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.
On January 13, Governor Gianforte issued a directive lifting the restrictions on hours of operation and capacity of small business. The new directive affords small business, like True Spirit CrossFit, the flexibility to develop and implement appropriate policies based on industry best practices.
In his press conference about the new directive, Governor Gianforte stressed the importance of small business owners taking personal responsibility to protect their employees health and taking appropriate actions to advance public heath.
Here's where I stand. I own a fitness business who's sole purpose is to make you healthier. I make a personal promise to each and every member to take responsibility for my business and do my level best to make you healthier.
If you catch COVID-19 at my business you have become sick. You are now the opposite of healthy. That is not acceptable to me.
So far, through our implementation of industry best practices we have not had a single instance of COVID-19 transmission at the gym. I intend to keep it that way.
While the Governor's directive will probably impact other small business it will not change our regular course of business.
As soon as we re-opened in May we implemented our own common sense best practices. No one gave us a a list. James and I sat down and came up with what we thought would be the best way to keep people at least 6 feet apart, reduce congestion in the front room, the hallway and the changing room. We came up with a thorough list and shared it with the Coaches who gave us even more great ideas on how to make the gym as safe as possible while still enabling all of you to become healthier through physical training. All of the Coaches and I took personal responsibility for your health. It's worked so far.
I was very eager to see what CrossFit would provide us for industry best practices. On December 30 I received an email from CrossFit with the following list of industry best practices. You can read the full document here. The CrossFit industry best practices are:
Anyone who has attended class knows that we implemented nearly all of these industry best practices back in May when we reopened and we installed CO2 monitors on November 25, 2020.
We will continue to operate utilizing these industry best practices until the COVID-19 curve has flattened and the threat to public health has significantly decreased.
No matter what, I stand firm on my promise to make you healthier. I will not compromise your health or that of our Coaching team just so that we can make more money by packing more people into class. Yes, we have been severely impacted financially by the pandemic, and yes, we will survive.
The Importance of Small Steps
I have been exploring strategies and tactics for making sustainable change over the past few #transformationtuesday blogs. The New Year is a natural transition time for many of us. We may want to start or STOP a habit. We might seek a change in our lifestyle, and we will best accomplish that through smaller steps.
Smaller steps allow us to "shrink the change." We all like the idea of a big sweeping change. However, implementing that change is so. damn. hard.
Small steps can help us create success, and you've heard me say it so many times, success creates motivation.
When you succeed at something you are much more likely to continue to WANT to work on it.
If we slip while working on small steps the results are not so disastrous. Simply start with your last successful step and keep going.
We use small steps to teach you physical things at the gym. How do you learn how to do a pull-up? Step one: get to the gym. Step two: do a ring row. Step three: learn how to do an active hang from the bar. Step four: do a scapular pull-up. See? Small steps towards a big goal.
What big fat scary goal do you have? Can you write down a series of small steps that will help you work towards that goal? Share with me in the comments.
Is Sitting the New Smoking?
Sitting is something we do A LOT! By some estimates we sit up to 10 hours a day. All of this sitting has impacted our health. In fact, some folks say sitting is the new smoking.
According to Daniel Lieberman, an anthropologist who studies human fitness, there are 2 factors that make sitting a problem. The first is the time we spend too much time in uninterrupted sitting, Lieberman says:
"Just getting up every once in a while, every 10 minutes or so â just to go to the bathroom or pet your dog or make yourself a cup of tea â even though you're not spending a lot of energy, you're turning on your muscles.
âSecond, according to Lieberman, sitting in a chair, with a back, is a relatively new practice. Up until the last few hundred years when we sat it was on the floor, or on benches or stools. Chairs with back rests were used only by nobility and the rich. In many part of the world sitting on the floor is still common. When I lived in Japan I sat on the floor all the time. â According to Lieberman
"The reason it matters for our health is that a seat back essentially makes sitting even more passive than just sitting on a bench or a stool because you lean against the seat back and you're using even fewer muscles, even less effort to stabilize your upper body.
Sitting is a common practice in all societies that Lieberman has studied. You can reduce the deleterious impacts of all the sitting by getting up and moving around, spending some time standing, and sitting mostly on a bench or a stool.
You can listen to the entire podcast below.
Do you have a myth you want me to investigate? Tell me in the comments.
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