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Coach Skeds’ Summer Reads

Coach Skeds’ Summer Reads

It’s no secret that I am a pretty active reader. I’ve been studying professional development and leadership since I was in high school.  

There’s something about summer that gets me super excited to reread some of my favorites.  I grab a chair outside with some coffee and the pups and somehow find new wisdom in pages that I’ve looked at many times.

I put together a list of the 4 books that I plan on tackling between now and Labor Day.  I encourage you to read my summaries and pick one that speaks to you.

Here they are… in no particular order…

Tribe by Sebastian Junger

The Joe Rogan Experience with Sebastian Junger

The main argument of Tribe is that humans are tribal animals and societies flurish under shared hardship.  There’s a lot of psychology that’s described via storytelling and strongly resonated with me. I didn’t realize how far out of alignment I was living until I read this book.  I was surrounded by people, had a success in my career, but some big piece (close human connection) was missing. Luckily, I found it and have been pursuing it, through both deep internal work and being more brave outwardly, ever since.

“Human beings need three basic things in order to be content: they need to feel competent at what they do; they need to feel authentic in their lives; and they need to feel connected to others. These values are considered “intrinsic” to human happiness and far outweigh “extrinsic” values such as beauty, money and status.”

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Super Soul Sunday with Paulo Coelho

This is a textbook allegory, and it’s so well written that I didn’t realize it until I finished reading it the first time.  This book is a laundry list of deep universal truths dressed up as a wonderfully detailed story of a shepherd who embarks on his personal destiny.  I could constantly reread this book and it would speak to me in different ways every time.

“What you still need to know is this: before a dream is realized, the Soul of the World tests everything that was learned along the way.  It does not because it is evil, but so we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we’ve learned as we’ve moved toward that dream. That’s the point at which most people give up.  It’s the point at which, as we say in the language of the desert, one ‘dies of thirst just when the palm trees have appeared on the horizon.’”

12 Rules for Life by Jordan B. Peterson

Jocko Podcast with Jordan B. Peterson

This book is a collection of essays written by Jordan B. Peterson.  He put them together in this book to give a framework of how to balance life’s chaos and order.  Jordan has vast and broad knowledge. He weaves all kinds of stories from all kinds of sources into psychology and sociology fundamentals, and is designed to build better humans to build better communities and ultimately a better world.  I considered each chapter a separate book and that was a pretty great way to allow me to take my time. There’s a lot of information, and the stories are super compeling. It’s a great read, just be sure to take your time with it.

“Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping”

Team of Teams by Chris Fussell, David Silverman, Stanley A. McChrystal, and Tantum Collins

Stanley McChrystal Interview with Tim Ferriss

This book speaks to the deep organizational improvement nerd in me.  It’s filled with stories from both a military and civilian application of the same tools.  I found it at just the right time; I’d just spent time supporting the task force that GEN McChrystal had transformed and seeing how the changes were made was pretty amazing.  The lessons in this book are universal in their application, and completely changed my perspective of what is possible.

“Without trust, SEAL teams would just be a collection of fit soldiers.”

 

The Power of Breath

The Power of Breath

Our physiology (body) drives a lot of our behavior and the way that we approach a situation.  

Breathing is one of the few, generally, automatic processes that we, as humans, can exercise some control over.  And it has a great deal of control over which mental state we experience, that is, which part of our central nervous system we are experiencing the world through.

  • Sympathetic Nervous System – Fight, Flight, Freeze
  • Parasympathetic Nervous System – Rest and Digest

Check out the video below for a quick tutorial on the Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nervous Systems:

So what does that have to do with what we do at Icehouse?

In a word…”Everything”.  Understanding which state you’re in and how to bounce seamlessly between the two can be the difference between a BIG personal record lift, or a meltdown mid-workout.  And it can help you determine which of our 3 tracks is best for you for that training session.

Don’t I just want to go hard every training session?  

The short answer is…”No”.  As humans we have a limited supply of fuel for “fight or flight”.  If we stay in that state constantly, it becomes less and less potent, it loses its punch, and we just become highly alert (burned out) and exhausted.

So if going hard isn’t always the “go to”, what are my options?

