It doesn't matter if your device tells you that it was an easy session if you know it was hard. And that can change by how you feel on a certain day, not just because of the environment. Energy Is Everything Each winter I spend a few weeks in Hawaii. It's a tradition I started a long time ago, when I was a competitive runner who wanted to get some quality training in and relished the challenge of surfing some of the islands' big winter swells. Over the years, I've backed off the running a bit, kept the surfing, and tried to add a couple of new activities each year, from mountain biking volcanoes to getting my butt kicked by some buddies who also happen to be jiujitsu world champions. One of the most meaningful experiences I've had in Hawaii occurred in November 2016, when I decided to go out snorkeling with a group of friends, including CrossFit Games competitor Matt Chan (who, by the way, is terrified of open water but a good enough sport to indulge me and push himself past his fear). We were soon joined by some unexpected gatecrashers: about twelve or fifteen sharks, who swam around and underneath us for twenty or thirty minutes. The doctor thought I had a stomach virus, but I had no doubt it was from the drugs. The doctor gave me three bags of IV fluid and urged me not to fight that night, but that didn't stop me. During the fight, a wave of anger overtook me and I violently slammed my opponent to the mat. I was this irate person. After I won, I raced back to my hotel room to celebrate with my drugs. I didn't know it at the time, but this would be my last fight with Grudge [his fighting team] in my corner. The next two months of my life remain a blur. I get cloudy flashes here and there, but nothing concrete. I started skipping Grudge sessions and really plugged into the drug community in the mountains where I lived. I hitchhiked and caught rides from drug house to drug house, drinking, smoking, and taking hallucinogens like mushrooms and Ecstasy. After all, he does it so the kids and I can have a good lifestyle. It's just while he is building his career.

I'm not comfortable there, and I have to take care of the kids anyway. He told me I couldn't have gotten it from him. He has to do business with her. The phone company must have made a mistake. Does any of the above sound familiar? When rationalizations become weak, the tendency to minimize comes next. That only strengthens the denial. Minimizations common to those in relationships with sex addicts include statements like these: Matt, who is one of the toughest guys I know, started freaking out, and for good reason. Any one of these apex predators could've decided to take a bite out of us at any time. But as I tried to stay open to what was happening and attempted to talk Matt down, I noticed that the sharks did not bring an attitude of intimidation or aggression to our encounter, despite obviously having the upper hand (or fin, if you will). Instead, they seemed to wait to see how we were acting. I find that it's the same around my dogs. They're not going to bite you and will stop barking if you're respectful and behave yourself. How you project yourself also profoundly impacts how you interact with other people, who make instinctual judgments about your mood and energy from posture, gestures, tone of voice, and facial expressions. And in fact, research shows that the old adage Attitude follows action has validity on a biological level, as what we do and how we do it can greatly impact both our own emotions and those of other people. If we can make more of an effort to do things openly and enthusiastically and try to assimilate and learn at all times, we'll get a lot more out of each day because our physiology will reflect our positive psychology and we won't have to waste energy combating a negative or inhibited mind-set. And we don't need an app to prompt or measure such an attitude. I don't think I've ever done meth, but I really couldn't tell you, to be honest. It's possible I tried it while in this blurry fog.

I woke up in some strange houses, usually one of the worst of the bunch. The other druggies would end up having to take care of me. On one night, I remember I made a concerted effort to end my life with a mix of pills, pot, mushrooms, and a half bottle of 190-proof Everclear. I remember my disappointment when I woke up the next day, still alive. Somehow, even in his darkest hour, he miraculously picked himself up. He would turn back to Christianity, after abandoning it due to terrible experiences in the church of his youth. He would find a calling for these lost people in the deep, untouched Congo and fulfill his true purpose. He would truly realize the gravity of his mistakes and do a complete 180 to become the Big Pygmy. At least he is not addicted to (something other than sex, such as alcohol, other drugs, or gambling). How often have you had these thoughts? Think about the beliefs and fears that bolster your rationalizations and minimizations. Partners of addicts share common beliefs and fears. Some of them are: Does any of the above sound familiar? At this point in your reading, it's easy to start to berate yourself and feel like a fool. If you are beating yourself up, stop. Of course you want to protect yourself. You want to believe it's not the problem it is. My good friend and former professional volleyball player Gabby Reece takes a very deliberate, proactive approach to her own attitude and how she impacts those around her. She's committed to going first in smiling at people, starting a conversation, and greeting others, recognizing that she can be the one to set the tone of every interaction.

Try to emulate her and go first with each person you encounter today, from your loved ones to friends to strangers. Also, learn to control your reactions to negative events, like disagreeing with a colleague, getting cut off in traffic, or receiving the wrong order at a restaurant. If you can do both of these things, you'll better manage your energy and have a more optimistic outlook that leaves a positive mark on those around you. Going by the Numbers As important as it is to listen to what our senses are telling us, hard numbers can be helpful, too, whether they come from a device or our own two fingers. Knowing just what our heart rate and oxygen saturation is at a certain point in training can be invaluable. It can even teach us how to slow our heart rate at will. Fine-Tuning Your Decision-Making Justin Wren, towering over Pygmy tribe hunters The dramatic stories about people transforming their lives for good sound awesome. It fills stadiums with enthusiastic cheers. It gets millions of views on Youtube and Facearticle. Everyone loves a good transformation story, because they really are so inspiring. There are many examples of people who, as Dr Jordan Peterson calls it, slayed the dragon in the gold mine or saved their father from the belly of a whale. These great people go onstage to share their story. They write articles to communicate the deep details of their message. They create podcasts to continually give you the newest pick-me-up, encouraging episodes about fixing your life. The overall message from all these people? You want to give him the benefit of the doubt. Don't be critical of yourself.

The truth is excruciatingly painful. It also taps into your shame and humiliation. The illusion of safety and security is an enticing fantasy. Sadly, in the process you quit trusting yourself and your inner voice. But you have begun the process of honoring yourself. You are doing that now in the act of learning about what has been happening and how to take care of yourself. Whatever happened to me, I was made to feel I deserved it; I caused it. Though it's possible to select activities, decide on intensity and volume, and choose when you need more rest and recovery just based on your feelings in the moment, this has its risks. If you decided, say, that you would not train on days when you felt worn down or burned out, some of those rest days might be legitimate and you'd benefit from the layoff. But because you've given yourself permission to chill out whenever you feel the need, it suddenly becomes easier to write off activity days on which you might be physiologically fine to push yourself hard. The mind has a naughty way of tricking us out of anything that it perceives requires effort. Similarly, you might assume that you're pushing yourself hard on days that are meant to involve a hard effort, but over time your grasp on that can start to slip. So while I'm not going to contradict myself and say that you always need to use technology to monitor your effort or recovery, it can be useful to fire up a pacing app or use a heart rate monitor once in a while to recalibrate yourself. If you see that your splits are indeed fast during an interval workout, then you'll know that your appraisal of such sessions is right on and you don't need to change a thing. However, if your times are far below what you'd expect, then you'll know you need to dial up the intensity. In that case, try getting to the output level that you want and be conscious of your breathing, heart rate, and energy expenditure when you reach it. Then the next time you do a similar session, you can do it without the aid of technology, using your newly attuned perception as your guide instead. If I can do this, then you can too! But, I don't know.