Five for Friends 10/09/19

 Quote:  “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” – Calvin Coolidge

Every year I better appreciate the words of Silent Cal; despite talent and educations, it has been planning, and perseverance has more often success.

Book currently reading: Traction by Gino Wickman 

This book has been a great read and teaches how using systems to track and improve processes in business can dramatically change your results. Six Sigma and Agile often use esoteric terms that require time to understand the terms before it becomes helpful the uninitiated to use to improve their business. Similar to what a professor once insisted to me, without a solid thesis (specific, tangible, and relatable), then you do not have a good argument.

An article worth a read:  Do your best also means self compassion

In a refreshing and short read, Molly hits home to a notion that I and other perfectionists alike could really use, when some days you are off your game. The article makes a subtle acknowledgement that “things be like that sometimes”. Since “your best” isn’t going to be what an idealized version of yourself can accomplish. It will be what limited to what resources you have available.  

Small Purchase: On a lark, while picking up some supplies for a hike, I saw a Walmart carries a Zinc Magnesium (ZMA) supplement, that is apart of my bedtime routine and not suggesting choosing on mega-conglomerate for another. One less item that I need to include ordering through Amazon or

What am I working on: The open is coming, and at the same time, I’m bitten with the competitive bug to resume playing Magic at a high level. So in between reps, I aim to think about unifying the ideas of the rigorous physical demands of CrossFit and the mental marathon of magic share. 

Training Looks a little bit like this: Lucky Me!


Back Squat (1-1-1-1-1)

building E2MOM

Metcon (Time)

10 Rounds (@115)

7 Power Cleans

7 Front Squats

7 Push Jerks 

5 for friends 9/30

Quote: “Once a year, go someplace, you’ve never been before.” – Author unknown. I’m not sure when I first heard this piece of advice; likely it was during High School around my Senior year. But, with that mantra it has spurred meditating underwater falls, exploring underwater-cave systems, and even finding out that gator really does taste like chicken.

Book currently reading: Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance by Alex Hutchinson
More or less always has been on my reading list, as it does cover what the physical limits of humans are and how thinking is the most significant moderator or what limits or expands our capacity. 

Article worth a read: How to Craft a Perfect Email My guilty pleasure as an adult is scouring LifeHacker for essential tips on how to be a human in the real world. Today’s article hit me in a big way after handwriting letters, and interpretative dance email is my favorite mode of communication. Mostly because of the asynchronous nature I can pour a stream of consciousness out and can whittle away the excess and eventually understand what I mean around the same time as I hit send. Despite the ads more often than not this was a reminder of what I should be looking for and can speak to the contender for Quote of the week: Writing is 80% organizing your thoughts 20% actual writing. From Malcolm Gladwell, whose new book will be arriving at my door soon. 

Small Purchase: In the grand scheme of things, I question how small is my purchase; because it relates to the most excellent game of all time Magic: The Gathering and my decades-spanning collection. To the point over the weekend, I went to my local game store to play in the pre-release event for Throne of Eldraine (the 82nd expansion). For the small cost of a trip to the movies with popcorn, I spent my Friday evening with great friends of mine that I have not had time to see in months. The gameplay and format have been the best I’ve seen since my all-time favorite set from 2014 (Khans of Tarkir). $25 paid for just over 4 hours of pizza, exciting games of magic, and stories of harrowing victories and defeats we could still laugh about all night. 

What am I working on:  This month continuing in alignment with my goal of training to complete a Spartan Beast (last piece of the Trifecta) without too many injuries. So, my 3rd month at the Hive has my body starting to adapt to the high volume of reps under heavy load. With my increasing aerobic capacity and marginal strength gains, things are coming up Milhouse! Month 4 is my time for putting together my ever-improving endurance and will power to finally tackling the often neglected skill gymnastics.

Slowly but surely each WOD or trip to the globe-o gym will include 1 or more bodyweight movement. The aim is to work on pacing and strengthening my core and stabilizer muscles.  

