Momma knows best

“Mama always had a way of explaining things so I could understand them.”- Forrest

 

Now, although it is not my mothers birthday (far from it) and mother’s day has since but past (in hind sight, this would have made a wonderful mothers day post), I was sitting at dinner trading stories about me being the A.D.D child I was and testing my mothers patience, and how, through everything that is good in this world and possibly thousands of hours of prayer, she was able to teach me lessons that at the time made no sense, but in thinking back, how all these lessons seem to have come full circle and now apply to my coaching life!


“No, Colonial Sanders, your wrong! Mamas right!” – Bobby Bushay

Learn by doing

Like I said, as a child I had the rather annoying ability to test my mothers patience. She loves to tell the story of me reaching to touch the stove, her telling me “No baby, that is hot” and me looking at her and continuing to reach for it; her reply “Okay, you will learn”. While this might seem crazy, know that I have full function of my hand and everything is okay.

The thing about this is that, as humans, we learn the most by doing!

As soon as you make a mistake, the process to correct it for next time starts, and I take this approach with my athletes.

If you have ever had a coach, you know that their are times where you think what you are doing will get you to where you want to be, despite what your coach might be saying. Now, as a coach the need to constantly correct kicks in, but sometimes, the cues don’t really transfer over to the athlete, and this is where letting them learn on their own time is beneficial. Now, please do not interpret my words as me letting my athletes hurt themselves or do something that is not possible, this is not what I mean. Rather, the intention is for them to learn to feel what you are saying:

The cue “Push into the bar” that I often use for the back squat sometimes gets over looked, causing the athlete to push their butt into the air and pulling their chest down, which  finally results in not being able to complete the lift. Now, in time, using the cue and showing them what the cue means, they are able to learn through trial and error that it is easier to push into the bar, thus bring their hips through, and ultimately putting more weight up! Now, every time they get under the bar to back squat, the first thing that goes through their mind, is to push into the bar and engage their glutes!

Thus, they have taken a trial and error method to the back squat, no one is hurt, and in doing so they have learn better than they would have from constantly holding their hand (i.e over-coaching)


Men are what their mothers made them. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Play with the big boys, your going to get hurt

Far to often do athletes dive into a program head first, watching videos of what others are capable of and wanting to be at that same level tomorrow!

When I received my first pair of roller blades, I had just watched the movie Brink, and in doing so thought that it would be cool to bomb the big hill outside of our house. Now, my mother warned me that maybe it was a little soon and I should learn the basics and get comfortable on my own feet first, but what fun is that right?

Needless to say, I ended up falling halfway down the hill, rolling and banging all the way to the bottom. As I hobbled into the house, half crying and half embarrassed, my mom looked at me and asked “Are you okay”, through sniffling I responded with a “yes”, and the next phrase that came out of her mouth I will never forget, she said “Honey, you have to know that if you want to play with the big boys, you are going to get hurt”.

To this day, I myself, still have a hard time taking a step back and enjoying the process of growing slow and steady. However, know that this is the best way to remain injury free, continue to PR, and enjoy weightlifting in its entirety!

My advice: find a coach that can design a program that not only continues to challenge you, but builds you a solid foundation and grows you from there!


 

Nothing will ever beat hard work

“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.”
― Beverly Sills

Although, out of all the lessons I learned from my mom, the most important and the one that has brought me to where I am today, is that nothing will every beat hard work. As a single parent the second half of my childhood, she often worked a numerous amount of overtime, still came home to cook dinner most every night, and was heavily involved in all of my Boy Scout en-devours (which filled every Tuesday night and 2 weekends a month). The most inspiring part about all of it was that she might have complained, she might have been tired, and she might have been on edge, but the one thing she never, ever did was STOP.

The point being, that you will always have more talented athletes. You will always compete against those that in comes easy to or that are just built for the sport. You will come up against adversity and there will always be times where you question your ability and your want to continue. You will miss lifts, you will break down, and you will want to crawl in a corner and stay. You might be on top of the world one day and injured and rehabbing the next. The biggest thing to remember when these small specs of time come along, is that HARD WORK WILL ALWAYS WIN OUT.

When those that are more gifted get lazy, hard work will pay off. When those that are built for the sport become lax, hard work will push you to the top. When you miss those lifts and break down, you will be able to look back and see how far you have come and know this is just an obstacle in the road toward your greatness. Finally, if you get injured and feel down, know that this is but a scratch and that if you choose to never stop growing, you will come back; you will be stronger; and because of your hard work, you will beat those that took it for granted!


So look back at all those silly lessons that your parents told you as a child. Think about all the times that they scolded or corrected you. Reflect on all the major turning points in your life. In doing this, think about how these continue to help shape the person you have become and see if you can apply them to your lifting to continue to grow in your journey to greatness!

Now go out and lift some heavy weights, it’s Max Out Friday!

Growth: Why, how, and when

People spend too much time finding other people to blame, too much energy finding excuses for not being what they are capable of being, and not enough energy putting themselves on the line, growing out of the past, and getting on with their lives.

–J. Michael Straczynski

I was mindlessly scrolling through Facebook last week, responding to the all the comments about how good the girls on our powerlifting team are looking in their lifts (headed to USPA Nationals, what, what!) , when I came across this posted up on a friend/fellow weightlifting coach, Mr.Seth Walker’s, wall.

I watched this video at least 10-15 times, really thinking about what he was saying. Although this video contains some fun facts about lobsters that you might not have known, it highlights a very real issue: the idea that an athlete or, for that matter, any person, must face some type of stressful/stimulating circumstance in order to grow.

Think about it this way–

A muscle does not grow unless you put it through a point of stress that signals to the body to go and repair said muscle, this time stronger than before to adapt to the future stimulus you will exert upon it. In doing so, the body has now fortified this area to withstand this amount of stress, hence you get stronger or less sore from that same set/rep scheme. Now the next time you change up your program, you introduce that given muscle body to a new stimulus and it must repair and adapt to this new level of stress, continually repairing and rebuilding.

So why, if in nature with the lobster and in our own bodies with our muscles (and for that matter bone and connective tissue), if all of these things take the situation they are given and learn to adapt around it, why do we, as humans, choose to shift blame or find reasons to make our situation impossible to handle?

