Category Archives: Fitness Blog

The OBF principles of Wellness – No 5 – Practice Gratitude

The OBF principles of Wellness – No 5 – Practice Gratitude
The OBF Principles Of WELLNESS
• Know your values and live them.
• Surround yourself with positive and supportive people. Who is in your circle?
• Weed out actions and relationships that do not support you.
• Have what you want AND want what you have.
• Practice gratitude.
• Breath, bounce, sweat and move.
• Eat nature’s food and play natures rules.
• Find activities that give you a sense of purpose and connectedness.
• Align your life actions to your life’s purpose.

Principle 5 • Practice Gratitude
One day a father arrived home after a long day’s work, he sat at his chair in front of the television and pulled out his newspaper, suddenly his 8 year old son came running into the room, “Dad you’re home, let’s go out and play “cried the boy, “not now”, replied his father, “I am tired after my long day’s work and I want to relax for a while”. The child was persistent “please Dad, please “he cried as he pulled at the corner of his father’s newspaper. “Soon, I’ll play soon” his father grunted and in desperation pulled out a page from the newspaper that had an image of the globe on it. He tore the page into little pieces and threw it on the ground. “Now son “, he said “if you put the globe back together I will go straight out and play”. The young boy looked at his father, smiled and went straight to work. His father turned his attention to his newspaper and put his feet up. Within moments his attention was once again broken by a cry from his son, “now Dad, done”, his father looked down and to his utter amazement the boy had pieced the picture back together, the man couldn’t believe his eyes saying, “How did you do it so fast?” The little boy looked up and said “when you tore up the picture I noticed a picture of a man on the back of it. I just knew that if I figured out the person the world would be easy.”
I love that story, figure out yourself and the world becomes easier to navigate. I’m not going to spend time writing about why we need change, just look around you. The “normal” is broken, depression, lack of purpose, addictions and self-limitation has become the dominant paradigm. Take stress as an example, stress experts have shown that we experience 100 times more stress than our ancestors who lived just 100 years ago. The reasons for this are mostly to do with our own perceptions of the world. Add to that magnetic radiation, more complex relationships and friendships, pollution, longer work hours, increased reliance on drugs and medications and it’s no wonder we’re seeing so much stress related illness.
One of these best antidotes to the points I made above is showing kindness and gratitude to others as it is the only way forward to true happiness and the pursuit of spiritual enlightenment.
Ask yourself , Are you guilty of thinking that everything would be better in your life, if you had something else, more money, a new job, a new car, a new house?.
If we are given these things we may be happy, for a little while, but the things that are wrong in our life would still be the same and we will not be happy for long.
Instead it is better to be grateful for what we have, instead of wishing for what we do not have.
.
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
7 OBF principles for cultivating gratitude
• Gratitude is independent of life circumstances
• Gratitude is a function of attention
• Entitlement precludes gratitude
• We often take for granted what we receive on a regular basis.
• Gratitude can be cultivated through sincere self-reflection.
• Expressing gratitude, through words and deeds, enhances our experience of gratitude.
• Our deepest sense of gratitude comes through glance, with the awareness that we have not earned, nor do deserve all that we have been given.

The 5 minute journal is a great resource to help you cultivate the habit of practicing gratitude. With little tips and ideas, it makes the process more user friendly and its allows you to record and process your daily activities.

 

The OBF principles of Wellness – No 4 – Have what you want and want what you have.

The OBF principles of Wellness – No 4 – Have what you want and want what you have.
The OBF Principles Of WELLNESS
• Know your values and live them.
• Surround yourself with positive and supportive people. Who is in your circle?
• Weed out actions and relationships that do not support you.
• Have what you want AND want what you have.
• Practice gratitude.
• Breath, bounce, sweat and move.
• Eat nature’s food and play natures rules.
• Find activities that give you a sense of purpose and connectedness.
• Align your life actions to your life’s purpose.

                                              Principle 4 • Have what you want and want what you have.

21st century living promotes instant gratification, everything from fast fashion, social media, tinder, and consumerism to name a few. The sad truth is that instant gratification has left the whole world feeling like shit, chasing the next dopamine hit so they can feel good about themselves for a brief period of time. People are chasing the approval of others and their quest to fit in and belong results in a life of insecurity and disappointment. There is a lack of fulfilment in their actions.

The truth is that material success can only make you happy if you are already happy. True happiness comes from a place far beyond fashion, money or titles, it comes from a place of self-actualisation a place of personal growth and fulfilment.