2min bike
10 Hang Power Cleans
10 OHS
10 Kip Swings
10 Alt. Step Ups
Lateral Burpees
Overhead Squat OHS (95/65)
Chest to Bar Pullups C2B

Achilles used: Return

The feeling that comes when returning to something that once brought you joy is a powerful one. In this case, my feelings are matched with sheepish chagrin knowing I stopped creating posts for years. Solely because a person I immensely respect (Tim Ferriss) started an email newsletter of a similar list format.
Wisdom and the drive to want to continue growing as a more consistent and coherent writer does mean getting better at the style that matches how I like to add value to my friends. With no further preamble, This is the return of My Five for Friends. A report of sorts of the books, articles, and insights that I have been consuming and would send to my friends as an email whenever finding something that made me think of them.


“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”- Neale Donald Walsch
This week’s 5 for friends inspired by this age-old quote that sparked the sentiment that has led me to so many misadventures. As cliche as it sounds, the only memories I can say I ever regret, stand out because “I just want to be comfortable.” drove those decisions. So it brings me back to this quote and the notion getting comfortable with uncomfortable.

Book I am currently reading: I Hear You: The Surprisingly Simple Skill Behind Extraordinary Relationships by Michael S. Sorensen

A remarkably short read about a crucial part that is required when having a conversation with someone. Taking a moment to validate what they are saying; it doesn’t mean you have to agree or just parrot back what they said before answering. Suggesting to recognize why are they talking to you, many times it’s not for advice as much as needing a sounding board. It was precisely the subject I wanted to go on a deep dive with after spending a weekend in the mountains meeting with old friends with a fair amount on their minds.

Small purchase: A new (heavier duty) trunk organizer with dividers. This month I have been under the hood of several cars that were not my own to either change flat tires, brakes, oil. Opening my trunk crammed with training equipment, books, board games, tools, and hiking supplies, I knew where everything was, after a smidge of digging. But, an old fashion cleaning was in order, so others can find the boxing gloves on the left and not rummage through different party games to get to the tire iron.

Article worth sharing

Again this week has been predicated on how I’m easily influenced by my friends (there I said it). This admission is how my minds work when a friend brings up in conversation an opinion I want to know more. How this deep dive start was when my friend admitted they hate forced team-building activities. While the new acquaintance on our mountain trek loved the camaraderie and always looked at the intent leads to good outcomes. My viewpoint was more in line with this article’s suggestions if you’re going to do something stupid with your coworkers at least make sure it has meaning behind it.

<currently working on> I want to complete the Spartan Trifecta. For the last several months, I have been attending CrossFit 2 to 3 days a week. Now I still have issues with the capricious rep schemes of CrossFit in the macro, but that is for another post. To reach this goal three months ago increasing my aerobic capacity, endurance, and maintain my strength. There are a lot of paths to get to the fabled to become a great all-rounder. Training at Black Hive, while I already have a membership at a globe-o gym to reach my goal is more costly. Despite having a great deal of training knowledge, you can only go so far when you train by yourself. I need to learn how to eat the elephant. Something books, podcasts, and music can inform and share experiences of but does not teach you. I recognize as a competitor; I need coaches to show me things I’ve never attempted and other people to show that it isn’t impossible.

My hope is this brings you some value and insight as I learn to be a little more concise with my thought and work on other projects.

