Outside the (Box)

A man must consider what a rich realm he abdicates when he becomes a conformist-

What is the impact of our aggressiveabusive mindset on ourselves and on our lives?

We often hear and read about our “carbon” footprints–the impact of our consumption on good ol’ mother earth. Interestingly, to trace our aggressive – abusive footprint, we might examine the consequences of our aggressive – abusive choices, whether seemingly casual or conscious.

Initial aggressive – abusive encounters set a pattern, a pattern many people consciously choose to ignore. Understanding and healing damaging formative experiences that were once stepping-stones in our development is imperative, because sometimes those stepping-stones petrify into the expected path, and I have walked this path for far too long.

An aggressive – abusive mindset is difficult to perceive, standing in front of a bathroom mirror, taking a picture of ourselves – how “ripped” and “toned” we are. We, we are so immersed in our own experience that it simply appears as reality. Imagine what the world would be like if Facebook – Social media were indeed, Reality?!?

A mature relationship with yourself involves an intensely intimate audience … With only one other person – You.

Why do we choose to ignore the depth of our loving self, tuning out the myriad of feelings as they occur? For far too long I choose to engage in a dishonest, shameful and aggressive – abusive relationship with myself.

The footprints on my destined path … I feel, are changing.

Daily Meditation:

I’m not too keen on making promises, to promise is to heavily load a burden upon your shoulders All I ask of you, is to take care yourself, for yourself, and weave these thoughts into your daily life. What are you waiting for

CultFit Promise


(Con)Fidence

Confidence is ignorance. If you’re feeling cocky, it’s because there’s something you don’t know-

After many years of “coaching” and helping other cool and inspiring folks, I am often struck by their relationship with fun. When we first meet, they often talk at great length about training plans, intensity, goals, effort and lastly they mention: “this needs to be fun.

I have a problem with Fun.

Fun (when used above), conveys a sense of a trivial and purposeless living.  Fun Is hedonistic. My definition of fun does not seem to sit right with many people who are engaged in uber-competitive activities and have a competitive mindset. There is no magical switch you can flip, then manage to stumble into a yoga studio one afternoon to “center” yourself. Fun is a lazy vacation, sipping mojito’s on a white sand beach in Belize, not an early morning wind sprint session and killing the weights before bed.

Should we abandon the idea of “fun” all together?  Nope, I just ask that you think about “fun” in a different light, a different Sense

Daily Meditation:

All aspects of our lives ought to be enjoyable, interesting word(s): Enjoyable, Enjoyment, Enjoy.

My definition of fun? Is “enjoyment.”

CultFit Snow


Single(Cross)

“Single” means you are brave enough to face the glorious unknown of the unaccompanied journey-

Time to pump the brakes on the whole mindfulnessmeditation talk of late. Let us focus our attention on cyclocross racing and placing harmful “labels” on people instead!

I have developed over the years a love for lumping “things” into categories. Abstainers and Moderators, Yoga Moms and Yogi(s), Marathoner Runners and 5K Free Spirits, People who shop at Lululemon and Discount Rack Fashionistas, Road Bike Weight Weenies and Cyclocross Folks. I have more to share if you like and I’m positive you do as well!?!

A fleeting conversation (with a close friend) recently during a morning group ride, Inspired me to take notice of a few random thoughts of my own:

One person remarked, I enjoy a simple life another friend responded,I enjoy a life lived to the fullest” Pedaling along I thought to myself that these were the most interesting pair of remarks that I’d ever heard from lycra clad road warriors.

Further down the trail, this seemingly simple conversation got me thinking (which is extremely dangerous): Is there a distinction to be drawn between these two harmless remarks?

Does one group – Let’s “label” them: Simplicity Lovers (Singlespeed – Steel is real – Ride to the event folks)–prefer to have less, care less about costs, bling, latest and fastest, weight, carry no spare supplies – except a bottle opener? Does this go with a love of Calm and Stillness?

And does the other group–I’ll call them: Abundance Lovers (Carbon – Weight Weenies who show up to a grass-roots cyclosross race with a $4500 steed and race cat5 …)–prefer to have more and more, desire fullness, overflow with confidence, have 14 bikes hanging in the garage, ample supplies in the back of their Subaru to outfit a pro team of riders? Does this go with a love of Lust and Desire?

What do you think of these two categories I have created? If the post so far strikes a chord with you, what group do you identify with?

