The Bledsoe Show

The Way Of The Enlifted Athlete with Mark England

The Way Of The Enlifted Athlete with Mark England

In this episode, Mark England is back with a vengeance! We partnered together for the Enlifted course and certification and we get into some really good topics – breathing, stories, and even neuroplasticity. You're going to be very entertained and you're going to learn a lot. Enjoy!

Table Of Contents

First Group Of Enrollees in Enlifted

First Group Of Enrollees in Enlifted

Mike: So we launched the Enlifted program back in April. We did it at Paleo f(x). We set up a booth, we hung out, and we learned a lot because we took a concept we'd been working on since last August, 2018, and we revealed it and got in-person interaction. And what came of that is we launched the first Enlifted coaching certification and we put. how many people were in the first group?

Mark: 22

Mike: 22 people in the first group. And we're going to talk about why they join, where they were at, what the results have been doing the certification. And I'd like to note that we're on our second certification, so we're taking people through the second serve. This is not like a lot of other certifications you may have been exposed to where you go, sit in a room for one or two days and you walk out with a piece of paper, this is 90 days. This is a 90-day program. It is meant to develop you as a coach, as a human being, as an athlete.

It is not something where we give you a bunch of knowledge, if you will, and then hand you a multiple-choice test at the end and then give you some stamp of approval. So this is something we take very seriously. And the reason we started it is because we saw a big need for it, and that's anything that I'm involved in as people likely know is because there's a need for it and it's not being done. So this has been a lot of fun for me in watching this develop.

Breakthroughs in Elifted

Mark: It does say I was adjusting. And how much fun, how many laughs and breakthroughs did we have on that last Enlifted call on Wednesday?

Mike: My face hurt from smiling and laughing so much. This type of work I used to take very seriously. It was a very serious person about this.

Mark: About personal development. Got to be serious, Mike. Otherwise, it's not going to be effective. It's got to be hard. Or does it.

Mike: Yeah. We've made the turn. Mark and I have both did… We've done a lot of things the hard way, and now we're doing it the fun way. I'm not saying it's not work, it's definitely work, and it can definitely be challenging and there are moments and people do tend to get serious at times and then we help bring them out of that seriousness because as long as you're taking it serious, it's going to be hard and it's going to be slow and it's going to be a grind.

Mark: And you're going to be breathing in your chest because it's a stress. You're stressed out because everything has to be serious.

What Happens After Taking The Enlifted Certification

What Happens After Taking The Enlifted Certification
Photographer: Marvin Meyer | Source: Unsplash

Mike: Yeah. What is happening for people in the certification? We're both administering the certification, we're in all that. And you're more of the lead on it, you're heading it up, and I see myself as more of the support. We developed the curriculum together, and as far as delivery goes, it's been a real pleasure to watch. What's happening for people? They're coming in. What do they think it is, and what do they end up getting out of it?

Mark: They think that it's… They know that it's going to help them become a better coach. They are interested in that, in becoming a more effective influencer. It is absolutely impossible to describe to them the processes that they will go through. It's the equivalent of looking at a trip to Italy to Rome and then a drive over to Monaco and then a boat trip through the Greek islands. It's the difference of looking at that online and then actually going. The process of deconstructing our stories and our identities and dramatically, massively reframing our understanding of language.

We can tell them. There's a big difference between that and showing them and helping them get that experience. And what we're seeing in these certifications is the sequential dawning of the realization that their language is powerfully influencing them, for better and for worse in some areas or all areas of their life, their personal life, their professional life, and absolutely their ability to coach and influence their clients. Watching them go through that progression, which is a much faster progression than it was from me, and probably you because we've condensed both of our-

15 years of experience into a 90-day training

Mark: Much faster. And that's so exciting. We've condensed our 15 years each in personal and professional development conversation into a 90-day training. One, it's exceedingly valuable. It's immediately applicable. They can go and apply it to their coaching and other areas of their life. It's a lot of fun too, man. I mean, anyone that takes the course, that's one of the second or third things they say. They say, "Man, I'm getting so much out of this, and it's so funny too." It's so easy to take these lessons. I look forward to taking these lessons.

