Monday, November 30, 2015

Day 11.244 A Little Slice of Heaven

We attacked the moving target this morning. Searching for a little slice of Heaven.

There are precious few concepts that we can accurately label as absolutes. Things that eventually, if we hang around long enough, we will experience. Suffering, death, taxes, loss of health, disease, disappointment all fit the category. To be fair, so might love, joy, tranquility, success and creative inspiration.

We isolated the health one early today. We meet at 0530 every Monday morning for an hour of indoor cycling. It is my job to design the workout, explain the components and lead the session. I also have the additional duty to add a musical accompaniment and appropriate commentary and motivational messaging.

The absolute in question is the need for movement. The target is some combination of good health, enhanced fitness, performance preparation and calorie consumption. By mutual agreement we feel that this is an important part of reach day. We also recognize the myriad other benefits in this routine, the cardiovascular, bio-chemical, fuel processing, muscular adaptation and stress management upgrades.

But today was about experimenting with a visitation to a rather nebulous location known as The Comfort Zone. The moving target of mapping one's response to the stepping outside of it, more precisely.

We witnessed, again, the phenomena known affectionately as the fatigue factor as the protocol demanded relentless output; muscles, lungs and wills quickly tested in their ability to maintain the power requirements.

We also saw the reality of the moving target metaphor. As our power dropped, in some cases dramatically, the point was to define in the present moment the current sweet spot and add 25 watts to it. Our wattage was reduced but the target, as goal, remained the same.

By 45 minutes I was cooked, basting like a roasted turkey, ready for knife and fork. I was amazed at the speed with which this power protocol impacted my ability to sustain my former robust output.

That target had not only moved, it was hiding in deep cover.

My comfort zone was now a small percentage of what it had been at the start. I was hanging on by a silver thread, desperate in my attempt to finish with whatever pathetic degree of oomph musterable (I will coin that one here - and hope you take my meaning).

And it hurt like hell.

That little slice of Heaven.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Day 11.243 Just Write a Check

I am working on another promo. It feels sort of like doing dumbbell biceps curls.

I do that a lot (the promo part).

I have the vision that the 'scene' will take place with an infinity background, pure white, with talking heads in the forefront, changing with every utterance of the tag-line theme dialogue consisting of three words:


After ten seconds we will pretty much get the idea. The inflection will change as will the tone as delivered by each of the 'actors'.

At the ten second point will will begin to interlace the head shots with an alternating combination of indoor cycling and outdoor footage.

After twenty seconds we will pretty much get that idea, too.

At the crucial and critical thirty second point the graphic will appear:


Dot com.

I am working on the fantasy of this spot airing as the defense trots off the field after a dramatic goal line stand late in the fourth quarter,

I'll just write them a check

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.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Day 11.235 Both

I am sitting at my makeshift desk. It is uncluttered, with only my monitor, keyboard, mouse and notebook atop.

I am toying with some obscure phraseology in the attempt to elicit some meaning. Or at the very least, a catchphrase, haiku or pun.

My finders are cold and spellcheck is laughing at me.

The challenge is to put the meaning in the middle. For a while now I have been using imagery that I find appropriate in spin class. Not the tired "see yourself strong in the saddle" or the worn "be the bike", but "stuck in the balance between the here and the now".

I really like that one.

So I start riffing with its potential for variation. I am noodling with a treatment that I can use with the effect of consideration and a result of compliance. Maybe raise an eyebrow or even some consciousness.

I am stuck on the ways we can pay homage to the power of the now. I consider the possibilities:


All good. But they each fail, mostly due to the fleeting presence of the reality we call the now. How, the heck, can I enact love in a time so short?

I am scratching my chin with the keyboard, combinations flowing free-form like Kerouac  typing on a roll of bleached wrapping paper so as not to break the stream of his brilliant consciousness.

And it hits me. Hard. A Bruce Lee lightening like one-inch punch to the chops.

The only way we can truly give the present moment the respect it is due, to graphically salute its power and perfection, to prove our wisdom of the ways of the universe, to glimpse at the meaning of IT ALL and to marry into the oneness of everything, is to…


As soon as I have written this I begin the initial test verify its veracity.

And I can't stop. I am laughing so hard, so loud and so uproariously that I must go wash the tears from my face. And I laugh at that. I fear the neighbors might call the cops, and that potential scene gets me rolling on the floor. Felony laughing.

When I am calm enough to continue I think I might be on to something, so I devise in depravity a segue to allow a live demonstration of this theory in spin class. OMG, is my knee-jerk response, they will NOT GET IT, not so much because of them, but because I know the borderline impossible complexity of a successful delivery. and I will be there on stage, with pure hell to pay, a sentence every stand-up comedian knows as a verdict worse than lethal injection or the gas chamber, or both.

There is no way I can pull it off. Not no way, not no how.

So of course, I try it.


Friday, November 20, 2015

Day 11.234 The Room Was Dark

The room is dark.

There are wires and electrodes attached to my body.

Most of them secured with a gooey gum-like substance below the hair line on my scalp.

I have a junction box resting on my chest that weights as much as an old laptop.

My face is plastered with tape and sensors.

I am wearing two elastic belts around my chest and belly.

Each of my legs has a sensor sticker connected to one red and one white wire.

