WHM Fundamentals: Energy Management


“Everything is energy, and energy is you and me”. So sayeth Scouse progsters Anathema, the song “Everything” is one of the stronger tracks on the album “We’re here, because we’re here”, which is also the strap line on my info-graphic above.

This week’s Wim Hof theme was around energy management, its central tenet around controlling breathing to positively influence the effectiveness of the body at a cellular level, which in turn increases the amount of energy we have to play with. For that, the main practice was around power breathing, taking sixty rapid breaths instead of the regular thirty.

Going into this week with a fair amount of positivity, with only two”absence days” over the last fourteen registered. I did decide however to commence week three after a two day break, ironically because I had literally no energy in the tank left after this weekends music festival with my daughter, five decades of concerts, gigs and festival is starting to take its toll, so if the method brings more energy, then its very welcomed!

Day 1

✓ Stretches 🤢

✓ Breathing 🤢

✓ Cold Shower / Ice Bath 🤢

✓ Sleep Quality 🤢

✓ Stress Level 🤬

✓ Energy Level 😐

✓ Mood 🤬

Yoga: Sun. Swan. Sun. Swan. Plank. Cobra. Cobra. Dog. Walking dog. Sun. Swan Butterfly. Seated Cat. Bridge Pose. Arching Cat. Back Roll. Boat.

Notes: Back on it today after a two day rest, although energy levels still a little low, so this week could be a welcomed thing! Was totally exhausted Monday/Tuesday after music festival at the weekend and the weather was scorching, adding to the fatigue. Still did my cold showers though.

New yoga stretches were OK and I’ll continue with Week 1 as a warm up. Downloaded a metronome app to regulate my breathing and set the tempo for power breathing and regular breathing. Felt super charged after 2 rounds of power breathing and felt the energy flow during / after the regular breathing rounds (retention of 4m30s and 5m0s). Felt totally stoned afterwards, nice feeling. Did experience some nervous twitching in my lips bizarrely, which made me pout like Mick Jagger! Should be an easy week this one.

Trying to fast as much as I can as I ate crap Sunday to Tuesday (still no meat or booze though and I’m still at my optimum weight – that said I feel “furred” on the inside, healthy eating and drinking for a couple of days will put that right). Did a pH test after breath work, was the greenest it’s been so far, so perhaps power breathing alkalises the body more. Will test after each session.

On reflection, I felt that my brain wasn’t working like it had done the last few weeks without WHM, placebo maybe, but I’ve actually missed it the last two days, just wish I could devote all of my time now to personal fitness and sharing my experiences with others. That will come, in time, and the corporations I’ve worked for will become a distant memory. My mood and stress has been adversely impacted by work, I’ve been fuming all day over the inaction of others and being told to calm my frustrations. I feel that no amount of controlled breathing and “Om’s” can get me away from the fact that I loathe this job at times, so the learning from today is to clearly stop giving a shit and be a financial mercenary. Be that nodding dog they want, do the bare minimum and take them to the fucking cleaners.

Day 2

x Stretches 🤬

x Breathing 🤬

✓ Cold Shower / Ice Bath 🤢

✓ Sleep Quality 🤬

✓ Stress Level 🤬

✓ Energy Level 🤬

✓ Mood 🤬

Notes: I dreamt of thunderstorms, and there was thunderstorms. I predicted today was going to be shit, and boy was it shit. For the first time in many years, I looked long and hard at my works laptop to see if I was got to turn it on, leave it off, or throw it through the window, such was my mood. Where has it all come from? Not ten days ago I was on the top of my game, WHM getting rid of any work related blues, so what happened, what changed? I think it was the realisation that people are taking the piss out of my good nature, willingness to graft hard and be the inspirational leader many think I am for the many, not the few. Maybe I am, but it’s all an act, well mostly. I do genuinely care for those that report to me and will do everything I can to nurture and push them on, even if that means me putting myself last and giving them all available energy until I’m exhausted and have nothing else to give.

Last night, I clicked on a YouTube link to a video by the modern philosopher Alan Watts, and within minutes I was hooked, everything he was saying was making total sense, discussions around time, thoughts, the lower and higher self resonating with me. Yet the most important point raised was courage. In order for us to be in control (of the things we can control), we must be courageous, we must make the right decisions to avoid us falling down the never-ending hole of despair. So what courageous things do I need to do to overcome my current situation. Many present themselves, all of which have consequences.

