While climbing, these kids are faced with intense and very real emotions such as stress and fear, but in a controlled setting. They learn to manage these feelings in a healthy and meaningful way, thus building the emotional intelligence necessary to develop into well-balanced adults.
Never thought about climbing this way…but it makes sense! 💪🏻
I miss reading a good book, not sure why I don’t do it more…
When we hit that glorious “flow state” of reading where we’re fully immersed in a book, our brain’s default mode network likely calms down, says Jud Brewer, a psychiatrist who directs research at Brown University’s Mindfulness Center. That’s a network of brain regions that is active when we are not doing anything else and that can get absorbed in worrying and rumination.
Just started reading Obama’s new memoir. Not only is it really good, but I can feel my mind calm down as I focus on just one thing…reading.
Have you ever read the full poem at the Statue of Liberty?
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
About a month ago I mentioned my initial interest in rucking. Since then I ventured off in to the google-sphere to find out where the term “ruck” comes from.
The term “rucksack,” first used in the United Kingdom and later adopted by many other countries including the U.S., originated from the German word describing a location on the body —“the back” (der Rücken) — combined with the word for what was being carried — a sack.
As is my habit, I dove down this new rabbit hole headfirst, learning about the rucking community, the health benefits of rucking, and (if broken down) what rucking is.
In very basic terms, rucking is walking with weight on your back.
Digging deeper, the community (and the military) differentiates it from hiking by stating that rucking is more focused on fitness whereas hiking is more camping/journey/destination focused.
In these pandemic times with gyms shut down, social distancing, working from home and feeling like you are stuck indoors…what could be better than a workout that gets you outside, makes you stronger and functionally fit, builds cardio and burns fat, and requires almost no gear or costly gym membership!
Speaking of the health benefits of rucking:
As opposed to jogging, swimming, biking, or rowing, rucking is easy on the joints, places you in a strong and correct posture, and doesn’t compel the user to “go glycolytic” (using primarily glucose metabolism by training too intensely), as you are already moving at the top speed of your walking gait. You could, of course, load too heavy, find an uphill route, etc., to increase the intensity but you won’t get that feeling of needing to move faster for more conditioning once underway, as the “high” of the exercise-induced endorphins washes over you.
I can’t overemphasize the postural benefits from rucking. If you constantly correct your posture as described, you might just remove some of your constant low-back pain, lack of hip flexibility, and thoracic spine issues. You will most certainly tighten your “X” and build resilience into your trunk. This resilience will reduce your potential for non-collision injury, and increase your performances in other activities.
Done properly of course:
Stand up tall, take short but frequent strides, and drive your arms hard. The description from top to bottom: keep your head up with your eyes looking out ten to fifteen feet in front of you, using your peripheral vision to navigate the ground directly below your feet. Do not walk with your head down. You may need to drop your head periodically to negotiate obstacles (don’t step on smaller items in your path – step around them), but always seek good cervical spine alignment.
Here are a couple great podcasts on the health benefits of rucking if you prefer that medium:
What it comes down to for me, is that I like the idea of a simple activity that builds fitness. Similar to the story of Milo and the Bull, this is a fitness regiment that is functional and you can increase over time:
He decided to carry a newborn calf on his shoulders. Day by day, for more than four years, he carried an animal on his shoulders. While people were laughing at him, the small calf slowly grew into an adult ox and Milo got stronger and stronger along the way. What an awesome idea. Every day, when Milo woke up, he lifted the calf, put it on his shoulders and carried it around all day. After four years, Milo was lifting and carrying around an impressively big ox. By then, people stopped laughing a long time ago, when they saw Milo’s muscles and strength grow.
Now don’t get me wrong…rucking is for the more advanced athlete as well. I was a collegiate gymnast, turned rock climber extraordinaire, turned cross-fitter (with my CFL-1 training certificate), I’ve coached people in all of the above mentioned areas as well. Yet as I get closer to 40 I find myself continuing to look for areas of fitness to explore the will solidify my “functional fitness foundation”. Rucking is not just a “beginner” workout regime; it is for all levels of athletes and I truly believe that it can make your health foundation more solid than you realize.