To make it simple, we’ll keep it at aerobic (oxygen for fuel) and anaerobic (everything else as fuel)

Aerobic – you’re able to breathe through your nose; if you’re unable to do that you have to slow down until you can.  These workouts are designed to move your body and build that base of cardiovascular endurance (allow you to go low and slow for a long time) and are the cornerstone of training for the long haul.

Anaerobic – you’ve got to use your mouth to some extent to bring air in or get air out.  These workouts are designed to create a hormonal response that make you better at everything (quick punch of relatively hard and fast).  We don’t do these often, and to make changes, we don’t need to.

How do I know which state I am in?

One quick check is to pay attention to how your mouth is organized.  This is a quick check for efficient nasal breathing, aerobic and parasympathetic (rest and digest).  

  • Tip of your tongue is at the roof of your mouth
  • Teeth are slightly apart
  • Breathing into your belly through your nose

For more information on the fundamentals of breathwork checkout the Power Speed Endurance blog here

CrossFit Level 1 is Coming to CrossFit Icehouse!!  What Is It?

CrossFit Level 1 is Coming to CrossFit Icehouse!! What Is It?

CrossFit Training is coming to Fargo!!  In fact, CrossFit Training is coming to CrossFit Icehouse!!  

This is a BIG DEAL; it’s the first time a CrossFit Level 1 Certificate Course has been hosted in the Great State of North Dakota.

It’s an honor and a privilege to be the premier seminar location for CrossFit Training in the state of North Dakota as well as western Minnesota.  

So what is the CrossFit Level 1 (CF-L1) Certificate Course?

As designed, the CF-L1 is a 2-day course, incorporating lectures and practical exercises, that serves two purposes.  It’s an official introduction into CrossFit fundamentals, and it’s the gateway into CrossFit coaching.

It’s designed for the athlete who wants to learn more about the basics of CrossFit training and human movement.  It’s also designed to provide a certificate to allow holders the eligibility to coach CrossFit at a CrossFit affiliate.  

My CF-L1 Story

I have a very unique story road to earning my CF-L1.  In fact, my very first CrossFit WOD was at my CF-L1 in Excelsior, MN at CrossFit SISU on July 1, 2017.  

I’d only been inside one other CrossFit gym before then and while I knew CrossFit Icehouse existed, I had no idea how impactful earning my CF-L1 and meeting Courtney and Sara a little over a week later would be.

My CF-L1 weekend was quite possibly the most professionally run seminar I’ve ever attended. Aside from hitting all of their time hacks, being knowledgeable and personable, the staff was authentic and genuine and the other students were unbelievably welcoming. The first thing that our Flow Master, Nadia, asked is how long everyone had been training with CrossFit. I’d admitted that this seminar was my first run at CrossFit, and I felt like they looked out for me from a movement perspective throughout the weekend.

I learned that CrossFit methodology was real, and that CrossFit HQ invests in the staff that is charged with qualifying trainers. I also learned that not all CrossFit affiliates are designed to create competitors, there are an overwhelming majority who are solely focused on building longevity and quality of life.

I was on fire leaving my CF-L1 weekend.  I went from not being a CrossFitter to being one of CrossFit’s biggest fans!!  During that weekend, I developed a new sense of purpose and opportunity, that is, to develop into the best coach possible, if, for no other reason, but to provide athletes the same experience I had during my CF-L1 weekend.

Is Attending a CF-L1 for You?

If you’re an athlete looking to dive deep into the nerd-ery; interested in learning more about the basics of what we do here at CrossFit Icehouse, why what we do works, and what CrossFit is really all about.  It’s definitely worth considering (by the way, CrossFit Icehouse is hosting a second CF-L1 course June 89).

If you’re interested in becoming a coach, and you’re local, get registered!!  CrossFit Training is LITERALLY coming to you.

Want to learn more about CrossFit Coaches Development?

Cheers!

 

10 Components of Fitness

10 Components of Fitness

Continuing on with our exploration into the heart of what CrossFit is, today we’ll chat about the concepts that remain in the forefront of developing our athletes, the 10 Components of Fitness.

“Having a balanced ability across the all 10 components of fitness will ensure that you’ll be both athletic and durable.”

