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I always admire your activity level, Rep, especially since you've got about 10 years on me. I recently began working out in earnest, and so far I've lost about 20 lbs. But I was just discussing with a colleague today how, in spite of the fact that there are many like you who feel absolutely refreshed after vigorous activity, for me it still remains a chore--and I suspect it always will. I began working with a personal trainer in January, and I just completed my first boot camp. I can now run three miles, and all my lab work is excellent. But I exercise only for those health benefits, because I have never reached the point where I said to myself, "God, I love this." For me, it continues to hurt, and just about every second I'm working out I'm watching the clock and wishing I was somewhere else. I mentione this, too, because I know you're fairly hard on Americans in general when it comes to obesity. In spite of my substantially increased activity level (I do at least an hour of hard exercise almost every day) I still have a profoundly difficult time controlling my food intake. My wife has a hard time relating, because she doesn't have similar troubles. I suspect that you are like her--a "food is fuel and nothing more" kinda person. Fundamentally, I think that's the real problem behind obesity. It's not that folks are fundamentally lazy or victims of a sinister McDonald's plot. Instead, for many of us--myself included--exercise continues to be painful and unenjoyable (albeit necessary), and food continues to be a vice where drinking, smoking, and carousing are not. Just wanted to offer you that perspective. But in any event, keep on truckin'--I live vicariously through you.
Toggle Commented Jul 21, 2011 on Sidewalk in the sky at RepMan
To repurpose a satirical beer commercial I heard long ago from some comic ad writers, here's something that could be used for soy milk: "When you want a drink real bad, we've got a really bad drink." How about "Soy: the other white food." Or, for the Soyfoods Association of North America: "We may not be good, but we're open from 9 to 5." Finally, a riff on a line we used to use to describe some of our products in my past life: "Soy: You can buy better, but you'll never pay more."
Toggle Commented May 3, 2011 on There's no joy in Soyville at RepMan
The Brits are good at--as they say--queuing, aren't they? Little wonder. I do recall similarly long lines at the airport in Manchester when I used to travel there on business. But for lousy customer service, I recall returning to the US via Chicago's O'Hare air port (the REAL Tower of London IMHO). As I stood in line at customs on my home soil, the customs officials were opening up new lines. As one customs official approached his station, he gestured with his arm for me to come to his station. Someone in a neighboring line saw his gesture and thought it was for him. As we both took a few steps and we each saw the other moving to the station, we hesitated for a moment to sort out which one of us was really going to move forward. After perhaps a second of hesitation, the customs official bellowed, "Come ON people--this isn't rocket science!" What a nice welcome home after a nine hour flight! Even worse--I knew that if I complained I'd likely be detained (those were the heady days of color-coded terror alert statuses, and I've been teased before about my swarthy complexion). I found the most pleasant and efficient customs officers in Germany. All smiles, multilingual, and willing to tolerate my pidgin-German. Got me in and out in no time!
And in the interim their going to manage via management "committee"? And two of the three members aren't editorial in nature--one is the CFO and the other is their general counsel? Sounds like a good plan--whenever in doubt let the lawyer and the bean counter take charge. Sheesh...
A great perspective, Goose. And very kind words for your folks. But as a parent, I say that there is no "right" way. I don't like to be scrutinized as a parent, and as such I don't judge others on their parenting abilities. As parents, we all try to do the right thing by our kids, and do them our own way. One parent's strict is another parent's lenient. Example: I refuse to let my 14-year-old daughter have a Facebook account, in spite of the fact that all her friends have one. She thinks I'm being draconian. I think I'm keeping her safe. Will Chua's kids resent her for her parenting methods? Maybe, maybe not. Who's to say? In this case, I say to each his/her own.
Toggle Commented Jan 19, 2011 on All work and no play... at RepMan
Absolutely love this idea, Rep! Going to share with my colleagues.
Toggle Commented Dec 17, 2010 on Dream a little dream of you at RepMan
Having spent only a couple of years on the agency side but most of my 18 years on the client side, I always try to take posts like this to heart and try to be a good client. I was apologizing to our PR firm the other day for having dropped the ball in getting them a PO number. They told me that I had nothing on their numerous clients that they have to beat with a stick to get them to return a phone call. That made me feel good for me but bad for them. I don't know why so many clients and prospects of PR agencies think that rude behavior is acceptable. Although I do remember a former colleague who once told me that she could often get entire campaigns out of an ad agency without paying a dime by asking them to do work on spec. Not cool.
Toggle Commented Dec 3, 2010 on You Can Go Your Own Way at RepMan
Good points. And I agree--that 20 minutes can be found. Where I get annoyed is with the fact that we can often only find 20 minutes. Even an hour is too little time, Book. And the resulting choices we have for moving around are very limited as a result of that time. Part of the reason I haven't exercised as much as I could have throughout my adult life is because the choices I often have are so dull--at least to me. Running on a treadmill staring at a wall. Walking around the same block three times a week. It's NOTHING like what we used to do as kids at recess; it's work in and of itself. Exercise shouldn't be work--that's my belief. Oh, to be able to spend a lunch hour playing four square or kick ball--not caring about that 1:00 meeting. To be able to bike home from work like I did as a kid, instead of my 40-minute commute by car. But you're right, Rep--it's all about choices, and for most of us we've chosen the hectic path instead of the healthier, more relaxing path.
Toggle Commented Dec 1, 2010 on Instant Recess is gonna get you at RepMan
I know that you are very into fitness, Rep, and while I tend to disagree with what I feel are your overly simplistic diagnoses of America's obesity problem (read: laziness), I do see your point in this post. However, I find it interesting that "a brisk 10-minute walk" is the best that Dr. Yancy can do in terms of suggesting "instant recess." Why? Because our culture of work doesn't allow for much more. We're in touch with co-workers more than ever, thanks to smart phones. You wonder how a walking group would react if they passed a McDonald--what would happen in the phone rang or e-mail came through? Probably, "Sorry, gang--I gotta get back to the office." And when I think of recess as a kid, I think of games, running around, laughing, goofing off. Honestly, "a brisk walk" doesn't compare. I wouldn't want to go on a brisk walk when I was 8--why would I want to go on one now? Would you prefer a brisk walk over the mountain climbing you do? I think not. I would suggest that the real problem is the insane amount of work that our culture has imposed upon itself, and the resulting lack of time available to do anything that's really fun for any length of time. When I get home in the evening after my 9 or 10-hour day, I spend time with the kids, eat some dinner, and find myself with 2 hours left before bedtime--if there isn't anything around the house that needs fixing or tending to. Weekends aren't nearly long enough to do the things we want to do--especially since so many of us spend at least part of our weekends working. Is it any wonder that most of us spend what little time we have left supine in front of the TV?
Toggle Commented Dec 1, 2010 on Instant Recess is gonna get you at RepMan
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