Crashing Through Crapulence

Think of something like a food, a habit, or a vice that you really enjoy in this life, but is keeping you from achieving your long sought after goals.

Now think of never doing it again. That sad, lonely feeling in the pit of your stomach is familiar to all of us. It feels like losing a loved one.

This is the feeling that traps us. It paints a picture of loneliness and deprivation with plenty of void mixed in. You begin to think of things that are gonna start to suck immediately.

This is an aberration.

I have had to withdraw from things that were holding me back on more occasions than I care think about. But I will for the sake of this conversation.

I have been hooked on cigarettes, dope, alcohol, prescription meds, loose women and ice cream.

Every time I committed myself to breaking free and was victorious, a whole new world opened for me.

Example: Fat, drug addled alcoholic, to multi-certified personal trainer. (You can’t make this up.)

The point of this message is if you really want to make a big change, don’t spend your time grieving and imagining life without, focus on the all the good things that will naturally occur in your life because you got rid of those distractions.

Personal victories change you…forever.

So many wonderful, unexpected things happen when you finally take the leap.

You’re the boss.

Trust me.

Sitting This One Out

 
 

My mother always told me to live my life to the fullest so I would never have any regrets, especially at the point of death. I listened.

I didn’t marry and settle down until I was 55, providing me ample time to shame, embarrass and exhaust myself. Over the years, I got myself expelled, incarcerated, drafted, detoxed and divorced.

I also jumped a lot of bones. 🙂

In my life, I never missed an opportunity to exhibit my foolishness. I have stepped on stage ill prepared, too high and too cocky. It showed.

I pissed through my life savings and drew the scrutiny of the IRS, Visa, Master Card and American Express.

In 1990, I moved to Arizona by myself and sold nuclear medicine on nothing more than a GED. I always found myself in the deep end of the pool and seemed to perform swimmingly.

So now that we are besieged with uncertainty, anxiety and fear, I will have none of it. I’m not suicidal, but I will not do this dance. Whatever happens, happens. I’ve been through too much and too little.

The excitement, travails and near death experiences of my life have left me satiated at this table.

I can’t think of any page I haven’t turned. In short… I’m good.

That being said, I will not mask up or contain myself unless ordered to do so. My current two jobs put me right on the firing line and I won’t quit until they do.

My thinking is, if I am in danger of losing my life, especially at my age, now is as good a time as any. My upper lip is stiff and I am ready for anything.

No regrets.

Sorry, not sorry……

This is why people like me are a disaster for the economy:
We don’t drive, we bike or walk everywhere.
We don’t buy cars or take loans
We don’t buy car insurance
We don’t buy fuel
We don’t pay for servicing or repairs
We don’t pay excise tax
We don’t pay for parking
We don’t become obese and tax the medical system
We never get sick
We don’t buy prescription drugs
We don’t go to hospitals or clinics
We don’t pay doctors or insurance companies
We are a nightmare for the GDP
Truth is, healthy people are not needed in this economy.
And that’s just…too bad.

Shock Your Doctor!

* I am not a doctor but I have been protocolized into the CVS Hall of Fame. I was on 15 orange bottles for ten years. It didn’t have to be that way. These are my opinions only.

You want more headroom? You want to live out these years productively? Take more responsibility for your health and fitness. Read the manual. Get a personal trainer for 30 days. Have them do a squat assessment on you to see if you have any alignment issues. Your body is one big kinetic chain. Weakness in the hip can cause problems all over your body. Feet, knees, low back and shoulders.

Stay away from chiropractors. When I was having serious head pain (from statins) I went to one who almost took my head off. On one visit I told him that neck snap thing he was performing was killing me for two days after my visit. He listened intently, nodded in agreement, told me to lay down and then he snapped my fucking neck again. ??!!

Walk everywhere, use a fitness tracker. Take one week out of your life and track your calories. Use My Fitness Pal . Find your basal metabolic rate with this free calculator. Your BMR is what it takes to keep your lights on. Your weight times 10 is a good rule of thumb. Then figure out your activity level using the free calculator. Then you will have a good idea what your maintenance calories are.

Don’t live your life from his or her prescription pad. Don’t take their exercise or nutrition advice as gospel. Doctors get about four hours of nutritional training out of eight years of education. Medicine is a business. Don’t forget that. My doc was the pamphlet queen of Massachusetts. She was also obese.

If they get you on a prescription, they own you. You will be managed by the numbers. They follow protocols. They need you in their practice. They will tell you that age is the culprit and you need to be managed into acceptance. Uh, I don’t think so.

I am 74 years old and just jumped off my blood pressure medication. If you are over 65 and are getting pilloried with prescriptions, you need to think seriously about holding up your end of the bargain.

The less you see of your local pharmacist the better off you will be. Take it from me.

Just sayin’.

 

 

 

I Was My First Client

All the benefits from getting certified as a personal trainer at 70 years old went directly to me. I shaved almost fifty pounds off my tired, bloated, frame, added pounds of muscle, got off of statins, dropped my blood pressure, lost my aches and pains and attained athlete status at the ripe old age of 74.

I have not been sick even one day in four years. Not even a sniffle.

In 2016, at the VA rehab, while detoxing off of alcohol and Xanax, they told me I was a ticking time bomb and I better be using my walker in the hallways. I was high risk. I felt defeated.

Now, I’m an Elder Athlete!

I run five miles every night, lift weights and ride a bike a total of 80 minutes every day back and forth to work. I have never experienced such health and wellness.

And every morning I love what I see in the mirror. You can’t put a price on that.

It’s there for all of us. The medical community tells us to brace ourselves for illness and physical breakdown. They’re just following med school protocol.

