I’m guessing it was around 1977 or maybe 1978. I was about 15 or 16 at the time. The one thing I remember was it was close to the end of the sexual revolution. You know, the whole free love hippie thing. I was trying to enjoy that as much as I could, but I was living in Louisiana, in the buckle of the Bible Belt to be exact. On a good day I’d end up with a hand job. But I digress. As I mentioned before, I pretty much lived in the middle of sugarcane fields on the outskirts of Donaldsonville. Apparently we had 7,000 people, but I think someone was padding the stats. It seemed more like 5,500. Anyway, the woman who owned the land down the street from our house was named Grace Garon. She inherited the land from her father. Sugarcane was not the way to go, she decided, so she sold the land. One day, a sign went up, a big giant billboard. It said, “Welcome to the Future Home of Wal-Mart.” To some of my younger readers who don’t know what a phone booth is, you may find this hard to believe. In 1978, I had never heard of Wal-Mart. I asked my good friend (I won’t divulge his name so let’s call him Bob). He said he was kind of familiar with it as a cheaper K-Mart. Something else was going on in our small town. There was more chatter than usual. The southern women usually talked about this guy or that guy who had a roving eye. Or this one or that one spent the night in New Orleans (known as the den of inequity). Once again, I digress (I really shouldn’t drink when I write these things) (but these are usually the best ones). The thing everybody was whispering about was how could Grace sell that land to Wal-Mart. It was going to bring a different element into the neighborhood. Low-income people would come in just to shop. And yes, I did here this…there will be a lot of blacks in our neighborhood. By the way, it’s those kinds of statements that made me leave Louisiana as quickly as I could. Nobody was willing to tell Grace how they felt. My parents weren’t part of that whole thing. My dad wanted the Wal-Mart next door. He wouldn’t have to go into town to shop as much. He could practically walk there. My friend Bob and I wanted to do something. We were young and we were rebels, at least we tried to be. We went out and measured that sign. We bought plywood the same size and whitewashed it. In the most professional way we could, we stenciled a sign of our own. I can’t remember what the sign said. But it was something like, “Loud mufflers, crowds, a hike in crime and loss in value to real estate…all this and more at the new Wal-Mart.” My friend and I waited until 2 a.m. and put our sign over it. We thought the sign would get a laugh. It got more. The newspapers took note, and people were talking. Somehow Miss Garon rescinded the deal. There was talk about who put the sign up. We swore to never speak of the sign to anyone else. Until now, we haven’t. Once a year at Christmas, we bring up “the sign.” Here’s the interesting part. Grace’s daughter, Lisa, reads this blog and is a friend of mine. She doesn’t read every one, but I have a feeling she’ll read this one. I’ve never told this to Lisa. She’ll learn it along with everyone else. As far as Bob, his anonymity has been kept. I’m only outing myself. As far as Miss Garon, I think she did quite well by selling that land to a developer who subdivided it. I don’t think she’s hurting. Everyone else’s property value went right up. I told you that to tell you this. A couple of weeks ago I wrote a blog. I think it was Pussification of a Nation Part III. I talked about Calabasas High School and the fact the P.E. teachers weren’t doing their jobs. Just like the small, tiny grassroots effort of myself and Bob, my small, tiny grassroots effort of writing that blog may have done something. Let me explain. As I described, my all-time favorite client, Genie Francis, and I were walking on the track. By the way, Genie will be on Oprah soon. I’ll tell you when it’ll be on. She will talk about the crap involved with being a child actor. I love Genie. She is like a sister I never had. But I digress…again. When Genie and I showed up at the school track last week, the kids weren’t sitting in the middle of the field. The teachers weren’t frolicking around the track twirling whistles around their fingers. Both teachers were on the field coaching. The kids were running and sweating. Could this be a coincidence that it happened after my blog? Absolutely. But I think the odds are in my favor that this blog was the reason this happened. Why? First off, lots of people in that area read this blog. It could have got back to the principal. And secondly, it would be too much of a coincidence that for the first time in a year and a half these teachers were actually doing their fucking jobs. To be honest, I don’t give a rat’s ass as to why they were doing their jobs and those kids were sweating. It put a big smile on my face because it was happening.
