“When angry, count four. When very angry, swear.’
– Mark Twain

[Ed note: as I’ve gotten older, I’ve increasingly noticed how often people talk adjacent to each other, rather than truly with each other – sort of the adult equivalent of ‘parallel play.’ Arguing a point, both sides become more deeply entrenched, rather than listening to, and staying open to, the opposing position. As I’ve aged, I’ve also become increasingly sure I’m wrong a large percentage of the time. As a stubborn asshole at heart, it takes work for me to put that insight into practice, to admit I’m wrong and to really listen to what others have to say, especially if it’s hurtful for me to hear. But I’m sure trying. It’s always good to know that, if a comment is a bit too close to home, i can always count to four. Or curse.]


“If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing every day.” – Dan John

With lots unmoored in my life at the moment, I’ve been honing my to-do list, trying to figure out the things I value enough to do every single day. At the moment, I’m down to a core seven daily obligations: meditate, work out, inbox zero, journal, blog, practice trumpet, stretch/mobilize.

Hence this post. #everydamnday


Two hundred thirty-nine years in, and America still seems like a pretty good idea. In light of that time frame, these two posts from nine and ten years back seem more than recent enough to repost, especially as I still stand behind them both:

“Self-Determination”, July 4th, 2005.

“Balls of Steel”, July 4th, 2006

Hope you’re all enjoying the day, and happy god bless America birthday wishes to the good ol’ U S of A.


Over years of running CFNYC, we discovered that, on average, our members attended the gym about 2.8 times a week. Talking to coaches at other CrossFit boxes, to yoga, pilates and spin instructors, and to private trainers, that seems about par for the course. In a committed, workout-attending population, people seem to hit the gym about 2.5-3 times a week.

And, indeed, that’s great. If you’re smart and focused, that’s often all the gym time you need. Though that depends, entirely, on what you do with the other 165 hours of your week.

There’s an old fitness maxim: you can’t out-train a bad diet. You also can’t out-stretch days full of sitting, standing and moving in terrible posture. You can’t out-caffeinate a lack of sufficient, high-quality sleep. And your three hours at the gym are only enough if they’re just the far end of the power curve – the small percentage of time you move at high intensity, paired with the large percentage of time outside the gym in which you’re still moving, albeit at a lower pace.

The problem is, gyms aren’t really set up to address those other 165 hours. Sure, trainers and coaches will sometimes give homework; but we know from research on adherence in physical therapy that people just don’t do their fitness homework, even if it’s literally hurting them not to.

Which, I think, is an opportunity for technology. Pair a great in-gym experience with a well-crafted app that extends that experience to guide the other 165 hours of the week, while still tying back to the expert accountability and community support you have in the gym, and you’ve got a far more effective way to help people make positive change in their lives.


“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”
― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Down, Not Out

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”
– Thomas Edison

I Was Told There Would Be Pie

This past weekend, Jess and I walked down to the 79th St farmer’s market, to stock up on summer fruits and vegetables. Apparently, strawberry season is upon us, as there were tables and tables of strawberries of all sizes. And, at one stand, there were some truly gigantic rhubarb stalks. So, I bought a bunch of strawberries, and a couple rhubarbs, with the intention of making a strawberry rhubarb pie.

Previously, I’d never made a strawberry rhubarb pie. Or, so far as I can recall, any kind of pie at all. (Except for chicken pot pie, which I don’t think quite counts.) A bit of Googling yielded this recipe for “Grandma’s strawberry rhubarb pie,” which had a slew of positive reviews. So I stocked up on the few ingredients not in my kitchen already, and went to work.

While I love to cook, I’ve never been a fan of baking, the precise measuring and hands-off watching through the oven door far less suited to my personality than savory cooking’s improvisations and fixes on the fly.

Still, you can’t argue the results:


The pie was delicious. Look out Martha Stewart, as I’ll definitely be trying my hand at pie-making again soon.

Manly Stanley

Coming down the home stretch of hockey season, I just wanted to pause to respect the underlying level of athleticism that hockey elites display. Sure, they make look like a bunch of toothless mooks when interviewed post-game. But they’re in amazingly, terrifyingly good shape.

In most sports, there’s a single athletic test that correlates to high-level performance. If you excel at that underlying skill, you likely excel at the sport overall. In the case of basketball, for example, it’s vertical jump. In the case of football (at least for several key positions), it’s time on the 40-yard dash.

In the case of hockey, however, the single best correlate is actually body fat percentage, above a BMI threshold. Great hockey players require a large amount of fat free mass (i.e., muscle), alongside very low levels of fat. In other words, they need to be totally jacked, more so than similarly ranked players in almost any other sport.

Watch the Stanley Cup, and show those players some respect. If not for their crazy levels of fitness, then at least for the fact that they’re literally willing to beat each other bloody for our entertainment. Now that’s commitment.

[And speaking of both violence and fitness, it’s also worth noting that the only other fitness-marker-to-sports-performance correlate I know of is between wrestling success and anaerobic power output. Which also probably explains why wrestlers have had such a great run in the CrossFit world. Kind of a consolation prize for the years we spent wearing spandex body-suits in front of high school peers.]

Right Here

“Make yourself the master of every situation and wherever you stand is the true place.”
– Rinzai

Word Wise

Over the last few months, I’ve heard a slew of smart, literate people use ‘nonplussed’ to mean ‘unfazed’ or ‘unimpressed’.

Unfortunately, that’s not what the word means.

Instead, ‘nonplussed’ means ‘bewildered’ or ‘confused’.

I’m totally nonplussed as to why nobody can use that shit correctly.

[Bonus fact: similarly, ‘ambivalent’ doesn’t mean ‘I don’t care’. Instead, it means pretty much the exact opposite: ‘I’m torn between strong opposing feelings about this.’ Get that one right, too.]