When I had head pain from statins at 52, the doc told me this was par for the course. Nothing is further from the truth. Use it or lose it.

I’m using it and I’m damn sure not gonna lose it. We’re made for the long haul, don’t let ’em shit ya!

Get out there!

 

He Lives…..

 

 

I posted this a month ago and took it down for fear he was somehow be keeping track of me. That day more than 50 years ago is still a vivid memory because I really thought he was gonna off me the day before we left Vietnam. I made a lot of people laugh with this story and some day I’m sure I’ll pay. But not today.  🙂

No shit! He lives…
I’m not gonna say his name (because I’m still terrified of him) but when I was in Vietnam with him I witnessed something extremely embarrassing happen to him in a Vietnamese bar. We were in this local village the day before we were leaving the country when it happened. I didn’t think I was gonna leave Vietnam alive because I witnessed it. Arrrgghh!

Just as a little back story, this was a very tough guy. Anybody that had hung out with him in those days had missing front teeth. He was extremely violent and unpredictable but he let me live because I always made him laugh. But not this day. He said, “O’Hearn, I can’t let you live because I’ll end up in one of your stories. I’ll have to kill you.” He kept saying it all day.

I believed every word he said because we were all packing in those days. It took me all day to calm him down. (Which took the equivalent of a trash bag full of weed.)

We left on the same flight the next day and for 19 hours he threatened me with every nasty death scenario he could think of if I ever opened my mouth. That was a long flight.

30 days later, I end up at Fort Hood, Texas for just a couple of months before my time was up. I meet a guy at the PX who was in the same unit with us over there and he invites me over for barbecue with more guys and their wives from our old unit.

Well, everyone loved to hear my stories and I couldn’t hold back on my buddy. I had them laughing so hard one guy almost caught fire off the grill. The wives were howling like banshees. Me and my big mouth.

Their eyes were wide with a mix of laughter and terror because they knew him. Some were even his victims. I’m thinking, “Fuck him, I’ll never see him again.”

So the very day I was getting on the bus for the Dallas airport to go home, a car goes whizzing by us with you-know-who’s scary face out the window screaming like a siren “OOOOhhheeaarnnnn! You guessed it. He knew! They must have told him.

It was my worst nightmare. He was really gonna kill me now. I got back to Boston safely and successfully drank it out of my mind. Until now.

Today is the first time I’ve seen his mug in more than 50 years. I will not sleep tonight. I’m sure of it.

Good night Pete, please forgive me.

“It’s not about you, Bob”

His name was Chip and he was the newly ordained chairman of the Dupont Safety Committee in the year of Our Lord 2000. The same year I got tapped to manage the committee from the field. Not good news for me.

The safety committee was like jury duty on Quaaludes. It would sputter on in futility and whimper into the next year until the next set of victims got drafted. Dupont used to insure themselves so it was all they ever talked about. Getting the news that you were inducted into the safety committee was like having a death in the family.

This guy Chip could aggravate a bowling ball so I was not looking forward to this experience. There were ten of us on the team with me in the lead from the field. After the first conference call everyone panicked. No one had a clue on how to proceed.

The Chipster had no bright ideas either and decided to lean on us for a path forward. You could call it a threat. My mother used to say I would always survive because I knew how to entertain myself.

So I did.

I bought a police uniform, changed my name to “Officer Eyeon”, put up a web site called “Eye On Safety” and put out a newsletter by the same name. Then recorded 10 songs which I put out on 3,000 CDs and made two music videos. $$$$$$$$$

At the national sales meeting I performed “Keep Your Eye On Safety” with the team holding branded steering wheels. (That tape is out there somewhere.)

Then I designed 400 “Eye On Safety” coffee cups which even went out to customers. It cost them a fortune. (They won’t call me again, I thought) That’s when Chip told me after all the attention the safety committee got that year, that I wasn’t much of a team player. To which I pled, “Guilty.”

Let the games begin.

Let’s be honest. If we were serious about our health and fitness we wouldn’t be waiting until New Years to take action. You’re thinking after all the sloth, lethargy and bad food choices you’ve been making, the least you can do is hand over a chunk of money to someone who will gladly make you feel all sorts of unpleasantness for 6- 12 weeks.

You’ll show you, won’t you? To atone for your sins, you think you have to sweat and suffer. But here’s the reality, the experience you are having right now is not sustainable. Because it doesn’t feel good.

Actually, it’s torture, because you let yourself go and your body is in agony from lack of use and nutritious food choices.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Every year I see the cattle call go out to the guilt ridden silent partners of the big box gym down the street. New Years is their Christmas and your guilt is a gift from you.

Let’s start now and follow exercise and meal plans that are sustainable. Your body is very intelligent and doesn’t have to be tortured. It gets it, OK?

You don’t have to get breathless and possibly injured to see results. We’re talking about lifestyle changes, not boot camp. It all starts and ends with awareness.

Move more and make better food choices all year and you won’t be suffering with the rest of the victims who have to go to bed without dinner tonight.  🙂

 

“Well, Exclu-u-ude Me!

You read “Fit Over 40”, “Fit Over Fifty” you ever see anything about being fit over 60? Or God forbid, 70? No, because you young pups think we’re over.

You think we’re just waiting for the ward nurse or the Grim Reaper.

You are always talking about how how hard is to train and gain muscle in your 40’s and 50’s.

There are a lot of guys my age and younger who know how train and get results even in their 70’s. I’m one of them.

You are under the false assumption that our testosterone levels are down around our ankles and we have nothing left to discuss.

And you would be wrong. I see articles and videos on line about men in their thirties and forties consoling each other about low testosterone levels and how hard is to train.

