Speaking ‘Your’ Truth with Love

When I was a teenager studying the history of World War 2, I struggled in coming to grips with how the majority of Germans allowed the institutions of their Nazi government to commit such horrendous crimes.  It turns out that manipulating a public that believes in its institutions isn’t very difficult.

The German people believed their news services, their medical and government institutions, and their leaders.  Those institutions had built that trust over many years in the minds of the people, so the people continued to believe the institutions and leaders even when the speaking of mistruths and outright lies began.

There was a concerted effort by the Nazis to push a narrative and an equally strong effort to stifle any pushback against that narrative.  The Nazi’s utilized cartoons, art, theatre, newspapers, television and large public events to shape the minds of the people into accepting both the veracity and the nobleness of National Socialist goals.

To push back against any counter-narrative, student groups were organized to perform public book-burnings.  There were very few Germans who pushed back against this onslaught, because to do that brought shame, ridicule, loss of job and income; not from the Nazi government…but from their fellow citizens.

I’ve thought a lot about this Nazi playbook over the past several weeks, as I’ve witnessed our new version of book-burning in the form of de-platforming any doctor or researcher who dares question the official narrative of Covid-19 on any and all social media and news platforms.

 Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram have all de-platformed any and every voice that opposes the narrative, despite qualification to voice an opinion. News organizations have heaped on the ridicule and the ubiquitous ‘fact-checkers’ do their thing.

Yes, I’ve witnessed it to a smaller degree previously in regard to vaccines and man-made global warming, but never have I witnessed it to this extent, where ‘cancel-culture’ has accelerated on a global scale.  And to go against the official narrative, to hold an opinion other than the approved one, brings shame, ridicule, loss of job and income…once again mainly from the people.  #Covidiot has been the lead trend on Twitter for over a month.

I performed a bit of a test over the past two weeks.  My wife and I sent random Covid-19 links of the opinions and research of various doctors and researchers to people we knew, some on Facebook and some via email.  Some we sent to those with science degrees who I’ve come to know and respect over the last 20 years of writing, and others were sent to those we know to be relatively well educated.  All of them were sent to people we like and respect. And to be very clear if you are reading this, despite how you answered, we still like and respect you exactly as before.  This is a societal problem at the moment, not a ‘you’ problem, and I sincerely ask your forgiveness for anyone reading this who was part of this uninvited experiment.  Asking you beforehand would certainly have negated any true findings.

We sent formal, peer reviewed work to some and to others we sent random opinion articles or videos from doctors who have, at the least, an idea of the scientific process.  We judged none of the articles or videos we sent as to their veracity, whether or not the article or video was 100 percent correct…they were the opinions and work of those who wrote or videoed them, and the test was designed simply to gauge the response of a ‘different than the narrative’ viewpoint from those we sent them to.

The results were interesting.  To those with a hard science degree, almost to a man or woman, they responded in a scientific non-judgemental manner, pointing out the flaws, the good points, or both, in the article or video sent. Some didn’t know the veracity or lack thereof of the work we sent and simply said they needed more information…a fair call.

Those considered well educated but without a degree in the hard sciences responded differently than those above, but again almost to a man or women in a likeminded manner.  Words like ‘de-bunked’, ‘no good’, ‘false’, and ‘fake-news’ came in hot and heavy…plus one ‘bullshit’, with numerous replies pointing out where to get ‘better’ information. Again, like the hard science people, there were exceptions in this group as well.

As the vast majority of people on the globe don’t have a degree in the hard sciences, apparently the official narrative is going well for those who wish to push it.

I rarely post on social media, and have only had a Facebook account for a couple of years in order to get a feel for the social pulse of the moment.  It helps when writing to understand what’s in people’s heads. 

But I’m not much of a social media user. Having witnessed enough political lies and the sweet superlatives given by every politician of every stripe for several lifetimes, I now despise them, and find social media a place where people defend their political ‘team’ at all costs, right or wrong.  I frankly find the ‘game’ appalling but to each their own, and I don’t judge anyone for their viewpoints.  Can you, gentle reader, for all your tolerance, say the same?

Every one of us, me included, has confirmation bias.  This is the natural inclination to search for and believe viewpoints and opinions that match your already established viewpoint.  Scientists are (or should be) trained to at least recognize their existing confirmation bias and to exclude it to the largest extent possible when doing their work.  It’s impossible to completely eliminate it, but I believe that’s why those we sent links to that had scientific backgrounds responded for the most part the way they did.

Interesting but not crucial, none of those that work within the medical and/or scientific community responded with a mainstream news article.  To be fair, some of the non-science people we sent links to may not be aware of my own background in researching and writing about medical, health, and fitness issues, so again there’s no judgement either way regardless of responses received. It was just an interesting observation.

Now I’m going to segue into the Covid-19 debate, in an odd way, with the recounting of a recent encounter I had.  Bear with me in the re-telling as there is a point at the end, and then we’ll get into a wee bit of medical science, my longtime favourite, and just touch perhaps on maybe why this particular narrative is being pushed so hard. 

