I Stole This Idea – Take Your Nest Best Step

December 8, 2011

(originally posted on my other weblog site, Chuck Pruitt’s Blog)

I subscribe to a weblog called the IF Life.  IF stands for “Intermittent Fasting.”  A cool concept, but not the focus of this post.  I am also into two other ideas of his, Two Meals a Day and BodyBurst Training.  But again, not the focus of this post.

The author, Mike O’Donnell, has an article he wrote and sent in his e-mail newsletter and also put on Facebook this morning.  I read through it rather quickly, as I often do, and then had a “WOW” moment; and went back to re-read it slowly and let the material sink in to my conscious.

I’ve nicknamed the idea “TYNBS” which stands for “Take Your Next Best Step.”  This is the main point of Mike’s simple motto; when you’ve done something that screws up your plans (in health, fitness, diet, training, or even your job, relationships or your lifestyle – don’t sit and whine about it.  Don’t be consumed with guilt.  Don’t even worry about it (okay, take three minutes to worry, then put it in your ‘worry box’ and forget about it).

Decide to TYNBS – Take Your Next Best Step.  As Mike explains, “It doesn’t really matter how you got there, only what you are going to do next.”  His point is this:  Okay, now what?  What are you going to do today?  What is the next best step for you to take now?  Don’t tell me that after Christmas (I really dislike calling this time of year the holidays) you plan to start a new exercise program.  I do not want to hear about the great diet you’re going to be engaged in as a new year’s resolution.  I want you (and especially me) to tell me what you’re going to do now – what’s your “Next Best Step?”

You know I recently posted an article following a small weight gain that I was going to “Quit Bread.”  I know I’m not perfect and may (probably will) slip up and fool myself into thinking, “well, it’s just this one time… I’m having a burger with some friends and I’ll get back on the wagon tomorrow.”  The goal now is to recognize the event if and when it happens and to not beat myself up over it.  I need to Take My Next Best Step.

This simple motto from Mike becomes a mantra.  Didn’t make the time to get the kettlebell swings in – take the next best step.  Disappointed my wife when I forgot to do something she had asked – take the next best step.  Let a day slide without studying my future means of self-employment as a freelance copywriter – take the next best step.  As with any of the areas discussed, including health, fitness, diet, finances, relationships, job or lifestyle, accept the mistake, quickly evaluate the situation, re-focus and determine what it is and “Take Your Next Best Step.”

This is what I’m going to do.  Mike tells us to “reflect and focus on what you want to do in life.  It won’t happen by chance.”  And like he suggests in his post, repeat this process … hourly … daily …monthly … for a lifetime.

You can, and I recommend you do, read his article here.  Then apply the motto to your own life.

~ Chuck


It’s Official – I’m Training for a Sprint Triathlon

July 14, 2011

It’s official! 

I am going to be training for a sprint triathlon – actually, a reverse sprint triathlon.

Instead of the standard Swim-Bike-Run format, the Tinsel Triathlon this coming December 11, 2011, puts the order of events as Run-Bike-Swim.  The distances are a 5-Kilometer RUN, 12-mile BIKE, and a 150-meter SWIM (in a heated pool).

The biggest obstacle will be whether or not I can rehab and strengthen a right knee that has seen much abuse, including major surgery way back in 1973.  Since then, I was able to make it through Navy boot camp in 1979; however, in the last several years, I have failed to take proper care of the knee (and the rest of my bodily shell as well).

So, in order to get the body back into a state of health, fitness and superior conditioning, I chose as a goal to complete a short-distance triathlon.  Regular training for the events, general exercises for improved fitness, strength, and flexibility, and a diet that is low-fat, high-raw, (mostly) vegan will make up the bulk of the next 21 weeks.

I have access to a pool at my apartment complex (20 yards only, but one has to start somewhere), my bike is a Trek 7.2 Hybrid (part mountain bike/part commuter/part street bike), and I own a pair of running shoes (don’t know if I’ll be allowed to run the race barefoot – so I’ll probably prepare to race in the same shoes for running and cycling (not cycling shoes, cleats or toe straps).  As a minimalist in training, I want to also take advantage of the opportunity to prove (to myself mostly) I can complete the race with minimal, basic equipment.  Besides, my budget does not allow for bringing in any new, more modern gear.  Hence, I’ll be doing this, as they say, old school.

