Thursday, September 18, 2014

Just a quicky (8 yr olds playing football and "when is yoga starting?)

Last weekend, I was driving through a neighborhood with my daughters in the car, listening to Modest Mouse (People as places as people).  Quick sidenote:  When I was younger I thought how I didnt want to influence my girls and wanted them to "blossom," into their true selves.  But then I thought "Hey dummy, your taste in music is sweet!  Influence your ass off!" So in my car, they get to hear Modest Mouse, John Mayer, Jack Johnson, Dave & Tim and of course, some pretty Pearl Jam tunes.
Anyway, we're cruising along and talking and I see a flag football game.  We're at the red light, all watching the action... the 8 yr olds playing the game.  And I kinda had to get out of there.
I think the book I recently read, referenced in the last blog entry, on top of the Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson had me a little ultra emotional about things, especially kids and then football.
I now see the NFL as I do most things... a great idea, seriously F'd up by adults, greed and money.  Very few things haven't fell into that category at some point.
But here, I saw kids playing a great sport at the core level, in a neighborhood, with parents in lawn chairs.  Not to be too negative about it, but it goes down hill from there... why?  Because some goofy ass dad is going to think his kid is the next Buckeye great and force feed it down his throat and it gets progressively worse from here.  middle school, high school, to college (maybe).
Yup, my opinions on youth sports are jaded.  But not because of the kids, because of the same reasons I listed above, adults-greed-money.

Phase 1 was Womens Weight Training.  Think of a large mason jar, phase 1 was filling it with marbles.
Phase 2 was Kettles, Core & Cardio.  That was us filling it with small pebbles and sand.
We thought, "Alright, we're getting it all in now."
(no bs, I just heard someone mention in the hall "When is the yoga starting?"
Phase 3.  You've taken yoga before or maybe not.  You may have some expectation as to what will happen in there... "we'll stretch, and pose, it'll improve my flexibilty... We'll hum."  I don't know what you really think.  But I know, without any doubt, that your thoughts are short compared to whats actually going to happen... Except for the humming, we won't be humming.
The first two classes are sound. They're needed.  They're the bread n butter.  But Phase 3 is the intangible.  Its the class that'll change how you train, how you run, how you walk, how you work, how you think, how you feel, how you study, how you teach, how you coach, what you look at, how you breathe.
Lets rewind.

I'm new, right?  (obviously not to everyone reading, but i have a target audience in mind).  So I'm new.
Here's a brief summary of how it began...
I weighed around 315-325lbs.  No one told me and for some reason, I didnt see it.  One day, some bad bad news came around and I blamed my fat.  Positive from a negative.  So I joined the gym, Ballys in Willoughby.  I tore out some workouts from a Flex Magazine and headed out with a friend.  I had a clunky pair of white high tops, sloppy clothes and no cardio.  I tried running.  Couldnt run 1/8 mile.  Tried the elliptical, legs hurt.  I curled, I shoulder pressed, and floated around in a pool.
One day, two guys pulled me aside and asked me what I was doing.  I said "trying to lose weight."  They've obviously seen my pathetic effort and program and decided to help this sad bastard out.  They wrote it up, told me what to eat, told me how to do it all and said "See you tomorrow."
I remember thinking "Crap... I'm a big guy... I dont want them thinking I'm a wimp.  Now I have to show up and do this."
These guys were Marines and chiseled.  Not overly muscular or body builders, but defined, large and athletic in appearance.  One of the workouts they gave me is still one we go through in bootcamps and I post it online often.
Anyway, I did it.  I did everything they said, ate what they said, ran the way they said, and lost around 90lbs.
Later on, I became a high school football coach, then started working with high school athletes, then became a personal trainer.

Then I hurt my back and went to a chiropractor... excellent guy up at the Clinic, Dr. Torak (sorry if I spelled it wrong).  We talked a lot about training, rehab tips and a new buzz word "pre-hab," ways to train imbalances to prevent potential injuries.  At the time, it wasn't something I ever thought much about.  Yes, form is one thing and lifting properly is essential, but this was different.  This had more focus on intangibles, the deep fibers, the assisting muscles that you dont flex in the mirror. Through our talks, he said "give some yoga a shot."
So I googled, found a place and went up.  I was (or maybe I still am) a Buddhist so walking into a  yoga studio for the first time didn't overwhelm me the way it might other guys.  I was prepared to be surprised... and that was an understatement.  Within a few weeks of classes, I immediately appreciated the physical benefits.  But the catch, the hook, were the thoughts and feelings that arose.  This wasn't a workout.  This wasn't a stretch routine.  There was something going on in here that I haven't felt since my old coach used to whisper (or grumble) something at me that made want to run through a wall, in a good way, of course.  I came out of these classes feeling AMAZING.  amazing.  And I wanted more.  I wanted to know why.  So I dove into the books, the history, the science.
Then I began incorporating everything, the lifting with the yoga, the yoga with the athletics and it became my passion.

So here we are... and roll all that up.  Maybe you've read some blogs and have a feel for what its all about.  Maybe you've dove into my Monday and Wednesday classes and got a feel for it all.  But I'm telling you, without a doubt, this is the class you want to set your clock to.
It wont be easy.  Yes, we'll be starting slow, because I have to assume we're all "new."  But you know how we're in a class and I say 5 more and somehow say 3 more 5 later?  :)  Bring a water, a mat and change of clothes.  You will not want to sit in your car in the same clothes you're taking class in.

This Is Blue Chip