What Are Testimonials For?

I think too many people, in the world of social media, buy into a lot of hype. So we end up with watered-down “testimonials” of people who know their “testimonial” is going to be reposted, but never truly experience the product/course/event/etc.
We have to ask ourselves, “What are testimonials for?”

Mother Culture

No longer is it enough to just simply understand biology -
in order to create change we must understand culture and the stories that drive us.
Only once we start to understand collective narratives can we begin to understand how to make change.
Mother Nature is now Mother Culture.

Here’s a great article on “Biology enables. Culture forbids.”

The Pursuit Of Easy

The pursuit of an easier life will always lead to hardship.
Once we have luxuries in our lives, we take them for granted and they tend to become “necessities.”
With more necessities, comes more obligations.
And so continues the ratchet.

A perfect example is the prevalence of the chair.
The chair, which once was a rare commodity, now is a daily part of our lives.
Sitting has become the necessity, and now our obligations come in the form of doctor visits and healthcare fees.

What Are We Teaching?

“Some kids spend a decade in the school sports system and learn leadership and management and creativity and analysis. And some learn nothing but how to follow the coach’s instructions and sit on the bench. This has nothing to do with sports (or geography or biology) and everything to do with what we decide we’re teaching in any given moment.”

Interesting blog post on education by Seth Godin.

Fit For What?

If someone claims to be “fit” but has to put on braces/straps/corsets, or any other cast in order to keep a joint from hurting/getting hurt ….
If someone claims to be “fit” but can’t walk up a flight of stair without losing their breath…
If someone claims to be “fit” but is in chronic pain….
If someone claims to be “fit” but might stand to have a better relationship with their family…
If someone claims to be “fit” but doesn’t sleep at night….

….My question always is “Fit for what?”
We throw the word “fit” around like it means the same thing to everyone.
It' doesn’t. So we should stop acting like it does.

Outside Of Your Industry

The more I read and learn about movement and fitness the less I want to read and learn about movement and fitness. I never really allowed myself to admit that, but it’s been true especially these past couple of months. The more I read about history, psychology, anthropology, autobiographies, the more inspired I become within my own field. As humans we’re meant to free associate and think holistically, and not compartmentalize.

You are not your career/niche.

Currently reading Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari.

Price and Value

Jane pays $300 for a membership to a small fitness studio down the street.
She’s happy to spend $10 on a green juice and an extra buck or two on Organic produce.

Joe pays $300 a month on clothes and shoes.
He’s happy to pay $16 for a cocktail and $60 for a nice meal out once or twice a week.

Joe can’t imagine how Jane pays $300 when his gym membership - you know the one he goes to once every two months - only costs him $10. He thinks it’s ridiculous.

Jane can’t imagine how Joe spends so much money and clothes and drinks.
She thinks it’s ridiculous.

And the thing is, they’re both right. They’re both right, because they both have their own priorities and value hierarchies.

Age vs Aging

“Getting old” is a great place to hide.
Because “old” to most people, has nothing to do with age.
Age is biology - it’s an actual number - It’s binary. You’re either this age, or you’re not.
Aging is different than age. Aging lies on a spectrum. A spectrum where old sits on one end, and young on the other. What determines where you are on that spectrum isn’t age, its perspective and habits.

Don’t get me wrong, impermanence is a real thing. We aren’t, physiologically, the same at 75 then we are at 25. That’s not the point. The point is to most people old and young are a story in their minds. The moment you start to let that narrative come into play when you’re 25, and you live to be 75 - that’s 50 years of hiding behind a self-limiting narrative.

Maybe what you’re trying to say when you say “I’m getting old,” is “I’m not physiologically at the level I used to be.”

But you’d be surprised how pliable and adaptive us humans can be.

(This post was inspired by a 23 year-young athlete who told me “I’m just getting old, man.”)

Assembly Lines & Globo-Gyms

Assembly lines were invented because it was cheaper to have workers focus on one small nut and bolt of the right front wheel than it was to teach them the complex system of the car, itself. From an Industrial standpoint, this system made sense and worked for a long time - industries boomed and companies prospered.

If we think about it, there are shocking similarities between how factories were set up and how our modern-day mainstream gyms are also set up. Globo-gyms remind us of more of assembly lines that have us “targeting” very specific muscles with little to no thinking involved at all.

Of course, It takes too much time and resources to try and educate people on the complexity of the human body, how this part of the body relates to this part of the body, and how everything is connected….
So please, just sit and push the handle.
Then move on to the next part.

Stress Fractures

It’s interesting to note that there are only three animals in the world that get stress fractures:

  1. Humans

  2. Racehorses

  3. Greyhounds (Race dogs)

Horses and dogs are only on that list because of human intervention;

“We [humans] push them into place they wouldn’t other wise go in nature, and we do the same thing to ourselves. We don’t recognize stress fractures in nature, except in people [humans] who like quantities instead of qualities. Nothing in nature breaks that rule.”
~Gray Cook

“It takes a long time to grow young.”