I was driving back from LA last night and I was on the phone with a girl who's on day eight, and she said, "I have to have a constant conversation with myself about only doing one lesson a day because there's so much fun, and I'm getting so much out of them. I want to binge on the course. I'm loving it every time." One thing, she said that… I love this feedback. She goes, "I feel better after I take a lesson." And that's huge, man. That's huge.

Mike: Yeah. I want to point out, we're talking about the certification, which is 90 days, but we also have a 21 day version of this that someone can go through as an athlete. Maybe you're a coach and you want to go through that first before committing to the full certification, where we dig in even deeper. But the 21 days, it's 10 minutes a day for 21 days. We made it digestible.

Why People Enroll At Enlifted

Photographer: Bruno Nascimento | Source: Unsplash

Mike: What are the specific things that people are coming in for? What are the specific… They go, "Look, I want to solve this problem. This is a problem in my life and I think that by going through this course, I'm going to be able to solve it?

Mark: Got It. A majority of the people are showing up knowing, seeing that there is a lot more to them and their ability to reach their clients and maximize their influence and grow their business. And they also know there's a block.

Mike: They felt limited.

Mark: They feel limited. They see their patterns to a degree and they feel that there's part of them that is holding back for whatever reason. And generally speaking, that's essentially everyone that's taking these certifications and the course.

Mike: Well, this shows up a lot with people who, the way I like to say it is, you know, you're not supposed to do this thing or you know you're supposed to do this thing, but at the end of the day you didn't do it or you did something. It's like, "Oh, I know I'm not supposed to eat that donut, but I ate the doughnut anyway. Or I know I was supposed to go in the gym and train, but I didn't. Or I knew I was supposed to turn off the TV at 9:00 PM and get a full night rest, but I"-

Mark: Been there until 12:45.

Mike: "… but I binged on game of Thrones until 12:30," and so on and so forth. We wake up the next day and go, "Oh, I had this goal. I was going to be this other person, but instead I reverted back to Netflix."

Getting rid of self-sabotage

Mark: I've taken the steps backwards, Netflix. Everybody has their own flavor of self-sabotage. That's what we're talking about. And most of what is driving that, it's not lack of knowledge. There's plenty of knowledge to be had. What's driving that is part of their identity is at odds with them succeeding. We talk about this a lot. It sums up the situation at a granular level of the conversation very quickly, is that most people's language, Mike, it works against them. And we're showing people how to use their language to work for them, so they build up their ability to talk themselves into opportunity, and to talk themselves into seeing themselves as successful.

Mike: I like what you just said there, which is talk themselves into opportunity because I know that everyone can pause right here and think about the last time you talked yourself out of an opportunity.

Mark: I used to be the king at that.

Mike: What's an example?

Mark: I used to smoke cigarettes right after wrestling practice in high school, and the dudes that were winning, they were winning districts and having successful seasons, they'd finish up practice and they'd go run, they'd go jog, and all I had to do was put on my running shoes and go with them. But I'd go out to the parking lot with some other dudes and I'd smoke cigarettes, dude. I'm glad I did that because I left wrestling knowing that I left a lot on the table as far as my ability to get better and compete, and that that gave me a healthy bone to chew on when I got into Jujitsu in mixed martial arts in college. I've done that in other areas of my life.

Why Getting Enlifted Matters

Why Getting Enlifted Matters
Photographer: Emily Morter | Source: Unsplash

Mike: So why does this matter? Why does it matter that somebody actually moves, wants to move the needle there? Why does it matter for the fitness industry? Why does it matter for the individual athlete or coach?

Mark: Well, the first thing that comes to mind is what you see when you look in the mirror. If you are coaching, then by definition you're leading. Let's use the Chris Moore analogy too. There are two types of people. There are people that talk to people about doing things and then there are other people that demonstrate doing those things. And I think it was A.J. Roberts who was talking about that at the Strong Coach summit, and he said that you have to be ahead of your clients, otherwise it will not work metaphysically speaking. And he's talked about the superconscious. He's like, "On some level, it will not work."

Will it, will it not, I don't know. It will likely be an unsmooth process.

Mike: I've witnessed this with a lot of clients, which is they're frustrated that their clients aren't getting certain results in certain areas of their life. And then I go, "What's that look like in your life?"

