From Couch To Spartan Sprint – Exercise 1.3

The first Commandment is to Stay Inspired. This video deals with what to do when your inspiration is drained.


You need to be able to see the heroic version of yourself in – let’s make up a term – future hindsight. Keep in mind that you are at the beginning of the training montage, you are a walking before photo. When you feel like quitting don’t tell yourself I won’t quit, listen to your future self say I didn’t quit.

The book is already written, your best self is waiting on the later pages and you just have to keep turning ’em to get there.

And, this is weird for an aspiring woo woo fitness guru to say, remember that you’re not special. Meaning that you’re not different than millions of other people getting in shape. We have a terrible misconception of thinking our suffering is unique, our wounds are only our own like no one else, that everyone else is a normal person and we’re battling something unseen that’s much bigger.

And you’re just not that special, kid.

There’s no such thing as other people. Just people. Doing difficult, unseen things everyday, and you’re one of them. The belief that one is uniquely flawed is an excuse.

Videos I Liked This Week

This is first because it’s what I’m listening to right now. Literally as I wrote this sentence. And possibly – but not guaranteed – when you read it.


And there’s a trailer for the final season of Bojack that came out an hour before I wrote this. I’m glad it’s the last season, I’ve been saying for a while that as enjoyable as the show is Bojack needs to get healthy or die because stories only have meaning because they have endings. If he circled forever then the underlying message that life isn’t like TV would be moot.


Since we’re still talking about entertainment and somewhat frivolous things – I obsessively watched all the video CaptainSauce did on this game. And I still think of myself as someone who hates “Gaming YouTube”


Okay, actually fitness stuff for a minute – one, I like this Sea Saw Press. And just the advice for getting a connection to your lower pecks, it’s a difficult area to feel when working out.


Now the much more important video. I want to say a lot and I want to say nothing at all. Like, it’s all there, she tells her story with complete sincerity. I guess what struck me was walking the line of building a better body to feel better actually working but also not solving underlying issues.

Fitness should be part of a recovery plan for literally everything but it’s bad if it’s your only plan for everything.


Followed by another body issue. It’s a topic I’d never thought about or even noticed until 3 years ago when a girl told me I wasn’t tall enough to date and we were the same height. I was confused because I’d never thought of myself as short or as tall. And she said it so obviously, like it was just clear as day – not like she wanted to date me and this was in her Cons column, this was complete ineligibility. I was shocked how much it hurt. And I was shocked that for weeks after I was suddenly aware and resentful of guys around me who were taller.

Like Shoe says, people are allowed to have preferences, people shouldn’t be shamed for things they can’t change, everybody is somebody’s type, people are more empathetic and people are more shallow than ever. All those things are true at once. It’s weird for me because I grew up in the 90’s when shallowness was a cultural death sentence and everything was supposed to be love conquers all. But then I watched admitting to shallowness be considered a brave, even deep, introspective thing and then it all gave way to the acceptance and encouragement of everything superficial once again. And it’s worse than ever before because if enough people treat the vapid as important and the vapid has consequences then the vapid is important. And I hate living in a world where the vapid important.


And then we’ll end with a video that really did make think with a smile “yeah, I do miss Li’l Jon…”

Videos I Liked This Week

Just nothing to do with fitness… not sorry though.

Let’s open with something cheerful before we get to Contrapoints and then a video about Contrapoints.

You should watch videos like 5 Minutes Of Gal Gadot Laughing or cute puppies or whatever just to stay sane.


And on to Contra’s (aka Natalie Wynn) amazingly honest video about incels. Sympathetic and condemning, identifying with and admitting that they are a black box.


Followed by Blaire’s video discussing Contra’s brutal dismissal from the sacred woke halls of Twitter over sharing a thought. And Blaire takes it to a personal place too and shares her own complicated and totally sincere path through her own community. And that’s what I realize now I like in these individuals, they’re sincere and sincerety gets a little messy – it’s easier for douche bags to hammer home dogma because it feels pure than to be honest about how complicated things feel.


Okay, one thing Fitness related. Look how much power he gets into a forward knee! I watch the occasional MMA video because that’s more the physique I want than body building and I’m always looking for more power and explosive-based exercises.


Now hopefully this sucks you in as much as it did me. CaptainSauce is a gamer channel and he does lots of hilarious stuff like games where you need a clown to sign insurance forms while jumping to it’s death, or games where the world is ending so you just run around shooting everyone you can. But then he also gets so sucked in and sensitive to text on a screen and the ethical and mental health concerns the game brings up.


Another long video so I’ll wrap this up, if you watch any of these you’ll be down your own rabbit holes anyway. So I got into BroScienceLife and the character of Dom Mazzetti as created and played by Mike Tournabene. Just like getting into a new band I absorbed the back catalogue and the behind the scenes stuff like it was my sacred duty. Music fandom is dead, long live comedy-writer fandom. Anyway there’s a gap in the the Bro universe a few years ago and a bit of talk about how Mike was going to get to take the character to the next level but there’s nothing out there about what happened – or really, didn’t happen. The thread just dies and Dom comes back a few years later.

