5 Takeaways from the Art of Charm Podcast interview with Brett McKay

I look up to both of these guys. Having Jordan Harbinger and Brett McKay chop it up together for an hour was awesome. Here’s what I learned.

  1. Masculinity in Classical Greece was physical. Physical Strength is useful. This is manly because you can provide security to your family and friends. Increase you circle of protection. Barbell Training. I will look into the Starting Strength program Brett and Jordan talked about.
  2. Get outside of your head and just Act. I have heard around the web that confidence was not thinking. Just acting. When at the bar, its about just acting. Think afterword about what went wrong. Just starting is the hardest part.
  3. Me, Always, Everything think. Stop, and spin the box. Ask yourself questions. Is this really that bad? Have other people done this before? What can I learn from this? How can I slowly improve? Trust the Process and do what action you can take right now to get closer.
  4. Life isn’t about Facebook followers or personal branding. This blog isn’t about getting followers. I really only want to flesh out my ideas. When I write things down they stick.
  5. Be more useful. At work, at home and out with friends. I gained more satisfaction from fixing my creaky car door with some motor oil and a sander than I did skiing with my friend. Eliminating a small screeching door felt better in the long run. It’s about solving your problems and being better today than you were yesterday. I just got a promotion at work, and it’s important for me to learn everyday and get better. Lives are on the line.

Action items:

  1. Learn how to film youtube videos. Brett’s are really good.  His Grilling/Smoking series is awesome.
  2. Fix up my washer leak
  3. Fix my car headlight bulb

The Episode

 

Bag Check: What to bring to a Tennis match in your Tennis Bag

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Day Six of the 2015 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 5, 2015 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.

I’ve been reading  Winning Ugly: Mental Warfare in Tennis by Brad Gilbert. This part stuck out to me.

The player who understands the significance of gaining a small advantage (and of doing so repeatedly) might still underestimate the role that tennis equipment can play in helping you win more matches. Yes, you can bring the bare minimum, but any player who is serious about winning will go beyond the bare minimum.

I decided to make a quick list for my old high school team. I did some extra research and found this explanation from Gonzo Tennis very satisfying. Answering the question. Why even care?

If you’re heading over to the public courts for a quick rally or match with a buddy then don’t worry about what you bring with you (apart from a racquet and shoes) as there is no consequence for quitting early due to equipment malfunction or injury. However, if you are going into battle, so to speak, where winning might actually matter to you, you should have your tennis bag packed with these just-in-case items. Obviously, preparing for every eventuality is impossible so don’t bother trying. Keep the following basics in your bag and you can feel comfortable that you have taken reasonable measures.

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10 Essential items

  1. Water, drink plenty before, during and after your match. Hydration is the key to good performance. Sip water on every changeover.
  1. Energy food: bananas, oranges, mangos, apples, cliff bars, granola bars
  1. Rackets, at least 2 rackets, in case you break a string
  1. Towels, 1-2 regular size towels to keep you dry
  1. Medical kit: Different types of bandages, neosporin, athletic tape, blister specific bandages, body powder, small pair of scissors, sunscreen, lip balm
  1. Dry tennis clothes: 1-2 spare TC tennis shirts, 2-3 pairs of dry socks, extra shoelaces, extra pair of tennis shoes, sweatbands
  1. Hat with a visor and sunglasses
  1. Over grips, in case yours get soaked or unravel
  1. Extra Shock absorber, in case yours flys off and you can’t find it
  1. A plastic shopping bag, for wet clothes, or for a makeshift cold pack

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Credit: Winning Ugly: Mental Warfare in Tennis by Brad Gilbert

How Red Lerille Mr. America 1960, started Red’s Gym: The biggest and best gym in the South

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Reds started in 1963. His goal is to make an improvement every month. There have been 624 improvements since 1963. Today Red’s is over 185,000 square feet. Every time I get onshore I go here 4-5 times a week. Red has built a world class gym in the 214th largest city in the US. It’s an amazing place and an good story.

“This place started off like Red Lerille’s Health Studio, then it became Red Lerille’s Health Club, then Red Lerille’s Health and Racket Club, and eventually people dropped all that shit and called it Red’s.”

