Physical

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Don’t let Your Frog Boil

You all have heard about Boiled Frog Syndrome right?  Put a frog in a pan of boiling water and it jumps out immediately because of the immediate pain.  But put it in tepid water and slowly turn up the heat and the frog will cook to death because it won’t notice the gradual changes in temperature.  I’m not sure if it’s true, but The Syndrome is universally acknowledged as an analogy worth knowing.  You don’t want to be caught unaware that you’re boiling to death and one day wake up and your metaphorically-mixed goose is cooked.

I remember coming back from vacation one year.  We had purchased a new video recorder. We took videos of our young family frolicking in the surf, we were new parents with our little kiddies and “HOLY CRAP!!! Who’s THAT FAT TUB?!!!”  I couldn’t believe I had gained so much weight. We were in our 30’s and inactivity had snuck up on us. The busy days and exhausting nights of constant management of the lives of little people. But that video, what an eye opener! From that point on we turned it around. Keep in mind, you may recall I had run marathons, competed in triathlons, at one point was a black belt in karate, and felt like I was still a young stud. Ahem, the facts didn’t support my self image. I had become near boiled and, fortunately for me, got going again before my lifestyle calcified. I thought I was doing great because when I looked around and saw some really overweight people, I looked good. I was delusional. Interestingly, this period was one of the few times I wasn’t in an Ironmen group.

It didn’t have to be that way.  Since then I’ve learned that leading the family is more about how you model family identity rather than providing and protecting. Family character is about trust, honesty, openness, adventure-mindedness, integrity, perseverance, and HEALTH. How do you want your family to be characterized? It starts with you and your mindset. By leading in physical exercise, by devising a family plan for being active, you are actively choosing to be a healthy family. This leadership has no downside: Your kids will absolutely learn about themselves, about their own limits, based on how you model behavior and lead them in activity. Your wife will benefit by having a husband who leads in creating outdoor activities. You’ll be conscious about eating habits and hypocrisy. By modeling health, you’ll be establishing a pattern for your kids that will be their baseline.

Bike rides, hikes, camping, health events (I had my entire family enter a 5k).  Even though we mostly walked, it was great. In addition, the kids played soccer and I played in the backyard with them. We played football in the street and got other families and played at the park. To my regret, there were too many times when I turned my kids down for going outside and playing. Major mistake. I could have and should have done a lot more.

What if your wife isn’t into the physical stuff? Do you just leave her behind? No clear answer here. But I would sell her on the vision of a happy, healthy, active family and how her behavior will model how your daughters are going to grow and which kind of woman the boys will be attracted to. Leadership doesn’t condemn, but encourages small successes. So take the kids to the park and invite small participations and respond without guilt if the answer is no(t now).

So for you Dads, setting goals about losing 5 pounds by running 3 times a week is good, don’t get me wrong. But figuring out how you can design a plan so that your family name is synonymous with health and activities is a magnitude better.  Be strategic about health. It’ll pay dividends for you over and over again.  1) you’ll be different than just about everyone else in the country; 2) you’ll push your known boundaries; and 3) you’ll be establishing for yourself, your (future) mate, and your (future) kids that you are characterized by creative health. Better to be intentional than boiled.

To your healthy abundance,

Dave Marr

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By | May 19th, 2017|Personal, Physical|0 Comments

If I Knew Then What I Know Now

You’ve heard this comment before and I’ve said it countless times.  In saying it, I meant that if I knew back then the things I find important today, I would have reprioritize my thinking in such a way to be more present in my existence, worry less, be intentional in my efforts, appreciative, loving, and wise, etc. etc. etc.

But what about today?  What am I lacking in today’s existence that tomorrow’s Dave would pick up the phone and call back and advise on?  I think the Dave of 15 years from now would call me and say,

“Davo, listen: Remember when you were about to turn 55 and were thinking about how much more mature you were than your 35 year old version?  How much wiser and ‘intentional’ about your life you were?  Lemme give you a bit of feedback – to be honest, I liked it better when you were 35.  No kidding.  You were full of energy and optimism.  You had faith that everything would work out and regardless of the roadblocks in the way; that you and God would get ‘er figured out.  You started each day with a run and a prayer.  Remember that little cartoon you had hanging on the wall with the bird eating the frog and the frog’s arm reaching around and choking off the bird’s throat above the caption NEVER GIVE UP which became your mantra.  You were fascinated with life and its possibilities.  Naïve maybe, but energized!! – give me that guy again.