All cost must be paid

Recently I concluded another meeting with a loosely affiliated group of friends; Friends are in every respect brilliant, ambitious and so much accomplished than I. While what I bring is advice from a codec of social science research and recall of several hundred books and studies, like a Mike Ross that was fascinated by psychology instead of law. Also not posing an associate clinical psychologist to assist a hotshot. Is that too meta? I’ve been consuming a lot of caffeine in between meetings and understanding why I have chosen the life of a Salary-man while moonlighting as a performance coach; instead of continuing with my masters… I don’t have a good answer, and it continually feels more contrived with each book on the subject that I read regarding imposter syndrome and Dunning-Kruger effect. Alas, a rant for another catchy title. Mostly because today’s writing exercise is to connect the importance of strategy and why most people even high performer only understand half of it. 
While en route for this meeting over coffee, a former student of mine called with a crisis (met girl, no want to go med school, no away from the girl.) Marshaling my thoughts to address his plight with the empathy he needed and to avoid doubling down on an emotional decision; my infallible advice was instead of a pro/con list asking can you walk me through a timeline of what this change looks like? Okay not so infallible advice, essentially it’s “what do you want? please explain why” Only that’s what people no matter the age need to hear when they feel strongly about anything. My next trick of that afternoon was making another mental shift for the conversation I was walking into; so, with a chuckle and apology for wrapping up a call in my car that crept into my group’s coffee meeting with me, “I forgot how true it was, all cost must be paid.”

We shared a laugh over this mostly because it was said in a joking tone and everything that comes out of my mouth is often a reference to something else. So, an explain came referring to a game we all played a lot, Magic: the Gathering… where a phase in the game is dedicated to accounting for and resolving any ongoing effects. We shared laughs as we nostalgically remembered games narrowly won or lost because opponents or ourselves overlooked some detail during a turn. The real-world equivalent to the upkeep is checking your budget at the beginning of the month: get paid, pay recurring expenses i.e. housing, food, etc, do what you planned with the rest. 
More examples were also made comparing the magic system used in books The KingKiller Chronicles, Stormlight Archives, and alluded to my yet to be written Tao Te Pokemon to highlight no matter how intelligent, ambitious, or connected people can make plans but success and failure often come down to how well the resources were managed. Since it is hard to win the day or save the kingdom when you run out of your competitive advantage at the wrong time. The meaning was clear. Our meeting was all about tracking progress on the monthly and quarterly projects we stated we wanted to accomplish.

Truthfully that day’s mastermind topic came from an epiphany when putting myself in my student’s shoes, and what an instructor explained to me one day. Unexpected costs will inevitably add up and often cause the death of long-term plans. It felt especially true while guiding the conversation with two professionals attempting to change the culture; and, being aware the two share the same habit I have: take on too many projects at once, with whatever is finished get listed as a win, what’s left to be punted until the muses strike again. I would like to say there’s nothing is innately wrong with this hyperactive approach, heck the most prolific thinkers in history admit to a voluminous approach. There is a caveat we discovered while reverse-engineering the process. Without a greater goal, you’re working towards the common thread can be a haphazard grabbing of low hanging fruit gets completed first. Why our alliance of high achievers came together, to keep us accountable and produce more meaningful work. 
After years of taking meetings, the lesson clients have taught me is the struggle to have to abandon an approach that brought in results in the past. Thankfully it also uncovered a more important question: how good are you at strategy? Not just planning, but setting objectives, what to prioritize (and not to prioritize), what resources are available, and how viable or long term is this.

A lot of smart people believe is a Harvard Business Review article their support team reads, not them though, so often I don’t get a call until disaster is looming, too many projects are being juggled, and not enough manpower to get through the unfinished backlog. Why? Because the crucial part of a strategy that was missed is rarely plain so the costs aren’t tangible. No matter your ambition, moxie or skill when taking on an assignment/project these costs add up and eventually will be paid. An important lesson for anyone to learn for students and seasoned managers alike. So I leave you all with a way of thinking comes from spending my work and play thinking of it like a game: Time, money, emotional/mental energy, and often enough physical things from a car or some piece of equipment. These are not worth zero dollars; no matter how reliable your car is or limitless your energy is when you’re young. 