Martha Stewart…ever hear of her? She’s a blowhard with a Pollyanna attitude. Her whole thing is how to teach us how to live. One of her biggest taglines is Martha Stewart Living. Rachael Ray…know who she is? She’s the happy-go-lucky chef that tells everybody how to cook simply. She always has a big goofy smile on her face that makes her look like Jack Nicholson as the Joker. She smiles a lot. You know her catchphrase? Yum! Speaking of people with big goofy smiles, what about Tony Robbins? He also has a giant smile with big choppers. Are those teeth even real? Tony teaches us how to live positively and how to turn bad things into good things. Ever watch The View? That’s another feel-good show for women. It’s a bunch of cackling hens. How about Sarah Palin? She’s another do-gooder with a gosh-dernit attitude. You know what all of these people have in common? We want to punch them in the face half the time. They’re always bubbly. They’re like a high school cheerleader on crack. I told you that to tell you this. It’s come to my attention from more than one source that I am negative. The fact that I’m negative can’t be good for my blog. But you know what? I disagree. You know what else disagrees? Google Analytics and StatCounter. Both show an increase on my blog between 30-35 percent every month. To put it simply, my blog has grown by leaps and bounds. You know who else was negative? Just about every famous comedian you can think of. You know why? Nobody wants to know that someone else had a great fucking day. We always want to know that someone else is a little more miserable than we are. I do this blog for one reason and one reason only. To tell the truth about health and fitness as I see it. I’ve been in the fitness game for over 30 years. I’ve done nothing else but this. I’ve seen things come and go five different times. I think I know what I’m talking about. In this world you have ups and downs, highs and lows, ebb and flow, black and white, positive and negative. If I haven’t learned anything else about energy I’ve learned this…you need both. A lot of people from around the world read this blog. I want to tell everyone that reads this blog from outside the United States something about this great country. We are free people. It’s what makes our country great. If you happen to be someone who doesn’t like what I’m writing, by all means stop reading it.
That title is absolute bullshit. I cringed when I wrote it. It’s like something you’d read on a magazine cover. You know, to sell magazines. You’ve seen the ads to lose 50 pounds by taking Hydroxycut and such. Get great abs overnight, rock-hard gluts in minutes a day…I could go on and on. A couple of years ago I read a book. The title read like one of these “too good to be true” magazines. It was by first-time author Timothy Ferriss. It had a catchy title, the 4-hour Workweek. I read it cover-to-cover. I thought he had some OK advice. Can I tell you something? If a normal person tried one-tenth of his suggestions, they’d be fired on the spot. A big company would have security escort you out. I’ve never actually had a job before where I worked for anyone else. I’ve always worked for myself. I’d be willing to bet nobody in their right mind would put up with that. If any of our readers would like to try it out, I’d like to know what would happen if you walked in and asked to work from home. I told you that to tell you this. It seems like our friend Timothy Ferriss is at it again. Now he’s a fitness expert. You know, like Perez Hilton. Remember when he jumped on the fitness bandwagon with FitPerez.com? I still like the ring to that. I learn so much sitting at the feet of the master. But I digress. So Timothy Ferriss has a new book. It’s called the 4-Hour Body. Usually I put a link to these books. Well, fuck him, I’m not putting one. While waiting for a client to change, I skimmed a few pages of the book. This joker claimed he could put on 30 pounds of lean muscle mass in one month. I’m no Perez Hilton, I have a degree from a major medical university. There I go with my digressions again. I doubt you can put 30 pounds of lean muscle mass on in such a short amount of time. If you want something for nothing, I guess you can go buy the book. It’s nothing more than a glorified fitness magazine with hollow promises. By the way, I want to thank my good friend Bill Meadows. He’s a loyal blog reader. He sent along a Sophia Loren picture I didn’t have. I’ll post that picture again at the end of this blog. If you can find a rare Sophia Loren photo, please send it along. It would be appreciated.
