Sunday Study

Reading this book Silence by Robert Sardello in connection to what I’m learning bio-mechanically via Functional Patterns, I am understanding the importance of the body being in a condition of efficiency.

In order to achieve silence in the body constantly we have to change the way we engage our bodies.  When I first started doing myofascial release, I experienced different types of calm.  My anxiety decreased and my head felt “clearer.”  Because I was administering the work myself, I tended to learn more and get more in touch with what my body was/is feeling and experiencing.  We are bombarded with thoughts and sensations and it is difficult to reach a silence that is completely felt.  We can sometimes find silence in our conceptual mind but not always physically embody it.  As I get a little bit of time to address my own inefficiencies via FP corrective exercises, I am experiencing the benefits mentally and emotionally.  I’m beginning to feel more stable, more certain.  I have a conviction in my confidence and I’ve found a voice I feel compelled to use.  I also witness the transformation in the folks I coach.  I see their entire being light up, experience feeling their muscles in a new way.  I’m excited about thinking about the body differently  than I have before.  This next week I’ll be at the Functional Patterns HBSII Clinic and am pretty excited to be humbled and overwhelmed.

I am impassioned about learning and pushing myself and others.  The coaches at the gym are impassioned about improving their teaching methods so all the gym members can benefit.  It’s exciting and contagious to watch people transform because of their hard work and our ability to hold the light out and walk along side.

I’m looking for more moments in daily living like the one I had as a rugby player described below.

I can remember it clearly today…..I was running across the rugby pitch to my left as this speedy, quick cutting center was careening toward me threatening to score. I was outside of myself and inside myself at the very same time.  She juked to the left then slashed to the right and crept between me and the side line.  She was moving as if it was a slow motion beach running scene.  I turned to my left and stretched my body and right arm out, fixated on her right shoe lace flapping on the side and her cleats stretching toward my face.  I grabbed over the top of her boot and pulled up dumping her belly down and out of bounds.  The entire time I saw each face on the sideline, the painted lines of the field….everything.  It was all happening in a way I could witness and experience in real time.

That clarity was intoxicating.  The vividness just plain exquisite.  To me it was a moment of sitting in Silence and it seems that the way back there is to reduce excessive cluttered feedback in my body mechanics and thoughts.

#BoxOn!

 

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Looking for openings

A lot of times I hear, “I’m going to get in shape and then I’ll start coming into boxing classes.”  One interpretation of this statement is the person is very nervous to feel uncomfortable around a group of their peers.  They aren’t confident in their physicality status and the vulnerability it would take to be around others feels overwhelming.

I thought about this as I was watching Lomachenko vs. Walters from a few years ago.  Watching rounds 1, 2 and part of 3, Walters is establishing his jab and hitting Loma over the top of his own jab upon its return.  Toward the end of 3 and into 4 and 5, Walters is waiting for the perfect opportunity to arrive so he can strike.  This causes him to have fewer chances, makes him miss more and as a result he is getting hit cleaner more frequently.

There is never a right moment created for us, we create it.  We must be in motion, be active and opportunities appear in split seconds before us.  My rule is if I’m terrified of doing something, then I should probably just do it.  I have to take action and see what happens so I can continue to take more action.  It’s never failed me ever…….What has failed me is waiting.

Turn the sound off when you watch the Loma vs. Walters fight because they are very biased towards Loma.  You will see the good things Walters does early and the things he abandons that contribute to his demise.  (besides the fact that Loma is a tremendous tactician)

Being in the ring and trying to override the desire to shut down is an immense task, but a necessary skill to develop.  You must throw all logic to the side, sit in the emptiness of thought so the body can respond as it should and not as the mind logically projects.

#BoxOn
#lessonsinthering
#lessonsinlife

 

 

 

 

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Saturday Morning

I’m sitting on my couch, looking at the misty rain settling on the trees outside.  My quiet alone time is always full of reflection and questions.  I’m plodding through this book “Silence” by Robert Sardello.  Plodding partially because I don’t get a ton of time to sit and read…..and because their is so much information in each sentence I want to devour each word with precision and understanding.

There’s this line in the book that won’t go away….it keeps popping up in my thoughts…….

The deeper we enter into Silence the more we become aware that this living presence is primary, and the contents of our perceiving are the secondary bursting forth of this original presence.

Our perception rules are actions and our perceptions are often very faulty yet we are completely married to them.  We will go to our death defending them.  Our perception overrides our living in the primary presence.