The only light from the room comes from two light emitting red diode cameras, one pointed at my toes and the other between my ears.

I have a hose secured to my nose, surgical tubing running up each nostril. 

I hear a distance and disturbing sound like a bazooka tuning for a recital, seeking a tragic tonal target.

The room is as cold as it is stark.

It took the nurse, Opal, almost an hour to attach all the monitor leads and explain what they do, how they do it. But not why.

The bazooka is now grinding an organ in another room far down the hall.

Opal's calm voice comes on the intercom. Can you hear me?


Without moving your head, look up with your eyes.

Now down.

To the left.

Open your mouth wide.

Make a snoring sound.

Grind your teeth.

Point the toes on your left foot.

Now the right.

Take a deep breath and hold.

Tighten the muscles in your abdomen and hold.

What are the last four digits of your Social Security number?

OK, good night, don't move and we'll see you in seven hours.

And if you need to pee, call me.

Call you how?

Just talk, we're listening.

Eight hours later I am on a ferry boat heading home, test over.

I witness a glorious sunrise and consider all the metaphors.

The room was dark.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Day 11.233 I am Scared

Posted: Just in case you were not 100% sure, I will tell ya.

With nary an uncertain term.

Fear kills.

Fear of failure.
Fear of success.
Fear of the unknown.
Fear of the known.
Fear of loss.
Fear of gain.
Fear of snakes.
Fear of rakes.
Fear of death.
Fear of life.
Fear of trespassing.
Fear of being trespassed upon.

Get the idea?

One could spend one's entire life in fear.

The architects of our fear-based society (you want me to name them?) manipulate our hard-wire desire for safety and security (that is a desire, a want, NOT a need) by robbing us blind with hallow and preposterous reasoning that we must defend ourselves from the pending apocalypse by building walls, eavesdropping phone conversations, videotaping everyone everywhere, strip searching seniors in wheelchairs at regional airports, restricting access to data and insisting that our over crowded jails, institutions and penitentiaries are provided to protects us.

Protect us from what, exactly?

From the very freedoms through which we define ourselves? From the heart and soul of our constitution and the spirit of openness and generosity that fueled our growth and built our prosperity?

Build walls, arm the population, stop immigration, rat on your neighbor for religious intolerance, build up the military, eliminate social programs and, and, and, what have I missed?

Oh yeah, watch TV.


Fear the Republican agenda folks, that is the scariest scenario I have yet to witness.

And I am scared they have succeeded.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Day 11.232 I Deserve Nothig

I guess I have weird way to dealing with it.

Maybe its not so weird, and perhaps it is simply because it seems to be so popular, but I have always been able to 'override' the urge.

It is the 'I deserve this' justification. Also known as Excuse Number 3,432.

Works something like this:

I worked hard on the stationary bike this morning so I deserve a bacon flavored, triple creme, extra sugary, chocolate and caramel garnished venti frappacino.

The male version, sorry ladies, is very similar:

I worked hard on the turbo this evening so I deserve this slab of beef with gravy and potatoes smothered with saturated fat and deep fried in oil thick enough to lubricate a Volkswagen chassis.

Do either of these sound remotely familiar?

How about this one?

I am a successful and responsible member of society, I pay my share of taxes and vote. I am about ready to retire to the lake house as soon as my portfolio adds just one more percent of value. I deserve this cigar and fourth snifter of brandy.


I have three kids in school, I keep the house clean, shop and prepare three meals a day. I play tennis every Wednesday. I deserve this tiramisu and bottle of pinot noir.

And know what?

You are right. You do. You deserve everything. You work hard. You work out. You mow your lawn, don't use roundup or a silly leaf blower and go to church whenever your football team isn't playing.

Know what else?

Your body doesn't care. Not one bit. It is designed to deal with whatever you toss its way. Not to worry it will find a convenient place to store all that excess fat just as naturally as it will deal with metabolizing an imbalance of alcohol. Want to sit all day, take the elevator and drive everywhere? Not a problem boss.

I feel like this a lot. I think I deserve a lot of things. I LOVE glaze doughnuts. I like beer. I think I deserve a million dollars in my bank account and a new Mini Cooper out front.

So maybe I am a little weird because I also think that I 'deserve' nothing.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Day 11.231 Hold Onto Your Hat

Remember when TV news started getting good at weather forecasting? I am not sure there was a definitive, trackable dot on that graph but it might have been December 22, 1966.

At the time meteorologists were forecasting at about the same success rates as middle infielders were reaching base, meaning that the good or lucky ones, got it right about 27.5% of the time.

Which is OK because I have always been from the school of now.

Wanna know if the sun will shine today?
Go outside and walk around. See what happens.

In the winter take a jacket and in the summer don't forget the sunscreen.

Preparing for a weekend bike trip is one where, today, we use weather forecasting to plan. And prepare. Often the go-no go decision is based upon the amount of rainfall predicted for the target area.

I guess this would be a natural segue into the joys and benefits of indoor training, because not even the local commuters who brave the slippery darkness and sideways precipitation actually like riding in it, but I will resist, that is not why I bring it up today as grist for the blog mill.

