Are You NUCKING FUTS?

I just saw a brief news report which stated that John Daly, White House Chief of Staff, announced when it comes to controlling gasoline prices all options are on the table, including tapping into the United States’ strategic oil reserves. IS HE NUCKING FUTS?

We’re not at war and the current unrest in the Middle East can get a lot worse before it gets better. I sincerely hope that included in his “options” is asking the American people to start making some sacrifices by rethinking and making changes in their driving habits. For example, if everyone in the US drove 2 miles less per week, we would be saving 494,000,000 miles a week. That would save about 96,000,000 gallons of gasoline /month, based on the national avg MPG which rounds up to 20 miles per gallon.

At $3.30 a gallon, again a national avg, that would save over $3,000,000,000 (billion) dollars a month. So where is the call to action? Why don’t our leaders ask us to make such small sacrifices? It’s because US politics has become a popularity contest and most Americans are so short sighted, they can’t see past their own genitalia. 

Most everyone agrees, “We need change”. Just don’t do anything that changes me, affects what I’ve got, or what I think I’m “entitled” to. No one is entitled to anything! WAKE UP people! We have the right to pursue life, liberty and happiness; we don’t have any right to demand those things just because we live here.

If our leaders are afraid to do it, then we must get started by ourselves. Look around and see where you can make small sacrifices. Our ship is changing course. It’s time to get on board.

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…and Then There Was None!

A band of ice is all that remains of the original obstacle pile. Some of the icy snow I moved can be seen in the background between the car and the truck.

I almost don’t know what to say. IT’S DONE! I put in another 3 hours to finish today. Are things any different today from the day I started this? Definitely. My perspective has changed and I feel more empowered.

This process also helped me realize that you can be doing a lot, keeping yourself busy throughout the day and still not do what you need to do to get things moving in your life. I guess I’d call it ‘dynamic procrastination’. (Is that an oxymoron?)
As I was finishing up today another resident came up to me and asked me the question, “I’ve been watching you since you started dude… why are you doing this?” I told him about my quest for personal development and transformation, the blog and about starting a dialog with people.
He gave me that same funny, blank look that I’ve been getting from all the residents since I started. I haven’t met anyone here, where I live, that seems to understand the concept of personal fitness… challenging yourself to let go and overcome what’s in your way by taking personal responsibility for everything that’s happening to you.
I’m human, so I’m sure I’ll lose my way again at some point. I just hope I won’t need to move 30 tons of snow to get back on track again!
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Two Down…One to Go!

The pile on the right was reduced by half on Wednesday.

With freezing temps and my 20lb sledge I was able to eliminate 2 of the 3 sections chunk by chunk today.

The freezing temps and high winds that started overnight  turned the three sections of the pile into 3 huge blocks of ice. Today’s work was mainly done  by breaking the large sections  into manageable blocks of ice with my 20lb sledge hammer that I had to deadlift and then carry to the sides of the parking lot. Since I started this project the work has changed every day. Sometimes it’s mostly shovel and almost no carrying, sometimes it’s more hammer and carry. I attack the obstacle and reduce its size but I have to modify my approach to keep making progress. Is there a metaphor here? I think so.  Whether its working on the “obstacle pile” or dealing with internal obstacles, the same game plan won’t every day in every situation. Flexibility and a willingness to constantly adapt is key to success. Now, where have I heard that before?  

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Adaptation at the CrossRoad

The pile has been cut into 3 smaller piles. My sledge hammer stands @ the crossroad.

So now I’m experiencing something I never even considered would happen. ADAPTATION. That’s how situations and experiences that seem extremely difficult and challenging become more tolerable and ordinary. I suppose adaptation is part of the survival mechanism built into all human beings.

In exercise, I talk about the principle of adaptation to my clients all the time. Many people who fail at exercise never endure their initial discomfort long enough to adapt and overcome their feelings of wanting to give up. They just focus on how hard or painful the process is and just let it all go deciding, “This IS NOT for me!”
I went through that exact same scenario on Monday and again yesterday. I put in an hour and a half on Monday and after a long gym workout on Sunday I was very sore and my muscles, esp in my legs and hips, started to tighten up. The last thing I wanted to do was walk the 2 miles each way to work that late afternoon and evening. But I pushed through and did it anyway.
Then yesterday, wanting to complete the second cut through the pile, I worked at it for over 2 1/2 hours. Again I felt extreme discomfort and fatigue. But again, I pushed myself to walk to work. I stretched and used a foam roller and went to bed a little earlier and was surprised at how well I felt this morning. There were virtually no after effects from all that sledge hammer and shovel work and I realized this morning that I had turned a corner and am adapting to this hard work.
It’s still the same pile and the work is just as difficult, but I’m able to tolerate it because I’m adapting. It doesn’t feel anywhere near as overwhelming a task as it did when I started. I’m actually looking forward to going out to work on the pile because I can see its size diminishing and so I know my “obstacle” is disappearing as well. I’ve overcome the initial discomfort of dealing with my “obstacle pile” and have proven to myself that I can handle this kind of adversity. I may not like my internal struggles (which the pile represents)  or want them, but I can deal with it. More later…
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Take It on The Other Side

About halfway to splitting the “obstacle pile” into thirds. Three smaller piles instead of one big one!

