Friday, March 11, 2016


When hashtagging first started, I did not understand it, it annoyed me, and I refused to do it.

I felt the same way about texting at first, then eventually realized texting was fun.  Now I hate texting.  No, I really do hate texting.  I still do it, but I have a limit on how many I will exchange.  Not an actual set number, like "ok, that's 12 I'm done." but more like, I can feel the annoyance of it coming on and I start with the one and two word responses like "cool" or "sounds good".  When you start getting back the "lol" you know I'm done.

Anyway, much like texting I finally gave way to hashtagging as well.  But not to the degree of instafit doods/chicks who basically write a Biblical length status or IG post consisting of nothing but hashtags.  I chunk two, maybe three in there.  Good to go.  But not this kind of shit.........

Apparently, this had to come from an IG pic where a #dog with some #swag had a #sunset behind it, and it was really #cute, while fellow hashtagging #igers ate some #food.....while in #nature.....there was also a #cat in there somewhere......and this person fucking #loved it.

That's what I was able to decipher.

Over the last few years, one hashtag that tends to make its way into my feed on social media pretty often is the good ol #whatsyourexcuse one.

Most often, it is accompanied by a pic of someone with no legs, or one leg, or a robotic arm, or is basically Moses in regards to their age while still lifting, doing crossfit, walking a high beam at the circus, fighting a shark, building a new Egyptian pyramid, etc all in the name of making us feel bad for not "giving it your all."

I have to admit, over the years I've run into lots of excuse makers.  Like, stay at home moms....with kids in high school.....who say they would love to get into shape but (drum roll) "I just don't have the time."

This particular excuse does annoy the fuck out of me.

Mainly because at some point in the conversation they will talk about the 28 television shows they watch during the week, or the 14 hour nap they took that day after doing a single load of laundry.   I know of one stay at home mom that had a college degree, whose kids were all in junior high, but let her husband work and pay all the bills, while they struggled to make ends meet.  Their struggles weren't my business honestly.  It's not my mortgage I can barely afford.  I'm not the one who can't turn the heat up to a comfy 72 degrees in the winter because I can't afford the electricity/gas bill on a house I bought a house that was out of my price that I could keep up appearances with my "friends".

Hey let me be clear, I respect stay at home moms.  That you know, HAVE KIDS AT HOME!  When you're attending his or her college graduation ceremony you're not a stay at home mom any fucking more.  You're a stay at home roommate.

Raising kids at a young age all day is not easy.  On top of that, you still have to cook (or you should be cooking, if the other person is working), clean, and pick up after your other child, i.e. the man working who leaves his dirty socks on the living room floor and never washes a single dish.

Yes, I was that guy when I worked in the private and public sector.  So I'm not throwing stones.

However, now I wash all my own clothes, pick up my own socks, cook all my own food, clean my house, take care of my kids, run them around to basketball practice all week, work, train, travel, take care of my dog and cat, and do adulting all the live long day.

There's no pat on the back here.  As Chris Rock said in one of his stand up routines "that's the shit you're SUPPOSED to do."  If you're the bread winner, you're supposed to make the money for the bills.  If you're the stay at home mom or dad, you're SUPPOSED to keep the house clean, and cook, and take care of the kids during the day while the other person works.  Each of you has jobs and responsibilities that as an adult, you're SUPPOSED to do.  I'm not saying you shouldn't get some accolades now and then like "hey baby, the house looks great" after you cleaned all day.  Or hey, how about a nice back mass-odge at night after a long day of work as sort of a "thank you for providing."

But you give these things to each other out of love and admiration for working together as a unit to create a decent environment for both of you to live in.  But you're SUPPOSED to do that.

Which leads me back to this stupid #whatsyourexcuse hashtag.

I've blogged plenty about obesity.  I mean, my last blog entry touched on it...a little bit (that wasn't the central theme and most people missed that, but I digress).  Unless you have a physiological condition you cannot help, you really don't have an "excuse" for being obese.  You can have "reasons".  Like..."I just fucking like to eat a lot of shit."

Bam.  I can deal with that.  Not that I like it.  Not that I'm happy that you're a burden on the healthcare and workforce system.  But god dammit, you're owning it.  And at some basic level, I can respect that.  It's a really small basic level, but at least there's honesty in it.  And my mom taught me that honesty was a good thing.  So somewhere in there, really far down into that Mariana trench deep level of at least a modicum of honesty.

What I can't respect, are the people who say they "want" to get into shape, or they want to have a sexy as fuck-naked body, but say shit like "oh I just don't have the time" when they take naps for hours on end during the day, or watch episode after episode of Sex and the City or some other really shitty television series.