How do we get to living in our primary presence?  In sports I think this place is called The Zone.  But we act as if this Zone is outside of us to be grabbed and pulled into experience.

It’s actually inside of us, this Zone, this Silence, and our perceptions put up road blocks keeping us from this experience.

I stare through my window not registering that it is between me and the trees and look into the space in and around the trees.  This soft focus, this seeing of space quiets all perception and I feel calm from the inside out.  I feel quiet, almost becoming the shift of the clouds surrounding the trees.  I am the space in the trees for a minute before perception kicks in again interrupting my moment.

This silent, spacious place is where I want my fighters to live…..for if they do, they will be like the wind.  They will flow in and around their opponent knowing when to repel, and when to yield.  Their perceptions will not interrupt reaction time if they live in this silence for they will sense the punch coming and move to the place they need to take advantage of the incoming force.

But how do I train this?
Meditation might help calm the mind when we are still, but does it transfer over in times of duress? Breathing drills might help get a bit better at maximizing oxygen intake, but will these drills also transfer over during times of flight, fight and freeze threatening to take over? I’m not so sure.

So far the thing I am seeing having the biggest impact on calmness in the ring is bodily connection.  As my boxer’s bodies are changing their dysfunctional movements and getting cleaner and more efficient movement, their minds are quieting down and their bodies are taking over.  The feeling they have from the inside is a calm certitude, a knowing of their capabilities.  As their joints move the way they were mechanically designed, their perceptions of pain and difficulty slide out of the way and turn into gliding footwork, smooth slips and more leveraged punches.

I’ve much to learn to get their bodies further into this zone, but I am gaining more and more tools, because in the end, this silent confidence from within will enable them to sit people down in the ring and it will enable them to walk through their life knowing exactly who they are.

#BoxOn!
#functionalpatterns

 

 

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Patterns

Our lives are patterns…..patterns of thought, movement and behavior.

I’m on the fence about whether we change patterns, only get more aware or do both.

I was watching some old footage of Greg from when he boxed in Hawaii…..and was floored. I realized that he still did this certain type of pattern in which he moves backwards to the ropes and flings a looping left hook.  I saw it plain as day as if I was watching him box today.  His chest caves in, his shoulder hunch over, his head slides forward completing the “c” shape from tailbone to forehead.  His left hand drop and noodles around in a wide sweeping arc.

So irritating at first to think I had been making changes only to see they really hadn’t.  I mean, he is a way better boxer all around but this one pattern is so set in his neuro-musclar memory that it hasn’t really changed.

So, then the obsession starts.  How the hell do I help him get aware and use this pattern and/or get different patterns. What patterns in me do I need to be more aware of so that I can create some change to be possible?

Changes have to happen at a deep neuromuscular level or else no pattern of movement will change.  We subconsciously move the same way over and over and over.  Depending on our age, we could have millions of hours cemented in.  We have to have a drastic and demanding change on our nervous system to make different synapse occur-  especially for times of duress.

We need to essentially reprogram our body mechanics from the smallest cell to the biggest muscle group. This will not happen with traditional training.  To move different, you have to MOVE different.  To move different, you have to think different.  To move different, you have to train different.

#BoxOn
#BoxingandFunctionalPatterns

 

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Intent

It’s the intent behind each and every action that fascinates me.  The what and why behind our thoughts and emotions that lead to our actions.   Clean up the intent and you clean up the action….make it more efficient, direct and accurate.

To know your intent is to know yourself.  You can study and see your patterns of behavior and ask yourself, is the outcome what you want?   If it is, then you know your patterns are in alignment.  If it isn’t, then something has to change.

Sometimes you learn the hard lesson that you are in charge and you are choosing each and every result you get.  No one but you is responsible for your experience, so you must be choosing this experience.

The study and outcome are what living is about.

#BoxOn!

 

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Guest Blog- Coach Omar

Along the “journey” – that’s what I like to call this game of life – I’ve learned so much, but more importantly, I learned to UNlearn. I’ve learned that nothing is what it seems and its all pretty simple, we’ve just been so used to making it difficult and we genuinely like that stress. When I say we like this stress, I mean we choose to be and feel this stress.

 

Coach Tricia used to always hit me with, “you just love to be frustrated don’t you?” *(replace frustrated for any other word or feeling, stress for example)* and I could never really understand what she was referring to. Not until we hit the topic of accountability and us being fully responsible on the lead up to this specific feeling. “What actions was I taking that lead me to today and now this feeling as a consequence.”

