And now… allow me to take you on a cognitive surfboard ride inside my brain. Prepare ye!
1) Eggs are not as bad as cigarettes. This is one of the most sensationalistic things I’ve seen in a while. Well played Atlantic.com! If you want more detail as to why this is such a silly discussion, check out these knowledge bombs here.
This is a classic example of running away with the finding of one observational study. If you don’t feel like reading the above article, just remember this: correlation does not equal causation. Just because two things seem to be present at the same time only means there may be an association, not that one is necessarily the cause of the other.
2) If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. When one is seeking to improve their eating habits, “freestyle” eating is generally gonna be a disaster. The best way to win the nutritional day is to have a general plan of what to eat when before you go to bed the night prior.
Training is similar. If you don’t have a schedule, you’re gonna spend your life being at the whim of the schedule of other people. Plan your eating and plan your training the day before!
3) Mobility is an everyday thing. I used to tell folks the body can use a full day off. And I still like at least one full day off from intense exercise, but I now think most folks need to move every day. Not “workout” mind you, but experience movement. Most people would benefit by working on their individual needs on a daily basis; some targeted foam rolling or other soft tissue work, and mobilizing your thoracic spine and hips is generally gonna be a good idea. Particularly if you know you’re on the tight side.
Yes, we can have another conversation as to “why” you’re getting tight. It’s possible you have some poor behavioral patterns and/or dysfunction breathing and/or you don’t move well. Ideally cleaning that up will mean you require less maintenance, but the reality is most people get tighter and stiffer as you get older. You do NOT have to accept this. You may have to spend some time and energy learning how to take care of yourself, but I’m gonna suggest that’s a wise choice.
Now let’s take a brief break and look at a happy elephant!
Awwww. See? That was refreshing.
4) Speaking of investing time and energy… it seems to me one of the biggest hurdles folks face is balancing short term happiness with long term happiness. Everyone knows they should be putting away 10 to 15 percent of their income. But most people are able to justify why they don’t do it.
Training is kind of the same way. Most folks can rationalize why they don’t have the time, energy, or money to train. However, this is classic short term thinking. Because here’s the deal beloved reader: you’re GOING to spend time, energy, and money on your health.
You can spend it now and be proactive about your health and hotness. Or you can spend WAAAAY more later in your life in doctor’s offices and meeting with physical therapists to deal with the chronic pain and health issues that substantially reduce your quality of life.
Another thought: if you have trouble thinking long term, maybe you just need more inspiration. I always think about the people in my life that I love. I like to take care of people, and I know that I’m not gonna be able to do that for as long as I’d like if I don’t take care of myself. For some reason, self care in a vacuum isn’t inspiring. Being there for my loved ones IS inspiring.
Plus, let’s be honest. I’m gonna be an eccentric-ass old dude. Y’all think I’m weird now?? Just fucking wait.
5) Lately I’ve been thinking about neophilia and neophobia. Michael Pollan talks about how this relates to food in The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Most humans exist in the tension between a love of the new and a craving for novelty, and a fear of the new and a craving for familiarity. As always, I have no answers here and think most humans need to find the balance that feels appropriate to them. But I DO think there is probably a balance to be found; one extreme or the other will probably not lead to an optimal quality of life.
Folks who are always changing their programs or training modalities tend to get nowhere fast. Folks who are chained to a life of emotional safety (and orthopedic injury) on the treadmill suffer a similar fate.
6) I’ve realized I’m a bit sexist. I really like women. Fucking love them. And I love when they lift heavy ass shit.
Please don’t get me wrong; I love my Dude Ninjas too. But my Lady Ninjas just blow my damn mind. Watching them come into their own is inspiring in a way I can’t put into words. Often times, a new Lady Ninja will understandably be a bit intimidated coming into the Clubhouse. If they only knew how fucking beautiful they are when they’re leaning into that discomfort; when they’re doing something that obviously scares them; when they’re going out on a limb and taking an emotional risk to achieve a health or hotness goal.
Then something magical happens. They become FEROCIOUS. Within a few months, I’ve seen Lady Ninjas go from being concerned they’ll get bulky by lifting weights to swinging 60 plus pound kettlebells, deadlifting their body weight for reps, and asking me questions about the fine points of an advanced intermittent fasting nutritional protocol they read about on a BLOG WRITTEN BY A (FEMALE) POWERLIFTER.
This is Stella doing a Turkish Get-Up.
With MFF’s pet unicorn Hamson.
THIS IS WHAT A FUCKING HERO LOOKS LIKE.
Maybe it’s because I love my mom so much, and I’ve always admired and respected her kindness, warmth, and decency. Maybe it’s because I have a twin sister and I watched her battles with self-acceptance growing up (which…she WON. Click here to have your mind blown). Or maybe I’ve just been blessed with so many strong female figures in my life that on some level I’ve always had a (possibly unfair) bias that women are more open-hearted, intuitive, and emotionally tougher than your average fella.
Regardless, there is just something about watching a sweet but tentative gal turn into a Lady Ninja that gets me every time. I feel so honored to get to watch it happen on a regular basis. It makes me want to get better and be the best teacher/coach/ridiculous human I can be, so I’m worthy of the task of nurturing them to ever greater levels of glory.
I love you Lady Ninjas. You inspire me more than I have the words to say. Keep fucking nailing it.