We look to shift this situation to something that we could not possibly control. We look to take away our ability to do something about it, so that just maybe someone will come to us with a magic solution and help us along our way…

 Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime

-Chinese Proverb

I am here to tell you:

If you are injured, you have to work through it.

  • Do your rehab exercises
  • Spend time mobilizing
  • Spend time recovering
  • Remember that you are in it for the long haul, so don’t beat your body to the ground and expect it to get back up and work for you

If you want to lose weight, you have to get up and work for it.

  • Learn to eat right
  • Find a reputable coach to give you a program
  • Find a group of supportive peers that will support you in your time of need
  • Learn to be the person YOU want to be when push comes to shove

If you want to be better at anything in this world, you have to practice.

  • Put in the hours
  • Don’t give yourself reasons you can’t
  • If you fall down, get back up and learn to keep pushing forward
  • Don’t expect it to come easy
  • Know that the longer you do it, the slower the results are, but even 1 kilo more is a step in the right direction

It is not easy to overcome and injury, nor is it easy to make the choice to shed away a body you do not want. Hell, the rule of 10,000 says it takes 10,000 hours of practice to be considered an expert in your field/sport/area, which is 417 straight days of non-stop practice.

My point is this, when you get handed a bad situation or life presents you with an external stressful event, be like a lobster–molt your stress and find a rock. Your friends, your coach, your loved ones, your teammates, or whoever it maybe, let them be your rock and help you, because when you finally emerge from beneath, you will truly be stronger for going through it and come out better than before.

It’s not whether or not you have the ability to do the work ; it is whether or not you have the will to do what is necessary to get to where you want to be..

so, be a lobster and adapt!





Looking for a good place to start? Here’s a 15 minute yoga video to get you nice and energized to start the day; it focuses on really opening up the hips and getting the blood flowing through repeated Sun and Moon Salutations! Enjoy!

Your body is a temple… so treat it like one

There is an Indian proverb or axiom that says that everyone is a house with four rooms, a physical, a mental, an emotional and a spiritual. Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time but, unless we go into every room every day, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person. ~Rumer Godden, A House with Four Rooms

A week or two has passed since we have put out an article, video, motivational, or inspirational post. This is not due to being lazy or not having a topic to write about, but rather due to the first responsibility we have; making sure our home athletes are taken care of. Lots of athletes with lots of different things going on (since most are not full time athletes and have to juggle school/work, life, and a hardened training regime).

But in making sure they have modified programs, if need be, a similar theme has popped up multiple times. While I have talked about this before, I think a little more in-depth explanation and information could be useful to all.


Every time I talk about how it feels to get into a structured program, I think about this meme:

joint-meme-e1453714427551-300x271

We tend to come up with an idea, set our minds to it, and push through until something gives (usually, it is not the muscle soreness that gets us, but rather an ache or pain deeper in the body). The problem with this route is that it becomes similar to Johnny Manziel’s football career, you think it is going to be awesome and then it is over in a flash. You hit it hard for the first 8, 4 week cycles, but now you are out with knee, shoulder, or lower back issues and you are not sure why, because, for the most part, you followed the program…


Accessory work is key

I know the last thing you want to think about doing after 5 sets of 5 squatting is doing something else with your legs, but the fact of the matter is that just squatting leaves us with some imbalances that need to be corrected by other motions. Think of accessory work as the Goose to your Maverick (main lifts), sure they can work separate, but it is a lot smoother when they are together.

While skipping the accessory work is done often, due to time constraints, being fatigued, or just not feeling it, overtime this can produce very large imbalances and lead to decreased performance on your main lifts or even the inability to perform these lifts (assuming your accessory work is there to rehab/prevent further injury). Lifting heavy is cool, but being able to lift heavy for more than 3 months is even cooler. Remember, this process is not a sprint, but rather a marathon (with many hills), so make sure you are in it for the long haul.

Advice: Know your workout before you get into the gym, make a game plan for the time your have, and make sure to get everything done.



Mindset

This is a very large topic, but there are a couple of key points to look at:

Look to your athletes with kids for the most motivation:

-They have this thing figured out. They have a job, a house, kids (usually with multiple sports), full weekends, and very little free time; and yet, they come in day after day and get their training in….

This is where I pull my inspiration from, the fact that they have this attitude of

You can be tired, but you don’t get to quit.

 –They are also the perfect example of something I picked up while at a seminar with Zach Schluender:

Alter your training in stressful times:

The idea was simple, draw a circle in the middle of a blank sheet of paper, and put the word performance in the center. Now draw a bunch of lines originating off of this central circle, and at the end of these lines write down a commitment that you have (i.e school, work, family, house, bills, food prep, financial, dogs, kids, t-ball, ect.), make sure to make a line for each commitment in your life. Now look at it, look at everything that you have to do on top of training.

His point was simple: If things in your life other than training are calm, then performance will be amazing, you will hit PR’s, and you will be on top of the world. When you have a busy schedule at work, lots going on at home, and some financial issues; performance might slack a little due to fatigue, mental state, or a little of both.

The overlying point being: Everyday is not going to be the best day in the gym, so when you feel good, push the boundaries of your body, and when you are beat up and just down in the dumps, come in and hit what you can, because that is all you have to give today and that is good enough!

The “PR Everyday” mentality:

I was training the other day, and overhead someone sarcastically mention “You don’t PR everyday anymore” after explaining to them my new program to try and rehab some of my weaknesses and injuries.

The fact is, I do PR everyday, but not in just a numbers sense (because, think about it, if I put 1 kg on my snatch and clean and jerk every single day, that would be impossible, but also make me a work champion in something around 120 days…)

I simply use this phrase to give props to my athletes in the gym and to myself, as a boost of moral. You might come in one day and PR a 3 sec. pause at the knee snatch, now this could be 15kg below your actual snatch, but is this still not a PR? Have you still not improved on something technical that will make you better in the long run? Or maybe you came in and were able to squat 60kg/135lbs after being out with an injured back for 3 months, now this might be 20kg/45lbs less than your all time best, but is this not a post-rehab PR? Should you not be praised for pushing yourself to recover and get back in the game?

So, while I don’t mean pushing your weights everyday, I think the PR Everyday mentality is an awesome way to come in and be able to walk away from a training session with a sense of accomplishment, which in turn can help you feel a little more at-ease even when you have a very busy schedule outside of the gym!