Well he finally talks about it on this podcast and it gets into exactly what happened with the failed pilot (I watched it, it was… watchable. And nothing more.) and then into the nature of hopes and expectations and, for a comedian and a meat head, it gets real about living with disappointment and carrying on.

Videos I Liked This Week

I almost made an addendum to last week’s video round up because right after I published it I discovered ContraPoints. Totally coincidence that someone mentioned their friends listen to ContraPoints and using new slang they don’t understand on Twitter and I figured Contrapoints was a rap group but then YouTube slumped together a beauty column that had make up tips from a ballerina and this video.

I get the new slang problem.

Contra is brilliant, honest, comedic, insightful, academic, street, strong, vulnerable, and straightforward about her own confusion. I recommend any video she’s put out in the last year.

and here’s that Ballerina video because I found it likeable too. Although I was shocked in the comments to find out she’s considered to have started tragically late at age 11.


And this video I’ve also been sitting on waiting to talk about for 6 days (which in internet time is roughly a decade). Because I wanted to do a video about training like One Punch Man and the things it would lack, then this hombre says everything I was going to say and a whole lot more in a video that looks better than any video I’ll make for years. So I tip my hat to the master:


I usually put music stuff at the end but there’s so many videos to get through I don’t want to organize anything.

I used to watch this video multiple times a day. In the pre-YouTube era where I’d actually downloaded it.

I desperately wanted to be a rockstar when I was young but not for the artifice, for the real nuts-and-bolts behind-the-scenes stuff. I loved photos and videos of musicians in-studio doing the work.


Followed by – this is just Shoe being lovable.


Some neat history


Literally any Wes Watson video. It’s fun that I’m still picking up prison slang from him and now a bunch of trans slang from ContraPoints at the same time. It’s a wide world on the Tubes.


A little nostalgia fest from Todd In The Shadows: my step-dad loved Cyberpunk, it was one of the only albums he owned. And I had no idea what The Mummer’s Dance was until I heard the first note and thought oh right, the album that every mother in North America was issued when I was young.


In more time-wasting news, Liv watches this guy’s videos all the time and I finally got sucked down the rabbit hole as well. On her last day off we got bakery treats and ended up watching videos for 5 hours.


Back on a serious track: This is problem I can relate to, I’m always hankering for some snacks in the evening.


And back to time-wasting: Echo Charles mentioned this guy once on the Jocko Podcast and yes, it turns out he is funny.


And we’ll wrap up with more ALL OBSTACLE videos. Which aren’t time-wasting if they help you with the first commandment: Stay Inspired.

Videos I Liked This Week

Holy fuck this is a long one… thanks unemployment-induced agoraphobia.

Average guy learns to muscle up. Why is it great? For one, because he shows that daily persistence gets things done quicker than you’d ever expect and, two, he’s just so happy – so authentically happy for himself and his private personal accomplishment.


A reminder that I still love Jocko and that they way to deal with complainers is to empower them.


A heart-breaking video about the most hated and most sympathetic Bojack character. All this guy does is Bojack videos and it’s amazing how many amazing things he finds to talk about.


Can’t put Wes and Jocko next to each other or the sheer intensity would mutate all that we know forever. I watched a lot of Wes videos this week but I thought the First Day In video would be self-explanatory.


Now this is how I actually spent the whole week – One Hit Wonderland. I saw this video and I’d always wondered about this song and this band so I watched it and in the side bar was another song I remembered and….

I counted, I watched 44 videos from the One Hit series and two of his others. It’s more than 11 hours by my quick, rough math. Shame is the primary sign you have a problem with something and I’m sincerely ashamed of how much One Hit Wonderland I watched this week.


Of course some OCR vids


If you don’t watch Some More News you are garbage to me. I’d heard the term Qanon but actually had no idea what it was ’til now.


And this video feels related although I hadn’t planned that.


A follow up to a video I liked last week. Props to the… property guy… for engaging.


A nostalgic throw-back that came up in my side bar and oddly (or perhaps not oddly if YouTube has access to my Spotify) I’d been listening to Broken again because someone mentioned it on Twitter. And that’s how we rediscover beloved childhood albums in the 21st century.


…This song. Also a throw-back, I discovered Brian’s pre-Gaslight solo stuff during the time The Gaslight Anthem was my favourite band and now he’s a solo artist again and he’s still amazing. And damn handsome.

From Couch To Spartan Sprint – Exercise 9 (And a wrap up talk for the week)


It’s 3 minutes of the most basic plank tutorial and then 4 minutes of philosophizing about Inspiration V Motivation. At one point this video was 16 minutes long, I got a little rambly.