Everybody seems to have something unusual or special about themselves. In most cases it’s not anything so special that you can make money from it or anything. We all seem to do something well. Many years ago I had a roomate named Kristine. She was pretty much a bikini model. For some reason we always think bikini models are only good at wearing a bikini and having their picture taken. She had one of those weird talents. She was good at painting. I’m not talking about painting on a canvas. I’m talking painting the interior of our apartment. All she needed was some masking tape, a brush and some paint. She was as good as any professional. I also have something I do well. I’m able to drive very long distances and stop only for gas. I’ve gone 40-plus hours with no sleep. Somehow I’m just as fresh on the 40th hour as I am on the first hour. Recently I drove from California to Louisiana for the holidays. The trip was just short of 30 hours. I showed up just in time for the beginning of a New Orleans Saints football game. I sat down and watched the entire game before going to sleep. In total, I was up for almost 40 hours. A few days later, I turned around and drove back to Los Angeles, staying awake for a similar amount of hours. The question I’ve gotten over the years has been some variation of “Boy, you sure must drink a lot of coffee right?” Oddly enough, I wouldn’t drink anymore coffee than I do on a regular basis. I probably drink less. I have learned a few tricks to staying awake and alert. I don’t eat a meal. That causes more blood to pool in the stomach for digestion. This makes me feel sluggish and tired, so I don’t do it. My second rule is no sugar. In the interest of full disclosure, what I do eat is almonds and peanuts. Every couple of hours I nibble on either or both. This keeps hunger away and the lack of sugar keeps me from getting a rush then subsequent crash. I’ve been doing this for well over 30 years. It hasn’t failed me yet. I told you that to tell you this. I love sugar. I think I love it more than most. There were many sugarcane farmers in my family. I grew up in sugarcane fields. In the fall, when the cane starts to ripen, I would always have a pocket knife on me to make sure I can get the sugar from the tap, so to speak. Another problem I have with sugar is I don’t get fat from it. The reason is I do at least 20 hours of aerobics per week. That’s a slow week. When I’m training for an ultra event, I easily go over 30 hours. There’s no incentive for me not to eat sugar. My teeth are healthy, I don’t have a diabetes problem, so why shouldn’t I enjoy sugar on a daily basis? But I digress. Because I drove all the way to Louisiana without sugar, then all the way back to California, I went several days without the sweet nectar that I love. You know what? I’ve never felt better. I wasn’t getting the afternoon lull, where I feel like I need to take a nap. The arthritis in my right shoulder just didn’t seem to hurt as much. I seemed to recover from workouts quicker. There’s no shortage of literature condemning sugar. I constantly tell my clients not to touch the stuff. Without an insane amount of aerobics, you will gain weight from it. And yes, it can rot your teeth, unless you are a flossing and brushing freak like me. Will I stay off of sugar forever? Probably not. But I do see positive effects from having a lot less of it. I’ve found good reason to at least keep it to a bare minimum.
Are we becoming the Huffington Post or what? My friend Dean Lorey, a Hollywood writer and producer, once again has penned a blog post for us to enjoy.
