Why I don't read blog posts by andrew parr

You’ll get more by meditating for 4 min than using that time to read this post.

It’s easy to get distracted. I’m not here to distract you. If you’re looking for something to read that will save you from your reality. Then I advise to skip over this post. 

What do you truly know? 

Does that come from something you’ve read? Or does that come from something you have practiced, experienced, tested and retested? 

I was speaking with Tristan de Montebello earlier today and he asked me:

“What blogs do you read?”

I paused for a second and replied:

“I don’t read any.”

When hearing myself say that out loud, I realized that I get more out of meditating for 30 minutes than reading blogs for the same amount of time.

I have read fantastic posts. But to read one piece of remarkable content and implement its teachings, I have to swim through a sea of low quality, distracting content.

If I spend that time meditating, (noticing my breath move through my body), I get to learn valuable information about myself that I can integrate immediately.

If you don’t see the practical application of meditation, here is an example:

I was in meditation the other day, and I had feelings of anxiety around a conflict with a loved one. I felt tightness in my chest and distinct tension in my face. When I brought awareness back to my breath, my body relaxed and so did my mind. When those feelings arose in conversation, they didn’t cripple me. I wasn’t afraid of being uncomfortable, because I familiarized myself with those feelings. I was able to listen to the critism I was receiving. Wanting to understand, so it could help me instead of getting defensive. My primary conflict resolution strategy would be to disengage completely. I’m not saying I’m the best communicator or I haven’t hurt others, but I’m making the effort in my relationships to actively listen to the needs of others and communicate my needs. (cnvc.org for great communication strategies)

Meditation is a skill in awareness. Training this awareness allows us to first become familiar with thoughts, emotions and sensations. Then we can regulate how the mind and the body respond or co-operate. This helps us take action instead of freezing up or disengaging. 

There are many types of meditations. With the athletes I work with, we begin by bringing awareness to the breath. It’s the simplest way to sync the mind and body for performance. The best athletes, martial artists, dancers and singers know this.

Here is a video of NBA All Star Lebron James meditating.

 

If bringing awareness to the breath doesn’t seem practical enough, it’s useful to ask oneself: “Body, how do you want to breathe?”

Let’s do this right now for 1 breath. You can have your eyes opened or closed.

Ask the question: “Body, how do you want to breathe?”

Did the quality of your breath change? If so, this is a tool you can use that helps you be better with yourself, in turn, better with others. 

One fallacy of meditation is that you must not think. Most beginners constantly get lost in thought when trying to meditate so they believe they suck at it.

There are two options:

1. Beat ourselves up each time a thought arises. (Reinforces judgment)

2. Bring a sense of curiosity to our thoughts and sensations. (Bringing a playful curiosity, instead of judgment, was something I learned from coach Tripp Lanier. This tiny shift in perception has helped me have my best performances, with everything on the line.

When we can bring a sense of curiosity to what we are experiencing, we lose the self-judgment. Then can the mind and body be at peace.

I’ve struggled with a meditation practice for years, constantly judging and fighting myself. I know I’m not alone in this.

Have you also experienced a similar struggle?

I now think of it as an adventure into myself; going into the clouds of my head and into the dark caves and tall forests of my body. Sometimes there is a volcano erupting in my chest, and I feel it completely. Other times, I ride the wave of excitement. We can begin to see the changing nature of everything within us and around us.

Conclusion

Meditation is not a practice to escape reality; it is the exact opposite. It helps us see and experience reality closer to what it is. Meditation helps us to gain an understanding about ourselves, others, and ultimately, be greater contributors to society.

Please don’t jump into meditating for 30 minutes to build your practice. To create a lifelong practice, start by meditating 1 minute at the same time every day. Do you have 1 minute for yourself? Practice two minutes per day the second week, three minutes the third, and so on. In 4 months, you’ll be consistently meditating 15–20 minutes every day. Not only that, but it will seem “easy.” It will have become routine, and you’ll thank yourself daily.

Important note; You don’t have to sit cross-legged. You can sit on the edge of a chair or stand. And ask yourself “body how do you want to breathe?”

 

I put my energy into a few key areas. You can find that out here at andrewparr.com/now. It’s not a blog, but a page that details where I am currently focusing my energy. I also use this now exercise to help my athletes focus on what’s important for them and far from distraction. I got this idea from my friend Tristan de Montebello who sends me his blog posts. He got it from Derek Sivers who also writes fantastic blog posts. Thank you to the two of them.

