01 Jan Adults: Are You Willing to Stand Up for Your Children in 2021?
2020 was the ultimate spiritual battle.
Many were transfixed by the hysteria of the news, sheltered in their homes, bubble-wrapped from the dangers and germs of society, while remote working on auto-pilot without any self care breaks to spare, unaware of the biggest threat to humanity today.
Fight or flight mode left many to do as told, unable to think critically, logically and examine the long-term damage to come. Humans reacted abruptly, and were constantly stimulated by a new stimulus – virus, riots, election drama, second waves, and so much more.
This caused it to be a tough year for many – a year of fear splashed across screens, headlines that made blood boil and hearts race, and politics that divided friends and family.
On top of the burgeoning gap of vaxxers versus anti-vaxxers versus left versus right versus science versus conspiracy, lives were lost.
Loved ones were mourned.
Kids were isolated.
No one learned jack in virtual school.
Sports, comedy, concerts and all the beautiful things that make us human were cancelled.
While many accepted this reality and brushed it off as the new normal, a silent majority was pondering in the background, tapping into intuition, and asking themselves, “does any of this make sense?”
Nice to meet you.
Before you call me a conspiracy theorist, let me get this out of the way first: I hate labels. I hate being put in a box. I hate being coerced into “picking a side.” I hate name-calling. I hate pointing fingers. I hate blaming. I hate complaining. I hate the controlled opposition the mainstream media has created for the past two decades.
I prefer people to see me (and others) as human beings with free will. That’s it. Of course, I could go into a dissertation on political thought, behavioral psychology and sociology, but I’ll spare that for another time. This is not the scope of this article.
When this all began in March, I was floored and terrified just like everyone else. Admittedly, I was one of those people who dodged folks on the side walk, avoided humans at all costs, and tip-toed around large gatherings, as well as who berated people for not staying home and wearing a mask. Too, I called people “selfish” for partying in the streets and connecting with other humans.
This went on for a month, until I decided to take a break from the noise, step out of judgement, and embrace the tranquility of nature, as well as return home to my soul.
I went hiking, biking, walking and more walking, only to be left with these deep life questions, why am I scared? Why am I changing the way I live right now, and why am I judging others for their behaviors? Can I truly dictate other people? Do I know their whole story?
I realized the fear from the news and pressure from the mob was causing me to forget my life values and coaching philosophy I’ve held so dear all of these years: do the preparation on the back-end, and you will thrive under any circumstance.
Take self responsibility, put simply.
For 9 years as a youth performance coach and 31 years as a woman on this amazing planet, I’ve preached being the healthiest, strongest, most adaptable, fullest expression of yourself. Health and performance encompass many layers, from building strength to reduce chance of injury, to nourishing the basics over and over again for skill mastery, to fueling the body with foods that give one energy, to getting outside in the sun every day to boost immunity, to getting quality sleep for immune and brain function, to having a social life to avoid loneliness and depression.
The list goes on.
As I became grounded and let the fear fade away, I reminded myself of what I believed before health became a political issue in 2020: I am the power.
Truthfully, it’s frustrating to see health decisions in the hands of politicians who don’t understand the complexity of one’s life. Too, it’s infuriating to hear moans and groans from my neighbors, colleagues, Twitter friends and peers judging others’ behaviors and spitting out hurtful comments and cyber bullying.
And trust me, I’ve been called some hurtful names in the past month, but it’s okay. I have thick skin, and stand firm in my values.
What’s funny about all this is, everyone thinks they know what’s best for others. Everyone wants to feel a part of some big movement. Everyone wants to follow the comfortable narrative. Everyone wants to focus on one issue, rather than peel back the onion of others.
Yet very few have the courage to speak out, risk being bullied, fired from their job, losing business, or berated. But guess what? I’m willing to risk it all for the future.
Take children, for example, the one population that has been grossly ignored this entire year, yet the one who needs more empowerment and less fear now more than ever.
It pains me to see kids growing up in a world of fearing themselves and their friends as big nasty germs and dangerous weapons. It broke my heart to see sports, playgrounds and social lives taken away from them.
While many shouted “trust the science!”, I ask, what about the science that demonstrates loneliness as the number one cause of suicide? Or the science that says being outside in the sun is good for immune health (read HERE) ? Or the science that says kids need to be exposed to bacteria to build their immunity? Or the science that equips humans with all the tools to live a healthy life, while also having a sane social life?
