Here is a rundown on all details for April 2022: Breathe
By 25 years old my prefrontal cortex was fully developed, whoot whoot, but my body could still absorb all sorts of mistakes, which made me dumber than I should have been. Sleep was easy, recovery was easy, getting stronger and faster and more lethal was just a matter of training more, and more, and more. That’s easy if you’re dedicated to the cause. Then one day I got injured in a parachuting fall and had to recover to get back in the fight, or else I could look forward to fighting the wars from a keyboard, or not at all, which was not the path I chose.
So I started doing yoga at a time when the Marlboro Man and the Special Forces soldiers who invaded Afghanistan epitomized masculinity to me. I told nobody about my stretching challenges, as I called them to myself. I would routinely compete against the people in class, all of them women, even though that’s exactly what the instructor told us not to do. I pretty much never won, which was humiliating. But these yoga classes became my introduction to breathwork, and structured recovery, and warm-up, and if I was competing against myself, I was actually winning. I felt I had uncovered a great secret.
In the last few years, I’ve seen the tip of the spear sharpen in the community with a lot of techniques that would be described as touchy feely stuff not that long ago: eating salads, not smoking, focusing on holistic health. Guys are doing yoga, and breathwork, and mindfulness training in an attempt to become better warriors, which is always the goal. The surest way to evolve and obliterate old stereotypes is to win with a new technique. Once you exhaust your natural abilities and safe doctrines of the day, there you are and you have to learn how to sharpen your own sword.
Right this second, put your shoulders back and lift your chin up and take the three deepest, slowest breaths that you can, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Drag it out and make sure to exhale absolutely everything.
You feel more relaxed, right? Stress gets to all of us, this place is hard. Self-control is not magic, it’s a disciplined response we call a tactical pause when your first reaction is to charge. And we need to practice this kind of restraint, this kind of hard thing. Not just physical challenges, but mental ones. I promised you warrior poet shit as part of GORUCK Tribe. We all take on average 25,000 breaths per day. The better we do at those, the better we sleep, the better we recover, the better we feel.
Enjoy the book this month, Breath, and send me a direct note anytime on IG with any changes you made to your life, or weird challenges you’ve accepted. I’ll be your accountability if you’re mine. I am going to take a breathwork course (freediver style) which terrifies me, and I’ve started sleeping with a small piece of tape on my lips every night. It’ll make more sense when you read the book.
Embarrassing? Yeah, a little. But this is the best I’ve slept and felt in a long time. The poet was right, and the warrior wins.
7 “Double Push Up” Get Ups with Ruck On
Hold Water in your mouth throughout the entire workout like Apache Run.
Lori Piestewa was the first Native American woman KIA. Ambushed in the attack where Jessica Lynch was taken POW. Her surname is derived from a Hopi language root meaning “water pooled on the desert by a hard rain”; thus, Piestewa (Hopi: [piˈɛstɛwa]) translates loosely as “the people who live by the water.”
For this month’s Rucking challenge we will go heavier with #45/#30 or, if that’s too much, scale it back to #30/#20 or slick (no weight).
- 3x 1 mile “Apache” rucks. Hold a mouth full of water and breathe only through your nose. Time each 1-mile ruck to measure your progress. If you swallow the water, start the ruck over or treat yourself to 1,000 burpees.
- Ruck 1x 12 miler for time.
Dedicate 5 minutes a day to a breathing practice/meditative/box breathing technique.
There is nothing more essential to our health and well-being than breathing: take air in, let it out, repeat 25,000 times a day. Yet, as a species, humans have lost the ability to breathe correctly, with grave consequences. In Breath, journalist James Nestor travels the world to discover the hidden science behind ancient breathing practices to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it.
Modern research is showing us that making even slight adjustments to the way we inhale and exhale can:
– jump-start athletic performance
– rejuvenate internal organs
– halt snoring, allergies, asthma and autoimmune disease, and even straighten scoliotic spines
None of this should be possible, and yet it is. Drawing on thousands of years of ancient wisdom and cutting-edge studies in pulmonology, psychology, biochemistry and human physiology, Breath turns the conventional wisdom of what we thought we knew about our most basic biological function on its head.
“You Got This.”
President, GORUCK Nation