Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Day 65

1: a specific plan or design : scheme
2: a planned undertaking: as a: a definitely formulated piece of research b: a large usually government-supported undertaking c: a task or problem engaged in usually by a group of students to supplement and apply classroom studies
3: a usually public housing development consisting of houses or apartments built and arranged according to a single plan

1: to make a bridge over or across ; also: to join by a bridge 2: to provide with a bridge

the quality or state of being in good health especially as an actively sought goal

1 a: a break in a barrier (as a wall, hedge, or line of military defense) b: an assailable position 2 a: a mountain pass b: ravine 3: spark gap 4 a: a separation in space b: an incomplete or deficient area 5: a break in continuity : hiatus 6: a break in the vascular cylinder of a plant where a vascular trace departs from the central cylinder 7: lack of balance : disparity 8: a wide difference in character or attitude 9: a problem caused by some disparity

Over the past few weeks, I've toyed with the idea of changing the name of "Project: Bridging the Wellness Gap". Since the days I was playing in bands, I've enjoyed coming up with names for songs, bands (though I never came up with our band names and trust me you don't want to know what they were. LOL.), and so forth. I also enjoyed coming up with the name of our former studio, the class names, etc. A part of me felt like maybe "Project: Bridging the Wellness Gap" just wasn't "IT", but the more I've played around with it, I can't come up with anything more suitable. The above word definitions came from http://www.m-w.com/, and once I really researched each word, it kind of answered any questions I may have had. What do you think? Have a better suggestion? I'm all ears!



Monday, September 29, 2008

Day 64

Please check back in the next day or two and I'll be sure to share some updates and progress reports from our Project Test Pilots. I've spent most of the day reviewing the before and after results and planning the next phase of the Project, so I don't have much else to share tonight.

Check out the right side of the blog, I added a couple "countdown's", one for the half marathon and the other for the Tecumseh Trail Marathon.


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Day 63

"That's a Wrap!" Holy smokes, after 3 months the maiden voyage of "Project: Bridging the Wellness Gap" comes to a close. Today was our final fitness testing and I'll share some of the progress reports and results with you very soon. I can't tell you how proud I am of this group of Project "Graduates", that's right, they will always be the Project Test Pilots, yet now they are the first group of Graduates. I'm honored to have shared the last 3 months with all of them and I'm even more passionate about the Project (if that's possible). I'm looking forward to a life-long relationship with this group of special people.

If you are interested in getting involved with the next Project, you are in luck. I will begin the next application process in November and expect to begin the next round of the Project in early 2009. With all the support, feedback and insights I've gained from the Test Pilots, the next Project will only be bigger, better, and more effective. Stay tuned for more Project news tomorrow!

In Peace,

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Day 62

Home, finally.

Over the last several years, Jody and I have searched for a church to call "home". We've visited several and always left feeling un-inspired and un-nourished. Long story short, tonight we took a big spiritual step and officially joined Kingsway Christian Church in Avon. It was an amazing evening and we are both feeling energized, Spirit-filled, inspired, and peace-filled. As Jody said, we feel like we are finally home.

To visit their web site, click on the logo below. If you ever want to visit, or join us for a Saturday evening, let me know!

Tomorrow is the big day for the Project Test Pilots, the final fitness test. Wish them luck. I plan to share a report either tomorrow or Monday. Wish them well!

In Peace,

Friday, September 26, 2008

Day 61

Thanks for stopping by. Nothing to share tonight as I am devoting much of the next few days to preparing for Sunday. On Sunday, we will do the follow up fitness testing for the Project Test Pilots along with some "debriefing" and discussion. Lots to do, lots to consider, lots to look forward to. I'm excited to share some of the progress reports with all of you once the results are in, and maybe a before and after picture or two (if anyone is willing to allow me to post them!)

Rest up Test Pilots and be ready to put your "No Excuses" attitude to the test on Sunday!


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Day 60

60 days of blogging, holy smokes! Who knew....?

"All good things must come to an end." The first round of "Project: Bridging the Wellness Gap" wraps up in just a few days; we will do our final fitness testing this Sunday. The half marathon I've been training for is coming up just three weeks from Saturday. You get the idea. Yet, in my mind, the above quote bares little meaning in my life. All good things don't have to come to an end. Things simply change, evolve, grow and flow. My guess is that everyone involved in the Project will continue with their Project. Why? Because their Project is their Life, there is no difference. Once my half marathon comes and goes, I'm on to the trail marathon in December and beyond. To me, it's like a yoga pose, or a yoga practice, there really is no beginning and no end, it just is. Or as ultra runner Dean Karnazes says, "Runs end, running doesn't".

Here's to all good things never coming to an end.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Day 59

Day 59 and all is well. Rather than reading something from me today, how 'bout jumping over to the Test Pilot blogs? Several of the Project blogs have been updated this week, and I understand that Rob Johansen has an insightful "Project: Tip of the Day" to share.

Thanks for stopping by. I'll have more coming soon...


