I’ve met a lot of cool and interesting people. Not long ago a friend of mine informed me that she is an avid naturist (AKA a person that enjoys being nude outdoors) and through her I gained some insights into things as they relate to training and practice ….besides the importance of knowing where your parts are in space and laying a towel on a bench.
As my naturist friend explained, as she is removing her clothes she is also removing the stresses of the day, she is subtracting stress while subtracting her clothes. By the time she is done is she is essentially unburdened and stepping into the sun letting life recharge her.
I kind of like that thought. Letting go of things and recharging oneself.
I’ve had clients show up for training in stressed conditions where something during that persons day clearly got to them. Although I am not a psychologist, I am an engineer of sorts. My job is to mindfully apply external loads on a human being, monitor the clients rate of force production in order to create internal and external changes. If the client is not with me in the present moment then outcomes will be less than optimal. I have a perfect athlete safety record and plan on maintaining it.
So how do I get my athletes to get loose, and be present in the moment? How do I create an experience where they leave the gym feeling recharged despite the amount of work accomplished?
I have a few little catchphrases that often recenter people, but my personal favorite is the one I use on myself.
I call it the thin line.
The thin line is an imaginary division that separates “the outside world” (where whatever is stressing me dwells) and “the Iron” (wherever I’m training.) The Iron doesn’t care what is happening in the outside world, it is a private island and everyday has perfect weather.
The laws of the Iron are strict, but easy to follow so long as you remain present in the moment. Once you’ve crossed the line from the outside world into the Iron you must remove all stressful articles from your life. This is a case of addition via subtraction.
LAW: There is overload (a good thing) and over-overload(a bad thing.) Deal with the former and not the latter, you wouldn’t take an entire jar of aspirin to cure a simple headache, you’d take the minimum effective dosage.
LAW: Technical incompetence can be costly to more than just your ego. If you’re not 100% present in the moment that means your partially somewhere else. Remember, the Iron doesn’t care about the outside world.
LAW: Technical degeneration is a result of fatigue and over-overload. Re-read laws 1-2.
LAW: Its not the set, its not the next rep nor the last set and rep. It’s the present rep. Be present with it.