Positive intent, do we have it?

At The Arsenal, we exist to forge complete human beings from those brave enough and humble enough to accept themselves.  We assume that each member is committed to being the best version of themselves possible. That journey starts with self-acceptance, knowing strengths and weakness.  Knowing what you like and dislike and why.

That is a scary journey for many of us, as blaming others or using relativism to make our flaws seem “OK” because at least I’m not (insert name here).

Positive intent, regardless of your behavior at the start, is critical in becoming all you can be as a person.  If you operate out of self-interest, malice, revenge, weakness or perceived threat, then your behaviors become destructive.  Even if you are “successful” you end up burning bridges and destroying relationships.  When positive intent is the starting point, there is a fabric for long term positive outcomes for all.

Think about it, if I reach out to you when you perceive I have mislead you, hurt you or did not listen to you and I reach out to address the damage my behavior has caused, accept responsibility for my actions, and share my positive intent that was not realized.  How would you feel?  Admitting that you accept responsibility for your behavior even when your intent was positive is a sign of self-awareness.  It happens to all of us, we’re not special in that sense.

At The Arsenal you will be challenged, humbled and engaged to accept yourself and to assume positive intent in others.  We will also reinforce the fact that we judge others by their behaviors and ourselves by our positive intentions.  We are always the hero in our own story, trying to do the right thing.  However, the benefit of the doubt is not extended at times to others who feel the same way.

Take a moment today and reflect on a relationship that is wounded, and take a fresh look at the situation with the questions: 

1) What was my intent here?

2) What did the other person perceive happened?

3) Is it possible that my behavior DID validate their negative perception of the situation?

4) How can I redress this relationship and open up positive communication?

I’m proud of those of you who are willing to take this step today in your own self-awareness and in your personal development.

Get Some Sleep

funny-sleeping-pose-1

Sleep can be tricky, some of us have no problem falling asleep while others of us can’t remember when the last time we had more than 4 hours of sleep in a single night.  Insomnia is a clinical disorder and if you believe you suffer from it talk to your doctor, but if you are just tired of being tired here are some tips to help you fall asleep more naturally and restfully.

1. The Evening Walk

A 10-20 minute walk in the evening after dinner will help you digest your food and cool off the body.  Also, walking in a peaceful environment can help calm the mind going into your evening.

2. A Nice, Hot Shower

This one doesn’t work for everyone, but for most a nice hot shower in the evening is great for relaxing the muscles of the head and neck and increase blood flow to the skin and the extremities.  Finishing off with a cool rinse can help cool your body temperature so you can slip under the sheets comfortably.

3. Hit the Lights

When bright lights, or a lot of lights are on around you, your eyes tell your brain that it’s still ‘awake-time’ and blocks the release of melatonin, a chemical which makes you sleepy.  Without the normal release of melatonin to make you tired and ready to doze off to sleep you stay awake restless, and usually hungry.  Try dimming the lights or use candles for an hour or two before bed and let your brain’s sleep factory turn on.

4. Have a Low GI Snack

Some people don’t mind going to bed slightly hungry, but some can find it difficult to relax with a hungry gut.  Having a small, low Glycemic-Index snack like celery with natural peanut butter, rather than bread or crackers, can satisfy your hunger without keeping you awake with a sugar-rush.

5. Drink Tea

In terms of keeping your body clean and heathy on the inside, there are few daily habits that are as effective as consuming antioxidants.  Green tea is full of the things, and they help prevent free-radicles from tearing up the cells inside your body.  Other kinds of tea, such as chamomile and roobios tea can help calm you down while getting ready to start counting sheep.

6. Chill Out

You can’t cone home from work at 6, hit the gym at 7, eat at 8, put the kids to bed at 9, shower at 9:45, and be in bed at 10 and expect to have a good night’s rest.  Chill out, do yourself a favor and take a few minutes to get ready for bed.

7. Meditation

Many forms of meditation are practiced all over the world to help with restlessness, but a very simple and effective method of meditation is simply sitting or lying in a comfortable position and focusing on your breathing for 10 to 20 minutes each evening (perhaps after some chamomile tea with the lights dimmed.)  Many people have difficulty with maintaining meditation for 10 minutes when first starting.  Never fear, try it for just a few minutes tonight and add a minute every few days until you have reached a length of time that helps you relax enough to be ready for bed.

8. Get Familiar with Your Bed

Many sleepless nights happen when things in your environment change, or when you change your environment by either manipulating it or by relocating to a new one.  Whichever the case, in terms of sleep timing, duration, and environment, change is bad, m’kay… Keep it clean, but changing you bedding too often can also result in restlessness. About once a week is generally often enough to keep the bed bugs away while allowing your scents and feelings of the bed to be familiar and psychologically comforting.

I hope these tips help you get the rest you want and deserve.  You work hard all day and the best thing you can do to keep it going is get a restful night’s sleep.

