Are You Useful? The Book!
This week celebrates the release of the second book to bear my name. The process from concept to print has been an example of what to do only if you’re a bit of a moron. This book was extreme DIY. The cover, the typesetting, the publishing, the promotion, and of course, the writing, were all by my hand. Thankfully a very kind soul stepped up to editing duties, curbing my diatribes, calming my vitriol, and conjugating my adjectives, all making the book considerably more readable. I’m in forever in debt to Jennifer Bryan for not only finding most of my spelling mistakes, but showing me, in the most inspiring, polite way, how terrible my foundational writing skills are. Consulting her was the wisest choice I made in this entire process. The early, pre-Jennifer drafts were crazed rambles, like Kerouac interpreted by your 3-year old cousin hopped up on too many juice boxes. Jennifer’s painstaking task went from fixing grammar to rehabbing my writing. For the record, she’s also great at cartwheels.
Any typos still lingering in the book are not her fault. The rewriting and expanding I did post-Jennifer edits put all those mistakes in there. (Quick secret… I left two typos in there. On purpose. Blatant grammatical things. No awards for finding them, though. The inspiration came from pre-google map makers. They put a calculated mistake or two in their maps, originally to catch forgers, but eventually these conscious blemishes became artistic trademarks.)
Look. We’re told by every major religion, and TV series based on Marvel comics, that love is suffering (or am I reading that wrong?). I apparently had need to experience that to the fullest. Having zero budget meant reaching out a bit for help. And that meant being let down considerably, therefore relying on myself for most of the technical stuff that I previously (and currently, if we’re honest), haven’t developed much skill in. The lesson here is, if you’re aiming for quality, be sure to spend money. Don’t worry, you probably won’t make it back. Since love hurts, consider yourself in a growing, bountiful relationship of financial loss.
Since I had no money to spend, things took a bit longer.
Thankfully, I’m blessed with a very supportive tribe, who, if not affluent in the traditional sense, sure have given freely of what they did have. Although it’s been a tough ride for the brain and soul, my heart has felt a security that inspires me to pay as much forward as possible. Thanks to the collection of folks who made this potentially bumpy ride a far less daunting rollercoaster than it would’ve been otherwise. To you I owe plenty.
There’s a chapter in the new book about finding inspiration from someone obviously new to their journey, implying that we should dole out kudos as much, if not more, to the challenge of the beginner, which is less comfortable, more frightening, and sometimes stinkier, than the expertise of the veteran. Although this book is written for the veteran (gym rat, in this case), the reminder is constant that we are ambassadors for the deeper purposes of movement and strength. We have a responsibility to our tribes, to teach, to help, and to celebrate with. Your training experience changes when the outcome is bigger than yourself.
Spoiler: the current fitness industrial complex is failing quite gloriously at providing any real journey.
This book is a collection of ideas and tools that are building blocks for designing dialogs, both personally and communally, about our relationships with our bodies. In the past, my rants have built into fire and lightning, but here the goal is less bear-poking, more thought provoking. Unlike the hard-and-fast laws sold by the how-to faction of the training world, here we’ll explore the Why behind the What and How. This is the my attempt at opening that door. I might step on a sacred cow or two along the way, but it’s only because our dogmas need questioning.
The big take-away: What if your training practice isn’t just about you anymore? This book is the outcome of many workshops and videos that have transformed quite a few lives so far. Care to give this stuff some thought?