Sunday, 7 January 2018

UNLOAD: Week 1; Jan 1-7 2018

I’ll be honest - I’m not entirely sure how this will go, and what format it will take.  Most-likely, it will be a hodgepodge of my thoughts to myself, outlines of what I have read, or listened to, quotes from interesting books, reminders, programming and training thoughts and updates, etc.

I look forward to everyone’s feedback to help direct this.

(This one is almost certainly too long … sorry)

Let’s get right to it:

I’ll ignore the not so subtle trolling …

I came up with the pusher-puller taxonomy because it helps my simple brain to break things down into categories (actually stolen from Poliquin originally - his posterior chain dominant versus anterior chain dominant taxonomy; similarly - hip-dominant and knee-dominant).  

Rather than making decisions based upon an infinite amount of information, I find that ‘mail boxing’ an athlete into whether they better represent push-dominant movement, or pull-dominant movement can act as a starting point to exercise selection and cue-systems, for example.  We are forever categorizing.  With everything.  The push-pull taxonomy is simply one way of categorization.  

PUSH-PULL is a mailbox system that sits in the back of my brain.  
Sometimes it is useful.  
Other times it is not.  
Use of it what you will, and if you decide not to, that’s cool too. 

And of course it is a continuum - everything is.  

I wrote briefly on the importance of categorization in the ALTIS Foundation Course:

“Names — and words — don’t exist anywhere but in our minds, yet people need them in order to deal with reality. By giving names to animals, objects, and the other facets of reality, we draw distinctions, make judgments, create links between things, foster order, exercise control, and, most important, put things into easier-to-understand categories.” – Alan Iny

“Categorization is the process in which ideas and objects are recognized, differentiated, and understood”. The primary task of categorization is to “provide maximum information with the least cognitive effort”. – Rosch, 1978 – Principles of Categorization

In sport, there are two main reasons why we categorize things:

  1. Reduce complexity of the training process
  2. Attach meaning to training

Our complex world forces us to simplify, and categorize, people, places, and things – reducing them into manageable chunks that we can make better sense of. This process of classification involves either relying on pre-existing categories, or the development of new ones – but without them, our worlds are unmanageable. The traditional categorization of running intensity into various ‘zones’ based on a percentage of heart rate is an example of an attempt to reduce an infinite amount of information into significantly more manageable groupings.

With an eye to the unpredictability of the dynamic system – and the complexity of the interplay between athlete, coach, environment, and task – it is important that athletes and coaches share a common understanding of the objective of each training session. Therefore, categorizing the objective into a key word or two allows for more efficient communication of the training purpose.

In the sprints world, for example, training can be categorized into acceleration development, speed development, speed and special endurance, intensive tempo, extensive tempo, etc. By categorizing training in this way, coaches communicate the purpose of training to their athlete groups – thereby attaching meaning to the training process.

We also categorize in the the weight room. While many equate weight-training with simply ‘getting stronger’, it is important to understand that strength does not necessarily equal maximal strength; and we organize the training process based upon the division of the general term ‘strength’ into more manageable, and specific, abilities. This categorization is based on the relationship between force and velocity.

(From the ALTIS Foundation Course - Strength Module, by Dr Matt Jordan and Stuart McMillan, 2017)

from gratisography

I know what I know, 
I know What I don’t know, 
I know what I need to know, 
I know what I don’t want to know

This was shared a lot on Twitter.  
But - with all due respect to Joe Kenn, who by all accounts is a great coach, and honorable person - I have zero idea what it means, and disagree totally with at least two of the four sentences:

I have no idea ‘what I don’t know’:
  • ‘Knowing’ what you ‘don’t know’ is not possible. 

And I also have no idea ‘what I do not want to know’ … I am certain there are a ton of things that I currently want nothing to do with (i.e. what I don’t want to know), that will become part of what I know (or do) in the future.  It’s called progress (sometimes).  

With that all being said:
We need to be very careful with making assumptions based on tweets.  140 characters (or 280) is not enough to provide context - especially when your words are being translated-shared by others.  This also goes for the tweet that began this post …

The legend that is the Arizona Cardinals Strength Coach Buddy Morris is a frequent visitor to ALTIS, and swung by this week to hang out for the day.  

