Saturday, November 28, 2015

Day 11.242 Somewhere Else

 I wish I had thicker skin.

One would think that as a former softball umpire, journalist, sub-contractor for the Department of Defense and Marketing Director, that I, by now, would be immune to comments that do not perfectly fit into my idea of 'positive'.

But they kill me. Intentional or otherwise. I die a thousand slow and painful deaths with every insensitive, uncaring, off-target, off-the-cuff, crass, callas or uncalled for comment.

My Mom told me one time that if I had nothing nice to say about someone, then don't say anything at all. That used to be fairly easy, but now in the age of tweets, texts and instant messaging about everything, we lose the art of the delivery. Non vis-a-vis and conveniently anonymous. Thank God for emotions and emojis, eh?

Like the fine art of the Italian slam that opens. 'with all due respect.' Right.

This is totally my fault. If I was better at my job perhaps they would stop sending insults and send flowers.

But I am not. As much as I try to improve, to gain a better, or cleaner, perspective I feel like I continue to trot innocently into the same ambush day after day.

Worse, I am out-manned, out-gunned, and in a compromised logistical position. They have elevation as I scurry for cover.

I would ask, naturally then, why do you do this?

Why not direct all that angst, anger, fear and negative drama in a direction that will come back to help, not haunt you?

I am not the bad guy.

If I have truly pissed you off and you feel the need to retaliate, defend or argue for your limitations, let's set up a time and place and talk. You don't need to slander the pure or libel the wholesome standing upon an on-line soapbox.

It is hard enough.

Let's make it better, not worse.

Mom was right.

Say what you like.

Somewhere else.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Day 11.241 Home Sweet Home

One of the more graphic ideas with regard to fitness and how we attempt to obtain it with indoor cycling as core, is another gem from Joe Friel. In his marvelous work, Fast After Fifty, he says:

"Health is the foundation upon which fitness is built." I really like the way that one rolls. I also think it needs a modifier. So I will attempt an amendment, with all due respect to Joe.

Good health is the foundation upon which fitness is built;
Performance is the trim, finish and decoration.

Together they form a blueprint for the architecture of you.

They combine the two critical components, the very materials used in the construction of that home we call 'self'. The place where you live. The body in which you inhabit. Your energy levels, your personal power and the quality of life that you demonstrate to others on a daily basis. This is so important. Because people look at your house as a model. They say, 'I like that style, that color, those materials', making value judgments and inner commentaries as to how they would also like a home like that.

Health and fitness lead to performance enhancements. They do not need to be athletic. It is not necessary to be an Ironman Champion to have a high QoL. One needs not dominate the local 5K to be seen by others as a winner.

To me, this interesting thing about this is the natural progression that it inspires. It is simply the next logical step. A fact I am sure even Mr Spock would appreciate.

Good Health>Fitness>Performance>Quality of Life.

Put another way, once, the very moment, your body is in perfect sync with your mind, the spirit wants to play a part too. That synergy, the alignment and fellowship of mind, body and spirit, the Zen of Satori, is so full of power a quality that most of us are unable to contain it. It spills, drains, empties and vanishes like a chilly Decembral wind. What the heck was THAT? we say ex post facto.

In what should be by now an easily recognizable recurrent theme, the way that we stop those leaks, plug the drains and keep our tank full of this magical and miraculous life force, is to practice.

Every day.

Do something today to improve your health, enact the routines your body desires, perform to your highest capabilities, train mind and body together, embrace the alchemy of the combined soulful experience, and I think you will quickly see that the result of that effort is a robust quality in the experience we call life.

In the home you have built.

For your extended family.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Day 11.240 All the Gibberish

This is getting old. All the gibberish.

Getting old fast.

After the power outage that left me cold and unconnected for two days, my wi-fi is still out. You know the message, server could not be found. I sit at Starbucks mooching theirs.

Regardless, we are on the last leg of a mission with a manageable 35 days remaining. So I will endure the ignominy.

That streak is about to come to a close. It has been two years since my commitment to post daily. It has been both an enjoyable process as well as, sometimes, a pain in the rear. Streaks are like that.

As soon as this one ends, actually with a touch of a cross-fade, we will embark on a new mission with a new goal. Here is the fun part:

This fresh start will begin where this one left off. I will take all the experience, understanding and wisdom (yes that) learned from this web-log since its inception way back in 2007.

Further, if I may, I can tell that there has been improvement. I know that sometimes when I use a word for the first time, finally get the punctuation right or connect two diverse ideas into one, I smile a fleeting grin of instance celebration. I will also editorialize that spellcheck is both a blessing and a curse. You know what I scream.

Today, being Thanksgiving, we staged our annual Turkey Day spin. I have the audience for 75 minutes, trying to create a synergy of exercise and gratitude. In a rare moment of weakness (my classes are more a dictatorship than a democracy) I invited anyone in the session the mic if they wished to offer thanks. To anyone, anything or anyplace.


One of our regulars even summoned the courage to publicly thank me. For what I do, for what I share. Humorously, he ended his offering with the hilarious kicker that all this was despite my occasional verbal gibberish. ????? was my knee-jerk reaction. I share with you the secrets of life and you audaciously call that gibberish???? I repeat ?????

