A couple of weeks ago I decided to restart this bog. And I think I got off to a pretty good start.
But then it came time to write the second post and I got all clammed up. Everything I wrote seemed forced and I realized that it was because I was trying to preach.
Not that I’m all high and mighty or that I know, well, anything. It’s just that if you’re going to take the time to read this blog then it seems my obligation to provide something worth reading. Whatever I put here needs to imbue some kind of weighty lesson, a payback, if you will, for the investment you make in reading.
It was the weight of that assumption that gummed up my works and made everything I tried to write crap.
So, I’m taking another tack. What if, once a week, I just write you a letter? Just a note to touch on what’s going on in my life and the things I’m thinking about. If something weighty and profound comes out that’s fine. It’ll be just a beautiful accident. Not something labored and heavy from the forcing.
Once again, I take as my inspiration Dan John, the man I want to be when I grow up. Dan has a weekly newsletter. Today marks its 287th issue. He touches on the things he’s been reading, the things that interest him, and anything else of relevance. It’s just a weekly note from Dan and it’s well worth your time.
This week I’ve been trying to decide how to best begin opening up the gym. At present we have one class on the schedule. It’s a Strength class. The only one where we can maintain adequate social distancing. All the other classes (BJJ, Muay Thai, and Kali) require too much contact. Chair Yoga lends itself so well to a video format that it may just continue to live in that space. For now, we’ve just opened up the 6 am class Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays. At present there are just not enough people ready to come back to open up any of the other time slots.
I have four private clients and I’ve scheduled their appointments in the mornings and afternoons of the days I come in for class. That means I come in to the gym Monday, Wednesday, and Friday both in the morning and afternoon.
The rest of the time I’m at home. I’m still filming follow along classes Monday and Wednesday and Friday but I’ve shifted from Facebook Live sessions to recording video, editing, and uploading. It’s not perfect yet. The time from filming to posting on Facebook is too long. I have to do some minor editing before I upload. That takes time. Especially for the rendering of the file.
The first 30-minute video I tried to run was going to take over four hours! That prompted a trip to Best Buy to purchase more RAM, which I installed myself. Cool, I went from 8 GB to 16 GB. My laptop was about to turn into a rocket!
Well, sort of. That four hour render now only took an hour and fifteen minutes.
I’m still working out the bugs, but I like the video so much better. I can shoot landscape rather than portrait and produce video that i can later use for multiple purposes.
If I’ve learned nothing else from the coronavirus it’s that nothing is certain and the future is in constant flux. As such, I need to position myself to be as flexible as I can. To that end I’ve been filming an online course that I will, when it’s finished, market as an at-home workout program. I’m pretty happy with what I’ve got so far. But the funny thing is I didn’t start out that way.
I started out hating the the process. First off, it meant me in front of a camera. The filming of which is not so bad. But then you have to sit and edit, when means watching yourself and listening to yourself. And here comes the self talk. “Dear God, is that what i sound like?” “How many times am I gonna say, ‘Right?’” “Dear God, is that what I look like?” “Why is my stomach so big?”
After the self talk comes the self doubt. “What makes me think I can do this?” “Who is gonna follow a fitness program from a guy who looks like me?”
Suddenly, fifteen years of industry experience running my own gym goes out the window. That is until I remembered something. What success I have managed to garner over the years came only when I allowed myself to be me. Whenever I tried to emulate one of my mentors, Zach Even-Esh, Elliott Hulse, even Chip or Ryan or Dan I fell flat. When whatever I learned from them came out through me it did well. But if I tried to “look the part” or “fake it until I make it” it always came out flat and fell short.
So, I had to come to terms with the fact that there is something about me that you guys like and that ultimately it is me that i am selling.
So that’s what I’m gonna do.
I film my workouts in my favorite part of the yard, my woodpile. Right now, I’m show casing the workouts that interest me, the things I need to work on, and the natural, intuitive direction my training wants to go.
We’ll see what happens.