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Day 58

Good Evening All,

Today's long run was glorious, hilly, beautiful scenery and wonderful weather. Only down side, I made a rookie mistake and didn't bring enough H20, but no biggie. Funny side note, I saw one of my yoga student/client/friends Danielle while on my run, told her I was running farther than I planned and was out of water. She offered her bottle, but since I was only 1/2 hour from home I passed. I thought it was pretty cool to run into a friend when I was in need. Love it when things go down like that. Thanks, Danielle!

Back to the rookie mistake, knowing that this run was walk-about style, I should have just topped off the Camelbak and been prepared regardless. Oh well, that's part of learning, making rookie mistakes. It ended up being my longest run, to date. And not just my longest run on this Project training program, my longest every, period. So, I felt pretty good about that. I should preface that by saying it was the longest "time" I've ever ran, I still have no idea how "far" I went. Maybe I'll measure it someday, maybe not. What difference would it make, other than to my ego?

Project Suggested Web Site:

When I created the "Project: Bridging the Wellness Gap" diet plan, I went with a "semi-vegetarian" approach, which means that I suggest moving towards a primarily vegetarian diet, though you can include small amounts of animal protein, if you wish. There are numerous reasons why I've suggest this, and if you join us for the next Project, you will learn more about that. One form of protein that I highly recommend the Project Test Pilots eat is low-fat cottage cheese. While it isn't "vegan", it is vegetarian, low in fat, high in protein, and super convenient (a requirement for anything to be part of the Project diet).

While some folks just can't stand cottage cheese (something I can't imagine!), I personally love the stuff and eat it just about ever day as either part of a meal or as a snack. At any rate, I came across this web site, which is awesome! While I thought I was creative with cottage cheese, this site gave me tons more ways to enjoy the stuff. Check it out (sorry I didn't find it sooner, Test Pilots!) - "The Cottage Cheese Page"

Test Pilot Alison had a great tip early in the Project, she mentioned that most cottage cheese contains "modified food starch", which isn't that big of a deal in small amounts, yet it can be an issue in larger amounts. So watch the label and make sure it's low on the list of ingredients. She mentioned the brand "Breakstone's", which contains "less than 2% food starch". It's the brand that Jody buys as well, and I find it pretty darn awesome. Enjoy!


Monday, September 22, 2008

Day 57

Tomorrow is my long run. Out of necessity, I've juggled my training schedule a bit and I'm not super-thrilled about doing a longer run tomorrow, after doing a middle distance run yesterday. Feeling a little pooped tonight and the legs are feeling less than fresh. Ahhh, there-in lies the beauty of the "training affect". We shouldn't approach our training with the mindset that we ought be "fresh" or "primed" for a workout. That's why it's "training" and "working out". Fresh is what you want to feel on race/event day, not training days. It's my ego that wants to feel fresh and ready to rock the long run. Project Test Pilot Rob Johansen and I talked about this a little on Saturday, it's the desire to have that feeling the night before a long training run that you just know it's going to be a great run. You can feel your energy peaking and you have a sense of excitement, making it tough to fall asleep the night before. Tonight? Not so much.

The other thing I'm reminding myself is that I'm looking to put my time in on the road. Therefore, to keep my ego out of the mix, tomorrow I'm taking a different route that I have never ran before. Meaning, I have no idea how far I will be running, I'm just hitting "start" on my watch, and that's it. No concern for pace, and since I don't know how far I'm running, there is no concern over that as well.

Often, when I do my long runs, it's a bit of a "walk about". Not in the classic Australian sense of the word, but with a similar philosophy. Head out the door with no real plan in place, just let the Spirit lead, see what happens.

Oh, and some of you recently asked about the other aspects of my practice: yes, I still do strength and toning workouts each week. Yes, I still do my yoga practice each week and yes, I still meditate each week. I just haven't written about them much recently, probably because running is my mistress, where the other activities are my faithful companions. I'm sure I'll have more to share on those sessions as well.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Day 56

Planning and patience. A must have for anyone participating in the Project. I've preached about planning to this current group of Test Pilots since Day 1 and they have done an absolutely amazing job. I couldn't be more proud of them. Now as the old saying goes, "If you want to make God laugh, show Him your plan." There are days and times that no matter how well you plan, unexpected things arise. What to do. Check out my online forum and a post that Test Pilot John Singleton shared http://chrisroche.10.forumer.com/viewtopic.php?t=17. It's the perfect example of what to do, "exercise" patience and let things unfold as the Divine would have them unfold. Enjoy John's experience and feel free to post your own comments, questions, insights, or whatever is on your mind!


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Day 55

While considering what to post tonight, it occurred to me that it might be a good idea to remind those who read this blog, why I started it in the first place, and what's up with all the "Day (fill in the blank)" titles. Some of you may be new to this blog, so if you've never read the first post of this blog, it probably doesn't make much sense. Or, perhaps if you did read the first day, it still doesn't make much sense. Here is what I wrote on "Day 1":

"Thanks for stopping by.

