Practice, practice, practice

Practice, practice, practice

Bruce Lee said “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”.

That is true with anything you want to be good at. In the gym, that’s form. Yesterday, I did a 20 rep max backsquat. I haven’t squatted in at least a month. I have done other leg stuff, just not that. However, after a few  warm ups to “grease the groove” as they say, I jumped right into it and it felt pretty good. Well, not after rep 16, then it pretty much sucked and I had to go to that dark place inside to finish….

The point here is form rules all. You expend less effort when you have good form. You use the right muscles when you have good form. You have better “muscle memory” when you use good form. Hence why I was able to jump back in after at least a 30 day break. I practice good form ,and a I practice a lot. Especially for compound lifting movements. They say 300 repetitions produces muscle memory. 3000 produces embodiment. More than that, up around 10,000 produces mastery.

No, I am not advocating you do sets of 1,000 until; you master something. That isn’t how it works. But pick something you want to get better at: squat, deadlift, pull ups, handstands, clean and jerk, broad jump, and do a few sets of careful  reps concentrating on just form, every day. If it’s weights, use little or no load. Just a light or empty bar. Concentrate, be deliberate. Go slow. Speed is not your friend here. And be honest with yourself. If you can have someone watch or video yourself. Tear your form apart, fixing each as you go. You won’t get perfect overnight, but you will see improvement.

It takes time, but it is so worth it.

 

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Me, times 3

Me, times 3

I have been doing a bit of reflection lately. After all mental and physical well-being are strongly linked. I have come to the conclusion after much reflection, that over the years I have become 3 separate people. I think upon some reflection, some of you may discover that the same thing has happened to you.  That is not to say I am schizophrenic, or have some type of multiple personality disorder and I am not suggesting you do either. Let me break it down as I see it.

First, there is ”me”. The core, inner me that I know to be a reflection of my true self. This is then center of my being. The part that no one can truly see, but manifests itself in my personality and actions. It’s how I feel about everything that happens. As I travel outward, I come the “physical me”. This person is somewhat different that the actual “me”. The same goes for most of us. Even Buddha couldn’t say that his personality was a direct manifestation of his inner self. As my “me” travels outward, it has to pass through layers before it gets to that point. And by “layers, I really mean filters. Each filter changes it. Sometimes a little, sometimes a lot.

Next comes the “physical me”. This is the “me” that you would meet on the street in the physical world. This is the me that observes social graces, manners, etiquette, etc. These actions are not always genuine. Sometimes these things are just automatic response. They are the habits and patters that develop over the years.  This “me” in a lot of ways conforms to the expectations of the world around me. It is a chameleon. We all do it right? Ever find yourself speaking with a bit of a put on accent when you are far from home?  Ever hold a door open for someone perfectly capable of doing it themselves? Have you ever fell victim to mob mentality just to fit in to the group? Like bitching about “Monday” even if you are having a really good productive day? This is where the inner you will start to become distorted. The genuine you will become warped in order to fit in to its surroundings.

sheep

The furthest out “me” is young. It was born in the age of Social Media. This “digital me” relates to people I may have never physically met. This “digital me” can sometimes distort a little more than the second “physical me”. You have most likely seen this. A person’s Facebook profile, their “digital me” becomes this carefully controlled person of fantasy. The “digital me” is an even further from the true version of the inner me. In part, because here in the electronic world, we have the chance to be what we want to be and it is harder for others to disprove it. It’s like the Matrix, only without the Kung-Fu.

matrix

So why are my “me’s” all different? Can they ever actually be truly aligned? That would mean that there would have to be almost no filter between my inner self and the real world. That shouldn’t be scary. I mean you are who you are right? Wrong. I don’t think the people who know me as they do now would react well to a dose of what is in my head at times. But if you think about it, aren’t I cheating them by being like this? Why am I not being honest in my interactions? There are only two possibilities here. Either I am afraid of how they would react, or I am ashamed of my inner self. Maybe a little of both.

The “digital me” can be even farther out of whack, but even easier to fix. Your digital footprint is in reality so much smaller than your actual real-world footprint. Even for you millennials. If it’s not, I would worry more about that than any apparent differences between the two selves. But this is a good place to start. No contrivances.  Just be who you really are. Forget “likes”, forget comments, forget all of it. If you want to share, share. Share without the filter of social acceptability. (I am not advocating being a cretin or an ass-hat here, in other words “don’t be a dick about it”). Maybe if people know how you really feel, they will act with honesty themselves. At that point you have just changed the world.

Can this be done? Can I align the three of us? Not all the way mind you, but at least a little? Would acting like my inner self cause such cognitive dissonance that I would stop because I can’t mentally handle it? I can surely start by examining my inner self and being more honest between “physical me” and the world. They should judge me as the real ”me” and not some filtered down version. That’s not fair to others. We are the avatars of our souls, but somehow we have morphed into the video game definition of the word and created an image we want others to see. Our physical beings are the inner “me” made flesh. Why change that to represent something I am not? And if I am really not that happy with the “physical me”, why don’t I come to terms with that instead of taking the easier path and creating this “digital me” to show the world how awesome I am? Fix what I can and accept the rest.

This is quite the project, isn’t it? How many of “you“ are there?