What are the characteristics of self-actualisation?

• Keen sense of reality – aware of real situations – objective judgement, rather than subjective.
• See problems in terms of challenges and situations requiring solutions, rather than see problems as personal complaints or excuses.
• Need for privacy and comfortable being alone.
• Reliant on own experiences and judgement – independent – not reliant on culture and environment to form opinions and views.
• Not susceptible to social pressures – non-conformist.
• Democratic, fair and non-discriminating – embracing and enjoying all cultures, races and individual styles.
• Socially compassionate – possessing humanity.
• Accepting others as they are and not trying to change people.
• Comfortable with oneself – despite any unconventional tendencies.
• A few close intimate friends rather than many surface relationships.
“Success without fulfilment is failure”.
So how do we find fulfilment?

There are universal elements of fulfilment and the number one element is that we must grow. There is no drug in the world more addictive than the drug of “getting better”. If we don’t grow, we won’t be fulfilled. The mantra of “better than yesterday “will serve humanity better than the mantra of “you only live once”.
The second element is that you must contribute beyond yourself. If our goals only serve ourselves, then achieving our goals will only make us happy for a moment. But if your mission is to serve others, then not only will you leave a legacy of giving, but you will be more fulfilled in life.

The point is this: What will make you fulfilled is to grow and to give.

The OBF principles of Wellness – No 3 – Weed out actions and relationships that do not support you?

The OBF Principles Of WELLNESS
• Know your values and live them.
• Surround yourself with positive and supportive people. Who is in your circle?
• Weed out actions and relationships that do not support you.
• Have what you want AND want what you have.
• Practice gratitude.
• Breath, bounce, sweat and move.
• Eat nature’s food and play natures rules.
• Find activities that give you a sense of purpose and connectedness.
• Align your life actions to your life’s purpose.

Principle 3 • Weed out actions and relationships that do not support you.
We have already discovered how the people you surround yourself with play a major role in supporting your passion and life journey however a big part of the journey towards change involves recognising that the power to change lies within and that you can blame anyone else for what you chose to do with your life.
Anything that pushes you away from being the best version of yourself is a distracting force. Its will present itself in the form of poor habits, relationships and/or a combination of both. It can be looked at as a limiting factor that is preventing you from moving forward. The first step to overcoming these limiting factors is to define and acknowledge them. This takes some honest reflection on your part. Write is down and think long and hard about the consequence of maintaining the relationship or habit. It could be a habit, behaviour, thought, feeling, emotion, personality trait, result or relationship you don’t want. IT MUST BE SOMETHING YOU WANT TO CHANGE NOT SOMETHING SOMEONE ELSE WANTS TO CHANGE ABOUT YOU. It can be something you want to stop doing or a positive direction that you are moving in that you want to reinforce.
The next step is to create boundaries/ triggers / techniques to support you new behaviour. If you live a very sedate lifestyle and the lack of movement is your limiting factor, then setting 5 min movement block throughout the day can act as a trigger to support your new behaviour of leading a more active lifestyle. Alarms, reminders and text alerts can acts as conscious reminders to get the work done. Aiming to go X amount of days without breaking the habit creates streaks that’s acts as a great motivator to continue. (Much like snapchat and other social media and marketing campaigns). Aim for just one days at a time with the goal of being better than yesterday. This build consistency and consistency builds results. The “Way of life” app is a great tool to help you create good habits and behaviours.

The OBF principles of Wellness – No 2 – Who is in your circle?

The OBF Principles Of WELLNESS
• Know your values and live them.
• Surround yourself with positive and supportive people. Who is in your circle?
• Weed out things and relationships that do not support you.
• Have what you want AND want what you have.
• Practice gratitude.
• Breath, bounce, sweat and move.
• Eat nature’s food and play natures rules.
• Find activities that give you a sense of purpose and connectedness.
• Align your life actions to your life’s purpose.

Principle 2 – Surround yourself with positive and supportive people. Who is in your circle?

We reflect the environment we spend most time in, people are like magnets, like attract like, who have you attracted into your life?

They all create the environments for your thoughts, feelings, actions and results. They are your CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE. Your community shape your life, chose it wisely.

An individual maybe born into riches but live an unhappy life, while someone from more humble beginnings maybe able to manifest their dreams in record breaking time. All because of the company they keep, which influences their way of thinking and thus resulting in a mindset for success. I’ve seen this time and time again, it’s the power of environment.
Our habits determine the person we become. Environment optimisation is an important one that can have a profound impact on your well-being.