Mark: And they love that question.

Mike: And they go, "Ew." Like trying to tell their clients, "You know, hey, you need to take more time off from work, you need to get more sleep, you need to eat like this," whatever. And then I go, "Well, what's your sleep like?" "Well… " And excuses come rolling in. You get a lot of excuses from your clients, right? Like, "Oh, yeah." What goes around comes around.

Better internal dialogue

Mark: What goes around, comes around. That's a big part of it. Another big part of it is… This is for people that get excited about watching their clients' breakthrough things, not just losing that extra weight or doing well in the competition or hitting that PR in the gym. This is for the coach that enjoys watching them blossom internally and emotionally. There's an actual transformational on someone's face when they go from shit-talking themselves to becoming more supportive of themselves with their internal dialogue. You've seen that you see that all the time. You see that in a variety of different businesses that you're a part of.

Mark: A lot of the coaches that we're seeing come into Enlifted and get interested in Enlifted and fall madly in love with Enlifted and tell everyone they know about Enlifted are those kinds of coaches. They're like, "Listen, there's more to fitness than physical fitness. There's emotional fitness, there's mental fitness. There's financial fitness." And once we have enough of the conversations that we are having in the certifications, then there is only one way to see the least common denominator in all of the blocks that people have. And that comes down to the words. I've been talking about this for a long time…

Mark: Show me someone who has a problem in some area of their life, and there is a story that is driving that thing or supporting it from the sidelines. And it's a, by definition, a magical process to go through and observe when someone deconstructs a story about what their father told them about how successful they'll be when they were nine or when someone shares a wind story.

The Power Of Journaling

Writing in a journal
Photographer: Cathryn Lavery | Source: Unsplash

Mark: How much more effective has your journaling, and in my opinion, you are a black belt in a language game. How much more effective has your journaling become as you've developed your understanding of wards or stories?

Mike: Oh, this is a great question. Meditation and journaling are very much the same in the world right now, which is people don't really understand meditation. They don't really understand journaling. I went to so many conferences. I went to… I talked to so many people that were successful. I was talking to the most successful people, and all of them were holding up a journal and a pen and talking about, "Journaling is a keystone to my success." And I go, "Cool, I've got to journal." So I started carrying a journal and I got all my colored pens.

Mark: We love your colored pens.

Mike: I did journal, and I would journal for a day or two and then I would stop. And in fact, my journaling used to be stream of consciousness, and I would write at the top of the page, SOC, stream of consciousness. That means whatever came to my mind, I'd on paper. And it helped because I was able to look at my words. I was able to look at my thoughts because that's what I was putting in my paper, it was my thoughts. And I was looking at my thoughts and I was able to look at them and get different perspectives. It was like, "Okay, I can look at these from different perspectives."

Journaling – the Bledsoe way

Mike: I didn't know at the time because it was a level up. Step one, put your thoughts on paper and look at them and see different perspectives possibly. And if anything, getting out on paper frees up some space and I can think about it. And in fact, what I like to do now is ask myself a question. I write it down in my journal before bed. I ask myself a question and then I close my journal and I go to bed and I wake up and I answer the question in the morning.

Mark: That's cool, dude.

Mike: That's a new move that I've been doing. I was doing this stream of consciousness journaling, which was good. And then when I started getting further and further into the language game and talking to you and we started working through some things and I took on all the concepts of Procabulary, which is the foundation of everything. And Enlifted my journaling game, went to a whole new level. And not only that, my motivation in journal went up because at that point I was journaling once a week, once every two weeks I would journal for four days straight, be so proud of myself and then fall off.

Mike: The journal goes with me everywhere now.

Mark: Everywhere.

Mike: Rewind five years ago and if you would have said, "Hey carry a journal around with you 24/7 and you'll write in it," I would've felt like it was too much other. I would ab been like, "I don't like this. I don't want to do it. It seems like a chore."