It’s pretty well known how much I hate to lift weights but, just for the sake of clarity, imagine the cutest yellow duckling you ever saw being crushed under a 40 pound barbell. It’s going to die unless someone lifts that weight off its fragile body. If I’m the “someone,” then I guess you and I know what we’re having for dinner that evening. That said, after losing a bunch of pounds and getting into decent shape, I decided to try and put on some muscle. Why? Two reasons. I heard something about having more muscle and less body fat increases your metabolism and helps you stay thin and I also thought I might look better. So sue me. So I lifted weights on my own for a couple weeks and then I broke down and booked Vinnie to come to my house and help me figure out a routine. You can do that too, by the way, at least if you live in the LA area. I think you just have to send him an email or something. His address is email@example.com. Anyway, Vinnie shows up and asks some questions about what I want to do and I tell him I’m only going to commit 20 minutes a day to this, three days a week. So he gives me some exercises that he says will give me “bang for my buck.” By the way, if he comes to your house you’re going to have to suffer through a lot of Vinnie-isms. The next time I hear him say “I told you that to tell you this,” I’m going to go on a killing rampage at a Wal-Mart. Which reminds me, half the time he says “I told you that to tell you this” I don’t see any connection between the two thoughts. Truth be told, I think he uses that sentence in place of paragraphs, which seem to mystify him. So anyway, I do his exercises. For the record, they are bench presses, lat pulls (I don’t know if I’m remembering the name right) and squats, along with a few arm curls. And, as I do them, here’s what I realize — he’s flat, fucking wrong. I know these are going to be useless because I can do them easily and with no pain. What I don’t realize is that, the next day, I am going to be brutally sore and wishing for death. But, eventually, the soreness subsides and now I’m just kind of into the routine. Actually, I’ll go further. This is something probably all of you experience all the time, but it’s new to me. I’ve gotten to the point where I actually look forward to the days when I’m going to lift weights. Hell, I’ll go further than that (God hates a coward, right?) I even get disappointed on the days when I can’t. Gotta take every other day off — something about giving your muscles time to recover. I read that somewhere. I should probably ask Vinnie. By the way, I just now realized that I never got around to the point of this blog, which was going to be about how I discovered my heart problems. So since I’ve completely boned it, I’ll go ahead and mention one last useless thing. Since Vinnie mentioned that my buddy Damon Wayans told me “I’m going on the Dean Diet” I now feel like I’m now on the verge of untold riches and superstardom as the planet’s newest diet guru — I mean, that Atkins guy did pretty good, right? — except I can’t quite figure out how to turn it into an entire book, because it can be summed up in just one sentence: “Eat two vegetarian meals a day and one with chicken or fish.” If I can just figure out how to sell that for $12.95 a pop, dinner’s on me. And I can tell you what we’ll be eating. Duckling. But only for the protein. Gotta feed those muscles. Oh, and don’t forget to e-mail Vinnie at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are in need of a trainer.
I spent the weekend in Carlsbad, California. It’s a beautiful community in the deepest, darkest region of southern California. It’s between San Diego and Laguna Niguel. If you’re planning a visit, I highly recommend it. It’s late January, the weather was a perfect 72 degrees. I think I got a little sun. I try not to piss off the readers from Minnesota. Usually at this time of year I’m not down in places like Carlsbad. I’m usually up in Mammoth Lakes. I had a reason to be there. I was there for a marathon. Although I do travel with clients sometimes, it’s not often that I share a room with a client. But in this case I did. It was my girlfriend Serena Scott Thomas. I told you that to tell you this. Serena completed her second marathon. The first one was 11 months ago in Pasadena. She ran this one in 4:16:06, which was more than 22 minutes shaved off her previous time. That’s impressive for a second time out. But Serena’s story is more amazing than that. When we first started dating, she had just completed two half marathons. She was ready to turn it up a bit. So she did what most people would do in this situation. She hired a coach. She turned to a company called Phase 4. This is a hotsy-totsy company in Santa Monica. They have everything from on-staff physical therapists to fitness trainers. By the way, if you ever walk into a training facility that has trainers, you can almost bet there’s an insurance scam going on (in my opinion). One night when I went to pick Serena up for a date, I was reading her training schedule on her fridge. When she came out to meet me in the kitchen, she asked what I thought of the program. I said, “I think it looks great, but there’s a typo. What they want you to do here is humanly impossible.” They wanted her to stay at her anaerobic threshold for 15 minutes for three times in one workout, plus repeat it twice a week. Serena looked at me and said, “You think I’m a wimp?” I said, “No, you can’t do it. Not you, not anyone. It can’t be done.” By definition, you can’t do it. To understand why she even tried it, you’d have to know she came from a military background. Her dad was in the British military. He was a real-life Tom Cruise. The only difference was, her dad was better looking. One day, he didn’t make it back from a mission. He died a hero. But I digress. Serena, being the daughter of man who knew how to push the envelope, tried to do the impossible. She ended up injuring her foot and ankle. For a while, she thought she’d never be able to run a marathon in her life. You know what? She crossed the line today for a second time. I couldn’t get to the finish line so I watched from afar. She did a great job. Just like Dean Lorey, I’m calling her out. I expect 1,000 to 1,500 words on her experience. I love personal stories. I don’t write about Serena much. You may want to look back at an earlier post, like the one about the question “Do these jeans make my ass look fat?”