*After much thought, I placed myself in the simplicity lovers category.*

Picture 003

Quick intermission – Stand up, stretch, wiggle your sparkly toes, grab a drink, smile! I don’t often share bloated and tedious posts, so consider yourself lucky this fine fall morning

Why do we need to categorize and label people? Have you ever stopped to consider the harm caused by assigning names to certain people, groups, or dare I say – Religions? The label we place, puts the person in a box. No matter what they do or say, they can’t get out of that box. The labels we place, defines them.

How many of us actually like to be “labeled”? I certainly tire of being called a simple-minded, blonde haired dude, free spirit – it gets old really quick

The problem I want to address. once again, arises when we are unaware of the labels we often apply, like during a bike ride, start of a local 5k, chatting with a friend over lunch. We fail to stop and realize the damage we are doing by placing “labels” on others. Once a person is labeled, it’s very hard for them to move away

I – You – We, passionately know there are vast differences between each and every one of us – just the way in which I write is but one example. I implore you this morning to reflect on the boxes you have ready to place on people today: Whether their choice of yoga pants, the bike they ride, you see two dudes holding hands and sharing an embrace – you get my point, I hope!

Instead of putting  people into their respective boxes, I challenge you to deliberately refrain from placing your go to label. Open that damn “thing” between your ears, you – scruffy looking nerf herder!!!

Notes:

This weekend in Omaha is what is affectionately known as “Omaha CX Weekend“. Omaha CX Weekend is a wonderful time to wade into the waters of cyclocross racing, and I use racing loosely – If ringing cow bells, wading through mud, eating brats seconds before a race and drinking beer to refuel sounds like a race to you? Come on out and I will personally pay your registration fee!

For a more in-depth description of the lunatics who ride SINGLE CROSS <—Click here

CultFit Fall


The (I)ntro

Pain will come with time, but time will heal the pain-

Let the above quote settle in your heart for a moment …

Life can be full of emotional “roles” we take on. I am tired of trying to act out what others have created – written for me, and I want to define myself for who I really am, not what’s expected.

Of the 500+ blog posts I have written, this one has been by far the most challenging. Why? Because it is more Uncle Ben Kenobi then Luke Skywalker and while I like to think I can save the day, every day, for everyone, like an intergalactic heroine; I realize I must now save myself. I am not a fictional character but a simple dude figuring things out and sharing observations along the way. A simple dude who is learning that being healthy and pain-free is not a luxury to take lightly, it is part of my journey.

I’ve arrived to the conclusion that I need more than awareness, I need acceptance in my life. I am fully aware that I live with unwavering pain everyday, simply waking up in the morning (hell, I never fall sleep) is enough of a reminder.

I fully realize now (in this uncomfortable writing position) that awareness is the crisp sheet of Star Wars wrapping paper my lovely wife and I firmly wrap around our son’s birthday presents, with the gift(s) neatly stowed inside, and acceptance is the shredded aftermath of his fury: ribbons, bows, poorly taped boxes, and batteries I forgot to pick up the night before (because focusing on suppressing pain is all-consuming)   it is effort, function, and truth beyond projected images. They are both beautiful and play important roles in our life.

Awareness: I have always wanted to get better after each injury, heal faster, be healthier, listen to everyone’s problems, and take away everyone’s pain away without ever taking time to acknowledge my own. I’m terrified of pain … I want to be the poetic ideal that everyone believes I am. A friend, a father and husband with time and heart for all who come in need of a hug or a willing ear, to process a conversation or opinion without judgement. I want to meditate peacefully, perform yoga pain-free, be a better lover, and be honest and open to all I meet. Is that too much to be all of the time?

The answer of course is a resounding YES! Because after years of simply being aware of the pain, I am now laid barre writing to you, fully accepting where I am at in life.

Acceptance: I have always thought that simply not being in the grasp of the worst of my pain was in fact happiness. Everything these past few years has been a matter of comparison for me, I am a walking barometer of pain. I want to know what happiness truly feels like. Happiness is not skipping mega doses of pain medication(s) one morning in order to know I am alive today in comparison to yesterday when I was under the influence of too much Motrin. My days are filled sharing with others in hopes that they will come to know happiness. That they can work towards being better, that you are allowed to eat red velvet birthday cake, drink too much wine and be merry. You don’t have to suppress the joys of life to achieve some self-serving, vanity filled fitness goal! What others expect you to be

Notes:

What follows is a note to myself:

I must take care of myself, not just so I can fulfill my obligations in life but to take care of those who love me.