Why you should journaling

Mike: Yeah. That's a great point. The reason you do or don't do something has to do with you valuing it or not. And so for some reason, if you're not journaling, everyone listening to this knows that journaling is important. I seriously doubt you've tuned in on this show and you're completely naïve to this concept. And if you are no longer… I didn't find value in it because it was hit or miss. Some days I would have, "Oh, this is helpful." And other days I was like, "Yeah." Just scribbled in my journal for a bit. And then when I started using the language tech, it became immediately valuable. Not something that would be valuable because I journaled about it this week, it'll be valuable next month.

It was valuable in that moment. I go, "Whoa, this just changed the trajectory of my entire day." By the way, days add up to weeks and months and years.

Mark: Momentum, eh?

Mike: You make a fucking tweak a day. You make one tweak a day to what is going on with all of those statements running around your head 24/7, that's a practice that's going to make a difference. You do that for a year, you make 365 tweaks-

Mark: Everything will look different.

Mike: … to those 70,000 thoughts that run through your head in a day, you're chipping away, you're chipping away. When I started doing that, the value skyrocketed.

Other benefits of journaling

Mark: How much more productive are you?

Mike: Way more productive. Yesterday I started the day with a journaling, it was actually a really big… I journaled for pages and pages and pages about my life in different ways and what is it that I really want? Who do I need to be to show up as the person that wants to achieve these things or have these things, and all that? And the rest of my day was automatic. My distractions were low, time on Instagram was less, things like that. But my sense of purpose, the sense of purpose I had going through that, that was way high and it was markably different before I journaled and after I journaled.

And after I journaled, I go… I was filled with a sense of purpose and execution was easy for the whole day.

Mark: If you're listening to this podcast and you are interested in becoming more productive, the Enlifted course will help you with that in so many different ways. You'll be shocked, gloriously shocked at what happens from it. And that's what I'm seeing. That's what you're seeing with people that do the story work. They work on their stories, they work on their… that equals productivity.

Mike: It equals productivity. I'd say purpose and productivity because… That's that's likely a big leap for people but when you start doing the work around story and identity, the purpose conversation starts becoming very obvious. People hit me up all time, like, "Oh, sounds like you have a sense of purpose, or it looks like… What's your purpose? How'd you find your purpose?" And it was not like I didn't go do an event or read a book or journal one time and find my purpose.

Breathing and Fitness

Photographer: Pablo Orcaray | Source: Unsplash

Mike: With Enlifted is, there's so much tied to the breath. You know when you're holding your breath, it happens when you're training, it happens when there are certain conversations happening. Maybe you'll notice that your fingers are gripping the steering wheel a little bit too tight during a conversation while you're thinking about something.

And then you'll realize, you'll get it out of your head and all of a sudden, you'll take a breath and then you'll let go of the wheel a little bit easier and go, "Whoa, I was stressing out a little bit there." And here's what's happening is, your stress is showing up in the body. And then when you go to move your joints or in the wrong position to move well, and now you end up with repetitive shoulder movement that results in an injury. And then you go, "Oh, I've got a bad shoulder."

Mark: That's why I hurt my knee.

Mike: Dude, I remember looking in the mirror, "Yeah. This is why I got busted up." Is because of the stories that we're running. And these things manifest in the body, things get tight and then we train through them and then we wonder why it hurt. And when I lay this conversation on people, I watch the light bulbs go off. And I'm glad we're going to talk about it right here because I don't think I've gone into much detail about it on the show. And I like having a conversation so I can have a back and forth and make sure should we go, "What do you mean by this or that?" As more of this goes on, it becomes more and more obvious to me.

Is it really sitting?

Mike: Yeah. And this whole sitting conversation, people talking about sitting being the new smoking and it's so bad for you and this and that. And sitting used to jerk me up. If I was sitting on an airplane and I got up, my shoulders hurt, my neck hurt, my hips were tight, I got off the plane, I couldn't sit on a desk very long. And that's a good idea, it's a good idea to keep moving throughout the day. But what I've found is, I can sit at a desk now for hours. I can get on a plane and when I stand up, everything's loose. And the reason is that I'm breathing well. I'm breathing into my belly the whole time, when I'm working, I'm breathing.

Pay attention, folks. When you're at work and you're doing stuff and you're talking to your boss or whatever, what's happening with your breath? Do you notice that afterward, you're a little out of breath, were you holding it?