I know what the cure is and it ain’t laying at the bottom of a syringe.

I love how you think 40 years old is “getting up there.” You have no idea.

Did you ever stop to think that while you were being conjured up at the drive-in we were being physically trained to fight a war?

We got our butts kicked all day every day and we flourished.

A lot of us are in great physical condition today on account of it. Being in the military was the greatest honor I have ever experienced. It should be mandatory.

At 74, I am a friggin’ athlete. An elder athlete. I have no restrictions and no limits. I can out run, out fight and out fuck guys half my age. I am fully present and accounted for.

So the next time you want to have a discussion about training in later life, don’t exclude my generation. We are still at it.

And still getting results.

Thank you.  🙂

Offensive Language

What I got from my rough and tumble life over the last three years: Never wake up on defense.

Step on the gas and don’t let up. Get momentum on your side.

When I open my eyes at 1:00 am, it’s on. I immediately go on the offense. I don’t ponder, I act.

I don’t question my existence or my circumstance.

I don’t roll the dice and I don’t ask for anything.

The goal is to seize the moment. There are no weeny words spoken, no prayers for help and none expected.

I don’t do doubt, uncertainty, or WTF! I don’t do defense. In defense you’re a sitting duck.

There is simply no time. Not at this stage of the game. I strike first and ask questions later.

I breath words like move, seize, strike, push, and focus into my waking reality.

I don’t use ..if…hope, mercy, maybe or perchance. I don’t play odds.

I know exactly where I am and what I’m supposed to do. It’s all offense, no defense all the time.

The day is yours for the taking. Seize it!  Stay off the defense and you’ll survive the day.

You just need to use a little offensive language.

 

Well, alright, alright, alright.

Puffery. That’s what these poison purveyors are pushing on us. They’re saying the stuff they put out is harmless and they’re just trying to help us have a good time.

Mc Donald’s puts out a bullshit loss leader of a salad  to make you think they’re listening, while your kids are gaining new fat cells gobbling down Happy Meals.

Here we have Matthew McConaughey trying to tell us how brilliant the drinkers of Wild Turkey Bourbon liquor are. Now that’s acting. Alright, alright alright.

Budweiser wants you think you can’t have a good time watching football, throwing a party or having sex without them.

Coca cola is the largest advertising buyer on the planet. When I go to the supermarket at 5:00 am, there are at least 6 coke employees re-stocking shelves to beat the band while store employees with knee pads are interrupting every aisle replenishing the chips, dips and candies.

Meanwhile, you hear a Twinkies trailer humping the back of the building. You think these companies aren’t factoring in legalized marijuana in their five year plans? Munchies by proxie.

What’s the big deal? People should be allowed to drink and eat responsibly, right? Not while Madison Avenue has a pulse.

We all have choices but that shouldn’t be an excuse for these companies to get away with the kind of puffery they’re inflicting on us.

Remember the senate investigation of 20 cigarette manufacturers who all swore cigarettes were harmless? Remember the Marlboro man?

From my daily observations at the supermarket, almost every shopping cart I see matches the physical appearance and condition of the owner. I can look in the cart and make a diagnosis.

We are physical disasters on the way to happen. The last well proportioned female I saw in this town was……12 years old.

In 2030, 50% of Americans will be obese. It will be a disaster. You will have to know someone to get a hospital bed.

Fat acceptance is already accepted. They are calling it “Healthy at any size.” The photos are garish.

Fact: If your BMI is 30 and above, you are considered obese. If you are obese, you are sick. You are not well. Period. No sugar coating, obviously.

They keep puffin’ and we keep stuffin’ that muffin. And I am done huffin’.

Well, alright, alright alright.

Have Fun-Will Travel

 

I traffic in ideas.

I’m a serial content creator. I create for every platform. I find creating content fun. It’s it fun, I do it.

I am also a compulsive communicator. I have been littering social media with my forward thinking ideas and solutions for decades.

I had my own web site up in 1995 before people knew of its real power. I introduced e-mail and viral marketing to BMS in 2002. Well before they were using those technologies as a viable means of communication.

I developed a lot of my skills in the sales force. While still acting as a territory manager in the field, I developed and managed web sites and newsletters for nuclear cardiology customers of Dupont and Bristol Myers Squibb.

I conceived, shot, edited and produced “Taking The Test,” the patient education video for Cardiolite™ patients for worldwide distribution.

I also created and spearheaded the multimedia department for BMS using video, digital signage, graphic design and web design.

I am an idea generator. I write books, articles and blogs. I have been posting “The Enlightened Rogue Blog” for ten years as well as my Enlightened Rogue Fitness online training site.

I am an accomplished graphic designer and as a musician I also write and arrange original music. A valuable commodity in a litigious corporate world.

I am also a passionate health and fitness writer, certified in personal training, weight loss, nutrition, and senior fitness. I train my clients online

I script, produce, edit and deliver professional corporate video to train, communicate and enlighten.

I produced all the executive communications for Lantheus Medical Imaging while my services were engaged.

As a graphic artist I provided all multimedia content for trade shows and national sales meetings.

I have “live streamed” large company meetings around the world from a laptop. Successfully.

I am a devout entrepreneur, sales manager, professional chef and all around entertainer. I did stand up in the Boston area for years. In that space, communication is do-or-die.

Everything in life is based on timing. Bah da bump.

My creativity has launched products, started businesses, trained sales forces and created departments in big Pharma and biotech companies up and down the east coast.

I am available to inject my years of creative experience into your business, project or passion. Insuring your venture a healthy revenue stream.

If you think you mighty benefit from my successful years in the creative space, please reach out. I look forward to hearing from you.

Let’s have some fun.