What you will find here will be daily posts from me, as I chronicle the next 12 weeks of training for a half marathon using the training principles from "Project: Bridging the Wellness Gap". The intention here is to share my experience, perhaps inspire others, and to display for all who visit the simplicity, effectiveness, potential of the Project. All aspects of "Project: Bridging the Wellness Gap" are oriented towards simplicity, eliminating excuses, and helping people to obtaining their vision of health, fitness, and well-being.

In addition to my daily posts, I will be sharing highlights, updates, stories, tips, and more from our current group of Project participants. My Test Pilots are currently in their 4th week of their Project, which happens to be a recovery week. So please check in to hear more about them and from them.

This blog is pretty bar-bones, so I'll look into jazzing it up a little as things flow along.


So, there you have it, the reason I launched this blog. It was a good reminder for me to read that as well. A lot has changed since the first posting. For one, the Project Test Pilots have only one week remaining in their 12 week journey. I decided to embrace a bigger personal challenge, beyond the half marathon, by signing up for a trail marathon in December. The blog isn't quite as "bare bones" as it was initially. And since starting this blog, everyone in the Project, including myself, has grown and learned more than we ever imagined.

The first official round of the Project wraps up next week. My half marathon is just a few weeks away. So, what's next? For one, I probably will slow down on the daily blog posts. For another, I've got some work to do on the Project before the next group gets underway. And who knows, maybe I'll have a few more surprises up my sleeve.

As always, thanks for stopping by. I hope you are having a peace-filled weekend. If not, I send you my best.

In Peace,

Friday, September 19, 2008

Day 54

I've been enjoying the voting going on with the Project blog poll. How 'bout you? Interesting, I think. Thanks to those of you playing along. Just do us all a favor and don't get too caught up in the political drama and remember we are all in this together, we are all brothers and sisters. Regardless the direction the political yups take the campaign, regardless the mudslinging and cheap shots, let's keep it real. Okay?

Whew! I feel like a huge weight has been lifted. A heavy week, an amazing week and this evening I finally sent out a lesson to the Project Test Pilots that was by far the most challenging thing I've written for the Project. The chapters on working out, diet and meditation flowed effortlessly. Today's short chapter had given me "writers block" for months and months. With the Project coming to a close in one week, I knew it was time to suck it up and git 'er done. Darn that "No Excuses" motto! Who's idea was that anyway? Hitting the "send" button brought both a sense of uncertainty and a sense of release.

After sending off the chapter to the Test Pilots, Christian and I went for a short run and then spent an hour or so at the playground. Tonight I'm feeling lighter and content.

Look forward to seeing many of you in yoga tomorrow morning.

In Peace,

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Day 53

Hey Gang,

It's after mid-night but since I'm still up, I still consider this Thursday's post : -)

Test Pilots, sorry there was no "Project: Tip of the Day" today. As you know, I've been pretty diligent on this, yet today it seemed the right thing to do. No excuses, rather a conscious choice. Aside from having an early schedule and a full morning/afternoon, I chose to forgo emailing today in order to spend time with one of my closest friends, who is dying from cancer. It's pretty heavy, but we had a good visit and I'm grateful for the time we spend together.

So, Test Pilots, I hope you are ready for "Part 3" of my lesson on "Self-Sabotage". It's a doozie:)


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Day 52

You may be interested in the post I just put up at my other blog: www.chris-roche.blogspot.com.

In Peace,

Just Ask ONE Question

In the upcoming presidential election, we each have issues that are important to us. By and large these issues are discussed, ad nauseum, during campaign speeches and at the debates. Among issues that are important to me relate to global (includes U.S.) poverty, hunger, and dis-ease such as HIV/AIDS. As a member of The ONE Campaign (http://www.one.org/), I support their efforts to keep these important topics a part of the election dialoge. Unfortunately, these topics are not a part of the presidential debates. As stated in a recent update from ONE.org, "Only two questions about global poverty have been asked in the history of modern presidential debates."

ONE.org is making an effort to ensure at least ONE question regarding global poverty be asked at the first presidential debate, which is coming up in just over a week. Here is what they are doing, "It's a shocking figure and in 2008, we need debate moderator Jim Lehrer to ask John McCain and Barack Obama "Just ONE question" on their plans to fight global poverty."

I just took action with the ONE Campaign and you can too, here:http://www.one.org/debates/?rc=debatestaf.

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Day 51

Not much to write this evening, seems everything that comes to my mind is more about me and I think I've written on that subject more than enough in recent posts. Plus, after a meeting with a dear friend of mine, and feeling a whole lot like The Prodigal Son that I've been, I'm feeling introspective. My buddy, Andy, is the pastor of a church. In 2000, I helped lead him to fitness. He baptized me. I think I got the better end of the deal. Suffice it to say it's a very special relationship and today's visit was a great meeting and came with a warm reception.

Maybe I'll have more tomorrow.

Thanks for stopping by.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Day 50

The big 5-0!

