Thursday, June 26, 2008

2008/06/26 - Eye of the Storm

I've been reflecting on my training of the past few weeks this morning. An important conclusion that I came to is that my basic intent is still (like it was with ETK) to get the reps and weight up as fast as possible. At the risk of sounding too esoteric I have been neglecting the Yin side of my training by pushing the Yang too much. Some interesting blogs and other posts that I read recently further stimulated this train of thought. I cannot remember all the details but some noteworthy thoughts came from people like Steve Cotter, Mike Stefano and Scott Sonnon.

In one of his blog posts Steve talks about the inner experience of training or the intent behind the external movements. In the Chinese internal martial arts, of which he is a top exponent, Yi (intent) is far more important than what is happening externally. Granted, form and body structure is important but the source of all these external machinations come from within the practitioner.

A related thought that caught my attention came from Mike Stefano and has to do with the fact that GS starts first and foremost with perfect form. Once form is mastered time is added, then speed, then weight. In stead of emphasizing a "go for it" attitude GS springs from a calm, stable foundation.

A last concept that struck me comes from Scott Sonnon's Prasara Yoga. Whereas most yoga "systems" emphasize either asana (posture) or vinyasa (breath linkage with form) Prasara is about the free flow that occurs between postures.

So how does this relate to my post for today? I came to the conclusion that the lacking element in my training over the past few weeks has been the internal or in between components. What do I do in my mind between Jerks or Snatches? What do I do with my posture when I am not actively moving? Where can I find restful moments in the midst of dynamic movements? These questions will definitely take a while to answer but I'm glad that I'm finally beginning to ask them.

One thing that I noticed today is that my "organism" responds very similarly to training than it does to general stress. After a few Jerks or Snatches my mind goes into stress mode and wants to "run away." This process rapidly saps my strength and I feel a need to push harder and harder just to get the session over. One of my biggests challenges in the next few weeks will thus be the ability to find the calm centre in the eye of the storm. It is my hope that movements that come from this calm place will be more dynamic and more efficient. They will also just be movements; nothing special or stressful about them. Kind of like the Zen of kettlebell lifting.

Here is todays session:

Intuflow warm up

OAJ (24): 6 minutes @ 7rpm: 42
Snatch (16): 8 minutes @ 12rpm: 96
Swings (24): 10/10

Some Prasara flows to cool down.


Howie Brewer said...

Time to unprogram your body's "flight" mode. Have you tried playing some classical music during your long sets? Maybe play something soothing and then have an all-Jerk session, a few shorter sets than your usual one with some breaks in between that allow you to focus on your breathing and relaxation (exactly what Scott's RESET is all about). Most important, now that it's something you've identified don't stress over figuring it out, just let it now unravel on its own. You've already untied the knot, the rest will just unwind itself.

hunashaman said...

Thanks Howie. That's good advice. I'm thinking of alternating long days and the AKC protocol. I like the classical music idea too - now to dig out some of my CD's.

Howie Brewer said...

Enjoy the ocean!!