They Don’t Want No Superstars

I just got off the phone with a sales manager who got my resume from LinkedIn. I am not interested in working for anyone right now but I took the call to keep my chops up in case the IRS ever wants to talk to me.

That 30 minute interaction brought up a whole host of negative feelings from my sales days. I had the Arizona, New Mexico and Las Vegas territory during my 13 years, in which I was very successful. Which, trust me, was not a result of my knowledge of radioisotopes.

But I got a lot of extra veins in my legs from walking to that stage to pick up my sales awards.

After eight years of knockin’ ‘em down and bringin’ ‘em in, I grew weary. I got tired of airports, diners in Roswell, and burly female techs with facial hair grabbing my ass and asking me how bad I wanted the business. I’m still twitching.

My manager thought I was the second coming and told me I should be a district manager. I thought it was my only option out so I started applying for open positions. The things that were said to me during that process still bother me.

Here’s my theory: They don’t want superstars (which is what I was considered) in management. They want them out hustling. They tried to be artful in their dissuasion but it got messy.

They told me I was too funny. People wouldn’t take me serious. There were more than a few left hand insults. They told me things to make the job sound like hell. They told me my party would soon be over. My parties never end, so they really underestimated me. 🙂

At some point I stopped rattling my cage and started selling and marketing my products with video production. My numbers really jumped then. Fuck ‘em.

After the call this afternoon with that doofus, I remembered all the managers I had experienced back then and they all had one thing in common…nothing. They had nothing. There was nothing remarkable about their careers in any way. They never stood out. They never shook anything up.

They always stood at the back of the room and you could barely remember their names unless they got drunk and fell in the pool at a sales meeting.

They didn’t want no superstars for managers. They wanted administrative assistants, tattle tales, bean counters, fax machine operators and forensic accountants. They were place holders that could be switched out in a heart beat,

They never won anything. Ever. My boss was passed over so many times at award night we had to carry her out of the room on a stretcher. Poor thing.

So I’m talking to this jerk off this afternoon who is in love with the sound of his business vocabulary and I feel my lunch moving in the wrong direction. I realize I was so lucky to get passed over back then.

They would have found me dead by a fax machine pushing out meaningless spreadsheets to no one in particular.

Middle management don’t want no superstars. I get it now. Thank God.

Taking the third…person.

My passion is concerned with the health and well being of seniors. Especially retired, or about to be retired, seniors and the importance of their physical and nutritional needs going forward.

The Enlightened Rogue Fitness mantra is “Living Well Is The Best Revenge.”

You want to live long and well and recoup those well deserved, hard earned, social security and pension benefits by not dropping dead right after your retirement party.

What is weird, is I find myself talking in the third person when I write about the pitfalls of aging.

Like I’m not part of the demographic. Like I’m not a senior with same pressing issues. It’s like I’m on the outside looking in. Very strange.

I think it’s because at 73, I happen to be in the best shape of my life. Without question.

The kind of incredible physical and mental condition that tricks me into thinking that retirees are, unlike me, some gentle, fragile and brittle old souls who could use some help in their declining years.

Get a load of me, will ya?

But that’s what happens when you are fit and healthy. When you have experienced the joys that await you on the other side of the sweat barrier.

When you are fully functioning and all your systems are a “go.” You feel like nothing can take you down.

You see the ravages of aging all around and you can’t connect the dots.

If that’s a crime, I plead “nolo contendere.”

So when you hear me talk about the importance of getting after your nutritional and fitness goals, especially at retirement age, I am including myself as well……I think. 🙂

A New Kind of Stupid

When I went into sales for Dupont Radiopharmaceuticals, I came right off the dock. I had only a G.E.D, didn’t know what a business plan was or where to buy one, never filled out an expense report or attended a sales, marketing or district meeting. Never popped a laptop, bought an airline ticket or called a speaker’s bureau.

It was like showing up to war with a squirt gun. It was Liar’s Poker with very high stakes. I was traveling with PhD’s, chemists, scientists, cardiologists, radiologists and was thankfully, never discovered.

I asked someone what I should do if a cardiologist asked me a technical question. I got, “They don’t ask questions, they already know everything.”

It was a year before I knew what end of the body the product went in.

The conversations on the road were so revealing I wanted to tape them. If I wanted some poop from an in-house puke I was traveling with, I simply told them the radio was busted. The silence would always break them. If it was the 200 mile Tucson trip they usually broke about Casa Grande.

Then, every grudge, insecurity, infidelity, sexual fantasy and misappropriation of expenses would come rolling out. They would start speaking in tongues.

One drunken reimbursement specialist yelled “PARTY” at the Sky Harbor baggage claim before she gripped me by the Johnson.

I loved that fuckin’ Tucson trip.

Then, when I took a move to go in-house as a video producer, a role I totally made up out of whole cloth, things really got interesting. Some of the inter-office conversations were so stupid I thought it might be a sting operation.

Nobody past the sixth grade talks like this, I thought.

I started to think getting an MBA could stunt your emotional growth. It was like being with twelve year olds who shaved.

But I also learned a lot.

I learned how to place my computer screen so my USA Today wouldn’t be discovered. I learned how to get the last cup of coffee without replacing the water bottle. I learned that everyone in the home office lived lives of quiet desperation.

More importantly, I learned that street sense is more valuable than book sense and that I don’t belong in those kinds of places…..anyway.

The Mind-Muscle Connection (Fig leaf not included)

(Note the five pound dumbbells)

This is Eugene Sandow. He is considered the father of bodybuilding. The trophy given to the winner of the Mr. Olympia bodybuilding title is called a “Sandow”. The most coveted award in the sport. Sandow commanded the bronze age of bodybuilding.