Dr. Bruce Lipton, for example, one of the leading doctors in epigenetics, and someone who is pushing to spread the extensive science behind immunity and optimizing gene function, has been censored. Many on the preventative side have been. This should ring your internal alarm bells.
It’s also suspect the reactive, fear mongering message that has been pushed by the mainstream – cower inside, wear a mask, don’t see friends in large groups. The mainstream news sure did an excellent job scaring the crap out of the population this year, don’t you think?
We can’t ignore that stress from fear has an immense impact on immune function and can cause one to be immune compromised.
Alas, I digress.
If you’re a coach or parent reading this, I challenge you to stand up for your young athletes’ health in 2021. And this isn’t just about avoiding sickness. Sickness is a part of life, and no matter how hard we try to run, hide and stay inside, we can’t “beat” a virus, as all these politicians are promising.
So what’s this about, then?
It’s about inspiring kids to put in the work into bolstering their health, so nothing phases them, just like they put in the work to being able to withstand the demands of the game so they don’t get injured and feel as strong, fast and resilient as possible. It’s about giving them the tools to be healthy and human and free. They can indeed have it all.
We are in the middle of the biggest war of our lifetime, and half of the globe is ignorant to this.
It’s a sneaky, covert war of the mind that has manipulated humans into not seeing the bigger picture and repercussions that are coming down the pipe. It’s a war of distraction. It’s a war of pointing fingers at others instead of owning up to our responsibility. It’s a war of fighting to maintain the human spirit. It’s a war threatening the free world.
Expounding further, everyone is too zoomed in on the virus, over-stimulated and anxious and unable to zoom out and understand global economics and the largest transfer of wealth in human history, the tracking systems being pushed, and the agenda for humans to become trans-human, scared of nature’s beauty and interaction with others. After all, we will always be a part of nature and we can never hide from it’s wrath of lethal viruses, germs, dirt and all the stressors that help us level up.
One study here (of thousands) in BMJ explains this beautifully:
“The host-microbiome supraorganism appears to have coevolved and the unperturbed microbial component of the dyad renders host health sustainable. This coevolution has likely shaped evolving phenotypes in all life forms on this predominantly microbial planet. The microbiota seems to exert effects on the next generation from gestation, via maternal microbiota and immune responses. The microbiota ecosystems develop, restricted to their epithelial niches by the host immune system, concomitantly with the host chronological development, providing early modulation of physiological host development and functions for nutrition, immunity and resistance to pathogens at all ages.”
Dr. Zach Bush, another doctor that should be on the mainstream news, is an excellent voice on how the microbiome functions. I triple dog dare you to watch this entire two hour interview, do your research, instead of believing every soundbite, and watching your favorite political celebrity who has no knowledge of the microbiome.
All of this should challenge you. It should make you feel immensely uncomfortable. It should be triggering. It should be hard work. It should take research and digging.
Looking at new perspectives confronts your current belief systems of society, and it involves doing inner work that has been repressed for many years. It’s easy to blame, complain, point fingers, and take the easy way out.
But we can’t do that now. We are in the toughest battle of our lives.
So adults, are you willing to stand up for your children in 2021?
Blaming is a cop out. It means you’re unwilling to do the personal work to take charge of your life and do the actionable steps to improve.
So it’s easy to blame and complain and point fingers at someone else who is “misbehaving.”
Humans did an excellent job in the blaming department this year: “that motorcycle rally spread COVID!” or “those riots and protests caused a spike in cases!” or “those Millenials killed my grandma because they went to the bar!” and the shrieks of complainers went on.
I could hear them from a mile away, and they sounded like nails on a freaking chalkboard.
Now, let me ask you this: what example are you setting to your youth athletes with all of the blaming and complaining?
The last thing I want for my soccer players is to play their worst game ever, only to blame their teammates, their coach, the weather, the potholes in the ground, on their lack of personal effort and preparation.
You’ve seen it, too. The kid who doesn’t sprint to the ball. The kid who gives up when they get beat. The kid who doesn’t work to get back on defense when they lose possession. Instead, they blame the Center Back, the rest of the team, the coach when they were the ones failing to do their part.
Speaking of “doing your part”…
In 2020 it’s the same thing – it’s EASY to call a healthy person who puts in the work, and who goes out with friends and gathers in large groups, selfish. At the same time, the blamer doesn’t take care of their own health, making them more susceptible to the virus. It’s easy for them to blame for their lack of personal responsibility. “Do you part!” right?
