Can You Doubt Your Doubt?


“At advanced levels of Wholistic Fitness™,  whatever we are ‘good at’ must be set aside, for there is little learning within our natural skill set.”   to this day, i force myself to do endurance sports because i suck at them…my natural skill set athletically lie within the kinesthetic sports such as alpine skiing, martial arts, climbing, racquet sports, etc. pulling some g’s by www.jamesqmartin.com at Arizona Snowbowl a few years ago.

The work of wholeness requires a true practice of Warriorism. The work, practice, and aim of wholeness is balance.  The target of wholeness is seemingly ironic; it’s all about being gut-honest about our weaknesses, negative tendencies, and habituated patterns and then doing something about them.  Consistent, innermost verve must be called upon again and again to transform our weaknesses and imbalances into strengths.   At advanced levels of Wholistic Fitness™,  whatever we are ‘good at’ must be set aside, for there is little learning within our natural skill set.  Doing things we are ‘good at’  fosters only weeds of pride, arrogance, and egoic satiation.  The real juice of our personal and spiritual growth often requires focus on our weak links.  For some of us who choose to study and practice the artful science of Wholistic Fitness™,  this may mean decades spent in opening our hips and other tight muscles.  For others it means cultivating the vigor for endurance mastery. Other common weak links in personal fitness lie within the Strength Training, Meditation, and Nutritional realms.  Nearly all of us however, experience our weakest links in staying ‘awake’ within our daily living.

yoga artsy

“For some of us who choose to study and practice the artful science of Wholistic Fitness™,  this may mean decades spent in opening our hips and other tight muscles.” self photo during a morning Practice of my Wing’d Angel Hip and Shoulder sequence.

When it comes to ignoring our strengths and focusing on our weaknesses, few Warriors choose to remain on such a brilliantly difficult battlefield.  Why?  Because we doubt.  We doubt that we have what it takes to destroy our conditioned, often addicted attachments.  We’re all addicted*…we are all attached.  It’s just by matters of degrees.  So, when it comes to cultivating wholeness,  we doubt that we can ever overcome our weak tendencies and imbalances, so we cave into the ego and continue plodding along doing that what we are able to do with some degree of enjoyment and success.

Doubt is a most potent poison of self-cultivation. When we doubt our capacity to achieve or be something more whole-some,  we whittle away our precious stores of Trust, Faith, and Self-Confidence.   For athletes, the most powerful ally we can bring to a Start Line is confidence…confidence borne from countless hours of training and inner work.  The weekend before last, i ran one of – if not the – nation’s highest (13,066′) half marathon’s…the Kendall Mountain Half Marathon.  Common to my Pathway choice (wholeness instead of sport specificity),  in the days before the race i doubted my ability to race the event.   I had only ran 7 times this summer and between my father recently passing, lots of appropriate yet draining time and energy spent traveling and consoling my suddenly-widowed mom (they had been together over 65 years) and the chronic intensity of raising a chi-filled 3 year-old at my age (49),  i found myself in a quagmire of doubt as i prepared to Toe The Start Line, etched in cornmeal beneath a mountain  soaring into the vaulted canopy of my beloved San Juan sky.

Arriving at the Start Line and warming up, i found a beautiful empowering breath.  Through attention on my breathing, i re-discovered an emerging Confidence, and i used it to ease my Doubt. Doing so, brought to mind an odd interaction i once had with of a famous professional skeptic.  You may have seen him on tv.  At that time, this fellow made his living going around the world and ‘disproving’ phenomena, miracles, and the such.  He was quite proud that he did not believe in anything that cannot be “scientifically proven.”   Honestly?   i did not enjoy spending time around his energy. i came to know him through the ultra racing  world.  He was an ultra cyclist. As is not uncommon among ultra athletes,  obsessiveness dripped off him like oil off a busted piston.   I was a keen and easy target for his scientific sterility.  “New agey, mumbo jumbo without discernible principle,” is i think what he once called my lifework of Wholistic Fitness™.

Not once did he ever comment on my race results in physiologically diverse sport performances using those WF principles which he so quickly dismissed.  Rather he enjoyed broadcasting his doubt at my Teachings and and myself.  Only once did i take Time to engage him.  It went something like this,

“Ilg, you talk all about chi and prana and this and that, yet for whatever you teach, I can disprove it.”

“You know what?  You are always Doubting my path without ever even practicing it.   You have not even come to one of my yoga classes.  So, here is what i Doubt;  i doubt you can even touch your toes and you are scared stiff of doing something you are not good at.”

“That is beside my point.”

“No it’s not.  You are a professional Doubter, right?  If  i Doubt you can touch your toes that should be right in your area of professional expertise. Tell you what, i’ll continue this intellectual discussion with you, only if we speak while in Yogi Squat…the most common stance of humans across the world,” i said, slipping down into a yogi squat. 

His razor sharp eyes were trying to energetically ‘go into’ me and dismantle my words.   Yet,  it was he that fidgeted, sensing full well in that one moment, his lifelong addiction to sport-specific and unconscious posture.  His hips, achilles, ankles, and feet were so brittle and tight, the moment the Doubter began to mimic my descent onto his haunches, he very nearly fell onto his face.

Like so many “experts” that attempt to understand WF intellectually, i had thrown him out at First Base of Wholistic Fitness™; Conscious Breath and Posture.

“Let me ask you something,” i continued sensing a competitive kill,  “If you are such a grand Scientist at Skepticism,
why don’t you devote a tv segment of your show to you Doubting your Doubt?”

Many moons have since come and passed since our little engagement.  Last i heard from him,  he was injured (‘no doubt’) yet remains mired on his whirring planet of professional Skepticism.  Like so many from his HeadFirst Tribe,  his addiction to Sport Specificity and ignorance toward Wholeness had caught up with him…like so many others.

The moral of this Teaching?
If we are strong enough to doubt our strength to do something are we not as equally strong to doubt our doubt?

May today we begin to doubt our doubt…

head bowed from the humble helm,

el coache

*If you are reading this and think you are not addicted?  Let me ask you if you brushed your teeth this morning.  You probably did.   You probably also brushed your teeth while addicted to standing and using your dominant hand instead of consciously squatting close to Mother Earth, appreciating the water, the 10,000 Beings which delivered that water to your faucet, and you probably did not use your Non Dominant Hand to brush your teeth, did you?  Was your mind focused with Gratitude and conscious brushing?  If not, where was your mind?  Jumping around among random thoughts?

6 Responses to “DL Most Popular – Are You Strong Enough To Doubt Your Doubt?”

  1. py says:

    Om So Ti

  2. Laura Pendell says:

    Hey Coach,
    Every once in a while I read something like this
    and I remember all over again
    why you are still my teacher
    and I am still your student.
    Head bowed to you,

  3. Monty Mason says:

    Thanks EC, Timely!

  4. eyt :() says:


  5. eyt :() says:

    makes even better second third fourth…reading: to (re)member to ‘doubt the doubt’ and just ‘do the do’…every time.
    om so ti /\

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