Unlike the steroid addled behemoths of today, he took no enhancements of any kind. He didn’t follow strict diet guidelines either. He did things in moderation and made sure that he got enough protein every day. He also drank and smoked.

But what I find incredible is that he trained with five pound dumbbells. (Note the picture on the right) This is how he trained his whole body. The women he trained used only three pound dumbbells. He trained every day and did very high repetitions, as high as 50-100 per body part.

He didn’t consider the weight as something to be lifted up and down, the weight merely assisted in the contraction of his muscles.

He wasn’t just hoisting the weight up, he was “thinking’ the weight up. When you drive attention to a body part you immediately become aware of it.

Try this: Sit in a chair with your right hand resting in your lap and your left had hanging by your side. Now close your eyes and bring your attention to your left pinky. Feel that slight tingle? Now keep doing it until that tingle is all you feel. This is what mind-muscle is all about.

The next time you do a bicep curl, use a very light weight, don’t use any momentum and imagine the peak of your bicep as an erupting volcano as you contract. Feel that?

You are commanding muscle growth.

If you contract your muscles slowly while thinking about it, you are driving energy into it and when you do enough reps to exhaust the muscle, growth will occur. Once the muscle tires, it doesn’t know if it’s five pounds or five hundred pounds.

So all the things we believe about heavy weight and long recuperation periods get left by the wayside thanks to Mr. Sandow.

I love this type of defined muscularity. I would rather look like an anatomy chart than a bouncer if you want my two cents.

So the next time you head to the gym to take your iron pills, you might want to “think” about what you’re going to put your body through.

Why weight? 🙂

 

 

 

 

Welcome to Sparta

It’s midnight, it’s raining and I’m running. I’m less than a mile from the house I just left when the downpour commences. I could turn around but I don’t. The hard rain starts to pelt me as it drives into my face and my renders my glasses useless. I start to shiver.

A cold stream of water is gushing down the crack of my ass as if to drive me forward. Against the torrent I am forced to negotiate the double yellow lines in the middle of the road. Water puddles quickly out here because the road bakes itself shut in the intense heat. People have drowned in under ten minutes in a desert flash flood.

I am just about blind at this point as nature has its way with me but I am a happy, soggy Olympian in my duress as I remember the training I received during my military years. Little did I know back then how those Spartan torture sessions would benefit me today as an elder athlete.

Those years hardened me. They made a man out of me and taught me the value of mental toughness and physical conditioning. What I thought was a curse fifty years ago now allows me to do hard work without fatigue and avoid succumbing to preventable disease and illness.

We suffered mightily in those days as we prepared for war. They marched us, they ran us, they crawled us, they tormented us. Some of us considered going A.W.O. Loose. But they knew what they were doing. If we got killed in combat they damn sure weren’t gonna have us on their conscience.

We suffered but they suffered right along with us. I have to believe I would be nowhere near the physical shape I’m in today if it wasn’t for that experience.

I have had many water shed moments in my life but the best gift I ever received just happened to be wrapped in olive drab.  🙂

 

Time for a cold one?

Shiver me timbers, winter is here and it’s an opportunity to burn a lot more fat by using the unavoidable cold weather. Cold induces BAT (brown adipose tissue) which eats WAT (white adipose tissue.) WAT is what we usually think of as fat, like the marbling on a steak.
 
A WAT cell—an adipocyte—is composed of a single large fat droplet with a single nucleus. BAT, in contrast, is sometimes referred to as “fat-burning fat” and appears to be derived from the same stem cells as muscle tissue.
 
BAT is why Michael Phelps can eat 12,000 calories a day and why Mt. Everest climbers have to eat lard and butter to keep their body weight up. It’s the cold, baby.
 
Without weighing you down with more science, here’s a few things I do to keep my body cold and burning fat.
 
1. I drink 16 oz. of ice water as soon as I get up.
 
2. I run 5 miles in just a tank top and sneakers. (No drawers, no socks) TMI?
 
3. I put a cold compress on my neck for 30 minutes a few times a day. Very refreshing.
 
4. After my run and before I go to bed, I get in the shower, soap up completely then I gird my loins as I turn the nozzle all the way over to the left.
 
Lord have mercy, it’s as cold as the shady side of my ex-wife.
 
And let’s not forget how grateful you will feel afterwards.
 
Yes, BAT is where it’s at. That’s the skinny for today. 🙂

Solitary Refinement

In my three year seclusion after my existential crash at 70 years old, and having watched my business, my marriage and my will power collapse, causing me a lengthy but life saving stay at a VA Rehab Unit, I must say I’ve been a busy boy. I call it my three year experiment in self sufficiency. In this time I have grown as a:
Guitarist
Pianist
Song writer
Musical arranger
Recording artist
Writer
Author
Blogger
Web designer
Video producer
Video editor
Graphics designer
Long distance runner
Bodybuilder
And besides becoming an “Elder Athlete,” I have become certified as a:
Personal trainer
Nutrition specialist
Senior fitness specialist
Weight loss specialist
Dual licensed insurance broker
And an expert chief cook and bottle washer in the area of healthy eating.
I mean, who had time for a relapse?
I guess you could call me a Thoreau back to an earlier time. 🙂

Best In Class

You will never be young again. Your hair isn’t coming back. No amount of skin cream will rejuvenate your aged and sun damaged skin and your hopes of slipping back into that Speedo should be forever dashed. Hopefully.

Retirement is not a death sentence and while your doc is more than ready to meet your needs with his Rx pad, you can breath new life into the body that did someone else’s bidding for the last four decades.

And like the Hotel California, retirement can be Heaven, or it can be Hell.

