Sunday Summary 6 November 2022

Top Threads

  1. Ideas for the 4hr+ Marathoner
  2. Pulled resources into a Dynamic Loading Thread
  3. Remove friction between yourself and “better”
  4. Novices Always Want to Prove Progress, I’m not immune!
  5. Asked for help on resources for making desktop videos

Endurance Training Tips

High Performance Habits

Three Tips for Playing Your Best Game


Above, my 2000 landing page

All the world-class players I know, take their game very seriously!

This attitude runs from life-and-death situations (combat, medicine) through to less lethal environments… say, lane etiquette at the track / pool.

OUR game is IMPORTANT

It could very well be.

Let’s explore for a moment.


First Tip : What do my ACTIONS say about the game I am actually playing?


How about ten years living like these guys?

If you survive then you will be a phenomenal athlete.

That’s how you play the “endurance athlete game”

NVDP – similar game, similar approach

All Domains => BIG survivor bias in the winners

Special people, challenging to integrate into a family system.


The high-performance game is a young person’s game.

Why?

Meaningful relationships outside your domain are impossible (think NFL Quarterbacks, Grand Tour Winners).



Second Tip: Connection is the central ‘problem’ of aging

The reason high-performers keep coming back…

  • They can’t find the answer in their domain…
  • And we’re all telling them how great they are…
  • So they keep plugging on…
  • Until their lives fall apart

I had the rug pulled out on my life, too.

It was a good thing.

I started asking myself better questions.

We are free, at any time, to change direction.

Is my game solving the central problem facing my future self?

Have I even thought about this question?


Third Tip: Knowing “What We Don’t Want” Is Easier

When you hear the voice, “this isn’t where I need to be.”

Listen

Our true needs are simple.

Too often I fall prey to lifestyle inflation (here & here) and showing off.

Not only is that game impossible to win, it will take me somewhere I didn’t, and don’t, want to go.

As a young person, the first values we notice are the “not for me” choices of our peers.


So, if you start journalling, lower the stakes.

The game of life is ever changing.

What’s right for you today, will change over time.

Maybe, you’ll find a life partner and agree to face change together.

I have complete confidence you’ll figure it out

I say to my kids.

We’d figure it out, together.

Same reassuring mantra, different target => my wife

Our lives, our paths, our friendships, and our marriages…

only need to make sense to us

The voice we hear in our diaries, the themes that reoccur in our writings – that’s who we need to be faithful to.

If we don’t choose with intention then we get the default set of values of our parents, our peers, or our surroundings.

Own your game.

What do my actions say about the game I am really playing?

Where is this likely to take me?

Creating a Self-Directed Life With Meaning

Let’s dig a little deeper into a topic I discussed with Rich.

The year is 2000, I’m divorcing and have the urge to leave everything (job, city, hemisphere).

This is a common feeling.

The idea that everything would be better if I could just start fresh.

The one piece of advice I listened to….

Slow Down

Before taking action, I started journalling.

My program was from The Artist’s Way and boils down to this…

Write three pages every morning for 12 weeks and pay attention to what you’re telling yourself

These days, there is a video course.

My journalling resulted in my first Top Ten List, below, from 2000.



There wasn’t much overlap between where I was and where I wanted to be.

The desire to leave, seemed legit.

So I left.

How did it go?

  1. Writing you
  2. In an organized office
  3. Feeling relaxed
  4. With an 8:29 IM best
  5. In a home base
  6. Having published 1,000+ articles
  7. Still have too much stuff
  8. With an absolutely wonderful wife
  9. Could do with being less serious
  10. Once again, looking for new challenges

It is NOT as simple as writing a list and sitting back.

We gotta make it happen.

To make improvement happen, we need to know where we want to go.

…and writing is one way to get out of our own way

…out of all the external wants of our environment

Working in finance, living in Hong Kong, caught in a life driven by acquisition/spending…

My thoughts were dominated by external wants.

I went to Far North Queensland and the South Island of New Zealand.

Cleared my head out and built the life I wanted to lead.



These days the process is much simpler.

Five Minutes AM & PM

I use a few short prompts I got from Dickie Bush



Same idea: get out of my own way and see what I’m telling myself.

What do I have to say?

