In this newsletter:
The Biggest Little Nothing Ever
I’m sitting in a friend’s car outside a bar in Reno trying to kill the three hours until my band goes on stage by playing the ‘does this alley have Wifi’ game. I’m reminded of the Arrested Development episodes involving Reno. In competition with the familiar catchy Vegas slogan, Reno ran a new PR campaign: ‘The Biggest Little Mistake You Can Make.’ As I write this, these words ring true, and this is not a unfamiliar feeling every time I’m in this town.
The bar I’m avoiding is called the XOXO, and no one has yet given any clue as to how to say it. Is it, simply, ex oh ex oh, or zozo or better yet, kiss hug kiss hug? Their sign is a tic tac toe board, which gives weight to the phonetic pronunciation of the symbols, but no one is sober enough to settle the issue. Well if this continues, the 10 people remaining in the audience when we play at 11:30 might actually like us.
Hello Reno. I might have made a big little mistake.
Feeling out of my element a little, I crave for something active to do. If only I had a kettlebell stashed away in my bass drum, but alas the heaviest gear I will lug tonight will be a fender amp, and I’ve already toyed with the question of how far I can throw it. A native just walked by carrying a soccer ball and a pair of cleats and the urge to make him my new best friend so he’ll lead me to the local late night game is almost overwhelming, and, I’m convincing myself, not creepy at all.
I’ll have to admit defeat on the internet connection hunt, as the search for a signal is taking me and my Powerbook into ‘areas of questionable safety.’ I did see a rabbit, a cute little stray bunny hopping down the middle of the alley, and, like the soccer player, I had to curtail my urges of following Mr. Cottontail into some Lewis Carroll adventures.
This week found me with renewed vigor for beating up on myself in the gym. Unlike Reno, this is where I actually want to be, training hard with a simple, tangible result. Our October powerlifting competition is approaching, and I’m going to bribe some unknowing souls into helping me host the darn thing so I can actually compete this time around. After several months of successfully avoiding the ridiculous ‘ouches’ that have plagued me through less-than-wise decisions (usually not training related… I’m just not very bright), I can train hard and pain-free for a good chunk of time (feel free to play along. I’m posting the workouts on the blog).
It is no secret that addressing the sin of sloth can be even less thrilling than my spirit-sucking adventure here at the XOXO. For some, the gym might be their ‘Reno.’ They might want to shoot an aerobics instructor just to watch them die. If you are so inflicted, try this simple task:
List 10 reasons why health is important (if you can’t come up with 10, go move to Reno now). Now try to narrow it down to your favorite 5. Then 3. Then 1.
See, I got stuck at 8 and couldn’t pick one over the other, so, bummer, I’m stuck with 8 great reasons to be healthy. But even the laziest among us can come up with ONE good reason. Now the only thing stopping you from pursuing health for that reason is you and your excuses. It requires about the same calories and intellectual capacity as paper-cutting your eyeball to not see the importance of health, but then what? Unfortunately it might take rubbing a couple of brain cells together to pursue health. C’mon, I know you can do it. I bet even the face-down patron of XOXO, who might be the only person left to hear when we finally play, can, with a little help, even make a first attempt at health.
Not tonight, maybe, but I’m hopeful.
Hey, we’re right here. Through the miraculous ubiquity of communication technology, Bodytribe is available for you questions and inquiries 7 days a week. Have doubts? Know someone with trouble taking the first step to their health? Heck, everything is possible, and we have some tools and ideas that might help. Drop us a line, and upon returning from Reno (maybe I should clarify that statement with an ‘if’) we’ll chat.
Ironic ending: The show in Reno never happened. That isn’t to say what was written was a myth. The 5-hour round trip was very real, as was the XOXO, and the bunny and the alley. But by the time it was our turn to play, there was no audience remaining. None. So we packed up our gear and went home.
I did get to write to you, and that was time well spent. So maybe Reno can be seen as a metaphor…
…or maybe not. Reno, I don’t hate you. You have weird charm and I seem to get writing done in your presence. Therefore, perhaps you are my muse. My garish, drunken, trashy muse where, for every bright light is an equally dark alley, for every loud, incoherent, aggressively friendly drunk bar patron, there is the empathetic/sympathetic bartender screaming ‘Raymond, don’t touch the new guy (true story).’ Farwell, until we meet again.
Next Tuesday, sometime during the hour of 2-3 pm, I’ll be featured on the Capitol Public Radio show Insight talking about my book. I’ll consider this practice for when Oprah and Larry King beg me to be interviewed (wait until they get my rider. Only unshelled peanut M&M’s and a case of organic raisins from Peru sprinkled with magic).
Workshops and classes:
Okay, how long have I been promising a new workshop calendar? It will be complete by next week.
There is one permanent Bodytribe class, taught by trainers Camilo and Israel. It has been a steady feature for months, and will grow throughout the rest of the year. Every Saturday morning at 9 am, they run a conditioning class featuring a whole bunch of butt-whipping. Throughout the summer the class has been down the street at the park on 21st and C, and will stay there until the sky leaks all over us. Every week is a little different, using a huge collection of techniques and exercises. They have no fear as trainers to learn all that is available, and are able to present their ideas to you in well-produced packages of creative intensity. There will be more about it on the website soon. Meanwhile, if you have any questions, call Camilo at 916 599 5877.
Those little fuzzy things on display during the last three art shows weren’t a Marcel Duchamp installation (maybe signed R. Tabby?). Bodytribe trainer Allyson has become a default kitten adoption service and has, to date, found homes for 17 kittens, several of which were thankfully adopted by Tribe members. She receives no monetary compensation, although housing and fostering these litters isn’t the easiest task, especially when she has 3 (now 4) feline friends of her own, not to mention Lulu the puppy. So not only is she one of the most unique trainers in Northern California due to her depth of knowledge in so many areas of physical culture, but her obvious passion for life is blatant not only in her training, but in the little pink noses that were very popular these past few art shows. Congratulations to her efforts.
For fans of the musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch, the Sacramento show is coming up. Details here: http://www.hedwiginsac.com/
Thanks for reading. I gotta get some sleep.
Chip “Buy My Book” Conrad