Thankfully there are some positive things you can do for yourself until the reaper gets here.

You can get in the best shape of your life in your 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Be the best your generation has to offer.

Be an inspiration to your peers.

Why not be best in class? Why not turn heads wherever you go? Why not be proud of your body?

Why not be so fit you suffer no physical limitations in what are supposed to be the best years of your life?

Put the spring back in your step. Enjoy dressing up again. Stay out of hospital waiting rooms and long lines at the CVS. Revel in your independence.

You may never pass a Baywatch audition but you can be the best our generation has to offer.

I am in better shape than I was 50 years ago, so I know personally that it’s possible. And doable.

2020 relates to the clarity or sharpness of vision. What’s yours?

Little Victories!

Let’s put aside any talk of the incredible health benefits of getting in top physical condition.

Let’s not talk about why we can’t reach our fitness goals.

Let’s not focus on the barriers anymore.

Instead, let’s talk about little victories.

Let’s talk about overcoming your inner weenie on a daily basis.

Let’s talk about how well your engine’s running.

Let’s talk about the sense of accomplishment you get when you look in the mirror at your well conditioned miracle.

Let’s talk about the long forgotten excitement of dressing up to go out in well fitting attire.

Let’s talk about the positive comments you get at work from co-workers about how good you look and how they wish they had your drive.

Let’s talk about the respect you receive from the people you work for because you show up looking like you’re ready for anything.

Let’s talk about how you get picked to manage projects because you look like you can manage yourself.

Let’s talk about how well you can handle life’s shit storms because you train and feed your body to meet those demands.

Let’s talk about confidence, not some phony self talk you pulled out of “The Secret.”

Let’s talk about the confidence it takes to be a leader in your chosen field.

Let’s talk about how one victory leads to another….and another.

Let’s talk about how sexy you feel all the time. Period

Let’s not talk about excuses anymore because we don’t have to……right?

The Side Hustle

I know I’m probably dating myself but this is what I conjure up when I hear the term “side hustle.” And as someone who used to make sales calls on horseback and spent years in the trenches, I have a feeling most of your clients would be offended if they heard you refer to them as just that.

I would.

YouTube is crawling with screaming pubescents who can show me how to be successful in all areas of my life. Some of them should get a lollipop for their efforts. One kid even called me a loser for not responding to his offer. Psychotic.

It’s like they don’t want to paint the fence but they can show you how to paint it. For money. Anyone remember Tom Sawyer? These kids haven’t even seen a fucking fence.

The raving bullshit artists online must be drinking their own Kool-Aid to think anyone but a crack addict is going to sign up for these MLM, Ponzi switcheroos.

You make sales sound like a video game. You’re not supposed to the winner here.

I see this one precocious little teenager spouting off advice about things that you know she has never experienced. Her eyes roll back in her head as she listens to her own voice.

She’s barely out of grade school and she wants to manage me? Another one who has never touched a paint bucket.

If I was a client of yours and you referred to me as your side hustle, you would get hustled….outside. Quickly.

Don’t get too full of yourself youngsters. A pat on the back is a good thing, as long as it’s low enough and hard enough.

You’ll shed a lot of tears in a lot of parking lots as the business world has its way with you.

Everyone’s doing the Hustle. Van McCoy would be proud.

( I have Dale Carnegie on line two.)

 

Music For Your Ears

Musically speaking, as I look back on my long, multi faceted career, I would have to liken it to a symphony.

As a chef, a musician, a video producer and a sales and marketing pro, I couldn’t hit a bad note.

My career had a rhythm to it that kept me gigging for more than forty years. I had solo as well as ensemble gigs that I could use to harmonize my skills.

Being a musician, I knew how to play to my audience.

When I left the professional stage I wasn’t looking for a reprise. I had my own scores to write.

These days, I choose to be a sideman jumping in and out of gigs I enjoy. Music to my ears. Not someone else’s.

The whole point of this article is to say that as much as I enjoyed my professional career, I also enjoyed its demise. We will all face that demise at some point.

That’s when the music stops. That’s when the corporate, logical foot comes off your creative neck and you are free to look up from the written music.

You don’t have to play someone else’s music. You can improvise.

When the music stops is when you are forced to confront yourself in ways you never have before.

This is when your Bolero can turn to into a dirge. If you are plagued with health and physical problems, problems you didn’t head off while you were younger, your maladies will finally get the spotlight.

Retirement is not for the faint of heart. If you were smart, you saved your money and invested wisely. Likewise, if you were smart, you trained your body and invested in your long term health.

When the music stops and the only chair left in the room has wheels on it, you might have run out of time. You missed your cue.

Don’t miss a beat, get on the bandwagon early, enjoy your encore, maestro.

Time for your solo.

Taming The Inner Bitch

I have reasons to feel depressed when I first wake up. My dog is dead, the rent is due, I’m flat broke and I’m too old to expect gainful employment in an age averse market. Not that I would accept it from any of these gulag operators.

The future’s uncertain and the end is always near. Coffee won’t help anything on these mornings.

It’s a struggle to quell the constantly negative chatter going on between my ears when I first open my eyes. I struggle not to think.

It feels like everything I’ve written or produced the day before is drivel, as I tell myself this pattern of thinking will disrupt itself on the road and in the gym.

And it will.

Soon, as my body starts to move, my muscles fill with blood and my rubber meets the road, endorphins will flood my brain and I will thank God I didn’t resort to my baser instincts and start deleting yesterday’s epiphanies.

Blood will soothe my achy knee caps as my heart rate increases. A light coat of sweat will cover my body as brain fog dissipates. Then all will be right with world. Or, at least start making a little more sense.

