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Brain and Body


catAugust 26. 2011

Brain and Body

by Cat Fitzgerald

"In order to make a leap in consciousness a soul must match appropriate behavior with a harmonious point of view”

I can’t remember who said that or where I got it and some quick searches rendered no answers.

A theme has emerged over the last month; Internal and external, Yin and Yang, Om and Yom, Brain and Body. Solely living in one world or the other happily is unsustainable and unsatisfying. Our bodies and our minds have to be in harmony or there comes a break. In assisted stretching I express the external and you the internal. Through our communication we identify, train and achieve the goals that you set. The clearer, better communication we create the quicker and more profound the change and attainment of goals. When solo stretching we have only ourselves to converse with; to both listen and speak. Too often we are only adept at one of these.  This often creates a break where we treat our bodies like a taxi cab for the brain (all brain no body) or train our bodies to be like Camelot however trapping inside little of any splendor (all body no brain).

Any sport, mirroring life, works best when the mind and body are one. It makes sense then to train in a way that actually trains our ability to develop, experience and live like that; connected, whole, one. We practice and train for events all the while living a lifelong Event where there are no mulligans, do-overs, etc. Like sports there are punctuated times considered to carry more weight. Let’s remember that we improve the qualification and quantification of those events not in that moment, but in all of the “mundane” ones leading up to the event. We want to be able to go into the events ready, relaxed, excited. For the most part, it should be a foregone conclusion as to how we are going to perform. To develop this we need to be conscientious in our training. Actually train the mind-body connection not just a better taxi cab.

I8-26-11an martial arts I talk about a training methodology: Coordination, Application, Flow. With arms straight, push lightly down on the chair with palms emphasizing drawing the elbows to your hips – this is an isometric exercise, there is only contraction no motion. Take a few reps (contract, relax, contract, relax) to simply be inside feeling the targeted muscles (see picture). Go slow and with little resistance the key is to really feel and activate the targeted muscles. This is the info that later lets you know if you are doing the exercise correctly. This is your control. The temptation is to want to skip past this phase or speed through it to get to the “good stuff”, but this is the good stuff, this is where you first exercise, train, develop discipline and listening to yourself and create the mind body connection. For that reason, I am going to leave you with this and make you wait until next time for the Application and Flow.

Diving Conditions


markwAugust 16. 2011

Diving Conditions

by Mark Wallerstein

This diver, like most others, would love perfect conditions on and in the water every day. Unfortunately, this is not always a reality. Not all of us can live in Kona where the water and temperature is perfect year round. For the most part we are all stuck, and I say stuck hesitantly because anywhere you can dive is great already, diving in whatever location is reasonably close to us. For some we are luckier than others, I was able to escape the lakes of New Hampshire and start diving ever day in the warm South Florida waters.

The conditions here could easily be argued as great year round. However, what people see as great has changed dramatically. Many have become spoiled to the point where a little rain means the conditions are no longer diveable. So to you I pose these questions; what is a great day on the water? What are diveable conditions?

8-16-11aI for one say any day that you can get in the water for either Freediving or Scuba and be safe is a great day with diveable conditions. I was out in the Gulf Stream not too long ago working with a class from the FII headquarters in pompano when a rain storm passed over us. Quite often around here you will see divers leave the water and call it a day when rain hits, especially if it lasts more than ten minutes. When that rain hit us the only thing that went through my mind was; “hey… free back massage during my breath up. Awesome.”  It was still a warm day; I had my wetsuit on so everything was still perfectly comfortable. If anything the rain actually calmed the seas a little bit. During the dive it was even better. As I sat around 70 feet and looked up all I saw was a magnificent picture of Freedivers warming up, and the water dancing from the rain drops. I couldn’t have asked for a better view while I was down there.

As for scuba divers, I ask what is the rain really going to do to you? You are underwater the entire time, and don’t be afraid to leave your gear close to the back of the boat out from cover. I promise you, it is going to get wet one way or the either, just because the gear is there doesn’t mean you have to sit in it for the ride to the site. If anything, all diver should hope that it rains a little on the way back to land, you’re getting free fresh water gear wash without having to do anything. Next time you look at the conditions and try and decide to go Scuba or Freediving I truly urge you to really think about it. Ask yourself; is it safe? How will the conditions truly affect me? And will I enjoy myself? If you can answer yes to all of these, then my friend you are diving in ideal conditions already. Be safe and enjoy what you have…

Don't Get Burned Out


markJuly 19. 2011

Don't Get Burned Out

by Mark Lozano

Now that summer is here, it is easy to get caught up in all of the fun outdoor activities, and rightfully so! For those of us who are always active we can over do it at times, and near the end of the season, it will catch up to us.

I began training for my first triathlon several weeks ago. I set the standards low, a nice easy Iron Man 70.3. Training for this has become my second job. It is difficult at times to know when and how to pace myself, especially when I am so close to reaching one of my goals. However, I know that if I maintain pace, I will come away injury free and will have more energy to keep working later. Swimming, biking, and running, all in the same day, where does this give me time for all of the other fun things we get to do in the summer? Well, it doesn’t really. So I break it up most of the time, so that I have the energy to go surf, spearfishing, hang out with friends, or even just take my girlfriend on a date.

On top of all of this, I teach freediving three to four times a month during our peak season here in California. Sound like I may be pushing myself a little hard? Well, those of us who have completed the Level 2 course are familiar with CBS GONE, to make sure we don’t push ourselves to blacking out on our dives. I’ve devised a similar acronym for burning yourself out: SPENT FM

Sore- is your body consistently in pain from over exertion?

Personal Relationships- Is your personal life suffering from you never being around?

Exhaustion- Are you always tired or feeling weak?

Neglect- Does your pet or anyone else resent you because they never see you?

Timing- Are you beginning to show up late to things that you didn’t before?

Friends- When is the last time you hung out with your friends?

Memory- Are you forgetting important things that you would normally never forget?

Ask yourself these questions once a week, and decide if you should keep on with what you’ve been doing, or if you need to change something to avoid the dreaded BURNOUT.


‘Till next time, dive safe!

Mark Lozano


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