Sunday, March 27, 2011

MEET MARCO OLMO.

Marco Olmo. Remember that name. I'm sure most everyone that reads that will have no clue who I'm talking about. I implore you to take a few minutes out of your day and watch these videos.

video



http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x99ac0_one-step-beyond-documentary-trailer_sport

The second link is better and if you click on it you will hear him speak. He has been one of the biggest inspirations in my life. One day I would love to shake his hand.

Trust me, I've watched dozens of inspirational videos on the internet (hell, I've even made one of my own which is probably why you're reading this) but this man has touched me the deepest. No, he's not battling back from a disease or overcoming some lost appendage, he's merely a quiet, poor, humble man who seems to be the least bit concerned about age. He has no trainers, dietitians or assistants telling him what to do. He is a 60 year old man beating 20 year olds in the supposed prime of their lives in one of the most grueling physical events in the world. But his victories are not what impress me the most.

When he stated that inside every one of us is a loser and that he "runs for revenge" it bowled me over. That was always something I felt but never could articulate. He tapped into that driving force that kept me motivated.

Hope you are moved by Mr. Olmo like I was.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

WHAT THE HELL SHOULD I DO?

Since posting my Tough Mudder training video the most commonly asked question usually is what type of training advice can you give me? Where should I start and what do you suggest? The response I've given everyone is what my martial arts instructor always used to say... "Whatever works for you."

I'll try and pin it down a little better for you though. Most endurance races, mud runs, half to ultra marathons and all levels of triathlons can break you down mentally even when your body has more than sufficient power for the task at hand. It's like when people are at the gym and they stop at too few reps when they know they could bang out at least three more. "Mind-Body Connection" is really the key here I think ("Mind-Body Prescription", GREAT book by Dr. John Sarno). One of my old martial art teachers used to say that if you enter a competition with the mindset of "Well, I'm just going to do my best, and if I lose, no big deal." then you might as well step off the mat because you're a loser. Harsh words but it started to make sense. Needless to say that every race, competition, workout or sparring session I've entered into since then I've had the mindset of "Today I will dominate." Now sometimes I don't and I flat out do horribly but then I say, "Next time I will have my revenge." Now trust me, I'm not some crazy Fitness Nazi and I don't say these things out loud but the mindset I have is just that. Plus, with my age getting up there, I think anything less and you are not going to see results I think you are looking for. Does that make sense? Hell, I've read stories where a person who has never run more than a 5K decided that they would run an Ultra Marathon and go literally from couch to 50K. There's a British comedian named Eddie Izzard who decided to run an insane amount of back-to-back marathons (I think it was something like 40) for charity after never really running in his life. Sure, you will feel more pain after than the person who has trained but it is entirely possible. So to sum it up, the game is 90% mental.

The physical training I do is what works for me. Plus I am constantly switching things up. The general key I use is if I find a particular exercise where I feel weak or it's hard for me to do with good form then that's the one I focus on. Not to get too philosophical but Bruce Lee used to say "To physically express oneself honestly is a very difficult thing to do.". It took me awhile to wrap my head around that one. I knew it was easy for me to do certain exercises and harder to do others. Why didn't I do the one's that were hard? Was it my ego? Was I afraid of looking silly? What would happen if I focused on those things and actually became proficient at them? Breakthrough bro. I suggest trying it. If you are a distance runner try hill sprints or weights. If you are a weight lifter try running 5 or 10K. Your overall health will grow exponentially.

Hope that helps in some small way. Best of luck and never stop.
 -Andy

Sunday, March 20, 2011

WHY YOU'RE A LAZY PRICK.

Now I'm sure you're thinking this is going to be a big diatribe on why I am so awesome and how you are a big, lazy slice of nothing. Nope. Not so. On the contrary, I love being lazy. Sitting in front of the TV with a bowl of nachos is to me a small taste of what heaven must be like. I used to hate myself for feeling that way because I knew somehow that it was "wrong". I should WANT to workout. I would then force myself to get off my ass and workout. Then I would turn around and tell people how wrong they were for doing exactly what I wished I were doing instead of toiling away in some sweaty, smelly gym somewhere like me. Then, you get a little older like me, and hopefully a little wiser.

I came to understand a few things about human nature. Well, many things actually. But a big thing is that we humans have elevated ourselves to an almost demigod-like status when in reality we are no different than our hunter/gatherer ancestors. We share the same DNA and our behavior patterns at the core have always remained constant. Without going into all of the parallels I will stick to the topic at hand.

Laziness is a reward. A sweet, sweet reward that was rarely bestowed on our "savage" ancestors. Their world was a tough one. An "only the strong survive" kind of place that most of our society wouldn't last ten minutes. Believe me, if Grok had a Lazy Boy recliner in his cave it would have been used plenty if it weren't for the constant need of having to bust ass to put food in he and his tribes' mouths. There really wasn't enough time to sit around and get fat. Try to imagine our world with no convenience stores or farmer's markets to bring you food. You would have to go out and get it yourselves. Do you think you'd have time to sit on your couch picking your nose for a few hours? Chances are, no.

So in summation, don't beat yourself up if you feel like being lazy. Everyone does. I do. It is hardwired into us to create a small state of euphoria. It's perfectly natural. What we must try and do is to tap into that primal instinct. To live life everyday like it's battle and not be sedentary until we know that our work(out) is done.

Hope that makes some sense. This is my first attempt at blogging. I've got tons of nutty thoughts like this floating around in my head and I plan on jotting them down here for your amusement and/or displeasure.

Thanks for listening,
-Andy