Mobility and Meditation

Now before you lose your mind and think “I ain’t into that hippy nonsense”, let me assure you that meditation is not always full of humming and heavy breathing, but more so can be whatever you want it to be (used as a way to calm your mind and CNS, a way to get a deeper relaxation that we don’t get on a normal day to day).

Meditation, in many of my clients, ranges from getting a massage in a quiet place or taking a bath with candles to finding a quiet space during work and sitting or praying before bed. With everything we have going on, with all that we busy ourselves with, it is surprising that more people don’t go “postal” (a term coined in the 80’s from a string of postal workers getting a little overwhelmed and turning to not-so-conventional methods of handling stress).

So try it out. Find a place of your choosing, a place that you feel comfortable and at-ease, try it just for 5-10 minutes at a time (everyone has 5-10 minutes, I can assure you that), and just relax, switch everything off and just breath for a couple of minutes. The worst things that can happen as a result would be:

  1. You feel less stressed throughout the day, resulting in a more pleasant feeling of being alive
  2. You are more pleasant to be around, therefore making new friends and getting invited to things
  3. Your training sucks less, because you can get more sleep knowing the world will not explode if you don’t busy yourself for every waking moment of the day
  4. Because you sleep more, your body is able to recover, your cortisol levels drop, and the world comes into balance.

I think the side effects might be worth the risk of trying it out…

Check out some of these websites for a little more in-depth explanation and some guided meditations:

UCLA Health

Tara Brach

Meditation Podcast

Mobility:

I know, the word strikes fear into the hearts, and sometimes, like many coaching cues, is just thrown into a sentence; “Coach, my shoulder hurts”, “Go mobilize it in the back” and nothing is done because the athlete is now confused on what to do (unless previously shown).

The definition of mobility is simple: to move freely and easily

In terms of joints, this would mean that we are able to utilize full ROM without weight pressing or pushing us into this against our will (i.e if you have every witnessed someone use a bench suit). The goal is that no ROM be out of reach (unless some type of injury or impingement is present) and that we are able to hold proper posture in all given positions.

I myself, as well as the gym, follow a program known as ROMWOD

(link above gets you a 2 week free trail)

We have it available at the gym, and it works wonders to get in 20-45 minutes of mobility daily and allows you to target the areas that you need help in (hips, lower back, shoulders,ect..). The best part about ROMWOD, is that the modifications are easily obtainable in all poses and they go over breathing work as well (that whole meditation thing you thought about doing after reading earlier in the blog but have since forgotten about…).

Another option is to go to a yoga class focused around athletes, of which we do twice a week (Monday nights at 7:15 and Saturday mornings at 9:00 a.m). Now I know those times might be hard to get to, but it is cheaper than massage and can have many of the same benefits, it just depends on how much time and effort you want to put into your recovery.

The third option, is to spend a couple 5-10 min. sessions a day hanging out in poses to help your problem areas (for me it is my hips, so I hang out in frog, pigeon, seated straddle, etc..). This takes as little time as you blocking off the same time frame each day (as much as you can) and finding that quiet space and sitting in a pose for a little bit, then getting up and going about your day.



Lives are stressful, it happens to all of us. No one person can fully understand another struggles, nor should they be expected to. However, the fact of the matter is that we can all find time during the day that is unused (whether is be 10 minutes or 60 minutes) and use it to take care of ourselves.

Doing this is how you learn to have a long career in lifting. Doing this is how you learn much about yourself through introspection. Doing this is how you become happy and learn to brush the little things off because life is not always that bad.

Doing this is the first step in discovering your true potential to be great.

Carpe Diem

As a child, you are taught a seemingly impossible task, walking. Think about it, the ability to be bipedal is there, but the hours of dedication it takes in order to get upright is astronomical, but eventually, everyone is able to do it.

I mention this because think about how impossible it must seem at the time and yet everyone accomplished it. If this is true, then why do we forget this determination, this ability to dream so big, as we age and replace it with the limitations set by our doubts and by others. We make large goals and aspirations only to let others wash them away with what is masked as “logical” and “realistic goals.”

We step up to the rack, to the pool, to the platform, etc. and we work, and then we say “well, that was good enough.” NO, unless that bar is on the ground, unless that time was beat, until you have tried, failed, and tried again, it was not good enough.

Because think about it…

How can you be hungry for something you have never had a taste of?

You can’t, and if you can’t, then that would make failure the first step toward success.

So as you go into your max out Friday, remember that every rep, every lap, every pull counts and failure is the only thing that can make you hungry for more.

Dream the dreams of the great and let no one limit you from making these a reality.


Breaking Our Backs Yoga Flow

So as many of you may know, our yoga instructor (Kaleigh) has two herniated discs in her low back. Today we’ve decided to post a video that focuses on yoga postures/exercises that can be done to help strengthen and alleviate pain from the low back region, beneficial for those who just have aches and pains or who have bulged or herniated discs.

You’ll notice a lot of flexion and extension (aka bending and arching) of the spine throughout the video. These motions can be difficult (but extremely beneficial) for someone dealing with low back pain, so we encourage everyone to move through them gently and only to the extent that’s comfortable for you. It’s important to never “force” a posture (by pulling yourself deeper into a stretch) as this can exacerbate a bulged or herniated disc. Also, always keep the core tight to protect the spine, especially if attempting any twisting positions (skip these if twisting causes pain). These stretches should NEVER be painful.

Lastly, we are not doctors, so participate at your own risk. 🙂

Music:
Gregory Alan Isakov – The Stable Song
James Arthur – Certain Things


Gym updates:

We will be closed today and tomorrow due to Coach J having some continuing education to attend and myself taking some athletes up to Kansas City to learn some lifting from a pro.

We apologize for the inconvenience, but all classes and the gym will resume normal operations on Monday!

Refining your purpose

Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.

–Pablo Picasso

Do you have a goal? Do you have that off in the distance glimmer that you are clawing your way toward? That goal, that some days it seems only a couple steps out in front and others it is miles away; but no matter the day, you keep peddling, lifting, swimming, and running toward it in hopes of getting just a little closer?