Red’s Keys to Success

1. Arrive on time, ready to work

From Red Lerille: Painting the town Red,

“Every day, Lerille rises at 2:30 a.m. and rides one of his six bikes to the club to open it at 3 a.m. He works out for about 90 minutes before he hops on his bike for about 45 minutes of cardio and then pedals home. He takes a shower, shaves, eats breakfast and then heads to the 7 a.m. mass at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, down the street from his home. After mass, he heads to the private airport where he hangars the antique airplanes he restores and flies one for about a half-hour. Then, he drives back to Red’s, usually arriving by 8:30 a.m.—about the time many people are grabbing their first cup of coffee for the day.”

Credit Lara Hale

      2. Say hello and goodbye

  Red’s has 250 employees. Guess who opens up the gym every morning at 3:00 am. Red.  He usually stays until 7pm, even on Sundays.        

         3. Make a change every month

“You gotta have a board, with some goals written down, you have to write your goals down.”

        4. Learn as much as you can

When I joined the gym he gave me the tour personally. He handed me a book One Summer by Bill Bryson. It was fun read and chronicled the crazy events of 1927; from Lou Gehrig and the Yankees to Charles Lindbergh. Not just into fitness, his hobbies are building airplanes and motorcycles.

       5. Stay in shape

He works out everyday. One of the pillar habits in The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg is exercising. Exercise has ancillary effects in your life that moves you to accomplish all other goals.

 Tour of the facility and history of Reds.

 

Red’s is an anchor for Lafayette. It has

  • a basketball court
  • 4 large swimming pools
  • boxing ring
  • racketball courts
  • cafeteria
  • coffee shop
  • 2 yoga studios
  • Pilates stuio
  • Cycling studio
  • Outdoor obstacle course
  • Day Care
  • 6 squat racks and full sets of bumper plates
  • MIT which is basically its version of crossfit

Besides all that is has a world class tennis facility.

  • 20 outdoor courts (14 hards and 6 clay rubico)
  • 3 well lit indoor courts with a viewing gallery.

This place is amazing.Reds tennisreds 2

Two critiques I’ve heard are were the price and the bodybuilders. The former is an excuse, and the latter is an over generalization.

  1. Red’s over delivers on value. Those that say it’s too expensive just don’t want to go to the gym. That’s fine, but don’t tell me about how your free week at reds was amazing, and you really wish you could afford it. I paid a one time $230 joining fee. And I pay a monthly fee including meals and tennis court of around $80 per month. You get a world class facility for a low cost and it gets better every month. That’s a high return on investment.
  2. “Oh Red’s, isn’t that just a meathead gym”. It is a bodybuilding gym, but its a lot more than that. Red’s foundation is bodybuilding. He was 1960 Mr. America after all. Their are serious bodybuilders there and they do stand out, but to be honest they are maybe 5% of the total membership. And I’ve never had a bad experience with them. I think the critique is based on the assumption that if you are big you do steroids and act aggressive. I’ve found Red’s to be a community of like-minded people trying to improve everyday.

Compared to other gyms Reds is incredible for the value you get in return. You get a world class facility for a low cost and it gets better every month. That’s a high return on investment.


 

My 10 Goals for 2016

Bruce Lee

2015 was a great year. I learned to play guitar and backflip on a trampoline. I played tennis on red clay in Argentina and got my weight under 200 pounds.

This year I have set 10 ambitious goals.

“The boring, behind the scenes work, day in and day out, are what make you rich” – Ramit Sethi

My Goals for 2016

Travel

  • Sit lower level at Arthur Ashe Stadium at the US Open
  • Drink XX beer while relaxing on a hammock on a Beach in South America
  • Eat a Bratwurst at a Professional Baseball Game with my Dad

Projects

  • Film, edit and upload 3 tennis videos to YouTube
  • Record and post a Podcast on ITunes
  • Write, edit and publish 15 new articles on this blog by writing 1,000 words a day

Fitness

  • 20 Pullups
  • 100 pushups
  • Squat 250 5x
  • Weigh 180 pounds

A part of me is scared that I won’t follow through. That small voice that tells me I can’t do it. Beyond that small voice is a deeper and stronger voice. It tells me that I’ve already accomplished them, I don’t have to do anything extra.

Skyzone Trampoline Park in Lafayette Kicks Ass

Trampoline Dodge ball. Need I say more. But I love this place so I’ll say more.

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I leave this place dead tired and happy. Its a cheap workout, requires no equipment, and launching dodge balls at friends fucking rocks.

I work 3 weeks on and 3 weeks off. When in Lafayette I call my friends to get their asses kicked and then have some Pasados Margaritas afterword.