The opinion of the crowd is very powerful.  Sometimes the crowd can be a force for great good and much truth, but many times the opinion of the crowd is a source of great evil and untruth.  I’m certain you can call to mind many instances of both without my prompting. We’ve already spoken of one such example in the opening to this article.  For another, just consider any elementary school playground.

Solzhenitsyn said, famously, that both good and evil run through the heart of every man.  I’d add that both good and evil run through the heart of every crowd. But as every crowd is made of individuals, it is especially important for individuals to use their intellect, their discernment, and their natural curiosity in order that they not blindly follow the crowd…perhaps especially when those purporting to lead are those in authoritative positions such as teachers, preachers, politicians, news organizations and government institutions.  History both ancient and recent tells us that following the crowd without the use of one’s intellect, discernment and natural curiosity is an approach fraught with danger.

Now to the story at hand.  I have an acquaintance that drives past our home occasionally in his travels. He’s a very pleasant fellow, a university professor in the earth sciences , and by all accounts in the few interactions I’d had with him, an intelligent enough man. I like the guy.  We had just begun a discussion about climate science several months back via email (a neutral topic between us as neither of us has focused our attention on that topic exclusively) and I’ve been remiss in not pursuing that conversation as my days have been filled repairing fire-damaged fencing in addition to our home restorations.  I’m certain he’s been busy with his own tasks as well.

But he drove down our laneway last week and of course, as is occurring everywhere else on the planet, our discussion quickly turned to Covid-19.  When he stuck his elbow out instead of shaking my hand, I knew where he was in terms of the official narrative, but the conversation that followed quickly devolved. His assertive approach to the ‘truth of the crowd’ didn’t overly surprise me but his lack of questions did, as this man does understand a little of my background in health and wellness and research.

I pointed out to him that in my view Australia and especially our State of Victoria was taking a very wrongheaded approach in ‘locking down’ to the extent that it has.  He responded that it would depend on how many people one was willing to kill in taking that risk, or words to that effect. I’ve read the same thing in the papers so I understood again where he was coming from.

The response he gave me was ‘the official narrative’ here in Australia and in many countries around the world.  He didn’t ask me why I thought it was a wrongheaded approach, he just assumed I was wrong.  It was against the official narrative so in his mind I must have been wrong.  But it got worse.

I mentioned that the lock-down would prevent any herd immunity ( herd immunity being a very positive thing) and that lack of herd immunity would fall into the hands of those who wanted to vaccinate the globe (Fauci and Gates and the WHO especially, although I didn’t even mention these names knowing that doing so would have been so against the official narrative it would have made his head spin), and that the approach of waiting for an effective vaccine would never work because they’ve never made a vaccine for c-viruses that works.

My neighbour responded:  ‘Sure they have’

Me: ‘Name one’

Neighbour: ‘The flu vaccine’

Well, I just stood silent, staring for a moment with my mouth slightly ajar.

I didn’t want to begin explaining that flu viruses are not corona viruses and, as I could work with what he gave me anyway…

Me: ‘Flu vaccines don’t work either’ (Very Important Sidebar and Sources at Bottom if you think perhaps my response was provocative, wrong, or both)

Of course, that response was massively against the current narrative, especially here in Australia where they are now making professional Rugby League players get the flu shot this year in a new ‘No jab, No Play’ policy.

So with that, and again with not so much as a question from him, he got in his ute and left. Still friends of course, but with a vast gulf between our understanding of current events.

From his perspective, because I wasn’t speaking from the science he’s been made aware of by mainstream news, he put me into a ‘conspiracy theory’ basket.  He’d already told me in an earlier conversation that he couldn’t tolerate ‘conspiracy theorists’, so without asking so much as a question or a source (though I gave him one anyway which I’m certain he discounted because it also went against the narrative), he placed me in that basket and rather than risk any cognitive dissonance (the difficulty each of us has in holding two opposing views), it was easier to walk away.  I understand that.

But that brief conversation is a microcosm of what is happening globally, and I want you to reflect on it as we move forward in this conversation.  If you don’t, and if we continue to marginalize scientists and doctors and even sociologists and economists that see a different gestalt whole than what ‘the narrative’ currently is, we’ll see wars, civil wars, or perhaps camps to put these non-narrative rebels and troublemakers in, where they’ll keep quiet and mind their own business while the majority come up with a ‘final solution‘.

Yeah, those are harsh words.  We’re in precarious times. And trust me when I say that these harsh words are a much more productive way of dealing with the anger that is building than what you are liable to get if this trend of silencing any form of dissent to an official narrative continues.

I mentioned sociologist and economists ought to be included in this discussion and, perhaps, some of you are thinking, ‘why them, this is a health issue?’