2022 rhymes with 2000

  • Less is OK
  • Grateful for my adult setbacks and childhood difficulties
  • Moderate the peaks
  • Simple questions work
  • Winning doesn’t feel different
  • Less stuff makes me feel serene
  • I’m preparing for a very slow race
  • Get fit, not stuff
  • My kids are leaving soon – enjoy them
  • Tired means I’ve done enough
  • Focus on the week, not the outcome
  • It’s OK to leave it alone
  • Don’t buy anything I have to manage
  • Everything is trending up

Do you notice the difference between the two lists?

First off, the list feels more positive. I start every morning by writing down something I’m grateful for.

When I started, gratitude seemed hokey.

23 years ago, I felt the same way about love.

It’s a lot easier to fill a need if we’re open to the concept.

I want to repeat, it’s important…

Love. Respect. Admiration. Connection.

You don’t have to admit it to anyone other than yourself.

Be open to realizing what’s lacking in your life.

Next, my list makes it obvious that my life situation is not a problem.

Whatever I need to do… I can do right here.

This gets to The Question I talked about with Rich.

If this was it, are you OK with it?



You Gotta Make It Happen

=========

More Resources

My thread on the book, Time Management for Mortals – how to do

Five Questions to Ask Yourself & Becoming Lifestyle Sustainable

The biggest mistake I saw in Finance – a life of experiences, not stuff

The Choices That Define Your (Financial) Life

A similar article to today, from 2004.


LINK to web archive of above

A similar article to today, from 2011


Link to Top Ten List from my early 40s – from when I decided to phase out racing


Posted in our kitchen

Sunday Summary 30 October 2022

Rich Roll Podcast Dropped

My best advice on parenting, and a life well lived, starts at 1:33

Top Threads

Endurance Training Tips

High Performance Habits

Six Mantras to Cut Drama in Half

Every day, we make a choice : Drama or Peace

Because the mantras are different than how many of us were raised, they take a little getting used to.

  1. It Is OK to Say No
  2. All Family is Optional
  3. We Can Handle The Truth
  4. Talk Like Everyone Is In The Room
  5. We’ve Already Won
  6. Everyone Speaks, or not

Think about them in the context of the last unforced error you made.

What the mantras have in common is they lower the temperature.

  • By removing a feeling of obligation, we reduce resentment.
  • By acknowledging truth can be uncomfortable, we remove the burden of hidden lives and carrying secrets.
  • By constraining our words to what we’d say to someone’s face, we are more careful and considerate.
  • By acknowledging the benefits of our current position, we stay focused on living well.
  • By allowing everyone to contribute, we slow decision making and reduce the capacity of a single person, or a single moment, to derail us.

Pay attention to the one you think is the most difficult.

Choose Peace

Teaching Needs vs Wants

This is an excellent exercise to “break the ice” at family get-together.

Start by asking a question…

What is living well?

Everyone brainstorms ideas for 10-15 minutes, or in advance.

Then, everyone gets a chance to share their answers.

While each individual shares, have the group agree:

  • to stay quiet
  • to make notes if they are having trouble staying quiet
  • to write down the best ideas they hear

After everyone has shared.

  • Get a white board
  • One-by-one
  • Share a great idea

Our summary list below.



I played this game with my kids (10, 11, 14).

They had some really good ideas!


How a 10 yo sees Living Well

In the middle of the list…

Focusing on what you need not what you want

Needs are much easier to fill than wants.

In fact, the definition of our wants is they can rarely be satisfied.

The observation (of a child) led us quite nicely into the next discussion.

Without telling the kids what the numbers were

  • We flipped the white board
  • I read out monthly cash burn, in round thousands
  • We stacked the numbers (Jan to Sept)
  • Each kid added up the numbers
  • We grossed up to a full year projection (multiply by 4/3)

They were surprised at the family burn rate.

We flipped back to the list and asked ourselves…

How much money is required to live well?

My list has been the same for a very long time.


2012 Version

I walked them through my definition of living well.

We ended with a reminder

Talking about family money, outside the family, can create unnecessary issues (for them, and me)

I asked them for an example and they came up with Muffy from Arthur – if you know the kids’ show then you’ll know they picked an excellent example.

…and I left it at that.

Sunday Summary 23 October 2022

Top Threads

Endurance Training Tips

High-Performance Habits

The Psychology of Training After 45

Dan & Ron – a couple of my favorite veteran athletes

I’m more than halfway along my journey from 45 to 60.