A return to form, sort of

At my core, no matter how many trips I take into the mountains to meditate; sessions in the sensory deprivation tank; or calming breaths in yoga class I take, there is a fire in my belly impossible to douse. During this year progressing to other more intense forms of introspection (getting a membership at a float spa) to drill down to the root the narratives I’ve been following, and how my beliefs, some consciously, most unconsciously led me to where I am. But, the hope and intention are to rewrite pages of the script that has been running for years. Now, you may ask what does scripts and float tanks have to do with fire. As I write these words I am becoming aware that it all has to do with recognizing my own nature and how that shows up to the world. In answer

In short, this is about forgetting, trying many things to recapture a feeling that I was asleep to for a long time. Undoubtedly I can say I have a pleasant life and spent the last several years under that impression. Creature comforts and even an agreeable personal philosophy that sort of keeps to my stoic roots. However, there was a moment that looking back we can see how sticking to a middle path started replacing gut decisions with more careful and deliberate ones, considering all parties involved shifted my reputation as a responsible and knowledgeable teacher; which eventually shifted my temperament and even the nicknames changed. Now, names are powerful things. I’m not just saying that because Kvothe and Dale Carnegie also said that, but because they are. They shape us and give an implicit queue to how the world sees us, and more subtly how we see ourselves.

The example I will use is my own name, and the aliases friends have come to call me. The real best example is the names used by Professional Wrestlers, Athletes, and Celebrities. I will avoid that because I’m in an introspective mood and would encourage looking at one’s own name if you haven’t enough.
For most of my life I’ve answer to Achilles often as my own name, quick & clever and so outwardly stoic the word abrasive, sometimes arrogant, was used to describe Achilles, me. In my formative years I wonder if the name encouraged my bold action or because I was relentless towards my goals, maybe the easiest truth was people fresh off watching the movie Troy just saw it was just like my name. while other people filled in their own impression of the meaning over the years. With wisdom, I can now see how grizzled instructors who were not apart of the naming party who put a lot of work in keeping me hungry and always under the impression any feat I accomplished was only mundane. inadvertently shaping how to show up as an invincible force.

Somewhere along the way as an adult the chip on my shoulder fell off. Forgetting what it felt like to be the challenger. Somewhere along the way I went from student, to assistant instructor, to coach of my own small classes had muted my spit-fire nature and started adopting the politely apathetic smile that my teachers used. Waking up years later to how boring its been! Yes there are many small joys from teaching and training and fostering a spirit of continuous improvement. But, these last few years have been like asking Fire to be like Water or Wood to be still as Steel.
Something I value deeply! The eternal goal is to find balance and unrealized strength in the process. But, somewhere I confused tranquility and contemplation for balance. My assumption is because those were so unnatural to my instincts. Like Fire acting on instincts and learn with my body is where I am truly in flow, have a debrief/postmortem during my recovery. Just that approach doesn’t serve a crop of hellions you’re coaching over here in the states. But now that I see my oldest students graduating and entering into the fields of Biomechanics and Physiology; I don’t want any of them to have to believe consciously or unconsciously they have to be a copy of a copy of me that is mostly an amalgamation of the coaches I’ve learned from. Because most of my students are all talented, fast thinking with a fiery nature. Currently they already see, at least when they drop in to train with me they feel compelled to explain a new insight they are excited about in a fairly muted and well professorily way, if you catch my meaning. Granted, I did the same coming up to impress my professors and since it was praised fire performed like water. And didn’t notice I would come alive except when wild free form conversations where threads would get connected of pop culture references, novels friends and peers of mine were reading, and how it connected to eccentric movements or energy systems.

Recently I finally given in and decided to scratch the itch to have more open discussions and be okay with saying “I Don’t Know”, and getting to a reasonable conclusion through discourse or with the 200 IQ play of Fire(hyper active spazz) in doing. I assume the thought process is ‘becoming a student again’. But I can report that say taking a couple hours an hour out of the day to show up to CrossFit or go rock climbing to explore and move my body to do something that I am not sure whether I can do it or not. The only thing at the end of it was finding that I was spending more time thinking how does each lift looks when playing the role of trainer and font of knowledge. But, when giving myself the permission that my only requirement for the day is just showing up and take as much time as it takes to complete the game at hand.

