Weddings, Visits, and Thanksgiving

Well, no time this week for my usual insightful, life changing video blog. I’ve been on the road to see Geoff and Rose Hemingway get married (I was a Groomsman and did a great job of standing with a tux on) and now I am prepping Thanksgiving with my girls and Godchildren in Utah. Here we go!

Training on the road can be an issue. I did 100 snatches yesterday and woke up sore as can be this morning. Here is a little something that I may or may not have published:

Grace: a primer for the fitness enthusiast.

Let’s start with standing. Two tricks that will carry over to life and training are worth leaping up and trying immediately. In powerlifting, there is a simple trick to enable one to squat better. Simply, steal this trick by actively trying to spread the earth apart with your feet as you stand. Note how all the weight slides towards the outsides of the feet and the arch of the foot naturally builds back up. Feel the knees “track” open and the hips relax and the body drops naturally between the hips. This is “Active Standing” and, honestly, this position will do as much for most people as time in the gym. Almost.

The other trick comes from Esther Gockhale’s presentation to a computer company that has been online for a while. Rather than the old military posture of the upper body, instead focus on a simple shoulder move. Bring the shoulders forward a little. Bring the shoulders up a little. Bring the shoulders back all the way. Now, relax and drop the shoulders down. Hold that position. Most people I work with naturally raise their heads a bit taller doing this simple drill. Master it.

Art De Vany’s wonderful presentation in Las Vegas (May 18, 2008), and available on DVD, sums a very simple way to follow this idea: Lift your Heart! Not only does it have a beautiful ring to it as a way to live one’s life, it is a simple (elegant) way to move. Allow the heart to rise up to the sky (again, what a great idea for living: Heart to the Heavens!). He also noted to “look over the cheekbones” as you walk and it ties in very well with Gockhale’s insights.

From an evolutionary perspective, De Vany hits upon a wonderful insight: there is no way humanity could have survived keeping our heads down too much looking for snakes in the grass when hungry members of the cat family were hanging around in the trees. The higher the heart, the better the vision. The better the vision, the more likely it is that your genes will survive long enough to bring the next generation.

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