Eighth Anniversary: Mettle Maker #257

Can you believe it?  Today is the 8th anniversary of the weekly mettle maker — time flies when you’re having fun!

Over the years the frequency has changed, the name has changed, and the format has changed.  Which format do you like?  Did you prefer the experimental formats of last week and week before?  Do you like the format below?  Or is one of the old styles more to your liking?  Please post in the comments and let me know.  

The goal of these mettle makers is to inspire you to take charge of your life — your education, your strength and fitness, your attitude, and your relationship with God.  Whatever you do, don’t live your life in service of fashion, entertainment, food, comfort, or anything like that. 

The things that you think make you unique — your likes and dislikes, your favorite food, favorite movies, etc. — might actually be the things that prove you’re just like everyone else.  What might make you truly unique?

Think about it.

Eighth Anniversary: Mettle Maker #257

  • Loosen up your shackles. Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes.  Do 2-3 minutes each of (a) jumping rope or footwork (b) light calisthenics and (c) shadowboxing, forms, light heavy bag work, or 8 minutes of MBF.
  • wp-1619107852901.jpg

    MBF dice available at http://www.mitch.store

    Seize hold of your fitness.  If you do MBF every day (or close to it) you can afford to dial back the intensity as compared to training martial fitness once or twice-per-week.  If you’re not using the MBF program several times a week, you have to a little harder.  Try a 15-minute half-pyramid of Rope Climbs, Sit-outs, Bag Lifts, and Leg Triangles.  Do 1 of each, then 2 of each, then 3, 4, etc. until the timer beeps.    
  • Break free of the ordinary.  Go for a P.O.W. run.  Interlace your fingers behind your head and run 1 mile as fast as you can.  This arm position (a) makes it impossible to fully fill your lungs and (b) wrecks pelvic rotation, eliminates arm lift energy, and removes your arms’ ability to counterbalance the legs.  1 mile will feel like 3.
  • Tackle the tough questions.  Take the self-defense quiz below and see how you do.
  • Liberate your taste buds with some maple seeds.  Maple seeds are an edible, high protein food — great for a fun snack or as a survival food.  Catch some maple keys or “helicopters” before they get too dry.  Split the casing at the spine to liberate a smallish green seed (technically a fruit I think).  Eat them raw or toast them at 350F for 10 minutes as a snack, salad addition, topping for cereal or granola, etc.  When toasted they remind me of a cross between a sunflower seed and a soybean (complete with the bitter finish of the latter).  Pics below.  Charge up your batteries.  Assume posture of choice and regulate breathing to a slow and steady rhythm. Keep your eyes open and fixed.  Do not fidget, wiggle or scratch. Allow your thoughts to dissipate like ripples on a pond and your mind to approach a state of calm and relaxed awareness.  Do not think at all, but especially not in words — do not evaluate, judge, make lists, fixate on emotions, let your mind wander, or any of that.  Just breathe and be.  This is called “contemplation” and practicing it regularly is associated with improved emotional resilience, increased patience reserves, and more.  Add prayer and it works even better.   

Self-Defense Quiz 


Column 1              

Column 2

1. Can you safely change a flat tire on your car?





2. The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.  How many friends do you have in your circle who have been involved in violent altercations?



1 or more

3. Do you wear earbuds or headphones in public places – while shopping, running, walking, at the gym, etc.? 



4. How do you pass the time while waiting – in a supermarket line, in a waiting room for a doctor’s appointment, etc.


People watching, chatting w/ a friend, flipping through a magazine


Watching videos, engrossed in your phone, reading a book

5. Can you picture at least two exits from your place of employment – one front and one rear?



6. When you park, do you pull in or back in?

Pull in

Back in

7. By what criteria do you choose your seat in a restaurant?

Noise, view of entrance, proximity to exit


Proximity to kitchen, décor, comfort of seating, or at random

8. When was the last time you had the oil changed in your car?

More than 6 months ago

Less than 6 months ago

9. What’s the last thing you do before you leave on a trip?

Go the bathroom

Inform 2 or more people where you’re going and when to expect you home

10. How many of the following do you have in your pockets or purse right now?  Lighter, flashlight, knife, $20 cash

2 or less

3 or 4

11. How much gas in your car’s gas tank right now?

More than a 1/4 tank

1/4 tank or less

12. How many of these do you have in your car right now? Blanket, stocking cap, water, snacks, lighter, tow rope or chain, first aid kit

4 or less

5 or more

13. How much food do you have in your home pantry (dry goods, such as rice, cereal,

<1 month

1 month or more

Answers:  Preferred answers to questions 1, 2, 4, 7, and 11 are in Column A.  The rest are in Column B.  


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