My endurance is not the same and I am much stronger since, but after a few months of inserting training as a student and member of a group had transported me back to feeling young again. Not feeling the effects of decision fatigue as much even if my life is still just as fast-paced. Just moving more makes going for a jog on a day off instead of feeling like I should be doing some form of business development. Going to Happy Hour and Game Night isn’t the routine that is winning out as a way to socialize with friends.
The idea that is coming to me is many of my friends are very heady intellectuals who do enjoy conversations in smokey pubs while figuring out how to improve employee morale, a process or speculate on the nature of things. Those are the things I love and tackle on and off the clock, but somewhere along the way because the people I spend the majority of my time around were less physical Happy Hours won out more than walking meetings or just throwing a ball. I need both to refuel my well. My balance is living in two extremes. Pursuing understanding the world but also acting in it. It’s been seven years and a lot of detours but I think I am back on the path I need(want) to be on.
The hard part was understanding, people aren’t going to understand that and it’s okay that my next 5, 10, 50 years are broad strokes towards being what I understand being the best version of myself looks like, not a concise 10 page business plan with vision statement.   

Five for friends

Powerful quote:
“Among men who rise to fame and leadership two types are recognizable—those who are born with a belief in themselves and those in whom it is a slow growth dependent on actual achievement. To the men of the last type their own success is a constant surprise, and its fruits the more delicious, yet to be tested cautiously with a haunting sense of doubt whether it is not all a dream. In that doubt lies true modesty, not the sham of insincere self depreciation but the modesty of “moderation,” in the Greek sense. It is poise, not pose.”
B.H. Liddell Hart

Currently Reading: The Ryiria Revelations Book 3:
The TLDR reason this series is so engaging is purely because for a character driven fantasy nerd you get a simple story of how a thief and mercenary, different as the sun and moon, work together to accomplish some of the most impossible missions; meeting some of the most interesting/compelling characters I’ve ever read along the way. The first book Theft of Swords  introduced me to a combination of friends that reminded me of my first D&D campaign with my best friend back in middle school: A surely lithesome rouge and broad shouldered charismatic fighter taking on a simple job that proves to be everything but.

New Work out: I was sent a differently paced workout than usual to tax my energy systems and maybe my very soul.
Technical – 5×4 Snatch
Metabolic – 30 Toes2Bars(TTB) / 30cal Row / 15 Squat Snatch (115lbs) / 60cal Row / 15 Squat Snatch 30cal Row/ 30TTB
Stabilization – 3 x max Muscle ups

Useful Lifehack: keep this one in your back pocket
Sometimes reaching a goal means adding new habits or learning a skill, but other times it simply means getting rid of some bad habits. If you want to identify what’s keeping you from your goal, invert it.Inverting your goals gives you a new perspective on what you’re trying to accomplish. The best example would be trying to lose weight. Ask yourself, “What do I have to do to gain weight?” Any answer you get is probably a habit you should avoid
Possible answers:
1. Eat whatever you want, whenever you want and how much ever you want.
2. Don’t exercise…ever
3. Don’t do any household chores that require physical activity
4. Don’t play any outdoor games.
It may seem absurd but

+EV article: Here’s What You Need To Negotiate At Each Stage Of Your Career – Negotiation is one job skill you’ll always need. But the things you’ll want to negotiate should change with your career. (Link below)

Any input is always welcome

5 for friends

So last week’s five for friends has been lost to the ether and cannot be salvaged, so here we press which turns out to be strangely thematic as I glance back over my week.

