Packing Lists and SUDS

I have been having an interesting give and take email discussion with William K. Dearing. He told me that he has been following my writing since the old “Strong as Steel” blog I wrote and material from the Old School Strength Forum. That was a great site before it was ruined by a group of idiots. Alas.

He sent me my old posts and we have discussing what I have changed in the past ten to thirteen years. My first “real” email to a fitness person was either Robb Wolf or Tamir Katz. Tamir used to interact online a lot and I found a nice interview with him.

As I flipped through the old material, one thing leaped out at me: I tend to design workouts around what I have. It’s an odd point, but when I am in a gym with other O lifters and have showers and platforms and bumper plates, I tend to O lift. That’s where the “One Lift a Day” program was so successful for me.

When the gym closed and I only had 165 pounds of weight to train with at home, I developed the “Transformation Program.” Later, as our finances and gifts grew, I developed workouts with chains, thick bars, kettlebells, Farmer Walks and Sled work. It’s so clear to me now, but, when I didn’t have sleds, I didn’t use them!

This got me thinking back to a little scrap of paper I have kept since I was in the Middle East in 1985. I will retype it for you, but it is about the size of business card and literally just a scrap of paper. I was thinking about what to pack for a trip:

Things to Bring

Nail Clippers
Swiss Army Knife
One Dress Pant
One Hiking Shorts
One Swim Suit
Two lightweight undies
Thongs (We call them “Flip Flops” now)
Two Tank Tops
Two T-Shirts (with stuff from home)
One dress shoes
One tie
One walking shoe
Shave kit, Med kit. (You have to cover “both ends” of digestion issues)
Lotion and Sun block
Shades (Sunglasses)
One excellent guide book
One boda bag
One camera with lots of film

Well, TSA won’t let me take on a nail clipper or knife, so scratch those. “Camera with lots of film?” What’s “film?” I wanted a boda bag because trusting the water supply nearly killed me on this trip. Now, water bottles are fairly common, as you may have noticed. What’s funny about this list is that I still follow it pretty closely. Last year, I had two 18 day “outs” where I didn’t come home for nearly three weeks and only took a single carryon bag. You will note here that I don’t mention a computer or a phone. Things change. I have pants that look dressy and become shorts, shoes that look dressy but are for hiking and travel underwear dries in minutes now.

So, my packing list from 1985 should lend some insights about training. I tell people ALL the time that the basic fundamental human movements are the keys to training: how you do them is secondary. I have worked my Hinge with O lifts, thick bars, kettlebells, bodyweight, TRX, and probably a dozen different other tools. Yes, the caber toss is a Loaded Carry followed by a Hinge. It is also cardio. Trust me.

It’s going to sound a lot like my “Managing Options” posts, but the same truth is here: it doesn’t always matter what your tools are in your gym. The important thing is that you use what you have.

Wow. Use what you have. I guess that is the key: Show Up and Do Something. That is SUDS and I think I just invented a cool new term.

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