CultFit Path


Morning Classic(s)

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are-

As a little dude, I grew up doing what I was supposed to do (this is my side of the story), when I was supposed to do it, following a largely unconscious – persistent script about what it meant to live one’s life. Not just play but excel at sports, go to school and become edumacated, start a rewarding and vibrant career, get married to the woman of my dreams (this happened) and have a few kid(s) for good measure

As a self-described “athlete“, I did a lot of running, picking up heavy things and moving them around, competing at all costs, ignoring injuries, bragging about results, sticking within the status quo like many of the blogs we will read today However a string of serious injuries in my mid 30’s made me rethink everything I had thought about both competing and what I was doing with my life more broadly.

At the same time I had discovered seva, karma yoga, mindfulness, rediscovered my love for cycling and enjoying nature. As I began to play – not compete outdoors, my friends and family would often say “let’s ride here, swing a kettlebell if we like or maybe a spot of yoga?” and most importantly: Smile, Laugh and have Fun. And that’s all I’d want.

Being authentic hasn’t come easily to me, and I’m still working on it, although it’s changed how I think about this inspiring world we call home.

Notes:

Being open to new paths, new ways of doing things, formulating new perspectives, creating your own melodies: these are the “things” that life has truly taught me, and continue(s) to teach me to this wonderful day.

CultFit View


A Dude’s Musings On Mother’s Day

I believe that sex is one of the most beautiful, natural, wholesome things that money can buy-

I wanted Mother’s Day to be different this year. I wanted to continue my climb upward on the Mother’s Day Classiness Gift Giving Scale. Last year was pretty pathetic, a cheap card from Target and a box of Govida Truffle’s. This year? I wandered into our local Lululemon bodega (our Lulu store is right next to a wine shop = Awesome!). What could possibly go wrong?

For us dudes, a few steps into a Lululemon store is a highly visual, sensual and erotic experience! We are greeted by provocatively attired mannequins, I mean staff … and, further back in the store, just beyond the camel toe concealing yoga pants, women are exiting fitting rooms attired in raiment that often do not seem to fit—literally, and with no pun intended, figuratively.

This sight started my mind wandering on this sultry weekend afternoon, with my lovely wife’s purse in one hand and a strawberry banana smoothie in the other: How damaging can a woman’s relationship with her body be? Damaging enough to result in pain of both a psychological and physical nature?

Throughout their lives, women of all ages must deal with idealized, societal norms and how they “measure up” in life. There are different stereotypes spanning the entire spectrum of a woman’s shape: A girl or woman with large breasts, thick hips may have to contend with unsavory assumptions about her sexuality. From a different angle, this same girl or woman may feel inadequate should she have smaller breasts and no hips. Both are patently absurd.

It is therefore not surprising to see women this afternoon squeezing into garments that don’t quite seem to fit, as they struggle daily with how they confront societal myths, that don’t quite fit.

So, I thought: “Maybe I won’t buy anything in this store? Maybe a bottle of dark chocolate wine from next door would be the better option?

Happy Mother’s Day!

*Back by popular demand – The most viewed pic in the history of CultFit*

CultFit Mothers Day

CultFit


(I’m) Reckless

In this world of numbness and information overload, the ability to feel, my boy, is a rare gift indeed-

You scowl at your running partner(s) for running with headphones in. You can faintly hear ‘1901’ blasting from their ears. They are insistently checking their GPS watch, every ten steps, although 10 miles later during a quick stop to refuel? Out comes a magenta hued insta-message to let the world know you just slammed a gel pack. Don’t they realize how much it annoys you? The anger on your face is plain as day …

Remember when placing an emergency call meant stepping into a phone booth? Today’s electronic do-dad’s and wireless communications gadgets have made it possible for us to handle emergencies in near real-time, help us to find and reconnect with long-lost friends and the best part: Fantasy Sports. Although all of this “convenience” we have at our finger tips comes at a steep price. The incursion of technology into our lives both at home and while out for an evening run, means less down time and we become ungrounded from our true spirit (tomorrows post).  FaceTube and iThings rip into and tear apart relationships and thwart leisure pursuits. I often lament about leisure/life balance, oddly the term “Balance” seems to be a thing of the past.

What in the world is the meaning of balance anymore?

Steeping back from the running story, we as families are feeling this pain at home as well. Social experiment for the day: Engage a teenager in an eye to eye conversation. Let me know how that works out for you. Today’s teens have booth feet, wading chest deep in a technology sinkhole, sad.

Notes:

Know what? It’s rather easy to blame social media and technology, I should know, I am rather adept at it. Over the past fortnight I have been thinking about this issue ad nauseam, what “balance” truly means, the mixed blessing and danger of technology and many other things (NHL Playoffs).  Even though social media and technology have placed the world at our feet, the 24/7 access impedes our spiritual health and quality of life.

Ask yourself today: Has the convenience been worth it?

CultFit Grounded