Well no, it isn’t JUST a health issue as significant events never occur in a vacuum, so I’ll touch on just a few of these first before we get into other issues because although they’ve certainly been touched on in the news, maybe you haven’t thought deeply about these second and third tier effects.

Suicides and mental health:  As I said I rarely post on social media, but I follow the current trends.  Over the last several years I’ve seen mental health issues come to the forefront of social media, especially the epidemic proportions of suicide, and particularly the dramatic and frightening spike in male suicides. This is a great thing. 

But where is the strength of those voices now?   As the economy collapses around us, millions upon millions of the working poor are losing their jobs and their homes, losing their small businesses and their self-esteem, and for a great many that were already barely hanging on, they are also losing their minds.

This lockdown may not be touching you personally. It may be an inconvenience and you’re making the best of it with your Netflix and social media games with your friends. Bully for you. But have a heart for the millions that it is touching. Again, this isn’t intended as judgement in the slightest. It’s an appeal for a helping hand or a meal or a shoulder for those in your city or town who do need help at the moment under the situation we’ve been forced to take. Important word that…forced.

Medical second-tier effects: Currently under this lock-down, many are not going to the hospital with chest pains or that nagging ache that just hasn’t felt right for a while, or that lump that really should get looked at, because the current narrative has put the fear of God into them, and they’re deathly afraid that they’ll get ‘the virus’ if they so much as step foot in any medical establishment. So, to their great detriment, they just ‘let it be’ for now.  That delay will costs lives that aren’t being adequately factored in the current narrative. Source (7)

Here’s something you may not have thought about.  Do you know that every day during the strictest days of lock-down measures, children were and are dying in many places of the world, alone in hospital beds, a nurse or a doctor by their side, with no parent or siblings near as they pass, in fear, from this world. The no visitors allowed policy is, simply put, cruel. Reflect on that one long and hard. Put in your mind a picture of that child’s eyes as they lay there, dying. Put yourself in that child’s position. Put yourself in that parent’s shoes. Not so great?

Now let’s try to address just a few of the ‘why’ questions. For most of them I’ll point towards my source material at the bottom of the article.

First of all, let’s address the all important money issue. Vaccines are Big Pharma’s most lucrative money maker, making leaps and bounds more for them than every other drug they produce. With vaccines they have no liability for harm or even death, the product is government purchased in large measure, they are not required to do double blind safety studies (vaccines are the ONLY drug without the need for double blind safety or efficacy testing).

Also, Big Pharma, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Dr. Fauci, and the WHO make and funnel billions of dollars on Vaccines every year, and it would be a dream come true if they can force a global population to be vaccinated for a problem not near as bad as it is made out to be. See Robert Kennedy Jr’s interview in the sources (9) to understand this clearly, and I assure you that you’ll be shocked to your core, especially with Bill Gates’ work in India and Africa. The interview also clearly spells out the relationship between Big Pharma and media sources, creating a perfect storm of misinformation between the government institutions we should be able to trust and a media that is being paid to push an official narrative.

A timely book out this year is Plague of Corruption, portraying the corruption which has occurred between Big Pharma and the national and international institutions we ought to be able rely on for unbiased science.

Dr. Judy A.Mikovits, along with other prominent voices, is being de-platformed at the moment. She is a rare hero and should be celebrated but, instead, she is being smeared by very heavily vested groups since the recent removal of her 5 year gag order, and the popularity of her new book. here

Despite what the ‘fact-checkers’ and ‘de-bunkers’ are doing, calling Dr. Mikovits unqualified just isn’t going to fly with people once they read her story, read her qualifications, read and see her documentation. But, her story has been pulled along with any mention of it on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Why?

This is why I say this may be my last Facebook Post. And I don’t really care because at the end of the day, we all have to speak our truth. I have to speak mine as best I can, and for the sake of my children and grandchildren, that’s what I will continue to do in any manner that I can.

You, friends all, must speak your truth as well. That is how it should and must be in a free world. Most of you can now, with 20/20 hindsight, see the web of deception between media and government institutions that got us into wars in the middle east (Weapons of Mass Destruction). Most of you have seen the lies spewed forth from Tobacco companies in the 1970’s and 80’s. So now I ask you, sincerely, after you have looked at my source links, to look at where this current dystopian avenue is taking us. Speak your truth, not the truth of the crowd, or the media, or a handful of experts who have very much to benefit from a certain path.

I don’t care what your political beliefs are, I don’t have a political team. I don’t care what your faith is, or your sexual orientation, or even what colour of socks you like to wear.

I do care about you.

I care about each and every one of you in a manner that is bigger than any team, any category, any colour or any race. I care about my children and grandchildren and those I love, just like you. We ARE, truly, the same.

I also understand that this quest to change already determined minds is a Sisyphean task. It’s a large boulder and an even larger hill. To go full circle in this article…most of you still believe strongly in your institutions, by design, and I empathize with where you are both intellectually and emotionally.