Resign – not a good idea from a financial perspective, especially given the current climate.

Sickness – a possibility, clearly the managers at work are influencing the maladies in me, perhaps an extended period of stress-related illness will put things into context for them, that their actions are causing invisible harm to others.

Work To Rule – refuse to do any work that is not within my current scope and contract of employment, should this be the case anyway?

Negotiation – plead my case to leave politely and coherently, and find a final position that will see me through to the end of my corporate days.

Clearly the best option is the last one, but I’m finding that anxiety is clouding my ability to articulate how I feel and what my own wishes are, and there is a sense of foreboding that my own wants and needs will be overruled by the strong arm of management, who will cite business continuity as the reason they will not let me move on. So logically it should go as follows:

Negotiation > Work To Rule > Sickness > Resignation.

Day 3

✓ Stretches 🤢

✓ Breathing 🤢

✓ Cold Shower / Ice Bath 🤢

✓ Sleep Quality 🤢

✓ Stress Level 🤢

✓ Energy Level 🤢

✓ Mood 🤢

Notes: Better sleep. Better day in work. Reflecting more on what Alan Watts was sharing too (a position echoed by Eckhart Tolle) is that we must live in the now, the exact now, that what has happened in the past is gone and what may happen in the future may never come to pass. I ended up not having the conflict meeting, and I was so glad I never.

Had a good chat with my closest comrade (from Chile!) and reflected on his aged wisdom and also that of young Emma Radacanu who won the US Open Tennis Championship, about inner strength, courage and control.

All WHM exercises done today, with retention of 4m30s for both rounds, feeling incredibly stoned again afterwards and a lot of energy charging during rounds. Saw some bright lights on last round retention, which was interesting, a slither of bright light appeared as a small crack in my vision, like a rip in space-time you may see on a sci-fi movie. Not reading too much into it, but it was interesting nonetheless…

Day 4

✓ Stretches 🤢

✓ Breathing 🤢

✓ Cold Shower / Ice Bath 🤢

✓ Sleep Quality 🤢

✓ Stress Level 🤢

✓ Energy Level 🤢

✓ Mood 🤢

Notes: Weekly weigh in and I’m 82.5kg, lightest I’ve been in many years. I do feel healthy on the inside, and the spare tyre around my mid-rift has now all but gone (a little flabby but not too shabby!), so just needs a tone up by yoga, planks and push ups. Just need to maintain my mental stability as this week hasn’t exactly been ideal, will try to imbibe more Alan Watts this weekend as I have a lot of downtime.

Watched The Matrix Reloaded last last, and the key theme is cause and effect. Made me reflect on two things, firstly, I am the creator of my own misery, letting work get on top of me caused my “duhkha”. Cause and effect. Secondly, the confirmation that the third pillar of the Wim Hof Method (power of the mind) really is the toughest one to crack, when that pillar dissolves, yoga and breath work don’t stand a chance.

Smashed it this morning, very much back on track. Starting to improvise with my yoga too, extending position and adding my own to work that tummy flab. Clearly work impacts me greatly, a look back over the stats for the last few months is that I report green for everything at the weekends, and have gaps and lapse days when work gets on top of me. Good to acknowledge that, difficult to change when one is caught up in the moment, in the chaos that corporate life brings. First game of squash in years too, let’s see how the knees are tomorrow! 3-2 victory, the power of Wim Hof saw me through. I was 4 match points down at 20-16 when I asked my son to stop so I could take in some Wim Hof breaths, he smirked and obliged (looking to the skies) and didn’t I just go on to win the next 6 points and bring it on home!!!

Day 5

✓ Stretches 🤢

✓ Breathing 🤢

✓ Cold Shower / Ice Bath 🤢

✓ Sleep Quality 🤢

✓ Stress Level 🤢

✓ Energy Level 🤢

✓ Mood 🤢

Notes: Happy, healthy, strong, trust, respect, love, nature. These are the central tenets of the practice for me and as each day passes, the more these things become apparent.