I will be six days past my 59th birthday on race day; my goal is not to win the race, or my age group… it is to (1) finish the race, (2) complete it in a ‘respectable’ time, and, most of all, (3) to have fun doing it.

I am calling on several disciplines to help me out:  a modified 80-10-10 diet per Dr. Doug Graham, basic yoga movements, simple body-weight exercises, a couple of kettlebells, and the ‘tools of trade’ so-to-speak, a pool, a bicycle, and a pair of running shoes.

This blog is now going to be a training log / record for myself as well as a place to put down my feelings, insights, and comments as I progress over the next 21 weeks.

~ barefoot chuck

30 Day Raw Foods Challenge

June 3, 2011

Haven’t posted recently; been doing some research lately and at 6 months from my 59th birthday, I want/need to make some serious changes in my diet and exercise program.

I’ve been (sort-of) following a paleo/primal diet and haven’t been real pleased with the overall results so far.  A friend, who is in very good shape and is as happy a guy and full of energy as you’d ever want to see (annoyingly so at times), asked me to have an open mind about some things he’d like to share with me.

Okay, I’m game… bring it on.

He asked me to read a book.  He gave me several websites to check out.  He shared what was working in his life and what he credited it to… and then asked if I was willing to take a 30-Day Challenge.

He pointed out that several of the people I was looking at in the Paleo/Primal world are in fact, not as fit looking or in the shape they should be based on the claims they make for their way of eating and way of life.  We checked out some pics of several of the authors and promoters of that lifestyle and he was right… seeing them at lectures, recent vs older pics of them at different events… hard to argue with his basic premise:

Take advise from people getting the results you desire.

Hmmm.  Okay, let’s take a look at some of those people doing what my friend was also doing.

Grant Campbell.  Harley Johnstone.  Richard Gambino.  Markus Rothkranz.  (‘google’ any of them yourself; you’ll see what I’m talking about.)

So.  Here’s his challenge to me:  Go with a LF-RV diet regimen for 30 days.  (Knowing my wife graduates Saturday, June 4th and there is a reception planned afterwards that will have some foods I won’t be eating during the challenge, he recommends starting it on Sunday June 5th.)

I accept the challenge.  Starting June 5th, 2011 through July 4th, 2011, I will eat a LF-RV (low-fat raw-vegan) diet consisting of raw foods from plants only.  Primarily whole, fresh, raw, (preferably organic when possible) fruits and some leafy greens and non-sweet fruits.

It is basically Dr. Doug Graham’s 881rv program:  80% carbohydrates (from simple carbs like fruit), 10% protein, and 10% fat.  It will work out to having breakfast, lunch and any snacks of fresh fruits and for dinner a HUGE raw salad (lettuces, spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, celery, onions, etc.) with filtered or purified water as the primary beverage.  No grains.  No sugars.  No animal products of any kind (no meat, fish, eggs, BACON), or dairy (cheese or milk).  Man, this is going to be hard to start!

This challenge also includes getting into a regular exercise program of bodyweight exercises, yoga, bicycling, swimming, and just moving the body through space in whatever means possible – even if only going for a walk – do something everyday.

Now, in addition to providing stuff about being/going barefoot, we have the ‘challenge’ to report on for the next 30 days beginning Sunday.  Hang on, it’s gonna be a wild ride.

~ Chuck

Morning Workout 05/27/11

May 27, 2011

Thanks to online guidance from CST’s Coach Sonnon and Hurst, and Steven Barnes (YouTube can be an amazing training tool), worked through a series Yoga moves:

First up was the CST set – five movements anchored with Mountain Pose at start and finish (these movements are barely held; they are  performed in a “flow”, going from one movement to the next:  Mountain Pose, Trinity Squat, Downward Dog, Plank, Upward Dog, repeat Trinity Squat, and return to Mountain Pose… take several deep breaths, and perform the movement set (flow) again.  Repeat for five sets.

After completing the CST sets, rested for five minutes, then moved into the Five Tibetans + one.  This is a series of movements one can easily ‘google’ online to see the descriptions and how to perform the movements in the series, as well as the recommended number of reps for each.