Stardust Performance Camp by andrew parr

August 18 5:45-8:45pm

Do you want to learn what it really takes to be a world-class athlete?

This is your chance to explore and practice these essential skills alongside Olympian Jessica Zelinka and performance coach and ex-professional golfer, Andrew Parr.

It’s about the little details you don’t see. Our secrets from over 25 years combined, competing on the world stage.

This camp is designed for all athletes, coaches, trainers, or anyone with an interest in learning and practicing for athletic performance.

Ages 13+

This is NOT a track specific camp, it will cover skills for all sports and life.

CLICK BUTTON for complete camp info and to register 

Eventbrite - Stardust Performance Camp

by andrew parr

My Review and Useful Tools from

David Asprey & The Bulletproof Diet: My New Favorite Nutrition Guide

In my search for peak performance I have tried many different ways to eat and live. I’ve noticed when I’m eating “clean” I have energy and mental clarity. I’ve tried eating an all raw diet, low carb diet, low sugar diet, low gluten diet. Although I’ve never been a vegetarian for more then a couple days a week, I’ve always found a small amount of pasture raised or wild meat essential to my health.

If you are looking for one of the healthiest ways eat "The Bulletproof Diet”  by biohacker David Asprey is a complete guide to nutrition.

What is a biohacker?  It’s someone that test and retest the results of how they live. They track what and when they eat, when and how they sleep and how they perform. They use metrics that can be self-evaluated. Blood testing, hormone testing, oxygen saturation, heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability monitors (HRV), keytone testing as well as many others. They put into place all the necessary daily practices required to feel optimal and peak perform.

I'm also a biohacker. With the advancements in technology, it's cheap and easy to get quantitative data, this is the new wave of self-responsible health care. Wellness FX is one place where you can do blood testing pretty much whenever you want!

Experimenting with different diets, workout routines and sleep I’ve discovered a few things.

Eating mostly vegetables and healthy fats with moderate amounts of pasture raised/wild animal protein allows me to have high levels of energy every day without being sick for entire years. People think eating healthy can be expensive. How about missing one week of work!

Asprey covers how the body functions on different foods. The Bulletproof Diet Roadmap sources top to bottom what he calls the most Bulletproof (best), Neutral and Kryptonite (toxic) foods.

Get Asprey's complete and free food map here->


https://www.bulletproofexec.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/BPDRMrast-06112014.55436.pdf

This gives you a list of these foods and allows you to experiment how you feel after consumption.

Dave provides a free guide as well as a free phone app to track your progress.  https://www.bulletproofexec.com/find-your-kryptonite-with-the-free-bulletproof-food-sense-iphone-app/
 
These are a the key points if you don’t have a few hours to read the book.

Intermittent fasting 18 hours- With the exception of Bulletproof Coffee/Tea for breakfast. Asprey talks about how fasting for most of the day is the most productive way for the body to work. I’ve personally experimented with this over the last year and a half, although I typically will fast for 12+ hours he recommends 18 hours with the exception of the Bulletproof Coffee in the morning. Bulletproof Coffee is Asprey’s brand of low mico toxin coffee but most high grade coffee will work. Add 1-2 tbsp of grass fed butter and 1-2 tbsp of MCT oil. Blend it up and enjoy the creamiest coffee ever. The fat gives you the calories you need in the morning and if you love a good coffee, this is it! I also use Yerba Mate Chocolate Tea as a substitute to coffee which I don’t drink during competition. One easy way to fast is by having an early dinner then not eat until the next day.
Healthy Fats- These become your number one fuel source, they are also the most satiating foods! Grass fed butter, coconut oil, olive oil, ghee, avocados, pasture raised animal meat and Dark Chocolate (85% or higher with low sugar, 5 grams/serving).
Mostly Veggies- Eat your veggies. On this map, Dave highlights not only the best veggies but also how to prepare them. There are a few suspect veggies which are also on the map. Starch such as sweet potatoes or white rice should be only 5% of your serving intake.
Fruit- Asprey lists which ones are beneficial on his map above. Notice when the fruit grows where you live, only in the hottest and sunniest times and places. It’s best to eat fruit only when in season. Squashes and pumpkins become the fruit in the winter months.
Cutting out Gluten and Sugar- From my experience, having very little gluten or sugar for the past 18 months is the most difficult thing to do because how normal they are in our western diet. And yes fruit is sugar. This is what I believe as being the most important part of creating longevity.
Having One Low Protein Day Per Week- This is what Asprey refers to as spring cleaning, this may be a day where you add a couple more servings of carbs.
Sleeping- How being on routine with the sun can aid in deep sleep and tricks and tools to do before bed. Also tricks for traveling. Many of which I have listed below in a post below.

