Physical

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Old too soon, wise too late…

“If I only knew then what I know now” is the all too common lament.  As it pertains to health, it doesn’t have to be this way.  You can gain benefit from someone else’s journey regarding their health insights in a much shorter time frame than you can in other aspects of life.  My journey has been pretty good, but it could have been much better.

When I wuz ignent (ignorant for you who don’t speak stupid) I did whatever came to mind. I ate whatever I wanted and lived the charmed life of youth.  Since the brain doesn’t finish developing till around 25, young people are called immortals because they are only mildly capable of looking into the future. They are barely able to see how consequences can pile up, how lines of probable outcomes intersect, or the eventual day of reckoning comes due.  For me, the future didn’t exist. I think such is the case for everyone.

But that day does come eventually. That is what these emails are about, shining a light far enough up the path for you to take reasonable course corrections so you don’t face a day when all your choices suck. The smarter you work on yourself today, the easier life will be on you down the road. This is absolutely the case with your eating habits. My ignorance did not know about factors that are commonplace knowledge today. Gluten free did not exist 10 years ago.  Now every restaurant has a gluten-free selection. Food combinations – wha?

My story: I grew up eating a normal meat and potatoes with a side of bread kind of lifestyle. Salads were small and infrequent. I could go through a box of Captain Crunch in two sittings. I would chug nearly a quart of milk out of the container after dinner. I had a bowl of ice cream pretty much every night. Yet, I was not overweight mostly because of youthful activity and family lineage. However, that kind of food combo doesn’t provide a great foundation for life. As I entered my mid-twenties, my activity level dropped, but my love for pizza didn’t. I discovered microbrews. In my thirties, children complexities entered the scene and my activities dropped again.  My wife and I were forced to embrace the notion of nutritional education and discipline.  Now twenty years later, I’m finally getting the hang of it.

Here’s the thing, as you know I’m no health expert.  All my current conclusions are from several decades of living, learning, and observing my habits and the drawing conclusions. I’m not talking straightforward cause and effect.  For example, I started getting springtime allergies. So naturally I took drugs to reduce the effect of sneezing attacks. Come to find out, steroids can cause sterility. Uhg. Ok, no drugs. A few years later I determined that I had a gluten intolerance. A few years after that, I observed the connection between the two. So now, instead of taking drugs, I have greatly (90%) reduced my flour and grain intake. Allergies are dramatically gone. Proof? No, but that’s my story.  That’s one result I could not get from Health USA because their proscription was to just take drugs.

So here’s a generic summary of what I learned. It may not be perfectly sound, but it introduces some topics you can introduce to your youthful life that might save you some headaches down the road:

Know your body type 
My body likes meat.  I eat protein and am grouchy without it.  I like salads, but there has to be meat in it.  My wife is the opposite.  She needs mostly salads. It’s valuable to understand your body type, blood type, personality type, etc. There are so many factors you should consider in order to customize your habits. What’s your type?

Learn good food combinations
Come to find out, different foods digest at different rates.  Who knew? If you eat meat with potatoes, the starches digest first while the meat passes through without fully digesting.  Ever see those big guys with big bellies that are drum tight? They’re not fat, just big bellies. Undigested fecal matter. It’s poop. Those guys are literally full of shit. So don’t be those guys. Instead, eat starches with salads; eat meats with salads, but not meat with starches. There’s a whole lot more to this topic. But if you do this, you won’t gain as much weight and you’ll have easier bowel movements.

Avoid Gluten (simple grains) 
Glue and gluten are related. Gluten in my system produces mucus. Yummy. It produces it in my sinuses and in my digestive tract. So when I eat breads and pastas, mucus in my digestive tract prevents my food from digesting and I get gluten belly, that god-awful bloated feeling. Furthermore, my sinuses drain. In the springtime, my allergies are made dramatically worse due to the phlegm present in my system. When I heard that I needed to give up beer in order to go “Gluten-Free” I said “Ah hell, no”.  So I’m not totally gluten free, but I’m mostly there. Be aware what breads do to you.

Drink (lots of) water 
Ok, I’ve heard this a thousand times. Cokes bad, water good. I gave up soft drinks years ago. The syrup is just sugar and it’s not refreshing. Water does satisfy. But I have rarely committed to drinking what my body needs. Every time I do, I feel tons better. My observation is is that I, along with most of the world, walks around slightly dehydrated. When you do that, your body just doesn’t work as well. Try flushing a toilet without water – ugh.

Make the Investment
To buy quality food it costs plenty. Nonetheless, this should be a priority for you and your family in your monthly budget. I never asked my wife to skimp on buying good food. Cut back on everything else, but not good food. Live foods, like salads, have the nutrients that your cells need to replenish. With a busy life it’s much hard to shop all the time for this kind of food. But reality can be postponed for only so long. The day will come eventually when your body pays the bill.

Be mindful
Live with an intent to learn how your body does with the different choices you make. Does pizza make you bloated and tomorrow not able to poop? Maybe, just maybe, your body is telling you something. Instead, try food combinations for a week and see how you feel.

If you got this far down the email, good for you. I imagine myself 25 years ago saying “Nutrition? Blah, blah, blah.” That’s the wise too late part. The sooner you think through your history and start the long process of figuring out your body, obviously the better off you’ll be.

To your healthy life.

Dave Marr

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By | February 2nd, 2018|Personal, Physical|0 Comments

Projecting Success

The head jut. The way you carry yourself projects to the world how you feel about yourself: confident or insecure, disciplined or a little lazy, meticulous or possibly unaware. After 20+ years of being average in my awareness, I had average posture. The mid-thoracic area between my shoulder blades was weak, so I comfortably slouched in front of the computer. My belly sagged, shoulders rounded, and pelvis turned under. Even though I was working out in karate and running marathons, my posture sucked. I wasn’t projecting vitality. I was well on my way to some problems.

No doubt you understand that your entire musculature is one big rubber band that runs throughout your whole body and that the fatty fascia that interlaces throughout carries water and nutrients to every cell in your body. Well I didn’t. So in sitting at my desk with my feet tucked under my chair, I shortened my hamstrings, curved my back, jutted my chin, and let my belly relax. I ran in the mornings without stretching where I eventually paid the piper. My T-Bands tightened, my legs turned slightly out, my lower back was unsupported, and my body got old quick. So I went to see a chiropractor for my lower back aches because I started to get plantar fasciitis in my heels. I wasn’t a complete basket case, but reality was providing a wake up call to my immortality mindset.

Your body is a powerful projection to the world, true, but it is even more powerful to your mindset, your attitude, your confidence, and your disciplines. A good understanding of how your body works and the pride it projects to the world pays dividends. You don’t have to stick your chest out and act macho, I’m not talking about being a poseur, I’m talking about being comfortable in your own skin. Confidence is projected through little things like posture. Your health starts with piercing the ignorance of bad habits.

Fortunately for me, I was blessed with an interruption. One year after trying to run my 3rd marathon by June, my right leg cramped and wouldn’t un-cramp for 2 weeks. That stopped my running and put me on a path to solve what I thought was a small problem but ended up being rather foundational. I was ignorant of just about everything. What I thought was good and right, wasn’t. Here’s my point: If you want to succeed in your whole life – business, family, and personally, you should invest in good posture. Do the small things today that will make this a non issue for you later. Project confidence by investing in your health and don’t assume you’ve got it under control. Just because you’re thin doesn’t mean you’re healthy. Take the few minutes to gather information from an expert.

To your confident projection

Dave Marr

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By | October 20th, 2017|Personal, Physical|0 Comments

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