Running Out of Air!

Running Out of Air!

If you’re anything like me, you hate running. the thought of running literally makes you want to throat punch somebody. Unfortunately for me as a soldier I have to run…at least a little bit. So last year I took a “week off” of PT that turned into about 9 months of not working out or running, drinking more than I probably should, and eating second and third helpings of my wife’s fantastic cooking. the result of that immaturity was not only did i gain 50 POUNDS(!), but i also became so grossly out of shape that while I could still (barely) pass my push ups and sit-ups, I was failing my two mile run by about two minutes. fast forward to now and I’m down nearly 40 pounds, passing my PT test, and getting better at running everyday, almost to the point I enjoy it. Now, if you’ve ever been to Africa during the summer time and tried to run you can understand how difficult it is to breathe. That was the problem I encountered once arriving. I ran four to five times a week for 3 months and would fluctuate between seeing progress, and seeing my time fly higher than it had ever been. on top of the heat I also caught bronchitis early in my deployment. everything seemed stacked against me for my run, so I turned to the best solution I can usually come to when encountering a problem: I find the best book on the subject and I read it cover to cover. for this particular scenario I needed to find a book about how to run better, and more importantly, to learn how to breathe while running. After looking through a few I settled on Running On Air by Budd Coates. Inside the book Budd talks about how many people don’t pay attention to their breathing, and when they do…they typically do it wrong. he’s found a form of rhythmic breathing to not only increase performance, but also decrease injury and body fatigue. Once I began implementing the techniques in this book I saw improvement within three days. dropping two minutes of my two-mile run, as well as dropping about four minutes off of a 5K held on post. This book isn’t simply for the poor runner either, Budd Coates trains everybody from high school runners all the way up to professional marathon runners. If you’re trying to improve your run be it for fitness, weight loss, competition, or a mandatory PT test, this is the best few dollars you’ll ever spend!

“Movement is the best form of medication. Anytime you move, it makes your brain sharper. It makes your mind sharper.” – Conan McGregor

Set a good pace and stick to it,

H

 

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What’s your Mission Statement?

What’s your Mission Statement?

If you’ve ever had a job you’re probably familiar with the concept of a mission statement. whether it’s a goal for where the company wants to see itself go, what the expectation of the employee is supposed to be, or your commander’s intent for the mission; mission statements are meant to convey what you’re trying to do, and how you’re trying to do it. So if companies and commanders use mission statements to direct the people under them, why shouldn’t you use one to guide yourself? Now I know what you’re thinking. “H, I already have a bucket list” or “I already have my career goals written out” but that’s not what I’m trying to help you achieve; this is so much bigger than just a goal, or a list of awesome vacation spots to hit before your first prostate exam. I want you to create a guide that will change slightly, but stay essentially the same throughout your whole life. It’s not an easy task.

The task at hand takes a lot of introspection and brutal honesty with yourself about who you are and what you really care about. If you can manage to devote a couple a minutes a day, for a couple of weeks then you just might create something that won’t necessarily lead you directly to success…but it’ll help make sure you can live with yourself when you get there. Very often in life we’re given a choice that would help us get to our eventual goal, but at the expense of your morals or some other belief system. If you take the path that violates your personal virtues, you may find it’s not worth being where you wanted to be considering how much it cost (health, friendships, marriages, financial security). If you follow your own guidelines nobody can force you to become somebody you don’t like. Remember that nobody else can make you live with yourself. SO how do we create a mission statement? Obviously I’ll tell you that there are books on it you can dive into for pretty cheap. However, if you don’t want to read the books I’ll give you the short version here step by step. Are you ready? Because this is gonna take a while.

First things first, grab yourself a tall glass of your favorite whisky or liquor to inspire deep thought, but not enough to get drunk. Maybe grab a cigar if you enjoy them, or whatever will help you gain insight into your own mind. Lastly, grab an old fashioned pencil and paper. Now that you have everything you need to sit down and think, set about an hour or two aside. No phone, no kids, no wife, no distractions, just an hour or two of you completely alone to think about who you are. I want you to focus your thoughts on what your absolute core values are. Whenever you can, make your core values one or two words; we’ll put them into cohesive thoughts later on. As you think of the core values that really matter to you simply write them down on the piece of paper.

Now that you have your core values laid out, it’s time to start putting them into a cohesive thought (for example one of my values is my integrity, so my mission statement begins with “Live life with the highest degree of integrity.”). This mission statement can be as long or as short as you need it to be. Once you feel like you have laid out all of your values in a way that makes sense, put the paper to the side and forget about it for about a week. After a week or so look at it again. Does it still make sense? If not, what could you change to make it convey your intent? Could you change the wording and make it more eloquent, or meaningful? Do this for a couple of weeks, putting it aside and then reviewing it a few days later. Remember you’re trying to create a personal mission statement that is important to you, as a moral compass, so don’t ask others what their opinion of it is because that will simply invoke their own opinions into your values. This should be inspiring for you, and should inspire others to create their own when they see it.

Now that you’ve refined your mission statement to the point where you’re happy with it, make sure you can see it! Put it somewhere that is your own that you’ll see it every day, or at least a couple of times a week. So how do I make it something I want to look at you say? Well a few ideas you could do are:

Have it written out in calligraphy professionally (or personally for a great touch) and frame it to put in your office.

Burn it into a plank of wood, or a slice of a tree for an awesome manly touch to your otherwise boring office.

Weld the words onto a piece of sheet metal to hang in the garage.

And if you’re sure you have the absolute perfect wording you could even get it tattooed!

there are literally thousands of ways you can make this even more of your own, only limited by your imagination. As long as you look at it frequently enough to be reminded of why you act the way you do, it’ll be serving its purpose.

“Outstanding people have one thing in common: an absolute sense of mission” – Zig Ziglar

Take time to become focused,

Hurley