Working Towards Changes

This last Saturday, Susan and I drove to Santa Maria to visit her aging aunt and uncle. It’s about 4 hours away, depending on traffic. Her cousin brought a couple of old photo albums, yes, the kind with actual, hard copy, pictures, and we looked at some old, old photos of her relatives. We see them about once a year which is probably not enough given that they are Susan’s oldest living relatives. Uncle Leo is an old time, straight up kinda guy who has lived in or near Santa Maria most of his life. Uncle Leo has a good, firm handshake at 85+ years old and gets a twinkle in his eye when he talks about, as a much younger man, lighting firecrackers where he shouldn’t have been. I especially like visiting with Aunt Janice because she is the person that Susan will to grow into, it’s like taking the time machine forward in a very good way.

It was great to see Uncle Leo and Aunt Janice, but I’m not going to lie, the drive was exhausting and long, there is no real nice way to put it. We managed to make it fun. We listened to some good books, To Repair the World: Paul Farmer Speaks to the Next Generation and My First Summer in the Sierra by John Muir and ate a great dinner at Salinas City BBQ. Still, we went to bed almost right after we got home and slept like dead people.

We made the drive because early in our marriage Susan and I decided that family was important and we would make time to visit with them as often as possible. While we have been moderately successful, when we are successful, here’s what we do when we succeed… OK, this is complicated, so get your notebooks out… Ready… 3, 2, 1… We put it on our calendar. And to be thorough, when we fail to do something that is important to us, it, almost always, is not on our calendar. In addition, we are prioritize our time, for instance, when we go on vacation, we make sure we don’t schedule too much. Sometimes that means we don’t get to see everyone or everything but without the priorities, we often spend our vacation running around, not getting rested and not getting quality time with anyone.

The way we are addressing our family and our friends is working its way into our workouts, we are simplifying them so we can focus on the movements that help us feel better and keep us strong and healthy over the long term. In addition, we are scheduling the minimum and looking for ways that we can get something in, even if it is a quick 15 minute workout. I consider Jason the master of the quick workout. If you are ever around about 5:45 Monday or Friday he will often bust out a quick workout that is ingeniously strength-y and cardio. We always want you have a full workout but in the coming months we are going to start showing some of these distilled workouts so that if you are running late, you’ll still be able to come in and get a little bit of everything. In general, we want the barrier to getting some good movement in as low as possible.

As we wind up this year, start thinking about what’s important and how you are going to get those important things done. And here is the brutal part: Determine exactly how important those “important” things are. There are usually less than three important things. Let me give you a little extra hint, prioritize the things that you are either not that good at and/or the things that are hard for you. Today is not too early, we already have dates on our calendar for next February. By the next newsletter, we will have a series of Mad Dawg Unleashed events for 2015. Here is the first step for you, answer these few questions which are based on our five pillars of developing athletic mastery that will, hopefully, spark your imagination for picking one or two important things to work on next year:

Physical capacity is changed through regular (not necessarily daily) exercise
Realistically, how many days can you get to the gym? Are those hours scheduled? Is getting to the gym easy for you? What is the one factor that you can change to get into the gym more regularly?

Neurological changes are best accomplished through daily practice
Do you know what your bulls-eye is? Does it take you less than 5 minutes each day? Do you see a change when you practice your bulls-eye regularly?

How you approach your workout is just as important as the workout itself
Do you know what you are here to accomplish? Do you have a ‘why’ that inspires you to keep on taking steps that get you closer to what you want?

Your workout only “works” when you let your body recover
Are you a person who believes that you just have to work harder to see results? Do you try to exercise out crappy eating? Are you sacrificing sleep for an over-booked, stressful life? Do you cook the majority of your food?

Having a workout partner (or two) who will contribute to your success is invaluable
What do you do to encourage others at work or home to live a healthier lifestyle? Do you have a workout partner who will keep you accountable? Do you have a person at work that will take a walk with you if you are in a busy cycle?

You can answer some of these questions on your own or if you need help, you can make an appointment with Susan or Saul. Or you can participate in our Mad Dawg Reset, which starts Wednesday, January 7th with a mandatory class from 7 – 8 PM. Put it on your calendar now and make space in your life for better health.