Now look at you.  C’mon, be honest.  Hasn’t the last 4 years worn you down a bit?  Aren’t the complexities of your work life having you walk perilously close to the line separating realist and cynic?  A cynic that might advise too much caution and expect too much disappointment rather than the Go For It mentality you had when you were 35.  Where’s the energy?  What’s the deal with the wine, the sweets, and the TV?  What happened to setting the goals for 5 years, 10 years?  You wanted to get your pilot’s license and travel the world, remember?  Your dreams sustained you in tough times.  Naw, Dave, you’re running the risk of getting old too fast.

Hey Bud, my advice is: Go back to that early spirit of Can Do.  Go back and reinvigorate the best version of Dave that you had, sure – temper it with a bit of your hard earned wisdom, but bring the positive energy to your day, your week, your life.  Set the goals.  Be enthusiastic.  Do the run. Say the prayers.  Let go of whatever makes you stop.”

So wishing I knew then what I know now isn’t exactly the right longing  Apparently in seeking “Knowing” we seemingly trade the innocence of naiveté whose companions include passion, faith, dogged determination, and optimism for the hard school of experience and knowing.  Can’t we take our new understanding and unite our old youthful ways?  I say “YES!!”  So I am going to launch into the last quarter of 2015 with a bit more gusto.  I’m going to do the push ups, go for a jog, set the goals, get the pilot’s license.  I’m going to BE optimistic and push away my concerns  about business. Cycles always happen.  I’m going to position myself in the market to where I can be the greatest value.  I’m going to meet more people, solve more problems, BE more caring, and expect that between God and me, we’ll get ‘er figured out.

To your continued success,

Dave

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By | October 2nd, 2015|Physical|0 Comments

Overcoming the Wall

It’s late Thursday night writing this bad boy. Not much editing gonna happen. Going to be a short one as I’m headed out on vacation. I will dutifully continue while on my walkabout.  

But first, regarding the quotes from Lessons from History, I’ve gotten some feedback that they’ve run their course. Well, expect 3 more weeks of them nonetheless. I think they have depth to them as a collection. So they’re not just quotes, but a series of thoughts broken up into bite size pieces.  It’s an experiment on giving you meaningful content in a quote format. Hang in there and get what you can from them. It’ll be worth it.

But today’s message is about getting past the wall.

Imagine 2 potential scenarios unfolding for your life – a good one and a better one. Imagine what those scenarios look like, each enjoyable in their own way, each with happiness and contentment, and each ignorant of the other. Now imagine, as Richard Bach did in Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah, that each possibility is a real person looking back in time and rooting for you to make your choices. Each person exists in full flesh recounting the fork in the road where you took the road less traveled and made the future you. That fork is aware of itself in a deja vu moment.

There is a wall separating those possibilities. The better life where your health is a bit better, your wife’s health is more vibrant, your sex life a little more satisfying, your kids are a tad more talented and happy, and you make more money that allows you freedom to choose both this vacation plus that car. (Ok, maybe I’m superficial and you’re thinking PhD thesis or saving children from falling off a cliff like Holden Caulfield, but you get the idea). That future you who is fully in existence needs the current you to make the right choices. He’s depending on you. (See Interstellar).

You are starting out in life, for the most part, and know that you’re building a life as good as you can make it. And it isn’t overly helpful to have me tell you you can have a better life without giving specific instructions as to how to achieve it. That is part of the wall. I can tell you, but you can’t hear it. Like the argument between Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes in White Men Can’t Jump – “You can’t HEAR Jimmy!!” The reason is, you need to experience it in order to get it. (Like getting that movie reference)

Here’s how you get it. Today’s message is about Health, but not really. It’s about getting through the wall using physical efforts to give you the language necessary to understand how to succeed in everything else. The major problem with words is that you can’t explain to someone in words non verbal things. Only those who already understand can get it by reference. You see, we’re not communicating now –  we’re approximating. I am struggling to find words that gets me close to what I mean and you’re drawing up your best to follow along. But I could get much closer with someone who knows what I’m talking about, someone with more experience, someone who has already gotten through the wall, so that I could just reference an experience and he’d go “Yeah, I hear dat.” (For some reason with an accent)

That’s why you need to intend to move forward in health. Your health is non verbal. It’s infinitely nuanced. No exaggeration, infinitely. Trying to be healthy evolves your understanding of so many things: PACFEBS (Power, Agility, Coordination, Flexibility, Energy, Balance, Stamina) to name a physical few. But importantly Motivation, Persistence, Goal Setting, Life Balance, Leadership, Followship, Scheduling, Prioritization, Time Management, Comfort Zone Management, Ego Management, Spiritual Awakening, and Life Vision to name a few more.