This morning I took to the Welsh hills, to commence with my hill training for Snowdon later this year. Dressed only in shorts and a thin t-shirt, I took the path less traveled up Moel Fenlli, accompanied by only woolly beasts on four legs, beasts I no longer ate for Sunday lunch which made me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Controlled breathing up and down the hills, regulated without feeling too much impact on body. Kept going without stopping 10km in all and 100 flights of stairs after summitting Moel Famau (if one can summit a hill!). Yoga with sheep by my side nearly put me back in the land of nod, perhaps I was counting them too much. nearly fell asleep counting them. Self-isolation on top of Moel Fenlli allowed my to strip off and get back to the elements, with a cold breeze chilling me as I performed the exercises, was so nice.

Really felt that with more hill training and cold therapy, I will be ready for the -5c to -15c ascent and descent of Snowdon across layers of ice and snow a few months time, need to get some crampons!

A little fatigued in the evening – but given exercises over the weekend all good, after hot tub and breath work (two short retentions of 2m0s) and a cold shower. Great weekend, back to the grind tomorrow, must learn the lessons from last week and let those feelings rise and fall, escalate issues to my boss to resolve without me wading in, that’s why they pay her the big bucks and not me! Dog walk and some as the sun went down and some Alan Watts shorts on YouTube (as well as ordering three of his secondhand books) brings to an end a fabulous weekend.

Day 6

✓ Stretches 🤢

✓ Breathing 🤢

✓ Cold Shower / Ice Bath 🤢

✓ Sleep Quality 🤢

✓ Stress Level 🤢

✓ Energy Level 😐

✓ Mood 🤢

Notes: Minimal movement day! Felt I overdid it a little yesterday, felt a little light-headed when getting up from seated positions last night, so need to keep an eye on that.

Ordered an oximeter which turns up today, be interesting to see what my normal stats are and what they are after breath work (I see that is a fundamentals course check in a few weeks time).

Must keep my calm in work this week, cannot allow another two days like last week. Live in the moment and not worry about the injustices of work distribution and who is responsible/accountable for what, just do and don’t react. May have a light at the end of the tunnel with two new job opportunities presenting themselves last Friday, in darkness look to the light and all that.

Evening stretches (just week 3) and 4 rounds of breather (3m45s / 4m0s) and a trial run of my new oximeteter, which displayed an SPO2 of 99 at the start of the hold and 65 after a 4 minute retention. I believe the test is to increase the o2 in the blood during the breath work (it did reach 100%) and see how far it drops after retention (the alarm goes of at 94% and keeps beeping – proof during retention that the oxygenated blood drops quite rapidly. Need to do more research into the benefits of that (we already know it increases alkalinity and deceases acidity, but what more beyond that I don’t know. It’s part of week 5 training so sure I’ll find out more soon. 5 min cold shower and bed. Tired now…

Day 7

✓ Stretches 🤢

✓ Breathing 🤢

✓ Cold Shower / Ice Bath 🤢

✓ Sleep Quality 🤢

✓ Stress Level 🤢

✓ Energy Level 🤢

✓ Mood 🤢

Notes: Had a great chat with someone in work today about life, the Universe and everything and shared my experiences with over the last 3 months, and ended up recruiting another potential neophyte at work (that makes 3 in total now). It did make me feel that I could potentiall share these pearls of wisdom with a wider audience at work, and see if I can actualy start the process of running WHM session (not formally of course as I’m not accredited yet), but sharing my knowledge and progress with other, which may in turn allow them to adopt what I have done already, giving them happiness, health and strength too.

Good yoga today, feel the core difference and the lengthening is more than when I started 3 weeks ago. No longer getting pains in legs, back which is a first! 4 retention rounds nailed (4m0s, 4m30s), measuring via Oximeter dropped SPO2 level to 65 after the 4m30 hold so it does work. PH still quite acidic though, but still not overly concerned by that as my weight and BMI is on the money. Shower cold today, will measure later to see how it’s dropped from 19.5 in the early summer.

Week 3 done, still on track with the mechanical goal. That said, it’s clear that my busy life can sometimes get in the way, but one day off per week is acceptable in my mind, but I’ll always do cold showers unless there’s a day I don’t get washed (eeuuww).

One thing is becoming apparent, there is no way I can tie down a busy job and be an instructor at the same time, so I have come to the conclusion that I will likely repeat the fundamentals course several times before signing up for the accreditation process in Poland. There really is no rush for me to do this, one rotation of the 10 week course will give me a solid foundation for success in the future, and also embed that mechanical mindset for daily practices which I have been yearning for, for so many years…

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