Every day that I overcome my initial waking thoughts is a win in my column. It sets the tone for the only day that matters. Instead of pulling the covers over my head, I overcome that little bitch in me that wants to roll over and play dead.

There will be time for that later. For real.

Times Are Tight

The temps are dropping out here in the Valley of the Sun. So just before my 1:00 am run I step out into my courtyard to gauge my clothing requirements for the daily five miler. I like it nice and chilly but I need something besides shorts and a wife beater.

So I grab a polo shirt I haven’t worn all summer and start to pull it over my head. It’s tight. Very tight. So tight I think I missed an arm in the process of putting it on. But I didn’t. Uh, oh.

Once I pull it completely down over my torso, panic sets in. A light coat of flop sweat starts to glisten on my body. I rip it off and step on the scale. Shit, I think, as I digest the digital readout. I’m up six pounds. How can this be?

I average 20,000 steps a day on my Fitbit, I ride at least 20 miles a day on my bike and I never consume more than 3,000 calories a day. I feel betrayed.

I don’t feel like running now because it’s senseless. If I’m going to kick my own ass every day but my body still does what it wants by storing fat, what’s the use?

Mortally confused now, I head to the full length mirror in my bedroom. I quickly launch into my goofy, naked double bicep pose. As my muscles fill with blood, I think,“Geez, I’m starting to look like those guys in the magazines. Too bad I’m so fat.”

This is not the way I like to start my day.

My litmus test is a pair of 34 inch dress pants I kept from my sales days. I slide them on in gloomy anticipation. They’re tight, but only in the quads. The waist has play. I can fit my fist in between my belly and my belt buckle. (Why would I do that?)

Hmmm, I slide the polo on again to re-assess my damage. It’s still tight, but in all the right places. In the arms, the chest and the upper back but not in the belly. My delts feel like they’re trying to blow off my shoulder girdle.

Wow! It looks like I have packed on a bunch of muscle over the summer. Time to call central casting.

You would think this kind of muscle growth isn’t possible for a man in his mid-seventies. Or is it?

Stay tuned.

Dead end jobs no one can take away from you:

 

I started pushing pizza out of a converted bread truck when I was 11. I quit school with a note from my mother at 16, and never looked back.

I cooked all through the military except for Vietnam. After the war I became the night chef at Fantasia Restaurant, one of the six largest restaurants in New England at the time. Six days a week, twelve hours a day while attending the Chef’s Training Institute in Boston. What I learned in that period has paid off in ways I could never imagine.

I bought a guitar in 1972, much to the ridicule of my adoring family, then entered Berklee College of Music four years later on the G.I. Bill. I studied guitar, piano, theory, writing and arranging. I started gigging with my band in 1975 and played every shit heap from Cape Cod to New Hampshire. It almost killed me.

I have always been disruptive. In a family of twelve, you were disruptive or you starved to death. You develop gallows humor to defend and protect your sanity. I developed my stand up during broken strings and fist fights with my band on the road. In biker bars, it’s be funny… or die.

Along the way helpful friends and family told me I was on a dead end doing food, music and comedy but I didn’t know anything else. My mother was my biggest fan. Always.

In 1982, I took a job on the dock with Dupont and had a very successful career. I soon found myself way over my head in a technical sales position with a G.E.D. Selling radioisotopes. Yikes!

I never thought I would actually get away with it. But I did. It became like shooting fish in a a barrel. A little humor and a lot of street sense can soothe a lot of egos.

My dead end job experience help me crush it, every single day. I did things they’re still talking about. I sold, I played, I performed and joked all the way through it. Because it’s all I knew.

They loved it.

Today, food, music and comedy are ingrained in every part of my life. Comedy gets me everywhere. I can work a room with the best of them. If you can bring a laugh or a smile, you’re always welcome. Anywhere.

That, along with a little street earned emotional intelligence still opens doors. Food is something every young person should be comfortable with if not just for survival. I learned from the best.

And during my darkest hours I can pick up a guitar or sit down at the piano and cross the gates of Heaven. I think every kid should learn to play an instrument. You don’t have to go on the road. Or end up in detox. Long story.  🙂

I took a lot of criticism for my dead end choices back in the day. But they can never take them away from me. They are my comfort in the darkness.

There are no dead end jobs, only dead end people.

Old Before My Time

In the summer of ’79, I was sitting in my girlfriend’s kitchen chain smoking Winston Lights and perusing an AA meeting book on a beautiful, sunny Saturday morning. I was 32 years old and sober about two months.

I weighed approximately 230 pounds and I was reluctant owner of the same cigarette cough that killed my father. My band was still upset with me for not showing up to an all day gig on Sunday, May 20, and they were withholding my equipment. I had hit a bad bottom.

I was still shaky as a newborn colt. I simply had to quit my drinking and rampant drug use this time. My hangovers were becoming unbearable. They were a mix of migraine and mental illness. I couldn’t take another. So I had resolved to make an AA meeting a day so I wouldn’t have a slip.

It was then that life handed me a face push when my girlfriend’s oldest son and two of his friends came in the back door. Three 21 year old Italian men with white T-shirts, a full head of shiny, healthy hair and eyes that were clear and full of life.

I sat there in a cloud of cigarette smoke, slack-jawed. I immediately became aware of the weight of my belly on my lap and sat up straight. As much as I could.

I was needing a reason to stay sober and start working out and it just walked in the back door. They made me feel, even at my young age, washed up and old before my time. Her son was an avid runner and high school football star. At 21, he had everything, I thought.

And the contrast was killing me.

It was like they were in color and I was black and white. I started asking her son questions about getting in shape.

He gave me an old pair of sneakers and I headed to the YMCA in a garish old sweatsuit I had in my closet. I went all out to beat that “old before my time” feeling.