Sleep is the Foundation for My Health www.andrewparr.com/blog/
Supplements- I try to get all of what I need from highly nutritious food. I have in the past used Vitamin D3 and Magnesium to supplement with. He goes over his repertoire of important supplements, how much and at what time of day to take them.  Each supplement usually has a cycle of when you go on or off of it.
How to Prepare the Food Safely- What to heat and not to heat. What oils and cooking methods keep your healthy food healthy.
Easy to Follow Two Week Diet- Categories to choose from to make delicious food at home fast.
Recipes- In the back of the book on how to create your Bulletproof Life

If you think making this change is hard, it is.  But so is having low energy, being sick and not performing your best.

The best thing is that we get to choose!

 

 

 

Using Compression Bands

We are two days out of European Tour qualifying and Markle rolled his ankle walking down the stairs. He could only play 4 holes of a practice round, he couldn't walk or load onto his left side during his swing. After using the Voodoo X bands from Mobility Wod and Rogue Fitness, he healed surprisingly fast and was pain free for the competition, he also finished 10th place out of 100 and advanced to the next stage. Check out Kelly Starrett and his Youtube channel Mobility Wod for more great videos, here's our experiment.

 

Sleep is the Foundation for My Health: How I wind down to sleep

For me sleep is my #1 for a healthy life. The best part is that it's free! Having a great sleep can be difficult when traveling across different time zones as I have for the past 7 years. Having children is something else that I hear can be challenging. Over the years I've figured out this routine to get ready for deep sleeps. Try these tips for you and your family!

1. I Turn off the phone and other electronics- I don’t spend time on the phone/computer or watching TV within an hour before bed.
2. Have a hot bath, shower or sauna
3. Rolling/stretching- I do this almost every night before bed. Whether it's a foam roller, tennis/lacross ball, rolling out the body helps to release tension from the day.  If you spend a lot of time sitting during the day roll out your quads, glutes, thoracic spine and neck. Check out this link for some videos that may help from Mobility Wod
4. Journal or light reading- Whether I write down what I need to do tomorrow or how my day was today.  If I am feeling busy and am stressed out I find that journaling before bed helps my mind relax so I can go to sleep.
5. Have the bedroom pitch dark or where a eye mask.
6. Getting to bed early- Before 1030 and even before 930 is when I feel at my best. Waking up with the sun feeling ready to go.

If you are having issues sleeping these can definitely have a correlation with good sleep.
1. Exercise- if I haven’t exercised during the day my body feels as if it has excess energy it needs to spend for me to hit the pillow hard.
2. Cut caffeine after noon. Whenever I drink caffeine after noon I’ve noticed I have a tougher time getting to sleep.

November 1, 2014
Watch the Stroke Recovery Hangout Broadcast

Hosted by myself, Dr. Dale Corbett, Carol Laurin and the Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery. Valuable expert advice, experience, and resources to support those who have had a stroke.

 

 

Hounoring Authentic Feeling

October 27, 2014

 

 

Fall in France

October 20, 2014
I recently got back from France after playing the first stage of European Tour Qualifying.

I met my buddy and fellow Canadian pro in Paris and we drove a few hours north west to the coast of France, Hardelot to be exact.

The golf course, The Pines was visually appealing with its tall pines and wild landscaping gave it this distinctive rustic look.

The course wasn’t long but tricky with the forced layups and extremely tight tee shots.
Heading into the final round I wasin a tie for 19th. Of the 100 players in the field the top 22 advanced to the next stage. This is a day where you know exactly what you need to shoot, under par! I’ve been in this situation many times and even though the pressure feels immense it gives me an intense focus.

I’ve noticed that there is a point where the pressure gets so intense that the only way to play great is to embrace all the uncomfortable feelings, trust my process and let it fly. For me I simplify- Be aware of my breath.

