Thursday, October 30, 2008
And it's called SimpliFit.
It'll be the blog I have as the counterpart to http://www.youtrition.com , if I can ever buy the domain name.
I also made a logo for Youtrition! I'm so excited.
But until then, I have SimpliFit, because I wanted something a little more...tenured? Tenured is something I'd use for awesome people like Roni and MizFit who have like 10,000,000 people read their blogs every day (sadly, this is not me as of the moment...maybe one day?). I've been doing this a couple months, though, and I feel like I can stop being an idiot but still be transparent and fun.
And an idiot. But maybe only in the funny ways. And the silly ways, 'cause I'm *never* giving those up.
Anyway, please go to
and switch it on your blogrolls, if I'm lucky enough to be on them. I love you guys!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
It's the Wine Country Half-Marathon, Bib 638.
Monday: elliptical, 60 mins
Tuesday: 8 mi, 1:16
Wednesday: elliptical, 60 mins
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
That said, I obviously expected to best 2:18 this weekend at the race. Despite going to the porta potty. Despite talking to all the little five year olds handing me water. Despite the hills.
So when I saw this
I almost fell out of my chair. What the hell, man? 2:23?! I didn't talk to the little kiddies for that long! I mean, they weren't that adorable! (lies!)
Long story short, I e-mailed the lovely people at Synergy Race Timing, who then promptly replied, (paraphrased)
"Your time was based on an 8:30 starting time."
Well, heck! I didn't start at 8:30! I started between 8:45 and 8:50! So my time is really about 2:08, not counting talking to the kiddies, going to the porta potty, or drinking water at all four rest stops.
So I'm booking it at 2:08.
(That's a 9:462 mi for 13.1 mi straight. That's pretty good for little slow me!)
Also, one more quick thing. I asked my grandparents if, for Christmas, my whole Christmas could just be a portion of my $360 fee for the AFPA certification. She said she could pay for the whole thing! Isn't that sweet? I'm so happy, and expressed to her how much it meant to me. I mean, it's probably one of the most meaningful Christmas presents I've ever received simply because of what it represents for me and how far I've come to reach this point in my life.
Also, I love your hilarious comments! The dog is, indeed, the brown furry thing in the photo. And, yes, it is a puppy, not a hamster. We're naming her Maui.
Monday, October 27, 2008
- a new blog (same content, different domain name/host and layout)
- a new website (different from the blog, in the process of purchasing the domain name from someone right now)
- website will host my AFPA-certified business when I complete my certification
- product reviews for Splenda Mist and FitNutz Peanut Butter (powder similar to PB2, 50 calories per 2 Tbsp!)
- race photo and time
Actually, I'm super super super excited. These are things I could work on all day; it's so nice to have found something I'm passionate about.
EDITED TO SAY:
We are getting this next weekend (by we, I mean my family, who is not here, but through whom I will live vicariously):
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Sadly, this doesn't really happen anymore, chiefly because there is very little public space remaining in our world (ever seen the private beaches at Malibu?). Where there is public space, we approach it in a very private way (i.e. family picnics) because we -- as a society -- have forgotten how to deal with public spaces. It's a skill now lost at some point between middle school and adulthood.
So instead of parks, community centers, and neighborhood meeting places, we now have private spaces. Stores. Restaurants. And what else? Health clubs.
I propose that health clubs have taken the place of community centers, parks, and other public spaces in what I will call majority American culture, by which I mean the perceived majority (mostly conservative or moderate, Christian, middle class, white collar), which may or may not represent the true American majority. I also argue that there are many problems inherent in the role of neighborhood and community center being fulfilled by health clubs and gyms, some of which I'll explore below.
First, health clubs are expensive. And while more and more employers are offering options for employees in the form of discounts to local gyms or on-site workout facilities [Manda notes -- more and more should, too!], the majority of health club patrons are going to be very similar socioeconomically. Not that this problem is specific to health clubs; neighborhoods have often been divided along similar lines. However, health clubs add a new dimension to this problem because you actually have to pay to use the space, so it further quantifies the class separation.
Furthermore, in order to have access to this community center, health and fitness (or the status that comes with engaging in it as a fad) has to be something about which you care enough to invest in monetarily. People who are sedentary are much less likely to pay $30-$70 a month to have a place to workout. Or if they do pay the fee, they very probably will not be going, so they're not engaging in the community anyway. [This is to say nothing of the prohibitive nature of health club fees. Were other public spaces open and welcoming, as they have been in the past, these fees would not be cause for as much worry as they are now. However, we live in a society that is becoming less and less likely to regard streets, neighborhoods, and any type of otherwise "public" space as safe. This, of course, makes the prohibitive nature of gym fees even more damaging to American health.]