The wall is what separates you from your higher self. You’ve been working on your intellectual skills and think that is the ultimate answer, that you can think your way to happiness. The life you want is mostly non verbal. Or rather, words fail to accurately capture the meaning of what you know, so you are left to struggle for a verbal hand grenade to do the work.

Your higher self has all the things you desire and things you are too young to know that you desire them. You have to take it on faith what I’m saying is true that if you decide today to “get in shape” that the journey will show you the path to find the better life. True, you just can’t go out and jog and expect the insights will suddenly appear. You have to intend to learn from your journey and extrapolate (interpolate?) your understanding. That future you that is healthy, wealthy, and wise and is shouting back encouragement to let today be the day you get through the wall.

To your continued success,

Dave

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By | August 21st, 2015|Physical|0 Comments

One Arm Handstand? And Fascia

Gents,

OK, some weeks just don’t work well. This is one. This video is not very good. Quality is a problem when you go with whatever comes out of your mouth on the first try. Ryan Seacrest I am not. However, the point I make is an important one. Fascia is a supporting mechanism for your muscles and for all it’s beneficial properties, limits you in big ways too if you don’t keep it pliable. Fascia rolling has huge benefits for flexibility, pain relief, joint movement, and strength.

Here’s a link to the objects I show you. http://www.optp.com/ Go to Therapy, Soft Tissue, Massage Balls.

Now, for my enormously entertaining video.

One Arm Handstand? Can I do it? Get after it.

To your continued success,

Dave

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By | July 17th, 2015|Physical|0 Comments

Posture Exercise

Gentlemen,

If you can hold a handstand for 1 minute, rest 1 minute, then repeat 2 more times, no need to watch. But if you can’t, then this video starring yours truly is worth the 2 minute investment. Email me with your wall-assisted time for a handstand. Mine is 1:40. Since you’re 20 years younger, should be no problem beating my record (which, by the way, is my record).

Lemme kno. And you new guys that just signed up, I’m not kidding, send me an email with your times. Maybe we should have a competition.

To your challenged success,

Dave

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By | June 5th, 2015|Physical|0 Comments

How to Get Chicks, Not Injuries

This week I made a quick video with my trainer TJ, showing a simple exercise that helped me recover from a long history of shoulder pain, as well as made me better, faster, stronger (let’s call it Daft Pump). The exercise could save you years of discomfort down the line. Also, you’ll score hot chicks if you do this.

Give it three minutes and let me know what you think!

how to get chicks not injuries

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3O8_N9_AVc

To your continued health,

Dave

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By | April 24th, 2015|Physical|0 Comments

Shouldering the Load

Every 6 weeks I come back to discuss something Physical. So far I’ve dealt mostly with motivation and routine. If you aren’t motivated to health and willing to regularly work toward it, these letters are somewhat meaningless. But if you’re like me, then you are generically motivated, but challenged by the constraints of time and knowledge. I can’t do much about time, but knowledge is something I can address.

I have spent my entire life in ignorance. Shock, I know. My body is a repository of all the ignorances I’ve collected over my lifetime. One such ignorance is in shoulder health. Unfortunately for me, my lack of knowledge has led to injury. Fortunately for me, I now understand what I need to do to overcome poor lifestyle habits and previous injury. I love golf and shoulder health is pretty important there. I also like looking good so shoulder strength is a chick magnet (joke…sorta). So today’s video is about specific knowledge on the beginnings of shoulder health. I am going to come back to this again till we have a good understanding and a variety of techniques for improvement.

Video 1 – Shoulder Anatomy

Video 2 – Shoulder Exercise

The payoff is certainly shoulder health and strength for you, but critically you’ll lead the family in right living. My kids all have poor shoulder health because of my ignorance. Don’t be that Rob Lowe.

To your continued success,

Dave

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By | March 13th, 2015|Physical|0 Comments

Morning Routine Part 2

Ok, to mix it up and provide some greater depth to the 30 Day Challenge I threw down at the beginning of the year, I am providing a video of me doing some of the exercises. The reason I am doing them and not TJ is because his 6% body fat and gymnast ability are intimidating. I’m a 53 year old goomba that just plugs along. No doubt you can exceed what I’m doing in no time.

