What’s This Doing for Me?

I mentioned this yesterday, all too often we hear that time spent in the gym helps forge a better, more capable person.  What we don’t hear is how. It’s as though there’s some mystical, alchemical transformation that takes place.  As a trainer and coach it’s tempting to, if not outright promote, at least not discourage this notion.  After all, if I’m the holder of some arcane knowledge, with secrets that imbue a better life, greater liberty and the attainment of true happiness, doesn’t that make me more valuable?  Greater value on my part justifies a higher price tag on my… Read More »

Samurai Song

Right now I’m in a loose place.  For the last two months I have had a direct purpose when I sat down to write.  I had something to promote and a definite direction where I wanted to direct your attention. Now I’m in a kind of limbo.  There are still things I care about and think are important but the urgency and direction are missing.  At first this is disconcerting, there’s a real sense of, “Okay, what do I do now?”  But after sitting with it a minute I realize it’s actually quite liberating.  For the time being, I can… Read More »

Picture Show

For today’s post I wanted to take the opportunity to share some of the pictures that Joe Wilson and Ned Boggan took during our workshop last weekend. Honestly, they do a much better job of describing what a cool weekend we had than I ever could.  Think of it as a digital ‘Wish you were here,” postcard.  Enjoy.   Bodyweight training has to be the foundation of any strength training program, really, any fitness program, regardless of your goals.  After all, if you can’t handle manipulating your own body weight, what business do you have adding weight?     Start… Read More »

The Dojo

I have spoken of our gym as a dojo, and it is. I have defined a dojo as a place, set aside from the rest of the world, sacred even, where we can practice, test ourselves in metaphorical battles that better prepare us for the real battles we face out in the world. What I have not done is define our dojo. You may have noticed we are in the midst of a transformation.  Various forces from various directions have been working, consciously and unconsciously, to direct our growth and encourage us to stretch outside our former selves. Now is… Read More »

Fear and Laziness

The Tao that can be named Is not the eternal Tao. –Lao-Tzu, The Tao Te Ching Yesterday I wrote about the movie Moneyball and confidence.  It’s often the lack of confidence that prevents us from reaching out, from trying and ultimately from getting all we want out of life.  This lack of confidence is actually an expression of something deeper. In the second of Chip’s grand videos on fitness, exercise and the philosophy he and his tribe have developed, Brutal Recess, he talks about the excuses we use for why we don’t.  In particular he was talking about why we… Read More »


Happy Monday, everyone. We spent Saturday driving back from the beach and yesterday was spent catching up on all the chores we didn’t get to during the week–mowing the grass, grocery shopping, that sort of thing. Don’t worry, we didn’t let our vacation completely get away from us as we still managed to find a few hours to spend soaking in the river during the afternoon. After a supper of pan seared salmon and broccoli salad, I sat down to whittle the twenty plus minutes of video Samantha shot of my last beach workout on Friday into something watchable.  I’m… Read More »

Better Before More

We live in a world obsessed with more–more money, more bling, more status, more friends, more clicks, more views.  It’s gotten to where our linear thinking has reduced us to a point where we can only think in terms of numbers, and as such, more is always better.  Quantity has trumped quality. The best videos on YouTube are measured in terms of the number of views.  Your success as an individual is frequently measured not in the quality of your work but in what you can charge for it.  More money is instantly equated with a superior product, regardless of… Read More »

Where Can We Go from Here?

If you train at my gym, you know about the white board where I list the week’s workouts.  In the bottom portion of this board I like to place inspirational quotes, little notes to myself and my clients to help carry them through their workout and the rest of their day. For the last couple of weeks the board simply read, “You are awesome.” That’s one I will eventually need to make permanent.  I’ll dedicate some area of wall space and have this painted onto the wall.  It’s a powerful message, one we don’t hear often enough and, even when… Read More »

Fighting the Air 2

Recently I started re-exploring some of the old kung fu forms I used to do with a near religious fervence.  By the way, that’s me in the far left of this photo. As I mentioned in an earlier post, as an adolescent and young adult, I became obsessed with martial arts.  Both Hollywood and Hong Kong ass kickers had captured my imagination and I was able to mitigate a general sense of powerlessness with fantasies of fists of fury. At thirteen I met another kid at Y summer camp who took karate.  His school came and did a demo for… Read More »

Father’s Day

So, I was a little more stiff getting out of bed this morning than usual.  My legs are a tad more sore than I expected, which was not sore at all, because, after all, I can be arrogant at times and forget that I’m forty, or human. I had a pretty good weekend these past two days.  I hope you did, too.  If you’re a father, like me, then I hope you enjoyed your Father’s Day and were feted appropriately.  I certainly feel like I was, made me feel like I was doing something right. Saturday was a very short… Read More »

The Same Church

Glenny Brock is my writing coach.  If you write, I highly recommend you get one, not a Glenny per se but a coach (athough, Glenny is quite good, and if you ask nicely and seem a decent sort I’d be happy to make the introduction). In fact, whatever your speciality I suggest you find someone better at it than you are and align yourself with them.  It will only make you better at whatever it is you want to do. Glenny and I meet Friday afternoons at a local coffee shop.  We discuss my writing, either this newsletter or another… Read More »