Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Day 12. 267 Minium Requirements

'I can't overestimate the importance of this', I once heard.

It caught my attention, as it usually does. The old  'something important is about to happen' message.

We go through many days with bleak outlooks, gray and sooty spirits, white noise as background elevator noise providing the score for another twenty-four hour round of mediocrity.

Way too many days. They becoming months.

I am as guilty of this as the Joe next to me. Minimum requirements over time evolving into something acceptable.

Yikes. No effort and no focus. No challenge and no pride of accomplishment.

Two separate incidents this morning illustrated this point clearly.

The first took place as we prepared for another round of what I audaciously labeled to be the hardest indoor cycling drill known to man. Known as Super Eights they ask but one thing from each participant; Their absolute best. Thirty seconds of all-out, maximum, soul-searching, lung draining, leg burning, output. These are followed by ninety seconds of rest and recovery, repeated eight times.

They hurt. They test. They reward.

Curiously, there are two ways to measure one's performance. Data, the wattage produced with or without heart-rate fluctuation metrics, and, rate of perceived exertion, RPE. One is fixed, extrinsic, the other a moving target, highly subjective.

I cannot stress enough the difference between them. If, and that is one huge if, you are able to assess your performance with brutal honesty and rate YOUR EFFORT at 100%, you get the prize. It is not about the wattage, although it could be, it is about giving 100% of whatever you have to give. Obviously there is a huge difference in output between numbers one and eight, but, should you be able to execute your best effort, summoning all the internal strength available to you IN THIS MOMENT, you have hit the eye of the bull. The mercury rises.

The second incident took place about an hour later as we worked a set of hand/eye - velocity/accuracy drills. We set up three small logs, very dry knotless fir today, where I draw a line near the center of each with a black Sharpie. You can probably guess the rest.

The rightmost log is for the right hand, the center log for both and the left log for the left hand. The striking instrument, and this being a martial arts drill the hatchet is called a weapon, is to strike the log with enough force and accuracy to split it into an equal two.

I cannot overestimate the importance of entering a state of relaxed focus when executing this drill. You have five seconds to complete the exercise. Ready?

On the sixth second we stood and admired the six sticks where previously stood three.

A minimum requirement is a mediocre one.

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