You don't really want to.  You just like saying that because it's how you lay the foundation for the bricks of excuses to be laid on top of it.  So just don't say it.  Don't say "I'd love to workout" or "I'd love to have a body like that".  Don't say it if the word "but" comes afterwards.

The quote Benjen Stark from Game of Thrones......

"You know, my brother once told me that nothing someone says before the word "but" really counts."

So if there's a "but" in there, just don't say it.  Not in the context of going to the gym and getting into shape.

The average adult watches about 33 hours of television a week.  Thirty three fucking hours!  That's a part time job.  What's even more amazing is that those people, who plop down in front of the television for 33 hours a week, will call the person who spends 6-10 hours a week at the gym...."obsessed."

Now ain't that a bitch?

But believe it or not, as a guy that has spent more than half his life in the gym, I hate all of these #whatsyourexcuse hashtags just as much.  Maybe more.  You know why?  Because their sole purpose is to try and make people feel lazy for not climbing Mt. Everest with prosthetic legs.

Look man, I don't want to climb Mt. Everest.  Especially with prosthetic legs.

I like muh legs.  My real ones.  I admire the fuck out of the guy that goes and does that, but my "excuse" is....I don't want to potentially die climbing Mt. Everest.  I also think it's quite possible that him having legs that are significantly lighter than real legs made his climb easier.  Thus, his climb was LESS impressive than real legged climbers and they should ask him what his excuse is for not having real fucking legs.

If you didn't laugh at that, then you're an overly sensitive ass bucket.

I love lifting.  I love all the aspects of it.  I do it when I'm exhausted, on little sleep, and fit it into my schedule no matter how hectic it may be.  Because I love to do it.  My excuse is, I make it to the gym because it's important to me and I enjoy it.

It doesn't have to be important to everyone, and not everyone enjoys it.  In fact, I'd say the great majority of the population doesn't enjoy it.  As noted, they enjoy watching TV it appears.  A lot of it.

But as a whole, there are plenty of people within the "fitness community" that sort of lose sight that, lots of people in the world also have other passions and interests, and that their "excuse" for not being in the gym is that they don't want to be.  Or that they have other things that excite them that they make time for.  And it doesn't matter what those things are.  It could be paint by number or fishing or going to car shows.  It could be any number of things they do with their spare time that provide some joy and fulfillment to their life.  And they may spend 3-6 hours a week doing that particular thing, and may not want to go do reverse banded box squats with chains for a max triple because that sounds stupid to them.  It sounds stupid to me too, actually.  But hey, whatever training method creams your Twinkie.

They may not want to finish a fight in a mixed martial arts cage with a broken nose and ruptured spleen.  But they may like watching some other mother fucker do it.  I've never seen the fighter point at the TV after his fight and yell "WHAT'S YOUR EXCUSE?!?!"

I'm not sure if this #whatsyourexcuse bullshit is only limited to physical activity stuff, but from my viewpoint, it appears to be.  I mean, learning how to play a musical instrument takes a LOT of discipline and practice, and is exceptionally hard to master.  But I've never seen a youtube video of some guy pulling off a perfect cover of Van Halen's Eruption with a prosthetic leg then go......."what's your excuse, bitch?"

I never watched an episode of Bob Ross painting something awesome then him sign off by asking what our excuse is for not painting some happy little trees.  He loved to paint.  We loved to watch that shit.  Everyone got to win.

It would be cool to hear Bob Ross curse though, wouldn't it?  In that soft, mesmerizing voice.......

"I'm just gonna add some snow to this fucking mountain top here.  Just a little bit of snow up there on that mother fucker."

"What's your excuse, bitch?"
Not everyone wants to Crossfit, or squat a grand, or step onstage covered in salad dressing and flex for a panel of judges.

Not everyone wants to jerk some weights overhead.  I certainly don't want to sit down and listen to a bikini competitor talk about her asparagus all day.  There are lots of things I don't want to do, thus I don't do them.  And I don't feel bad about not doing them, if they are recreational activities or hobbies.  I've never once been berated by a kite flyer asking me what my excuse is, for not taking time for flying a kite.  And that IS a bit of a physical activity.  But they don't seem so smug about it.  Or maybe I just haven't been on any kite flying message boards, and they are really a bunch of smug assholes.  Probably that one guy who has the kite with the "eyes" on it, talking shit on the other guy's "Hello Kitty" kite and what a pussy he is for flying it.  I'm not sure, all of that is complete conjecture on my part.

The sort of #whatsyourexcuse fitness smugness bothers me because I think it sends the wrong message.  Or let me say, it gives off the impression that if someone else isn't going balls out or extreme in their fitness endeavors, that they should be looked down upon for it.