I really enjoy spending time with Buddy.  Sharp cookie; what I appreciate the most is 40 years into his career, he is still trying to learn.  He takes his notebook everywhere, asks great questions, has a keen eye, is open - and critical. 

“ … all this stuff you’re involved in, it’s all gossip. It’s people talking about each other behind their backs. That’s the vast majority of this social media, all these reviews, all these comments. Your tools have elevated gossip, hearsay and conjecture to the level of valid, mainstream communication. And besides that, it’s fucking dorky ... I’ve entered some inverted zone, some mirror world where the dorkiest shit in the world is completely dominant. The world has dorkified itself … it’s not that I’m not social. I’m social enough. But the tools you guys create actually manufacture unnaturally extreme social needs. No one needs the level of contact you’re purveying. It improves nothing. It’s not nourishing. It’s like snack food. You know how they engineer this food? They scientifically determine precisely how much salt and fat they need to include to keep you eating. You’re not hungry, you don’t need the food, it does nothing for you, but you keep eating these empty calories. This is what you’re pushing. Same thing. Endless empty calories, but the digital-social equivalent. And you calibrate it so it’s equally addictive.”
 - Mercer, The Circle (Eggers)

Social media seems like a panacea - outsource your newsfeed, so that it would be curated by a bunch of smart people.  But something has changed over the last 12-18 months; what could have been carefully crafted curation has become an algorithm-driven echo chamber, feeding our tribalist instincts.  My 2018 plan: during the week, share what I feel is interesting; don't engage with anyone; drop this overview every Sunday morning.  

That's it.  

Speaking of:

- Jessica Brown, BBC

With 3 billion people - around 40% of the world's population - now using social media; spending on average around 2 hours per day on various platforms, researchers are beginning to spend more time on trying to understand the effects on society.  Studies are on-going as they relate to: stress, mood, anxiety, depression, sleep, mental health, addiction, self-esteem, well-being, relationships, envy, and loneliness. 

For example, as it relates to sleep:

“Humans used to spend their evenings in darkness, but now we’re surrounded by artificial lighting all day and night. Research has found that this can inhibit the body’s production of the hormone melatonin, which facilities sleep – and blue light, which is emitted by smartphone and laptop screens, is said to be the worst culprit. In other words, if you lie on the pillow at night checking Facebook and Twitter, you’re headed for restless slumber.”

Last year, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh asked 1,700 18- to 30-year-olds about their social media and sleeping habits. They found a link with sleep disturbances – and concluded blue light had a part to play. How often they logged on, rather than time spent on social media sites, was a higher predictor of disturbed sleep, suggesting “an obsessive ‘checking’”, the researchers said.

The researchers say this could be caused by physiological arousal before sleep, and the bright lights of our devices can delay circadian rhythms. But they couldn’t clarify whether social media causes disturbed sleep, or if those who have disturbed sleep spend more time on social media.”

“I have a foreboding of America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time - when the United States is a serif or information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness. The dumbing down of American is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30 second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance … the plain lesson is that study and learning - not just of science, but of anything -  are avoidable, even undesirable” 

Carl Sagan - The Demon Haunted World

“Each of us is on a spectrum somewhere between the poles of rational and irrational. We all have hunches we can’t prove and superstitions that make no sense. What’s problematic is going overboard, letting the subjective entirely override the objective, people thinking and acting as if opinions and feelings were just as true as facts. The American experiment, the original embodiment of the great Enlightenment idea of intellectual freedom, every individual free to believe anything she wishes, has metastasized out of control. “

- Kurt Andersen

Before the Internet, crackpots were mostly isolated and surely had a harder time remaining convinced of their alternate realities. Now their devoutly believed opinions are all over the airwaves and the Web, just like actual news. Now all the fantasies look real.”

Kurt Andersen, Fantasyland


Democracy was invented to plough along slowly; the rate of chance purposefully governed so that it would be difficult for a would-be contrarian, or populist, to swing the pendulum too far in any one direction.  Democracy was formed to be the moderate view, but the rate of change now is such that it outpaces the ‘normal’ democratic velocity.  