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.” – Maya Angelou
In my months of practicing more yoga and continuing my studies of philosophy ‘stoic’ ideals have been on the forefront of my mind and the key to taming rampant thoughts of ‘unfairness’ with the universe.
Book currently reading: 
Still trudging through the Heir of Novron, book 3 of the Riyia Chronicles. Maybe because of the how much time I’ve invested in the short stories and the previous two tomes, I am beyond happy with how this book has spent so much time not just putting the two main and various supporting characters in fantastic scenarios. But, it happening while picking up on the subtext of the many weights each carry: many instances that burden being hateful discrimination or gut-wrenching personal loss.
Article worth a read: Passion is the Result, Not the Cause of Taking Action, from my very favor website that supports my inner dilettante LifeHacker provides a pretty good lesson on how a lot of people have the passion equation backwards
Small Purchase: Constantly trying to improve my flexibility in yoga, Weight I can lift, Bring down my 3 miles time, and dictate more eloquently when giving speeches this weekend I instead canceled all my Saturday plans to walk around a park listening to music, and buy a pint of Moose Track ice cream and fell asleep streaming Magic Pro Tour coverage. Allowing myself to buy a treat just helped me do what has been difficult for ages: downshift and relax; instead of passing time until tired and going to sleep.
What am I working on: Recently the EGO monster paid me a visit via an Instagram comment. A month after posting a video of my first time attempting to ‘Clean n Jerk’ a “Friend” from high school commented: “Hey man if you ever want some help with technique for Olympic lifting hit me up you are going to hurt your wrist, elbow, or shoulder if you keep going like that.” For a bit of context before I admit in what way my ego went on a rampage, the last time this same “friend” spoke to me was at a party lambasting how much I little I could bench, squat or deadlift. And, before that how sub-par I was at Brazilian Jujitsu, in my teens wanting. With hindsight I guess I had a bully so my momentary outrage I feels a little more understood. Mainly because, through that comment I discovered he is a coach at the gym just a couple days before I recommended that someone check out if they were serious about learning to lift, not just momentarily excited because they saw me Clean n Jerk nearly my bodyweight(185) for a triple. I realize he was making a sale or at least start a conversation about coaching, but I am responsible for my own reactions. So, since that comment I’ve focused my strength workouts on understanding bar path and hand positions with cleans, deadlifts, and overhead squatting. So thank you ego.


Short list from the savage scientist 7/31

A long time ago, in an age before Tim Ferriss sent out his first 5 bullet Friday, I used to email out to a few friends a synopsis  of a few articles they would find interesting for them or the field they work in. Today I realize I haven’t been drafting nearly as many of those notes. without as much feedback I was secretly seeking from the tiny population that enjoyed those emails the practice fell off and has been filled with a torrent of emails to my very verbose supervisors. I’m still tackling my ambitious weekly goals of: finishing a book a week, practicing yoga 2x, weightlifting practice, improve my writing, and scheduling one on one mentoring sessions and feel like some of these should  be shared if it can provide value to others, even if drafting an email to a handful of people isn’t the method to use and a shotgun approach serves as a replacement until I cultivate my own email list, and get better at this blogging thing.
Currently reading: (Novel) The Heir of Novron by Michael Sullivan
Most impactful article: 9 yoga poses you can do from your desk w/o looking weird by Grace Reader from
Gym: The snatch is becoming my favorite lift to refine.
Yoga insight: Starting session with Cat/Cow for a few cycles is the minimum effective dose for the perpetually desk bound to have a good physical practice.
Listening to: Pokemon Go station on Pandora has been fire!
Small Purchase: (>$100) Going snorkeling in an underground spring and visiting a botanical garden.

In the comments below please leave any thought or suggestions for new things to read or articles I should check out!

