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Rings of Power by Mike GIllette

Rings of Power by Mike Gillette Cool new book from Mike Gillette about Ring Training for all fitness levels. Being on this shoot with Mike was like working with a real live action hero! (And I got to put a cinderblock on him too!) Mike knows his stuff and shares everything you need to know for his versatile go-anywhere ring training.  Full progressions of every exercise, workout plans, and all the know-how to take the training as far as you wish. Good stuff, and yes, that's me on the left side of the cover  :)

Barbell Deadlift - Color Theory - Random Advice Time Warning

This is kind of a strange article - won't deny that... also going to warn you, we're approaching my birthday, which always makes me get "a little weird" (I know what you're thinking... ).  This is mainly because I get reflective in terms of "what have I learned this past year?", "have I kept my promises, goals etc?"   Those of you who know me in "real life" know there have been a lot of ups and downs, a lot of triumphs, and some sad things too.  Anyway, I hate talking about feelings on the internet - so let's start with a snippit of a video from yesterday's visit to the St. Cloud Institute of Human Performance - featuring work on the Barbell Deadlift with RKC, Chris Davis:


Q: Why do you wear all black all the time?!  


A: The age old question, if I had a $1 for every time I've been asked this since high school I'd have at least 2 of the cars I have pinned on Pinterest or that make Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear squeal like a little girl (which is hilarious, btw).   Here's the fun part - only recently have I actually figured out the REAL ANSWER to this question, which is mainly contained in #4.   As in, I figured out how to articulate it last week.  There are several reasons, some more interesting than others:

  1. It's easy, I don't have to be bothered with matching things.  It's no secret that I don't enjoy the mall that much - unless I'm going to spend time with a friend, have some coffee in hand, and am allowed to people watch.  It's also a good time to research that strange, perplexing, ever-changing animal known as Mainstream America.
  2. As a computer scientist, I consider black to be the color of "rest" or "potential" basically each pixel on the screen is black before it is anything else.   It's the default - the starting point.
  3. No one knows if you spill your coffee, tea or espresso on it...
  4. It's the color of "certainty." I don't consider many things in our world to be "certain" other than stuff like gravity (more on that later).  Black is certain*, I know where it stands, I know it won't change.  Nearly everything else changes, and if you live a life of barely controlled chaos like I do - then it's good to have some anchors.  This is why I hate that phrase " _________" is the new black.   No it's not.  NOTHING is the "new" black. Black is neither new nor old, it just is, and I like that about it.  
  5. It's easy enough to change a couple things and have people think you're dressed appropriately for a given situation.
  6. I like to be taken seriously - and as a 5'3" woman, I may have a Napoleon complex in this regard, but if I dress very colorfully, there is always the chance of being mistaken for a child or teenager.  Besides, wearing black is incredibly flattering.

Q: But but "pink is the new black" why do refuse to wear it?!


A: I feel like a jerk wearing pink for whatever reason - not sure why.  Similarly, some other colors make me feel too conspicuous.  Not claiming to be normal over here.  I own a few shirts in other colors (dark purple, dark green, charcoal, red), but usually it's because I either like their design or cut - or more likely, they're related somehow to the RKC and I'm always proud to wear that stuff.   But back to pink...sure it looks fine on other people, and some people really LIKE wearing it.  I believe they find it to be a "fun color" and if that's empowering to someone then by all means - WEAR IT.   I've just seen it used to dumb things down, to make things "accessible" to the general public.   Pink is often used to make something "safe" to make something "fun" to make something "cute."  Again, I'm 5'3" and don't want to be mistaken for a child.  So if you see me wearing pink, it means I've either been talked into it by coach (he thinks this is amusing for some reason), or maybe there's just an incredibly HUGE amount of $ on the table.  Huge like, I'm going to go buy a ridiculous black sports car to compensate for the previous humiliation (see previous Jeremy Clarkson statement).    I wonder when FitFluential will have their new non-pink badge ready?  I can't wait!

Birthday Stuff...   ok, hopefully it doesn't get too annoying, but this time of year I tend to make remarks of the bumper sticker variety - here's my birthday-advice, since I'll be 35 soon.

