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Living in the Zone

Have you ever experienced the zone while running? On the beach? Barefoot? In the waves? When it happens, you feel like you can keep running forever. Most feel running in the zone is an "altered state" and cannot be intentionally created. Dr. John Douillard proves differently.

What if we could intentionally, at will, achieve effortless running? What if we could live life in the zone? I met an individual years ago who taught me how to reach this peak performance, especially while exercising.

His name is John Douillard, D.C. He ran Deepak Chopra's health center for many years before going out on his own. His clinic was outside Denver, Colorado. I had forgotten his lessons over the years. I thought of it again this morning after reaching, by accident, the zone, while running on the beach. A favorite quote came to mind:

"We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time." T. S. Eliot,

Dr. John writes about the zone as: "Athletes find it difficult to describe when they return from it, although they may attribute it to supernatural concentration, religious mysticism, Zen, visualization, or biorhythms. More commonly, athletes refer to the Zone as the “exercise high,” the “runner’s high,” the “groove,” being “unconscious,” or being “locked in.” Byron Scott, of the Los Angeles Lakers, said that when he finds himself in the Zone, “All you can hear is this little voice inside you, telling you ‘Shoot’ every time you touch the ball, because you know it’s going in. Nobody outside can penetrate this world and the person guarding you wishes he wasn’t….I could shoot blindfolded from half court over my head and it would go in.” Douillard, John. Body, Mind, and Sport (pp. 3-4). Harmony/Rodale. Kindle Edition.

Is "no pain, no gain," the only way to train for athletic events or exercise? We learn - "no!"

What if there was another way to live an effortless life, especially in the gym? What if you as a personal trainer knew how to help your clients work-out in the zone? All of us would flock to you to learn this technique. Effortless workouts are the only way to go. Here's how it works:

Do less and accomplish more.

Really? Sounds too good to be true? Again Dr. John explains: "If we went far enough back in time, we would see that the purpose of exercise was not to build muscles, lose weight, win races, or receive gold medals. To the ancient Greeks, for example, exercise was a vital part of daily life. The historian Xenophon said, “No citizen has any right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training; it is part of his profession as a citizen to keep himself in good condition.” He added that it is “a disgrace for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and the strength of which his body is capable.” Douillard, John. Body, Mind, and Sport (pp. 7-8). Harmony/Rodale. Kindle Edition.

Living in the zone is enjoying the journey. Enjoying the time you spend in the gym, or time with your kids, while working, losing weight, or performing a dance routine, you can win the inner prize by finding joy in the process. External victories come and go, but the internal ones are here to stay. By focusing on the process, you can experience the joy of being alive.

Exercise in particular and living in general has three goals:
  1. To rejuvenate the body and cultivate the mind.

  2. To remove stress.

  3. To develop mind-body coordination.

I highly recommend reading and practicing Dr. John's program, and on page 32 you will find the key to train to reach the zone, peak performance, or effortless training:

When you visit FITNESS NORFOLK, you will be asked to place your hand on a ZYTO scan for a biofeedback result using a galvanic skin response to ascertain the physical "mood" of the body at that moment in time.

Through the results of this scan, you'll access your body's hidden wisdom to know the most effective exercise to perform that day. You might have planned to push through the pain and work hard when your body prefers a milder cardio workout. FITNESS NORFOLK trains its members to listen to the body.

We need a paradigm shift for exercising and living life:


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