The next problem I see, although this is fortunately not a significant issue at Genesis (which, FYI, is the health club where I work), is an issue of racial ghettoization. Most health clubs are going to be predominantly white, just like most country clubs are predominantly white. This isn't deliberate, of course, because the health clubs are willing to take anyone's money. I would read this problem as an extension of the socioeconomic segregation of health clubs combined with the cultural makeup of the area in which the club is located. Whatever the cause, the symptom is the same: lack of diversity.
My next point is one that is more difficult for me to quantify, because I intuit that it's wrong--that is, it's based on untenable assumptions and societal mores--but I'm not positive as to why. Because a health club is a commercial community place, which means it follows the same cultural belief that shopping (i.e. at a mall) is an acceptable way for families and friends to spend quality time, to bond. And that bothers me. People shouldn't have to pay for the priviledge of engaging in a communal space; they shouldn't have to subscribe to a certain set of beliefs (i.e. this is the way to get healthy); and they certainly shouldn't see their public places devoured by the spread of commercial communal venues (for example, the selling off of public lands for the development of shopping areas). But, like I said before, I don't know why I feel this is a problem; it's probably because I see that it can't go on like this forever--we can't keep expanding (economically, societally, not to mention spatially) indefinitely. At some point, there is going to be no more room for growth. And when that happens, the whole system is going to fall apart.
All of which has nothing, really, to do with health clubs (at least not immediately).
So all that being said, a flawed, socioeconomically stratified community center is still better than no neighborhood at all, especially given the general view of health clubs as "safe" for individuals and the view of traditional neighborhoods as increasingly dangerous. Furthermore, in an age where we have less and less value for public dialogue, for difference of opinion, for community (not to mention communal living, but that's a whole different issue, and would be out of place in this blog), I would rather see people participating in flawed communities than no community at all.
This brings me to my final point, and my final issue with the concept of health club as community hub: we don't treat it as one. The gym represents one of the few avenues by which we can conceivably come together and form relationships in a public sphere. Yet most of us go through our workout routines with a cord coming out of each ear. The problem is that most people do not recognize the need for community, and so they don't recognize the opportunity that the health club dynamic presents. There are exceptions to this phenomenon, of course; water aerobics, group fitness classes, training clubs for marathons and triathlons all tend to build very solid communities, which often end up meeting and interacting outside of the health club venue. However, average Joe Freeweights (who may or may not be Joe Plumber) and Jane Treadmill come to the gym right after work, do their workouts in iPod-driven isolation, then shower and leave as quickly as possible. Furthermore, the people who are most guilty of this tend also to be the younger crowd, the career-minded twenty-somethings in beginning adulthood.
Which, I must confess, makes me rather fearful. Is my generation going to be able to form meaningful communities? If our public spaces are gone and we refuse to engage with each other in private communal venues, will we be able to pass on to the next generation the skills necessary in building a community? And if we cannot establish and teach our progeny to establish small, local communities, how can we ever hope for any kind of larger--let alone global--cooperation?
By way of closing, I issue this challenge: the next time you're at the gym: set aside 10-20 minutes during which you won't listen to your headphones, you won't watch TV, you won't stare thoughtlessly into space. For those 10-20 minutes, engage with the space around you. Say hi to someone. Notice the weirdos who inevitably populate gyms. Talk with the trainers (most of us are really pretty nice and not at all dumb). Or--even better--take some kind of group class. Try water aerobics. Get to know the little old ladies who are in there working their butts off. Meet the instructors. Talk to the employees at the front desk. Start thinking of your gym as your community. [Manda notes that our society has come to think of exercise as punishment, and that if more people viewed their gyms as communities, perhaps 2/3 of American adults wouldn't be overweight. Just a thought, America.]
Because--awkard and uncomfortable as it may intially be--becoming an active part of a community will make you a better person. And if that isn't the point of all of this working out and eating healthy and going to the gym, what is?
Yay! Remember to check out her website, folks!
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
And I make funny faces. Just sayin'.
Also, I tried using Viddler (YouTube wouldn't let me upload b/c the video's too long), but the "Embed" link wasn't working.
So go here, please!