What does that really mean to you and me?  You’ll be able to do whatever you want, whenever you want, without specifically training for it and you’ll remain pain-free.

What are the 10 Components of Fitness?

Cardiovascular/Respiratory Endurance The ability of body systems to gather, process, and deliver oxygen.

    • Think cardio, cardio, cardio….We’re talking about getting your blood to deliver oxygen throughout your body more efficiently.

Stamina – The ability of body systems to process, deliver, store, and utilize energy.

    • Similar to endurance, but not the same.  This is having “gas in the tank” rather than being able to breathe and deliver oxygen throughout your body.

Strength – The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply force.

    • Straight up ability to pick up heavy weights.

Flexibility – The ability to maximize the range of motion at a given joint.

    • Moving your body the way it was designed to move

Power – The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply maximum force in minimum time.

    • Emphasizes strength applied in a very short amount of time.

Speed – The ability to minimize the time cycle of a repeated movement.

    • Emphasizes raw turnover, fast as possible running, biking, rowing

Coordination – The ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a singular distinct movement.

    • Moving your body in a specific pattern.  Think of this as learning the pattern of movement to achieve an olympic lift

Agility – The ability to minimize transition time from one movement pattern to another.

    • Kids do this all the time, think of a 3 year-old bouncing around a playroom.

Balance – The ability to control the placement of the body’s center of gravity in relation to its support base.

    • This is keeping your center of gravity over whatever base of support you have at any given moment (this is why it’s harder to balance on one foot rather than two)

Accuracy – The ability to control movement in a given direction or at a given intensity

    • This is both knowing what to do and having the coordination to do it.

Holy smokes, that’s a lot…How do I get better at ALL of them?

Great question!  Improvement breaks down to a couple different adaptations.  Once is physiological (your body), the other is neurological (the pathways between your brain and your muscles).  We’ll talk about them in the sections below.

Forged through Training

The components below get better because your body adapts without you having to think about any of it.  By adding this new stress to your body, your body adapts, it’s as easy as that. You’ll often recognize these improvements first as you start training.

  • Cardiovascular/Respiratory Endurance

  • Stamina

  • Strength

  • Flexibility

Forged through Practice

The components below get better because you build the connection between your brain and your muscles.  These improve through thoughtful practice. Think about closing your eyes and standing on one leg. You will get better with practice, but it will take a lot of thought in the early stages.  Building a superhighway between your brain and your muscles takes thoughtful practice, and it is often overlooked. I would contend that these components are the most vital for life outside the gym, and living independently as long as possible.

  • Agility

  • Balance

  • Accuracy

Forged through Both Training and Practice

The components below are improved with a mixture of both training and practice.  We’re taking newly gained strength, stamina, endurance or flexibility and coupling it with newly gained accuracy, balance and agility and display speed and power.  For example, you gain leg strength, balance and coordination, you turn into a faster sprinter.

  • Power

  • Speed

What does that all mean to me?

It means there are multiple ways to reflect improvement and celebrate achievement.  It means our training includes a super heavy back squat and also being able to stand on one foot and bounce a ball against a wall.  It means there are multiple times within every hour you train with us to achieve a win for the day, week, month and year.

 

Change Your Words…Change Your Life

Change Your Words…Change Your Life

“Abracadabra!!”

If you’re like me, when you hear the word “abracadabra”, you think of magic, and you are absolutely right.  Abracadabra is magic, but not rabbits in top hats magic. Loosely translated from an ancient language, abracadabra means “with my words, I create”.  It makes sense, right? Magicians create those rabbits out of thin air using words and casting a spell, but guess what else? You create the person you are today as well as the person you will become tomorrow with the words that you use too.

We’ve talked a ton recently about reviewing your 2018 and planning your 2019, but we haven’t talked in depth about what words you’re using to frame those reviews and planning exercises.  That’s all about to change…

If you’ve watched any of Coach Sara’s videos about vision casting or read Coach Shoe’s blog about goal setting, you’ve probably heard the terms “affirmative language” or “Procabulary”.  What does that exactly mean?

Today I’m going to break down all things “Affirmative Language”.  We’ll talk about the intent of using affirmative language, then I’ll introduce 3 main obstacles to affirmative language, called “Conflict Language”, and finally, we talk about why it’s important to develop affirmative language in your everyday life.