Training model notes

Over the last few weeks I have been in touch with some of the best trainers I know to keep up with the corner stones to build a training routine for the fall, from the ground up.
I hope some of my notes are helpful to others

  1. Total body training requires: Knee dominate movements i.e. squat
    a. Zercher squat, rear foot elevated split squat, front squat
  2. For every squat (knee dominate) exercise do a hinging/ hip dominate
    a. Kettle bell swing, glute/ham raise, glute bridge, single leg RDL
  3. Upper body movement, use horizontal and vertical press
    a. Push ups, single-arm press, push press, OH press
  4. Upper horizontal/vert oull
    a. row, pull up
  5. Core – Spinal Stability i.e. Carry heavy
    a. Farmer walk, OH carry
  6. Training All planes –
    Frontal, Transverse, Sagittal
  7. Use Bilateral and unilateral variations
    ex. zercher squat > SL RDL 5 x 4 SApress >Bench Press 3 x 8 Neutral pull ups > Farmer carry…

Yoga, more like Broga


Doing anything with attention to how you feel is doing yoga.
– Jean Couch

To all readers who clicked to read more after scanning the opening quote. Yes, I’m going to be that guy. About to mansplain some yoga (while tongue firmly planted in cheek). If you haven’t cringed from the humor and audacity that a heavyweight can offer an opinion beyond strength training or hitting things, I applaud you.
My simple claim is yoga is more than the Lulu-lemon sponsored hour of stretching, capped off by a nap. Well, it does have those elements, but I can now admit after a year of what you can call dedicated practice. Yoga has proven to be an effective method to practice meditation and to combat my lifestyle choice of working through lunch everyday.
I am essentially parroting the same thing most type-As claim after their first “chaturanga”, however that doesn’t make it any less true. With that I will disclose my greatest benefit from adopting a regular yoga practice instead of doubling down on Olympic lifts has been gaining the ability to challenge what goes on in our own minds.

This week began with me recovering from the toughest yoga class I’ve ever been to. I am still convinced that it was held in a hyperbolic time chamber, disguised as a studio. Arriving for a fabled Saturday class that I’ve put off for a long time the easiest part of that class was unrolling my mat. That too was difficult once I stepped in I became intensely aware the AC was off and half a dozen large windows lining the room, welcomed the Florida sun. In that instant, maybe it was the sticky thick air of the room, but the urge to escape the room welled up inside me. Only being able to gulp down my fear of things to come I proceeded to roll out my mat. I was betraying my instincts! The source irrational thing I’ve trusted that’s kept me safe my entire life. But, today it was time for ‘power’ yoga and  greet this feeling of different  and not run away.
The class was different, to put it simply, my mind and body had to quickly adjust to the pace the instructor; as she had a cadence and emotional tone I would describe as religiously empowered, I mean ‘WooWoo’. Teaching yoga or performing the role of yogi was was obviously important to the instructor and I believed it was to the class as well, so why rock their boat if self mastery was one of my sub objectives for sticking with yoga for as long as I have? Because my instincts had scored a half court 3-pointer when I walked in.
As a life long athlete summer heat is manageable; capriciously long positions/holds are tolerable; but apparently when the phrases “surrender” and “center your heart/mind” are used when my rationale mind is hanging on to understand every bio-mechanical benefit and use of this class, that is my flash point. My instincts drew a new picture for me. And it is this one moment that made all worth it. helped me paint a new picture: I was terrified of getting injured; either because my joints and muscles weren’t ready for a class like this or the instructor genuinely lacked empathy and respect for the individual (two people leaving before the half way point of the session of the heat/frustration).
Come on brain why would you think such a mean thing as that? An instructor put a lot of care in to performing expertly do positions with esoteric jargon, issuing verbal cues to push for advanced poses than demoing an adequate regression, “The temperature feels fine to me.” the reply to a red in the face student.
Either my months of previous yoga has been homogenized by corporate overlords and the mantra of play it safe, or I’ve gotten myself into enmeshed with an instructor I didn’t want, but could make the best of it.
Each time I perceived a micro-aggression: breath through it (towels were handed out to everyone but me). Hearing the request to surrender into a pose, don’t cringe. Ask myself at what pace can I do each movement, instead of just copying the pace of the manic pixie in the front of the room.
Is this the secret to yoga? Quieting the monkey mind and all that jazz? Because it has a lot to offer a hyperactive person that traditional meditation can’t do as effectively.