It is because we are supposed to get 60-70 MPH winds today. I can almost guarantee as a result of this gale force breeze that we will lose power. So I have completely rearranged my morning in response. Blogging and video editing are hard enough even with a steady stream of power and connectivity.

As footnote here, why cities and utility companies have not as yet committed to the costly infrastructure of burying cables underground to avoid the annual outages borders on the criminal. I cannot tell you how many photos and videos I have lost due to the stark ugliness of a half-dozen power lines running parallel to the horizon as I shoot.  How and why we allow this blight to continue is another testimony to the power of slimy corporate propaganda. And you thought that big oil never knew the damage they were, and continue to inflict on our environment? The only reason why power, phone and unity lines cannot be placed underground is money. Bottom line (ahem) profits, retrofitting and labor. Shame on you big power and fat cat bureaucrats.

Still, that is not the topic, just another tangent to fire ranting arrows towards.

What I wanted to introduce today before I return to analog world and go for a long hilly run, is this:

Three battles, besides the above, we will fight today, and I will be referring to these many times in the next few days, so please prepare thine fine self for the rhetorical barrage.

Today and for the remainder of our time here we will all have to deal with three rather sobering facts. They are these:

1) Decreasing cardio capacity
2) Increasing body fat
3) Decreasing muscle mass

Not real good news if you want to improve your health and fitness, want to ride long, run a marathon, compete in a triathlon or see the grandkids graduate from your Alma Mater.

But wait, before you head to the medicine cabinet for two 'numb and happiness' pills, please know that we have a plan. There are ways to delay this onslaught of physical and mental entropy. There IS a fountain of youth - but we need to drink from it daily. There is good news, THIS is good news. The sun will shine in your front yard again.

And I think you know what must be done to transform that knowledge into wisdom.

In case you have, like so many of us are prone to do, forgot, avoided, sought shelter from or outright denied the benefits of, please be advised that we are here to remind you and assist in your reformation. It is almost too late. You have to choose now. And now means NOW.

Today has to be that dot on the graph where you decide, pledge, commit and affirm to do whatever it takes to walk towards the light of healthy effort and the robust rewards of fitness.

High winds might blow away our power today, but that isn't the power we seek.

The forecast calls for gale force wind of improvement. It is 12.22.66.

Hold onto your hat.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Day 11.230 We Are Running

I asked the spinning faithful assembled at oh-dark-thirty this morning to join me.

Join me in the goal of hitting the ground running today. What better time than Monday morning and what better place than here?

Additionally, let's keep that generated intensity at red-line all week.

As we pedaled towards thirty minutes, the half-way point of no return, I had a startling thought.

It startled me to consider that I had asked too much. After all, in front of me turning efficient and powerful circles sat professionals, leaders, executives, mothers and fathers of spectacular success. There was even a lawyer or two present.

I hear myself reprimanded again by my inner judge, "You have some nerve fella, not merely asking, but DEMANDING that these people who have demonstrated an understanding of success to a degree you have apparently yet to fathom, to (please) execute a protocol exceeding their comfort zones and smile while doing it. Don't you find this, if not hypocritical, then certainly fraudulent?"

I hear this in my brain as my body seeks balance and meaning enough to endure.

Almost simultaneously I blurt, finding a deepness of breath despite the vascular demand, that I will not back down in the face of danger. That my virtues, if not displayed under duress, are merely hobbies. And that this is the way that we practice courage under fire. So suck it up buttercup.

I am fatigued, my left hurts from 50 indoor miles yesterday, and my right from Saturday's run. I started the day with failure galore. My team lost, I missed an opportunity to assist someone in need, and I was once again reminded of the fleeting nature of love. My heart and my soul needed another day of rest and recovery. Yet I know that time will not wait for my successful recovery.

For another nano-second I consider the issues and challenges unique to every person in the room. Again I am humbled, because in that larger picture, my issues are puny and pathetic.

I re-commit, internally pledging to use the time remaining in our morning session for betterment and improvement. I share this with the team as well, suddenly not caring if I cross some forbidden line of political correctness or professional demeanor. so I repeat...

...I will give my best and all I want from you is all you got. We have this one opportunity to set the tone, create the model, embody the spirit, that we wish to be, right here and right now. We are in the middle of all that power. And this is just the start.

We are done. I feel great, empowered with the afterglow of honest effort. It is Monday morning.

We are running.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Day 11.229 A Shower

It used to be a common occurrence.

Maybe once or twice a month we would employ our social and cultural understanding of casually dressing up for a night on the town.

Sometimes dinner and a movie. Sometimes just dinner.

Mostly Italian. But sometimes French and occasionally Indian.

I carry many savory memories of expensive dinners in romantic locations. Bottles of wine selected from the lower third of robust lists.

Coffee and desert.

It has been a while. I will be the first to admit that I miss it. Looking across a white linen tablecloth, ruby red Chianti in a perfectly weighted glass in hand, into the eyes of the person sitting directly opposite to share a toast to us. Here is to us, clink.

It has been too long.

But tonight, in a few hours, I have a dinner date with a pretty girl who I have admired for a long time. I was given a gift certificate for a fancy restaurant in Seattle where we used to visit for its ambiance and Mediterranean menu years ago. It is warm and cozy as I recall with a huge open oven and cozy leather booths. So it will be kind of free. Meaning I might splurge on the wine or roasted brussels sprouts or some decadent desert for two.