Please tell me how it’s fair for an unhealthy person to blame a healthy person for their problems and fear? I’ll wait…
Too, the blamer doesn’t know the whole story – does this healthy person need social connection to avoid depression and suicide? Do they need to hug others to feel less anxious? Do they need to see their trainer at the gym as therapy?
Zoom out, way, way out, and examine the large picture of optimal health – one that goes far behind reducing chance of getting a virus.
It’s easy to call someone who doesn’t wear a mask narcissistic, but what if they have previous sexual trauma, or a history of abuse, and when they put it on, it triggers an anxious response?
Zoom out, I urge you.
On both sides, the blaming needs to stop, otherwise we are teaching our young athletes to do the same, and to not take responsibility for their life decisions.
On Quick Fixes, Band-Aids, Pills and Vaccines
If any of you have followed my work for a length of time, you know I loathe quick fixes. Slapping on a knee brace because the knee is in pain doesn’t solve the muscular weakness and precarious kinematics of the ankle, knee and hip joint. Taping an ankle may alleviate pain, but it also slows an athlete down with its bulk. Rubbing on icy hot doesn’t cure a hamstring strain. Chilling in an ice bath doesn’t calm the nervous system as much as quality sleep.
We’ve used all of these temporary band-aids to heal faster, numb the pain and just carry on. But what happens when we remove that ankle tape? What happens when we don’t rely on the icy hot? What happens when we remove the knee brace? Are our muscles stronger, or are they weaker? Are we able to have more range of motion in our joints, or are we more limited than before?
Are we healthier? Are we more immune boosted or compromised? As a segue, we do the same with health – we have pills, pharmaceutical drugs, vaccines and so much more.
Ohhhhhhh, now this is juicy isn’t it. ;-O
You can post that you got the vaccine all over your Instagram, with Justin Bieber as your reel background music, but I’ll be over here eating my vegetables as my cure for my body.
Here’s my virtue signal: I won’t be getting the vaccine. Call me a biological weapon, terrorist, or dangerous, but I trust my immune system to be 99% effective to your 95% effective vaccine. Again, you do you, though, but let me do me.
I’d rather put myself in the best position possible to not just handle this virus, but any. And trust me, far worse ones are coming down the line. It’s tantamount to rehabbing from an injury, then stopping your strength training once you’re back on the pitch. But what about the next injury to avoid, then the next, then the next? Putting in the work for a lifetime puts you in best position possible to adapt and raise your chances of surviving and thriving.
Again, it is everyone’s choice with what they feel safe with. Your body, your choice. Always.
On Taking Risks
Risk is a part of sports and life, and it’s up to the individual to take the gamble as they wish. As a coach, I’m never going to mandate an athlete avoids a tackle, a 1v1, a 50-50 ball because they could get injured.
The risks in sports are what makes sports so rich. The risks in life are what make life exuberant.
This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from philosopher Osho:
Without risks, the human spirit dies and we become drones who remain on the monotonous conveyor belt of society. We operate not as electric and curious individuals, but as robotic and stagnant puppets.
On Sports Injuries
But when they do happen, we don’t wave the surrender flag. We don’t say, “my knee will never be the same.”
Instead, we rehab hard. We do our at-home stretches. We do our strength training. We prepare our knee for the return to play and the environment’s demands. The stimulus needed to come back stronger must be higher than what caused the injury in the first place.
Going through duress is needed to level up.
The muscle fibers tear, only to rebuild back up again to become stronger, and the bones undergo force, only to flood osteoblasts back in to become stronger.
We get sick, only to upgrade our immune function and prepare for a higher stimulus down the road.
So are you prepared for something deadlier? Are you prepared for that game against the #1 ranked team? The answer isn’t hiding, succumbing to quick fixes, going through the motions, popping drugs, putting on band-aids, slapping on knee braces.
It’s good old-fashioned preparation and work.
On Dictating vs. Discovering
We’ve seen a lot of dictatorship this year, and our leaders, peers and loved ones assumed our personal values.
The homogeneous value that was forced upon the population was “avoid death at all costs.” But is this everyone’s value? Of course, we all want to live as long as possible, but how do we avoid something that is an inevitable part of life? What about people who recognize tomorrow could be their last day? What about the people who want to take the risk?
Too, how does someone else determine what a quality life is to me?
I may want to live dangerously and take the gamble because I value life experiences, exploration and adventure. On the other end, another person may want to play it safe and stay inside. Both are fine in my book.
We can’t dictate values upon humans, and many of us have this year.