So since yesterday was a gym day no work was done on the pile. But today I spent an hour and a half attacking it from the other side of the first breakthrough. My reasoning was that I wouldn’t have to walk as far with each shovelful, since most people were at work today and the closest parking spots were empty, giving me a clear, straight shot at the edge of the lot.

But after about a half hour it quickly became apparent to me that driving through the pile this way and making 3 smaller piles was an effective way to reduce the size of the obstacle and make it appear more manageable and less threatening or formidable.
Again, I learned something about living with and solving my internal struggles which this pile has come to represent. By chunking things down into smaller, more manageable pieces, dealing with the whole pile of obstacles becomes less stressful.
No concrete solutions have surfaced as of yet, but I have to say I feel as though I’m making progress. Each time I go out and work on the pile my perspective shifts a little… and isn’t that what it’s all about?
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BreakThrough!

After 3 1/2 hours of slow continuous work, I got all the way through the pile today.

I realized I have 2 allies helping me with this project… the sun and the rain. It rained for most of the day yesterday and that helped soften the first 4 feet of the pile. But even with that the inside of the pile, at the very bottom, still has pockets of soft snow that are untouched since the first snowfall we had after Christmas.

My other ally, the sun, softens the first foot or so of the pile and helps me get a good start in toward the bottom. The smaller mound on the left in the photo is mostly frozen slush from the last snowfall that the plow guy pushed up against the main pile on the right.

Originally I was only going to stay out for 2 hours, but as I got closer to completing the row I pushed myself to get all the way through. Is there a metaphor here? I think so.

LIKE THE RAIN AND THE SUN, I have allies that can help me and are helping me in other areas of my life. I admit though that sometimes I get so focused on what’s not happening, that I can’t see what actually is happening. Sometimes I don’t even realize my allies are allies… does that make sense? But either way, just like with the snow, I’m the one who’s got to ‘suck it up’ and keep going until I break through.

So tomorrow is a gym workout day and Monday it’s supposed to rain again. But first chance I get, I’ll be back at it again. Stay tuned and I’ll keep you posted.

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A Pile of Obstacles

My 'obstacles' manifested in one big pile... the arrow points to the 'dent' I made today.

The last few weeks I’ve been feeling really stuck. You know the drill. Nothing seems to be working for me. I can’t seem to get anything going. Everything I try seems to have no effect. On top of that it’s winter and I’m a little tired of the snow white landscape. Feeling a bit overwhelmed… yada yada yada.

Every day I pass this huge pile of snow in the parking lot. It’s 7 feet tall and about 6 cars can park around its bottom circumference. It’s so big, only one car can pass by it at a time. I keep thinking, “Man, this thing is really in the way!” Well, today I decided to start removing the obstacle from the parking lot. So I broke out my snow shovel and a 20 lb sledge hammer ( there’s 6-10 inches of solid ice at the bottom of the pile) and maybe, just maybe, doing this will help me remove the internal obstacles I’ve been dealing with.

If nothing else I’ll be making it easier for people to get in and out of the lot and getting a little exercise as well. I’m sure this is going to take a while and I’ll be getting a little help from the rain that’s coming tomorrow and the warmer temps predicted for next week, but I’m determined to see this thing through to the end. I’m wondering if I can transfer my inner struggle to the physical struggle of removing this pile, one shovelful at a time. The property mgr. estimates that my ‘pile of obstacles’ weighs at least 30 tons. A gallon of water weighs almost 8 1/2 lbs. so I guess he could be correct. Anyway, stay tuned and I’ll keep y’all posted. 

It took 2 1/2 hours to make this dent in the 'obstacle pile'.

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Does Your Ass Need its Own Zip Code?

Hi there! Are you fat? Does your ass need its own zip code? If you’re not sure take a few photos. Don’t look at yourself in the mirror ’cause if you’re even slightly delusional about your weight and size you won’t really be seeing yourself. You’ll be looking through your denial and seeing your brain’s interpretation of what you look like. Take pictures from the front, back and sides and and remember to just “let it all hang out”. If you do this honestly you might be surprised (either way) at what you see in the photos. Next, check the circumference of your waist.