Yesterday I asked her, tepidly, if she might like to have dinner with me. When she answered, quickly to the positive I almost melted on the spot. And now the time is at hand to prepare.

This should be fun, interesting at the least.

What used to be a common occurrence is now such a rarity that I am not sure where to begin.

Oh yeah. A shower.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Day 11.228 Let us be Ready

I want to be ready.

For anything.

A race, an opportunity, an emergency, a disaster, anything. Good OR Bad. The dam breaks and I don't want to be immediately screwed by default.

Be ready whatever comes our way, as they say.

And we prepare by consistent, focused, quality work. You absolutely must be in shape when the bell sounds.

There is no easy way. There will be no place to hide. You will have to do one of three things:

1) Lead
2) Follow
3) Get the heck out of the way.

Leaders prepare. They work hard in setting an example to show those in category two how it is supposed to run, what we are required to do. It will be fast and it will be intense. We must be strong. Leaders convert followers into more leaders.

We can, and should all be leaders. We say I will go first more than follow me.

In the face of danger and with chaos as constant, let's never lose sight of the need for unity, solidarity and commitment. We are all in this together.

There are many places under siege and people that need our help.

Let us be ready.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Day 11.227 Please Do

"The real thing, he was saying, is this:

"The people who rely exclusively on data should incorporate some emperics into their workouts, and the people who ride solely by feel, or RPE, might want to see what some scientific testing and monitoring could do."

"Similarly, he continued, there are two divisions here that need to be individually addressed. There are the folks whose desire is to get faster by adding to their strength and speed capabilities, and then there are those who's needs focus on power-to-weight ratio. As athletes they have completely different goals in mind and as coaches our formidable task is to provide structure to satisfy both. "

"Could we have a situation where in the same room we have one athlete who trains by power - yet for optimum improvement should be slimming down and toning up first and foremost, while sitting next to her rides another athlete who trains by feel but needs a data shot in the arm?"

"Leave us not forget that other factors add to the complexity as well. The plot thickens when we examine the goals of each. Are they racing? Training for a century ride? Is this about health and fitness more than outdoor performance? Have they that burring desire to win, or is this a 'never-say-die' strategy to maintain the hard earned fitness of several decades?"

"Now we have the athlete who trains by power indoors, races by feel out, wants to finish near the top, but rides more for enjoyment and exercise than sport. Sitting opposite the athlete who rides by RPE, is addicted to HR info, casually rides with a Saturday group at a 'smell-the-roses' pace and sees training more as fun than hard work."

"The possibilities and mash-ups, while not limitless, are many. Toss in age, DNA, history of injury, family and vocation responsibilities, success in dealing with rest and recovery, philosophical and political beliefs, and holy smokes we got a good one here."

How do we proceed? Where do we start? What can we do right now? Which school of thought is right? Are there any strategies that satisfy all criteria that we can put immediately into play?

"Yes, he said, in a staid and serious tone, there is."

"Show each one the value of change. Slowly, safely and in a secure environment, allow them to see, feel, touch, smell and taste the things they currently lack and provide an opportunity for growth by the experimentation of established and successful protocols. The body will appreciate the enlistment of the mind, the mind will strengthen the resolve of the body and in each scenario the spirit will get up and dance upon commitment of the two."

"You cannot lose. Even if winning was never the primary directive."

Wow, can I quote you in that?

"Please do."

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Day 11.226 Lots of Room


Ideas, concepts, strategies and observations.

Things that fill our goodie bag, 'cause nobody calls it the baddie bag. That is a vegetable of a completely different nature, one we will save as topic for another rainy day.

In no particular order, the elements to which I refer are as follows:


These all fit nicely into the bag. The bag we now call the 'new' bag.

The new bag holds all the elements that are to comprise the meaning behind what is surely to be a long, arduous, challenging and rewarding trip. I am seeing a hobo shuffle down the railroad tracks with all his belongings  in a sack tied to a stick and carried over his shoulder. He is singing a folk song, might be Woody Guthrie, Marty Robbins or Dylan. He is happy. As he should be.

As we should be too.

If our bag is filled with the treasure of experience and wisdom, our courage is profoundly carved from valor and virtue, if our accountability is to our deepest self and if that authenticity fills our hearts and souls with song, the alchemy of elements are worthy of art. High art.

There isn't room in that tiny cloth for cash, diamonds, cars, or shiny expensive gadgetry.

But there is room for more art.

Lots of room.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Day 11.225 I am Crying (like Seattle Rain)

We are doing an ascending variation of our nearly famous Super Eights.

We are adding one each week, in place of a 'normal' session.

The experiment is designed to see if we continue on a positive linear tangent from this process, or if the previous format of eight weeks on at eight reps, and then eight weeks completely off, promotes adaptation and growth 'better' or 'faster'.

Today is day six. Meaning that we go all-out, max, 100%, all-in for thirty seated seconds. This is followed by ninety seconds of recovery and repeated for the six-pac.

I took a rare day off yesterday, only running an early two miler with Junior. I slept well despite three nocturnal trips to the head.

Interestingly enough, I am not only hitting my target wattage but substantially exceeding it on every try. As if this wasn't data enough, my heart rate, which has been inching up since January, is remaining at what used to be 96% or so.