And so I go, "I can now sit for hours and work and stand up and go in the gym and workout, and I don't have to warm up so much." There are all these things. I'm 37, former competitive athlete and some of the sports that I chose, I chose them because they were hard. And there are not many guys that are my age, I'll be 38 in a couple of weeks. There are not many guys my age that did what I did and walks around pain-free and without bunch of metal installed and this and that. And I attribute it to, I breathe well throughout the entire day, I'm relaxed. And the reason I'm relaxed is because of the story work.

Breathing matters

Mike: Because here's the thing, when you're breathing short, when there's a stress breath, what's happening is, the wrong muscles, the muscles that are meant for movement are being used to breathe because your breathing muscles, your diaphragm, is not working properly, so now it's pretty much guaranteed that you're pre-fatiguing things that shouldn't be pre-fatigued. And these are muscles that are, they're responsible for initiating movement and if your muscles that are initiating movement are fatigued, that means that the wrong muscles are initiating movement, which means you're going to have a poor movement pattern.

Now, the other thing is, when this is happening, if you're not breathing deeply and into your belly and it's short, your body is pumping out something called cortisol, which is famously known as the stress hormone. And a lot of people have a reverse cortisol cycle or whatever you want to call it. And that is, they're producing more cortisol throughout the day. So they have a hard time waking up. You'll know if your cortisol is jerked up if you have a hard time waking up and you feel wired before you go to bed. Cortisol is actually responsible for helping wake your ass up. So cortisol should be higher in the morning, and throughout the day should decrease, which means that you should be taking on activities in the morning, and as the day goes on, relaxing more.

But that's usually the opposite for people. They wake up stressed and then they go to bed even more stressed and they're in this elevated cortisol state all the time, and so now they can't lose that fat off their belly. They're like, "Oh God, I got this fat, I don't know what to do with it.

Neuroplasticity and Repetitive Stories

Photographer: Robina Weermeijer | Source: Unsplash

Mike: I want to point this one thing out, that I know everybody wants to do better, and that is, learn faster, everyone wants to be smart. And again, I'd like to point out, the older I get, the faster I'm learning. And I think a lot of people, what's common knowledge is, when you're young you can learn faster. Someone who's six can learn faster and there's a lot of reasons why that may be true, but what I'm finding is, the older I get by doing the story work, I learn a lot faster. And the reason is that A, I have space, and I'll give you some scientific reasons behind this space. A lot of the research is happening right now is around something called neuroplasticity.

Neuroplasticity simply means that the neurons are more plastic. Plastic means they're malleable, they can change. And so neural pathways in the brain, in the body, because it's more than just in the brain. Neural pathways in the body are what is responsible for repeating thoughts, memories. When A happens, B has to happen. And there's this neural pathway that gets grooved. And the more that the neurons fire together, they wire together, I don't know if it's fire together or wire together.

And so what happens is, we're creating the same story over and over again. Well, the thing about those neurons that are wired in a certain way, if we want to learn a new way of doing something, so you want to improve your snatch, you want to improve how you operate at work, your conversations, how you show up, your learning technique, your jujitsu.

Cultivating your body

Mike: Again, if you want to learn faster, you have to get really good at undoing those old learning patterns, and you got to free up those neurons to make new attachments. And not only make new attachments but make new, strong bonds for what you're learning next.

What happens is you have to cultivate, I talk about this in some of the things that I've been teaching, which is, create your body as a garden. Think about your body as a garden, you have to cultivate it and make it, you want fertile soil. So neurons that are very plastic are very fertile, you have fertile ground. Now, what we're finding is, what keeps neurons from being able to unwire and rewire, cortisol stands in the way of that. So if you are in upregulated state, if you're not breathing well, you have high cortisol. There is a lot of stress in your environment, you're not going to learn very fast. You go into what's called survival. So stress is associated with survival, which means that there's patterns that have been generated that have kept you alive up until this point.

And because you've been kept alive up until this point, it's working, There's a story that whatever I've been doing up till now works and the body, the nervous system is committed to that way of doing things. So learning how to do double unders or improve your snaps or jujitsu or learning how to talk differently, is going to be very difficult when there's stress involved. And what I witness when people are trying to learn new skills is they're putting more stress on themselves than necessary.

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