The biggest change is the reduction in my total pool of energy.

To cope, I’ve been open to changing my approach:

  • Adding: mobility work, heart rate variability metrics, additional easy days
  • Removing: alcohol, caffeine, travel, driving

Have the changes worked?

Honestly, tough to say!

It’s a paradox… less overall energy provides motivation to make changes in the hope of getting some energy back!

The other big motivator is fear.

Fear of:

  • Decline in sexual function
  • Decline in muscle mass
  • Increase in body fat
  • Getting “slow”

Let’s dig in a little.

Somewhere between 2000 and 2022, I convinced myself that coffee was giving me energy. When I tested that assumption, it proved false.

I continue to have false beliefs – I’m on the hunt for them.

++

Sex Drive

One of the best ways to measure if we are coping with our total stress load.

Not just training load.

Sex drive captures the total package of stress in our life as well as health status.

++

Muscle Mass

One way to resist “looking old” is to get jacked.

One way to resist “feeling old” is to get strong.

Strength training works.

Thing is, doing it well, requires quite a bit of energy.

How best to optimize?

My choice has been to use multi-year cycles.

Get strong once a year and get _really_ strong every 5 years.

When I swing too far towards strength training, my endurance suffers and that has a negative impact on my quality of life.

My approach ends up being a pendulum, between strength and endurance.

++

Fat

Here’s the hazard – a fear of fat, can turn into an obsession with body weight.

As we drive body weight downwards, we can create a negative spiral of losing muscle mass and, eventually, strength.

It takes years for this process to play out.

Personally, I was to be strong for as long as possible.

Strong like Ron!

++

Few years back. Ron broke the course record in the 65-69. Finished 2nd

Slowing Down

The reality => less overall energy, means less training load, means less training response

We’re going to slow down.

When we let our fear drive our training selection, we can make matters worse.

  • Too much high intensity (Zn 5, Severe & Extreme Domains)
  • Too much sustained intensity (Zn 3 & 4, Heavy Domain)

Use expensive training with intent.

Specifically, as we age, avoid strategies with a high risk of injury.

Why?

Injury, and the associated gap in training, results in a step-down in function.

Not gradual and, increasingly, challenging to build back.


Ron stuck with it, took an hour (!) out of 70-74 AG record and won in 2007

What’s the prescription?

Keep fear out of the driver’s seat.

Pay attention to natural signals – mood and sex drive are important metrics.

Balance working towards a “fit future” with enjoying the present.

Feel superb, frequently.

Enjoy the ride.

14 Years Old


I was looking through my phone to find pictures for our daughter’s birthday card.

In 2022, I noticed we’d hadn’t done much together, other than train and drive in my car!

13 proved to be a turning point.

When I pointed this out to her, and said I’d like her to join various family trips we have planned…

I could tell she had her own priorities and goals.

Not sure how much I’m going to see of her.

The plan, all along, has been to equip her with the skills for a self-directed life.

++

I’m finishing up a great book called Happy, by Derren Brown

One of my favorite insights is his observation… parents can’t help but pass their unrealized ambitions to their children.

I looked around:

  • An oldest daughter who swims (with an eye on the highest levels)
  • A son who wants to be a doctor

It’s a useful insight.

You can see it everywhere – my doctor pals have sons who want to be athletes!

++

Darren’s book goes further and talks about anti-ambition.

What we NEVER want to be.

I’m sure I’ve given them some of those!

The path to resist against.

++

My next realization…

She’s done with me in 1,000 days.

I was 17 when I arrived at McGill University.

Hung with myself, mostly, for the next decade!

We’ve moved into the 1,000 day countdown for pretty-much-on-her-own.

++

So, what to do.

#1 – Congratulate her on becoming a wonderful young woman. She’s far exceeded my expectations, an absolute star.

#2 – Ask her what level of time commitment she thinks she should make to the family. What’s the minimum?

#3 – Continue to support her journey through the process of becoming an independent woman.

…and help her with the process of figuring out where she wants to take her life.


Sunday Summary 16 October 2022

Top Threads

  1. Fast After 50 – Ironman
  2. Team “Feel The Byrn” in Sweden next June
  3. How to review an Ironman Bike File
  4. How to Qualify for Kona
  5. How to review an Ironman – more next Tuesday on Twitter

Endurance Sport Tips

High Performance Habits