I am producing more peak power with less effort. I find this amazing.

We get through the session, ending with a timely and delicious Mark Knopfler folkie called Seattle. We stretch, warm down and give ourselves a nice little well deserved, congratulatory round of applause.

Then something happens.

I am still in the attempt to understand what exactly, it was.

I stand filled with a golden light indicating that high value, pure energy and love of life in the present magical moment are all here. It is as if I can see, touch and taste everything that has led us to this moment. All the pain, suffering, heartache, struggle, joy, love and hope is crackling deep in my heart and right in front of my eyes. It is as transcendent as translucent.

I am giving instructions to the group on the final pose with a broken voice and I look up to gauge the effects, if any, on the group. I mean, ARE YOU FEELING THIS TOO?

I glance around the room making eye contact and I see compassion and love.

The song ends.

I am crying.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Day 11.224 No Joke


The plethora of possibilities are worthy of comedy. For me anyway.

I don't know, maybe you are perfect, or as close to it as a human being can get, but I am about as far from that as we are, Earth is, to Mars.

I own more bad habits than owns web pages. I have more bad habits than The Beatles had number one hits. The comparisons could go on and on - but I think you get the idea.

They say that it takes three weeks of behavior change to fully adapt to a new regimen, to transform some bad to a new good, or at least towards a better one. Which is interesting because it is usually about 21 days that I completely convince myself that I NEED another beer because it helps me relax and recover from the stress and anxieties that society relentlessly forces upon my frail shoulders. If this is my cross to bear, then so be it, with reward of beer.

Worse things exist, I console myself, don't make it any worse. Be happy you are still walking free instead of doing life without parole.

But you know what?

None of this is acceptable. Totally unsat. It is, as the janitors of the plaza del toro say, bullshit.

I am fooling myself. BECAUSE I KNOW BETTER. Or at lease I know more. Or at the very least because I SHOULD know by now.

I know this is a hallow facade, a false dichotomy and absolute subterfuge. I am lying to myself in order to make things easier. Because they ARE easier when I don't give a shit about anything, including myself.


So let's take a quick look at another very common situation, a bad habit known as the 'I have no time for exercise' felony plea.

The experts in this fascinating field suggest that there are four things that one needs in order to drop a bad habit:

1) Consistency
2) Environment
3) Active judgements
4) Low behavioral complexity

In other words, one needs to:

1) Do it often (every day)
2) Do it where safety and support are readily available
3) Receive appropriate and reciprocal feedback
4) Make it as simple as possible

Then the work begins.

I have also found that the motto of continual improvement, as compared to the failure-guaranteed idea of perfection, powerfully aids and abets the scenario of bad habit cessation.

The punch line in all this 'somewhat less than Divine' comedy is, perhaps, what you were expecting. A knock-knock sight gag from the joker-punster.

Sorry to disappoint.

Maybe you have already figured it out.

1) We work out every day. Once at 0530 and again at 1800
2) We do it safely and effectively indoors
3) I love my job because I get to tell my team how awesome they are about  one hundred times per session, and I mean it
4) It is just like ridin' a bike, about as simple as it gets

No joke.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Day 11.223 Cut

I was asked a simple question the other day.

It was during a rehearsal session for our audio/video presentation for the new site.

The engineer was working on audio logistics while the producer was directing the camera, focus, material and scene set ups.

All I had to do was sit there and act naturally. And then smile, speak and try not to be a jerk, simpleton or salesman.

I am still not sure who had the easier job.

We had decided to tape a few tests of the upcoming 'Mail Bag' feature where I answer questions with a video response. Once the engineer and producer were happy with their preparations, we needed a test question. The producer looked at the engineer and signaled for him to pose a hypothetical question in my direction.

"I have tried cycling, bought an expensive new bike, joined a Gym specifically for the spin classes, did it for about a month, ate better, cut back on pizza and beer, felt great and lost weight."

"Super", I respond, hoping there might soon come a question.

"But, like many other things in my life, I couldn't make it last, I lost interest, motivation and desire. It didn't matter if I got fat, gained weight and went from a Dad bod to a Grand Dad bod. I lost it. How do you make it last?

"Super question, sir, really good one", I replied trying to buy some time to formulate a decent response with the camera rolling and all eyes and ears fixed on me.

"I think it is very similar to the other big question that sooner or later confronts us all, the 'how do we make love last' one. And I think that the answer is as mysterious as it is obvious. YOU HAVE TO WORK AT IT. You have to attend to it, listen to it, embrace it, desire it, respect it, revere it, honor it and relax into the sheer joy of having it. However so briefly it may come to us. You must work it. And then learn to love the work."

I was now on a roll and I noticed the two talented technicians we're watching with eager eyes, wanting more.

"So it is imperative that we find some combination of will power, gratitude, acceptance, zeal, gumption and glee to accompany us on this path as partners. We do this because it IS us. It defines us. We are what we do. And we do this as routine, as discipline, as a way to fine-tune ourselves and lead our community through dark days when society judges us solely on the accumulation of gadgets, the cut of costume cloth and financial accomplishment. Respect is proven without a single utterance when one shows the understanding, the enlightenment, the responsibility of taking care of one's body. Because the power in that will directly lead to the responsibility we have in nourishing our minds. Which, of course, creates a foundation stable and strong enough to allow us to consider the role of spirit in all that we do. Truly a mission of eternal proportions. And it all starts with riding your bike."