As a coach, this also goes against my teachings.
Sure, I can give all of my kids the education behind strength training and its benefits for bone health, muscle adaptation, speed development and injury reduction, but if they don’t want to put in the work and train with me, I cannot force them.
As a human, I can preach nourishment and movement, but if someone doesn’t want to eat healthy and work out, I can’t dictate them to do so. It’s not like I go up to someone in the grocery store who is stuffing their cart with soda, chips and cookies, “this is unhealthy and being obese is a risk factor for dying from COVID!!!” or “do your part and have a better immune system!” or “you’re selfish for eating unhealthy!!”
That would be ludicrous.
So when we look at it this way, why force someone to hide inside, mask and shame them? You’re now a dictator of their health and freedom, mind you, forcing your values onto them.
Taking the conversation back to youth coaching, it’s not my job to dictate, rather, it’s my job to facilitate and allow the young athlete to discover what they value and what they want out of training. This way, if they truly want it, they’re able to stick with it for the long-run, and if they don’t want it, perhaps they do something else they love. All good in my book.
Stop assuming you know what is best for others, let alone, stop dictating your values on them and assuming their values are the same as yours.
Allow others the freedom to discover their own values.
If someone says, “TrUst The ScieNcE!” they don’t understand science.
True science is open, not censored.
It’s concerning to see half the population unaware of the mass censorship that has been going on since March. Doctors who have spoken about immune function, the extensive research behind Vitamin D deficiency and COVID deaths has been immense, yet all of their posts have been yanked off the internet.
Why hasn’t Vitamin D or getting 1-2 hours of sun light a day not the main message here? How is this “harmful” information? Too, we’ve had plenty of time to get the population healthy, no doubt, so why are naturopathic doctors being censored, I ask?
Oh, wait, they don’t put money in pharmaceutical companies’ pockets.
I’d be remiss not to mention that science is never settled, it’s bought. Who is behind the science being pushed? Pharmaceutical companies? Rich politicians who want their population sick and dis-empowered for a lifetime? It begs the question, do they really have our health in mind? Why has there not been a peep about gut health, proper nourishment, sleep, meditation and most of the free things one can do to reduce chance of being admitted into the ICU? We can’t ignore the innate power of the immune system – the force that has kept us alive from lethal viruses inside of us today.
Why is the vaccine the only cure here? Why not boost immune function more? After all, majority of people dying are obese, diabetic or have a chronic condition that is easily preventable if managed by a smart doctor who looks at holistic lens, but coming back to the blaming, it’s much easier to blame the Millenials for going to the bar, than it is to admit the allopathic medical model has failed you your whole life. It’s much easier to blame the beach goers and “superspreaders”, than it is to admit you haven’t taken care of your health and you eat toxic junk.
Check out this video with one of my other favorite doctors, Dr. Jenna Macciochi, on how to take your health into your own hands.
It is liberating and empowering to know that you are the power, and you can fight off disease by adding in simple immune boosting habits daily.
All of this relates to youth sports. Athletes must do their strength training, recovering, sleeping, and fueling so they stay healthy and can play at their best for the length of their career.
I repeat, though: you choose your values and how you want to behave.
On the Human Spirit
As I wrap up this piece, I’m on the verge of tears because humanity is in trouble. Humans have become so distracted by trivial arguments, hyper-focused on a short-term solution, and unaware of the long-term damage to come.
But there is hope.
Every adult is going to have to get clear on what type of future they want for their children. Is it a playful one? Or is it a fearful one? Is it an adventurous one? Or an isolated one? Is it a creative one? Or a robotic one?
The human spirit relies on all of the things that were taken away from us in 2020 – the social connections, the hugs, the smiles, the facial expressions, the interaction with nature and all of its germs and dirt and biodiversity, the playgrounds.
When we zoom out one more time, and forget the fear mongering in the mainstream news and the politics, all we are left with is the human a spirit – one that deeply craves a life of less fear, less restriction, and more love, more freedom.
Once we lose personal choice to live one’s life on one’s own terms, then we lose the human spirit.
We lose it all.
I’d rather we not lose it all, and instead, have it all. We truly can.
We can have strong immune function, while also maintaining freedom.
Are you will to fight for this for your children in 2021?
Are you willing to exude bolstering health, strength, and do all the things that make you feel alive?
Are you willing to inspire youth to take back their power again?
Are you willing to fight?
Get the Total Youth Soccer Fitness Book for speed, strength and fun agility sample workouts HERE.