~Pablo Picasso


The Power Of Habit

Just got done reading The Power Of Habit by Charles Duhigg - here are some quotes, highlights, and notes that I saved:

  • “Habits can be changes, if we understand how they work.”

  • Our culture and our communities are a giant collection of habits.

  • The Habit Loop: Cue - Routine - Reward (Make the cue simple and obvious, and clearly define the reward.)

  • A craving is the anticipation of the reward, which is what drive the Habit Loop.

  • You can’t get rid of a habit, you can only replace it and the smallest of shifts can end a pattern.

  • Keystone Habit: Focusing only on one habit can reprogram other habits and routines in your life.

  • It might be easier to convince someone to adopt a new behavior if there was something familiar at the beginning and end.

  • Belief itself can make a difference. You need the capacity to believe that things will get better.

  • A community can help create beliefs.

  • People change because they are embedded in social groups that make change easier.

  • Individuals have habits, groups have routines.

  • Small wins matter more than you think.

  • ”More common is the circumstance where small wins are scattered… like miniature experiments that test implicit theories about resistance and opportunity and uncover both resources and barriers that were invisible before the situation was stirred up.”

  • Keystone Habits encourage widespread change, by creating cultures where new values become ingrained.

  • Simply giving employees a sense of agency… can radically increase how much energy and focus they bring to their jobs.

  • Visualizing and meditating on a habit can help.

  • To change people’s diets, the exotic must be made familiar. And to do that, you must camouflage it in everyday garb.

  • If you dress a new something in old habits, it’s easier for the public to accept it.

  • People, it turns out often go the to gym looking for a human connection, not a treadmill.

  • A movement starts because of social habits of friendship and the strong ties between close acquaintances… “Individuals with few weak ties will be deprived of information from distant parts of the social system and will be confined to the provincial news and views of their close friends. This deprivation will not only insulate them from the latest ideas and fashions but may put them in a disadvantaged position in the labor market…”

  • Peer pressure spreads through weak ties.

  • ”A movement is a saga. For it to work, everyone’s identity has to change.”

  • Every habit, no matter how complex, is malleable.

  • Having the will to believe is the most important ingredient in creating belief in change and you create those changes through habit.


What Business Are You In?

I’m not in the business of fitness.
I’m not in the business of health.
I’m not in the business of wellness.

I’m in the business of people.
I’m in the business of community.
I’m in the business of story.

Biohacks & Hustle

In a society that fetishes “beast mode,”biohacks,” and “hustle,”
Bigger, faster, stronger, right now, seems to be the answer to almost all of it.
Where are we trying to go with all of this?
That place we’re in such a hurry to get to,
the one that requires instant transformations,
biohacks, hustle and compromises…
What will happen when we get there?

Beast Mode: OFF
Least Mode:

2 Months In

Contrary to my general response to people asking “How’s the studio going?” The first two months of owning Motus Made Co. haven’t been easy for me. Starting this has magnified some strengths, but mostly fears & flaws. Below are some notes to myself pulled from my journal these past two months.

  1. Starting a business isn’t the hard part (that’s the easy part). It’s everything after that.

  2. You need people around you who can support you and actually listen. Smart, experienced people completely detached from any financial and emotional ties.

  3. This can’t just be a hobby, you have to work hard to make things happen.

  4. As Bukowski once said, “If you're going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don't even start.”

  5. My instinct is to play defense, but playing defense is playing it small. Be on the offense.

  6. Your desire for gain must outweigh your avoidance of loss.

  7. You have people relying on you.

  8. Radical responsibility. There’s no room for playing the victim card.

  9. Most people won’t see/understand the vision, and that’s okay.


A great word I picked up from reading The Art Is Long: disasturbation.

Yelling at someone about lung cancer won’t get them to stop smoking. Spewing out facts about obesity doesn’t change someone’s relationship with food. Showing pictures of melting ice-caps, (or skinny polar bears) doesn’t spark any change on taking action on climate change.

When we run around telling others the world is going to end, people start to check out.
“End-of-the-world prophecies fail to move the needle of human psychology or behavior.”
So we have to master the art of story-telling. If we can’t do it ourselves, we get artists, designers, writers, etc to help the cause.

What good is all the science and data, if it doesn’t actually catalyze change?

Choose Wisely

It turns out that if you add a person who’s a bad influence into a group of successful, intelligent, hard working people, that most of the time the person of bad influence will bring the rest of the group down rather than the group bringing the one person up.

Now imagine this idea and try to apply it to the changes we are trying to make in our lives. The people we are surrounded by can have more of an impact on our lives, decisions, actions, than we even consciously know.

Choose wisely.