Sunday, November 8, 2015

Day 11.222 Oh That Magic Feeling

"Everyone in this room is going to be gone pretty quickly – and we will have either made something or not made something. The artists that inspire me are the ones that I look at and go, 'Oh my god – you didn't have to go there. It would'v been safer not to – but, for whatever reason, you did.' And every time death happens, I'm reminded that it's stupid to be safe... Usually, whatever that is – wherever you don't want to go, whatever that risk is, wherever the unsafe place is – that really is the gift that you have to give." Amanda Palmer.

This serendipitously came may way this morning. Like a runner on a beach you can watch moving in long-distance slow-motion towards you.

As most of you know, we are about to embark on another journey. One that while having an unlimited upside, scalability and potential, also possesses enormous risk. I guess an appropriate snapshot image might be the gambler sitting in front of a sea of green felt with a single chip remaining, floating innocently on that sea of chance. Or a kid on a new bike showing off to Mom & Dad riding with no hands.

Scared? Hell yes. I have more doubts today than Hillary, Bernie and Ben combined. They fail and return to their country homes to retire with the opulence of fortunes amassed. I, on the other hand, might starve.

So yeah, I am a little nervous.

But we are going to make something. I am fully committed to this. I am all in. As Amanda Palmer notes above, 'it is stupid to be safe'. This gift, however humble, will be created from the sweat of brow, torque of muscle and purity of soul. Its value will come from the honest effort of altruism.

We cannot fail. All we can do is our absolute best, use a few risky colors, sing an off-key melody with a monster back beat, let the spirit within write the script. I am just the middle man here.

If you are lucky enough to know this feeling you know it to be as frightening as it is exhilarating. There aren't too many things in life that compare. Facing our fears, with everything on the line and nothing to lose.

Oh that magic feeling, nowhere to go.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Day 11.221 Two Hours Prior

It is three hours before the big game. Not the biggest - but big. Big enough to have lasting ramification.

I have been here before.

Distinctly I remember several Ironman events where we stood knee deep in chilly water watching the morning sky change color as the sun rose from behind the mountains. I would look around at my brothers and sisters about to embark on an epic journey. In their eyes, behind their goggles, I saw hope, concern, fear, anticipation, hubris and the unmistakable shake of shoulder and wiggle of wrist signifying an energy overload.

Let's get on with it, fire that dammed cannon and let's get this show on the road.

I would often comment to first timers dealing with pre-race jitters, that the secret is to accept and enjoy the imbalance, enjoy this sensation, because in a few short moments you will ask of your body, mind and spirit the power, strength and endurance to carry you through 140.6 miles.

Breathe deeply and relax, share the love, smile and give thanks. We are all in this together so let's support one another and enjoy the ride. When we get to the five, six, seventh hour, the real racing can begin, and then you can manage your remaining fitness stores and crumbling confidence as you answer some questions unique to our sport.

Questions like:

What was I thinking?
Why (oh why) didn't I spend more time in the pool?
Will anyone really care if I quit and walk home?
Is there a God, and if so, what must I do to get some help here?
Can I make it to the next aid station?
Is the paper cut I sustained at the office on Friday injury enough to get a ride from an ambulance?
Will my family and friends still respect me if I fail to Q for Kona?

And on and on.

This is a huge part of endurance racing. The dialogue we hold with ourselves when the going gets tough. And it will. There will come a point in any event, even a sprint, when your mind will ask for reconsideration of your once rock-solid commitment. God help the athlete who is insufficiently prepared to engage in this debate.

Yet interestingly enough, by going through it, by seeing it through, by getting to the end of the tunnel, we learn and grow. We become so infused with the wisdom of experience that the once deadly serious conversation is now stand up comedy. We laugh at the ridiculousness of our situation, after all, nobody that I know of ever got an entry to an Ironman for Christmas. YOU SIGNED UP FOR THIS. THIS IS YOUR DECISION. THERE IS NO ONE TO ELSE TO BLAME.

Win the debate and carry on. Be happy you can. Let go of the tension and relax into wherever you are on the course. What a wonderful metaphor. Ironman as proxy for life.

It is two hours prior to the big game.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Day 11.220 Statue of a Big Dick, thanks Frank

In the same way that corporations are not people, you are not a target demographic. Whomever was the brilliant marketing expert that paid enough political payola to enough sleazeball politicos to enable this massively corrupt scandal, I salute you. You are good, you enriched the already super affluent in a way that covered their greed with the blanket of law.

As many froze to death without a home, a job or even a slice of stale bread.

My quote of the day comes, relevantly enough, from one of the world's most misunderstood and under appreciated artists of all time. His name was Zappa. You know the guy. About as far from pop music as one could get without putting headphones on a pine tree. He said this:

"Politics are the entertainment arm of the military-industrial complex"

Frankly, and sadly, I think this is true.

So please excuse my apathy and apolitical lack of exuberance for the current theater of the absurd popular during this disgusting four year cycle.

