The ABCs of Sports Nutrition

A is for Action, the third and final step in my three step personal plan for success. Without action nothing gets done. Action completes the sequence. It's what separates the wheat from the chaff. We can dream and think till the cows come home, but in the final analysis the work has to be done.

We have to DO, but of course we have to know exactly what we're doing and why, because it's part of our plan, conceived by thought and justified by reason.

B is for Blessings, start counting them right now. Be thankful for everything you have and appreciate even the smallest of things. Be thankful if your body is well and whole and works. Look around you and think how good we have it in this day and age and remember, no matter how bad it is, it can always be worse!

C is for Clarity, Clarity of Vision, Clarity of Purpose and Clarity of Plan. Step one in my three step personal plan for success. To accomplish anything in life worthwhile we must be absolutely clear about what we want and why.

When we are clear, no one can intimidate us, no one can scare us and no one can change us. We are unstoppable, like a massive freight train flying down the track at lightning speed. When we are clear we don't need confirmation from anyone, because we are on a mission driven from within from pure desire.

D is for Discipline. To get anything done means we have to put up with the least enjoyable part of the job. Maybe it's accounting, or sweeping the floor or getting to the gym, but discipline is crucial. We expect it from our children and we use it to train our animals, do you think we are any different? Sometimes discipline means reframing from having a good time the night before an important meeting so we can be at our best or sometimes it's as simple as delaying gratification in the moment, like not eating butter tarts when tempted because they're loaded with everything we know is bad.

E is for Exercise, that strange behavior shunned by the world but embraced by those who understand what it takes to be really well. Exercise is planned, structured and calculated. It is progressive and designed with detail. Its purpose is to create and maintain excellent physical fitness, one of the greatest weapons we have against fatigue, weakness and disease.

F is for Food, fresh whole organic food, the stuff that humans evolved from, the good stuff. Real whole food comes from nature, not a can or carton wrapped in plastic. We derive the elements we need to rebuild ourselves and replace dying cells from the food we eat, where else do you think our resources come from? Have the courage not to conform to the masses when it comes to the food you carefully select. Take pride in the quality of the food you buy and eat, think of it as the world's best investment, you are after all, prime real estate.

G is for Growth, growth of mind, growth of spirit and growth of muscle. Remember if you're not growing you're shrinking. The catabolic forces of life are real and affect everyone constantly. If you are not consciously maintaining an anabolic flux through training to preserve lean mass as you age, then gravity, oxidation and entropy will take it from you slowly but surely, guaranteed! And don't take it personally! We're all trapped on the same planet and subject to the same natural forces, but we can take them on with a positive attitude and resist them with strength and vitality.

H is for Health, Good health - the ultimate state to strive for, achieve and maintain. Health is a state of mind and body, but it comes from the inside, so check your thoughts. To be well we have to think, eat and live wellness. Where do you get your mental protein? What are you reading, who are you listening to? Optimum health is its own reward, especially as we age through the continuum of time. Health is a four letter word, spelled W-O-R-K. Health is Wealth, which would you prefer, to have less money and more health or more money and less health. Optimum health is really a balance of the two.

I is for Intensity, perhaps the most important component of exercise, but it must be controlled. Without intensity there is zero growth hormone release in the gym, the hormone that keeps us young, lean and strong. Intensity relates to how hard you push or pull, not how long. The smart trainer understands that weight-training should be intense but brief. Without intensity you'll never reach your potential.

J is for Journey, or what I call the CHI Journey of Self-Discovery. The more we know about ourselves, how we function and interact biologically with our environment the better. Self-awareness is power over ignorance. As we journey through time and space we need to collect data on who we are, where we came from and what makes us tick. The more we know about ourselves the less dependant we will be on the medical machine.

K is for Knowledge, which must be acquired through education and applied with diligence and wisdom. Knowledge is useless without application, but when applied correctly makes us a force to be reckoned with. Knowledge fulfills the requirement for step two of my three step personal plan for success. When you know what you want, you have to find out how to get it. After this step you take action.

L is for Law, the law of nature, the law of health and the law of life. Respect the law and you have half a chance, deny the law and you're suffering will be great. No one can plead ignorance before the law, we are all charged with knowing the rules of the game. No one is above the law.

M is for Motivation, the ultimate key to achievement. Motivation is a function of incentive born out of necessity and desire. It is fueled by enthusiasm, driven by passion, governed by positive emotion, compelled by logic and sustained by clarity of vision.

N is for Nature, nature in all her glory, beauty and majesty. To command her we must obey and respect her. Whenever man comes up with a better mousetrap, nature immediately comes up with a better mouse. For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled. The law of nature is the strictest expression of necessity.

O is for Original. Let's your thoughts and thinking be original. Step out of the box and exercise your imagination and free will. Challenge mediocrity, rise above the petty and express your individuality. Anything original is unique.

P is for Peace, Peace of mind and Peace on earth. Look deep into yourself and bring the struggle and war you wage within to an end. A man or woman of peace is a person of power and untold wealth. Become a peaceful warrior. "Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God."

Q is for Quality, and what is more important than that! Quality is everything, quality is essential; quality comes first and quality counts. Quality is where you start, always choose quality over quantity.

R is for Research, spending time in the books and ebooks, sitting for hours in front of your computer and doing what's required to acquire knowledge and understanding on whatever topic you have an interest in. Research implies a systematic investigation to establish facts. It means studying something thoroughly in a detailed, accurate manner.

S is for Science, the search for truth. True science is objective and not skewed by political or corporate corruption. Science is the observation, identification, description, experimental investigation and theoretical explanation of phenomena.

T is for Think, or what Emerson said was the most difficult thing for men to do. Albert Switzer said that the problem with men is that they simply don't think. I think therefore I am, and what is greater than the great I am. Free thinking is virtuous.

U is for Up, what's up? ...up, up and away and keep your head up and your eyes open. Up is where we need to be, not down. Focus on the positive, not the gloom and doom. Up is high, up is not low, up is out of bed, up is moving forward, up is where we need to be to get the job done.

V is for Victory. A man with self-control has victory over his greatest enemy, himself. There is no healing without cleansing, no victory without battle. Victory is more than defeat of an enemy or opponent; it is success in our struggle against difficulties or any obstacle.

W is for Water, the universal solvent that cleanses, heals, and washes away impurities. When reduced to our most simple biological state we are nothing more than a hairy bag of salty water. Water flows through us without opposition when all is well. Clean, pure water is the essence and wellspring of life.

X is for X marks the Spot, the place where your treasure lies buried. Ask a man where his treasure is and he will reveal his heart. Make sure the map you have for life is true or the X that marks the spot might not be what you think it is.

Y is for You and Yourself as in Be True to Yourself, meaning living a life that mirrors how you really think and feel. Being true to yourself can be the most difficult challenge in the world. It means letting go and trusting in doing what's right. To be true to yourself means being your own man or woman, it also means being honest. It also means you don't need anyone's approval, especially from those who show you no respect.

Z is for Zeal, zeal for life, zeal for training and zeal for fun and adventure. Life is for the living, and living is where it's at, so get charged up, grab the bull by the horns, saddle your own horse and blaze your own trail! Make every moment count!

Photo by Matthew Henry from Burst

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As always, stay well and live free!