When I was really young, before my sixth birthday, I had to have surgery. It repaired my hearing. Turns out, I was legally deaf. Some sort of buildup couldn’t drain. The surgery was a complete success. But it left me with a different problem. I had a severe speech impediment. By the time I was in second or third grade, I had become the whipping boy at school. Everyone took shots at me. I was easy pickings when it came to goofing on my voice. Although my name was Vinnie, the kids never called me that. They called me Vinna. That’s what my name sounded like when it came out of my mouth. They would say it as if they were a person who was severely handicapped. Quite frankly, that’s what I sounded like. Here’s the kicker. As many of my readers may know, I went to a private Catholic school. I was taught by nuns. The nuns generally took pride in joining in on the fun. They would often make fun of me in front of other kids. One nun referred to me as Marble Mouth. I was also told to swallow the grits I was eating before I spoke. I couldn’t stand those sadistic bitches. I hated my life as a kid. I was goofed on by fellow students and the only people I could count on, these “Daughters of God,” were even worse. Going to school and getting home was no better. The private school shared a school bus with the public school system. Those kids also took great pride in messing with me on the bus. I wanted to fight back, but I couldn’t. I would only get my ass kicked by groups of kids. I would often dream that I would become a superhero like Superman or Batman or any of the others from comic books. The only problem was, even at the ripe old age of 10, I realized superheros were only cartoon characters. I told you that to tell you this. One Saturday I was flipping through the channels on the television. Back then, we only had three channels. I stopped at one of the three because I saw something interesting. There was a man dressed in a tight black T-shirt with black pants. He had bulging biceps and triceps. He had a huge vein running over the top of his bicep. I was mesmerized. This man looked like a real superhero. His name was Jack LaLanne.
He would lift weights up and down. At the ripe old age of 9, I realized that by pushing weights up and down, I too could look like a superhero. I watched Jack every single Saturday. As he described proper pushups and situps, I listened closely. I found a piece of pipe that I would hang bricks off of the ends and copy what my hero had done. Every now and then the brick would fall and pinch my fingers, causing me to bleed. That pain was nothing compared to the pain I felt in school every day. I continued to exercise. Jack mentioned running, so I did that too. When Jack talked about jumping jacks, I did those as well. I thought jumping jacks were named after him. He said do pullups, I did pullups. I did it all. By the time I was 10 or 11, not only did I have physical power, but I also felt empowered. No longer could these sadistic bitches get to me. No longer could the kids bother me. I learned how to kick ass and take names. Jack gave me something more. He taught me a way of life that I’ve never abandoned. At 48 years old, I still follow those teachings. I always got a kick out of the fact that Jack worked well into his 90s. I love the fact he never abandoned the truth. He never told lies. He never told people they can get in shape in five minutes. I always felt like Jack was a friend, even though I never met him. A man that I never met changed my life as a young kid. It makes me wonder how many other people he helped. I know it’s got to be in the tens of thousands. I grieve with the rest of the world now that he’s gone. I have a feeling he’ll live on forever through his teachings. I just want to say thanks to a man who meant so much to me, even though I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting him.
