I cannot tell you the best way to open a coconut but I can tell you the dumbest way, because I invented it.
It involves clubbing the fruit with a ceramic knife, and the exact technic is not hardly a science, but spasmodic; one is free to club the thing however they may see fit. That’s how I did, but I only got so far as to giving the thing a Crew cut and making it look handsome before Christine came down with all her indecencies of language, and said something about me being only about as smart as a cow.
My higher human intelligence, which I now hold in some doubt, informed me that the approach might and could possibly be unsuccessful. But as I am a man of science, I am prone to experimentation, is what It told her. And as truth is arrived at only through error, has humanity not benefited directly from my failure? and will not subsequent generations now be at an advantage to reduce this error closer to the irreducible minimum? and because of MY miscalculations are THEY themselves not subsequently enabled to come into a cleaner and more accurate method as to how one might precisely and efficiently open this pesky drupelet?
This is when she pulled out a hammer, and I stepped just out the reach of her swinging arm. But it was not afforded for me as it usually is, but instead, the coconut, which she conked on the face with one good solid whack and how all the juice did overflow!
The point of this tale is to not impress you with big words or Germanic sentences, but to offer you some insights into the Pat Flynn method—of getting it wrong, until you get it right.
People ask me at very regular intervals—have you ever struggled with this, this, or that? Did you ever fall into blunders aimlessly, stub your toe damnably, or get hopelessly lost along the way? The answer, to all of this, in a word, is yes.
Everything I’ve gotten right I’ve gotten wrong first. And this is how I learn best: by fucking up.
But I am quick to react, to reassess, and to try another way. I do not get bogged down in error, or too heavily layered in it. I let it sting me, sometimes in the ass, but only once. And I will not try to crack open a coconut ever again with a ceramic knife, because it is, by all the evidence available to me, a hardly serviceable tool for the job.
I’ve been taught this lesson before, but in a different department. I actually TEACH this very lesson, in brief, to use the BEST tool for the job and not the one an idiot would use. Amazing how I can be exceedingly effective in one department (exercise), but near to incurably defunct in another (opening a fruit and extracting the nectar).
But I am myself a fan of learning lessons the hard way, by especially and royally screwing things up, so long as they are recoverable from, that is. Because these are the kinds of lessons that stick for a long time, that soak deep into your understand, and are unlikely repeated.
The two most recent lessons I’ve learned under the Pat Flynn Method are these:
- If you advertise a fasting retreat as “all meals included”, do not expect people to get the joke, and, even after you explain it them, to chuckle at the nub.
- If you are out a kettlebell refrain from substituting a feline. This lesson is best learned second hand.
By this one might deduce with a certain degree of fairness and confidence that I am something very close to an idiot, and doubtless they would not be far off, but I am at least now a learned idiot, in some regards, and through all my errors have come into many modicums of truth.
15 Valuable Fitness Lessons Learned the Hard Way
I’d like to share a few of those modicums with you now, as they pertain specifically to fitness, strength, and health. [Please note these are not absolute truths (I do not believe any such thing exists, as even the surest truths—the one’s which we’ve refined to the highest possible measure of certainly still contain at some level a residuum of error), but relative truths festooned with flowery and scented opinion.]
All of these rules, and or lessons, I have either been guilty of gravely committing, ignorantly ignoring, or intentionally violating at some time or another. Some are laid out as things you ought to do, others as things you ought not to do, and it is my heartfelt hope that I have made it plain enough for you to decipher the difference.
1. The ketogenic diet is a painful but humorous contradiction. People use it to produce effects prone to attract the opposite sex, but when you finally work yourself into a circumstance, you find its primary effect has been to disable your penis, and there you are.
2. Jogging is inferior to sprinting.
3. It’s virtually impossible to gain muscle when you are only as strong as a Mexican beer, a blonde roast, or the beard of an Irishman—all of which amounts to regularly to the same thing. If you want to gain muscle, gain strength first.
4. All exercises in a program should be accounted for and exhibit a sufficient excuse for being there.
5. Having run a marathon is not an accurate measure of being fit or healthy. My old neighbor Leonard has run a marathon, and has the sticker on his car. He is nearer 300lbs than 290, diabetic, and combs a mullet.
6. Instead of “cardio”, front squat.
7. When selecting a program it is good practice to select one with a clear, discoverable purpose; one that has some show of relevancy toward your goals, that is in the same neighborhood and preferably on the same street.
8. Do not invent lifts wantonly.
9. Exercising “for time” is a mostly childish affair.
10. Seek to use the best tool for the job and to not develop any emotional attachments. If a barbell can get it done quicker than a kettlebell, use a barbell; if bodyweight is superior, very well.
11. Avoid exiting a fast on port wine when you have work to do.
12. Omit needless exercises.
13. Do NOT omit vital exercises.
14. Consistency > Variety
15. Follow a simple, straightforward program
Anything you’d like to add in this list? If there is, let humanity benefit from it, and drop it the comments
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