Increasingly, we need to know the answer NOW.  As soon as we have any information at all, we leap to make judgment.  Jumping to partial answers, based on partial information.  But wisdom requires the delay of instant gratification; wisdom has no shortcut.  

“We’re getting played because too many Americans are ill-equipped to perform the basic functions of citizenship.

We have a White House of lies because a huge percentage of the population can’t tell fact from fiction. But a huge percentage is also clueless about the basic laws of the land. In a democracy, we the people are supposed to understand our role in this power-sharing thing.

But Trump is a symptom; the breakdown in this democracy goes beyond the liar in chief. For that you have to blame all of us: we have allowed the educational system to become negligent in teaching the owner’s manual of citizenship.”

- Timothy Egan, We’re With Stupid

"The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.” 

- Bertrand Russell

The athlete should know what they need to know without knowing how they know it. And if they have to know what they need to know without knowing how they know it, then I need to trick them into learning it without them knowing that also. 

Phylicia George won her first IBSF World Cup medal yesterday - winning with Kaillie Humphries in Altenberg

Billion dollar teams choosing to fail rather than sign Kaepernick is a scandal for reasons beyond wins and losses. 

“The Bob McNairs and John Elways of the world hate the idea of a freethinking, openly anti-racist player more than they love the idea of winning a Super Bowl. That damns this league as much as hiding concussion data and ignoring instances of violence against women. It’s more evidence that the league’s moral compass points in one direction: It’s not toward money and it’s not toward winning. It’s toward remaking this country in their political image: An image where billionaires make the decisions and the rest of us just shut up, work, and salute on demand.”


What it Takes
- Edward Teller

 - with interviews with many others from the Manhattan Project, plus parts of Truman’s speech after the first atomic bomb was dropped, as well as the famous piece of the Oppenheimer interview:

“I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita; Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty and, to impress him, takes on his multi-armed form and says, "Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."

If you haven’t heard the Oppenheimer interview (or at least that part of it) - listen to it (or watch it) …



The "Father of the Hydrogen Bomb",  the force behind Reagan's Star Wars initiative, and the model for "Dr. Strangelove"  was a Hungarian math prodigy who fled Hitler's Germany.  In America, he became one of the scientific minds behind the creation of the atomic bomb at Los Alamos, in a race against the Nazi war machine.  Teller's story is told here in his own voice, and by many of the other leading scientists from the dawn of the nuclear age.”

The Manhattan Project was the code name for the American-led effort to develop a functional atomic weapon during World War II.

The podcast is centered around an interview with Edward Teller detailing the race to build the first atomic bomb

Albert Einstein learned that German scientists may be close to developing the technology to build an atomic weapon. He wrote to President Roosevelt, which helped to initiate US involvement 

Even though Einstein had nothing to do with the Manhattan Project other than sending the initial letter to Roosevelt, he later regretted even that: 

had I known that the Germans would not succeed in developing an atomic bomb, I would have done nothing." 

Scientists were convinced to sign on to the project because of the fear of what would happen if Hitler’s scientists were to develop the technology. 

Three years of hard work finally came to fruition on July 16, 1945 when Oppenheimer’s group first successfully tested the atomic bomb in New Mexico. 

By that time Germany had already been defeated, and Hitler had killed himself, but the Americans were still at war with the Japanese so they continued with the program. 

Goes on to discuss beginnings of Cold War, and the race (this time against the Soviets) to build the first hydrogen bomb (which uses fusion technology, rather than fissure). This was Teller’s pet project, and he had thought that they should have been putting more efforts into this to begin with. 

Many thought Oppenheimer was a communist sympathizer, and he was thus subject to hearings to discuss his security clearance. Teller was one of the few scientists to testify against him, and subsequently Oppenheimer’s security clearance was revoked, and his reputation damaged. 

Later, Teller sold Reagan on the idea of the Strategic Defense Initiative (Star Wars). 

Teller oversold the potential of SDI, but the country spent billions before coming to this realization. 