(1)  Whirling Deverish;  (2)  Supine Leg Raises;  (3)  Camel Pose;  (4)  Table top/Crab Pose;  (5)  Down/Up Dog; and finally, (6) Rocking Seal Rolls.

The goal in the Five Tibetans (+ one) is to begin the series the first week with only a modest three reps for each movement.  Then every few days to add a rep or two, until you are up to 21 reps per exercise (for whatever reasons, 21 has been determined to be the maximum for each movement to give one the best results, and adding more than that does not improve either the exercise or the impact on the body.

And, it goes without saying (but just in case, I’m saying it anyway), all this is done barefoot.

PS:  CST is Scott Sonnon’s outstanding training program from which I’m learning to do FlowFit, TacFit, and Into-Flow.  (CST is Circular Strength Training)  He focuses more on teaching movements than exercising specific muscles; the body doesn’t know muscle work (ie: a set of biceps curls), it recognizes muscle movement.

Faith, Chuck

5 Steps To Becoming Navi: The Avatar Workout Plan

May 18, 2011

This link will take you to an article from Wild Movement

5 Steps to Becoming Navi:  The Avatar Workout Plan  http://goo.gl/FhBGq



Getting Started Going Barefoot

May 18, 2011

Get Started Going Barefoot

So you’re interested in barefoot activity? Cool! We think you’ll find it to be a positive, life-changing decision.

The nice thing about going barefoot is that it’s fairly simple.  That said, there’s a little more to it than just taking off your socks and shoes.  Remember, you’ve spent a significant part of your life in footwear.  It’s going to take some time to take your feet back. Rome wasn’t built in a day, after all.  We’d also recommend you have a chat with your doctor first to be on the safe side.  He or she may still hold negative perceptions about going barefoot and not be enthusiastic about the prospect of you doing it, but at least you can rule out any other medical issues that need attention.

The #1 rule to starting any barefoot activity is to take it SLOW.  Just as it would be foolish for someone to walk into a weight room and try to immediately bench press 350 pounds, it’s not smart to expect your feet to do anything and everything you want them to do from the start.  This is for two reasons:

First, you need to become reacquainted with your feet.  It’s going to take time to get used to all of the sensations that you feel in your soles.  Many people complain that their feet are “too sensitive” to go barefoot, but that’s probably because they’re not used to feeling anything with their bare feet.  Although your feet have some of the highest concentrations of nerve endings in your whole body, your shoes have been keeping your feet from feeling everything but the insides of your shoes.  What’s more, you need time to become more aware of your surroundings.  Because bare feet are more vulnerable, you need to start knowing the position of your whole body in space — not just everything above the ankles.

Second, you need to build up the health and strength in your feet and legs.  Imagine what an arm or leg is like after it has worn a cast for several weeks to heal from a fracture.  It’s scrawny.  It’s stiff.  The skin isn’t as healthy as it should be.  Your feet, having been confined in shoes for a long time, will be much the same way — even if not quite to that extreme.  You’ll need to take time to regain some strength and flexibility that was lost because your shoes were doing most of the work of your feet.  Consider a strength training program to help these efforts along.  You might also need to take care of some other issues like ingrown toenails, athlete’s foot, etc.  You want to start getting these issues cleared up as soon as you can.

Going One More Step

Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once said, “the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” A good way to approach barefoot activity is to go one more “step” beyond what you’re currently used to and with which you are comfortable.  You don’t want to try too much too fast, or else you might end up rejecting the benefits of barefoot activity because it’s too overwhelming or you even get hurt!

An example of how to start:  If you never go barefoot inside your house, sit on your couch or in a chair and remove all socks and shoes. Take a couple of minutes to just feel the floor.  Bend your toes and flex your feet.  Rub your feet a little bit with your hands to help them loosen up and relax.

As you become comfortable with the new step forward that you’ve taken, try the next step after that and so on.  In the example above, the next step would be to walk barefoot around your house for a while.  You may find that you become a lot more comfortable and bolder with barefoot activity than you ever expected!  We hope that you discover that your feet are amazing and capable of so much more than you ever thought possible.

Shared from the Primalfoot Alliance