Apparently, you only have to do it once in the head!

10 12 2008

Wow! The suggestions I got from last post were great. I think that the two things that stood out the most for me at this point were the need for a plan and that I have to confront my fears (which I like to do).

The first, thanks to Howie, I realized that I have never had a visualization of me changing my fitness health. In fact, I have always imagined that I would continue to struggle for the rest of my life but never really change anything! Which is a horrible way to live life (once you realize you are doing it). I still don’t have a plan but I have to sit and thing about it and then visualize its completion. It is probably like anything else, you need a certain amount of faith that you can do something or you end up going through the motions but never thinking it will make a change. How profound! (Thanks again Howie!)

Which brings me to the second. I was going to say that I have no idea what I fear but as I am writing, it is obvious to me that the thought that things would stay the same and that I would always have to stuck in a rut were a cause of great fear. Of course, I am also afraid of zombies, aliens and robots taking over the world, but somehow this one is more tangible. In my life, I have always wanted to make a difference in the world. I want other peoples live to be better because of my choices, but it is becoming all to obvious that I have not had enough faith that I would. Although I might have said that I did, there were still some of my own misapprehensions hidden and lurking for opportune moments to bring me down! (it actually sounds evil when I say it that way! :D)

The solution to my predicaments seems to be the visualizing of a simple plan which should take a year or two to achieve. Nothing crazy – like the things I normally set out to do. But something, practical and valuable. The biggest thing is that I have to truly believe that I can do it – and do it I will. Even if I have trouble getting up sometimes.

Thanks again to all the people that have posted comments. I hope you will continue to share your experiences and thoughts!



Doing things in your head first

8 12 2008

When it comes to doing my workout in the morning, it has become easier and easier but the challenges are not over. The biggest one at this point is the thought of having to do it or the fear of missing a section. After last post there was a lot of feedback from people and it made me realize that part of the issue was that I was doing the work twice.

Sure, I would get up when my alarm went off, muttering the word ‘discipline’ to myself and then faithfully went through the routine but the issue was that I was doing the workout in my head before hand and by the time I got around to doing it I had done it twice.

Let me explain. When you have to do something that you are already having trouble doing, there is nothing worse for morale than dwelling on it before  hand. If you don’t like your vegetables but you need the nutrients then you close you eyes, eat the vegetables first, and get on with it. If you keep them on your plate until the end of the meal you have nothing to look forward to and the worst is ahead of you.

The part that I have found important is to make a plan and then only think about it when its time to reevaluate – never while doing it. The thing to avoid is to reevaluate all the time. This just causes less willingness to act when the times comes.

The second issue is the fear that now that I am getting into a pattern, I could fall off the waggon at anytime. What if I stop doing it again and then it will be hard all over again? Or what will happen to my body as I get older?

This one has me stumped. This one is pure emotional because no matter how I rationalize it, I always come back to the fear! For now the solution is to push through but I know that it has to do with Todd comment last week:

  • Drop what you know
  • Suffering is optional
  • Be here now
  • Get out of your head and into your body

The issue is that I am not sure how to bridge the thoughts.

Suggestions are welcome. 😀


Mobility Up A Mountain

21 11 2008

copy-of-dscn3409Over the last year, I’ve been using an approach to health and fitness composed by the creator of Circular Strength Training™, Scott Sonnon. It is an approach that has the greatest degree of balance, moving thru many degree’s, that I’ve come across to date. It employs Joint Mobility, Prasara Yoga and Clubbells; to keep it simple. And Sonnon’s outlook truly takes in all aspects, not just the physical. In truth, this system goes to such depths that, as far as I can tell thus far, there is something in it for anyone, no matter where they’re at.To shed a little more light on the extent and effectiveness of this program, I’d like to share a story with my own experience using it.

As anyone that’s been following us here at Gym Jane can tell you, Chris and I hike out in the local mountains quite a bit. A little less in the last year, but 6 months prior to starting the blog and 6 months in to it, we were getting out just about every weekend. The hikes varied from 1hr (straight up) to 9 hrs. Up steep faces, thru the snow, in the rain, in the fog, in the hot sun, over rivers and sometimes a combination of all of these in a single hike. And during the first 6 months of Gym Jane, we were training pretty intensely, 4 days a week, working up to completing the “300” test created by Gym Jones. And we trained very much in a style that encapsulated Gym Jones/CrossFit/Kettlebell Lifting. So to say the least, we were in pretty damn good shape.copy-of-dscn3406

Now something we’ve been doing every summer for the last 3 years is going for a hike up to Crown Mountain with our father-in-law Richard. Hike takes about 6 hours all together (usually because we hike most of it over snow). This summer was no exception. And this time we also brought Chris’s younger brother Kevin (14yrs) along with us.

