Wednesday, August 25, 2010

3rd party.

i have been told from the beginning of my training history to see a massage therapist or acupuncturist once a month. to find someone good, let them now how and why i am training and listen to them. i was given this advice from people whom i trusted, people who have walked down the paths i wish to tread... i heard this advice and ignored it. it seemed like a good idea, but never seemed to happen. how could a massage be essential? i dont have the money. i dont have the time. maybe next month... 3 years later i am seeing a specialist every week. there were holes in my training, holes i was missing because i was focusing on others progress and pushing my health to the side. and now i am reaping what was sown.

seeing one of these specialists is a chance to learn. to ask what is out of balance, where is there excess tension, to get feedback. in anything, the most dangerous shortcomings are the ones we never see, never expect. every so often, get a second opinion. a test. see if what you are doing is having the effect you want and change plans accordingly. sometimes we have to learn the hard way.thankfully, my price seems small - and the lesson highly transferable... listen to those who have been there before, and "recovery" is hard work - and not optional.

we get comfortable at our own pace, cocky with our stride. that is until someone else takes the reigns, and sinks in the spurs...

Saturday, August 21, 2010

“I felt sorry for guys who packed into gyms, trying to look like how Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger said they should...”

you have seen the advertisements - “six pack abs”, “get totally ripped”, names like beast,
tsunami, and x-plode - all promising to condense years of hard work into a shake or a pill.
where do people get the idea that they can buy results? that they even deserve the physical
manifestation of countless hours of blood, sweat, tears, and a level of determination that
borders on psychosis?

our body is a tool, and like any tool, form follows function. so have a function. train
for a purpose. make the hours matter. sacrifice. consequences will sharpen your attention.

work. work hard. work with people who will not accept anything less than your best. court
failure. find your limits and expand them. take the bitter pill of over reaching with the
knowledge that failure will teach you better than success ever will.

train yourself. take control. take responsibility. this is your life after all. how often
is “can’t” code for “never tried”. cut the bull-shit. make decisions. make moves. make it
matter. talk less, work more. work smart. what is stopping you?

it will hurt. you will survive. it will be inconvenient. you will survive. it will be
scary. you will survive. it will be hard. you will survive. keep at it, and you might
even live.

to live with a body, with a mind shaped by your own efforts. to be an individual, to know,
to own your victories and defeats. to be able to taste panic, to face doubts with a quiet
determination. to balance the world with the weight of our will.

that is our goal.

we are a collection of individuals looking to test the limits of our physical and emotional
capacity. we are athletes and artists, players and gamers. men and women of all fitness
levels working to strip away the glitz and posturing and get back to honest, hard work.
our aim is to create an environment where philosophy has consequences....

that environment is currently located in a secure private warehouse in madison heights.

we call it home. we call it “the station”. and we want some new blood.

if you want to work for a purpose. if you want to explore the deep end of “working out”. if
you are willing to smash the mirror, to risk who you are today for who you may become...

then we welcome you.

-the Station

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

group dynamics, pressure and pain.

when an individual is first undertaking something at the edge of their ability it is often helpful to be surrounded by other individuals doing the same. it is good to have teachers, people who have been there before, and peers who are engaged with the struggle at a similar level. we are comparative creatures and benefit from the camaraderie of suffering. we can look around, and in that moment that we wish to quit can see that thought mirrored in our peers, and also see that they are still going. the group can drag the lagging individual up, force them to find ways to work harder, and smarter, and eventually overcome.

because overcoming is the point. most of us do not travel with a pack, we do not have the luxury of constantly being surrounded by honest and hard workers. many of us face our worst challenges with only the voices in our head to keep us company and that fact must be respected and reflected in out training. remember that the group exists to push you beyond yourself, to protect you and inspire you and to give you the confidence and the skill to exist on that level apart from everyone else. if your performance is hampered by training alone, than that is a sign of an imbalance and should be addressed accordingly. the group is a tool, a stage, a station... we do our time and progress. not that we should abandon our pack, just be sure you are able to stand on your own.

any way you cut it, 4 minutes under the slosh pipe starts to feel pretty lonely...

ideally groups are designed, comprised of individuals with certain qualities, qualities chosen to enhance the entirety, to balance and expose and encourage each member. the wrong combination of qualities can hinder growth, while the proper mix will bring a tangible force, a knowing. be mindful of your surroundings, and if you are lucky (and strategic) enough to build that community, take full advantage of it. embrace it. internalize it.

what purpose does your community serve?

what do you bring to your pack?

what do you take from it?

plan accordingly... act deliberately.

Monday, August 2, 2010

purposeful training.

raw material

just as a carpenter may start work with an axe, and move to a saw, a rasp, a file and finally to scrapers and progressively finer sandpaper, each tool has its function, its order, and its appropriate time line.

there was a picture posted recently by the gym jones twitter feed (

its a simple idea with profound implications. when an athlete is beginning, anything works. the more out of shape the individual, the more general this can be. the change from doing nothing to doing something is hard enough, and as long as there is proper volume (and dietary care) changes come rather quickly. as one progresses; passing the standard idea of "healthy" or "balanced" it becomes a quest for high level foundations, to be balanced - in excess. more care is necessary to correct minor (or major) imbalances caused by ones profession or sport, the training becomes more structured to solidify the athlete, to sharpen the tool. beyond high level foundation is specialization, in more technical arenas, the gym - in my mind - is primarily used to increase ones work tolerance and balance their training to allow the proper amount of technical work to occur. malcom gladwell and others posit that roughly 10,000 hours are necessary to excel at a task. hockey, running, even computer programming and hostile takeovers. it is the practice of technical skills that will get us to the next level. there are no shortcuts, and one finds that so called "talented" individuals simply logged those hours early. practice makes habit. the gym is supplemental, it is an enabler. time is finite. put it where it counts.

after heat, time, and appropriate pressure.