Well, as a gym we also strive for goals like these, those goals that we set at the very beginning, and with the help and support of our community, dedicated coaches, and gym family, we are making leaps and bounds towards them!

grill out


Goal 1: Make a statement with our gym

Bro science is all to real. The basic theory of bro science states “If a bro is large, cut-up, strong, or in general shape, then he/she must therefore know anything and everything there is to know about kinesiology, and therefore must be listened to.” The bad part is that it is not just in one sport, but seen in a numerous amount of sports/coaches that just have no idea what they are talking about.

We pride ourselves in putting everything we can into our athletes, and it has shown. We  strive to provide proven programming (none of this “Well it worked for me, so it will work for you” BS), up-to-date recovery methods, the best nutritional practices (obviously this can be biased, but in our opinion it is the best out there). Basically, we aim to make a statement, a statement that says “If you come to our gym, do everything we tell you to do, and follow our programming, we WILL get you to where you want to be.” We are not trying to re-invent the wheel, instead we focus on providing what has been proven to work, and we do this so the athlete can focus on what is most important – picking up weight, and nothing else.

We make a statement by providing programming to a numerous amount of athletes in all different realms of competitive sports: Running, Weight-lifting, Power-lifting, CrossFit, Triathlons, Cycling, Swimming, Volleyball, etc. A good gym/coach can turn out 1 or 2 all-star athletes, but a great coach can take all athletes to that all-star status, and at Pure Health, I can promise you we are not interested in just being good.

But this is what we have already done, what we aim to become is the premier go-to for competitive athletes or anyone that just wants to get better in the area. We have the long term dream of being “that gym” to go to if you need to get that much better in your sport through strength and conditioning or if you want real results. How do we plan to do this? We plan to do this by providing the best programming we can, keeping our research and knowledge base up-to-date, and cutting out all the nonsense and fancy exercises to stick with what is proven to work!


Goal 2: Community Outreach

We decided at the beginning, that once we were established, our goal was to start giving back to the community that decided to take and chance and give to us, and we have started to make good on that promise.

Each week, on Fridays, we have an “Open gym” policy from 3-7 p.m. This serves two purposes:

  1. It allows anyone from the community to come in and follow one of the many programs on the board to get a safe and effective workout in.
  2. It allows us to showcase all that Pure Health has to offer and helps create the atmosphere we strive to provide day in and day out to all of our athletes (and allows others to be apart of this atmosphere, which is second to none).

Also, this past weekend, we were able to give back just a little bit more by helping the Boys and Girls club with a large charity event they hosted. Our athletes ran the grills with just as much effort as they put into their training sessions (wouldn’t think they would do anything less) and it showed.

In a little over two hours, 4 athletes cooked food for over 900 individuals!

We had an excellent time cooking and hanging out with the BCG staff and other volunteers and look forward to hopefully expanding our outreach with some youth programs and summer programs we are currently in the works on!


Goal 3: Branding

This one is easy, because of our supportive community and athletes that we are surrounded by!

It is awesome to walk around downtown or into a store and see a PHP shirt being worn proudly, and to know that we were able to help that person in some form or fashion, that makes those long days all worth it.

We want anyone and everyone that wears one of our shirts, drinks our coffee, reps one of our stickers, or owns one of our soon to be mugs to wear/rep them with pride and have a sense of belonging and ownership to the gym that they help create (it doesn’t hurt that are logo looks pretty sweet)!


We plan to continue to grow, putting a lot of our current efforts into getting youth programming started up for the summer for the youth athletes, at-risk youth, and lower income youth in the area (so if you read this and know of a way to help, please feel free to email, call, FB message, etc..).

We plan to continue to provide the programming that works, that gives results, and that is backed in science. In doing this, we promise our athletes longevity in their chosen sports and correction of any imbalances they may have acquired due to repetitive sports motions.

And last but not least, we plan to continue to provide a gym and brand that people can not only be proud of, but rep with pride!


As a little added bonus, and since last week was too crazy to get a blog post up, here is a little warm-up video dedicated to all those hip and lower backs that are tight due to the competitive season grind!

 

A Few Rules to Live By

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.

-Winston Churchill

Let me start off by saying that I am, by no means, the end-all and be-all of advise or the epitome of success… However, I do have a couple of rules I try to live by that have lead me to a pretty solid place and continue to help me grow in both my business practices and training (plus, I have yet to “go postal” on anyone, so I just assume they are working).

If I had to draw a picture of success it would kind of look a little like this (know that I drew this in paint and would much rather it look like the 9 circles of hell from Dante’s Inferno, but this will get the idea across).

Success gorge

dantes inferno

The idea is that you need to get from where you are to where you want to be–point A to point B. Everyone starts at a point A, but not everyone gets to their point B. People stop along the way for different reasons, hence the labels in the valley, but ultimately they decide to make camp here and then begin to tell you the reason they have failed (this is illustrated with labels such as “haters,” “life,” “just not my thing,” “didn’t want to injury myself,” etc.). I tend to hear these day after day, usually from slightly older individuals or people  that have decided to stop early and “focus on something else,” but I try and remind myself daily of these couple of points in order to break away from the nay sayers and just do me.


Leave each session knowing nothing else could be done

“If he dies, he dies.”

Why do anything half-assed? If you come into a mid-week session with 40%, give all 40%, and know you did everything you could that session to get just a fraction a percent better during that time frame. Make sure that when you leave each training session, rehab session, or whatever practice is getting you further toward your success; that you did everything in your power during that time frame to improve on your skill, strength, performance, or knowledge base.

If you bust your ass every single day, you do one of two things:

  1. Increase your odds for being successful in your given event, better prepared for this event, and ultimately more confident going into your event.
  2. Even if you do not perform how you want to, you walk away knowing that you did everything you possibly could do and have no regrets.

Stop comparing yourself to others

You are a combination of unique experiences and choices that has put you here in this specific time and place, so how can you compare yourself to the person standing next to you? Every person coming into a gym is going to have different goals, athletic abilities, sport, attitude, drive, strengths, weaknesses, etc.. so there is no easy way to say this athlete is better than this one or vise versa. Now, I do agree that finding a person in the gym nearest your ability and competing against them is always fun, but this needs to be maintained as a “for fun” competition. Make sure that it never becomes detrimental toward either athlete’s development or training.

Focusing less energy on comparison and more energy on bettering yourself day after day will get you further in the long run, both physically and mentally.


