Tag Archives: introduction

Welcome, Andy Lambert @uuzennie

12 Jun

Today, Blake, Emily B, Emily H, and I are happy to welcome a new friend to the site, Andy Lambert. Andy is someone I’ve been friends with on Twitter for a long time. He’s very open and genuine in both his practice, as well as his path to fitness.  As you can read in his introduction below, he has made amazing personal progress and I’m extremely happy that he will be joining us here.

Welcome to Iron Lotus, Andy!



To say that I’m Mercurial would be an understatement.

My wife points out that I’m project oriented and once I’m done with a project that interests me, I move on.

One project that I am continually drawn back to is my health. I am not one to accept anything on faith. I was drawn to Buddhist Practice for this very reason. Questions are encouraged rather than forbidden.

I should say that my Practice, these days, is pretty minimal. Meditation in the Zen style is any thing but regular. I am philosophical Buddhist. I try to live in a Buddhist manner, in accordance with my values. I have found, in Unitarian Universalism, a connection with the religion of my childhood and I have found peace with the elements of Christianity that speak to me and remain a Buddhist.

One thing I do believe in is nutrition science, or really anything that’s fairly well proven. Exercise and strength training are known quantities. In our world today, most of us do jobs that don’t tax our bodies to optimal levels and we intake food that is engineered to make us want more of it and, for most of us, it’s fairly nutritionally bankrupt.

I went off the Standard American Diet three years ago when my wife and I went on Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s Eat to Live Plan. We didn’t stick with it long, but our shift away from animal based protein as well as most dairy and eggs has lasted. I’ve been a 99 % Vegan since then. I’ve had some times where having dairy made sense and I did so. You shouldn’t hold any point of view so firmly that you can’t adapt it to the changing conditions of your life, but I can say I’ll never go back to eating meat.

In an effort to close the loop in refining my health even further I am working on beginning strength training anew. My friends here at Iron lotus noticed and asked me to join them, writing and tracking my journey here. It’s been daunting, honestly. I’m still trying to regain any knowledge I once had on the subject.

So far I have committed to doing body weight training. This is because I have no abdominal muscle wall. I had a gangrene like condition in my appendix when I was 17. I barely survived and have had three subsequent hernia repair operations. I need to lose another 125 pounds to get to the point where a total reconstruction might be feasible. So, that’s what I’m working on now. Last year I lost 100 pounds, this year, so far, nothing, but the year is not over yet.

Looking forward to sharing my journey with you,

- Andy “@uuzennie


Kris Freedain

A father, husband, and Buddhist who enjoys strength training. Currently using the 5/3/1 training program.

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Welcome, Emily Helt @mindfulness108

15 May

Blake, Emily, and myself have been enjoying keeping this site together. As you can tell, our main focus so far has been the training logs, with an occasional post under each of the other topics.  Personally, I feel this is working well and I hope you are enjoying interacting with us.

Today we welcome a new friend to the site, Emily Helt. Some of you may know her as @mindfulness108 on Twitter (and if you don’t follow her yet, I suggest you fix that).

Welcome to IronLotus, Emily!

I have always been physically active and grew up a pretty serious athlete. The first time I touched a basketball I was five years old and I never put it down after that. As I got older, things got more serious- I started seeing basketball trainers, playing AAU, and getting ready to compete in high school with serious plans for college ball. Eventually I started losing interest. The love I once had began to fade as basketball started to feel like a chore. This great passion I had was fading and I couldn’t figure out why. Then, my sophomore year I had no choice, I had to stop playing to get back surgery. I was restricted from sports for a year and this changed my life.

Overtime I realized that physical discipline is meaningless without mental focus and emotional maturity, both which I had spent little time cultivating. Looking back, I can see how I lacked mindfulness as I immersed myself entirely into basketball. I DO love playing basketball and after dealing with injury I was able to refocus and discover a new appreciation for it.

Although most of the time my injuries frustrate me like crazy, I am grateful for the challenges and lessons I’ve learned. Now, I focus on keeping balance and push myself with the knowledge that maintaining this is what sustains my fitness. When I’m not cooped up in the gym I am scouring the Internet for random geekery, blogs, or creative inspiration. My computer is an integral part of preserving a balanced life.

- Emily Helt “@mindfulness108


Kris Freedain

A father, husband, and Buddhist who enjoys strength training. Currently using the 5/3/1 training program.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

Hello and welcome

23 Feb

An introduction.

I have always been very mind-oriented – reading, studying, meditating. But as I reach the middle years of my life, I realize that the barriers I have with relating to my body are purely mental, and to combat that I have tried many systems of body-consciousness, but nothing stuck. It all seemed so gentle, and as people who know me can attest, I am hard-core in everything I apply myself to. I wanted to see and feel like I had done something, just to get past the entry barrier and create a regular commitment to my physical well-being.

Then my husband, who was a competitive power lifter in decades past, introduced me to strength training. It empowers me to continue, and I can definitely feel progress. It reminds me of the energetic fun I felt when I worked as a cargo handler at the airport, only I don’t have to do it in the snow. Win-win.

My objectives revolve around consistent practice and not the amount I lift, just like in my meditative practice. Also, I’m not accustomed to keeping logs, so that’s a skill I need to develop as well. I’m fortunate to have met fellow travelers of the Path who share my passions for breaking through barriers and for the geekery that entertains my off time. I’m three generations deep in sci-fi fandom so that part is important. We can’t be all about work and no play, you know.

- Emily Breder “@ohiobuddhist


I have always been a bit uncomfortable with labels and still am to this day. I hesitate to call myself anything. Even my own Twitter
handle, @blakethegeek, leaves me a bit uncomfortable because there I am, calling myself a “geek.” So it’s no surprise that I hesitate to
call myself a Buddhist, a weight trainer, or a fan boy. But here is what what holds my interest and time when I’m not working.

- I study Zen with the Kansas Zen Center in Lawrence, KS.
- I push around heavy objects at a local gym.
- I am a sucker for anything comic book or sci-fi related.
- I have started a hobby farm with my wife.

Oddly enough, I see the connection that each of these things have and it is my goal to help everyone else see this connection as well. This
is why I’m on Iron Lotus.

- Blake Wilson “@blakethegeek


Anyone that I interact with in person or online probably knows I’m a Buddhist. They also probably know I am involved in strength training. Along with these, they know I’m a big geek. I have also kept a training log for a while. This has mainly been for myself, to keep track of what I’ve done, my own successes as well as failures, and making it public has been good motivation as well. In strength training as is in meditation, consistency is extremely important.

Over the years I’ve been lucky to meet a lot of people online that I now consider friends. Some I’ve met in person, some not yet, but many are considered good friends. A few of us started to notice the similarities in interests; Buddhism, meditation, strength training, and well, we’re all kind of geeks in our own way. From this we began talking about starting a site together, somewhere for our training logs to combine, for us to share parts of our practice, for us to post about geeky things that interest us. From this, Iron Lotus was born.

- Kris Freedain “@mindonly


Welcome to Iron Lotus.

Kris Freedain

A father, husband, and Buddhist who enjoys strength training. Currently using the 5/3/1 training program.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook