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    KNOWLEDGE IS POWER

    Are you breathing properly?

    Are you breathing properly?

    Lately I have been diving deep into proper breathing and understanding how important it is to our everyday living. We need food, water, and sleep to survive, and we can go days and weeks without these. But if you hold your breath you will either pass out or die within minutes. So why are we not taking the same approach to how we breathe? We see everyone counting macros, pounding the water, tracking their sleeping every night, but we never see people talking about how they are optimizing their breathing for everyday life.

    You are probably thinking to yourself, “I breathe correctly, and I have no problem in that department.” Well let me ask you three questions that might make you rethink that:

    1. Do you breathe through your mouth or your nose on a daily basis?
    2. Do you notice your breath when just relaxing? For example: Does your belly rise first when you inhale or does your chest?
    3. Do you chew with your mouth open, without realizing it?

    These are just simple things to look for. The first thing we do when we are born is take a big inhale and let out a long exhale. Breathing affects everything in the body and if we are doing it properly it will lead to improving your daily activities and overall health. Some benefits to proper breathing:

    • Increased energy production
    • Increased mental clarity
    • Lowered stress, anxiety and tension in the body
    • Helps produce calmness and relaxation
    • Helps with digestion

    How to Start Breathing Properly

    I challenge all of you to start focusing on breathing through the nose; really pay attention to how you're taking that breath in. If you are not sure how to do that then here are some ways to help promote proper breathing patterns.

    1. Lay flat on your back, put your tongue on the roof of your mouth, then inhale through the nose. Feel your back and abdomen expand first before the chest rises. Then, exhale and push your abdomen down towards the ground; feel your back stay flat against the floor.

    2. While standing, put one hand on your back, then one hand on your abdomen: go through the same steps as I explained above.

    You can do this pretty much anywhere. I recommend using some kind of feedback that allows for you feel the proper breathing patterns. Once you have that down then we can try playing around with it in different positions. Practice breathing properly. If you ever feel tired or just overwhelmed, take a couple deep inhales and exhales through the nose, and really be one with your breath.

    Take control of your life with one breath at a time.

    DIE LIVING!!!!

    [training-ad]

    Where Conan Steered Me Wrong

    “It’s not enough that I succeed. You must also fail.”

    Thinking like this is a massive waste of time and energy. Don’t succumb to this fool’s errand. An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.

    Conan didn’t have to spend time thinking about making himself better, since he was already the most jacked, badass Barbarian on the planet. He could focus all of his energy on crushing his enemies, seeing them driven before him, and hearing the lamentation of their women. 

    You are not Conan.

    Read more

    Ranger Review of War Machine

    Our friends over at Combat Flip Flops hit the keyboard to give you the Ranger Review of the newly released Netflix original movie, War Machine. 


    Photo Credit: Netflix

    Damn. That was a good movie. So good that I watched it twice in 24 hours. Took notes the second go-around in order to share my thoughts with you.

    Bottom line up front: This may be the most covert anti-war movie ever made. Not because it represented our military leadership as incompetent. Because in making them look comically incompetent, it got viewers to understand who's really responsible for the debacle: our leadership.

    A few key moments in the film offer a peek into the strength of the message. These lines unravel a great deal of truth we should all take notice to:

    “Counterinsurgency is a popularity contest. Are the locals better off with you or with the insurgents?" After 17 years of bombing a developing nation with no sustainable improvement, this is a question we should honestly ask ourselves.
    “You can't win the trust of a country by invading it. You can't build a nation at gunpoint."
    “Only in war are generals relevant." Now, ask yourself, “If I served and wasn't a general, what does that make me?"

     

    To my military brethren that are upset about the portrayal of General McChrystal: If they hadn't portrayed the General and his staff as egotistic, incoherent asses--nobody would watch the movie and the points would have been lost upon the 99% of the population that didn't serve post 9/11. Hang with me here.

    Most American's don't really give a fuck about Afghanistan or it's people. Be honest. We go to work, pay taxes, bitch about the news, and generally do what it takes to put food on the table and a roof over your head. The war in Afghanistan is an occasional 30 second thought in between Tiger's DUI or the latest political debacle. We lost 2,371 lives and spent over a Trillion (With a capital “T") on a country that we really don't care about. If this last paragraph upset you, it's probably because you know it's true.

    So, the movie. It's an entertaining two hours and two minutes of Brad Pitt looking like an ass in Afghanistan. Who wouldn't watch that? Exactly. And tons of people did. And reviewers wrote about it. Driving more views. Getting people to hear the salient points conveyed in between moments of stupidity portrayed by the cast.

    "Counterinsurgency is a popularity contest. Are they better off with you or with the insurgents?"

    Combat Flip Flops War Machine Review Marine platoon

    Photo Credit: Netflix

    There's a scene where a struggling young Marine goes toe to toe with General McChrystal during a brief. He conveys the struggle regarding the difference between the enemy and the locals. Spoiler: In a later scene, he reacts to contact by shooting at a local running away from from the fight. A few minutes later, he enters and compound and dispatches the previously engaged “runner" and two insurgents. During the compound clearance, he finds a dead child as a result of the exchange of gunfire. To me, this was the point of the movie.

    Combat Flip Flops War Machine Review Collateral Damage

    Photo Credit: Netflix

    Politicians and flag officers send our young services members into an unwinnable fight, knowing there is a high likelihood of civilian casualties. And get this: the insurgents know it too. Insurgents are willing to fight and die knowing that U.S. Servicemembers will ultimately take the blame for the civilian deaths, winning the local population to their side. And in this cycle, the U.S. becomes ever less popular and winning the war becomes more unattainable than it ever was.

    So, as citizens and servicemembers funding and fighting a counterinsurgency, we should really ask ourselves if we're going to win this popularity contest. If we know we can't, why do we continue to fight?

    [Side Note] Following this exchange of gunfire and collateral damage reconciliation, the general's helicopter takes off, blows over everything in the compound dealing from the loss of a child, and dusts the young Marines left to clean up the mess. Typical.

     

    “You can't win the trust of a country by invading it. You can't build a nation at gunpoint."

    Combat Flip Flops War Machine Review Helmand Invasion

    Photo Credit: Netflix

    This narration sounded as General McChrystal watches the sun set over the Helmand Province. We later find out that this was his moment of resolution to occupy the province. When you watch the movie a second time, the timing is spectacular.

    So, please reread point 2. If you don't get it. Reread it again. As a nation, we've been fucking this up for the past few decades. Maybe this movie will get some people to truly pay attention and understand it.

    Only in war are generals relevant.

    Combat Flip Flops War Machine Review Photo Op

    Photo Credit: Netflix

    This line comes in after Obama ditches McChrystal plane-side. From my understanding, this relationship was depicted accurately. Political leadership doesn't truly care about our military leaders outside of the photo-op. Kissinger stated it in the 70's, “Military men are 'dumb, stupid animals to be used' as pawns for foreign policy." For my military brothers and sisters that have been away from their families, losing comrades, and dealing with the poor care after service, ask youself the question, “If generals are only relevant in war, and I wasn't a general, what does that make me?"

    If you don't believe this is the most covert anti-war movie ever, watch the movie again. At 12:18, the narrator drops the truth bomb after McChrystal's first meeting with the politicians in country, “There are two types of General in the American military. There are those that believe they can win in the face of all evidence to the contrary. And there are those who know they can't. Unfortunately for the world, it's the believers that climb to the top of the ladder. It's guys like Stan that are given the keys to the castle."

    Combat Flip Flops War Machine Review Keys to the Castle

    And that's how you make a War Machine.

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    Speedwing Riding In Chamonix

    SOFLETE Athlete Zach Carbo travels to beautiful Chamonix, France, for an epic week of Speedwing Riding in the big mountains. 

    Die Living

    -SOFLETE HQ

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