Crushing The 2 Hour Evening Workout

100 push-ups. 200 situps. 1 max reps. 33 inch vertical leap. Controlled handstand push up and down from crow. 45.6% muscle mass. 10.1% body fat.

Back at the top of my Game after a long Winter.

I move my Body like I move my Pen.

Integral Life Practice.

What burns through Conor Mcgregor burns through me.

“I take inspiration from everyone and everything. I’m inspired by current champions, former champions, true competitors, people dedicated to their dream, hard workers, dreamers, believers, achievers.”

“I am a workhorse. So I am going to enjoy the benefits of this life, its human nature some people will sit and take positivity from that. They will look at that and take inspiration and inspire it will inspire them to go and push for that, others will shell up and critique and be negative towards it but on thing for sure is those people will stay where they are the people who take inspiration from it will rise up and also one day experience that life.”

What burns through Ray Lewis burns through me.

“You’ve got to go out and show them that I’m a different creature now, then I was five minutes ago, cause I’m pissed off for greatness. Cause if you ain’t pissed off for greatness, that just means you’re okay with being mediocre.”

“Greatness is a lot of small things done well. Day after day, workout after workout, obedience after obedience, day after day.”

Fire on the Ice of Emptiness.

Warrior. Scholar. King.

Enjoy life. Enjoy the grind.

Chase your own Greatness.

Don’t care how long it takes.

Knocked down 7 times. Get up 8.

You are your only Competition.

Surrender to Spirit.

Channel the Spirit Within.

My Vertical Leap

Measured my vertical leap yesterday: 33 inches.

Only 2 inches below the average for an NBA point guard, which is 34.9 inches.

I haven’t done plyometrics for the last 2 weeks so didn’t even feel at my most springy smile emoticon

I’ll get to 35 inches soon enough.

“I believe I can fly
I believe I can touch the sky
I think about it every night and day
Spread my wings and fly away”

Max Marmer's photo.

Lebron James Returning to Cleveland Seen From Campbell’s Hero’s Journey

Lebron James made the right decision in returning to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

It is better for his championship aspirations (better talent/salary/player)

Better for his brand (the only other place with out being a title chaser)

And perhaps most importantly, best for his own hero’s journey, which can stand as an inspiration to us all.

Joseph Cambell’s Monomyth describes the 3 macro stages of the Journey as 1) Departure 2) Initiation 3) Return

James needed to leave home to get to the top of championship mountain with new brothers and supernatural guides.

“I learned from a franchise that had been where I wanted to go. I will always think of Miami as my second home. Without the experiences I had there, I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing today.”

Following his journey to the peak, his fears and burdens could be released, and James has played with a freedom that has allowed him to step fully into his powers, marked by some of the best statistics the league has ever seen.

“I feel my calling here goes above basketball. I have a responsibility to lead, in more ways than one, and I take that very seriously. My presence can make a difference in Miami, but I think it can mean more where I’m from.”

Now “the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man”.

Patterns of Athletic Greatness

I spotted an interesting pattern with some of today’s most elite athletes:

Disappearing hyper athletic father, loving-sacrificing mother, surrogate father who recognizes their athletic talent and takes them in as their own.

Athletes who fit pattern off the top of my head: Lebron James, Kevin Durant, Ray Lewis, Jalen Rose, even Colin Kaepernick as a slight variant.

Possible mechanism: Great genes (where freakish athletic genes creates strong tendency for socially deviant behavior due to abundant testosterone if not in supportive social environment), strong and healthy maternal and paternal energy, incredible work ethic.

Sports as Transcendental Metaphor

There are few areas in the modern world as rich with metaphor and spiritual truth as the world of sports.

Very grateful for the years in my life when nothing was more important than sports.

The competitive fire that once burned on the field and court, now burns inside me while I run the Entrepreneurial Marathon, spar in the Philosophical Pantheon and tear it up on the Dancefloor.

It is all ONE energy transmuted into the MANY forms of our diverse, eclectic world.

Here is a gem from Kobe Bryant I just came across:

“The advice I get from Magic, Michael and those guys, that’s always sacred…that’s going to the mountain top and talking to Buddha, know what I mean? That’s privileged information.”

Byproducts: Learning from Failure and Virtues of Playing Sports

Two more examples of byproducts. Focusing on byproducts makes you less likely to achieve them. Instead focus on what the real end goal should be.

I recommend first reading the original post where I discussed byproducts: Why You Can’t Get More Happiness, Money and Love By Pursuing Them Directly

Learning from Failure

You’re first startup venture will probably fail and it will be a great learning experience that will increase your chances for being successful on your second venture. But you can’t go into that first venture with the expecation that will just be a great learning experience, because then it probably won’t even be a good learning experience, otherwise you’ll quit too early. Only if you have the unwavering irrational belief that this venture is destined to succeed will you push hard enough and long enough to learn some real lessons.