Don’t dwell on sessions past

One day at a time this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future, for it has yet to come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful it will be worth remembering. Happiness is a journey.

You came in and had a terrible session, shit happens, but now it is done and you can only move forward. Sure, you can be butt-hurt for the next couple of days about how you did terrible or how you would do things differently, but does that change the outcome? Does it do anything for your mind-set going into other sessions?

This can be the bane of any one person’s existence–dwelling on past events.

For example: Trying to lose weight and having one or two weeks where your diet is not 100%. It happens, you are not a robot and life does sometimes get in the way. However, it is done and over and the only thing we can do now is learn and grow from those weeks and put items into action that will keep us from having the same issues over and over again.

The bottom line:

Do what you can, when you can, to the best of your ability. Look back on it, grow from it, and then let it go (unless you want to dwell on it, but this usually results in hanging out in the valley of the haters and not on top with the successful individuals).


Enjoy what you do

Simply put: Have fun.

There are times where you are going to come in from an absolutely terrible day and the last thing you want to do is be around people. However, remember why you do this, because you enjoy it. I don’t know a whole lot of people that would put their body through the things athletes put themselves through if they did not enjoy some facet of training, or the environment, or the people.

Let the gym be your magical escape (remember, it is like Narnia, with a beefed up Mr. Tumnus). Let it be the place that you go and enjoy yourself around those that are trying to do the same thing you are doing (even if they are on a different training program), to better themselves and be borderline superheros. We are a different breed and need to stick together, because others just don’t understand!


 

Don’t limit yourself

“Our doubts are traitors,
and make us lose the good we oft might win,
by fearing to attempt.”
― William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure

Never tell yourself you can’t. The mind is a powerful thing and as soon as you let that negativity in, it takes a grasp and does not let go. Others may doubt your abilities, hell, even friends may doubt you, but the one person you should always be able to trust in is yourself.


Train both body and mind

We spend hours upon hours each week developing our physical bodies, but how often to we sit to develop our mental ones? Going back to the paragraph above, doubt seeps into the minds of the weak. We MUST have a strong mindset in order to come in day after day and accept some sort of failure in order to come back in and be successful.

The sport you have chosen, actually pretty much everything in life, comes with overcoming failures at some point along your path to greatness. Think about it like this, did you just wake up one day and all of a sudden know how to snatch? Did you walk in the gym and squat 500lbs without going through months, if not years, of training? No, the path was paved with a numerous amount of failed attempts that you got back up from.

The best thing is to take some time and develop a strong mindset. Take time to practice yoga (specifically meditation) to mentally go through the movements, to picture yourself on the podium, to be able to push through small aches and pains that training brings.

Simply, take time to build up your body, but also take time to get your mind right!


Surround yourself with amazing people

Nothing great has ever been accomplished by just one man. We started the gym and we run it, but the athletes and friends that choose to help us out, to trust in our methods, they are the real MVP’s.

If you take the time to really sort out those that drag you down, the people that tell you it is not worth it or that you can’t, and replace them with individuals that truly care, and want to see you succeed, all the other rules above tend to just fall in place.

It is the people that you surround yourself with that ultimately push you toward success.

It too shall pass

Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it. -Lou Holtz

So you came in hot, got strong as sin, making great progress and turning your body in to a brick house. Then one day (or over several days, weeks, and months) Miley rides in on her wrecking ball and jacks everything up, your  house is in shambles and you don’t know what to do.

If you are in the game long enough, an injury or two is going to happen. Could be as little as a strained muscle, a small muscular imbalance, or some bursitis. On the other hand, it could be a herniated disc, a blown ACL, or torn meniscus. The point I want to make is that there are ways around all of these and the quote above holds true even if you are pushing forward at 15% capacity!


Life as you knew it is not over

It might seem like it today and maybe tomorrow, but you will get back to pushing weights and slaying PRs, it is just going to take time.

Injury in general teaches you to appreciate every moment. I’ve had my share of injuries throughout my career. It’s humbling. It gives you perspective. No matter how many times I’ve been hurt, I’ve learned from that injury and come back even more humble. – Troy Polamalu

As we take a step back and begin the process of healing and correction, this is a great time to take it all in, learn from whatever mistakes may have caused this issue, and take this time to begin anew and build back bigger and better than before.

Although it is a pain in the ass to take a couple steps back, it can also be an excellent time to work on your weaknesses and muscular imbalances that may have helped lead to whatever catastrophic event that derailed you from training.

So, that being said, take a couple of steps to ensure that your time down is not wasted:

Do what you can, however you can, and when you can

As a coach, watching someone execute a lift with textbook form is like watching Forest run for the first time, you can’t help but tear up a little and enjoy the moment. That being said, if you not firing on all cylinders, I doubt your putting out all the horse power.

-Do what you can, however you can:

This simply means, if you have dead lifts programmed and it hurts to go all the way to the floor, put it up on some blocks and continue to lift (This is just an example and can be done for any lift). Lets keep whatever range of motion we have strong as we correct the range of motion we currently do not have, this will help us get back to 100% a lot faster  than neglecting the motion all together and spending months trying to get all of the strength back.

I am who I am; no more, no less.

Terry Goodkind

-Do it when you can:

Some injuries take longer than others to heal, this is just fact. Some injuries also take longer amounts of time between sessions to recover from the session before hand. Do not let this deter you from getting in and doing what you can, when you can. You might come in one day and squats just are not going to happen, because your hip injury is flared up and causing some pretty serious pain. So, take that day and do what you can, sticking with your pulls and upper body movements, and come in the next day and try again for squats. Remember, this is a time for healing, not being hard headed and continuing to push through pain (there is a time and place for that), so take it to a point and call it good, allowing your body to get better slowly but surely!


Push to a point and stop

Touched on a little bit in the finishing paragraph above, but thought it might need a little more explanation, because it is not always straight forward.

Rehab is painful, it sucks, and no one wants to do it, but you have to push it to get better. Now I say this with a grain of salt because you want to push to a point that does not re-injure the site of affliction. The best way I can describe it is the difference between the site being sore, uncomfortable, and fatigued (this is okay and is much what your lower back feels like after a solid deadlift session) vs. the site being painful, inflamed (noticeably), or any other alarming affects (such as discoloration).