“I’m going to help you help yourself.” – Jack LaLanne
Years ago, I read a story about a strange event that I’m pretty sure went on in Spain. If I’m wrong about the place, we’ll say Spain anyway. Let’s face it, this sounds like something that would happen in Spain. There’s a thing called cow lifting. This is an event where men actually lift on their shoulders a full grown cow. I guess you could say it’s a pretty impressive trick when you think about it. Come on, let’s face it, cows ain’t light. But then the piece went on to explain how these men lift these cows. They start off when the cow is still a calf. The men walk into the barn on day one, put the calves on their shoulders and squat up and down several times. The next day, they go back in and repeat the same activity. This goes on day in and day out. I guess you could say two things happen. First off, the young calf gets used to someone handling it every day. They get familiar with the routine. As the cows get heavier, the men become stronger. Once the cow reaches 500, or even 800 pounds, the human can squat down and lift the cow off the ground. Being in the health field, I thought the story was fascinating back when I read it. I wanted to put it to the test. It was the late 1970s at the time. Though I lived out in the country and there were cows available for lifting, I would have to find one right after it was born. The other problem was I would have to explain to the farmer what I was doing in their field. I had two problems too difficult to overcome, especially since I was in school and playing sports. So I figured I could come up with a simple test to prove the theory. So I got on the floor and did 45 pushups. I was in good shape. I could have done another five. I didn’t want to strain myself, so I left some gas in the tank. I told myself every evening after dinner I would go into my room and do one more pushup than I had done before. That I did. Before long I was well over 50. Another week passed, and I was over 60. My goal was to do 100 correct pushups without stopping. I wanted to use the military form. I reached 100 with ease using the cow lifting method set forth by the Spaniards (or whoever it was). Next I went to 110, then 120. I made it all the way to 130. Once, as part of a $20 bet, I did 140-plus without stopping. At that point I lost interest in doing pushups. But there didn’t seem to be an end in sight. It went from anaerobic to aerobic exercise in a way. Cut to several years later, after my football days at Tulane. Weight loss became a priority. I wanted to get my six pack back. Instead of tons of situps, I knew from my study in anatomy and physiology that any simple hip flexor exercise that would cause my rectus abdominis to flex and lengthen over and over would give me the desired results once all the fat was gone. So once every other day I would do 100 situps. Once I lost most of the subcutaneous fat, I began to see the fruit of my labor. Then it happened again. I started reading something. It was in a magazine that talked about a guy who did 2,000 situps. I can’t remember how often he did it. But that was his magical number. I thought back to the Spaniards and their bovine practice. I also thought about my own laboratory back in my bedroom, where I put the theory to the test. Could I possibly use the same approach? Could I do 2,000 nonstop situps? I was willing to try. On day one, I did 100 situps. On day two, I did 110. I added 10 situps every day without fail. Before long I was at 500 situps a day. With ease I made it to 1,000, then 1,500. Soon I was at 2,000 with no problem. Well, there was one problem. Once I got into the high numbers I would often wear a brush burn into my tailbone. That was always fun, especially taking a shower after I was done. Nothing like fresh water on a brush burn. I told you that to tell you this. I was having lunch today with one of the greatest authors this country has ever known. He’s also a new contributor to this blog. He’s my good friend, Dean Lorey. By the way, I have a funny story about Dean. He’s lost so much weight that he was visiting a celebrity friend, Damon Wayans, and the star noticed Dean had lost a lot of weight. Dean told him he lost the weight by eating lots of vegetables. He showed up at his house days later, and found vegetables everywhere. That’s right, he went on a Dean Lorey diet. But I digress. Dean was telling me over lunch about this new app called Two Hundred Situps. Put in the words Two Hundred, not 200, if you’re looking for it (Or check out the previous link on the Apple iTunes Store). From what I can tell from the app, it’s like lifting a cow. And that ain’t no bull.
