First Lieutenant Travis Manion, 26, of Doylestown, Pennsylvania, assigned to 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, based in Camp Pendleton, California, was killed by sniper fire on April 29, 2007 while fighting against an enemy ambush in Anbar Province, Iraq. He is survived by his father, Colonel Tom Manion, mother Janet Manion, and sister Ryan Borek.
We honor him today in our 9am class. Join Coach Kendra, Mark and a few other military veterans as we dig deep to remember Manion.
You can support the Travis Manion Foundation by registering for the workout. You can also earn a special GORUCK Manion Hero Patch if you chose do the ruck version.
When I was in yoga teacher training I learned about a dozen different styles of breathing exercises. All of them work to calm our central nervous system and focus our mind in the present moment. I have even encouraged some of you to focus on breath control during our workouts by lengthening your exhale and breathing through your nose. These and other techniques can help you calm down and actually increase the intensity of your workout.
One of my favorite breathing exercises is box breathing. This is simply breathing in for a specific count, holding your breath for a specific count, exhaling for a specific count, then holding your breath again before the next inhale. It only takes a few cycles of box breathing before you feel your body calm down. Here is a great video demonstration from one of the masters of breath control, Mark Divine of SealFit.
You might be wondering why this #foodiefriday blog is about breath control and stress management. Many of us tend to overeat when we are stressed. We eat fast. We eat more carbohydrates and less protein. We eat beyond satiety.
Reducing our stress can help us listen to satiety cues and reframe meal times into enjoyable moments rather than a hectic race to just cram food in our face.
Of course, it wouldn't be #foodiefriday without a recipe. Here's a fabulous quiche you can make this weekend or next for Mother's day. Enjoy!
The OODA Loop
When I was an aircraft firefighter and rescue specialist in the Marines, I had to make decisions quickly. When I was driving the firetruck, I had to decide at which angle to approach a burning plane. When I was operating the roof turret, I have to decide where to lay down a path of fire suppressing foam to allow the rescue team to get into the burning plane. When I was on the rescue team, I had to decide how to get into the burning plane and rescue pilots and crew. I had a lot of life or death decisions to make and I had to make them correctly and quickly.
A valuable decision making tool I learned is the OODA Loop. OODA stands for Observe, Orient, Decide, Act. I continue to use the OODA Loop even though my decisions don't need to made as quickly and the consequences of my actions aren't as deadly.
You can even use the OODA Loop in your CrossFit workouts. Once you master it in "easy" situations you'll be more confident making decisions in more serious situations.
OBSERVE - The first step might be the hardest to master. It requires self awareness in addition to situational awareness. How are you feeling and what's going on around you? Are you scared, angry or feeling threatened? Is there chaos all around you? These are things you want to observe. They will impact your decisions. Take a moment to observe what's going on around you AND observe how you feel in response to what's going on around you.
In a CrossFit workout it might be that desperate feeling of not being able to breathe or feeling like your heart is now in your eyeballs.
ORIENT - Redirect your focus on what you need to achieve. What is your mission or objective or goal? In a CrossFit workout it might be a specific time or score. Perhaps you want to get so many rounds in an AMRAP or finish the workout under a specific time.
DECIDE - Based on what you've observed and what you need to accomplish, make a decision that moves you toward your objective. Perhaps you've loaded the barbell a bit too heavy to make the time cap. So you decide to reduce the weight. Maybe you're not able to to sustain a 2:10 pace for the 6K so you row at a 2:15.
Whatever you need to do to make your goal, make a decision to adjust your course of action so you can achieve it.
ACT - Put your decision into action. You've decided to reduce the weigh of your barbell, now do it. The action can always be altered.
In fact the OODA loop is just that, a LOOP. If your action did not move you toward your objective, decide on a new action based on the new situation.
Life is fluid and it is in our best interest to adjust to new situations. How many of us have had to change, alter, modify or completely abandon the course we were on a year ago? Yep, life is unpredictable, and you can develop a systematic way of making decisions that allows you to keep moving toward your objective even when the world is a chaotic mess around you.
Good luck and share with me your OODA Loop experiences.
The Importance of Hydration
Monday, Coach Audy threw down the first of her new weekly wellness actions. She is encouraging us all to make healthy choices this week by focusing on either getting 3 vegetables in per day or drinking 72oz. of water every day. If you want to make an easy improvement to your life - drink more water.
Hydration is an often overlooked health practice that has numerous benefits. Being adequately hydrated can make your skin look great, help reduce joint pain, reduce hunger, and a whole mess of other good things. Check out the image below, click on it if you like, to learn all the benefits of staying adequately hydrated.
One of the reasons I suggest focusing on your hydration is because water has seven primary functions in our body:
If your preferred quaff contains carbohydrates, e.g. coconut water, beer, wine, scotch, the carbs impact your blood chemistry and don't have the same hydrating effect. It's ok to drink these beverages, but anything over 8 ounces doesn't count toward your overall hydration goal. Want to participate in Coach Audy's weekly wellness action? You need to consume 72 ounces of water everyday this week.
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