Want to be successful? Surround yourself with successful people.

Want to be happy? Surround yourself with happy people.

Want to be healthy? Surround yourself with healthy people.

Want to be strong? Surround yourself with strong people.

In essence, we become more like the people we hang out with.

Jim Rohn: “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

Take a moment to reflect on the following: Who are the people you spend most time with? Do they elevate you or bring you down? Are they proactive go-getters exhibiting qualities that you admire or people who just sit and criticise? Do they motivate or drain you?
The incredible thing about being around positive minded individuals, who have a habit of chasing their dreams and believe in taking responsibility for their lives, is that you’ll be inclined to grow in a positive direction as well.
They will have an impact on your thinking and consequently your behaviour. They will support you on your journey and move you towards inspired action.
Maximise the amount of time you spend with these people!
“Associate only with positive, focused people who you can learn from and who will not drain your valuable energy with uninspiring attitudes. By developing relationships with those committed to constant improvement and the pursuit of the best that life has to offer, you will have plenty of company on your path to the top of whatever mountain you seek to climb.” – Robin Sharma


                                                Use social media for the greater good. 

Social media has its pitfalls, take a 14 years boy or girl, in times gone by the child’s primary influencers where parents, teachers, family and friends, in today’s worlds its Facebook, snapchat and ista friends making parental control very difficult. Many parents are no longer primary influencers as streaks, likes and snaps are the dominant paradigm.
However the amazing thing about where we are today in terms of technology, means that you can literally surround yourself with inspiring people (e.g. through Twitter, Facebook and audio books). The 6 degrees of separation concepts has been blown out of the water by the connectivity of social media. As a result, I’ve put together a few ideas including these more modern methods, on how you can begin creating a more optimal environment for your personal growth and success:

• Seek out people who have skills/qualities that you admire and learn from them. Never assume that they have nothing to learn from you. We can always learn something from someone, regardless of where they are in their own life.

• Minimise the time you spend hanging out with the wrong crowd and unhealthy influences, e.g. pessimists and those that can hurt your chances of achieving success.

• Read more. Books, blogs, etc. You will be exposed to inspiring success stories, expand your library of knowledge and nurture your creative thinking.

• Listen to audiobooks/podcasts when you are commuting and/or relaxing.

• Follow inspirational people and those who you can learn from on social media channels.

• Subscribe to newsletters, which will add value to your life and help you towards your goals in life.

• Keep perspective. While it’s important to spend your time with those who are more successful than you, it is also great for your development to be around those who are at the same stage as you (so ideas and the journey can be shared) and those below you, who you can inspire and share your experience with.

• Spend less time in front of the TV and create your own stories.

To be exceptional you must first become the exception. 

The OBF principles of WELLNESS – Principle 1 – know your values and live them.

                                                                    The OBF Principles Of WELLNESS
• Know your values and live them.
• Surround yourself with positive and supportive people. Who is in your circle?
• Weed out things and relationships that do not support you.
• Have what you want AND want what you have.
• Practice gratitude.
• Breath, bounce, sweat and move.
• Eat nature’s food and play natures rules.
• Find activities that give you a sense of purpose and connectedness.
• Align your life actions to your life’s purpose.

PRINCIPLE 1Know your values and live them

As Mahatma Ghandi said, “Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny.”

I am a values based coach. I coach and live through the values of respect, honesty, gratitude, commitment and self-development. It’s imperative that we know our core values. Knowing what matters to you most gives you a level of self-awareness important to your sport, coaching, work, and life in general.
Many people are disconnected from their values. Either they are not clear on their values or they operate, often unknowingly, in ways that don’t align with them.
My goal is to help people get in touch with their core values. When they gain that clarity and sense of purpose, s everything becomes easier: making decisions, choosing next steps, recognizing sooner when they’re off-track. The confidence and fulfilment that come with living and working in alignment with their values allows them to flourish with meaning and purpose.
Many claim to understand their own values, but I maintain you don’t really know them until you have:
1. Articulated them clearly in writing.
2. Tested them through daily decision-making. The image above its a picture of the OBF values on our gym wall, every day we live and coach through the values outlined above.

Defining Your Core Values


STEP 1 –

Write down times of your greatest happiness and sadness. Recall the peaks and valleys within your experiences, making note of the details and emotions surrounding each memory. Only include memories that had the most impact on your life and sense of well-being rather than those that earned you the most praise or recognition from others.