Shoot me a comment if you are interested in this journey as I venture in to a new corner of fitness, community, and healthy living.
The aforementioned famous Greek wrestler and strength legend Milo of Croton got stronger by improving a little bit every day. Carrying the calf as it grew in to a bull. While the rucking experts don’t recommend going above 1/3 your body weight while rucking…the concept of small, continual improvements is the same.
When I find a company that knows what it stands for and it aligns with my own beliefs…I am all in.
I’m not just referring to the couple soft goods companies in this blog post title. E-commerce company Next Jump has a culture I got to experience that changed my life. Simon Sinek has written books and given TED talks that I write about often and that I will buy immediately in the future – no questions asked.
These aren’t just companies or individuals that have social assistance programs to check a box or “mission statements” that sound good. Rather, these are organizations that make moves that stand by their beliefs but often seen as counterintuitive to traditional success…like Patagonia’s “Don’t Buy This Jacket” campaign.
I’ve been a Patagonia fan since I first started reading about how the founder started the company and my affinity grew as I saw how committed it is to sustainability, quality, and family. Living in Ventura, where the company was started and is headquartered, I met people who worked there and loved it. The stories you hear about employees taking surf breaks, child care at work, and the overall quality work environment are not exaggerated.
Are you surprised that my social media accounts are some version of @PatagoniaDad?
The 1% Rule
I came across the below video by YouTube’s very own Captain Sinbad. I encourage you to take the couple minutes to watch it. He’s very good and I can see why he has over 300K subscribers.
If you don’t want to watch the video…
The 1% rule is simple: improve just 1% each day. The idea is that if you do this, the good habits you develop stack over time. Rome wasn’t built in a day and you won’t be either.
Stop focusing on the end result and start paying attention to the process.
When I said I have a bad habit, that tends to mean that I fall down rabbit holes of learning about these amazing companies…and then buying a ton of their stuff! Fortunately for me, this means that I am buying quality items…usually over a long period of time. (I can neither confirm nor deny that I’ll be writing about a bunch of GoRuck stuff that I might have after Christmas) 😏
One of the many things that struck me in his post was the below chart.
Crazy growth aside…what struck me was those first couple years with $0 revenue. And while the chart displays no data for ‘growth’ for those years…I would argue that they were growing a little bit every day.
Consistency and The “Why”
Simon Sinek is most famous for his talk about the Golden Circle and pointing out that successful companies plant their flag in their “Why” first and their product second.
I believe that the companies I’ve mentioned naturally follow the 1% rule because they are founded on a belief, a purpose, or a mission that speaks them, their employees, and ultimately their customers. As Captain Sinbad pointed out when talking about the movie ‘Money Ball’, Billy Bean shifted his focus to metrics that actually matter.
These companies are focusing on what matters…they know their why. They consistently stay centered on their why and communicate about their products through that rather than vice versa.
People don’t buy what you sell. They buy why you sell it.
When you frame your work life around something foundational to who you are or what you believe…it almost becomes easy to improve by 1% every day. As long as that why is genuine and (in my opinion) not self centered.
“Our findings suggest that the psychological reward experienced from helping others may be deeply ingrained in human nature, emerging in diverse cultural and economic contexts,” said lead author Lara Aknin, of Simon Fraser University in Canada, in a news release.
In the First World War, a young man had been wounded. The medic who came to treat him said, ‘I am sorry but you have lost your arm.’ The young solider replied, ‘Doctor, I didn’t lose it. I gave it.’
There is so much packed in to that short story that hits home that you find yourself wanting more.
Who was this young man?
Where was he from?
What about the medic…what is his story?
What made the young soldier respond that way?
My dad was a pastor as I was growing up and I always remember that the messages that were the most impactful were the ones with the best stories. (at least that’s how 10 year old Scott felt) There is something to be said about that.
The stories we tell about our ourselves create the canvas of our life story; while the stories that others tell of us are the brush strokes that fill that canvas in.
Ask yourself…Can I be like that young solider?
In the tough times…have others taken from you….or have you given to others?