Thursday, October 30, 2008


In his seminal work, Everyday Survival, Laurence Gonzales tells the story of a Fire Dept. Captain who ignores his fire fighting instincts and takes his unit into harms way. From which they never return. Another Captain's approach to the same situation, and learning from the mistakes of the former, is to set the timer on his his watch every hour when in danger to remind himself to stop, look around, listen, and collect new data. IOW, do something better, and in this case, safer, using the latest information. That, my friends is GREAT advice.

Not all of us are fire fighters. But we should all be on call 24/7. Gonzales goes on to talk about how we, as modern Homo erectus, have evolved into using vacation mode most of the time. We all feel pretty safe at any moment, changing lanes on the freeway while chatting on the cell, building homes on the fault lines, engaging in extreme sports, polluting the planet. His analysis is that we have lost a very important piece of our survival instinct, that of paying attention. I have to agree. This was even the key topic on safety stand-down seminars I used to give to the US Navy. Paying attention. It solves a lot of issues.

So, I was telling the assembled spinners yesterday morning that their homework assignment from Wed to Fri was to once an hour check in with their cores (that area roughly between the lower rib cage and mid thigh) to see if there was anything that could be improved upon AT THAT PRECISE MOMENT. And to repeat as necessary. Once every hour. Simply looking at your posture is sometimes enough. Bringing in the lower abs towards the spine and tightening the lower back muscles every hour goes a long way towards overall good health.

And if good health is 90% of happiness, this should be a major concern. So today I am taking it a step further, ALL of you have a watch (doesn't have to be a Timex, sorry Louis) or a cell phone (nor a iPhone, sorry Gordon), so you can set the chimer, timers, bells or whistles at the top (or bottom) of EVERY HOUR so that when it is "That time" you can send your awareness to your core and do what needs to be done. Cool? Good.


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