I demonstrate 4 levels of difficulty in each exercise series. Find out which one you’re at and work at that for 6 weeks before going on to the next level. Each exercise should be for a minute. Plank 1 minute if you’re on both arms, 30 seconds each if one arm. For push ups, technique over quantity. I just do 15 per round (4 rounds). Adductor stretch is key for me in opening up my hip flexors and hammies. The Ido Portal stretches have been huge for helping my golf. Any thoughts of core training will require you to have strong and flexible hips. I do 5-10 minutes a day in Ido squats. (It should be 30). The overhead presses with the squat, definitely try a dowel before any weights if you haven’t done this before. Lastly, the bridge series is great for glutes and thoracic strength. I’ve got a long way to go there.

One more thing, wherever you are on the hill of being in shape, you can climb higher. There’s more knowledge, better exercises, better routine, better food, water, sleep, supplements – whatever. But be open to this idea. Take this moment and ask yourself if now is the time to make a move a leg or two up the path. Better now with free choice than later because you have to.

Oh, and apologies that the video is shot portrait instead of landscape. TJ is a master at workouts, but a doofus with cinematography.

Morning Routine part 2

To your continued success,

Dave

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By | January 30th, 2015|Physical|0 Comments

30 Day Challenge

Can you put your socks on standing on one leg?

Can you touch your toes easily with straight legs?

Can you squat down with heels on the ground and put your hands above your head? With straight arms? (Ido style)

When you sit down, do your feet supinate (roll outward)?

Do you have ringing in your ears?

When you lie flat on your back with your arms relaxed straight above your head, do your arms touch the ground at the bicep?

The last Physical letter talked about Ido Portal squats to revolutionize the flexibility in your hips. Have you tried them? 26% of you clicked on the link to watch the Ido video. Of those, how many actually tried them? How many of you tried incorporating them into your routine?

Here’s the thing – your 2015 strategy for physical fitness- what are your long range objectives? The questions I started with above are a quick attempt at self-assessment. If you can’t put your socks on standing up, your back is too tight, lats are too tight, and balance is poor. If you can’t touch your toes easily, maybe even have your palms flat on the ground, do you sit at your desk with your feet tucked under thereby shortening your hamstrings and tightening your hip flexors? Ido squats? Nuff said. Do your legs supinate? IT bands running down the outside of your legs are too tight thereby pulling your legs apart and tightening your hip flexors and setting yourself up for lower back problems. Ringing in your ears might mean your head juts forward. When you lie flat on your back with pelvis tilted and your arms can’t easily reach the ground, your pecs are too tight, maybe an over reliance on push ups and pec workouts or maybe your upper back and lower abs are weak.

In other words – where you at bro? Isn’t your vision of yourself one where you are young, active, healthy, and a leader of the family?

Your physical fitness strategy, in my opinion, should begin at assessment. The long climb of awareness on how your body is doing shouldn’t be based on youthful energy or the fact that you don’t currently have problems. You’re smarter than that. The strategy should look at where you are today, what you enjoy doing, what your goals are, how much time you’re willing to devote to this, and how you can learn and implement new elements to your growing understanding of everything physical. If only I had someone direct me in my thinking back when I was late 20’s early 30’s before my black belt and marathon era began. I coulda been a contendah.

You, like me and just about everyone else, are ignorant by some degree of your current condition and where your trajectory is taking you. Hopefully you see that not an insult but the harsh reality of life. Once you recognize that reasonable fact and invest a small amount of time and energy to climb that lifelong hill of awareness, your body and your life will gain momentum in so many ways.

Ok, do this for me. Give me 30 days. 30 days of 30 minutes first thing in the morning. 30 days of routine that could transform your physical life. You can start January 5th. This routine shouldn’t replace your workouts, just supplement them. By doing it for 30 days, not only will you see quite a bit of growth, but you’ll see where your weaknesses are. My hope is that you’ll have a great start to the year, learn some new techniques, develop a morning routine that won’t negatively impact your existing routine, and move you further along the path of developing your physical fitness strategy. I have never actually worked out consistently without committing to someone else that I would do it. If that’s you too, then commit to me.

2 routines: MWF and TThS – Saturday or Sunday rest. 30 minutes is nothing.

MWF
Deck squats – Helps lower ab strength and gauges back and hip flexibility. 15 reps.

