2/27/17 - When Eight Ounces is Heavy
My own evolution with this whole fitness conversation continues to provide something new and exciting to uncover over and over again. When I think back to just the nutritional aspect of it, I started with consciously experimenting with volume (weighing and measuring macronutrients) which evolved into a food quality conversation (eating single ingredient, Paleolithic foods). Of course, to provide a rebuttal for my own efforts I read all the prevailing research on vegetarianism and veganism from ethical justification, health and performance reasoning, and even environmental support. For the first time, I dove into nutrition through the lens of hormone regulation, which illustrated that maybe this is bigger than calories in versus calories out. Then, my n=1 journey tried layers of restricting nuts, seeds, fruit, and even nightshades, which later took me through carbohydrate backloading, then regaining a relationship with tubers. Of course, nutrient timing and intermittent fasting had to be tested and though I can’t stand milk, raw milk was a stone I had to turn over, as well. This, of course, was just nutrition.
I’ve observed similarly complex evolutions in my movement practice, mindset, and even understanding of leadership. The latest interest I’m diving into is the body’s hormonal relationship to stress. We’ve talked before about the parasympathetic athlete, breath as a manual method connecting conscious and subconscious, and the realities of stress in and outside the gym. I’m fascinated with the systems in our body with regards to fight or flight response and rest, and the potentially grave imbalance we’re experiencing in a stressful modern world.
This past weekend I was fortunate enough to attend an alternative health seminar, mostly for chiropractors, called California Jam. One of the many remarkable speakers made wonderful reference to this very interest of mine. Holding a plastic water bottle in his hand, arm outstretch to his side, he asked the crowd, “How much does this bottle weigh?”
Through a murmur of common guesses, he interrupted: “It doesn’t matter! What matters is how long I hold it.”
The message was sent and the message was received. The impact of low level chronic stress can have disastrous effects in the same way that holding an eight ounce water bottle for a hour, two hours, or a week can be debilitating. It’s time we embrace the reality that we are bathing in stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline from contact with technology, artificial light, sugar, and life’s stresses far too long and far too often than would ever occur naturally anywhere else in our evolution. After increasing basic awareness of this, we must learn strategies to cope. Understanding compelling research that supports down regulate with breathing, meditating, and recovery can help us put the metaphorical water bottle down more often.
Our ability to rev the system and survive danger with the stress response is a primary reason why we’re alive and well. What we must learn, however, is how to not live in that state indefinitely.
Make 5 attempts at the following for time:
300’ Shuttle Run
-Rest as Needed-
Then, AMRAP 9
5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10..
Toe to Bar
Box Jumps (24/20)