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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Memento Mori

Considering my recent 30th birthday I wanted to let the group know more about a little excel spreadsheet called MEMENTO MORI that I keep track of on a weekly basis at the gym. I discovered this powerful tool while reading Craig Weller’s blog BAREFOOT FITNESS.

Craig spent six years as a member of a Naval Special Operations Force known as SWCC, the Special Warfare Combatant Crewmen. He has a very similar to approach to physical fitness that I do…stripped away of all the unnecessary nonsense and focused on helping people achieve results they never imagined through plain old hard work. The biggest difference between the two of us is that Craig is an extremely introspective and talented writer, where I am not. However, I am smart enough to know when something is of value.

So how does this spreadsheet work? Craig explains it like this;

"Since I was about eighteen years old I have been maintaining a tally on this piece of paper. It's 52 blocks wide and 80 blocks tall. On the top left corner is my birthdate, and on the bottom right is the same date, 80 years later. Every week I mark off a block. 

I don't write anything or make any kind of notes. I just black it out. The only thing left is the memories I have of that week and reality of how it has affected my life. In the end, the only things any of us have are our actions and our memories.

Doing this keeps my life in perspective. Each time I fill in a block I briefly consider what I did with that week. Sometimes I do so with a feeling of satisfaction. I want mine to be a life well lived. Other times I look back and realize that I frittered away most of my time on things that didn't really further my life, didn't make for any remarkable experiences, and didn't really make me happy."

Being a visual person myself, this is an extremely powerful tool that keeps me in check about the important things in my life. No matter what, each day is going to go by...days lead to weeks, to months, and to years. Before I know it I will be filling in the 80th row. How will I feel when that happens? Will it be life well lived full of memories, laughter, love, and experiences? Or will it be the opposite? Nothing lives changed, no friends made...

Each week through the action of physically blacking out each forces to ask the tough questions. What did I do this last week that was a worth a damn? Was I consumed with the minutia of life...or I did I make an effort to make myself and those around me better? Each week what is your answer?  

Considering it's the new year this is the time most people look back and review the previous year and think about what they want to accomplish for the next year. What this sheet does is allow you to do this reflection each and every don't need to wait 52 weeks to make a difference. Each day is a gift from God...don't waste and let it spoil. 

So what does the term "memento mori" mean? It loosely translates out to "we all die". Nice huh? From the minute we are born we are stamped with an expiration date. This can be a very morbid and depressing thought...or it can be something much more....the exact opposite..a very powerful and liberating thought. 

This spreadsheet is a weekly reminder to fully live your life. To steal the often over used cliché from Braveheart; “every man dies, but not every man truly lives” very true. Are you just simply existing? Letting life happen to you passively...or are you truly living life, making yourself and those around better? 

If you would like a sheet, please visit Craig's website or stop by the gym, I've got some extra copies. 

Now onto what's happened the last few days. Monday was another great crowd at both the 6 & 7pm classes. It was an awesome sweat and smoke producing effort. Exactly what was needed after an extremely long Saturday night out. We did a triple triplet workout consisting of:

20 seconds of 3 exercises at each station for a total of 3 minutes. Rest 1 minute in between, and repeat the entire sequence twice.

1) Snatch w, Snatch s, Slamball

2) Jump rope, swings, dual press

3) Step up, ½ Burpee, MTN Climbers
the end result..
Tonight's class we allotted some time in the beginning to work on a skill or exercise you suck at. We also introduced the kipping pullup to help with getting that chin over the bar. After the skill section we went into a team workout...that involved wall ball, kettlebell deadlifts, weighted situps, and double kb cleans..sprinkled with about 50 burpees to keep it spicy.

See you guys tomorrow at 6pm, hopefully we'll have some new faces to introduce to the family for those who come to the 5pm intro session. Looking forward to it!

Also, don't forget Awesome Ann Marie's 12pm running clinic class...this is truly unique training that is designed to increase your capacity as a runner.

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