 

After that I stopped thinking of it as a consequence and thought of it as a result or something that I knew would be a possible outcome anyway. I lost the “victim” part of me and just started to own my space. I believe I became more genuine and more direct in anything I was working on or trying to accomplish. If you knew me, you know I go ALL IN in anything I set myself to do, just because I don’t believe in half-assing. If you don’t want to do something then just don’t do it. Before this realization I was not even close to living by this motto.

“If you don’t want to do something then just don’t do it.”

Ultimately accepting and wanting to take the leap on this identity shift allowed me to really walk the walk; not just talk it. It’s amazing how much we don’t trust our own capabilities and just go for it. Whatever it is, it’s scary, but it’s definitely worth it. Trust the process along the journey, but don’t half ass it and everything will be all right.

Best,

Omar Vergara
– The Boxing Connoisseur

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Body and mind

When I was competing, I could not handle being alone without feeling very lonely and ultimately anxious.  I wanted nothing more than to make those feelings go away.  But the effort to make the feelings go away just created more anxiousness.

Since then I’ve been on a quest to understand this anxiousness.  Is it solvable through mental, emotional, and/or physical venues?

Without bodily health, there is no such thing as “mental health”

-Naudi Aguilar

Ive been an athlete my whole life.  Always straight from one sporting event to the next.  I had no idea about how my body worked and I never really questioned until after my competitive careers were over and I started overseeing others.

Without fail, each boxer would hit a plateau.  I thought it might just be mental and that if they could overcome their blockage that they could advance to the next physical level.  After all, they trained so hard.  While I think mental fortitude is important, I am seeing more and more that overcoming the major skill plateau is entirely related to physical clarity.

I think back to my physicality as a competitor and I felt empty inside-  I thought it was emotional…..It was like I couldn’t back up the power I felt I had.  And when I used any power I felt bad-  incomplete.  Again-  I thought this was all in the realm of psychological and I started to go down this path to uncover my abilities.  No true answers came.

I switched to focusing on self-awareness and getting to the truth of my intents, thoughts and ultimately actions.  This made a big difference in my certitude but still not my inner efficacy.  Self-awareness did not address the lack of connection I felt in my body.

I decided to do 3 months of no physical activity and focus on myo-fascial release (MFR).  As I followed the first 3 weeks of MFR my joints started to clear up and move more freely and I also noticed that my brain felt clearer.  It was freed up from the constant signaling of pain and got true time to rest, to think about other things.

When you have pain, you do not realize how much you are occupied in the discomfort…..you do not realize how much energy you put into coping with the hurt.  You also do not realize how inefficiency is utterly exhausting.  Once you get a moment without pain, that is when you understand what it’s like to be smooth, efficient and at ease- even I dare say, at peace.

I implement MFR and Functional Patterns exercises with my competitive boxers and this has contributed to a greater degree of confidence, physical efficiency, calm under fire and reduction of injury.  Once they feel how their torso links up to their legs and they feel the connection of the feet to their punch, that can not be taking away.

That is true calm, true power and the ability to sit in solitude without anxiousness.

#BoxOn!!

 

 

 

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Daily prompt blog

via Daily Prompt: Betrayed

California- Desert casino- Boxing- lights- t.v.

I had an interesting and blazingly fast Boxing career. My manager, a boisterous Italian put me in his stable of all male contenders saying, “Turton- you will be the only female I ever manage-  I don’t know why, but I like ya and I like the way you fight”

His main fighter got a break for a Showtime fight that was going to be his opportunity to head into the upper echelons of competition.  I got to come along for the ride to fill out the undercard.  Untelevised, unnoticed but fighting outside under the big lights.

We weigh in on Friday, fight on Saturday and are at Pechanga- the middle of nowhere, surrounded by the bleeps and bloops of slot machines.  Each step we take once outside our hotel rooms is enveloped in the haze of chainsmokers clinking the ice of their watered down drinks.

There is nothing to do and at this point I haven’t come close to mastering my alone time.  My brain kicks into overdrive, anxiousness a constant state.  I lay in my room frustrated at the lack of selection on the t.v.  It turns out, casinos don’t really want you to stay in your room staring at a screen that doesn’t accept money.  They also did not develop their hotel structure to support the wait of a boxer on fight day.

I can’t sleep, I can’t get rid of the discomfort taking over my entire nervous system.  There aren’t enough people to call or enough subjects to talk about to drown out the barrage of thoughts doubting my abilities.