“A pessimist is a person who is always right, but does not get any enjoyment out of it, while an optimist is one that imagines that the future is uncertain. It is a duty to be an optimist, because if you imagine that the future is uncertain, then you must do something about it” - Teller

Gary Cox in  Existentialism and Excess - discusses this in relation to Leon Trotsky, communism, and Sartre’s thoughts on Trotsky’s thesis that certain political ends justify violent means.  “Sartre explored the idea that the use of violence is not always immoral but that its use always taints the end achieved and ultimately destroys it.”

Also from Cox - how WW II may have played into the rise of existentialism:

“Existentialism offered the perfect antidote to the French post-war malaise. It counseled people to confront the shame and bad faith of their actions or inactions during the Occupation, to take full responsibility for them, but above all to move on from them. Rather than simply regret the mistakes of the past a person must learn from their mistakes with the aim of becoming a better, more authentic person in future.

Sartre’s time had come, the ‘existence philosophy’ of which he was the major exponent, with its perfect blend of realism and optimism, was perfectly tailored to the needs of the time. Existentialism did not so much capture the spirit of the time, as give the time the positive spirit it craved. Even if he could not have seen just how apt his philosophy would become, Sartre appeared as a visionary, as the prophetic leader of a group of thinkers who would take France, the whole world, into a new age where the central values would be freedom and responsibility."

'Existentialism' coined just as the war ended.

Speaking of Cox’ book, and harking back to my post last week on communication, and the objective of these on-going notes through 2018, here is Cox discussing Sartre’s unpublished notebook:

“Part of the problem was Les Temps modernes itself. Like Facebook and Twitter today, it provided all-too convenient a channel to a wide audience. Sartre would get into a heated debate with someone in a café about how many communists can dance on the head of a pin. Then, in the very next issue of Les Temps modernes, he would publish a withering retort that irreparably damaged his friendship with that person, not least because a written rebuke, being set down in enduring black and white, always causes more offence than a spoken one. The all-too convenient conduit of Les Temps modernes also tempted him to publish material that was not as well considered or written as it might have been. He was taking less time to stand back and reflect at length in order to produce work of lasting value, work equal to his best, work worthy of a great writer and philosopher.

Alas, he was too busy politicking, traveling, womanizing and generally enjoying his celebrity to craft the quality moral philosophy outlined in his notebooks into a ‘completed’, publishable treatise. His ethics notes did, however, become a valuable resource for much of the best work he produced later on.”

My favorite podcast is almost certainly Hardcore History, hosted by Dan Carlin.  If you’re interested in the above, I highly suggest listening to his blitz episode examining the early days of the Nuclear age - The Destroyer of World.  An incredible stand-alone episode (it’s almost 6 hours, but normally he goes deeper, and expands his stories into multiple part / multiple hour explorations - so the 6 hour ‘short’ one seems really short comparatively.  

Ms Google Me - version 22

On The Run podcast from Flotrack
- Danny Mackey

Danny is a good friend, and is Head Coach of the Brooks Beasts, primarily a professional middle-distance group based in Seattle.  Danny is a deep thinker, and is not afraid to explore his thoughts publicly - even when they’re not fully complete.  We can all take a page out of that book, IMO.

All Things Strength & Wellness with Robbie Bourke
- Dr Jas Randhawa and Iordan Krouchev

Good stuff from these three guys

Joe Rogan Experience
- Paul Stamets

Paul Stamets is a mycologist, author and advocate of bioremediation and medicinal fungi

This was a very interesting discussion … led me to reading a little on mushrooms (just don’t call them ‘shrooms in front of Stamets!)

Mushrooms - through penicillin  - major factor in swinging the balance of power towards the allies in WWII, as the allies had penicillin, while the Germans did not.  

Discussion around Lion’s Mane (and potential effects as an Alzheimer’s treatment):

Lion’s Mane supplementation may aid in the neurogenesis of, and a reduction in, amyloid plaques 

“The focus of research on medicinal mushrooms until now has been primarily on their anti-cancer and immune-enhancing properties. However, attention has shifted by researchers in Japan and China to the potential anti-dementia properties contained in a mushroom called Lion's Mane 

Lion's Mane, called "hericenones", was discovered by Dr. Hirozaku Kawagishi of Shizuoka University in Japan. These "hericenones" were found to stimulate the production of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) in mouse astraglial cells in culture. Dr. Kawagishi saw the possibility of using this novel compound as a natural treatment for Alzheimer's disease. He speculated that if they could cross the blood-brain barrier and induce NGF production in the brain, this might counteract some of the neurodegenerative effects of Alzheimer's disease. Massive neuronal cell death is the ultimate outcome of Alzheimer's disease, so NGF production might conceivably lead to the growth of new neurons to replace those that die.

