Unlock Your Highest Potential

2008 Election

I finally had enough free time today to spend 45 minutes at the gym. While on the arc trainer I overheard a conversation between two man asking why we vote on Tuesday and how voting doesn’t really matter. One man argued we should have it on Saturday. His friend retorted back that if you had the election on Saturday, then everyone would complain “I only get two days off a week.. why Saturday? My day off is wasted now”? Here is my take... there are more important issues other than what day you vote on. If you have nothing better to do than to complain. Then you are the problem in this country!


8 yeas ago .... 8 years later .... I've always said my vote doesn’t count cause we have the electoral college that eventually decides on who gets voted in office. I've always thought my vote doesn’t make a difference and would only vote if my teachers offered extra credit for the "I Voted Today" sticker. I WAS WRONG!


Is it rational to vote? Let me explain what the question means. For your vote to have an effect on the election, you would have to live in a decisive state, meaning a state that would give one candidate or the other the required 270th electoral vote. More importantly, your vote would have to break an exact tie in your state. With 100 million voters nationwide, what are the chances of that? If the chance is so small, why bother voting at all? Historically, most voters either didn’t worry about this problem, or figured they would vote despite the fact that they weren’t likely to change the outcome. Then the 2000 Florida election changed all that. That election was finally decided by the Supreme Court rather than by counting the ballots, but various approaches to counting the ballots would have had the result varying from a 171 vote win for Gore to a 537 vote win for Bush.


What is the probability that there will be a decisive state with a very close vote total? Nate Silver says there is (as of Oct. 3) a 4% chance that a recount will be required; that is, that a decisive state will have a margin within 0.5%. There are about 8 swing states, so the odds that any one (let’s say Florida) would require a recount is 1/8 of 4% or 0.5%. There are 6 million voters in Florida, so a recount occurs there when the vote totals are within 30,000 of each other. So there’s about a 1/30,000 chance that the recount will end up so even that your vote would decide it. All together that’s a one in 6 million chance that your vote (assuming you live in one of the 8 swing states) would decide the election. (If you live in a solid state like Oklahoma or California, it just isn’t going to happen). That’s a small chance, but what is the value of getting to break the tie? We can estimate the total monetary value by noting that the current office holder presided over a $3 trillion war and at least a $1 trillion economic melt-down. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) estimated the cost of the Bush presidency at $7.7 trillion. Let’s compromise and call it $6 trillion, and assume that the other candidate would have been revenue neutral, so the net difference of the presidential choice is $6 trillion.


The value of not voting is that you save, say, an hour of your time. If you’re an average American wage-earner, that’s about $20. In contrast, the value of voting is the probability that your vote will decide the election (1 in 6 million) times the cost difference ($6 trillion). That means the expected value of your vote is $1,000,000. What else have you ever done in your life with an expected value of a million dollars per hour? Not even Warren Buffett makes that much. So make sure you vote, and make sure you choose the candidate with a better economic plan (also check climate plans, which could also lead to trillion-dollar differences) so that your expected monetary value for your vote is +$1 million rather than -$1 million.


By the way, here’s proof that voting is patriotic: If you think of the value of your vote to the country, $1 million, then obviously voting is the right thing to do. But if you think of the value to yourself, by dividing the $1 million by 300 million Americans, then the benefit of voting is less than a penny, and the rational choice would be not to vote (since it costs you an hour of your time). So anyone who votes is patriotic, and anyone who doesn’t is selfish (or irrational).. I hope you’re a rational patriot. Voting for president is one of the most cost-effective actions any American can take.

October Quinceanera or Thoughts

1. Tampa Bay Devil Rays are AMAZING! Where were you when the Rays went to the World Series for the first time in history? I was at University Chicken eating Atomic Chicken Wings. Akinori Iwamura stabbed Jed Lowrie's bad-hop grounder, had a moment of indecision about whether to flip the ball to shortstop Jason Bartlett, then he headed to second base. Once his foot touched down on the bag for the forceout, the Rays were headed to the World Series.


2. Interesting little fact: 85% of ACL reconstructive surgeries are performed by surgeons who do fewer than ten ACL surgeries per year. So, ask around before you let someone stick an arthroscope in your knee! Or, better yet, just bulletproof your knees. Ask me how. End of Shameless Plug.


3. Treadmill made for kids = misdirected training = WTF?!? Are these people for real? Why don't you just buy a pet gerbil? You don't have to drop $200K to send them to college, and they won't wake you up in the middle of the night with a diaper full-o-poo. Developmentally, this is flat-out stupid; kids shouldn't be on treadmills at all. They should be out playing. If they aren't playing, it's because the parents haven't set them up for success in this regard by integrating them socially. My 8-13 years old clients will take their lunch money and then overhead press their dorky treadmills. Do we really need to show kids how to be too lazy to walk? You know what elite triathletes call the elliptical? The fat girl machine.


3a. Treadmills stink for majority of the  population. One of the keys to feeling better is increasing amplitude (range of motion). With jogging, there isn’t a lot of range of motion going on there (very little hip flexion or extension). Not to mention most people shouldn’t be jogging/running in the first place given the high impact load it places on their joints…. SO STOP USING THE DAMN TREADMILL!