Finally it is time.  We head down to the venue to get wrapped, dressed and ultimately throw down.

I’m proud of my uniform- red trunks with two vertical lines on the side- green and white.  Forza Italia.  I sit with my right forearm on the chair so I can go through the hand wrapping ritual with my coach.  He proceeds with the gauze then straps down the tape.  My thumb feels too tight, I stay silent.

We move to my left hand and while he wraps it my right thumb starts going to sleep- I say nothing.  I feel scared, I don’t understand- I cannot speak up – I don’t take charge.

It’s time- I step in the ring- fear- prickly thumb and all.  I’m in quicksand.  I can’t feel my right hand, I can’t speak, my moves feel like they are happening without me.  I watch my right hand leave to land on her nose and it takes an eternity- It’s like I’m outside watching what I’m doing in time delay.

The only reason I win is because she is less skilled than the betrayed version of myself.

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More on silence

I’m seeing the importance of being able to embrace silence while in the chaos of life.  I’ve recently come off of a couple of months of experiencing several conflicts.  I’ve believed and doubted myself over and over again.  I’ve filled my head with the noise of uncertainty time and time again until I’ve exhausted myself with all kinds of reasoning.  In the end, I am responsible for my engagements, for my actions, my responses and my next steps forward.

I’ve been finding the silence in the certitude of my stance.

I constantly point the finger at myself before looking outward……and then I turn it on myself again.  This is how I am able to know my balance.

During these conflicts I’ve faced hypocrisy head on.  Do I truly believe conflict is good and a place to grow?  While in it, I feel awful and stressed….but what is that?  The awful and stressed is just me resisting the conflict.  Because, do I feel awful and stressed in the ring?  In the heat of metaphorical conflict I am engaged, certain I want to be there.  I am trading punches….I am connecting, missing, dodging, seeing, avoiding, landing………

In the heat of conflict in the ring, I am fully engaged and alive, not resistant.  In the place my life is truly on the line, I am most welcoming.  In life, I feel like my life is on the line, but in actuality, the chemicals coursing through my veins and brain tissues are alerting me inaccurately.  There is no bear coming at me, only another human in fight, flight and flee mode.  I am working so hard at leaving my hypocrisy behind for conflict has gotten me every step forward.  Conflict hurts….people let you down and you often let yourself down for moments, but in the end, your vision is sharper…..your choices in the future more educated.  Your beliefs solidified into action.

I think about the conflict I’ve had with people that we have made it through to the other side and I feel how we are thick as thieves.  We respect each other with nods of the boxers at the end of a 10 round battle where there has to be a named winner and loser, but in reality we were both quite victorious for we faced our depths and came out standing.  We went in to battle together and left together.

I do indeed value conflict and I will experience a ton of it before I am laid to permanent rest.  So, each day, I will hold myself accountable, hold others accountable and I will for sure……

BoxOn!

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The silence of the fight

Stillness and silence are difficult places to exist.  In our commercial and instantaneous world, tons of distractions kick in to help us avoid facing ourselves.  We live in the noise and expect that we can escape later to the quiet of nature, the tub, a run, but we never try to quiet the noise in the midst of it…..unless you are a fighter.

FIGHTING!  It’s a single minded focus on silence– on the quiet of the mind melding into the action of the body.  You cannot look elsewhere-  there is no one but you and your foe and the ever looming space between you.

Often before the fight we try and clutter the potential space with ideas of “what if”….”what I might do”….”which punch I’m gonna throw when”….”how I’m going to respond”….and on and on.  The busy-ness is addicting……we think it drowns out the doubt when in actuality, the doubt and fear rise equally in noise with the clatter-  we’re just distracted.

If we can win the battle of silence vs. noise in the mind, we will no longer know whether we are moving from inside our out, we will just move.  Our torso will slip as the punch is thrown and the wisp of air will slide by our ear echoing as it continues putting them off balance.  Our feet go where they are supposed to seemingly independent of the plan.

The 3 minutes of fighting are the never-ending 10 count….reflection and present intertwined into a beautiful performance.  Where will power comes from somewhere unknown until we can break our opponent’s silence and raise our hands in ecstasy.

We are enveloped by the Silence when we are truly ourselves, stepping and sliding in a non conforming swoosh on the surface of the canvas…breathing steady in and out with each punch and return.

We are alone and not lonely in a bubble between ropes with the roar of the crowd and our corner faint in the distance.  A current of silence redirects the noise from permeating our perfect storm.

#BoxOn!

 

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