No Magic Pill

Knowledge + effort + time = success


Posted by Ben on Wednesday, October 22, 2008

It’s funny. It’s spelled just like “escape.”

Sue me. It’s a funny movie. It’s also somewhat relevant to the following:

It’s been an interesting couple of days around here, at least for me, most notably because I was offered a business to take over, either by way of buying it outright or of essentially becoming the general manager with ownership financing to buy it down the road. I won’t get into any other specifics since the whole thing is seriously on the down-low, but let’s just say that it’s a monumental opportunity, something I envisioned happening for myself in ten years or so, yet here it is being handed to me in practically ideal form, pending my relocation first and securing financing second. How awesome is that? Yeah, pretty freaking awesome, and yet, unless a few other people decide to go in on the venture to provide expertise in various areas of running said business, I’m going to turn it down. I doubt there is anyone more interested than I am in keeping this business up and running, if for no other reason than its congregal influence on a LOT of people over the past several years; however, while I could learn how to play owner on the fly, I certainly don’t feel that I have enough experience to even start out in an interim capacity, let alone outright signal-calling. I have the talent but not the developed skill set.

Yes, this applies to our training, too. We’ve all read stories, seen videos, heard about a friend of a friend, and so on and so forth about trying to do too much too soon instead of doing it the right way. Is it any small wonder why so many people wash out at the gym or on the road? The gotta-have-it-now mentality is a first-class, one-way ticket to burnout, and quickly at that. You can’t go from couch potato to marathon participant in two months, at least not to the point of completion or enjoyment. Similarly, you can’t walk into a gym cold and expect to squat 300 pounds or more (quarter-squats don’t count unless they’re part of a planned program that uses them for an overload effect). I see this like clockwork at certain times of the year: January (New Year’s resolutions), March/April (spring break), August (back-to-school), and October (pre-holidays). Always new faces, either in agony or complacency, in a revolving door as sure as the sunrise. What’s worse is that those who choose to purchase the “services” of a typical “trainer” are no better off—the “trainer” puts their clients through a couple weeks of pure ridiculousness, makes the clients feel absolutely exhausted from day one (because, after all, that’s the mark of a good workout, right?), and ultimately drives the clients away because they either don’t get the results they were promised, burnout from too much too soon, or even get injured.

In my case mentioned above, it’d simply be too much too soon for me to take on alone. I’m sure I could get a lot of helpful advice and guidance along the way, but I’d be flying by the seat of my pants with the livelihoods of several employees depending on me to luck out and keep things running smoothly ad infinitum. There’s a difference between managing people and having your nuts on the chopping block. At any rate, I’ve had to find some mental escapes from this and other issues recently, which fortunately isn’t too difficult once I figured out what works for me, whether is a half-hour of qigong (moving meditation) or a couple half-hours strung together on my Harley. I’m even managing another getaway to the beach in just over a week (Charleston, SC, in this case), and yes, it’s about seven half-hours each way (I won’t be alone, but I’ll be away, which is just as good for now).

Movember update: Wow. I mean, really, wow. The first day I posted something about it, my site traffic here jumped fifty percent. It has since calmed itself back to normal levels, but the page hits keep steadily rolling in, so thanks for the eyeballs, folks. I even managed some donations along the way, which wasn’t—and still isn’t—a goal but not surprising considering the people involved, so again, thanks. There’s still time to donate or join the team if you so choose; otherwise, feel free to post comments to my Movember page on here rather than the official page that I’m using for donations only. In another week, I’ll post my first picture of the event here. As it stands, I intend to just grow everything out and groom as needed, but if you want to see something in particular (certain areas shaved, designs, etc), I’ll give first dibs to those who donate, and of course I’ll post those pictures as well. Remember: please post all questions and comments to my page on this blog, and only donations are done through the official page.

Body bits: “no equipment” is just an excuse, running in high heels, America wants YOU to exercise, *pssst* obesity is bad for you, *pssst* cardio-only doesn’t work, control weight with gut bacteria waste, incision-free gastric bypass, Eric and Mike on their knees (sans supplements), shoulder digest (posterior capsule stretching, Keith’s fixes #1, finding the ouchies), why crunches suck.

