The Iceman

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At one point on Sunday when Wim was blasting a tune out of his guitar, a song about living in trees with monkeys I thought this is what one of those American drink the Koolade type Cults were like in the 60’s. If he had said drink this Koolade, I and 60 others in the room would have done so.

A buddy of mine shared the Innerfire app with me a few months back. I had never heard about Wim or any of his crazy exploits. Such as climbing the death zone on Everest 7.5k up in a a pair of shorts, running half marathons in the Artic in a pair of shorts, marathons in the Namibian desert with no water. The list goes on.

I had to check this guy out. I and a few others were early for the workshop, he was in the Yoga studio chatting, we just walked in and took a space on yoga mats. He turned and looked right at me. It was not eyeballing but like he was looking right into you. He then continued to talk for nearly 3.5 hours. Stories of science, first being ridiculed then being studied by some of the best and brightest. A difficult life losing his wife to suicide and raising his sons. Stories about mental health, anxiety, how he is disgusted by the medical system, the business surrounding sickness, the church and always about nature.

He feels that our move away from nature in society is causing anxiety, we as a race are not not able to deal with the stresses of life. We can not turn off our own inner default buttons and it is leading to more and more depression and suicide. It is our shunning of nature and love for material well being that he feels is causing an epidemic of mental and physical conditions.

As I am currently doing a Yoga course I understand, that Wim is open sourcing a hack for what could take years of meditation to achieve.

When we started one of the breathing techniques, a room full of 60 odd people from all over Europe all breathing in a certain way for 4 minutes. It was rhythmic, I would not go as far to say it was an out of body experience but you could nearly feel yourself lift. He had Pink Floyd playing and was chanting, encouraging, and kept up with a breathing mantra. Breath into your abdomen, chest, head. Over and over again. There were grown men losing the plot. I’m not talking hippies here, big hairy bearded cross fit types. At one point I thought this is nuts but I love it. Upon completion we breathed all the oxygen out of our bodies then started doing press ups. I did 21 full Tricep press ups, then a few from my knees. When I was burned out I still did not breathe for a few seconds.

At one point I was absolutely out of it, I turned to a Scottish guy beside me, a kettle bell instructor and said focking hell. He was like ”I know, crazy man” .

It was mind boggling, he believes the power of breathing can fight bacteria, getting the body alkaline and removing acidity can cause a reduction in susceptibility of disease. You are constantly reminded and empowered to see the power that you have, the inner fire that you can create maintain and hold and the benefits of such power for a healthy mind and body.

They had a job to get him to stop talking so we could get some lunch, he however does not eat before the evening time and just has one meal. Specializing in intermittent fasting. I had a bagel. That’s for another day.

After lunch we were heading for the finale, they had been busy filling a portable pool outside with water and ice all afternoon. Personally I was kakking it. ”The ice destroys the ego” he kept saying. In a room full of alphas nobody wanted to wimp out.

I missed the first wave and made sure I got in the second, I did not want to Psyche myself out watching groups of 10 or more do it before me. ”Breathe Motherfuckers” he said. I was breathing so hard, so focused, Abdomen, chest, head, abdomen, chest ,head. Got in. ”Breathe Motherfuckers” . Its ice and water, you can imagine it and you are nearly completely submersed. There is no escape, you must breathe your way through it.

And then we sing, I hate singing personally. I have bad memories of publicly singing auld lang syne  a few moons ago and still cringe.

”Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high there’s a land that I’ve heard of once in a lullaby ”

I sang that mo fo!!! I sang hard, the feeling of elation was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. I could have stayed for longer, It was like I broke the cold. I was warm, it was friendly. I did not want to get out. I was pumped. everybody was pumped. (one freaked out)

We were all walking around grinning, the heat I was feeling was like being on holidays with a perfect air temp. But my hands were shaking when trying to take photos. Even though I was not shivering or cold.

I walked back into Edinburgh city center to begin the journey home, in a t shirt and a pair of shorts. I was sweating. High as a kite all I wanted to do was go on the beer and end up in coppers. I am still buzzing, cold shower this morning and into the River Moy this evening after work.

To be honest I do not know if I am hooked or still high from what I have experienced. Time will tell , but I do know that the levels of anxiety , depression, mental and physical health reduction can not continue locally , nationally, Internationally.

And if Wim says this works, well I’m prepared to drink that Koolade.

The one percents

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Weight loss, its bloody frustrating isn’t it ! No matter by which mode of transport you use as a vessel to try and keep on top of your own personal weight goal, it is all road rage.

Personally I can train hard for 6 month’s, let my hair down for a week or two then bam the guts of a stone gets put on. I weigh myself at certain points during the season.  At this stage I know my weight by cloths and how I look, like everyone I hope things are better via digits than how they look. This morning however I was a dreaded 10 kilos away from anything that resembles race weight! I think my exact words were god damn it!

So it’s back to the 1%’s for me. My 3 squares a day are generally on point. I may have a cheat meal once every two or three weeks.

The 1%’s are all those choices that like it or not add up. Couple of rich tea biscuits, those new bloody lovely but deadly dangerous Cortado’s that are in Costa right now, unneeded extra carbs such as bread with my scrambled eggs etc.

They are not overly bad in any sense, but they do add up. If you have heard the saying look after the penneys the pounds will look after them self. Much is the same for weight control. Look after those little choices those 1%’s and you will reach your goal a lot quicker.

8 years into endurance racing and one would think this would become second nature. It is however the same thing every season! Its adds to the psychology of race strength and stick ability those hard sessions mixed with pangs for a mix up of food. I read Coach Kanavagh’s book a few months ago regarding his experience with Conor Mc Gregor’s diet and winning. A lot of what he put Mc Gregor down for losing against Diaz in the first fight was the fact that Mc Gregor did not need to watch his weight as much as per the Aldo fight. V Aldo Mc Gregor went to bed hungry, he was always hungry. There is something primeval about that. Hunger. And what it does. It really stuck out to me. I would love to develop that self discipline I believe it would and does make a stronger athlete.

I and most folks that come to me are not going to end up in an Octagon, but to work on those 1%’s is beneficial. Be that dressings, unneeded extra carbs, calories, processed food, junk food, whatever. You all know the majority of what is good or bad at this stage.

Gram by Gram it takes love of yourself internally and externally to make the overall difference. Not easy but worth it when the adrenaline wears off and it is you by yourself in any given situation battling others in race or life.

Food for thought