• For example, a time of great happiness might be when you finally achieved something you worked really hard for or a moment of bliss with a loved family member.
• Look for the themes that run through your most charged memories, good and bad.

Step 2-

Narrow + Walk + Narrow: Draw values from your answers to step 1. In the beginning you will have a large list of values. Narrow the list down to 15 or so top values, then step away for a while; I encourage you to go for a walk at this time. Then come back with fresh eyes and can hone in on their core values – a powerful and liberating experience.

The initial list might look like this…

Tradition – Innovation – Recognition – Patience – Passion – Generosity – Accountability – Loyalty Initiative – Cooperation – Competition – Openness/directness- Efficiency – Material – Possessions  Fun & Enjoyment – Honesty – Independence – Family – Reputation –  Modesty – Security Relationships -Risk-taking
…………………………………………………………………………………………………..
It might end up like this
Family – Happiness – Honesty – Humility – Self accountability – Respect

Step 3 –

Define in your words what each value looks like and what it means to you. This is what honesty means to me.
           Honesty

The Most honest person in the room is the most powerful person in the room.
Honesty defines you as a person. It underlines your relationships and belief systems.
Honesty of effort is fulfilment beyond explanation. Unfortunately so many people will never experience this bliss.
Honesty is an active component of almost every other core value in OBF. Without honestly, commitment, perseverance, trust and growth from failure become diluted and compromised.
Honestly trumps talent,
Honesty defeats fear and inspires action. Its absence creates uncertainly, shame and greed.
Its presence is the difference between a head held high or a head hung low.
It’s found in reps , words and actions, its more powerful than the phone or computer your read this post from, no money can buy it or person can retrieve it when its lost so cherish it as if it was the most valuable position you have.

Adrian O Brien

OBF Tip: It’s an evolving process!!

Values are usually fairly stable, yet they don’t have strict limits or boundaries. Also, as you move through life, your values may change. For example, when you start your career, success – measured by money and status – might be a top priority. But after you have a family, work-life balance may be what you value more.
As your definition of success changes, so do your personal values. This is why keeping in touch with your values is a lifelong exercise. You should continuously revisit this, especially if you start to feel unbalanced… and you can’t quite figure out why.
The key is bringing the words to life and giving them real meaning and relevance in your actions, standards and behaviours every day.

Finally , find time to check in and journal about how you typically enact these values. Journaling helps reinforce your actions and desires thus allowing you time to reflect, grow and evolve.

The power of bone broth

 

According to an old South American proverb “good broth will resurrect the dead”. While that’s undoubtedly an exaggeration, it speaks to the value placed on this wholesome food, throughout the ages.
Bone broth or stock was a way our ancestors made use of every part of an animal. Bones and marrow, skin and feet, tendons and ligaments that you can’t eat directly can be boiled and then simmered over a period of days. This simmering causes the bones and ligaments to release healing compounds like collagen, proline, glycine and glutamine that have the power to transform your health.

Bone broth nourishes everything from your gut to your brain.

Bone Broth Nutrition 101 – Natures multivitamin
• Over 19 easy-to-absorb, essential and non-essential amino acids.
• Collagen/gelatin, which help form connective tissue.

                            • Nutrients that support digestive functions, immunity and brain health

The Magic of Collagen and Gelatin – Just think wrinkles and cellulite. 

Collagen is the protein found in connective tissue of vertebrate animals. Bone, marrow, cartilage, tendons and ligaments are all abundant with collagen. The breakdown of collagen in bone broths is what produces gelatin.
Gelatin (the breakdown of collagen) was one of the first functional foods used as a medical treatment in ancient China. Dr. Francis Pottenger and other world-class researchers have found gelatin and collagen to have the listed benefits:
• Gelatin helps people with food allergies and sensitivities tolerate those foods, including cow’s milk and gluten.
• Collagen protects and soothes the lining of the digestive tract and can aid in healing IBS, Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis and acid reflux symptoms.
• Gelatin promotes probiotic balance and growth.
• Bone broth increases collagen, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and banishing cellulite.
• Because gelatin helps break down proteins and soothes the gut lining, it may prove useful for leaky gut syndrome and the autoimmune disorders that accompany it.
• Gelatin provides bone-building minerals in easily absorbable ways, preventing bone loss and reducing join pain.

