Archive for July, 2014
About ten years ago, while living in the Washington DC area, I was working three jobs. They were all jobs I loved greatly, personal training, coaching and working for a golf startup company. I would leave my house at 5:30am and often return well after 8pm. This went on for a few months. And then one day, I broke out in hives. Knowing this was not the norm, I called into work and went to see my doctor. After a few evaluations, we couldn’t really determine the root cause. I hadn’t been exposed to anything environmental or ingested any out of the ordinary foods. She gave me a few meds and sent me home. I went back to work instead. A couple of days later, they still hadn’t gone away so I went back to the doctor. When she asked me about work and stress, I explained my current situation.
Bingo! That was the root cause. By working so many hours in the day, for so many days and months at a time, my body was shutting down. They hives were my body’s way of saying “You need to rest.” I took a few days off of work. That seemed to help, the hives had disappeared. So I went back into work. As soon as I stepped foot in the door of the health club, by arms broke out in welts again. The manager at the time sent me right home. It took nearly two weeks of complete rest for my body to heal.
Lesson learned, take more time.
These days, I typically work six days a week, with Sundays being my only day off. With having only one day off per week, this does not allow my mind or body to get the proper rest needed. So I decided to take the whole weekend off. I removed my watch and Jawbone from my wrists, as a way to say to myself, “No expectations.” I moved at a slower pace around the house, did a lot of reading, took a few naps, played basketball with my favorite 16-year-old, and attended a Red Sox game.
Often in my yoga class I talk about the importance of taking time, for ourselves. It is advice I need to adhere to more of myself. The more I work, the more I realize that I need to take time. Taking time can be anything from staying at home on the couch to taking a walk through the city, to attending a ballgame on your own or sitting on the beach with nothing but a good book.
Make the time.
It was about 15 years ago that I watched Cool Hand Luke for the first time. That movie remains in my top five of all time favorites. One of the most memorable scenes is Luke taking on the challenge of eating 50 eggs in one hour. They show his training leading up to the day and then eating the 50 hardboiled eggs in one hour. He seems to look pretty good early on. But as time passes by, his stomach looks distended, sweat beads begin to roll down his face, he has a hard time walking around. Who wouldn’t?
There has been a lot in the news the last few days about food challenges and eating contests. Much of it has to do with a gentleman who died last week while taking part in a hotdog eating contest in South Dakota. This is not the first time someone has died while taking part in such a challenge. Trying to eat as much as you can in a short period of time has several risks, with choking being number one. Another situation was a mother who drank two gallons of water in order to win her kids a Nintendo Wii for her three kids. She died of acute water intoxication. Legend has it that after eating some cranberries and Hemlock bark, a gentleman drank some water. This caused the bark to expand and burst his stomach.
A research study at the University of Pennsylvania stated the following-
A chronically dilated, flaccid stomach may eventually decompensate, so that it becomes an enormous sac incapable of shrinking to its original size and incapable of peristalsing or emptying solid food. If this happens, long-term competitive speed eaters ultimately could develop intractable nausea and vomiting, necessitating a partial or total gastrectomy to relieve their symptoms and restore their ability to eat. Thus, speed eating is a potentially self-destructive form of behavior that over time could lead to morbid obesity, intractable nausea and vomiting, and even the need for gastric surgery.
While hot wings, spaghetti, pie and hotdog eating contests have become sport, is it worth the challenge and risk?
See how Cool Hand Luke fared with his eggs…..
As many of you know, a lot of my focus lately has been toward meditation. Whether it is spending more time sitting, reading books and articles or attending retreats. Lately it has become much easier and more inviting to meditate on a regular basis. I contribute much of that to having more focus, a purpose as to why I practice meditation.
Yesterday morning I had some free time so I decided to lift weights rather than sit. I knew that it was a shorter period of time than I typically allow for lifting and showering before my next client. Once I was on the fitness floor, I started wandering around, going through some basic movement patterns, warming up. Because it was busy, I was moving without purpose. I tried to stay clear of members and other trainers working with clients. But something felt off, disconnected.
I realized I was just showing up, going through the movements, all without purpose. I immediately put down a dumbbell, walked over, pulled out my program card and wrote down ten exercises. Once committed to the purpose, my workout shifted from disconnect to focus.
When eating, really take a moment and eat with purpose. While walking down the street, pay attention to how the body moves and feels. If you’re having a conversation with someone, look them in the eye and show them you are truly there.
It is important to remember that whatever we do, do it with purpose.