Thaw- The break-up

The ice slowly changes form- it’s frozen identity dying, breaking up becoming another version of itself.

The land is waking up as the sun shows itself more hours in the day and thaws the sleep from our eyes.

We work, not allowing the set up determine our efficacy for it is our intent, what we desire, that drives our vision.

We work, allowing new people to enter our lives, feeling their struggles and the similarity of all humans figuring out how to maneuver the land.

Our bodies hold the keys with their fractures and adhesions…..the straps within that bind and fight our desire to move freely.  Our bodies give feedback to our brain, the originator of thoughts and all the chemicals that course through our tissues.

Fix the body, and the brain will do it’s own breakup-  thoughts changing form, perception altered as the environment encasing it is changed.

#BoxOn!

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the mechanics

The most fluid, effective movement creating that effortlessly powerful punch.

I think about it non stop-  how do I get that punch from stationary to moving?
How to I spread the tension through my body so that I can maximize every sling and leveraged point in my body?

The mechanics of it all is what keeps me here……motivated…..driven……..the formulas that create the moment of impact as it glides through your arm while your trunk hosts anchor…….your feet stretch for the floor and you seem to wind in upon yourself…..It feels secure…grounded….it is yours.

I want to share this punch…….the feeling in the body to create that punch.  I want to find it for myself all the time…….The kind of movement that gives back energy and allows you to work at higher levels without tire.  Pain-free—-not stiff—-relaxed movement.

There are no days off-  I call it a lifestyle- Bri, owner RPS Madrona

I study this punch when I use a vacuum, walk the dogs and drive my car.  Connected body=connected mind.  Anxiety reduced, moved to action in your tissues…….an alive and springy feeling propelling you though the day.  I want this for myself and others.

Our problems are technical. Meaning that they can be resolved through mechanical self reflection and application- Naudi Aguilar, founder Functional Patterns

The more we get away from our bodies, away from nature, the more difficult it is to live without many dysfunctions affecting our health.  I observe older family members narrow their lives, then their range of motion, then their lives again…..and it seems that all movement stops in one little room, but we are a part of something so much more.  I will keep studying the punch because it fits my vision…..it fits the mold for being a problem solver.  It is my contribution……

There is so much around the delivery and receipt of the punch.  The complicated gap between you and me.  We can simplify it in a simple physical exchange filled with curiosity and skepticism.  We will learn more in between the words than had we talked for hours.

#boxon

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More on a skilled life

Sitting in the wallows of self pity sometimes feels good-  for a moment anyway.  It’s nice to curl up and wrap the blanket around my whole body, snug, tight, compact and protected.  It’s soothing to lie still, to feel hurt, to feel loss, to feel what seems unchangeable…………

And then,

it’s time to get up…..to survey oneself with some logical questions.

What am I doing to make my situation be as it is?
Who am I blaming for my predicaments?  Have I looked in the mirror enough?
What can I do differently, right this very second to implement a different outcome?
What is my vision?
What are the obstacles in obtaining my vision?

Coyote Teaching-  not done through rote or memorization but through trial and error and experience. It’s lessons are for all of the senses and seek to instill in the student an insatiable, inner need for knowledge.  – The Forgotten Wilderness

Trial and error are necessary for true learning that cannot be taken away from you.  Trial and error give you great confidence as you navigate what you are doing in this life. I have trained close to 100 competitive boxers in over 15 years.  Each one has changed me inside and out.  Each one is getting me closer to the vision of what I want…..each one helps me refine my vision.  And every single one has allowed my passion for boxing to burn with the intensity that lives within- my hunger for unending learning.

Grandfather, Great Spirit,
Grant that I may feel the rapture
In your little things
That I do when I gaze upon
Your grand vistas.
-Stalking Wolf, May 1959 (Tom Brown’s The Forgotten Wilderness)

It is the daily, mundane biomechanics training, the repetition of perfecting a movement….a thought process…..It’s the over and over getting it wrong, until it is right that interests me.  Whether the boxer will have the skill of a beginner or the skill of an elite level athlete…..it matters to me if the daily is not looked upon with awe and wonderment.  We have a duty to do and see the small things as if they were our most precious treasure.

I had used much of my knowledge and most of my skill and I was proud of the way they had worked. But, there was no elation in it. I had done a difficult thing well, but I could not exult. -The Tracker

I don’t have superiors to tell me how great I am, to tell me I am doing a good job……I have to know.  I have to feel it from the inside out.  This is what I am cultivating when I work with coaches and boxers.  It is the rudimentary skill building that is ours and ours alone….that needs no recognition from the outside………We have to know what work we have done and was it to the best of our current skill level.  I have to do my best and know there is more to be done.

Concentric Rings:  Nothing can move in the natural world without affecting everything else. – Tom Brown’s -The Forgotten Wilderness

Everything I do today, moves something for me tomorrow……it moves something for my gym and my community.  Everything I do is connected to nature to my fellow humans and I must proceed each day understanding my connectedness……..or I am nothing.