I got a call from my friend Katie the other day. I like Katie, she’s from small town Georgia. She’s highly competitive. Her sport is tennis. You can take everything I know about tennis and fit it on the sharp end of a needle. But that’s not the advice Katie was looking for. She just wants to stay in tip-top shape so she can continue to kick ass in the sport. I guess that’s where I come in handy. I told you that to tell you this. Katie’s questions concerned stretching. The first question was when to stretch. She said she had heard from some to stretch before, others to stretch after. She was right on both accounts. It’s good to warm up with stretching, but it doesn’t have to be a lot. The majority should come after exercise is done, during the cool down period. I was almost off the phone when she said something else. I almost thought she was kidding. She said, “I do about 10 seconds on each muscle after tennis and jogging.” I asked if she was kidding. “No, no one ever tells you how long to stretch,” she said. She was shocked when I said each stretch should be held at a minimum of one minute. I mentioned I hold stretches for three and four minutes when I have the time. She was surprised by this information. That’s why I figured if someone as fit as Katie didn’t know this, it might be a good idea to mention it on this blog. While I’m at it, if you have the time and the money for a yoga class, great idea. But as mentioned in this blog before, yoga won’t do much more than make you flexible. It’s not a fitness routine.
I had a lot going on in New Orleans throughout the 1980s and early 90s. I had one of the most popular fitness classes in town. I was the fitness coordinator for a prestigious private school. I had a popular radio talk show called Talking Fitness. And I had more private clients than I knew what to do with. I guess you could say I was hitting on all cylinders back then. At the height of it all, I decided to move to Los Angeles. The main reason I moved out West was because of the weather. But equally as important, I felt like I had a few tricks up my sleeve when it came to fitness. I figured Hollywood could use it. My biggest idea was to promote child fitness. In 1991, I was taking some big meetings with the likes of Disney and Nickelodeon. You know what? They listened. They all liked my ideas. They had me write proposals. Once they saw what I was proposing, I was laughed out of the building. They didn’t want anyone to tell their audience to go outside. They wanted kids sitting in front of a television. They also didn’t like the idea of telling kids not to eat sugar. The products they sold on Saturday morning cartoons were heavy in sugar. I tried my best to push these ideas. Nobody seemed to care about children and obesity at the time. I saw what was coming. I was in southern Louisiana before, and those kids were fat. We weren’t calling it an “epidemic” yet. I told you that to tell you this. If you read the previous blog, Pussification of a Nation 3 (Am I the only one who loves that title? I guess you’d have to know me to understand) you know I was pretty pissed off about Calabasas High School. I saw two P.E. teachers not exactly earning their pay. It was as if they could care less about these kids. My nephew Mike read the blog. He’s a contributor to this site. He told me about kids he heard about doing the same thing in Louisiana. We always hear about how there’s not enough money for schools. Does anyone even administer the President’s Challenge anymore? When I was in school you had P.E. every day. And you needed a damn good excuse from a doctor to miss any of the days. It wasn’t easy. Sweat was always involved. You got a good workout. Once a year we took the President’s Challenge. And we practiced for it weeks in advance. What happened to those days? It seems like the President always had a council on physical fitness. But is it taken seriously? In the early 1990s, Arnold Schwartzenegger was the chairman. Was that just a springboard for his political career? His governorship ended recently, leaving California in worse shape than he found it. Wasn’t he supposed to be the savior? Now I’m learning that Drew Brees, the NFL quarterback, is a chair on the President’s Council. He’s a great football player. He took a city that was hurting and won a Super Bowl. Great job. But does he really have time? You know who would be great for this position? Me. But you know, they’re not asking someone who’s a trainer, the one guy who cares. Maybe I use the word “fuck” too much. But you know what? It’s just a word. Get over it. I think we should start a campaign to get me, America’s Trainer, to get kids sweating in schools again.