Although some of us may just be doing corrective exercise or working on a new program the same applies. Say you just started squatting more frequently (4-6 days a week) and are having some knee pain (usually a little patella tendinitis due to increased volume and possible irritation to that area), well if you come in and it is super painful to squat heavy weights, try and remember that this is a marathon to build your body, not a sprint and take the day to work on squat mechanics and technique.

The other case is usually a sore or fatigued lower back due to increased squatting or pulling. Best advice is to pick days that you will go heavy and pick days that you will work on technique and form (better technique tends to lend itself towards increased weights in the long run, so don’t worry, we are still working toward the same goal and will not lose strength in the long run).

Write your injuries in dust, your benefits in marble.
Benjamin Franklin


Find those that can help and do what is necessary to recover

This is the hard part. We know we have an injury, we have stopped doing what aggravates and irritates the area, but now what? The truth is that without doing anything (besides time and rest) most minor injuries will get better with weeks or months of time. Will you get the same injury again, most likely yes. Did you learn anything from this injury or correct the underlying issue, most likely no. Wouldn’t you instead like to see that same injury cut in half and be able to benefit from it and come back better than before (if you say no, I don’t really know how to talk with you)…

Find those that can help:

-Look for those professionals that are good at what they do and can lend your body the help it needs. Look for people that deal in:

  • Chiropractic services (Thankful that we have one on staff)
    • Taping
    • Dry needle
    • Acupuncture
    • Muscle Stim.
    • Cross frictional Massage
    • Adjustments
    • Cupping
    • Ultrasound
  • Massage Therapy (deep tissue or myofascial, this is a massage with a purpose)
  • Corrective Exercise (We can get you started down that path)

Look for someone that uses result driven therapies to help you get you to where you need to be. Look for a professional that does not try to sell you some B.S or tells you only they can fix your aches and pains and look for someone that gives you what you need, when you need it, and teaches you how to help yourself prevent the problem in the future. Know that every single person is different and not all therapies work the same on each individual so keep that in mind while trying out different modalitites, but also remember this when someone says “This works for everyone”, because if they say that, you might want to rethink using their practice or gym.

Do what you can for yourself:

-This simply means do everything you can (that is not outside your expertise) to help yourself recover faster and better:

  • Muscle stim. if you have it (Compex and other companies provide guides to help with pad placement)
  • Foam roll and mobilize regularly (This will help prevent injury or help with muscular imbalances)
  • Heat/Ice when necessary (Especially with muscle strains, heat is a great way to bring blood flow to the effected areas)
  • Muscle Soak: This is just a nice relaxing way of heating that area and allows us to relax a little more than just a heating pad
  • NSAIDS: Check with a doctor prior to taking, but this can be a great way to reduce inflammation and pain in given areas
  • Topical Analgesics: Help with pain and swelling (Rock Sauce is a fan favorite)

 

These are just some of the ways that can help produce a faster recovery time for certain injuries. As you go to different professionals, they might also suggest other modalities to try during your time of recovery as well as give you certain stretches and exercises to do in your off time.


And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”
― Haruki Murakami

Hopefully, if you have an injury, this post will help steer you in the direction you need to be going. The goal with injury is to heal as fast as possible, but do so in an well thought out, effective way, that lends itself to bringing you back at 110-120% of your previous capabilities. At Pure Health we strive to provide this in the corrective exercises we program into our custom programming for our athletes, in hopes that it will help imbalances they would otherwise acquire in their given sport.

Bottom line:

Train hard, Recover HARDER

 

 

 

 

 

So now what….

My attitude is that if you push me towards something that you think is a weakness, then I will turn that perceived weakness into a strength.

–Michael Jordan

So you are in a gray area. You have had your first round of competitions; be it power lifting, weight lifting, or the Crossfit Open, and you did as well as you could have (some being happier with performance than others). After competition, you enter this gray area, this void of not knowing where to go and what to do with yourself. If you did poorly, you look back and think “maybe it is time to give up and begin my career in step aerobics and mastery of the shake weight”, but fret not, because we have a couple of tips that will keep you away from antique fitness trends and suggestive exercise and keep you rollin’ on the gains train!


Make your weaknesses your strengths

This applies to all forms of competition, but can be seen the most in the variety of movements presented in the Crossfit Open. There will always be movements thrown in to the Open that you are not prepared for, that is the beauty of it, but being prepared for anything and well rounded is the key. So, whether you did awesome or you did poor, here are a couple of tips to start implementing now, so you are not scrambling three weeks before a competition trying to improve on skills.

  • Practice the movements you could not do
    • Great example is the bar muscle-ups, lots of people cannot do them. My advice, take a step back and break down the movement in order to benefit both strength and the skill portion of the muscle up. A couple of times a week practice your kip timing (this can be done after training sessions) and start working on your strict pull-ups (slowly getting to where they are as close to chest-to-bar as possible). If you do these two things, you end up not only improving your bar muscle up, but you also become stronger in the pull-up movement (and all movements associated with it) and your kipping mechanics!
  • Increase your strength
    • This should be a no-brainer, but kind of blends with the rest of this blog post. Take a little bit of time and go through some strength cycles (with emphasis on the clean and jerk and snatch) because these movements can always be better, and the better we are with the mechanics the easier 30 of the movement is to string together (especially at lighter weights).
  • Get the coaching you need
    • If you are looking to improve upon certain skills, you might need to look past your current coach and look to a specialist (and that is okay). There are individuals that specialize in  certain areas that will help improve your game over just general coaching:
      • Need to get better at gymnastics, ask a gymnastics coach. Need to get better at Olympic-style movements, ask a Weight Lifting coach. Need to get better at the Power Lifts… You get the idea.
      • Side note:  Make sure they are a reputable coach and not just someone that looks the part or can do the movement, because often times this does not actually mean they can teach it right or even know what they are talking about (sorry, just a pet peeve of mine).

All of this to say: Take your results from competition and look at them, look at how you did , look at your strengths and at your weaknesses and then plan accordingly. Build up your weaknesses and continue to improve on your strengths. Make this a long term goal, so that at your next competition you see progress and how far you have come in just a couple of months!


Take time to correct imbalances

In training for competition sometimes we come across some aches and pains that we tend to overlook (these are usually called injuries, but most of us tend to avoid that word like the plague). So that being said, after your competition is over, and you have pushed through these “aches and pains” for only God knows how long, this would be a perfect time to step back and incorporate some corrective exercises into your routine that might help to heal these “issues.”

