Training

A Letter to Dan Pfaff


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This all started off as an E-mail to Dan Pfaff thanking him for letting me go and evaluate & talk to him at Altis during my time in Arizona.  Once I finished writing, I realized that this is very useful information that I’d love for everyone to read.  So you guys now have an edited version of an email that I wrote to Dan:

I’ve been fortunate enough to be involved in physical preparation with some pretty awesome people for about 15 years now. Unfortunately, the first half was spent being just “a weight guy.” It wasn’t until recently that I truly appreciated pure movement. Because of this, I’ve simplified my weight room activities and have really put a stress on quality movement. This explains how/why I’ve gravitated towards you & Altis.

My movement realization coupled with some other life events have had me gravitate towards psychology. I’ve learned that the psychological impact is just as important as physical, whether it be simple/complex movement or rehab oriented.

Because of this appreciation of psychology, I’ve noticed a greater need from my athletes for guidance than ever, whether it be relationships, personal battles or mental & physical understanding of desired activities. And because of this understanding, it’s made me a more effective communicator which in turn has made me a better friend & coach.  I’ve formed relationships that I wouldn’t have otherwise formed that have led me to more mind opening things.

After experiencing pain and hardships not just financially, but physically & emotionally, it has led me to believe that it all serves a purpose.  I can confidently say, without doors closing in my face, (pretty aggressively & unexpectedly I might add) I would not have been forced through other doors (another aggressive & unexpected movement).

That long winded explanation leads to things like my exploration of techniques & ideas like the Wim Hof Method and other cool stuff friends have shown me. If you’d like, I’ll forward some things your way.

Here’s one:

The Porfiri Ivanov System of Health: The 12 Tenets
The Ivanov system is based on the belief that anyone and everyone can make themselves healthy, no matter their initial physical condition. Ivanov promoted the opinion that It is important for every one to believe in their inborn and natural healing capabilities and that we all “open up” to meet the life-giving forces of nature.
The 12 Tenets of the Ivanov Heath System / Philosophy
1. Two times a day bathe in the cold, natural water. Bathe in what ever you can: the Lake, the River, a bath, take a shower or bath.
2. Before bathing or after it, if possible go out to nature, stand barefoot on the Earth, and in winter the snow, for at least 1-2 minutes. Inhale through your mouth several times and wish yourself and all people good health.
3. Do not drink alcohol or smoke.
4. Try at least once a week to go without food or water from Friday 18-20 hours until Sunday 12 hours. If you find this hard, try at least 24 hours.
5. At 12 o’clock Sunday afternoon go out into nature bare foot and Breathe several times, as described above. It is a celebration of your life. After that you can eat whatever you like.
6. Love the natural environment. Get used to it – it’s your health.
7. Greet all and everyone, especially in the elderly. Wish all good health – hello to everyone.
8. Help people when you can, especially the poor, the sick, the needy and the wronged. Do it with joy. Answer to the need of heart and soul. Help the cause of peace!
9. Defeat greed , laziness , complacency , fear , hypocrisy, pride. Trust people and love them . Do not talk about them unfairly and not take unkind opinions personally.
10. Liberate your mind from thinking about diseases, disorders and death. This is your prize.
11. The idea is not separated from the reality. To read is good. But the most important thing is to DO!
12. Share and communicate your experience, but do not boast and do not brag it. Be humble

Something else that has helped me with personal & professional relationships is a book called The 5 Love Languages.  This book has helped guide me towards properly communicating with my friends, family & clients.  It has helped shape and mold me into the coach, friend, son, brother, significant other that I am continuing to improve upon.

I routinely share things like this to my athletes both young & old to give them a different perspective.  And one thing I constantly preach is embracing the process – which in itself is a process haha.

Hope you enjoy,

Mike

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