Edibles: breaking the dogma of meal timing (and a quiz), a simple food test, Leigh’s diet distractions, Mike parses MSN (I think my eyes rolled out of my head), I was told there would be pie, Mark does “D“, glycogen redux, a lab in every kitchen, what’s really in your food, be careful nuking that chicken, you are not—nor should you strive to be—Joey Chestnut, more problems for bottled water, energy drink regulation (since the FDA does such a good job regulating everything else under its jurisdiction…), feed the dogs as you would feed yourself.

Mind matters: mental elasticity, brain signals predict weight gain, memories formed even during sleep, no sense of direction, patience is a learned skill.

Kiddie corner: high-tech is still high-risk in maternity, overweight is not normal, heads-up on food allergies, when moms get jealous of dads (I guess it’s enough that women want to ban fantasy sports—hey, if you want us to act like soap opera guys, you can start looking and dressing like Victoria’s Secret women).

General health: health in hard times, happy belated Global Handwashing Day (OCDers rejoice!), re-routing your circuitry, herbal gateways, the fraud of “intention to treat” analysis, caring for the caretakers, Congress’ “Mr. Health” dies, Mark’s top ten top-ten lists, a boost in pandemic prediction, Andrew’s hodgepodge, taking your health into your own hands.

—Transportation: Challenger tops Viper, electric Mini spied and unveiled, definition of a supercar, a CNG Mustang, the “new” Prius, seems like only yesterday (oh wait…), future alt-fuel race cars, personal pod transportation, ugly-as-sin $110k motorcycle, the American bullet train, airline turbulence, future vehicles made of buckypaper.
—Nature: global warming farce, dumpster diving for the origin of life, earthquakes (five hot spots, California due, ten deadliest, history’s lessons), turning carbon dioxide into fuel, endangered animals for sale, earth out of balance, getting reconnected, the global burden of high food costs (how science can help, Michael Pollan speaks).
—Tech stuff: use the Web to end poverty, hide your webpage from search bots, bye-bye IBEX, homebrew rockets (the guts), hackers literally commit highway robbery, computer security basics, the Apple tax.
—Miscellaneous: the power of glamour, DIY Faraday Cage wallet, the benefits of telecommuting, the need for a modern-day WPA, orchestral science, 104 grants up for grabs.

Git r dun:
—The brain and the banjo.
—Medals for mettle.
—Wishbone instead of backbone.
—Ironman tests Human 2.0.
—Advice from the uber-fit for the rest of us (here and here).
—What about the Wheaties box heroes?
—Some verbal cues to get you through.


3 Responses to “Eh-SKAH-pay”

  1. Redlefty said

    Responding to your “kiddie corner” section, we had both kids under CNM care and had great experiences. We also have a kid with a major food allergy (peanuts)… can’t wait for someone to figure out what’s causing such a rapid increase in our childrens’ allergies.

    I speak whale.

  2. Ben said

    I’ve heard great things about CNM births, and yours only solidifies my opinion of them. After all your kids turned out normal (so far) despite the sire in the mix ;) I linked an article from Andrew Heffernan back on August 17 saying pretty much the same thing. Unfortunately, I have to wonder if a lot of people don’t really know that CNM birthing is an option, and if so, if it’s a viable, healthy, legal option. I wouldn’t be surprised to find propoganda to the contrary.

    Similarly, I have no firsthand experience with kids and food allergies, but I have to wonder if it’s not a result of most people’s fixation on “cleanliness,” meaning sterilization, so humans born in the last, oh, twenty years have subtle immunodeficiencies. Maybe Al Bundy was onto something when he uttered the immortal line: “Anything that’s good enough for the cockroach is good enough for my family!”

    P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney. I can quote the movie :)

  3. Redlefty said

    With our first child, mommy was only three days removed from emergency, life-threatening surgery (burst appendix). She had 11 staples in her side and had only regained the strength to walk 12 hours before labor began. Her due date wasn’t for another 4 weeks.

    The midwife walked into the hospital room, put on her gloves, saw my face and said:

    “We anticipate a completely normal birth here. The doctors are out there if we need them. But I don’t think that’ll happen. She can do this.”

    She did. We went home less than 48 hours later.

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