then off to Wales and London. Until next week, keep training and stay focused.
And carry a handkerchief.
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