Dr. Kawagishi's continuing work on "hericenones" led him to pursue more deeply the mechanism by which damage is done in Alzheimer's disease. As the disease progresses, there is destruction of neurons caused by the formation of plaques containing a molecule called amyloid beta peptide. These plaques are toxic to surrounding neurons in the brain. Dr. Kawagishi discovered that an agent in Lion's Mane Mushroom inhibits the toxicity of the plaques. He demonstrated that this agent is a phospholipid and can exert a protective effect on brain cells in culture, shielding them from damage by the amyloid peptides.

Though it is difficult to extrapolate the in vitro studies to what may happen in the human brain, studies have shown that there can be improvement in cognitive abilities of the aged if the mushroom is incorporated in their daily diets.”

“In the Alzheimer’s disease mouse model, HE (Hericium erinaceus) administration enhanced the horizontal and vertical movements in the autonomic activity test, improved the endurance time in the rotarod test, and decreased the escape latency time in the water maze test. It also improved the central cholinergic system function in the Alzheimer’s mice, demonstrated by the fact that it dose-dependently enhanced the acetylcholine (Ach) and choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) concentrations in both the serum and the hypothalamus. Our findings provide experimental evidence that HE may provide neuroprotective candidates for treating or preventing neurodegenerative diseases.”

“As the disease progresses, there is destruction of neurons caused by the formation of plaques containing a molecule called amyloid beta peptide. These plaques are toxic to surrounding neurons in the brain. Dr. Kawagishi discovered that an agent in Lion's Mane Mushroom inhibits the toxicity of the plaques.”

Discussions around micro-dosing psilocybin

Microdosing is the act of consuming sub-perceptual amounts of a substance. It’s apparently popular in the silicon valley to microdose psychedelics, such as LSD or psilocybin mushrooms.  Potential effects include increased creativity, more energy, improved focus, decreased anxiety, and heightened spiritual awareness. 

Currently en vogue mainly from the work of Dr. James Fadiman, who wrote the book The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys in 2011.

Dr. Fadiman’s book formally introduced the term “microdosing” into the psychedelic mainstream, and this was introduced to a broader audience through Tim Ferriss‘ podcast in 2015, which led to increased public and media interest in the practice. 

LSD and Psilocybin share a similar structure to the neurotransmitter serotonin, and work along a similar pathway. 

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors - SSRIs - (a form of anti-depressants) attempt to make serotonin more plentiful. 

Psychedelics mimic serotonin, stimulating a serotonin receptor called “5-HT2A, which leads to the production of BDNF (Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor) and the increased transmission of glutamate. 

Microdosing is the act of taking ‘sub-perceptual’ doses of psychedelics, meaning the dose level is not high enough to cause substantial deviations from reality.

Ideally, a microdose will not cause a substantial change in mood, disposition, or mindset. Instead, its effect will be subtle but present.

In a UK study on drug harm, psilocybin was found to be one of the safest substances - far more so than alcohol and tobacco.

Books mentioned in the podcast:

  • Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World by Paul Stamets
  • Food of the Gods by Terence McKenna
  • The Invisible Landscape: Mind, Hallucinogens, and the I Ching by Terence McKenna & Dennis McKenna
  • Tropic of Capricorn by Henry Miller
  • Psilocybe Mushrooms and Their Allies by Paul Stamets
  • Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms by Paul Stamets
  • Altered States of Consciousness: A Book of Readings by Charles T. Tart (editor)

I need to know more about breath and the brain

It’s one thing to say we need to be able to breathe better - to slow down - but do we really understand what this means?

And it’s one thing to say this will be a high CNS load day and this will be a low CNS day, but is it really that simple; is this not just SLIGHTLY reductionist?

There’s more to it than that …

Folks to follow on breath and brain:
Rob Wilson, Brian MacKenzie, Dr Andrew Huberman, Pat Davidson

Who else???