Bottom line is;  Good night’s sleep = Awesome!

Image Credit: http://www.toksdam.com/category/news/picture-of-the-day/

Am I too ______ to CrossFit?

Fear is a Liar.

As I traveled the USA making friends and learning CrossFit I was fortunate to enter 13 different CrossFit communities.  At each CrossFit box (facility) I found surprising things.  It was not an alpha male dominated environment.  It was warm, friendly and inviting to visit as a total stranger.  These two things among others dismissed many of my expectations of what a CrossFit community would look like and act like.  Below are some in’s and out’s from my journey through CrossFit in the USA, and will likely be found here at The Arsenal:

  • +/- 65% of the most consistent, involved and active members of CrossFit boxes are female
  • I worked out with a gentleman nearing 70 years old
  • I was on the same team for a team WOD (competition for the workout of the day as a team) who was 5’9″ roughly 270 lbs.  She did awesome, and we won
  • The average age of a WOD (Workout of the Day) ranges from 15 years old upwards of 65 years old
  • The range of skill starts at beginner (don’t workout at all and have never done CrossFit) to elite levels and everything in between
  • High fives and fist bumps were rampant, it was very difficult to not be motivated through every minute
  • Even as a stranger everyone seemed to care that I finished the workout and gave my best effort
  • Mental toughness mattered more than anything else, as CrossFit is challenging for every level of athlete
  • Respect and honor were a consistent theme at each location
  • Fun, fun and more fun
  • Family, dogs, kids, roller skates, and much more, quite literally ALL ARE WELCOME

These are gathered from my personal experiences during my travels, and may not be the same as what others have experienced.  However, The Arsenal will be a place where the best of CrossFit will be demonstrated on all levels.  Family, spirit, friends, mind, body, toughness and community to name a few of the “best of’s” that will be staples of The Arsenal.  If you are interested in learning more about our plans, or are interested in a Founding Membership, please reach out via the GET STARTED button on the right.

(I don’t know what gym that image comes from up top, but it is true.  The only thing that makes you incapable of CrossFit is fear.)

What is CrossFit?

First and foremost, CrossFit is awesome!

TheArsenal_Logo_Icon_HighResCutout

It’s a community of people, which says quite a bit about it already.  Millions of people every day go to their box (box = CrossFit Afiliate Gym) and meet the CrossFit Community for what is sure to be a test of fortitude, strength, and courage.  They trust each other to get them through the workout and to do their best at every rep.  After the workout they log onto their gym’s website to see how the rest of their community is doing with their attempt at the workout of the day and wonder how their friends and co-workers did and if they are gaining ground on their goals.  The next day when a member of the community doesn’t come to the workout, their family is on the comms providing support for them to make it to the box on make-up day to complete the workout.  We care when members of our community need us, and we are there every day to support them.

Second, CrossFit is a workout regimen

A very broad one.  In fact, CrossFit’s main speciality is not specializing in anything.  Our definition of fitness is: increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains.  This brings about two important questions;

  • What does it mean to increase one’s Capacity? and;
  • What does it mean to do this across broad time and modal domains?

The answer is fairly simple…

Increasing capacity is an increase in your ability to do physical work as measures in physical terms such as Force, Distance and Time.  Force is generally expressed as either weight or some other load such as band thickness or a percentage of bodyweight, while distance and time are generally self-explained.  Sometimes this can get tricky because we often combine these terms to get power (force/time), or impulse (force x time), or velocity (distance/time), or even acceleration (force/time/time) as a way to measure performance and determine the outcome of a training period.  To do this across broad time and modal domains means that you can do a lot of different things (modes), each for a variety of time periods.  to explain this more practically lets take a simple example, running.  You can run either for a short time, lets say 12 seconds, or you can run for a long time, maybe 30 minutes.

This seems simple enough, but wait… there’s more.  If you run for 12 seconds, how far would you expect to run?  90 meters (roughly a football field) would not be a terrible result, but what if you ran 100 meters… you have increased your capacity in that mode (running) and time (12 seconds) domain.  CrossFit trains its athletes to increase their capacity across many modes (running, jumping, weight lifting, gymnastics, and so on…) and many time domains, from a few seconds to several minutes and longer.

Third, CrossFit is a sport, and CrossFitters are athletes.

The CrossFit Games began in 2007 and has grown to over 100,000 athletes in 2013!  The Games give every CrossFit athlete on the planet a fair shot at achieving the title Fittest on Earth, but just because it’s fair doesn’t mean its easy.  The aGames are played in three stages; The Open, Regionals, and Finals which takes place in LA, California.  The open begins in March and features one workout per week for 5 weeks and CrossFitters across the globe can submit their attempts to earn a spot at regionals.  Each of the 17 regions worldwide hold a competition for the precious few slots at the Finals in California in July.  The Finals, at the Home Depot Center in LA, is one of the fastest growing spectator sporting events in the world, as is the race to be the Fittest on Earth!