This summer however, Chris and I didn’t have the benefit of the training we’d had the previous summer. Due to our schedules, we haven’t been able to train together. And for myself, I’ve been dealing and working thru a major back injury. It is actually what brought me to finding RMAX and delving into CST. As part of my rehabilitation, I’d been doing Intu-Flow, CST’s Joint Mobility system. Actually, because of the severity of my back injury, that was basically all I could do. Every day. Twice a day for the first 3 months (both sessions combined for no longer than 25 min). So by the time we got up on the mountain, I’d been doing it for about 5 months, with a bit of a few other things, but nothing that would come close to constituting “getting fit”. And Chris and I hadn’t been out for a hike in a while.

But while hiking, I found myself full of energy. I wasn’t out of breath, my legs weren’t burning, nor did I feel tired. If anything, I actually felt like I was “bounding up the mountain”. I kept feeling like taking off in a dead run…..up. But I held myself back, as I didn’t want to rub in, to my compatriots, that they were sort of struggling along and I felt like breaking out into a song and dance;). And I was feeling just as good, if not better, than the summer before, when I was in some wicked shape. As I kept going, I realized what was giving me all this energy, what had contributed to it. It wasn’t too hard, as Intu-Flow was really the only thing I’d been doing. And it wasn’t just the hike. My recovery was FAST! The next day, I felt it a little in the thighs. But then I also road my bike for an hour and a half. By the day after that, it was as if I’d never gone up.copy-of-dscn3420

We’re not talking about some “new, crazy, top performance” training program here. We’re talking about a 10-15 min a day joint mobility program that releases tension and helps you reclaim your full range of motion. The foundation of CST. And that’s just scratching the surface. So if all you’ve got is 10-15 mins a day to spare, no energy or chutzpah to get yourself going on a fitness program…..check it out.

You may find yourself up a mountain before too long.


P.S. My 3 com padres all now practice a little joint mobility program themselves;)

The Lonely Road to Discipline

4 11 2008

I have not been around here for a while. In fact, I have probably not written a post in the better part of a year, which is a sign of everything else in my life. Over the last few months I slowly but surely slid down the slope of discipline into the void of randomness.

Last summer I was in extremely good shape which was only a manifestation of the discipline that I had practiced. I could do anything that I wanted and I had great confidence in my abilities and this year I have had aches and pains and hardly any energy to play with the kids. The sharp contrast was all to obvious and heightened by the thought of having to start all over again by myself. While I was working out with Shane it was somewhat easier since I had someone to do the work with and most importantly, I had someone with whom to reflect.

This is where loneliness starts. Some people enjoy to have a lot of time on their own and in some cases it seems to burden them to have to spend too much time with others (if you are one of those, this post will make little sense for you! 😀 ).

This is were life has become isolating. It is not so bad once you get started but having to muster the focus to get started can be overwhelming. The fact is that in the end you are alone in this world. There might be people that love you and like to be with you, but you are still alone. Stuck in a small head, behind a pair of eyes and ears. You can absorb all you want but you have to decide how to process it all. Discipline for me is the ability to focus ones energy to the task at hand repeatedly and systematically while maintaining command of ones thoughts. It is infused with a certain purity of mind, heart, soul and body.

This is where the loneliness lives. I have had to face this demon again. I will have to reflect on my own. I will have to take charge once again. But only in this way will life really mean something.


I thought I would share a quote that helped me in the first few days of starting again.

“Sharp must be thy sight and adamant thy soul, and brass-like thy feet, if thou wishest to be unshaken by the assaults of the selfish desires that whisper in men’s breasts.”
~ Bahá’u’lláh

Gymnos Evolution

30 10 2008

The day has arrived. When I started out on this new career path, I knew I would eventually be starting my own business. Of course, there first needed the laying of the foundation before doing so. There was educating myself, taking my learning of physical culture to a whole new level. Shipping myself off across the continent and back to learn from the best. Familiarizing with the current fitness industry. And most importantly, identifying what it was I had to offer the world thru health, fitness and overall well-being.

With my own training evolving, the vision crystallizing and the last few months of hard work, I’m very happy to officially launch: Gymnos Evolution

I invite you all to check out my new website:

Thanks to everyone who visit us here at Gym Jane, for your continued comments, support, interest and encouragement. It’s what keeps us going:)

And stick around, this new evolution is merely the beginning!