Today I went shopping for some new "gear", one of the fun aspects of any hobby or sport is getting the gear. I keep things fairly minimal, though others are even more of a minimalist than myself. At any rate, last year all my running was taking place in our neighborhood or the local school track, pretty tame environments. This year is another story. As my long runs are extending into the 10+ mile range I find it best to hit the road and head outta town. Some of my runs will be on the trail in preparation for the Tecumseh Trail Marathon, yet most will be on the road. I suppose I could just run around, and around on the school track but to me that is only one step away from running on the dreadmill. I can do it for a few miles but then I'm ready to bang my head against a concrete wall. I'll save the track for occasional interval workouts or for when it's my only option.

I picked up this vest for around $25, it's adjustable, super light, ultra ventilated and has plenty of reflective material on the front, shoulders and back. It's call "The Streak" and is made by "Nathan Sports". I chose this one for it's minimal size with maximum reflective points and the fact that it isn't restrictive. Maybe I just picked it for the name... Another piece of equipment I'm looking to upgrade is my headlamp. The one I have works, but it's pretty heavy and really isn't designed for running. It will do in the meantime.

So, what's my point, other than being jazzed about buying some new gear and getting to test it out tomorrow morning? It's all part of the Project philosophy of "No Excuses" and having a plan. As the daylight hours get shorter and shorter, if you intend to run through the winter there are certain bits of gear that are essential and probably the biggest priority is staying safe with plenty of reflective material, lights and more reflective material. I suggest a vest, a headlamp and perhaps even a hand-held light. If you are going out into the country, you might also want to get a red flashing light which you can attach to the back of your vest (something I'm picking up tomorrow).

Later this fall I'll share some tips on "dressing for success" so you too can run all winter with me. I did it last you and so can you.


Give Blood!

I received the following email from Rob Johansen and thought the best way to share it would be to post it here on the blog. Rob and Jen both give blood on a regular basis and are a real inspiration in helping others in need.

Let's all do our part. If you are eligible, give blood. I'm going to do it this week!


We Are In Need of O-, A-, B- and O+ Blood Types To Assist Gulf Coast Communities!

Our inventory is low for the listed blood types and Americas Blood Centers in Galveston and throughout affected Gulf Coast communities may not be able to collect to full capacity for up to three weeks.

As always we serve our community first but will ship blood to the devastated hurricane areas if called upon. Currently our inventory would not allow for us to assist if called upon. Help secure our community and others in need by giving blood today. You'll have someones undying gratitude!

Go to donorpoint.org to create your account and enroll in Donor Point Rewards, if you haven't done so already. Then schedule your appointment online and receive100 bonus points when you keep that same appointment. Or for more information, please call 1-800-632-4722 ext 5150 or (317) 916-5150.
Anderson Substation - 1826 South Scatterfield Road, Anderson
Avon Branch - 7655 East US Highway 36, Avon
Columbus Substation - 1435 North National Road, Columbus
Evansville Substation - 2113 East Maxwell Avenue, Evansville
Indianapolis East Branch - 10537 E. Washington St., Indpls
Indianapolis Main Branch - 3450 North Meridian Street, Indpls
Indianapolis North Branch - 1416 South Rangeline Road, Carmel
Indianapolis Northeast Br. - 7458 E. Fishers Station Dr., Fishers
Indianapolis South Branch - 8725 US Highway 31 South, Indpls
Kokomo Substation - 3728 South Reed Road, Kokomo
Lafayette Substation - 2200 Elmwood Ave., Suite D-16, Lafayette
Muncie Substation - 1609 West McGalliard Road, Muncie
Terre Haute Substation - 2021 South Third Street, Terre Haute
Hours for all locations are:
Monday thru Thursday - 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Friday - 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Saturday - 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon

Check the Weather Here

In "Project: Bridging the Wellness Gap", I have strongly encouraged all participants to do their running outside and I encourage you to do the same. I have a couple reasons for this, which I won't go into right now. What I do want to share is the tool that I just added to this blog, the local weather gadget over on the right hand column. I thought this might be a helpful tool and offer a quick reference if you are planning your outdoor workouts.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Day 49

What, a little rain and wind keep us for running? Not a chance. "No Excuses" means no excuses. Certainly I would not go out with Christian in a thunderstorm or serious weather (I'd go by myself, but not with him...), but a little rain and wind, give me a break. While that might provide the prefect excuse for some, for people like me, it just makes things more "fun". Christian had a ball (literally) riding in his new stroller with the rain/wind shield in place. All morning he was looking outside at the rain, asking if we were going for a run. See, he already has the no excuses mindset. For you parents out there, wanna know if you are walking your talk? Just look at your kids and you will know.

Stop by tomorrow and be sure to visit my other blog tomorrow for another "family update". Oh, and be sure to cast your vote in the poll I posted today.


Christian, looking a little like the boy in the plastic bubble, but he's happy as can be just getting outside for a run and a chance to go play.


Just for fun, I added a poll to this blog, you can find it over on the right hand side of the blog. I'm not much into politics, though I do make an effort to be educated on current events, to learn about the candidates and their stance, and I do my civic duty and vote for who I feel is best suited for the position.

As we approach the Presidential election, the buzz, the hype, and the drama abounds just about everywhere you go these days. I thought it might be insightful, interesting, and entertaining to see where the Project blog readers stand on this years election for the President. So, vote away and let's see how we stack up against the rest of the nation come election day!