4. I’ve been working out lately at a nearby health club. There’s is not a day that passes by that I don’t have this reaction “holy shit, un-freakin-belieeeevable!”. Other than having an uncontrollable urge to throw my eyeballs into a pool full of piranhas, I’m utterly speechless after seeing the ridiculous exercises (squats on stability disc, shoulder presses while standing on the Bosu in Nike Air Shox, etc) that people do at a health club (and in some cases, the trainers are actually the one advocating or endorsing the exercises). By the way, why would you pay a trainer to press buttons for you in the cardio machine and count reps in a monotone voice? Start Second Shameless Plug: hire me now!!!


5. Soreness = Muscle Growth. In the 1990s, we “realized” that soreness is just a result of the muscle inflammatory response, and has little to do with actual growth. However, consider the following: if Arachadonic Acid (AA) is the fatty acid that gets converted to prostaglandins (PG) during inflammation:

a) Blocking the conversion of AA to PG prevents both soreness and muscle growth
b) Increasing levels of AA increases levels of PG, soreness, and muscle growth
c) The most damaging type of training yields the greatest soreness, strength and muscle gains


Reread the first sentence and c. There’s a difference between what people want to do and what people need to do. Left on their own, people are going to do what’s “easy” and will rarely step out of their comfort zone. Do not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.


6. VERY overpriced and lame!


7. Replace high impact, low amplitude exercises (treadmill) with low impact, high(er) amplitude exercise (Arc Trainer, Elliptical, high knee skips, various movement training drills)…. For the heck of it, I wore a pedometer one day while coaching. In four hours I took 6303 steps, which equates to roughly three miles. OMGFATBURNINGZONE!!!!!!!! I’m totally shooting for 10,000 in one day next week. I’m so money and I don’t even know it.


8. As many of you already know, I eat A LOT. Sometimes on special occasions, I eat pretty much every carb I could get my hands on. Pizza, pasta and chocolate chip cookies never tasted so glorious. I have a point … You see people, as a fitness professionals "I ain't skkkeered" (scared) to eat some carbs everyone now and then. Lets just put it this way; if eating carbs was like knocking over tall buildings, I would have been freakin Godzilla this weekend. Or Kim Kardashian’s ass. HI HO!


9. A client asked me this question:  “What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made in your training and professional career?  Looking back, what would you do differently?” It may sound cheesy, but I don’t look at mistakes as mistakes; I look at them as learning opportunities. Never look at mistakes solely as a negative, there is good in everything (emphasize errors, not the person committing it). Every moment is a teaching moment.


10. Someone asked me the other day if I thought all problems were related to anterior pelvic tilt. While it’s a big problem in athletes, I would not attribute any of the following problems to anterior pelvic tilt: gonorrhea, shingles, global warming, diarrhea, traffic jams, or that annoying cashier at Trader Joe’s who always insists on commenting on how I’m buying a lot of eggs. I do hope that bastard’s hip flexors are tight - he rubs me the wrong way.


10a. A lot of people mistake a big butt for anterior pelvic tilt. When the butt sticks out (known as a "badonkadonk"), it can give the illusion of anterior pelvic tilt when, in reality, these folks might be fine posture-wise. So, you have to look closely (but not too closely; they might slap you, pervert).

So, to recap: Big Butt = Good. Anterior Pelvic Tilt = Bad.


11. On a completely non-fitness related issue: Listen to the The Swell Season, it’s an Irish folk band who’s two lead singers, Glen Hansard (of The Frames) and Marketa Irglova, were also the main characters in the movie Once (side note: awesome movie, even if it doesn’t have nudity, and won Best Song at last year’s Oscars.) And yes people, I can admit that I listens to folk music.

Glen has been through some heartbreak in the past, and at the risk of sounding too personal, I could definitely relate to a lot of what he sang. One song in particular was “Happiness.” Before the song started, Glen mentioned that it was about “letting go of someone,” and that its main message was to “wish them well, send them good vibes, and be done with it.” Needless to say, it really hit home for me.


12. Anyone who can find me a good study that shows that you can isolate the vastus medialis effectively gets a gold star. If you want to save yourself a few days of frustrating Pubmed searching, you’ll give up now, because you aren’t going to find it.


13. From Reuters Health: Strength training can help ease pain and improve physical functioning in people with osteoarthritis of the knee, a new review of current data confirms. In most of the studies, the researchers found, people showed improvements in pain, physical function, walking speed, and balance after undergoing strength training. The majority of studies used a progressive approach, meaning patients were required to increase the intensity of their exercise as time went on (for example, lifting heavier weights). Three of the four studies that showed no significant effect for strength training did not use this progressive approach. Ah-HA! So this basically flies in the face of every doctor or physical therapist that like to inform their patients not to squat because it’s bad for their knees. Nothing drives me more bat shit crazy than when I hear health professionals give this advice. Well, that and guys who wear their collars up. Seriously, if anyone ever deserves to have their penis catch on fire, it’s any douchebag who thinks this is cool. Stop it. NOW! ... Note to “the OC Boyz”, STOP IT NOW!

13a. This is starting to annoy the hell out of me …. “Hot Chicks With Douche Bags”  …. Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.


14. Simple thoughts about beauty… If you want to have beautiful eyes, see the beauty in other people. If you want to have beautiful lips, speak about goodness in people. If you want to have a powerful mind, seek to empower others. If you want to have a beautiful body, share your food.

The most beautiful people in this world are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known loss, have experienced struggle and have found themselves rise out from the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness and deep living concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.


15. This has been quite possibly the busiest month of my career, and it won't be slowing down over the next months, as the high school basketball season starts… I will persevere even though sleep deprivation is becoming my best friend.