This place is very cool. It has 2 dodge ball arenas, a big area for jumping, a foam pit and some trampoline basketball hoops to work on your dunking.

They have started to have specialty nights. The one I want to try out is College Night on Tuesday nights. As well as dodgeball tournament nights.

The only way they could improve their location would be a few structural changes I have seen in other trampoline parks. A rope swing into the pit, a climbing wall over the pit or a Zipline into the pit would be cool. Also elevated boxes in the main jumping zone to sit on or jump off would be nice to add. In the waiting area they have started playing ESPN on the TV’s. Now only if they started serving Draft Beer…. all in the world would be right.

A man can only wish. But for now this place rocks and I’m glad it’s in Lafayette.

 

Rocks, Ripped Climbers, and Renegades. Yosemite’s Rock Climbing Revolution: Valley Uprising

Valley Uprising Title

“The primary vibration in the air, was one of High Adventure”

-Tom Frost

Valley Uprising will inspire you to drop what you are doing and go climb. Yosemite’s Rocks are amazing and I hope to one day see them in person. Imagine a smooth vertical ocean of rock the size of 3 Eiffel Tower’s stacked and you have El Capitan (El Cap as they call it).  I had no idea before I watched this documentary. But being a geologist and an adventurer myself, I instantly loved learning about the Titans of climbing. Royal Robbins, Warren Harding, Lynn Hill, John Bachar, Dean Potter and Alex Honnold. All drawn to the 2,000ft Northwest face of Half Dome and the 3,000ft Nose of El Capitan.

“We have a purpose. Climb Hard. Put up good routes. Only through climbing can you find yourself. Bullshit like that

-Steve Roper

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I’ve only rock climbed once and it was terrifying and awesome. That feeling of being high up and hanging by your sore fingertips unsure whether you can make it is intoxicating. I am not at the weight I want to be currently, but once I get below 200 lbs I will go more. I go to climbing gyms when my friends are around, but I want to become more serious. I already dropped my gym account to save money, and I think I will continue to go to the local rock gym. It helps that I love to bike and it is 1 mile away.

I have talked endlessly about this movie to friends and made each of them watch it. Besides introducing me to some amazing alternative music, I’ve been inspired from this documentary.

This movie is the latest from the Reel Rock Series, and made by Sender Films. http://senderfilms.com/index.php

A lot of the fun of the movie occurs in the middle, with the story introducing the Aquarian Age, psychedelics, and a cocaine filled airplane crashing into Lower Merced Pass.

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After trying to boulder I see the difficulty and level of fitness it requires. Some of these climbers were world class athletes and they do a good job showing the training of these climbers. Pullups, running, and climbing was the way they got better. The perspective of rock climbers looking back enriches the black and white photos.

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This movie is a cool look back on the 50’s 60’s and 70’s. They are really good at telling a story through black and white photos. Thanks to graphic designer Barry Thompson who make the first photos appear to be a comic book animation. Thompson takes climbing’s clash of titans between personality opposites Robbins and Harding explode off the screen similar ala Pacquiao vs. Mayweather.

climbing-valley-uprising-6Royal and Harding

“The gear had evolved. The techniques were in place. The rock climbers had matured to the point where they are up to tackling the great challenges of the sport, but the great challenges remain undone.”

-Dan Duane

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“The face of Half Dome stood there and said, “Try me if you dare”.

-Royal Robbins

The way one generation bleeds into another is a strong point of this Documentary. They highlight the Apprentice Master relationship just like in Robert Greene’s Mastery. Examples abound but my favorite was the Jim Bridwell to Royal Robbins relationship; first he is seen next to Royal Robbins as a wide eyed teenager, then 15 years later he is a scruffy journeyman doing acid teaching the the up and coming Stone Masters such as Ron Kauk and Lynn Hill. Teaching and pushing the standards higher and higher.

7-Lynn-Hill-on-Half-Dome-ph-Charlie-Row-1977Ron Kauk

Interesting to note the timing on this movie. It was released in September 2014. In the past 12 months Police shootings and Riots have occurred across the US. While the public at large has called for less militarization in the police, new rules and regulations have led to a mindset shift away from environmental protection and toward aggressive enforcement. This is nothing new to Yosemite Rock Climbers who have clashed with police since the 70’s.

“The Rangers have gone from having a degree in Biology to having a degree in Marksmanship”

-Yvon Chouinard

The tribal and happy go lucky mentality of the Golden Age and the Stone Masters is replaced by the somber rugged independence of the Stone Monkeys.

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