But I think it will resonate. Being a total beginner is great, you can do no wrong because everything’s an experiment, everything’s a learning experience, and you’re better off backing away than pushing through because you’re more likely to get injured. At some point though you transistion to being a late-stage beginner, still a beginner but it’s time to baby yourself a little less.

At first you use inspiration to build habits and once they’re built you use motivation to maintain them. Other than that I think I say it pretty well in the video…

From Couch To Spartan Sprint – Exercise 8

Talking ’bout the Hercules Hoist and how I stole a clip of the Herc Hoist from the official Spartan Race YouTube and how I sure hope the video doesn’t get taken down…

If you’re a gym goer like me you can also put the rope handle attachment on the cable machine and actually hoist weight. What you’ll notice is you naturally fall back into a kneeling position so work with that. Human beings and pulleys have worked together for thousands of years so we seem to get each other.

From Couch To Spartan Sprint – Exercise 7

Not everyone has a barbell, I know. But even doing the upright row with a broom handle will help with shoulder mobility. Honestly you can do an upright row with a rolled up towel.

You just gotta do it smart to not trash your shoulder. Jeff Nippard has good video on how to do it right and some other variations, while Jeff Cavalier has a good video explaining why the bad way is bad and some other variations.

But let’s talk to me and my far inferior state of video:




Videos I Liked This Week

Exclamation marks makes things seem exciting!!!

Highest Priority: Rocko’s Modern Life. It sucks. Sucks hard. It’s the worst thing I’ve watched in years. And it’s Shoe’s fault that I watched it. Because I didn’t care at first, I loathe nostalgia, and wasn’t actually that big of a RML fan anyway. But then because of Shoe’s video I was curious how they handled having a trans character so I watched it.

And they handled having a trans character just fine. However they completely forgot to write a story that was the least bit funny or interesting. At all. It’s insultingly bad, I’d rather have been poked in the face for 45 minutes than watch that.

We followed it up with Invader Zim though and it’s fucking incredible. Exclamation mark worthy but… but I just can’t bring myself to use them.


On to something fitness related I asked the CP if I could try out their course for fun and they didn’t get back to me. But let’s be real… that course is baby town. Who could possibly fail it?


A woman with my sense of humour talks about grieving and re-marrying:


Oh this one struck me because – as a reader of a lot of self-development books – I see the con artist techniques here and there. But I won’t rant because the video speaks for itself quite well.


And then how I actually spend a lot of my time – watching All Obstacle videos with pleasant bumping soundtracks.


From Couch To Spartan Sprint – Exercise 1

As you know I ran my first Spartan Sprint race a few days ago and more than just being a great time it is also evidence. Evidence that – since I had a complete success having a great time, completing every obstacle, and doing great on the running – I trained the right way. Or at least the rightest way I could since I never found a rope to climb before hand.

So I want to put the insights I had before and the insights I’ve gained since to use. Right now I’ve got 4 things and I’m sure I’ll come up with more as I go, each post will have a blog and a video for however you like to get down. Here we go, video 1:


Exercise 1 is you gotta stoke your flame. What you feel right now is inspiration and inspiration is the most fleeting, least helpful card in the deck, know that, but right now it’s all you’ve got. Right now you have no foundation, no motivation, no habits, so the tiny little flame of inspiration – however you got it – is the muscle that you need to work.

You may think you have a goal – to run a Spartan Race – but you don’t. You have inspiration, you have a desire. Something in you is telling you that running a Spartan will get you to a goal, to a way you want to feel, and you need to start sorting that out so you can turn inspiration into motivation.

How best to do that? Write it out.

Now this isn’t a suggestion, this is exercise 1, if you don’t build this foundation and do these fundamental steps then you’ll just as likely not do the squats and rope climbs later. In lifting everything is about stability and this how you start to find stability.

So write it on a post it note like I say in the video and re-write that post it every week or hell, every day. Post its are cheap and you can take literally one second every morning to write SPARTAN on a note and stick it to your door.

But really you should write it out in longer form to turn inspiration into motivation. You can do it in a column but I actually think doing a web is better. Write SPARTAN in the middle and in bubbles around it write all the things that you think of to do a race.

Camaraderie, revenge, getting in shape, pride, testing a rope climb, whatever you think of no matter how odd.

Afterward you’ll notice that some things wound up in bigger bubbles than others and those things are the one that clearly mean the most to you so that’s what you want to think about when you hit a moment of hesitation in training. And let’s be real you’re probably already having a moment of hesitation! You’re probably not psyched up to do writing exercises, you thought this was going to be all Rocky-style push ups in the mud and you’d feel great and I’m here to tell you you won’t, that’s just mental masturbation. If you bif this exercise you’ll bif them all down the line. Period.

And if you rock this exercise you will rock exercises down the line. Period.

The supplemental stuff you can is find your theme song, get work-out clothes and make them your armour and say when I wear these I cheer myself on and never doubt myself, build your athletic persona, Leave No Doubt.