This was a long article and I appreciate that you’ve stuck it out to the end, especially because at the moment, quite possibly, your views could be polar opposite and the cognitive dissonance will be almost impossible to overcome.

Almost. Which means that it is possible.

Together, let’s stop the boxcars from arriving before it’s too late.

Sidebar:  

I. AM. NOT. ANTI-VAX.  I am against the current childhood vaccine schedule, and I am most definitely against the methodology used to produce vaccines currently. To make them with a vast reduction in side effects (it is understood and accepted that there will always be a slight risk of side effects) would cost less than a dollar per dose.

Also, from the CDC documents themselves, influenza vaccines over a 10 year average have a < 40% efficacy rate for influenza, but that number is highly misleading. Many people mistakenly believe that this means that it reduces your chances of flu severity by 40%, but it does not. It is simply measuring antibody serum load uptake percentage matched with the current season’s strains of active flu viruses.

It means that in absolute terms you have a 3-4% chance every year of getting the flu without a vaccine but a 1-2% chance of getting the flu if you’ve had the vaccine.  So in absolute terms, if the match is good, you might actually reduce the chance of getting the flu by one or two percent.

And for those under 2 years of age and those over 65 years of age, the chances of getting the flu with or without the flu vaccine were statistically insignificant in real terms (1%-3% for both groups, with or without the vaccine).  As you get closer to 65 years of age the benefit of a flu shot diminishes, but they’d have you believe that it’s more important to get the flu shot as you age, and this is simple not true.

This fact isn’t recognized even by many doctors, as I’ve found out by gently correcting a few when asked if I’ve had my flu shot. Vaccine manufacturers and drug reps don’t make a point of being clear on this for obvious reasons. As I pointed out earlier with the current media/political/big pharma association, they will never go out of their way to explain what this figure actually represents.

BUT…and this is very important in todays current health climate, flu vaccines have the unfortunate side-effect of making an individual 36% MORE LIKELY OF BEING INFECTED BY ANY TYPE OF CORONA-VIRUS, including COVID-19 . Source (3) The ‘fact checkers’ are furiously trying to say that this was not the conclusion. It was a conclusion, although an inconvenient one for vaccine pushers.

I won’t even get into the health ramifications of getting the flu shot every year, as that will have to be the topic for another day.  This article will already be too long, and I’m well past the point of trying to convince anyone.  As I often say, everyone has to help themselves to happiness and if you want to get the flu shot…have at it, it’s your life.  Just PLEASE don’t try to tell me I’m the foolish one as I’ve researched this for over 20 years now.

Sources:

1) https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/flu-shots-may-not-protect-the-elderly-or-the-very-young/

2) https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/09/why-flu-vaccines-so-often-fail

3) PDF Flu vaccine and other associated respiratory diseases and corona viruses (Department of Defense Document). Of course the counter-narrative folks and ‘de-bunkers’ are coming out in full force, just like in Nazi Germany, but here’s a direct quote from the large scale peer reviewed study. I’ve read the entire document and provided it for you above:

“Examining noninfluenza viruses specifically, the odds of both coronavirus and human metapneumovirus in vaccinated individuals were significantly higher when compared to unvaccinated individuals (OR = 1.36 and 1.51, respectively) (Table 5).” That’s a 36% increase in susceptibility to corona-viruses.

4) https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2017/02/studies-shed-light-effects-serial-flu-shots-current-vaccines-benefits

5) Children’s increased risk of non influenza infections following influenza vaccination (here)

6) 89 peer reviewed abstracts linking vaccine mercury to childhood autistic spectrum disorders (here)

7) All cause Mortality in NY State (mid-March to mid-April 2019 vs. mid-March to mid-April 2020). A combination of people putting off medical help, and also an indication of what incentivization can do to stats ($13,000 if a hospital has a patient diagnosed with COVID -19, and over $30,000 if the patient is placed on a ventilator with COVID-19 in New York State. This incentivization is occurring at various dollar amounts in virtually every western country)




8) Childhood vaccines and autistic Spectrum disorders (here)

9) Outstanding interview with Robert Kennedy Jr. on vaccinations. He makes it very easy to understand in a very simple manner (here)

10) The Bill Gate’s Effect: WHO’s DTP Vaccine Killed More Children in Africa than the Disease it was Supposed to Prevent (here)

11) Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, WHO, Gavi, and the Billions of dollars in Vaccines (here)

Reality

The peach and nectarine trees in the enclosed garden have turned golden orange at the same time the gum trees have sprouted their after-fire new growth in bright greens and shades of red, so it looks as though the seasons are a bit mixed at our Australian high country home.

We haven’t found life much changed with the new isolation rules.  We had building supplies, gravel, and fencing materials delivered a few weeks back and we’ll now spend this time repairing buildings and fencing damaged by the fires, completing a woodshed that is long overdue, and getting ahead of the curve in as many aspects of life as possible while we have this gift of time thrown our way. 