I listened to Davidson on Derek Hansen’s podcast (previously met Pat briefly here in AZ through our former intern Robbie Bourke, then listened to their chat on his podcast):

Strength Power Speed podcast
- Derek Hansen w/ Pat Davidson

Derek is an excellent host - I should have included his podcast on my 2017 Best-of List.  
It will be on my 2018 List.
**I will spend more time researching brain, breath and their connection during 2018**

Some notes from the podcast:

Conscious pattern and unconscious pattern
When hurting - need to feel something new 
Serotonin dominant - feeling sensory need to be here and now - notice breathing 

When training - just get after it; when regen - be intentional - know what is going on; what’s working, etc.

As soon as you can learn new things - tapping into sensory system. 
When training - not sensory 

Training brain = dopamine brain
Persistence hunting 
Dopamine = Associated with delayed gratification 
Associated with abstraction. Ability to picture things not directly within reach right now 
Religion - very dopaminergic. Ultimate delayed gratification. Live a certain life so you can have great prize at end 

Brain’s purpose is survival. Best thing to do to change survival potential is behavior. Behaviors modification.  Need big story 

One side of coin - dopamine
Other side - serotonin, norepinephrine

Float tank - increases dopamine levels 

Lack of sleep - decreases dopamine. Decreases motivation

An organism won’t adapt unless it is threatened at some level. 
If you need an adaptation - you need a stress and a possible negative consequence 

***not sure I fully agree with this, but is interesting way to look at it (evolutionarily) …. Will explore further***

Keep the system running unconsciously until there’s a problem. When there’s a problem, we will need to make you more aware (***I like the simplicity in this***)

All roads end at sleep” - PD

The polarized approach:

The middle ground is where crap lives”.  - PD
*** definitely don’t agree with this***
  • why is every single successful sprint program in history if not based entirely on the ‘middle ground’ - at least have a significant percentage of their programming exist within it? (more below)

Left and right brain - just another way of talking about dopamine side (left side - generally. Abstract) and serotonin norepinephrine. (Right brain - sensory - not same goal setting imperatives; just looking out at the world - not trying to understand it). 

An aside …. As per usual, a non-sprint guy’s only reference to a track coach is Charlie Francis.  

Is this really the ONLY track coach that anyone outside of track knows??  

I’ll try to be objective here (don’t @ me):

Positive of CF:
Probably ahead of his time in a number of ways - increased importance placed on quality of work, mechanics, recovery, lifestyle - all important in his methodology.  None of this is ground-breaking now, and much of it has been significantly bypassed, as we would expect with the growth of ideas.  Hi-Lo polarized approach is interesting, and will most definitely work with many athletes.   Not his concept, obviously, but he probably did more to popularize it in the T&F world than anyone else. 

Negative of CF:
High-Low has been often communicated as the ONLY way to train a sprinter.  This is dangerous dogma, and is not supported by data; in fact, the opposite is.  

My single-biggest critique: his multiple statements around the impossibility of anyone running sub 10 seconds clean.  Or not taking drugs is akin to setting up your blocks 1m behind the start line.  IMO these statements ruined at least a generation of Canadian sprinters, and have negatively influenced the public's and media's impression of the sprint events and sprinters ever since.  

“[Ben Johnson] could decide either he wanted to participate at the highest levels in sport or not. If he wanted to compete, it’s pretty clear that steroids are worth approximately a meter at the highest levels of sport,” Francis testified. “And he could decide to set up his starting blocks at the same line as all the other competitors in the international competition or set them a meter behind them all. And obviously that would be an unacceptable situation for a top-level athlete.”
- CF at the Dubin Inquiry

And in 1991 to CBC:
“The only way to go back into [track] is to sort of act like, ‘Oh, I was wrong. Drugs aren’t necessary. Gee kids, … And adopt the party line and go through some miraculous Saul-like conversion and come back out and toe the party line, and I’m not prepared to do that.”

There will be many of you who still believe him; who still refuse to believe that you can run fast clean.  

This continues to bother me, and is probably the biggest reason why I am biased against him ...