Once the laughter had died down and decorum reestablished, we continued our merry practice.

And I thought to myself, he is right - it is all gibberish. Still I am grateful for the opportunity to try to improve.

Happy Thanksgiving my friends.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Day 11. 239 The Important Thing

The important thing - the TRULY important component in all of this is that once (and that is a huge assumption on my part - assuming that there is something of importance to YOU that you have begun the steady march towards - as I have) is simply this:

KEEP MOVING IN THAT DIRECTION. Take one more step up the staircase.

It needs not to be at maximum velocity or non-stop 24/7 intensity, but some type of effort that pushes your marvelous agenda…


You know what that means. In fables and epic sagas of conflict resolution it is the hero's relentless loyalty to the rally-cry that a little of something is better than a of nothing. Once begun you had better finish.

That can mean one step. One step closer, a tiny movement in the direction that has your commitment and obsession and passion.

Should that commitment and obsession waiver, this is exactly the treatment. DO SOMETHING!

However small and however seemingly humble.


You will feel the power and the reward as you go.

You just need to go.

And do what must be done.

That is the important thing.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Day 11. 238 Of Those I Care

It's not that I don't care, because I do.

It's more that I accept the inevitable.

It is going to happen. One fine day.

We don't know when and we don't know where.

Nor do we know exactly how.

I find myself saying 'It's OK' a lot these days.

I find some comfort in that, a minor chord consolation.

I am not apathetic, although perhaps a bit agnostic.

Nor is this pessimistic. My glass has always been half full.

It is simply the fact, reinforced daily, that there is only one way out.

Therefore we have a choice.

It can be with suffering, or without.

It can be quick and painless, or long and drawn-out.

This then, can be seen as a form of practice. The better I get at suffering and dealing with the associated degrees of uncomfortability, and those celebrated zones outside of it, the better I might be when that big moment finally arrives. Because I get only one shot at THAT too.

Practice then, is the key. Preparedness, readiness, acceptance.

And of those I care deeply.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Day 11.237 It's Over

Alright it's over.

And I will get over it.

But not before I write the wrap-up eulogy.

I owe at lest that.

With the back-story of my official boycott of broadcast television that began in 1981 (Dallas, Love Boat, Different Strokes being the ratings leaders at the time) until right about this time one year ago, I have not only fallen off that boycott wagon but broke a leg and been knocked dizzy in the process.

It all started innocently enough at the Goodwill. I was shopping for some flannel shirts and used Levis when we happened to pass the DVD section. My sister was in town and we decided to watch a movie. In the search for entertainment I spied a boxed set of something I hard heard a little about. It was $3.99 for a seven disc set of all season-one episodes, over a thousand minutes of running time!

So I took it to the cashier. She said upon purchase that it was her favorite.

The next day, after viewing a single episode, I was hooked.

My friend told me not to fall in love with any of the characters.

It has been a year. I have watched every episode of every season THREE TIMES IN SUCCESSION. The only other thing I have watched in that time span has been Husky football games.

Last night was the finale.

As the clock literally ran out and the credits rolled, I just sat there at my desk (I watch on a computer with headphones) and tried to decipher the emotions, again. They have changes with each viewing. I will capsulize what all this fanboy obsession has dramatically illustrated to me in the simplest descriptive terms I can manage.


I could list another 24 but you get the idea.

Thanks Jack.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Day 11.236 No-frills

I had to look it up.

Working on an ad campaign, I was interested in the etymology of the cliched term, no frills. As in this is a no-frills package. There is not much extravagance, very little exposition and nothing besides true value.

You want smoke and mirrors to distract your attention while we work?

If your answer to that simple question is in the affirmative, please PLEASE stop wasting your time here and surf elsewhere. There are waves waiting for you.

This is about desire, effort and reward, NOT about cushy, cozy and pampering rooms to take the place of them.

If you want results you must do the work, the homework and pass the tests.

Fortunately, we do them one day at a time. This scenario is not and off-on switch (like enlightenment) this is profoundly disciplined continual forward motion  because we believe that progress is a process.

You CAN handle the truth, and there it is.  Anybody that portends to have an alternative is playing you like a cheap fiddle. Want washboard abs in thirty days?

So when I wanted to offer a no-frills method of increasing one's health and fitness I had to dig well beneath the granite surface and take a closer look.

Because people are conditioned. And lazy. And impatient. And busy. I grant you all of that because I man a paddle in that same canoe.

Frills is in reference to fabric design and manufacture. Frills and lace comprise the skirts they used to can-can to in the Roaring Twenties and post-war France. Frills galore! Oh la la!

Here, we now need none.

We show up, do the work and support our teammates that are doing likewise. You want a fuzzy towel, a large locker, TVs above every treadmill, a massage and valet parking?

If that satisfies your requirements for a quality session I have no problem.

If you use that as proxy for hard work, I do.

You want the frills? Have at 'em.

We are no-frills.

And that means you have to work hard to stay here.