11 10 2008

As a father of two, I have seen one of the purest meanings of strength: in their mother, the woman who carried and brought them into this world. And I’m not just talking about the labor, which trumps ANYTHING I have or will ever experience in my life. I’m also talking about the complete physical transformation that women undergo, physiologically, bio-chemically, all of it. Then needing to be so closely tied to them, for the first little while anyway, especially if you breastfeed them. The giving up of themselves for a time, to breath new life into this world.

The closest thing we as men will ever be able to come to experiencing that is by being by their side, day in and day out. It merely provides a glimpse.

I’m sharing these thoughts because a little while ago I came across another amazing example of this strength (my wife continues to blow me away with hers each and every day) when I came upon a training video of a woman getting herself back in shape after having had her son. Her name is Maya Garcia. She and her husband Steve Khuong are Strength and Conditioning Specialists out of California and run The Ice Chamber. I met Maya and Steve when we were getting certified as Kettlebell Lifting Coaches in San Diego. Really great couple.

Now, this isn’t some lose a bazzillion pounds, get ripped, never look like you carried a baby in 4 weeks kinda deal. This took a year of incremental progress, determination, consistency, patience , hard work and….strength. I have been truly inspired by Maya as I continue with my own training and practice.

Without further ado: Postpartum Maya!


Incrementally to the Depths 2

13 09 2008

I had the opportunity and privilege to train one-on-one with Scott in May. To train with Scott, you don’t come away with merely having had a workout or learning a few techniques to throw in your program. You come away having had a full on education and a myriad gems gained. He had assisted me with issues I was having with my back (which actually lead me to CST). I had made some great progress and could probably have started making some headway with the Kettlebells, but knew, truthfully, that I still needed to spend time with this one.

So I let the bells go completely for now and focused on continuing to “wipe the slate clean”. By fully letting go and committing to what I needed to do, I think it was the actual step thru the door which had been previously unlocked by Scott. And now I was meeting him on the other side of it. I-Caramba! It’s funny (only in retrospect;), because as I was driving down I was thinking what I wanted to go over and ask him about. One of those was “when you and the other coaches talk about “going deep into your practice”, what EXACTLY do you mean by that”? To clarify, I never even got to ask, but boy did I come out understanding.

We worked on a number of yoga poses for me to continue addressing the imbalances that caused my back problems. Very challenging, very effective, very safe and very hard work. As we were coming to a close, going over a final pose, Mike Locke, one of Scott’s CST Head Coaches came passing by. Scott asked Mike if he wouldn’t mind taking a look and adding any thoughts he might have. Well after a minute or so of throwing some idea’s back and forth, Mike identified an area and pose, the ½ Spinal Twist, that may help. Scott smiled, a devilish little smile, and said “that’s why he’s one of my Head Coaches”.

Into the half spinal twist I went, Mike looking on with focused precision, calling out the cues, Scott assisting me physically with the pose and attaining that deepening into the movement. Further and further we went. Further than I’d ever been before. The little “voices”, which tend not to be one of my battles, starting to yell out “STOP”! I asked when we should be stopping and Mike said “you tell us”. A part of me wanted to, but I noted that it was not because I was in pain (at no time did I feel any nor would I have allowed myself to go there). There was some distress, some discomfort, some tension, but no real reason to stop. Yet I was breathing high and fast, the little voices were going a mile minute, I was sweating and I found myself on the verge of tears. I can’t remember a time when, thru all the various physical training I’ve done and extremely high levels of intensity, that I felt honestly, humbly ready to be brought to tears.

Side Note: I want to make sure it is understood and clear that Scott and Mike conduct themselves with the utmost professionalism. They were coaching me thru this every step of the way, at no point pushing me into a place beyond what I was ready or willing to go to.

With their coaching, I brought the breath under control and relaxed, releasing this insane amount of tension bound up deep in my hip. After it was all over, I unwound slowly and lay there, trying to take in what had just happened. My entire concept, of practice and to what depths, if willing to do so, you can go, had just been deepened, evolved, even altered. All of a sudden the deep well of potential with where I could take my training, any training (including those Kettlebells), was blown wide open before me. And no amount of books or DVD’s, radio or podcast’s, youtube or internet could have shown me.

Depth is what I was looking for and depth is what I got (and will continue to get). Starting way back at the very start, one step at a time, incrementally, sequentially. We may think it’s slow, even a bit tedious and dull. Compared to the frenetic pace everything else around us moves, maybe yes. But in reality, it’s not in the least. Start off nice and slow and before you know it, you’ll find yourself speeding along the strong and powerful currents of life……and smack dab in the middle of a Sonnon/Locke jam session, which is far from dull!