Random Thoughts from a Restless Mind

Dr. Darrell White's Personal Blog

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Sunday musings 6/24/12

Sunday musings…

1) Happy. Nothing and no one ever seems quite as happy as a puppy in the morning at breakfast.

2) Hawaii. Lil’bingo is now in Hawaii for the second time in his 20 yr. life. Mrs. bingo and I have yet to make it there.

Mixed emotions on this one, folks.

3) Weightlifting. Cool weekend. Coach Burgener celebrated a birthday, and Holly Mangold is in the NYT Magazine today. Holly is a Superheavyweight U.S. Olympic Team weightlifter on her way to London. Like most of our team members she will not medal, but she will hopefully realize a goal that each of us can share.

Holly talks about the perfect lift, that synchrony of movements where bar and body dance so well that both are transformed from steel and sinew to something more like poetry. Holly is a big woman, 350 lbs., and yet when the lift comes together “[it’s] like peace, there’s no struggle. That’s what we’re all searching for, that feeling of weightlessness.”

Said with a smile, without a touch of irony. My new favorite Olympian.

4) Community. The boys had a visitor from Miami at Comet on Saturday. Many thanks to Adrienne for bringing such a fun vibe and energy boost to our Saturday WOD! Got me thinking about different Boxes as “Lovely Daughter” explores the CrossFit options in her new home town. Nothing beats actually visiting the Affiliate (if you have options) before you join.

What are your fitness goals? You should be thinking about this, and if you are not asked you should share this with your trainer. There are enough Affiliates, especially in major metro areas, that you will be able to find gyms with a “bias” that fits your particular goals.

“Lovely Daughter” comes from a Box with a vibrant, close-knit and pretty welcoming vibe, and she’d like to use her CrossFit gym as a place to meet new friends. Indeed, most of the friends I’ve met these last 7 years have been through CF. Each Affiliate has a slightly different feel, a personality, and you should feel some kind of welcomed and comfortable.

My bet is that your options will be plentiful, wherever you land.

5) Nest. “Lovely Daughter” has left the nest. This is a particularly apt and poignant metaphor chez bingo. When she was sick “LD” spent most days asleep in a corner of our business office, curled up in a pile of pillows the staff dubbed “The Nest”. And now? Off on her own after putting Mom on a plane home this AM.

Years ago this would have been terrifying, for both Lovely Daughter and her parents. Funny how it can be so different, how you approach and respond to that “first flight” out of the nest for each of your chicks. When “The Heir” left for college it was so matter-of-fact, so finally-time-to-go (especially for him!) that it was almost a non-event. But not Lovely Daughter; this was a HAPPENING.

How’s it gonna go? Who knows, but both Mrs. bingo and I fell pretty darned good about this. Lovely Daughter has worked hard, come far, gone far. Indeed, “The Nest” seems so far away it’s kinda hard to see it any more, though it sits there, still, a silent reminder of the long journey it’s already been.

It seems it was only a yesterday ago.

6) Stress. Great article on stress in a WSJ last week. Turns out stress might be kinda like porridge: too little, too much, and jusssst right. At least as far as performance is concerned.

This is a pretty cool concept. I don’t think there’s any controversy about too much stress, either chronic or acute. We are all aware of the damage that occurs to body and spirit when we are pounded by a huge stressor or under the constant, steady barrage of unremitting stress. Indeed, I’ve written and spoken often about the transference of my CrossFit response to the stress of the WOD to my ability to handle both ambush and siege. There is a well-known blunting of the typical neuro-endocrine response, an adaptation reaped from training, that transfers to the non-physical life.

What’s a little more interesting about this, I think, is the concept of both not enough stress (you enter an activity too calm, almost blase) and just enough (you are primed, ready, alert, charged). It turns out that a little bit of stress or anxiety is actually a good thing. Those “butterflies” in the stomach before a big game, an important test, that pivotal interview, or “Fran” actually predict a better outcome in all. It seems that the absence of this lowish level of stress makes it somewhat harder to produce an optimum effort.

All of which reminds me of a quote I once heard that sums up the above quite nicely: It’s OK to have butterflies in your stomach, as long as they all fly in formation.

I’ll see you next week…

Posted by bingo at June 24, 2012 7:12 AM


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