The way I look at it is this: The time between competitions needs to be used to reflect upon performance during that competition and make a plan on how to get better. To get better, we need to have less obstacles in our way, and one major obstacle that can keep us from progressing (and tends to push us in the opposite way) is injury or those “aches and pains.”

So, to minimize time needed to correct these issues, you can do a couple of things both in and out of program that will tend to result in a better rounded athlete with fewer injuries:

Mobilize

-Bottom line, you have to do this daily and target your problem areas, they are not just going to fix themselves.

Auxiliary Work 

-Program it in, make sure it works on your weaknesses (whatever they may be), and don’t skip it, because if you do, it will do you no good.

Recovery

-This is just as important as the training itself. Make sure your recovery game is on point and plentiful! 

Nutrition

-Eat like shit, your going to train like shit. Find a reputable source that is able to program macros for you that will keep you in the training game while keeping that body fat down!


Spend some time back in the basics

Check your ego at the door and take yourself back to the basics. This usually means no awesome 1RM competition style PR’s, but rather brutal complexes and high volume, hypertrophy style training sessions to help build up confidence under the bar, strength, and endurance.

It is not the most fun you can have in the gym and sometimes you have to remind yourself why you do these (especially after being gassed from a 10RM back squat and feeling like you just ran 5 miles), but this time serves 2 purposes:

  • It makes us actually stronger and more confident. It allows us to build up a huge engine so we are able to go on to triples, doubles, and singles with the confidence and strength to move huge weights, leading to big PR’s,  better competition numbers, and an overall great time in and out of the gym.
  • Second, it gives us a mental break. It gives us a chance to relax and not worry about coming in and trying to beat the number from last week and rather work on technique, form, and just managing to get all reps in.

So, I know sometimes this first 4-6 weeks back after competition is not your ideal training days, but in the long run it will reap bigger rewards, so keep your head down and grind on through!


Have fun and enjoy life

If you have trained for specific events, you know that putting your head down and grinding out training sessions day after day takes a pretty big toll both mentally and physically. This is why you have to take time between competitions to step back and have a little fun with your training.

Simply put; take some time off and enjoy your training. After each competition, I give my athletes at least 3-4 days (if not a week, depending on how long they have been on program) to take a little time and do some workouts and training days just for fun. This might mean you spend a couple of days hitting some bro sessions to look all beefed up in your tank or a couple of days doing some HIIT training that you might not get to do when you are on program for a power lifting meet. The idea is to come into the gym and say; “What do I want to do today?” and then do it, letting the mind and body recoup for a little bit of time before getting back to that grind.


Updates:

Just a couple of gym updates:

We have another 20lbs of coffee coming into the gym today, so if you are running low, go ahead and stock up because it will go fast!

If you ordered a T-shirt or Tank top, please try and pick it up so we know how many we have extra to give out to others that might want to sport the gear.

Check out the updated price schedule HERE!

 

Mindset, Atmosphere, and Perspective

Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still

–Henry David Thoreau

In the past couple of weeks, the gym atmosphere has been lit on fire. Despite work volume increasing ten fold (literally going from singles to 10RM), everyone comes in to still try and hit something they never have before, and although they have to grind through this weird “weightlifting cardio,” they still have an awesome attitude and uplift each other. Which brings me to the title of this blog post, if you want to have a good time doing what you love doing, you need to really sit down and think about these three words above:

Mindset, Atmosphere, and Perspective


 

Mindset

This can make or break the best of athletes. It can be the difference between a new PR and coming in 10kg/22lbs under your all time best on any given lift. The highlight of my day is when I hear that some of our athletes are travelling for work and the first thing they ask me is “Do you know a gym around that area I can go to, and if so, what should I do”. This is the mindset you have to have if you truly want to get better in a reasonable amount of time.

Aches and pains are part of the game (saying this I am fully aware that certain pain should not be pushed through and should be met with some type of medical attention, but this is not the pain I am talking about). You have to be able to look past your soreness (because guess what, we are all sore and using that as an excuse is not an option) and look past your minor aches, to get in the gym and hammer that next session out. If you think taking a day to rest it will get you better in the long run, check your mindset, assess it, think about whether you are incapable of moving sore or you are just “not feeling it sore”, and if it is the later, get your ass in the gym and train!

This video was taken at 6:30 a.m, before work, and before the other two training sessions for the day. This is a goal, she practices when she can and when she will have the most energy to practice it. She uses progressions to get to her ultimate goal and holds it for as long as she can. This is the mindset to have going in to any athletic endeavor. Do what you can, when you can, and don’t let excuses get in your way.

However, a lot of mindset depends on the next highlight of this blog post…


Atmosphere

Does your gym breed an atmosphere of excellence or good enough? When you are critiqued by a coach, do you take it personally or with open arms to get better? Do you push each other to do more, or because it was a small PR are you met with excitement and done for the day?

Don’t mean to bash any single persons PR or accomplishment, but let me put it in perspective. Say you hit a 2kg/roughly 5lb PR without a struggle, do you stop there because it was a PR? I can tell you that I will be giddy with excitement at any of my athletes that PR, but then I will tell them to put more weight on (if it is the scenario above) because when it says 3RM, it should not be a smooth ride on all reps.

No one that was great ever got there by training in a gym with a complacent atmosphere.

The goal of the gym: This should be a place to come and channel all of your angry, frustration, excess pent-up sitting all day at a desk energy into slinging around weights and making something beautiful out of all this energy :

Think Patrick Swayze in Ghost except instead of a pot, we mold 300lb cleans and 500lb deadlifts together and in a more HR friendly way…

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Bottom line: The atmosphere in the gym, if electric, will always lead you to a new PR, better consistency, or the ability for anyone to enjoy their time training in the gym!

 

 


 

Perspective

Is your glass half empty or half full? Do you look at the hand you were dealt and say “poor me, I lose”, or ” I am going to bluff the shit out of this hand until I win”? Do you blame others for your failure or do you take your failure in stride and look to improve on it? Perspective is what keeps you in the game for the long haul, this is what defines you and makes you an athlete and person others look up to and want to become. No one remembers the players or athletes that immediately accuse others of cheating after they lose, they look up to the players or athletes that say (no matter what the circumstances) “It was a good fight and I will take this as a learning experience and improve on my weaknesses”.