Most obesity specialists say women with a waist measurement of more than 35 inches or men with a waist measurement of more than 40 inches have a greater risk of developing obesity-related health problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease than people with smaller waist measurements. To measure waist circumference, place a tape measure around your bare abdomen, hold it parallel to the floor and place it just above your hip bone. Be sure that the tape is snug without compressing your skin. Relax and do not hold your breath as you read the measurement.

If your waist size is putting you at risk and you’re not planning on doing something about it, here are 3 changes you need to implement immediately:

  1. Cancel your retirement plans and divert at least half of all your savings, retirement accounts and other assets into a special account your health care providers can drain/access easily.
  2. Tell your family and friends to exclude you from any long range planning that requires your participation.
  3. Inform your boss of your selfish attitude about your increased health risks and refuse all promotions and increased responsibilities that may affect others at your business or cost the company thousands of dollars if/when you suddenly check out.

Now, go out and eat a whole pizza with extra cheese and enjoy your life… while you still have one.

http://the2030challenge.com/

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How’s Your Vehicle Running?

What kind of a vehicle are you driving? I’m not asking about the make or model; or if it’s a car or truck or SUV. I mean, are you driving a ‘clunker’? You know what I’m talking about. You’ve seen these vehicles. They’re dented or rusted or they haven’t been waxed in 5 years. They need an oil change, or new belts. Their anti-freeze needs to be changed, or the wheels need to be aligned and balanced. The tires might be worn past being safe. Maybe the interior is ripped up. The floor mats are worn, if they even have mats. They’re probably running on cheap fuel too, so the engine knocks and doesn’t produce optimal power.

The point is whether it’s regular preventive maintenance or keeping up with occasional repairs, this vehicle needs work. But as long as it’s still running and gets the owners where they want to go, they just don’t bother to invest in the proper upkeep. Is this you? I’m not really asking about your motor vehicle, I’m talking about your ‘ life vehicle’.

Your body is the vehicle you use to negotiate the twists and turns of life. Is your life vehicle well maintained or are you driving a clunker? Are you fat? How’s your endurance? Can you walk several miles without fatigue or low back pain? Are you giving your life vehicle the proper fuel or are you using the “cheap stuff”? Do you move through the three planes of human movement and utilize the primal movement patterns throughout the day, or do you sit on your ass for hours in front of a computer monitor? Do you even know what the patterns are or how the body is supposed to be moved for optimal health and power output?

Can you basically just get up and do whatever you want, whenever you want, with whoever you want, for as long as you want or are you defined by your “issues, conditions, limitations and medications”? Your body is a precious gift that too many of you take for granted. You abuse it to death, literally, and rarely use it to it’s fullest potential. YOU JUST DON’T GET IT!

If you wouldn’t be comfortable driving down the street in a motorized clunker, then make sure the ‘life vehicle’ that gets out of it can’t be called a clunker either. If you want to learn more, get in touch with me at:

http://the2030challenge.com/

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Why Don’t More People Do It?

My formal fitness training began in 1973. For the past 38 years I’ve wondered: if exercise and healthier food choices have so many benefits, why don’t more people get involved? At first I figured that people were just lazy and there was no urgency about making a change. I mean, heck, the body is so resilient, it literally takes years before the slow, steady decline caused by poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle becomes obvious. But then I realied that with Americans spending well over 4 and a half billion dollars a year on just 3 OTC product categories (digestive aids, elimination aids and internal analgesics) there was something else going on. Imagine! Four and a half billion on Pepto Bismol and Advil!

Then it dawned on me! The people who own and work at the companies that produce these OTC meds need you to embrace your declining health and fitness. They need you to make your dysfunctions and poor health a way of living so you’ll continue spending money on their products. After all, the workers at these companies make their car payments and put food on the table because you keep buying the products their companies produce. And the “higher ups” and owners need your money to pay for expensive cars, vacations, schools for their children and perhaps a second or third home. There’s no way they could maintain their lifestyle if their profits were cut in half by a healthier population that didn’t use/need their products anymore.

Suddenly, it all became crystal clear. Americans, who are by nature sincere, generous and supportive people continue to pursue declining health as a lifestyle because they realize how many health care providers, OTC drug companies, pharmaceutical companies and health care facilities rely on and profit from their decline. These Americans selflessly sacrifice their quality of life, sometimes driving themselves to the point of bankruptcy, to maintain their unhealthy relationships. They don’t need to eat well or exercise to feel better. By wasting money on the same products for decades, they know they’re making a contribution. It’s as good as giving to their favorite charity. So I’ve decided to stop pushing personal fitness and support their pursuit of poor health as a way of life.

I get it now. You may feel miserable because your quality of life is suffering, but one look at the expensive cars and vacation homes you’re buying for others and you instantly feel better… don’t you?

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