42 minutes into it and feeling the CHI!!!!!!

ahhhh, finally! The First Snow of the season graces
my Temple Training Grounds on the Sacred Peak! You know what that means? Yeah baby; your ol’ coach-who-still-does high tailed it ASAP to the Arizona SnowBowl the very minute the road was open in order to practice Zazen Mind Merged Into A HeartRate of 181+!

Ahhhh! THIS IS MY STYLE OF YOGA!!! MOUNTAIN YOGA! UNION OF BODY, BREATH, AND SPIRIT!!!!! Thank you Father Sky for this Blessed Snow Event!

After two months of pretending to be a runner*, now, finally, my upper body strength can actually help, instead of hinder, me! Running up high, steep peaks requires a surprising amount of upper body strength to keep the biomechanics of an upright torso from sinking into the pelvic girdle and thus dwindling drastically needed hip flexion and extension. Where there is no inner upliftment, the diaphragms of the body collapse. When this happens, instead of the mountain runner churning like a locomotive upwards with pneumatic force from efficient, consistent oxygenation and pranic infusion, there is an organic collapse of all physiologic systems**. Once that happens? Mental vulnerability becomes a dread cairn for spiritual flaccidity. This notion of balanced upper and lower body strength for all endurance racers is what I coach in the The Infamous HP Prop Workout, and in my Sport SnowShoeing Basics DVD as well as writing about in my
Coach Ilg’s Column at USSSA. Throughout the past quarter century, I’ve stuffed an awful lot of world class Tools in your Shed; it’s just up to you to learn how to use these Proven Tools.

nearing timberline, my Heart Rate still hammered and my legs are feeling like fried pork rinds; gotta LOVE IT! Oh, one sketchy thing about cranking this type of yoga? Gotta play dodgeball with these meteorites as you break the 11,000′ barrier!
For any athlete who is still questioning the efficacy of Sport Snowshoeing as an ‘off season’ pursuit? Uh, time to listen up to us Winter Athletes and get a clue! My Heart Rate data from yesterday:

Ascent: 1’03” Peak Heart Rate: 181

Descent 43″- Peak Heart Rate: 173 (yup; dat’s Sport SnowShoeing baby! Ain’t no cushy ‘glide’ or pansy-ass ‘coasting’ in this sport!)

Roundtrip Average Heart Rate; 158

Total Calories: 1751

Focus Factor: 10 out of 10

Mantra Repetitions: countless (Merit Earned!)

Fun and Beauty Factor: 10 out of 10

Cost: FREE!

What’s not to LOVE!??!

at my turn-around summit, 11,500′; thanks to WF Training, i felt superior all the way up, as if i was in my best snowshoeing shape from last winter already, though, admittedly, i felt as dizzy with delight as i look in this picture. you can see timberline just in back of me.

not quite the top of the world,
however, definitely the top of Arizona!
looking south toward Sedona, feeling pity for all my cycling bros that feel the need to leave high carbon footprints to train there during winter instead of doing HP Yoga and Sport Snowshoeing!!! oh well…their loss…and, sadly, Mother Earth’s and Father Sky’s loss as well. Athletes, especially sport specfic ones, can be awfully insensitive and selfish. That is why i Love WF so much; it teaches the Middle Path of Balance, Compassion, and Skillful Means (power).

now…the DESCENT! this is my go-to ski run when the Ski Area is open; White Lightning. it’s narrow, holds the best snow, and is black diamond steep. today however, it’s ilg that sets the First Tracks on this beautiful slice of white heaven! Running down through deep powder like this forces tremendous neural demands upon the fast twitch musculature so as to not fall face first and turn yourself into an avalanche. such high-speed strength endurance and agility is completely unique to Sport SnowShoeing; utterly fatiguing considering the 2,300′ descent ahead of me!

Oh, what a wonderful,
time of the year!

May this Chi Hit play judo with any lethargy in your cells today and inspire you
to get out and DO THE DO!

head bowed,
the mountain yogi

* thanks to WF Training, my ‘pretend running’ got me a Third Place Overall in the Flagstaff Mountain 10k and a 4th place AG in the Soulstice Trail Race! thank you WF!

** In fact, the most ‘sore’ my biceps ever have been was after my top twenty finish in the 18-mile 1996 World Snowshoe Championships in Twin Lakes, Colorado which required us to basically run up Mt. Elbert and back through fresh powder (see DANCE OF THE SNOW SERPENT in my book, The Winter Athlete

all photos taken by my Verizon cell phone courtesy of my frozen, shaking hand!

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