Great example is our yoga instructor, Kaleigh. As some people know, she has a very mysterious back/hip nerve aliment (not really sure what it is, but it is not fun) that does not allow her to support very much weight on her spine. Now, being part owner of a performance gym, you might be able to see where this is a little upsetting coming in to the gym and not being able to perform lifts, not due to lack of will power or trying, but due to not physically being able to lift the weight. She could has easily stopped working out, stopped trying, and stopped lifting and very few people would have blamed her. Instead, she looked at her predicament, assessed it, and does what she can. While here lifts are obviously not putting on serious numbers, she has probably the best mobility in the gym, is improving her yoga game by leaps and bounds, and has recently started training (with a strapping young trainer) at another gym a couple of times a week that has machine equipment to help her continue to gain muscle mass without the issue of not being able to walk for varying amounts of time.

That is all it takes; look at your situation and think:

If I can’t do much, what CAN I do to help my situation along? If I have an injury or weakness in my game, how CAN I fix it or what CAN I do to make it better? This is the type of perspective all of our athletes have, this is what we choose to instill in anyone that comes to Pure Health.


 

Updates on the gym:

We have around 5-6lbs of coffee left for our initial run, after this run the price will increase slightly, so if you want to stock up make sure and grab some while it is left.

If you ordered a T-shirt or Tank top or just want one (we ordered extra for those that did not hear about the pre-order) we have those available at the gym. The 3/4 sleeve shirts should be coming in around mid-April, and we will keep you updated.

Annnnd for you added viewing pleasure, a little ankle stability yoga practice (just make sure and repeat on the other side of the body)! This is great for anyone with an issue in ankle mobility, or ankle stability issues in the jerk!

 

 

Be the change you wish to see

Live as if you were to die tomorrow, learn as if you were to live forever

–Mahatma Gandhi

Post have not been flying off the shelves as usual, but that is not to say that Pure Health is not booming! We have had an amazing start to 2016 from increasing our reach to athletes in the surrounding areas, starting our nutrition services (and seeing great results so far), taking our powerlifters to a state meet (in which we set state records, broke all types of PR’s, qualified for national events, and had a fantastic time doing it), rolled out a brand of coffee (and custom mugs coming in May), and last but not least traveled to the Mash Elite compound to learn from the best.

However, after visiting the Mash Compound and sitting back and observing the best in the business at work, I wanted to share a little of how we plan to get better and put our selves at the top of the performance game in the area!


Size does not matter

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Before you get all “ummm, where is this headed”, don’t worry, I am keeping it G rated. The Mash compound is a small gym made up of a few squat racks, loads of bars and plates, and rows of platforms, yet they produce arguably the best up and coming lifters in america.

So why do I mention this?

Yes, if a building that was in the right spot for the right price comes along we will snag it up, but for the time being the size of our building does not define what we strive to produce with in. If anything, it brings us closer together as athletes and coach, allowing us to work in with each other and produce a little competition with each other. The point is, the equipment and space can never replace atmosphere, programming, and passion.

The biggest tree does not always produce the best fruit


Put effort into both elite and novice athletes

 

The most eye opening experience happened while in North Carolina. Coach Mash, while videoing some of the best young athletes in the country, finished with them and then came over and went through and corrected some technical issues on my snatch.

This, as coaches, is what we need to strive to become. We need to put the same amount of effort into our novice lifters as we do in our advanced lifters. Know that novice lifters need more attention to large movements, as they are just starting their journey down this road. They will need different cues, they will need form broken down, they will need in-depth explanation on what to do , how to do it, and sometimes step by step instructions.

On the opposite hand, you need to pay attention to your advanced lifters. They are there for your guidance because they believe in what you teach them (or sometimes just need a place to lift). So make sure you are giving them the cues they need, even though they don’t need as much as the other 90% of the gym, they still can benefit from hands on coaching and feedback!


Create a fun, competition atmosphere that makes a statement

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The best part of the Mash Compound is the atmosphere.

Does not matter how big your gym is if the atmosphere is live, your gym will continue to produce awesome athletes.

Make your atmosphere fun, exciting, and competitive.

Cheer on the athletes that lift 100lbs and the athletes that lift 400lbs, as both are an accomplishment and a PR is a PR.

Bring Powerlifters, Weightlifters, Crossfitters, ect.. all under one roof to max out together and push each other to become better in each others given sport!

As we all know, not every day can be a good day and lifting or competitive sports. There will be days that you do amazing things and there will be days where you struggle to hit your minimums. However, if you can come into a gym that breeds an atmosphere that is exciting and competitive, I can guarantee that the days you enjoy yourself and PR will far outweigh the days that suck!


Coach smart and effective and continue to learn

The team we have is amazing! We went to competition, had a great time (regardless of outcomes), and brought back a ton of knowledge from our meet. However, this could not have been done without a couple of key items:

You have to coach smart:

Everyone is different, everyone reacts different to failure, pressure, and success. Make sure that you know your team both as athletes and as people and know how they will react to certain situations.

You have to coach effective:

Sometimes it is not about PR’s. As a coach, you always want to see your athletes do well and hit big numbers. However, remember that consistency is key in any sport, and know that your athlete will gain worlds from having a fantastic meet vs. going 3 for 9!

Continue to learn:

If you think you have it all figured out, you might as well stop while you are ahead. In this game, if you want to be the best, you have to learn from the best. This does not mean that you need 50 letters behind your name, a dozen certifications, and use large words to display your concepts. This simply means that you need to travel about and pick up key items from some of the best and bring them back to your athletes. The best thing I heard all weekend was:

If you can go to a seminar and learn just one thing that makes a difference in your coaching, then it was worth every penny

–Travis Mash


 

This is what we strive to become at Pure Health. A gym that is focused on all levels of athlete. A gym that is focused on creating and maintaining an atmosphere that can take you out of your normal life and transport you into a fun, exciting, and competitive realm (think Narnia, but with a beefed up Mr. Tumnus). This gym should feel like a home away from home, a place to go and grind your daily frustration into something worth while. Unlike many other gyms, know that we are not in this game for the money. The hours of programming, coaching, emails, and text are only worth it if we are able to produce a change in our athletes lives, then and only then have we done our job!