Here is another incredible benefit from the collagen found in bone broth: It can make your skin look amazing. According to Donna Gates, author of “Body Ecology,” bone broth benefits you skin because it makes it supple and can decrease cellulite!

She says cellulite comes from a lack of connective tissue, and if someone has very smooth skin, it’s because the skin is high in connective tissue. Gates explains that consuming collagen-rich bone broth can reduce cellulite and tighten your skin.

At this stage you are probably interested in how to Make Bone Broth.

These two books are amazing resources and I highly recommend them.

There are a few important basics to consider when making good stock. You can make bone broth with animal components alone, but studies have found that the combination of animal products and vegetables seemed to have synergistic effects, working together to be more beneficial than either alone.

Add a bit of apple cider vinegar to your pot to help draw the minerals from the bones.

Cooking Suggestions
1. Place bones into a large stock pot and cover with water.
2. Add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to water prior to cooking. This helps to pull out important nutrients from the bones.
3. Fill stock pot with filtered water. Leave plenty of room for water to boil.
4. Heat slowly. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for at least six hours. Remove scum as it arises.
5. Cook slow and at low heat. Chicken bones can cook for 24 hours. Beef bones can cook for 48 hours. A low and slow cook time is necessary in order to fully extract the nutrients in and around the bone.
6. You can also add in vegetables, such as onions, garlic, carrots and celery, for added nutrient value.

After cooking, the broth will cool and a layer of fat will harden on top. This layer protects the broth beneath. Discard this layer only when you are about to eat the broth.

Enjoy!!

 

 

The truth about R.I.C.E.

True story, while playing on the obstacle in Mike’s gym in Spain a member of our crew (Michael AKA the Mink) twisted his ankle during a descent from a rope swing. He instantly cradled his ankle and feared the worst. Now traditionally we were told that the RICE protocol should be followed. The RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) method that has been around in sports therapy for a long time however there have been a tremendous amount of studies that show that icing an area post injury actually can make it so that it takes the healing process longer to take place. Ice constricts blood flow, and slows down inflammation response. One of the things we tend to do is often believe that we know better than our own body does. So we somehow end up introducing methods that, while look good on paper, aren’t really ideal for what we are trying to accomplish. In the case of this or any injury, we need inflammation to do its job to help heal the area, we worked on making the area mobile again (the opposite of REST), increasing blood flow to the area, and then the healing process is sped up. So that’s exactly what we did. After the late evening session Michael popped into my room to show me just how much bruising had appeared around his ankle and how good it was feeling after the session. Continue reading

Lessons from Europe’s Best Training Facility

15 Travelled – 15 Conquered

To set the backdrop, nested in the hills of Southern Spain is Mikes gym, a retreat for fitness fanatics that boasts everything from a 4k obstacle course from heaven (or hell),to a fully equipped boxing area, to eating and sleeping quarters. It’s essentially your one stop shop for any physical and mental challenge you could imagine.

I’m a reflective coach /athlete and here are my top 5 lessons from the whole experience.

Lesson 1 – Energy 

Words have energy. Thoughts have energy. Beliefs have energy. Your energy creates your environment. Your environment drive actions and results. Flying monkeys bars are a difficult skill, a skill and challenge we had never taken on before, we all tried, failed, laughed and tried again, some succeed more are not there yet however I’m sure that most of the crew would never have taken on the challenge without being intoxicated by the energy of the crew.

Lesson 2 – Less is better

At Mike’s gym we had no distractions or hard decisions to make. We woke up, walked 5 meters to the gym, had all meals cooked for us, the lads where told when to train and when to relax. Continue reading

OBF The Goodwill Project

Homelessness is a choice but it’s one that’s made by society not the individual.

On a recent trip to Dublin the issue of homelessness in Ireland really struck a nerve with me. I was blown away by the sheer number of men and women sleeping rough on the streets. I approached one man with a cup of tea and some money. He was a good looking young man and when I approached him I simply said “here you are buddy, it a hot cup of tea and some money for food”. He smiled and said “thanks”, picking up on my accent he asked “are you from Limerick or Cork?” When I told him I was from Limerick he quickly started a conversation about time he had spent down in Limerick. Very quickly it became apparent that he was valuing the conversation more than the tea or money. At that moment in time his greatest need was not food or shelter, it was for companionship. He wanted to find a commonality in our lives and make a connection. He had spent all evening on one of the busiest shopping streets in Dublin but yet felt so disconnected and alone. Continue reading