Election Hangover Over?

Now that we’re two days past the election, has your euphoria/depression faded? Has your life returned to normal? Are your thoughts and preoccupations back to ground level and the immediacy of where you are? In my world I have a wide and diverse collection of friends and associates who fall all across the wide spectrum of social, political and religious thought. I’ve heard much chatter from both sides, those made happy by the outcome and those who are convinced we’re going to hell in a hand basket. Here in Alabama I have friends greatly upset by the election of Judge… Read More »

Matt Wichlinski

Happy Wednesday, ya’ll. Now that the election is over and the forces of Good, or Evil (depending on your perspective), have triumphed, it’s time sit back and listen (or download for later convenience) the latest episode of War Stories: Tales from the Front. Today’s interview is Matt Wichlinksi, a true Mental Meathead, and one of the most dynamic and influential coaches in fitness today. Matt is a coach’s coach. He distills fitness and strength training knowledge into an ambrosia of pure gold and shares it with us. Today’s nugget is a full hour long conversation on fitness, the industry, and… Read More »

Election, Schmelection

Today is election day. It’s the day that all the hype and hoopla of the past six or eight months reaches a powerful crescendo. The better part of the nation will spend the evening glued to their favorite sources of (mis)information waiting breathlessly on the final results of this the “most important election of our time.” But isn’t that what they said last time? And the time before that? In November of 1988, George H. W. Bush (the first one) was elected President. As a young, idealistic and politically active junior in high school I was convinced it was the… Read More »

Dia de los Muertos

Today is Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead in Latin cultures. One of the cooler things about being an American is, as the mongrel product of our Melting Pot society and its blending of cultures from all across the globe, we can re-create ourselves however we see fit, and there is no shortage of influence to draw from. In Birmingham there has erupted a grassroots celebration of Dia de los Muertos that has become one of the cultural highlights of our fair city. Begun by the decidedly Anglo Tracy Martin as effort to both remember and celebrate… Read More »

Dave is a Grumpy Old Man

Right after my oldest daughter was born we moved to East Lake. East lake was originally a working class neighborhood settled largely by World War II and Korean War vets who came home to work in the mills and factories here in Birmingham. As the nearby airport began to grow in the 70’s and 80’s the demographics changed. As their children grew up, moved out and started lives of their own, many of these original owners moved on, too. The next generation to follow were working class blacks and folks “waiting on a check.” By 1997 when we moved in… Read More »

Dan Gibson

Wednesday is swiftly becoming my favorite day of the week. I’m quickly building a library of interviews and have streamlined my operation enough that I actually spend less time preparing them and getting them posted. I think the quality is getting better, too. This week’s interview is with Dan Gibson of Strength Haven in Indiana. The minute I met Dan I knew this was a guy I wanted to know more about. Dan has a quiet strength. He’s built like a barn and stands like an oak. He’s not particularly tall, just solid and you can tell everything he throws… Read More »

Be You.

So, my mother took my grandmother’s horrible advice and stayed married to my father for eleven years. During that time she put her own life on hold, pretending the entire time to be someone else. She consoled herself that she would leave one day, but she was waiting until I was older, thinking the divorce would not be so traumatic. Then, along came my brother and so she waited for him… Truth be told, she was never happy as a housewife and a mother. These roles chafed and confined her. She constantly sought other avenues of expression. Looking back, I… Read More »

Bad Advice

Sometime in the spring of 1972 my mother sat on the back porch of her suburban home. She sat with her own mother, miserable and bereft at the state of her life. She had a one year old baby, she was married, and she had a nice house. For 1972 she had everything she was supposed to want – but it wasn’t enough. She married my father because she’d gotten pregnant and the the appellations “single mother” and “baby daddy” didn’t exist yet. As she cried, beseeching her mother for advice that would soothe her misery and make her life… Read More »

Boys vs Girls

Yesterday, I told you everything we do we do because we think it will make us happy. I’m sure you already knew that, but maybe hadn’t considered it quite this way before. The other afternoon I was reminded how strong our desire for immediate happiness can be, so much so that it subverts our long term character and integrity, eventually making us miserable in the long term. On Wednesday afternoons I trek over to the Alabama Waldorf School to teach the After School Agoge. Generally, I have a group of 15 or so kids that I take through warm ups… Read More »

The Pursuit of Happiness

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” – Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence This sentence holds a mythic quality in our society. We’ve heard, read it, said it countless times in our academic careers. It is a meme that has attained “Duh” status, it’s a foregone conclusion. So much so that we don’t give it a second thought. As far as history is concerned there were some radical components to this statement. The… Read More »