Look, I'm not a fan of lazy, undisciplined people.  But I mean that in the whole "life sense" sort of way.  The people who flat out just don't have their shit together.  But Jesus Christ on a cracker, I know lots of people who live in the gym that don't have their fucking shit together outside of it.  Just because you're #grinding all day and wearing some IG popular clothes doesn't mean you're some pinnacle of "I got my shit together." and should be running around hashtagging #whatsyourexcuse in your gym selfies.

Make no mistake, I am not a fan of the fact that we are indeed the fattest nation on the entire planet.  Obviously it's a culture we have created over the decades as prosperity increased.  50 years ago, men worked hard laborious jobs, and there wasn't food on every street corner in America.  Hard living and hard work was a way of life, and comfort was found in family.  It's pretty hard to become obese when you move all day, and eat just enough to sustain you.

Now most jobs have people sitting at desks for 8-10 hours a day, and the cheapest and quickest food choice doesn't tend to be the best ones.  Work is easy, and the word "comfort foods" now exists for a reason.

But I don't think the fitness community as a whole, is REALLY inspiring anyone to get off their lazy fat ass through hashtags.  No one ever saw a fitness meme and changed their life.  At least, not to my knowledge.  I mean, I'm pretty sure smokers know that smoking is bad for them.  I don't think they were swiping down their IG feed one day and saw an anti-smoking meme about lung cancer and went "holy shit!  Lung cancer, what the fuck?!!?!?!  I'm quitting today!  I had no idea!"

And I'm sure my sometimes abrasive articles or blog posts probably have turned some people off in regards to getting in shape, but at the same time, I have a long list of clients whose lives I've help change in that regard, so at LEAST I'm not just posting a bunch of "hateful" rants while not being part of the solution.

Most importantly, as I've grown old(er), I realize there are definitely things we shouldn't be making excuses for.  But I can't really find "the gym" in any of them.

We shouldn't be making excuses for being shitty parents.  If you are part of bringing a child into this world, by God you better be responsible for it.  There's no excuses for being a dead beat mom or dad.

We shouldn't make excuses for being shitty friends.  We may fuck up sometimes, but if you love and value that friendship, don't make excuses about your fuck ups.  You make amends for them, and take responsibility for it.

We shouldn't be making excuses for the failures in our life that occur due to our own choices and the ramifications from them.  You own your mistakes and poor judgement.  You make changes.  Even if they are exceptionally hard.  Because there's no excuse for being a coward.  Hiding behind the fear of change is indeed an excuse.  Especially when that fear is crippling your life, or the life of someone else.

We shouldn't be making excuses for not doing our best to be true to our word or promises.  As men and women, our word should matter.  Our promises should mean something when we give them.  And the people we keep in our small circle should feel safe inside of it.

In all of this, about the importance of just being a decent human being, I couldn't find anything about the gym.  Or about telling other people they don't measure up because they aren't #grinding with #nodaysoff.

When they throw the dirt on my casket I hope my friends talk about how much they loved me, and how much I loved them.  I hope they can say I was always there for them, and that they will miss our conversations.

I hope my girls will say I was the best father they could have ever asked for.  That I made them laugh, taught them what responsibility meant, and helped them to become strong, confident women.

I feel like those are the things that really matter most.  I really hope I don't fail on any of those accounts.

Because there's no excuse for that.

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  1. Haha the Bob Ross bit killed me

  2. The closing paragraphs got to me. Daaang. Wtf

  3. If you made up that Bob Ross bit, you missed your calling. You had grown men here at work crying.....

  4. If you made up that Bob Ross bit you missed your calling. You made several grown men almost cry.

  5. If you made up that Bob Ross bit, you missed your calling. You had grown men here at work crying.....

  6. I've heard that Bob Ross bit before. Can't remember off hand who said it but it was a few years back. Not saying you stole it, just saying I've heard it before.

  7. Ok, found it. I knew I had heard/seen something to the effect of "Can you imagine Bob Ross swearing"...
    This was from Jan 2015 but I've seen earlier ones as well.

    Not saying you stole it but you may have subconsciously "remembered" it from Facebook. Pretty sure that's where I first saw it.

    1. I swear I've never seen anything about Bob Ross swearing. But good to know other people thought it up and thought it was funny.

  8. I love this. Those have always irritated the crap out of me too, but I could never figure out why.

    & the legless joke(s) cracked me the f up. So I guess I can stop worrying I'm getting too PC.

  9. Enjoyed " his climb was less impressive because he didn't have real legs ". Thank you. Still chuckling.

  10. Enjoyed " his climb was less impressive because he didn't have real legs ". Thank you. Still chuckling.

  11. That picture with your daughter gave me goosebumps.