Handstands – Do 3 sets of 1 minute. Better if you can do it in front of a mirror so you can see if your hands are straight up and down vs. spread out, and elbows straight.

Split leg v ups – Modified would be to have legs together or bent. 15 reps.

Bridge walk – Very difficult. Will help thoracic flexibility. Make sure your lower abs are engaged. Go for 30 second hold.

Arch body hold – 1 minute hold. Pelvic tilt like crazy.

TThS

Squat with hip mobility – This is modified Ido squats. Start with Ido’s to gain flexibility. Get up to 10 minutes total.

Crawl – Keep as low to ground as you can. Across room forward, then backwards.

Skater squat – Hammie stretch and glute strength, not to mention upper back. 15 reps L/R.

Crow with lateral hop – try and get your lower lats engaged instead of just your delts. Across room, back and forth opposite directions.

Supine bridge – Hands forward is easier. Work up to hands back. Pelvic tilt and push up at the chest. 1 minute.

You should do this circuit 3-5 times in the morning. It can be as hard as you make it. If it’s too easy, let me know and I’ll get you something challenging.

C’mon – 30 days. Send me an email telling me you’re going to give me 30 days. You guys in India, let’s go. Joel, time to bring it along with your renewed energy. Marc, new baby is just an excuse. Josh, You’re not too busy just because you’re a doctor, make it happen. Jon, you think you’re in shape? Dano and Kevin, youse two -Bring it! Dan, I’m talking to you, Mr. Podiatrist. Jared, I don’t care if you travel. All y’all, 2015 is the year to take the highest road possible.

If not now, when?

To your continued success,

Dave

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By | December 12th, 2014|Physical|0 Comments

Ido Routine

This morning I got up at my usual time for a Sunday, 5:15. That’s the best time of the week for me. I know everyone will be sleeping in and I can do my thing – stretch and think, coffee and think, read and think. My thinking these days goes primarily down two paths – what to do at work, how can I improve myself, and how can I add value to the lives of others, primarily you guys. As it pertains to the latter, I want to provide more detail on the morning routine because without one, you won’t get where you want to go. That is a near certainty.

I was introduced to a morning routine by my uncle. Anyone on the Forbes list commands respect, so I listened a smidge to his ideas. He gets up early. So I got up early. He ran. So I ran. He used the time to plan his day. So I took that idea and went with it. I made the morning routine my own and over the years it has evolved, but two things have remained constant – I move and I think.

But for today’s Letter, a recent epiphany has allowed me to rejuvenate my back and legs – Ido Portal squats. If you’re a runner, biker, weight lifter, or any repetitive activity, and you go to school or work and sit for long periods during the day, then you no doubt have tight hamstrings and hip flexors. If that’s the case, then you currently have diminished athletic ability and could be on a path to back and hip problems. The video link shows you an easy morning routine technique to greater core strength with your hips and hip flexors not diminishing your strength. (It has taken me several months of modified Ido squats to get significant benefits, so be patient.)

Three days a week I work out. Three other days a week, I do 10 minutes of Ido squats plus extensive stretching. I also use a lacrosse ball to deep tissue massage all the knots in my flexors, IT bands, glutes, psoas muscles, and all the connectors. I have never been so flexible and strong. If only I had learned this years ago. Today, I can do a full Ido squat with a 45 pound bar over my head with straight arms. Not too long ago I couldn’t do a Ido squat at all much less hold my hands above my head. I’m stronger at 53 than I was at 43.

No doubt you are very busy. Your life is probably crazy with time sucking obligations and preoccupations. Well, if you want to be successful you’re going to have to figure out efficiency and effectiveness. The foundation to both is a successful morning routine. Every fresh day you start with a new shot at getting closer to being the guy of your future. Prioritize your morning. It is the base activity from which accomplishment arises. While stretching you can meditate and pray. You can read. You can plan your day. You can think.

Validation: Find 10 men who you think are successful and ask them how important their morning routine has been. Ask them what they do. Ask them if they were to do life over, would they change that part of their day. And, if you’ve got a good rapport with them, ask them if they taught the morning routine concept to their family. Is it part of the family legacy on how to start the day in good cheer.

There are certain things that aren’t obvious that must be added to the obvious ingredients to personal success –

  1. You must find a good woman to love you and help you love back;
  2. You must associate with like minded people that inspire the most out of you;
  3. You must start every day with a routine that engages and develops your mind, spirit, and body.

To your continued success,

Dave

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By | October 9th, 2014|Physical|0 Comments