We’ve always got plenty of food stocked away, lots of winter greens growing in the garden, and lots of fuel for the generator in store, so no trips to town are necessary for the next couple of months if necessary.

I take the time to read the science of this virus wherever I can find good sources, but I don’t get caught in the endless negative news cycle and the drama they create. That approach does nothing to help me get ahead when this is all behind us, as it will be.   The job of those news BUSINESSES is to drive headlines, clicks, eyeballs, and advertising.  The way to do that is by taking the most extreme examples in our society and showcasing them…the way old-time circuses would showcase the most extreme in our society.  Human nature never changes, and the news orgs of today are using a tried and true strategy.  But I don’t have to line up at the tent entrance, hoping for a peek.

Keep moving forward.

Once the world gets through this period of isolation we’ll need to start discussing a few difficult things.  This virus is well and truly established in the human population, unlike SARs and MERs.  Both of those two previous corona viruses were only transmissible when symptomatic and for this, and a number of other fortuitous reasons, we stopped SARs and MERs from becoming established in the global population.

 Covid-19 is also transmissible while asymptomatic, helping increase it’s R-naught value (transmissibility) and ensuring that it’s established in the human population.  This poses a problem because once the virus establishes it WILL periodically reappear when times and conditions are suitable…for the virus, not us. 

Whether this will be a yearly event or less frequent we just don’t know yet.  On the plus side is that as more people acquire the virus the chances of it ‘spiking the curve’ and overwhelming the health system becomes less likely because population immunity grows as more positive tests accumulate.  But less than ideal scenarios are still possible the next few go arounds or if the virus mutates slightly (which will occur eventually just because that’s what viruses do in order to adapt to their changing environments).

The reality is this.  The world won’t shut down like this again.  The global economy is being shaken badly at the moment and whether we choose to accept it or not foundations of the financial structure won’t accept a repeat without crumbling entirely.  Whether you think that may be a positive thing in the long term or not, the deaths resulting from a world in chaos would be much worse for humanity than what the current mortality rate is from this strand of corona virus.

The fact is we live in precarious times despite the thin veneer of modern civilization trying to obscure that reality.  We are also seeing the limitations of government…any government, in crisis situations.  Some nations will do better than others but at the end of the day the best lesson from this whole first run is to make yourself and your family as resilient as possible moving forward.  Stay healthy physically, emotionally and financially.

Be prepared to re-launch into the world with a strategy to take advantage of the financial opportunities that await the courageous after EVERY financial crisis.

Make yourself better.

Dream, plan, and strategize.

LEARN

Learn about how you can utilize a space in your home or garage to set up a home gym.  Plan it out.

Learn about eating right.

Learn about how carbohydrates, fats, and proteins affect your body.  Learn about the different kinds of fats and carbohydrates. 

Learn about supplementation and hormone optimization.

Learn about strengthening your mindset.

CHALLENGE YOURSELF

Start learning a new skill or language that will stack your existing talents and increase your value as an employee, a contractor and a person.

Learn and plan to execute a new income stream…lots of people are finding out how fragile a regular pay-check really is.  There are lots of ways to make money from home in today’s world if you’re disciplined enough to execute the daily tasks needed to make it work.

Above all don’t allow this time to make you weaker physically, emotionally or financially. 

Accept the reality of this moment in time for what it is and use every isolated minute to make a great future for yourself.

What’s your alternative?

Shifting to Offence

When I first began this blog several years ago, I said that I had a story to tell.  For many reasons, I didn’t follow through.  I’m going to change that now in a manner that I hope is beneficial to you, but also in a manner that is beneficial to me.  Beneficial in the sense that writing about these experiences and the lessons I’ve drawn from them re-enforce the lessons in my own mind.  When you hit lows in life that are so deep only a few can ever understand, you never, ever want to go back. 

But I also hope these posts will help one or two people who may struggling through some darkness of their own.  Because while this blog will predominantly be about fitness it must be understood that mental health and mindset are often the determining factor in achieving any goal, fitness or otherwise. Further, I know the lessons I’ve internalized may be able to help another.

Some of these posts will be hard to read, and I can assure you that some of these posts will be difficult for me to write.  Not because I’m in a low or bad place now, but because digging up memories and situations that have been long buried can awaken feelings that I’ve left far behind.

One final word before I begin this new journey.  For seven years I wrote articles for fitness clubs and for almost twenty years I’ve written sporadically for wellness journals.  For each of those articles I had to write for the so-called ‘larger audience’, and when I did that there was always the tendency to keep the best stuff I had off the page merely because someone, somewhere, would be offended.  Also, because of the format, for twenty years of writing I’ve kept my language clean…acceptable to the masses.  But writing what everybody else writes, in the same way everyone else writes it, helps no one.