Competitive Spirit

Passion for athletics commanded the largest portion of my free time from the time I was 5 to the time I was 17. At some point around 13-14 I had some pretty tough injuries that were misdiagnosed with compounding lingering effects. (I’ve described that in some more depth in this post)

At some point around 17-18 I wound down my competitive athletics commitments so I could focus on my burgeoning entrepreneurial interests. Now that I have some distance from my athletic career I can see how much I’ve gained from sports.

The other day I was watching a Giants game and they were doing a brief promotional segment on a Giant’s sponsored program for getting more young girls involved in sports. They started listing all the virtues of playing sports, “competitive spirit, toughness, teamwork, ambition…” but hearing those traits rattled off made me want to snicker. In my experience, the only players who touted those virtues as reasons for playing weren’t very good. And the coaches who talked about those virtues to their players usually had bad teams. The good coaches and athletes focused on what they needed to do to get better, what they needed to do to win games and more importantly win championships.

I wasn’t driven by developing toughness, or being a team player. I wanted to win, and I wanted to realize my dreams of playing professionally. But I knew winning required mental toughness and involving my teammates. And along the same lines, you don’t pitch teamwork for teamwork’s sake, you pitch teamwork because it’s required to win.

You don’t chastise cheating, because it’s morally wrong, you don’t do it because it can hurt you chances of winning. Minor discrepenciases of what’s allowed by the rules are fine, and you have to weigh the risk/reward consequences of doing something unallowed.

But after my urge to mock the girls baseball promotional subsided, I realized I have all those traits, and they’ve carried over to other areas of my life even though I’ve stopped playing sports 6 times a week. And while instincts and genetics deserve credit for the existence of these traits, my engagement in sports nurtured and developed these traits.

But the reason I had such a negative visceral reaction to listing the virutes, comes down to byproducts and end goals. Teamwork, toughness, and ambition are all byproducts and by even considering them or any other byproduct as a valid end goal you make them less likely to occur.

Lessons from Sports: Focusing On The Right Things

Picture 3

I’ve written about sports frequently because I think the lessons are incredibly transferable. Athletics are extremely competitive with a long history of results-oriented focus. It’s a huge business, with a lot of attention, money and science aimed at maximizing results. While transferring lessons from a game can be dangerous, because any game is an over simplification of the complexity of the real world,  closed environments are great testing grounds for honing narrow theories, skills and practices.

During Halftime of the NBA Finals there was a great segment where Dwight Howard, a future great, was spending time learning from Bill Russel, the greatest winner of all time — 11 championships.  Michael Wilbon talked about the importance of listening and its tendency to be underrated. Wilbon praised Howard’s willingness to listen to Bill Russell.

They were discussing how you become great and Russell told Howard that when the season ended he should take a month off and not even look at a basketball. This violated Howard’s worldview — “That’s time others could be working,” he replied incredulous.  Intuition says Howard is right: maximize time working. But I’m inclined to trust the greatest winner of all time. It fits with the current paradigm of the productivity-obsessed that the correct paradigm is to focus on energy management not time management.

High achievers who strive to be the best seem to undervalue the long term benefit of taking time off. Growth requires focus and intensity and you simply can’t do that 24/7/365. Stepping away, recharging, and revitalizing is crucial for long term growth. And think long term growth whenever possible.

Jeff Van Gundy made another astute point on a common error most people make. Van Gundy was addressing criticism other people had of Kobe Byrant, that he should shoot more or pass more. Van Gundy said focusing on passing more or shooting more was flat out wrong. Instead he said, just focus on making the right decision. Let the situation dictate your decision making. If they go single coverage go 1 on 1, if they try and double team, find the open man. This lesson struck me as very universal. So many times we can get zeroed on doing something regardless of the situation, like deciding we should pass more or shoot more. Instead focus on the right thing: being flexible, assessing the situation and adapting. “Mind like Water” as they say.

If you’re trying to write a popular blog don’t focus on the wrong metrics like “driving more traffic” to your site. Instead focus on better content first. If you’re in a conversation with someone important or beautiful and you’re nervous, don’t focus on saying the perfect thing instead just focus on having 100% belief in what ever comes to mind. If you’re trying to get the ear of someone who is incredibly busy and you see them at an event, don’t make a pact that you’re going to get him to help you no matter what, instead if you do enter in conversation just go with the flow, make a good impression and follow up later.