#BoxOn!

 

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Living a skilled life

I was 17 when I took the job at the nursing home.

I was living a lost life and the nursing aid job, sports and high school studies kept my head barely above water.

My senior year I worked night shift, went to school and basically got shit done while in a complete  sleep deprived state.  I was in survival mode.

One cannot achieve happiness in life without skill.  Live a skilled life.-  Gio Cabrera Mioletti

I lived a life of very little skill.  Emotionally deficient, a low emotional IQ, a pension for victimhood and blaming.  A life full of dramatic occurrences, over and over.  I was a hot head, quick to judge and quick to act irrationally.  I was always in the right and everyone else was stupid.

Happiness comes with a connected body and mind.  It comes with holding oneself accountable via extremely high standards.  Happiness comes with obtaining skills that contribute to the improvement of our society.  It comes because we demand that we use our natural gifts and worked for gifts for the betterment of all and not just ourselves.

Living a skilled life is a never-ending process.  It is more than just punching a time clock to pay bills.  Living a skilled life will have you appreciating daily what has happened and looking forward to the next even if it’s going to be hard as hell.

#BoxOn!

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through the cracks……emerge

 

You can aim for something and then it slips out of your hands- Eliud Kipchoge

Walking forward, very little veering….I see the future…… desire seeping from every pore-  Aiming for something…not knowing the specific way.   My vision- pin point, relentless and piercing.

Intent pulsing with every heartbeat…….a knowing……a certainty……the players ever changing…..the field of play consistent…..slipping through my hands until I change direction.

My results contained within the rules of physics and perception……

There is no end game…..the vision ever expansive…..a concept…..a goal for humanity….contribution and growth infinity.  Slipping through my hands until I side step.

Daily details……intricate interactions……a hard edge to stave off the obstacles threatening to halt my motion.  An obsession with what is right……what is just and what makes a difference.  Slipping through my hands until I go around.

Desire, year after year as strong as the last to get me to the next…….Ever emerging….

#BoxOn!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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living life with no choice

It’s always in the imagination that fear makes its easiest bed.  – The Tracker

 

Our nervous system links our body and mind.  We are a host of signals and chemical reactions that are influenced and interpreted by our environment.  So many of us stop ourselves before we even get going–often filtering information with our imagination.

The job description of a boxing coach includes being able to handle disappointment….. to weather heartbreak. To be able to know what should happen but stand back when those under your tutelage cannot see or believe it.  Being a boxing coach includes doing the repetition over and over knowing that you may have these let downs infinitely.

Our experiences are larger than ourselves and they are more immense than our mind can comprehend in the moment.

Because I am a boxing coach and was a competitive boxer,  I have developed a keen sense of instinct….an ability to read body language down to the tiniest micro-movement.  I have learned to sit in discomfort without need to change……. Learned to hear what words mean in the context of a sentence or a mannerism……  learned to express my range of emotions without guilt and to feel a parabola of feelings.

Being a coach makes me face what I don’t want to feel and no matter how I try to avoid things, I get hemmed into a corner…..forcing me to see what I want to close my eyes to.

Fearful anticipation gives us excuses and allows us to be irresponsible.  We can escape without having to step up to all that we are. Being a boxing coach has not allowed me to live in this land, rather it has forced me to step to the precipice, take a deep breath and jump.

Never have I not ultimately landed on my feet……..

#BoxOn

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overhearing conversations

Several months ago, I went to get food at one of my favorite Thai places, Bai Tong.  I always like to sit at the bar, whether I have an adult beverage or not.  It’s the place where the most conversation and interaction happens.

It’s the place a bunch of individuals feel comfortable in each other’s proximity by design.

I was loosely listening to a conversation of a lady on her phone.  It sounded like she was in trouble for being repeatedly late to work.  She was talking to someone she was mandated to contact.  I have no idea how it works, who she works for, what processes she had to follow but I’ll paint the scene as best I can.

It was midday, I was 4 seats to her left, tv in comfortable viewing for me to catch up on sports.  She, mid-20’s, slightly well kept in casual Friday kind of wear taking up 3 bar stool spaces with official paperwork, computer and phone.  In between sips of beer, she talks loudly into phone, hand on head pressing face into wrinkled distortions.

“We are allotted to be 5 minutes late and I’ve been 6-11 minutes late 6 times over the past month.  I live in West Seattle and work on First Hill, so traffic can be bad.  And it wouldn’t normally be a problem but I just got this new manager and she tracks and now I am supposed to talk to you.  I mean I’ve never been more than 12 minutes late……”

The conversation went on and on and all I could think was “just get to work on time.”  I wanted to ask her if she exercised, if she had pain, if she had a hard time sleeping…..I just couldn’t understand how she couldn’t see that she had complete control over the situation.  I wanted to understand how she felt like a victim in this situation……I wanted to understand if she could hear what she was saying…..where was her accountability? She could leave extra early every day, move homes, move jobs…..I don’t know, just anything except for be late for work frequently enough that you are in trouble.