Saturday, September 13, 2008

Day 48

The first official round of "Project: Bridging the Wellness Gap" wraps up in two weeks. Some of you not directly involved in the Project have seen and heard about the amazing progress of several of the Test Pilots. If you have been out of the loop, I can't wait to share with all of you more stories and insights from this amazing group of people. I really love and admire each of the participants and feel I could not have picked a better group to put the Project through it's paces. Thanks guys!

Tomorrow, I'll post the two Test Pilots I selected as the "Month 2 Standouts". Please stop by and check it out.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Day 46

A day of blog silence in memory of those who gave all on 9/11, and for those who continue to give, sacrifice and suffer for our peace and freedom.

"All gave some. Some gave all." -- Famous military memorial quote

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Day 45

"I'm not a runner." How many times I have spoken those words? "I'd rather ride my bike 100 miles than run 10 miles." That was my thought and my oft used line. The fact is, these were self-held thoughts that I believed and they shaped my reality. I hated running. I used all the same lame excuses that so many others use to avoid running. The truth is, running is hard, there is no way around it. Sure, some folks are genetically build more suited for running, yet we are all designed for running. Not all of us are built to win marathons or 200 meter sprints, but we can all maximize the God-given ability we possess.

Buying into my beliefs about running allowed me to avoid running for years. And now that I am a full fledged runner, I can't believe all the great experiences I've missed from sitting on the sidelines. At 40, I'm discovering a renewed sense of fitness and I'm having tons of fun, yes FUN in the process.

Running is very powerful and very empowering. I chose running as the primary mode of aerobic conditioning for the Project for the sheer simplicity that comes with running. All you need is a decent pair of shoes and the will to get outside and run, Forrest, run. I'm convinced that, with rare exception, anyone can become a runner with the proper coaching and the proper plan. Just ask the amazing Project Test Pilots, many of them believed they could never be a runner, I've shown them otherwise. If you have been blessed with a reasonably healthy functioning body, you owe it to yourself to get up and run. Run for those who cannot. Run for those who have lost the ability or the will to run. Be an inspiration.

"I'm not fast." Now that's my next belief to overcome...

So, how 'bout you? What limiting self-imposed beliefs do you hold about yourself? What are you not doing that you could/should be doing because you have convinced yourself you can't do it?


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Day 44

I can hardly believe that this first round of "Project: Bridging the Wellness Gap" has less than 3 weeks remaining and it seems like the closer we get to our end date, the faster it's going by. After talking to several of the Test Pilots, they seem to feel the same; it's going by too quick. Well, except maybe the journaling and log keeping aspect, no one seems to be lovin' that at this point.

To me, this speaks volumes about the Project. In terms of our perception, isn't it always the things we enjoy that seem to go by too quick? Isn't it the visits with close friends that end too soon? Or, aren't the workouts we enjoy the ones that end before we know it? Conversely, it's the things we are adverse to, or things that are challenging and uncomfortable that drag on endlessly? So, I take from this experience that the Project challenges participants, yet it is enjoyable, sustainable, and dare I say "fun". Among Project participants, one of the topics of conversation over the past several weeks has been "what's next", and "where do we go from here". Again, this excites me, partially because I'm weird like that and more so because it means everyone is ready to keep this thing going and it is now their life-long commitment.

When it comes to most training programs, diets, or short term fixes participants cannot wait until the end date. And, once it's over they tend to go back to their "old life". Not with the Project! This is a life changing, life long journey. As the Test Pilots discovered, the Project is their life, their life is the Project. This is a way of life, not a short term workout program.

I look forward to sharing the next couple weeks with all of you and sharing the "after" results when we wrap things up. Stay tuned for what these brave souls will be doing in their next phase of their Project and how you can join in the next round.

In Peace,

Monday, September 8, 2008

Day 43

Hey Guys,

Thanks for stopping by. I think I'll let the post from earlier today stay in the spotlight. Please enjoy and feel free to participate in the "homework" assignment.


Project: Tip of the Day

NOTE: Each Monday through Friday I send the Project Test Pilots an email with a "Tip of the Day" and a "Recipe of the Day". I thought I'd let all of you in on the fun today, as I feel this applies to everyone whether it relates to your health, fitness, and well-being, or perhaps your finances, your job, or your relationships.

Good Morning Test Pilots,

Pronunciation: \ˈsa-bə-ˌtäzh\
Function: noun
Etymology: French, from saboter to clatter with sabots, botch, sabotage, from sabot
Date: 1910
1: destruction of an employer's property (as tools or materials) or the hindering of manufacturing by discontented workers 2: destructive or obstructive action carried on by a civilian or enemy agent to hinder a nation's war effort 3 a: an act or process tending to hamper or hurt b: deliberate subversion
Source = www.m-w.com

Rather than a "Project: Tip of the Day", today I have a "Project: Question of the Day". All of you have experienced various levels of self-sabotage in the past couple months. We all do it, myself included. Sometimes it's a little, seemingly insignificant choice we make that is not in alignment with our Project goals and intentions. Other times its big-time, full-blown, knocking it outta the park sabotage. My question to you is what do you think is behind these actions? Why do you think you find yourself in self-sabotage mode? I can only speak for myself and why I do it, why I used to do it left and right and why I do it far less these days than I used to. I'd like to challenge you to really consider the possibilities. Also consider, where else in your life do you self-sabotage? Do you do it in your workouts? How about with your diet? Do you find yourself doing this at work? How about in your relationships or with money? I bring this topic up as it has been a reoccuring theme with some of you, in fact, Test Pilot Jen refers to this on her currentl blog post.