What Exactly is Affirmative Language?

Affirmative language, at the heart, is designed to be an accurate way to describe events, actions, perceptions, feelings, emotions, so on and so forth….  Affirmative language takes out the judgement (both internal and external) surrounding an event, action, perception…also.  We are talking facts, just the facts.

Affirmative language decisively describes a desired outcome, where the speaker retains full individual power and responsibility for his or her actions, feelings, and emotions.  

What Detracts from Affirmative Language?  Conflict Language!

Negations – What You Don’t Want

Have you ever tried to coordinate dinner date with friends and heard the following, “I don’t want hamburgers tonight, and I’m not drinking beer either.”  How helpful is that when it comes to deciding where you do go for dinner? Negations explain everything about what a person doesn’t want, and describes nothing about what they do want.  

Projections “He/She Made Me..,”

Have you ever shared a coffee with a friend and heard something like, “He made me so mad; I just lost it.  I took off out of the parking lot and then got a speeding ticket all because my husband forgot that I had a hair appointment scheduled and couldn’t pick up the kids from daycare”.  That is an example of a projection. It completely removes all individual power and responsibility for an action, and gives it to an outside actor (person, place or thing).

Soft Talk – The Language of Indecision

Think about a time when you are being pressured into committing to a social event that you have no interest in attending.  Does this sound familiar…”Yeah, that’d be great! I think I’m free, but I might have something that my guy/gal has planned for me.  I’ve, sort of, thought about attending more events like this, and I kind of think it’s something that I should attend. I’ll get back to you.”  Honestly, what are the odds that you’ll be at that event?

Soft talk creates these “outs” for you, it gives you permission to be indecisive.  If you’re saying words that you don’t believe in at either a conscious or subconscious level, you’ll pepper in words similar to these when you talk or write:

  • Like; Kind of like
  • Sort of
  • Might, Maybe
  • Possibly; Perhaps
  • Someday; One Day
  • Should; Hope; Try

Why is Using Affirmative Language Important?

The way that you talk to yourself, literally, drives both your present and your future.  Of those conflict language examples above, how many of you have said one or all of those sentences, or some semblance of those sentences, to yourself?  What about the following sentences?

  • I don’t want to live like this
  • I don’t want to come home to a messy house
  • I don’t want to have to go to the store to buy a bigger sized pair of jeans
  • That driver had no idea what was going on, so I had to slam on my breaks
  • That guy at Costco was being so slow, so I couldn’t pick up the tomatoes I wanted
  • I should go to Icehouse consistently; maybe this week I’ll get my act together
  • I might give my old high school friends a call this week, we should get together more often than we do

If you change the words you use to frame an event, action, or feeling…it will completely change your perspective…Don’t believe me?  How do these sound?

  • I  live a life that I enjoy; I want to be able to leave my work at work and enjoy my family when I am home
  • I have a clean house, where the sink is clear and the floor is swept
  • I eat healthy and go to the gym so I can continue to wear the clothes that I have in my closet
  • I was following too close in traffic, so I slammed on my breaks to avoid a crash
  • I was feeling rushed and impatient at Costco, so I chose to pass on picking up tomatoes today
  • I value friendship so I’m sending out a message to get my friends together this week and blocking out a couple different times in my calendar for coffee.

And just like that, you change a few words and are able to see the same situation through a more accurate set of lenses.

How Do I Add This “One More Thing” to My Daily Life?

Look I get it, deciding what you want is difficult; saying what you want, out loud, is more difficult; writing down, on paper, what you want is even more difficult to do; then finding the right words, seriously???

Yep.

Change that order.  Change the words that you say to yourself first.  Start there. Once you’re out of conflict language and into affirmative language inside your own head, everything else falls into place.  

Don’t believe me?  Listen to someone far more experienced in life and compassion…

“Your beliefs become your thoughts.  Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions.  Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny” – Mahatma Gandhi

If you’re looking for more information on this, click on the link here and you can listen to the founder of Procabulary, Mark England, talk about, “Process versus Identity” and how changing the words you use to talk to yourself today will actually change your tomorrow.

Thanks for the read