Sometimes people who need to hear some hard truth need it delivered in a hard manner.  In other words, from this point forward they’ll be a bit of cursing in the blog.  Not to make a statement, but to sometimes drive a statement home.  So, if you’re one of those who is easily offended or if a curse word here and there disturbs you, you’ve been forewarned.

Let’s start the journey.

Do you ever set a goal, start to take the steps that you think will help you achieve that goal, and then a day, a week or a month into the plan simply give up for reasons that even you don’t understand?

Have you ever come up with what seems an incredible idea only to overthink it to the point where you tell yourself before you’ve even begun to execute that it’ll never work?

Have you ever looked back at the mistakes you’ve made in your life and instead of learning from them and moving on, you live them over, and over, and over again in your brain until you’re in fetal position and can’t bring yourself to get out of bed in the morning?

I’ve done these things, and I’ve been in those places, and those negative thoughts almost put me in the ground. For real.

I wasn’t dealing with clinical depression.  I was dealing with circumstantial pain from events in my life and the aftermath that comes from having gone through hell and back.

 Twice.

 The result was that I just didn’t feel like I was ‘good enough’.

Some people with fancy titles and lots of letters behind their name call all these events ‘self-sabotage’, and they’re right in one sense.  Each of us is responsible for our actions or inactions.  But labelling it self-sabotage doesn’t help us find a solution so we can begin executing the actions needed that will take us from where we are, to where we want to be.  So, I dismiss the label.  In fact, in today’s post let’s forget all the labels that the world places on each of us and instead focus on just one aspect of the whole.

But one thing needs to be addressed before we go further.  There’s a tendency among many to embrace a victim mentality in life.  This won’t help you. It will perpetuate your feelings of being ‘not good enough’ and I can guarantee that you’ll be in that low place until you stop feeling like a victim.  You’re not a victim.  You’re the product of an entire life of choices, both good and bad, and the results that come from them.  So let’s drop that shit right now.

But let’s also recognize that some of those so-called choices weren’t really choices, and this needs to be addressed in a way that doesn’t perpetuate the victim status dominating the thinking of many.

For example, if you think that you’re not good enough, I’m telling you that someone put that in your head at some point in your life.  You clearly weren’t born thinking that you were sub-par, or not good enough.  Maybe it was a parent…you had no choice over that.  Maybe it was a teacher or close relative…no choice.  Maybe it was a co-worker or friend…maybe you had a choice depending on your age at the time or your employment skills.

And in many, in fact possibly even most of these examples, the individual in question made you feel that way unintentionally.  They may have been trying to drive you forward.  They may have been thinking that their words would inspire you to greater things.  But good intentions or not, once you internalized that feeling of ‘not good enough’ the self-perception remained.  And excising the cancer can be hard to do because most don’t know where the feeling came from to begin with.

But there’s a way to get through it without understanding the root cause, and it took me a long time to figure this out.  You shift to offence.

After a second major failure event, the biggest difficulty I had in moving forward was because I didn’t want to ‘look stupid’ again.  Mainstream advice will tell you that you shouldn’t care what people think about you.  That’s true…but it’s baby pablum, easy to say but completely useless as a tool in helping you move forward.

It’s also defensive thinking.  And defence never wins a game; only offence wins games.  And thanks in large part to the very wise words of Gary Vaynerchuk, I went on offence.  And though this tactic is used 99 percent of the time as internal dialogue only, or as ‘self-talk’, it sure worked for me. And every now and again if you must use it externally, have at it, and do it with a smile.

I first picture in my mind someone telling me that a new project I’m working on will make me look stupid.  My internal dialogue goes something like this:

‘Who thinks I look stupid doing this?  You?’

‘Well FUCK YOU!’

You may be on the verge of changing your eating habits or starting to go to the gym. There WILL be naysayers and mudslingers who will try to keep you where you are.

‘You think it’s a joke that I’m trying to eat right, and making an attempt to hit the gym?

Well FUCK YOU!’

Now, as you read this you may think that this tactic seems simplistic, juvenile, immature even?  To who?  You?

Well,…

See how it works?

Good. 

And you won’t find THAT advice anywhere else. 

Step forward.  No fear.

Why We Train

I know where you are because I’ve…we’ve…been there too.  You’ve had a rough patch in your life, maybe a year or maybe a decade.  You’d like to change the trajectory of your life but don’t know where to begin, or how.  You make a promise to yourself that tomorrow will be different, but the rut you’re in is so deep that tomorrow never comes. 

The broken promises you’ve made to yourself wear on your mind, on your soul even, until those tomorrows you keep hoping for look ever bleaker and ever further away.  You know hope isn’t a strategy and yet, today it seems, hope is all you’ve got.

I also understand that the gap between the inspirational videos you watch and where you are seems too deep, too vast a canyon to cross on your own, so instead of you crossing over to us, we’ll come over to where you are.  Pull up a chair and let us introduce ourselves

We’re the ones you’ve seen through the window of the gym early in the morning as you drive by on your way to work.  We’re the ones you see on the road at dawn or dusk running, jogging, some of us even trudging.