Over the years, I've found that there is no difference in how a person responds to the challenges of a workout program or a lifestyle change such as the Project, and how they respond to any challenge in life. Some people dance around the challenge, procrastinate, or come up with excuses. Others dive in head first and go full steam ahead at the expense of keeping balance in other aspect of their life. This insight first came to me around 9 years ago when I was a full-time trainer doing a workout with Jody. She would be doing a challenging set of a particular strength exercise and when I would offer to help, she would call me off and tell me not to help. This reflected Jody's personality at the time and her tendency towards being overly self sufficient.

Many people are great at taking care of others, their job, their children, their bosses/work yet they totally sabotage themselves when it comes to self care, perhaps this speaks to you as well.

So, here's a little Test Pilot homework. Consider what I have written here and consider the questions that I have asked. By Friday, email me what you come up with. All of you readers not directly involved in the Project (yet), feel free to partake and email me if you like: chris-roche@comcast.net.

Project: Recipe of the Day -- Chris' Post-workout Recovery Concoction
Below is a recovery drink I often enjoy after an intense or long training session (like yesterday). It also works great as an occasional meal replacement or super-charged snack. Personally, I only have one of these a couple times per week, as I prefer to get my nutrients through solid, whole foods rather than shakes, pills, potions, or supplements.

Adjust the following ingredients to suit your caloric needs and feel free to be as creative as you like. Let me know what you come up with.

1 Cup of Rice Milk (you can use cows milk, soy milk, whatever floats your boat)
2 Scoops Designer Whey Protein Powder
1 cup of fresh or frozen berries (or any fruit you want to incorporate). Sometimes I use blueberries, other times it's mixed berries, again it's whatever you want to use. Sometimes I like the frozen fruit as it makes for more of a "milkshake" consistency
Teaspoon of flaxseed oil
Add water to get the consistency you want
Hit it with your hand blender and enjoy!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Day 42

Hey Guys,

Those of you in the Indy area, I truly hope you got outside to enjoy these amazing late-summer days and evenings. I know we did.

Today's training was exquisite, first time I ever used that word to describe training, yet that sums it up. For my long run, I chose the same route I did two weeks ago, except I went longer and further, though I don't exactly know the distance. I just know that I ran past my previous turn around mark and continued up road for another 10 minutes. Plus, when I returned home, I did a loop through our neighborhood to extend the run another 10 minutes.

Amazing what a difference it makes in your performance when the temps are 20 degrees cooler and the humidity is significantly lower. Two weeks ago I had to mix in some walking in the last couple miles of the run, not today.

The stretch/yoga afterwards felt phenomenal as well.

Perhaps what I like most about true cross training is the fact that I can do a long run, feel whipped afterwards, yet still be free of any residual aches, pains, or soreness that you typically get with being a specialist in one sport/activity or another. This was one of things I was reminded of during my run and I actually felt bad for those who never experience the freedom and benefits that arise from training in multiple activities such as running, strength and toning workouts, jumping rope, doing yoga asanas, eating a healthful diet, etc. I thought of all the friends I have who only practice yoga and have decided to forsake running because it's "bad for you", or "it ruins my yoga practice". Okay, whatever. No attachment in that mindset, is there? Anyway, I just felt a sense of compassion and then got back to breathing, running, and praising God for how darn lucky I am to have a body that moves and that I have opportunities to be outside and play in the wonder of it all.

In Peace,

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Day 41

What an amazing day -- leading a yoga session this a.m. packed with some amazing practitioners, followed by a great pow-wow with some of the Project's outstanding Test Pilots and friends of the Project. Later, it was yard work with my little helper, Christian, then church and going out for sushi with 2 of our best buds (love you guys, thanks for trekking out to B-Burg. We gotta do it more often!)

I'm going to bed with a smile on my face tonight. Tomorrow's a long run and a shorty yoga session. Pray for me on the run... at least it'll be nice and cool in the a.m., when I hit the road.

More coming tomorrow, though I think I posted enough the last couple days to make up for a few brief posts.

Please be sure to visit all the Project blogs and the forum. I'm adding a new Project blog tomorrow, that Test Pilot Christine launched this week.