The puppet minions in the House want to build a statue honoring a war criminal. Two of them actually. Please excuse me while I run to the toilet and puke. On their behalf, this might be a mandate from the founding fathers, the original Mothers of Invention. Never the less.

It is our fault. We (the people) are to blame. We created this hoax, this charade, this denouncement of democracy. We elected these evil purveyors of greed. The hypocrisy in all this registers on the Geiger counter of society with greater volume that military grade uranium. I guess that with enough money in off-shore accounts you can hear whatever you want.

And we bought into it. We said, hell yes, protect us from aggressors that threaten our interests in foreign countries. Keep our buildings safe. Build walls to separate us from them. Tap our phones and data mine us until all the bad guys are incarcerated. Sure charge us for it, freedom is not free, right? It is far most important that our military has more planes, ships and technologies than our people have affordable health care, access to clean air and water, make a living wage and see their kids get an education. So the marketeers created the opposition. They then threatened us with fear of terrorism. It exists everywhere, they tell us with exceptionally well scripted propaganda, so please remove your shoes and belt, empty your pockets and bend over. It is for the greater good.

The greater greed.

So imagine my challenge this chilly, gray and misty November morning when I sat at keyboard with the intent to define our new site's target demographic. This chore to better understand and attract our audience. As required by the latest strategies to acquire fresh eyes. In a somewhat digital progression from the old school methodologies addressing, as example, white 35-45 year old males with 60K income, two cars, a boat and a pair of kids still in school, we now deploy key words, search terms and hashtags to optimize search engines, all to provide us with URLs owned by, yes, our target demographic.

And here is the kicker. Many of those in our target group, the latter example, share  common attributes with those that, for reasons I am still trying to understand, also belong to the former.

They, right or wrong, in the 1% or in the remaining 99, Catholic or Muslim, black or brown, with an MBA or a GED, Republican or Libertarian, of corporate consciousness or fiercely independent, fit or fat, happy or depressed, Yankee or Reb, young or old, straight or gay, hawk or dove, married or single…

…constitute our audience. Because we are all in this together. We are united, remember?

People are people. We all seek good health and the means to obtain it. We all want the fitness necessary to achieve our dreams and goals. We all want some modicum of hope and peace of mind. We all seek the unconditional love that comes only from service, honor and devotion.

I am so very pleased that our new service offers all this.

I will take it in lieu of a statue any day of the week.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Day 11.219 The Fine Line


The above is a line.

It connects the start and the finish, point A from B as they like to say in geometry circles.

Ask ten people what they think it to be and you might get ten different opinions.

Mine today is this:

It is a fine line. You know the one that we cite often when speaking of things that are related by degree.

As  example, we all know that there is a fine line between heaven and hell. Right?

Between truth and what the politicians like to call strategic misrepresentation.

Renown director Ridley Scott once said the line between deep inspiration and nausea was a fine one.

Fact from fiction?

Winning from losing?

Rags from riches?

Art from garbage?

Humor from sarcasm?

Fitness from fatness?

Love from ego?

Duty from devotion?

Food from fuel?

Awareness from comatose?

Talking from doing?

Knowledge from Wisdom?

Fine lines all. Yet however thin the line appears to be, we all know instinctively what side we need to be on. The line in the sand, the battle line of our daily skirmish is what separates us from the light and radiant energy of life. Maybe the line isn't as thin as we think. We need to find the courage and motivation to cross. Every day. We must make quality choices that further our understanding of self. Maybe the line is fatter than fine, maybe finer than frogs hair. The metaphor stands. Do you want some change?

Is there a fine line we need to cross today?



Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Day 11.218 We Inch Closer

We inch closer.

One step at a time.

We take the first step - and keep on stepping.

Until we step to the plate.

And that is the game. We keep on stepping to the plate. We tap bat onto side of cleat, removing debris and dirt. This to aid our swift counter-clockwise circle of the sacks. We dig in. We find a zen-like combination of awareness, preparedness, focus and relaxation. Finally, we signal to opposition and arbiter with body dialect, that we are ready and a pitch may take place.

Pitch on way, game on.

Interestingly, there is no limit to the number of pitches we can see in any at-bat. Are you enjoying the metaphor? You can foul off a dozen or more and still be in the batters box, awaiting the one that perfectly suits your tastes.

The best in the business fail to reach even first base seven times out of ten.

A failure rate like that in the business world will get you unemployment compensation faster than a Nolan Ryan heater.

I think we can take a valuable lesson from baseball players. Seriously, how the heck do you justify striking out with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth? Looking? In front of 50,000 fans and a national TV audience? Not to mention Mom.


Your current 'failure' will lead to future success if…

…you stay in the game. Little League or The Show.

Once you quit, once your temper becomes a team liability, if and when you walk away, that golden opportunity vanishes right along with your right of redemption.

Maybe that is the reason they play 162 games.

To practice failing.

And get better at it.

One step at a time.

We inch closer.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Day 11.217 From the copy shop


AT BEST INDOOR CYCLING we offer you a partnership. One of lasting value, dedicated to the simple principle that progress is a process. We believe that two elements are crucial towards our success;

    ONE: Together we must master the theories associate with exercise physiology, using our experience and your dedication to achieve results in an entertaining and effective manner.