We’re a mixed lot. Men and women. Young and not so young. Rich…and poor. Business executives and laborers. Every race and culture. But when we enter the doors of the gym or make our way out to the curb those outward appearances…the labels we wear…drop away, and we become family. These things we do are some of the few left on this planet where one can experience that kind of camaraderie.  Personally speaking, it makes me proud to be a part of it.

We do these things for many reasons, each of us with our own personal commitment to change. Some are trying to shed a few pounds and others are trying to shed the baggage that life has placed on their weary shoulders. For a few the line between the two has blurred over time, but one thing every one of us will agree on.  When we change from our street clothes to our gym attire or gie, or throw on our running gear, the burdens of life become lighter for a spell.

We would be less than truthful if we said that it was easy every day.  It isn’t.  Some days the baggage we spoke of earlier tends to bring us down. Sometimes the alarm clock goes off too early in the morning for our liking. Sometimes on our way home from work it seems easier to turn left, towards home, than it is to turn right, towards the gym.

But we’ve already made the step that you’re considering…one day we finally made good on that promise to ourselves and we followed through.  We began to execute.

That day in our not too distant past we placed our baggage on the shelf, we put our feet on the floor when the alarm went off and, scared as we were… we turned right.

This may be difficult to understand at this juncture of your life…but every time we continue to follow through in this manner our baggage becomes lighter, our mind and body become stronger, and we take a step in a better direction.

Yes, we march to a different drummer and we make no excuse for that. But the drummer’s beat is different for each one of us, so please don’t feel that we won’t accept the beat that you hear. You might be pleasantly surprised, in fact, to meet others who hear the same music as you.

You are, to use an oft used expression, at a tipping point. It may seem easier at this point in your life to simply tip back into the same old routine that you’ve been living until now. But I’ve two questions to ask.

What decisions in your life brought you to this point? What decisions will begin to turn your life around?

Don’t feel that you need to answer us today.  Sleep on it.  Mull it over in your mind for a few days if you wish.  But please, please understand this…we’ve been where you are. We understand how you feel at this moment.  And we understand that you dealt with your particular problems and difficulties in the only manner that you knew how.  Until today.

This brief introduction is meant to encourage you to join us. The first few days will be difficult, like anything new and unfamiliar is when you first undertake it.  Learning to drive was difficult at one point in your distant past too, but you managed that…and we promise that you’ll manage this too. 

It’s been really nice to meet you.  We’re glad we’ve come over to say hello, and now we’re asking you to come and join us. You won’t regret it.  We’ll see you soon.

Motivation

Words DO mean things.  One of the classic mis-use of words I hear all the time is when people say that they need me to ‘motivate’ them in order to begin training, eating right, or generally level up their lives.  I’m always quick to rain on this particular parade by explaining that I or someone else may give them ‘inspiration’, but motivation can only come from within.  The root for the word itself is ‘motive’, and providing a motive for self-improvement is strictly a personal issue.  Sure, others may act in a manner which makes a motive clear to you or defines it better, but no one else can give you the motive to change your own set of circumstances. 

Everyone can develop internal motivation.  As the classic book Psycho-Cybernetics teaches, we all have a Success Mechanism that, once a goal is established, our brain will work day and night to point us in the direction of that goal.  But two things must be stated about this mechanism.  One, although it’s called a ‘success’ mechanism, if your self-image is such that you see yourself as a ‘failure’ or ‘loser’ this same mechanism will point you in the direction of where you see yourself.  It can work both ways.  So it’s important to have a positive self-image, one where we see ourselves as ‘winning’ in the end, so to speak.  The second crucial thing to remember about this internal success mechanism is that action from you is required to fulfil any of the goals that you’ve set in front of yourself.  No action equals no achievement (we’ll talk a little about this in the next post).

To summarize.  Get a motive to change, then get inspired to take action.  Easy peasy (not really, but sometimes just looking at the big picture makes things easier)

‘Till next time.

Noosa, Peregian, and Redcliffe

Prior to this trip, Peregian Beach was always one of my favourite places to visit in Australia.  After spending four days between Peregian Beach and Noosa Heads, I was reminded why.  A white sand beach that goes for miles, turquoise water, and two adjacent small seaside towns ranked as the best place to live in Australia. With a National Park directly behind the towns, west of the beach, urban sprawl is prevented, and the area retains a unique culture.

Today we drove an hour and a half south to the coastal town of Redcliffe.  This area is only 20 minutes north of Brisbane and practically an outlying suburb, but in the fifties this was the area outside of town where the upper class resided.  The homes are each distinctly done in the Queenslander style, suiting the tropic climate.

We found an original, small, wood-sided one Queenslaner, built in the fifties and just two blocks from the beach.  The beach is solid and not slanted too steeply toward the water, making it perfect for running/walking/training,.  We got in a good 30 minutes of push-ups and tubing shoulder exercises before heading back to the house.  In the afternoon we walked the neighbourhood looking at the homes.