In Peace,

Friday, September 5, 2008

Day 40

40 days into my Project: Half Marathon. Crazy that 40 days have come and gone and in only a few weeks the same will be said for the run. You know, Jesus spent an equal number of days in the wilderness and he return empowered, awakened, battle tested, and ready to kick butt and take names (at least in a Christ-like, spiritual kinda way...). As for me, while I haven't been fasting in the desert for 40 days and wrestling with the devil, I have devoted myself to my training and my diet (at least 90%!) more consistently and more diligently than I have in over a decade. And I do feel more empowered and awakened than I did 40 days ago. Thanks for hangin' with me the last 40 days, which by the way I have yet to miss a day of blogging!

Drum roll please.... the next adventure that I have committed to is.....
The Tecumseh Trail Marathon, which is December 6th. "Why?", you may ask. Within the first couple weeks of my half marathon training, I quickly realized that it wasn't going to test or challenge me or the Project principles enough (physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually). I knew I needed something more to really get into the very core, the very essence of this whole thing. Kicking around the next obvious challenge, a full marathon, I started shopping around. Again, I quickly realized that a full marathon just wasn't the ticket either. No offense to anyone training for a half or full marathon, I think they are very challenging, don't get me wrong. I'm a slow runner, and speed isn't what I'm looking to test, I'm talking endurance ladies and gents. I want something that is going to take me as close to my edge as possible and I want to do it using the same principles that I present in "Project: Bridging the Wellness Gap".

I was led to a website and discovered the Tecumseh Trail Marathon, which I had never heard of. From reading the description and after doing a little research, I found that this is both a laid back event (only around 500 people do it, as compared to 35,000+ at the Indy Mini each May) and yet it appears to be a pretty rugged test of endurance. Seemed like the perfect testing grounds to me. Sign me up, please!

If you have been reading Project Test Pilot, Corbin Baird's blog, you will note that he is registered for this years run as well. Anyone else interested in throwing your body/mind/spirit fitness hat into the ring? Let me know.

Oh, and just to keep your interest piqued, the Tecumseh Trail Marathon is actually a stepping stone for what I really have my sights set on. Now that should keep you guessing for the next couple months. I will share the next step after Tecumseh, assuming I live to tell about it...

In Peace,

Sitting Still

One of the most often missed, skipped, bailed on and down right neglected aspects of the Project training program is sitting still. I've encouraged the Project Test Pilots to sit quietly, in contemplation a couple times per week for only a few minutes at a time. Yet, it's the number one missed assignment of the Project. Funny, folks have no problem knocking out a challenging 30 - 45 minute workout yet find sitting still for 10 minutes nearly impossible. Of all the Test Pilots who are turning in their weekly reports, I know of only 2 who are consistenly practicing meditation. Conversely, of all the Test Pilots reporting, only a couple miss more than one assigned workout per week.

This was/is no surprise to me, there are lots of reasons and even more excuses for avoiding meditation. I've heard 'em all, and I've used most of 'em myself. Sometimes its simply a lapse of mindfulness and forgetting to complete the assignment. Sometimes it's a fear of meditation, or just an uncertainty. Most often I find it's related to our nature and desire to be "successful" at what we are doing and that we have a known outcome or benefit for what we are doing; "what's in it for me?"

And then the monkey-mind chatter kicks in, or what I refer to as the play by play commentator that resides in our mind -- "This feels like a colassal waste of time. This is soooo stupid and boring. I have soooo many other things that I could be doing right now. Man, my back hurts and so do my hips. Okay, back to the breath.... I wonder what I should make for dinner tonight. Oh, yeah, can't forget that meeting tomorrow. Barack/McCain is the bomb. Okay back to focusing....focus, focus, focus, WAIT I have to remember to pick up Johnny after school tomorrow. Now, breathe... darn it, I should have TiVo'd that convention speech. I've totally lost all feeling in my legs/feet, I hope it isn't permanent....focus, breathe.....hey, there it is, my mind is calm and still, er, well it was...." Sound familiar?

Contemplation/meditation deals with matters of the mind and spirit, not so much the body; though some of us have to deal with physical discomfort for a period of time before we gain access to the mind/spirit work that lies ahead. Seeing and feeling results from proper training and diet are almost immediate; we have a noticible return on our investment. Additionally, we have measureable results, lower numbers on the scale, reduced blood pressure, running faster and farther, able to do more push ups, etc. With mental training, it's not the case.

We are all at different points along the path and no one is superior to another. We just start right where we are and each time our mind wanders, we just bring it back to our focal point. Each time we start and then stop our practice, we just pick it up again the next time it's assigned. All I can tell you is that if you never practice, you will never discover why you should have started in the first place.

Here are a few tips/reminders to consider:
  • Have no expectations on your practice -- don't assume that meditation will make you a happier person, a kinder person, more spiritual, less stressed, skinnier, prettier, smarter, wiser, more compassionate, richer, or any other "label".
  • Leave judgement out of your practice -- there are no "good" meditation sessions and there are no "bad" meditation sessions. There is never "success" related to contemplation and there is never "failure" related to contemplation. Tough concepts I know, yet without this understanding, you will never get past "Step 1".
  • Patience and persistence. I have a saying, "The best remedy for resistance is persistence" and I think it applies no where better than right here. Just sit and see what happens.
  • As I shared with the Project Test Pilots, the answer to almost every question relating to meditation is "just sit..." It's that simple, it's that challenging.