CF had approximately 2 years of ‘success’.  We obviously all know about Ben.  Issanjenko ran well also.  Throw in a couple of journeymen, and that is the sum total of the CF coaching legacy.  Not saying we should judge a coach only by the success of his-her athletes, but for the continuing hype, it’s a pretty small practical resumé.  (Please don’t even talk about ‘Project World Record’)

I encourage coaches from outside of the track world to expand their net somewhat. 

Tom Tellez, Loren Seagrave, Dan Pfaff, John Smith, Rana Reider, Lance Brauman, Vince Anderson, Håkan Andersson, Henk Kraijenhof, Randy Huntington ... there’s a ton of great T&F coaches, who’s resumes go back decades, and have continued to produce over the long-term. 

***When there’s an error - where do we go first?  

Sleep, nutrition, lifestyle, msk system, etc …

How often are we still ignoring the low-hanging fruit???



  • Tatiana Boncompagni, NY Times
Including interviews with Mackenzie and Huberman

Article by Davidson on SimpliFaster

a large rabbit on a pier ... courtesy gratisography

Common Sense podcast re-listen 
Shades of Grey
- Dan Carlin


We should not be so easily manipulated. 
But we ARE
Like kneeling anthem - makes money for everyone through outrage
Outraging one segment against another
As soon as it stops being interesting, there will be another outrage da jour 
You become a dope when someone else manipulates you into it

The effect social media is having on our ability to communicate. Keeping the level of discussion to ‘level 1’. 

Our ability to have civil engagement is eroding. 

No such thing as discussion anymore. 
Fake news. Sources. etc. tribalism. 
Straight to name-calling 

Trollish activity details everything 
Outrage climate - where everything is instantly dialed up to 10
Exhausting and depressing

Our technologies are working us away from the types of discussion that we need to have. The problems are too big to solve through twitter. 

If you force them to stand you’re restricting the ideals behind America: “You have the FREEDOM to do what you want - but you WILL stand.” 

You can’t have it both ways. 

And does it REALLY count if the only reason you’re ‘showing respect’ for the anthem is because you’re being forced to?  And what slippery slope does this lead us down?

The flag. The anthem. The pledge of allegiance. Etc - they are only symbols of something greater. They represent things. 
And they are important. 

But the things they represent - THEY ARE REALLY important. And those things we pay little attention to. 

If we could generate the same amount of outrage that we do for a few FB players kneeling during the playing of a symbol to something TRULY egregious ...

But we don’t. 

It takes too much work. We are being distracted by the shiny object. We have no ability to pay attention. Have no interest in nuance. Or empathy. 

We can’t see the flaws in our heroes (or political candidates) but can always do so in others ...

The Axe Files
- With David Axelrod

  • Christianne Amanpour
  • Fred Hochberg
  • Adam Nagourney
  • Susan Rice

All excellent

- Michael Wolff - from his book Fire and Fury

Still won’t be enough for his base - nor his political sycophants - to dump him.  Russia will eventually bring him down though. I look forward to the few dozen ‘insider’ books, due out in about 36 months from now. 

Rise of the Tribe

The evidence is rather clear that the modern hyper-polarization is far more characterized by tribal division than by ideological distance. The real story seems to be the growing us-versus-them, in-group/out-group dynamic. (Alex Theodoridis, a political scientist at the University of California-Merced)

“political scientists have repeatedly demonstrated that the vast majority of the public does not think about parties in ideological terms and that their ties to the political world are instead affective, based on a primordial sense of partisan identity that is acquired very early in life and persists over the entire life cycle”


“The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.” 

- Bertrand Russell


Every moment of our life is spent practicing something. 
Our (potential) lack of free will notwithstanding, what we practice is entirely up to us. 
Generally, we tend to improve at that which we spend time at. 
So it is up to us to determine what we want to improve at. 

Want to get better at trolling on on-line?  
Pretty simple solution to that goal …

Your mind is what your life becomes


Just because we cannot agree on the right answer does not mean that there are not clear wrong answers.  


“We see the world not as it is, but as we are” - Anaïs Nin


Do we know something, or are we simply parroting what we have read-heard?


"when people are insecure, they'd rather have somebody who is strong and wrong than someone who's weak and right"

Bill Clinton


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