â€œThe Cure is the Processâ€ by Brian Wilson
As we approach the end of the Paleo Challenge, I want you to think about unicorns wearing football helmets.
No reason there, but I think wherever you are and whatever youâ€™re doing the idea of a unicorn wearing a football helmet is funny. Obviously, the horn would go through their helmet and they wouldnâ€™t be playing football, because if you have a horn and too much head protection, thatâ€™d be dangerous.
Anyway, Irvin D. Yalom is a pretty smart guy sometimes and he has a great quote â€œThe cure is the process.â€ Yalom is a psychotherapist who is a big proponent of group counseling sessions where individuals simply (or not so simply) discuss their thoughts, feelings and emotions to a group.
What was confusing and enlightening for me when I first got into his work were two things: First, that he had a hard time describing what the end state of therapy was. Second, that a lot of the group dynamics and the patient/therapist relationship had a lot of similarities to CrossFit training and coaching.
Part of this similarity is in describing the goal, or â€œend stateâ€. Iâ€™m a bit obsessed with the idea of â€œend stateâ€. Itâ€™s something thatâ€™s drilled into us in the Marine Corps. The task you assign may have to change constantly, which is why we are always drilled to give â€œtask and intentâ€: what do you want to have happen and what are you planning to accomplish with this?
The end state of Yalomâ€™s methods are described in a variety of ways: â€œcourageous engagement with…lifeâ€™s predicaments and personal distressâ€, â€œclaiming our own freedomâ€, â€œovercoming existence pain.â€ I find these descriptions similar to the end state of CrossFit â€œincreased work capacity over broad time and modal domains.â€ Whatâ€™s the thing that jumps out at you immediately when you look at all these: they are relative, not absolute.
Secondly, his group therapy techniques and description of the client/patient relationship is pretty similar to what we do in the Paleo Challenge and in CrossFit. So partly because you are getting quasi-kicked out of the nest soon at the end of the Paleo Challenge, I want to equip you with some knowledge bombs that will help you out.
Obviously, you can still ask me questions, but because you wonâ€™t have a defined â€œend stateâ€ anymore, e.g., the â€œPaleo Challenge Finaleâ€ on the horizon, I want you to have some tools you can use:
1) Get some Paleo buddies. Folks you can reach out to and hang out with and enjoy some Paleo chow together.
2) Continue to try to get better. Get a little wackier with your food. Try a CSA, buy some new kinds of meat, try some different restaurants. In short: donâ€™t make your diet boring.
3) Ask for help. Coaches and your fellow athletes like helping you. Donâ€™t be afraid to reach out.
[Cross posted from Paleo Challenge blog 150126]
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