    TWO: Together we must master the practice. That means using the tools and techniques that have been proven to produce positive results. We must make it urgent and it must be important.

We'll use our extensive video library to demonstrate these principals calling on experts from the health, fitness, training and racing communities for commentary. These create a powerful, instructional and motivational mix to develop your foundational baseline - our chance to train indoors for holistic and enjoyable improvement.

All you need is the desire for change. Our focus is on getting you started and then assisting with your personal process. Whether your goal is to drop 25 pounds, add 25 watts or shave 25 minutes from your Ironman time, the ways and means remain strikingly similar. You must take the first step - and then keep stepping.

We'll show you how we do all this in our CompuTrainer Multi-Rider facility. We'll demo training videos, ride actual courses and conduct our bread and butter drills to demonstrate our indoor training secrets. We'll show you how we do it here - so you can do it there, in your home, your club, in a gym, fitness center or Multi-Rider facility.

We believe that the most important item on your fitness list should be spending consistent quality time in saddle. We'll also offer information on nutrition, rest and recovery strategies and a thousand supporting topics that each contribute to your success.

We want to be your training partner. We want to share. We all want improvement.

Please subscribe today to Best Indoor - and let's saddle up - and ride.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Day 11.216 Mastery

In light of yesterday's treatise on how to achieve, I had to offer an addendum, an amendment of sorts.

Evidently it wasn't good enough on its own, so I, in a haze of hubris, had to embellish. Previously I have been accused of excess in this area. I do abuse my freedom of speech at times and for this I beg your pardon.

The premise was from Erich Fromm, taken rather rudely, from his published thoughts on what he labeled the art of love. I am deeply interested in both parts of this whole. To see neither the art part nor hear the love dove is, well, something Kurt Vonnegut might call a fate worse than death. Like wanting the knowledge of the yin without the wisdom of the yang. We learn the lessons of the hot directly from the cold. I guess the science of love would be a fascinating topic as would the politics or economies of it, but that is missing today's point.

Which is, making it work for us.

Mr Fromm's hypothesis was that there are two vital elements involved with the mastery of subject, any subject. First one must master the theories of it, be it carpentry, brain surgery, rocket science, music, food preparation or hitting a baseball. Secondly is the practice of it until an acceptable form of proficiency is obtained. This we call mastery.

My add-on was this:

That illumination, enlightenment, happens NOW, as compared to the paradox of the physical part of mastery, which IS a process and can sometimes take a lifetime. Or two.

That in order to endure the relentless distractions that bombard us on a daily basis, we must steel our consciousness to an equally relentless ability to stay focused and present. Aye, the old here and now.

The need for positive thinking popped up as if on cue from Norman V. Peale.

And lastly something we have long labeled the three L's; Live, love and learn. Those should be self-explanatory.

I brought them up this morning in spin class because I feel that they are helpful when the pilgrim, student or beginner takes that crucial first step in the direction of mastery. It is a long, dusty road. Us silly humans are prone to getting lost.

Unlike enlightenment, all this will take time. We need patience. The only way you are going to lose thirty pounds today is by hooking up a fat sucking IV or cutting off a leg. You will not be ready to compete for an Olympic gold medal simply by adding one gear to your resistance setting for ten seconds.

But taken together, the here, now, living, loving, learning, with positive thinking and happiness on that path, we trudge one step closer. That is the theory. As well as the practice.

And that, dear friends, is mastery.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Day 11.215 The Art of Love

From Erich Fromm's seminal The Art of Love:

"The first step to take is to become aware that love is an art, just as living is an art; if we want to learn how to love we must proceed in the same way we have to proceed if we want to learn any other art, say music, painting, carpentry, or the art of medicine or engineering. What are the necessary steps in learning any art? The process of learning an art can be divided conveniently into two parts: one, the mastery of the theory; the other, the mastery of the practice. If I want to learn the art of medicine, I must first know the facts about the human body, and about various diseases. When I have all this theoretical knowledge, I am by no means competent in the art of medicine. I shall become a master in this art only after a great deal of practice, until eventually the results of my theoretical knowledge and the results of my practice are blended into one – my intuition, the essence of the mastery of any art. But, aside from learning the theory and practice, there is a third factor necessary to becoming a master in any art – the mastery of the art must be a matter of ultimate concern; there must be nothing else in the world more important than the art. This holds true for music, for medicine, for carpentry – and for love. And, maybe, here lies the answer to the question of why people in our culture try so rarely to learn this art, in spite of their obvious failures: in spite of the deep-seated craving for love, almost everything else is considered to be more important than love: success, prestige, money, power – almost all our energy is used for the learning of how to achieve these aims, and almost none to learn the art of loving."

This is a terrific paragraph. If you take the time to carefully read it, one cogent takeaway that I find particularly poignant is this:

That the process of learning is conveniently divided into two parts: Mastery of the theory and then, mastery of the practice.

I think that for the sake of theme consistency, our core topic being all things health & fitness, one will quickly see the wisdom in Mr. Fromm's conjectures. Mr Fromme goes on to instruct that the theory and practice must be held in the forefront of a focused passion as if it were the most important act in the world, a matter of ultimate concern.

Consider the art of exercise. Master the theory, or put your trust in someone who has, and then, much like a musician asking how one gets to Carnegie Hall,