Warrior Dash, 2012

Hey there , This past Saturday I drove north of Birmingham to the outskirts of Warrior, Alabama with my family and two intrepid tribe members to participate in this year’s Warrior Dash. The Warrior Dash is a 5k obstacle course/mud run, this year’s emphasis was clearly on the mud. For Ned, Paula and I this race was a good two years in the making. We had originally intended to run in 2011 in Tennessee but our plans fell through. Actually, I dropped the ball. I had gone so far as to set up a training session on Saturdays several months… Read More »

Lao Who?

Hey there , So, it should be obvious to you now that I am taking a new tact in our discussions. You have, undoubtedly, noticed certain changes in the tone of what I write, my subject matter, and, most obviously, in my closing. For some time I have signed off with the simple phrase, “Stay strong.” I used this because I wanted to leave you with the subtle reminder that you already are strong and it was my job just to remind you of it and encourage you to explore it. Since I returned from St. Petersburg, we’ve been exploring… Read More »

I Was A College Dropout

Hey there , I never graduated college. I had every intention of doing so when I started out. In fact I was what my wife affectionately refers to as a “schoolie.” I finished high school near the top of my class, with an “Advanced” diploma, AP classes, college credit and a solid GPA. My first college class was Sociology 101. I took it from 8 to 12 on Saturdays, the second semester of my senior year. I entered college a member of the school’s Honors Program, again pursuing an advanced degree. I was a History major. There was only one… Read More »

A Million Little Pieces

Hey there , Back in January of 2005, the first month of my sobriety, I read a book, A Million Little Pieces, by James Frey. Frey and his book had just been rocketed to instant celebrity by a gushing testimonial by Oprah over how much she loved the book and how badly each and every one of us needed to read it. Just as quickly as he ascended he crashed and burned. His book, published as a memoir of his experience in rehab was revealed to be an elaborate exaggeration. Oprah rescinded her endorsement and he was publicly eviscerated, drawn… Read More »

“Everything Happens for a Reason”

Hey there, On Friday I shared a bit of my history and that pivotal moment in my life when I decided to stop using drugs. There is a cliché that’s often bandied about in self-help and get-off-your-ass-and-do-something circles and that is, “Everything happens for a reason.” What we most often take from this is that there is some divine plan at work; that we are a part of a bigger scheme devised by God, or the Universe, or whatever name you choose to describe the force that drives what we know as reality. There’s comfort in the idea that someone… Read More »

Clean and Sober

Hey there, For a good ten years I was a drug addict.  I was a “recreational user” for longer than that but by addict I mean I was daily user — for ten years. I stopped seven years, nine months and 27 days ago. New Year’s Day, 2005 ranks, along with the day Samantha and I snuck off and eloped and the days my three daughters were born, as one of the most important days of my life.  It was the day I decided I was bigger than my problems and that I didn’t need an external salve to make… Read More »

Perfectly Imperfect

As usual, I had a great time in St. Petersburg.  Elliott Hulse always delivers and this workshop was no exception.  I am, however, glad to be home. Now that I’m home, I have work to do. I faced some hard truths this weekend.  Whether he was aware of it or not, Elliott held up a mirror that showed a face I had been running from.  It was time to take a hard look and accept some truths. Here’s a story: A monk, having spent years of study and meditation approaches his master, “Sifu, what should one do when faced with… Read More »

Give Up on Yourself

I ran across this quote while reading a post from Rannoch Donald yesterday.  As an aside, I’m trying to take more time to read.  I’ve let my own sense of urgency and need to make my business prosper take such precedence that I’ve become a bit of a bore.  To counteract this I’m going to start setting aside time everyday to just read.  What I read is irrelevant, it may be work related or just for pleasure, but I’m taking time to read and nothing else.  We’ll see how it works.  Here’s that quote: “Give up on yourself.  Begin taking… Read More »

The 10th Commandment

Dan John’s Tenth Commandment of Lifting is, “Know and love the roots of your sport.” There is more to lifting than just lifting, despite our tendency to sometimes simplify the process.  “I lift things up.  I put them down.”  History plays an important role in what we do.  Knowing your history makes for a more complete experience and makes you less vulnerable to the snake oils and marketing ploys of the fitness industry. History gives you a sense of perspective, without which you really have no sense of bearing outside the rituals of your own particular gym.  This can be… Read More »

The 9th Commandment

Happy Monday, everyone.  I hope your weekend was as restorative as mine. Continuing our series on Dan John’s Ten Commandments of Lifting, let’s look at the 9th Commandment, “Put the bar on the floor and pick it up a bunch of different ways.” Chip Conrad, of Bodytribe, first brought this one to my attention, it’s his favorite, and with good reason.  This is the bedrock of creative lifting, and if it’s not already, should be the cornerstone of all Mental Meathead’s training rituals. Yes, I said ritual, not routine, I’ll get to that in a minute.  First, Mental Meathead.  As… Read More »

The 8th Commandment

The 8th of Dan John’s Ten Commandments of Lifting is, “You have to put the bar over your head.” If we accept our previous supposition that training isolated muscles is a myth, on par with Nessy and the Sasquatch, then you can see how Dan’s 8th Commandment is so fundamental.  No other movement trains the entire body as effectively as taking a weight from the floor to overhead. In many gyms this is verboten.  Much in the same way I described my grandfather’s response to his neighbor setting a field on fire, the response to inflated egos taking on more… Read More »

The 7th Commandment

The 7th of Dan John’s Ten Commandments of Lifting is “Keep it simple.  Less is more.” This one resonates with me on so many levels.  When I first started training retention was first and foremost in my mind.  My whole approach to training clients centered around what would make them happy and keep them paying me every month. As a result my training sucked.  Every day was a brand new workout, usually created on the fly, and I was all over the place.  My clients may have been entertained by a new movement every few minutes but they weren’t progressing… Read More »