After 9 holes I was even par, and although I hit 8 of the 9 greens in regulation, I made only 1 birdie.

I knew I needed to shoot under par on the back 9. I asked myself on the 10th tee. What kind of experience did I want to have?The answer was one that was free, authentic, inspiring and trusting.

For years is draw a line on my ball to aim down my intended line. On the front 9 I was trying to be too precise, fearful of making an error, this took away my intuition and my genius. I knew I needed to let go. On the 11th green I decided I was going to not use the line and go with my intuition and no matter what trust it. (I had never done this before in competition)

I rolled in a 6 foot birdie putt on 11. A 12 foot putt on 13. A 25 foot putt on 15. Another 12 foot putt on 16 and a 10 foot par putt on 17.

There’s always a part of my personality, my ego that wants to play well, what I have realized is that my intuition is more powerful and when I can surrender that personality/ego is when I can most play with freedom and truly play my best.

I shot 69 -2 and finished 15th and advanced to the 2nd Stage which begins November 7-11 in Spain.


Japaneasy

September 8, 2014

 

Stories from the Seaforth Country Classic

 

August 20, 2014

Good morning,

I just came off a three week tournament run in Ontario.

Before that I shot 67 in the Monday Q for the PGA Tour event Reno Tahoe Open and missed by 1 shot. I birdied 13 through 17 to get to 6 under for the day. I was on the 18th hole with a wedge in my hand on my second shot of the short par 4. I was unsure of where I standing and what I needed to qualify. I was not clear of what shot I wanted to hit and ended up missing the green in the worst possible place. I would go on to make bogey. I was very upset at myself, not because I hit a poor shot, but because I didn’t even make a decision. I really needed to learn from this experience, and not avoid the uncomfortable feeling that I was experiencing.

So I would miss qualifying and head to Ontario for the Seaforth Country Classic. A tournament close to London Ontario where I grew up. Fast forward to the final round where I was playing in the final group and 2 shots back starting the day. By 7 tee I was tied for the lead, on the 8th tee I was 2 back again. After 10 I was 3 shots back. After 11 I was 1 back. After 12,  I was 1 up.  I birdied the 14th to have a 2 shot lead with 4 holes remaining. After I bogeyed the 15th and my competitor birdied 16 so we were all tied up yet again standing on the 17th tee. I made bogey on 17 and I would head to the 18th, 1 shot down with only 1 to play. What a roller coaster!  I hit a shot down the right edge of the rough.

There I was again no more then a week later, with the exact same wedge in my hand and same yardage to the pin. There were a million thoughts running through my head, most not encouraging. What I have realized is that these thoughts are constant and for me ultimately don’t carry meaning. I focused my awareness to two things. First was feeling in my entire being that I had already hit the most amazing shot, and second that I make a decision on the ball flight and how hard I would have to hit it. After that I completely let go of control and let my body swing.  As the shot took flight I knew it was perfect, it landed and stopped 5 feet away.

No more then 5 minutes later I would have that putt for birdie and the win.
I knew that this was a big putt for me, I wanted to win, there was a difference of $7,000 between 1st and 2nd. I knew this, I didn’t pretend like it wasn’t important. I felt the energy rushing through my body. I focused back to my anchors, to feel in my entire being that I had already rolled the ball in the hole and two, make a decision and pick the line. Then completely let go of control, let the body react.
I made the putt for the win! My first win since my pro debut 7 years ago.
It was a gift to have that same opportunity, at the end of the tournament with everything on the line and pull it off. I realize, that each day, each shot there are always things to learn. Sometimes learning is uncomfortable but that challenge always provides a huge opportunity to allow me to grow. I'm willing to fail, in that is where the lessons are.

 

 

 

Creating Baselines

When I am looking at an area of my life that I want to improve, whether is my diet, my golf swing or energy levels. It's always important for me to have a measurable baseline where I can begin then refer to after implementing new habits. How can small positive changes over time have a massive effect. Throughout the journal, I will show how this can be done in all areas of life

One of my favorite healthcare specialist, Paul Check has a wonderful and practical book How to Eat Move and be Healthy, in this book there is a section where you can rate all areas in your life, creating a baseline, then a plan to improving each one.  His website andYoutube Channel has many valid and researched ideas on health and what it actually means. I always love having access to information that can empower me to make healthy changes in my life.