  • Don't be afraid to ask.  How do you think I get to do half the crazy stuff I do?  I had the guts to ask.   I ask people to autograph my cds, books, etc. - some people don't because they're afraid to be embarrassed.  The embarrassment lasts 10 seconds, and then you get to get your stuff signed.  Usually what happens is you can even sneak in a conversation and then that's really cool.   Don't be afraid to ask.  I wasn't afraid to ask about other things and that lead to test driving a Tesla and then a couple Bentleys.  This wouldn't have happened if I hadn't asked.   What's the worst thing that can happen? "No."  How many times have you heard the word "no"?  What's one more going to do to you, really.   Because I can think of a whole lot worse than "no".
  • To make a big leap if necessary.   Staying in a bad situation because you feel trapped is a mistake - there's a way out, there's ALWAYS a way out - but you can't always see it.  That's what friends are for - they can sometimes see the way out and point you towards it.  If your current friends aren't able to do this, or are part of the problem, distance yourself from them right now.   Life is too short to be stuck somewhere bad - do something about this today - even something small.  THIS IS YOUR LIFE.
  • Learn not to be afraid.  It takes practice, start today.
  • Accept that just because you may do something differently from the norm, that doesn't automatically make it "wrong."  Because "everyone else" is doing it, doesn't mean you have to do it.  I am so glad I didn't buy a house or get married when other people were.   FREEEEEEEEDOM!!!!!!  That being said - we're all different and you should go with what works for you.
  • Seek the best - the best instruction, the best coaches, the best mentors.  There's no time for anything else.
  • Improving your health is the best investment you can make.   I consider that the care of my physical body is extremely important - to the point of most of my expenses are actually related to food or fitness training.  I spare no expense to train with the best of the best - and eat only really high quality food.   Stop eating trash, and start working out in order to get stronger.
  • The women's magazines are wrong: about your body, about your relationships, about pretty much everything.  The photos are fake too.   I don't like their idea of fashion... though I do like the really avant garde stuff in Vogue or Bazaar, but that's more like performance art or an installation sometimes.  
  • Stop making excuses and whining about stuff you THINK you can't change.  You can change it - stop making excuses and do it.   You can pin the blame somewhere else and feel sorry for yourself, but that doesn't solve the problem.  I see this a lot in mainstream pop-psych, and it drives me nuts.   Small steps add up quickly.  Take a step today.
  • Find an anchor - find something certain - for some people this is their faith, spirituality, family, friends, or whatever. 
  • Make sure you make some very large and possibly audacious goals - make some "sane" ones too - but don't discount aiming for the stars as well.
  • Look at WHY you do things - in terms of behavior.  I stopped drinking when I realized the amount was directly proportional to how unhappy I was at a given time.  It was as if some small part of me was occasionally so miserable that it wanted to die.   Why not change the situation?   That small part is happy now - and I've gone back to my truest chemical love since 1995: espresso.  Besides, alcohol makes you look old.  Every time I decline a drink I am reminded of why I decided to stop.  So keep asking me, each time you ask, I'm reminded of turning an important corner.
  • Don't be afraid. (I mean it.)

I remember when my Dad turned 35 - I had just learned in school that someone had to be at least 35 years old to run for President.   As a kid, it was perplexing that Dad wasn't going to run, I thought he'd do a good job.   Not a fan of politics over here, so sorry, I will not be running for President after turning 35 next month.   Whether that brings disappointment or a great sigh of relief, I just had to put that out there.  LOL!!!


really really really great

Everything in this article is really real and inspiring.

My favorite part though is about your dad - how as a kid it was totally perplexing that he wouldn't run for president, I mean, he was 35 and everything!

In a way, as a kid, I was so much more connected to possibilities, passion, and doing exactly what is was best expression of who I was at that moment. If I woke up and wanted to be a lion tamer that day, I'd be a lion tamer that day, to the fullest extent I was capable of (even if that meant I was really a house cat tamer).

There's something there for me. I dunno, but I think this was the absolute perfect blog for me to read right now!

I'm going to be 35 in a couple months. This was a great blog, and it makes me think about what I'd put on my list.


:) THANKS!!!!

So glad you like the blog - and you know - 35 isn't too late to become a lion tamer... though I would suggest maybe Iron Taming instead.  If you're curious about strength, David Whitley's is a great blog too.


Thanks for checking in - and let us know how you're doing down the road! :)


I love this!

Great wisdom--I have to confess, it took me a good 10 years longer than you before I "got" some of this. Don't be afraid. Change what makes you miserable, dammit. Don't be afraid. Walk through the door. Ask. Get up and get healthy (before it's too late). Don't be afraid . . .

What a difference a year makes--sounds like for you, too. So glad that you've been a really fun part of all of it!

P.S. I'm wearing my favorite black jeans, black KickAssMama boots, and black shawl. I'm 45 years old, 5'0", got glutes of steel, and I'm stylin, baby! Do not mess wit me. :-)



Your comment made my day! THANK YOU! :)



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