Breaths, Brains & Beliefs

“Your life is an advertisement for your beliefs. You can never force it on anyone who isn’t interested. If they want what you have, they will come to you. Let your life be the evidence; let it speak for you.” -Emily Maroutian

Beliefs of the Archer

“Take three breaths and get back to it.” A cue I’ve repeated under my breath with some frequency the last few weeks, not while pushing through a workout, but instead as I step into the coaching world. I knew I had a lot to learn, but pulling back the curtain and attempting the doing has been, at times, overwhelming. There is so much more to it than I could have imagined! (A common realization when you’re learning something new, right? Yet, still somehow surprising.) It’s so exciting! … And terrifying.


The acts of learning, listening, growing, teaching, all require an open mind. As I attempt to do all those things, how do I let go of what I think I know to make room for new ideas? I am reminded of Manson’s Law of Avoidance here: we resist anything that threatens our identity. So true. Vegetarians are wrong and CrossFit is dumb; Grass-fed cow is tasty AF and if you want to be better get your disengaged glutes on the Strength & Conditioning gains train. Obvs.


The theme of keeping an open mind has been recurrent this week. The Universe delivers. Actually, that should be “the pulvinar nuclei deliver”. Hold that thought…

It turns out our brains are liars, sort of; in a white lie kind of way. Our brain functions to give us maximum fulfillment. And it does that by reinforcing our established beliefs. I “stumbled upon” forty-two articles on maintaining an open mind because my brain recognized my hunger for them and filtered my intake accordingly. Sorry, Universe. It’s crazy how much our ability to learn and discern information is tied to our beliefs and values.

“If you want someone to accept information that contradicts what they already know, you have to find a story they can buy into. That requires bridging the narrative they’ve already constructed to a new one that is both true and allows them to remain the kind of person they believe themselves to be.” – Christie Aschwanden

All this cognition is paramount in determining the achievement (or not) of your goals, according to this week’s MMPP. The Aussies’ guest, Dr. John Demartini, comes across a little cray at first, but redeems himself by owning that wig of his, and, at least in my book, by avoiding speaking in absolutes: unbiased like a boss. Similar to Manson’s Law, Demartini argues that we will resist what we perceive as road blocks and embrace what understand to be incremental steps in the achievement of our goals. As he puts it, “We resist what’s IN our way, and accept what is ON our way.” So then, in the teaching/coaching/burning-and-growing (say it like the Ah-noldt), we must be able to connect the what (it is we are doing) to the why (it aligns with our beliefs/goals**) to the how (it will get us where we want to go).

Whoa. This shit blows my mind wide open… sip, sip, sip.

**Part of the conversation is about conflicting actions and goals, and incongruency in perceived and actual beliefs – the values we aspire to have; the beliefs we feel we “should” give priority. You know, how on dating profiles everyone says they love to travel and read, that is,  until you inquire into the book they’re reading or the last place they explored. Uhhh… #speechless

Demartini has an online “quiz” (yeeeeees) to help you decipher what your actual values are. Check it.

13 Feb | M
Mobility | 3x
GA squats x 10
Single-leg elev hip bridge x 10 ea
Hanging [straight] leg raises x 8 (use abs, not momentum)

Warm-up | 3x
AD x 1:00
KB swings and snatches x 5 ea
Banded rows x 10

Work | [From the archives]
RDL x 4 @5050 (125, 135, 145, 145#)
Rest x 1:00
Single-arm seated press x 8 ea (26#)
Rest x 1:00
Barbell hip thrusts 4 x 12 (145, 145, 155, 155#)
Rest x 1:00
Shiny new assault bike sprints x 10:00,
Work x :20
Rest x :40

14 Feb | Tu
Mobility | 3x
Hip hikes x 12 ea
Elbow plank + fwd tap x 10 ea
V-ups x 10

Warm-up | 2x
Row x 1:00
Banded rows x 10
SL banded RDLs

Work | EMOM x 30:00, rotating:
Bench x 5 @ 75#
DUs x 40
AD x 1:00

15 Feb | W
Warm-up | 3x
Bird dogs x 10 ea
Scap press x 10
Elevated wall slides x 10
DUs x 20
KBS x 10

Work | O-lifting
A1. Clean pull 4 x 2 [build] (155, 165, 175, 175#)
A2. Clean high pull x 2
B. Clean + jerk [build] heavy single in 5 sets (115, 125, 135, 145, 155, 155# (clean only – PR city)
C. Clean + jerk 1 x 5 @85% (135#)

Stretch | 10:00

M | The hip and low back are bugging so I’m taking a break from the squatting. It’s hard to isolate the variables, but I am pretty sure the kicker was the Peralta hike last Sunday, which is a bummer because it wasn’t anything crazy! Just a casual morning hike. Apparently my parts disagree. Though I also think the hip and back are a litmus for my stress/excitement levels. It’s funny how positive things cause the stress too. Don’t wanna shade this joint in negativity.

Tu | I will remain calm and get in as much of my own training time in as I can whilst learning new things. Repeat x 100.

W | Was unsure whether or not I’d join in the Oly workout; this being the consideration:

Absolute answers

Wrapped up my warm-up and rolled in. Things felt good – ‘no’ to the pain pregunta – so I rolled in. Even the heavy C+J’s felt good. Raymundo noted my trunk shifting on every one of the jerks though. His thought is that I’m lacking stability on the right side so I twist to the left to find it. We’re going to investigate.

Back to Oly, PR’d my clean @155#. Missed the jerk. Here’s me being an 85% jerk… and pressing out at the top. Fuuu…

Handsome Matty’s post has me taking note of my heart rate for the next week or so to establish a baseline.


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