Hope this helps.

In Peace,


Test Pilot Christine, "gettin' er done" near a waterfall in Kentucky. You don't need a special "throne" to sit upon, nor a temple/church to listen for the voice of God. You just need to sit, just sit, just sit...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Day 39

Yeah, sometimes I'm a body/mind/spirit fitness geek and I probably drive some folks crazy, yet I gotta tell ya I love it when you walk your talk and God occasionally seems to smile down and say, "Yup, good job, dude. Here let me throw you a bone." Case in point, last night I was preachin' on this blog about planning and how I was all set for a great day ahead, blah, blah, blah. Well, due to my planning, I was able to turn an unplanned opening in my schedule into a fantastic workout. Having the proper food and the proper "tools" allowed me to hit a local park between sessions and get my workout in earlier in the day. As a result, I had my training complete and was able to spend the evening enjoying dinner and celebrating Dylan's 18th Birthday (officially today).

For me, today was a combination of planning and listening/feeling the cues that were showing up. Originally, I was going to take the window of opportunity to read, do some Bible Study and chill in the park with a cup of coffee. Ohhhh, how my ego craved that route.

Plan, plan, plan, and listen, listen, listen. If you listen for the voice of Spirit and follow what you hear, rather than the voice of ego, you will always be lead to Higher terrain. You can trust, without question, that you made the accurate decision. Give it a shot.

If you get a chance, check out Test Pilot Carrie's blog, "Slouching Towards Fitness." Anyone else relate to Carrie's experience?

Have a great night/day, I'm off to meditate : -)

Peace Out,

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Day 38

One of the primary lessons that I have taught my Project Test Pilots is if you want to make progress, you must plan, plan, plan. This means you must plan your weekly workout schedule and let nothing get in the way, and if/when something does, you adapt your plan in order to accomplish your assigned workouts. It means planning your weekly meals and shopping for everything you need, as well as preparing the food you will take with you each day as you head out to work, school, etc. It means that when you travel, or attend a social gathering that you plan your workouts and dietary choices so that you can stick to your Project. Plan, remain flexible and willing to adapt when you have to, that has been the key to progress for those Test Pilots experiencing change. It's all part of what I've instilled in everyone since day one, actually since before I accepted any applications to the Project, the "No Excuses! " mindset.

So, tonight, after a long day of teaching and training, feeling like I had just crossed the finish line, I realized it was time to plan for tomorrow and pack my food. Meaning the finish line was still a few hundred yards away. Initially I was bummed about the whole thing. My ego rebelled and chimed in "heck with it, just buy food on the fly tomorrow or maybe try to get up early to plan and prepare". Yeah, right! I know that game, listening to the ego and I know how it always plays out. The ego craves comfort and ease and always leads to sleeping too late to make food in the morning, eating crappy food while running from one session to another, and feeling like crap at the end of the day. Listening and following the ego leads to mediocrity or "outcomes that suck" as my counselor friend says. Rather, I mustered up my No Excuses attitude and prepared all the food that I will need for tomorrow and my clothes are already laid out, ready to go. Bags are packed and now I can call it a day.

By rising above the ego's craving for comfort (and believe me, it was making a real fuss), I've at least created the potential for a great day tomorrow, and I know I will be able to eat the foods that are appropriate for my Project intentions. No longer a slave to addiction, laziness, complacency, ego; I am liberated and living more authentically, from spirit.

Sure I have my moments, my weakness, my challenges, who doesn't? In my book (literally), it's about following what I call the "90% Rule", which means that if I stick with my Project diet and workouts at least scoring a 90% consistently, I will make progress. I used to hover around the 75-85% mark and never experienced the health, fitness, and well-being that I supposedly desired. For over 6 months now I have consistently scored at least 90% on my diet and workouts (the best and longest in my life!) my life has continued to change and grow in an empowering way and now I'm seeing it in the Project Test Pilots. This Project is effective, if you apply it and live the principles and even better (listen up Test Pilots), it is sustainable beyond a 12-week fitness fling. It's a lifestyle and I'm living it. How 'bout you?

Thanks for reading and thanks for supporting me in multiple ways.

Much Love.


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Day 37

Please hop over to my other blog and check out the pictures from Sunday's Eagle Creek Adventure. www.chris-roche.blogspot.com. After spending well over an hour creating that post, I think I'll end my blogging for the day.


Monday, September 1, 2008

Day 36

Hello Everyone,

I'm not sure what's up with blogger and posting images, after another attempt to post pictures from yesterday's Adventure, I finally had to give up once again. I've given it a shot on this blog and my "Power Yoga and Fitness" blog, and still no dice. I'll give it one more shot tomorrow.

The Indianapolis Half Marathon is coming up in just under 7 weeks and thus far my training is right on schedule, so I'm pretty stoked about that. So, tomorrow I'll share my next personal Adventure and maybe inspire a few of you to join me in the "fun". Hint -- if you know me, then you know that when I say "fun", it's gonna be interesting as I have a weird sense of fun, or so I have been told.