And then I thought, what kind of a job budgets in to be 5 minutes late every day?

What is going on in our culture?  No one is responsible.  What are our standards?

I want to be accountable to myself and others always…..I want to be called out by those who care about me and themselves when I mess up and I want to learn about how and why I do what I do.  Let’s keep an awareness revolution going….let’s #BoxOn and be accountable for our decision making.

 

 

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In the Below

4am the alarm jolts me up out of bed– but let’s be honest….the anxiety of oversleeping had me awake at 12:00……1:30…….2:15…….3:30……….

Luggage, snow shoes, backpack….all a part of the essentials needed for this trip as we catch a Lyft to Seatac.

I like to be early, Coach Jen prefers the last minute….somewhere in between we arrive and get to our gate as we board during the final boarding call.  It’s an uneventful flight in the dark with minimal turbulence and a perfect landing.

8:40 AM and the sun is still asleep….preferring to rise closer to 10.  It’s 12 degrees above zero and I concentrate on keeping my body from tensing against the pressure of the cold.   Cold is invigorating and powerful.  I like to test my mental aptitude against it while leaving myself an out—-like going back indoors or wearing more layers.

I’ve been practicing using the Wim Hof breathing method and finishing my showers with freezing cold.  It’s a discipline that is seeping outside of the shower and into other parts of my life.

I’m getting more comfortable with very little excitement in my life..reducing the drama…..as I’ve said a bunch of times…..I get up each day and metaphorically Chop Wood then Carry Water.  It’s as our indigenous people have done for years……Get up, listen to nature and prepare oneself to make it through another 24 hours.

I’m getting more comfortable with what it takes to do the menial work of owning a gym, develop oneself and other coaches.  There are no training montage reels for taking out trash and recycling or asking others to complete tasks you need help with.  There are no 30 second splashes of video reel going over how to deliver a jab for the 1000th time. There is just the steady commitment to self and community.

This is all we are doing up here in #thebelow  We are doing the same thing you are doing back home……diligently working on our skills, working on other folks skills and seeing where we have succeeded and failed.

Please join us in doing cold showers..(still ending with 1 minute freezing cold)…..posting your pictures when you are in nature and when you are at the gym. Tag @arcaroboxinggym  We are all doing this work together.

#BoxOn!

 

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Environment

Who do you spend time with? How do they make you who you are?

James Altucher calls this your ‘scene.’ As Jim Rohn put it, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. As my dad told me once as a kid, “Ryan, you become like your friends.”

Or as Goethe famously said it better and earlier (about 170 years before any of them), “Tell me with whom you consort with and I will tell you who you are.” And before him, Seneca wrote to a friend:

Choose someone whose way of life as well as words, and whose very face as mirroring the character that lies behind it, have won your approval. Be always pointing him out to yourself either as your guardian or as your model. There is a need, in my view, for someone as a standard against which our characters can measure themselves. Without a ruler to do it against you won’t make crooked straight

-Ryan Holiday

I’ve written a lot about being the part before you are it as inspired by Coach Jen.

I work with the coaches, with myself, with boxers and clients and to reach the unimaginable.  We can only know from experience, so there is so much we don’t know, so much undiscovered and uncertain.

10 years ago, I could have never imagined being a gym owner.  I could have never imagined all the things I’ve done in my life to date, so I know I have no clue what I will accomplish in the future.  This truth can be dizzying.

I set myself a vision.  A vision of solving problems, of being a contributor in my small community with the hopes that it has exponential effect into the world.  I’ve no idea how this vision will be accomplished.  What I do know is that with the vision, I can make decisions as opportunities arise to reach what I want.

So far this method has not failed me and I’m proud of my accomplishments and collaborations.

What you do today sets the tone for your future.

I’m looking to accomplish the impossible.  How about you?

-BoxOn!

 

 

 

 

 

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Failure

I learned how failure is essential for growth and confidence from my dog Frida.

img_3135We were hiking in a heavily bouldered area.  Already a tough task for a human—-an even tougher task for a long bodied, short legged canine.

We approached obstacles that I would navigate up and she would cry feeling left behind, trying different methods up- around-  until she figured out how to get to me.  In some cases, we teeter tottered it…..she would pop her front paws up on the boulder look over her shoulder at me- wag her tail and I would hoist her back end up.  Each obstacle a chance for tons of failed attempts, problem solving then success.  Her whining dissipated and determination took over with each situation we encountered.  The fun and excitement was visible in her face and through her body.

Failure is essential for growth and learning.

Failure isn’t an end point…..it is a point to pass through.  You must tinker around and experiment to see what each input gives you in result.

Failure isn’t a personality.  It isn’t who you are….it isn’t an adjective…it is active, a verb, an action with consequences.  Failure is opportunity….hope……inquisitive……curiosity….

Failure is interest in yourself and how the world works.

Failure is scientific— informational.

Failure makes you #BoxOn!

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