I lost 55 pounds and became a track star myself. We used to run together. I never forgot that day. It is still clearly lodged in my mind. Those young men walked in that kitchen at just the right time. It was a watershed.

As we all know, life happens and my friend lost interest in running and taking care of himself in general. He became portly and started experiencing health issues. He developed apnea and couldn’t sleep without a Cpap machine. He was running a successful business, got married and took his eye off the ball.

The last time I saw him he could barely make it down the stairs. He was at least 50 pounds overweight and recuperating from a bowel obstruction operation. When he listed all the maladies he was enduring, I couldn’t help being transported back into that kitchen 40 years ago.

I saw a photo of him recently and nothing has changed. It’s sad to see someone who most considered “beautiful” get old before their time. It doesn’t have to be this way.

“So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains, And we never even know we have the key.” – Already Gone, The Eagles

 

Xanax: The Day I Knew

I remember what day it was, where I was standing and what I felt. It was an overwhelming feeling of unease, my innards had turned to jello and my lower intestines felt like someone had shoved a fire extinguisher full of cold Co2 up my ass and pulled the pin.

My journal had slipped out of my uncontrollably shaking right hand and I felt the need to sit down before I fell down.

It was a Friday morning and I had just completed loading video equipment into my SUV for the long trip to Bracco headquarters in New Jersey to shoot a sales training video for their national sales meeting.

Such was the stressful nature of my thriving brainchild, Double O Creative Multimedia Productions. It was so successful it was actually making me crazy.

I had just read and printed out the incoherent and almost unshootable script for the clusterfuck that would ensue seven hours later, when my Jones came crashing down.

I’ve had hangovers and withdrawals before, but nothing like this. On a hunch, I quickly put one under my tongue and immediately straightened out.

Uh, oh!

This would be the beginning of a long struggle to get off Xanax (alprazolam). It would lead me back to alcohol after almost 40 years.

I know from years of medical sales experience that although you are a patient, you are also a revenue stream to your doctor.

If you have ever had a conversation with an internal medicine doc kvetching about the loss of his heart disease patient to a cardiologist, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Medicine is a business and some will do whatever it takes to retain said business. As was the case with me.

My doc was smart enough to CYA herself with “Would you like to try this?” as to exhort my complicity in this rabbit hole to hell.

I share this cautionary tale as a warning, so if your provider asks you if you would like to try something and couches it in “be careful,” ask questions, think twice and google your ass off.

I wish I did.

Remarketable!

As if my ego wasn’t already thoroughly trounced when I got out to Arizona two years ago, I had to sit across from reprobates with tattooed faces, pierced foreheads, Marlboro breath, blank expressions and dressed like sadomasochistic bondage victims with gamey odor and gelatinous bellies.

A late afternoon interview in the Arizona heat could take years off your life.

And I was looking for a fucking job. It was like peeing into a fan.

Ageism exists. Let there be no doubt. They think you’re either senile, too hard to handle, or because they think they might have to pay you.

They give shit none about your wealth of business and worldly experience. Instead of hiring one professional for 150,000, they opt for five head scratchers at 30 grand a piece.

Management consists of anyone who can hang in there for six months. I watched a woman attempting to onboard 30 new fish with her finger up her ass. Phones weren’t allowed in the room or you’d be watching her dig for gold right now .

The things I bore witness to felt like a sharp stick in the eye. I threw my neck out once trying to look away too quickly when Bessie fell back in her chair. Ooh.

Employees are huge. Young people who can hardly walk. They don’t use a headcount at these places, they report tonnage. You know it’s lunchtime by which way the building is tilting.

I call it “remarketable” because you’re back in the market and you have to be remarkable. But it’s all uphill these days because nobody cares. So you really have to up your game.

I was once interviewed by Cox Cable by the wrong people in the wrong room for the wrong job for 90 minutes, before the right people for the right job escorted me to the right room.

You think I got the job?

You need to gather up your tools and go out on your own. It’s every man and woman for themselves these days.

If you think you’re not a number these days, you will be heavily escorted out of Verizon like I was.

You need to stay healthy and get resourceful. It takes nothing to start a Youtube channel today, throw up a quick web site and push your wares on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

I will be continuing this conversation because it’s a subject near and dear to my (broken) heart.

Remarketable, swish it around a few times until it feels right. It will.

Hang in there.

Statin’ My Case….

Ladies and gentleman of the jury, I am here today to present the case for Enlightened Rogue Fitness and why you, as retiring, or retired, citizens of this great country should be entitled to a healthy, robust, fully functioning and attractive body.

After years of detailed forensic work, we have dispelled all the mind numbing misinformation, wives’s tales and rampant Bro’ Science that is so prevalent today and we have come up with a program that will once again make you feel young, vibrant and most assuredly, relevant and valued again.

We have made all the mistakes for you, listened to all the self servers, sustained the needless injuries and gained and lost untold pounds in our quest for the perfect body solution.

You won’t see any air-brushed, professionally lit models to make you feel inadequate and self conscious. No phony supplements with arbitrary product discounts to loosen your wallet.

The diet denizens and non-certified gym rats you’ve been misled by are masters of obfuscation, confusion and perplexity.

They can complicate a steel ball. Which leaves you disappointed and confused. No more.

After 40 or 50 years of slaving it out for corporate America, this is your time. We will show you how to reclaim your health and fitness and live out your golden years in a strong and durable body.

Time to experience the rewards of your life long efforts. It’s time to reap, so….

Our mission:
Is to provide the most accurate and effective health and fitness information and solutions to seniors wishing to embark on their long awaited and over due adventure.

Let’s do this.