Treating training as a journey was the philosophical beginning for our programming.  This was to get away from the idea that there is a conclusion.  But, within that original philosophy I lost track that knowing WHY you are on a journey may be the most important component.

What I originally valued during my journey was suffering.  Workouts became a way for me to punish myself for lacking discipline in the other aspects of life.  This meant at first, it was addictive, because it provided momentary relief from anxiety.  It gave me a way to rationalize  that I was a person in control.  I was performing penance, bu not changing the behavior that caused the shame in the first place.

But, like all habit loops that give you a temporary alleviation of systemic anxiety caused by long term dissatisfaction, it didn’t move me forward.  It simply kept me from drowning.

Movement, shouldn’t be like that. It should be challenging and difficult but with an eye towards enjoyment.  You should enjoy the challenge it presents you, and not just search for the justification that you did something difficult.  When I watch my little girls moving and expressing themselves on a playground, backyard, gymnastic studio or through dance they aren’t doing it for any other reason but to do it.  They are pure and simple in their motivation.  I know that won’t last, but it is refreshing to see.

I have realized that the truly good movers, who move for a long period of time, are many times those that know it is not a battle but a war (A great thing I learned from Ido Portal’s language about his training Philosophy).  Learning to slowly build confidence in movements and give your body time to adapt and master is the important part of life.  This mastery allows for enjoyment to creep in.  And mastery only comes with time.  If we keep structuring our training towards pushing against that brick wall everyday we will continue to see these odd end connective tissue injuries.

Our training is going to continue to evolve.  It will get simplistic in programming, but challenging for the individual.  The onus will be on the individual to engage themselves and know where they stand.  They must know how the movement FEELS, not just what the weight is on the bar or how many times you move it.  We are not building capacity to just move things, we will be building beautiful movement across all fields.

You will see more gymnastic training.  Simplistic barbell training that stays the same over long periods of time.  And, dedicated running/sprinting work.  These are the moments to drill in and work on their intricacies.  You will see the classic “Crossfit” style workouts as well, but you should look at these parts of the workout as your “play”. It will be a time to move within simpler patterns and ones you have mastered.  Don’t suffer for the sake of shame. Don’t suffer at all.  Enjoy the challenge in that moment.

Thank you Dara for bringing this to my attention.

2 Responses to “Penance”
  1. Dara says:

    Think I may have put in my last workout at NHF. The moving van shows up this week and I head out to Chester County. It’s going to be hard to find an environment and community like NHF, and there will never be another coach who means as much to me as Dana, but I’m going to try like heck to find one.
    Best wishes to you all, and hope you all achieve your visions of greatness this year

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  • John Donne – Meditation 17

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