No Magic Pill

Knowledge + effort + time = success


Posted by Ben on Friday, February 6, 2009

I thought I’d take a page out of Eric’s, Tony’s, and Brian’s blogs and have a “random thoughts” day. Granted, it won’t be a regular feature here since I don’t blog nearly as much as those guys, but it’s a mental health day nonetheless, just tossing out some random thoughts and questions that will (hopefully) encourage a little more interaction here. Speaking of which…

1. Some blogs are great about developing conversation; this one is not, and while it’s not a major goal here—hell, I’m happy just to have the eyeballs that I do—I don’t want it to seem like I don’t want comments and questions tossed my way. In the interest of full disclosure, I do get emails and IMs from people, which is great and which I’m more than happy to answer, and my Facebook profile has seen some good back-and-forth on subjects like squat form, training modes, and the effects of ketogenic and primal-style diets on triglyceride levels. Freaking awesome! I just wish that kind of banter happened here more, if for no other reason than to bump my traffic here (the link from Mark Sisson’s blog back in November still stands as the single biggest two-day hit count on here by several miles). I’m not and won’t blatantly ask for responses, but I do want to make it clear that they are welcomed, and more often than not, I’ll actually respond in kind to them :)

2. TED 2009 is going on right now. Their blog is on fire, albeit with more Twitter-like snippets. It’s great, quick-hit reading, and you can be sure that a LOT of great material is going to come out of it. On a side note, I recently subscribed to the Reason blog feeds. I don’t intend to reference a lot of that stuff here since it’s way more political than I care to make this place, but it’s reading that I enjoy (for now, depending on how much inanity I can stand to read about beyond my usual daily fare), but it’ll be a good source of commentary on social and health issues as they pop up (you can follow ALL the articles I read daily—many from Biosingularity that I don’t link here as well—via the “Recent Clicks” column to the left, which is also an RSS feed to which you can subscribe).

3. Michael Phelps was photographed doing a bong hit not long after he won eight gold medals in the Beijing Olympics. He apologized. He shouldn’t have, even if Kellogg’s is a bunch of pansies. As one comment I read put it, I’d be MUCH more concerned about his DUI following his six gold-medal performance in Sydney. So what if he’s a toker? It’s not like pot is exactly a performance-enhancing drug (unless you’re Joey Chestnut). He still kicked/kicks the ass of every other aquatic athlete on the planet. This is a non-debatable point. On the other hand, there is a LOT of enabling going on here.

4. CNN has been running a series called Going Solo that tells stories of people who left the corporate world to pursue their dreams while staying financial afloat or better. It’s a good read, especially in this economy, and I’m anticipating much better from a book I’m waiting on to be delivered. Earlier this week, I woke up to an email from my boss essentially blaming me for some of his recent mistakes. He likes to do this, particularly in a passive-aggressive way, after his higher-ups fuss at him for screwing up. It’s not quite my fault that other people can’t read words as written that are printed and set right in front of them, whether it’s once (one day) or a half-dozen times or more (the day after), each time potentially costing the station a considerable sum of money. I like this job well enough, but it’s stuff like this that motivates me to get back into looking at different training programs and certifications, which I would’ve done eventually anyway, but this really pushes me. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. The bad thing is the money I’ve spent trying to find my direction, namely on the CSCS that I’ve pretty much tabled indefinitely. I don’t plan on training athletes by default, and my fitness philosophy centers primarily on child’s play, movement patterns, and body control. If I can get it done in groups, all the better. I just have to pull the trigger on the bank account (it doesn’t help that the aforementioned boss also can’t seem to pay his workers on-time or with any consistency, nor that I’ve waited until after introductory prices have expired).

5. I FINALLY saw Bigger, Faster, Stronger last week (ESPN proves one of its points) and FINALLY saw Million Dollar Baby this week. Both were good in their own ways. Still waiting to see Strong (c’mon, torrent sites!). Fat Head has finally been released.

6. From around the horn, Ross has re-stocked his beanies (no longer baby-sized), Leigh ranks some reading material, the FitCast launched an exercise video database (useful stuff, not Jazzercise), Vern finished a book or fifty, and Eric kicks in on a great baseball training resource.

There, must less cluttered and dusty in here.

Body bits: appreciating the human body, Bruce Lee and the basics, more bodyweight training options (accessible parkour), thoughts on “animal” training and “functional” strength (circuit suggestion), trampoline warm-up, core considerations, swinging into shape, shoulder savers for squatting, barbell jump squats (easy, cowboy), hip health and programming (more on mobility), a treatise on mobility and health, sprints better than statins, proper deloading, the fallacy of combine training (the bench press), injury from doing too little, rep range for growth response, exercise actually *gasp* helps joints (real and fake alike), interpreting body composition numbers.

Edibles: Papa John’s says to lay off the pizza (that reminds me that I need to make more before the dough in my fridge goes bad), primal game-meat recipes, grocery shopping with Nate, kiwi the fruit, focus on fiber, better health via rasping (great gift idea *ahem*), the calendar of sabotage, some crackpot culinary creations, the bacon chocolate bar, food irradiation rare, a look at Truvia, food allergy or false alarm, eat for your goals, hunting for dinner, cooking for self key to weight loss.

Mind matters: one way to break a lifestyle, eating habits and memory function, colors of the mind, motivated by competitive dieting, motivation in concrete, crying isn’t always cathartic, caregivers’ moral distress.

Kiddie corner: vitamin supplements may be unnecessary, how young athletes learn, recess found to improve behavior (no sh*t, Sherlock).

Fiscal fitness: no trainer should be enslaved to dogma, layoffs affect men more, check your perception before you buy, make sure your health insurance fits (if you still have it and if it works), for those in/around Charlotte and looking to buy/refinance a house.

General health: prescribing naps, grow your own fresh air, appendicitis hypothesis, weight loss helps bladder problems, HIV gene therapy trials begin, another magic pill in the offing, Daschle withdraws (what a wasted opportunity), network theory could regulate human reproduction.

—Transportation: ants teach traffic flow, world’s smallest “cars.”
—Mobile tech: faxing from your BlackBerry, going straight to voicemail.
—General tech: human cloning genetically viable, 20-petaflop milestone on horizon, you cannot get a tan from your computer screen, behold the Immersa-Dome.
—Nature: fossils in the news (here, here, here, here, and here; no word on Dick Cheney), origins of black wolves, national park on ice, rising ocean acidity could affect fish orientation, humans may trigger earthquakes, tiny exo-Earth, wimpy galaxies.
—Miscellaneous: surreal view of the desert, Kohler LivingHome going up, Abe Lincoln and emoticons, a word ruined by science, every carpet tells a story, how Bill Gates is going to change the world (again).

Git r dun:
—A day in the life: addendum.
—Scott becomes a monk for a day, then becomes unbreakable.
—A spot or a hand-off?
—Success: the other side of failure.
—Seven virtues of reluctant success.
—Setting boundaries for self (health) defense.
—Tomorrow’s Child.
—Refuse to be a victim.
—The garden of self-loathing.


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