Lynette and I like this area too, but it’s getting a bit too suburban for our liking.  It is an extremely popular area to live because of the proximity to all the attractions of metropolitan Brisbane, while still living in a traditional seaside getaway community.  The big and old trees lining the many boulevards make this community unique.

We’ll stay here for a week or so.

Training, and Sal the Coconut Man

Sal

We had a great leg workout today.  Thirteen minutes of Leg hell for Lynette and nineteen minutes of it for me.  It really is amazing what you can do with the most basic of tools.  A good tubing set, weight vest, Chin up straps, a few dumbells and, optimally, a good big stability ball that can be used as a bench or as an Abdominal machine.  The ball is the only thing missing on this trip.

We began to slowly pack our things today.  Tomorrow we are heading 8 hours south of here to a little coastal town called Noosa.  The beaches there are really good too, and it looks like we’ll be in a really good spot.

Tonight when we went on our late afternoon/ early evening beach walk, we met Sal.  He was knocking down ripe coconuts on a beachfront property we were passing.  There must have been 30 coconuts at the top of that old tree, all in various stages of ripeness as I would soon learn.  Sal used a long aluminum pole, approx 9 meters, or 30 feet, long.  Surrounding the tree were 10-12 already knocked -down specimens.

When he found out that we weren’t from these parts, he taught us how to choose the ones with the best and most coconut water and the softest white meat.  They should still be green.  They will be heavy when you pick them up, and you should not here any water sloshing around inside, indicating evaporation and air inside.

He spotted a coconut lying on the ground nearby that met his approval, grabbed it with his left hand and with his right hand  and the large machete that suddenly appeared  began to hack away at the fibrous outer skin of the nut.

Once that outer fiber was removed, Sal hacked at the top of the inner coconut in a way that looks like topping a soft-boiled egg.  It only took seven or eight well placed hacks and a cork size opening appeared on the top.  There was a lot more coconut water inside than I expected.  Sal told me there is about 2 liters of water inside of every 5 coconuts.  And Sal knows because he eats 5 coconuts every day, year round.  That’s the other thing I found out.  There is no set ‘season’ for coconuts.  They continuously produce coconuts, so you can harvest the ripe ones all year.

I’m glad we Met Sal.

The Bucasia Beach Daily Routine

We had a one hour rain yesterday afternoon, which was the first rain we’ve seen other than our drive the first day, back on the 19th of August.  That day was snow and then rain for about 3 hours from when we left home.  It also rained that first night sleeping on the boat.

But we haven’t seen any rain since then until late yesterday.  Today we woke to sunny skies again, and temperatures reached 32 Celcius.  We had time on the beach, about 30 minutes training followed by some time by the pool, a late afternoon 1 and a half hour walk on the beach, then finally 2 or 3 hours working on the laptops. This was a typical day for us here this past week, only altering it slightly when we’d head out for a meal some evenings.

I haven’t been this relaxed in years, nor has training been this good in years.  No injuries, consistent training and good nutrition.

Another great day in Bucasia Beach.

Beach Sprints and Abs

The water was only 2 meters or so from the high tide line from yesterday, leaving Lynette and I a width of beach from shore line to the first clumps of vegetation of maybe 35 meters.  It was a 12 to 15 second sprint depending on how the slight hill and soft sand slowed you up, which it continuously did.

Lynette did 1 or 2 warm-ups and 8 sprints to the top.  After each sprint from the waterline to the vegetation line, a very fast walk back to the waterline, a  quick turn, then another sprint to the vegetation.  The grade from waterline to vegetation line is maybe only 3-4 percent,but the soft sand makes it the perfect way to be intense without hurting your joints.  Running in soft sand is great for both beginners and experts.  The beginner, if he hasn’t ran for a number of years, will find that they have to re-learn how to run.  Some folks have never had much experience running, ever, and will have to learn the art of running for the first time.  There are some great youtube videos on how to run.  Watch them if it’s been more than 2 years since you’ve ran regularly.  Let me add one thing.  Search Youtube for videos on Sprinting’ as well, which actually suits this Cardio Day better than ‘Running’.

I ran 2 warm up plus 11 full-on sprints, and finished in just over 9 minutes.

When we’d both finished, we took a few minutes to get some extra water into us and allow the heart rate to settle back down.  Then we moved halfway up the beach and did 7 minutes of Abs, with no rules.  That means each of us performs as close to 7 minutes of continuous ab movements with as little rest as possible, but choosing any combination of exercises that can keep you going without stopping.  For example, I usually start with upper ab exercises like crunches, and as I tire I shift the exercises towards those of my lower abs, like pelvic tilts/leg raises.  By shifting between upper and lower abs you can keep going without resting, and if done twice a week, in 4 to 6 weeks you’d go the full 7 minutes without stopping.

Give it a go.