Dan John: Wandering Weights, Issue # 157

Wandering Weights
Our Epic Journey Through All Things Heavy, Issue # 157

From Gray Cook, Training Wheels Don’t Teach Balance: “Have you ever seen a child lean on one training wheel while making a turn? The child learned a behavior that will need to be unlearned. This was not learning to appreciate balance; it was learning to ignore it.” Read more…


I’m typing this from Delta One, Seat 1C, flying home. The nice lady asked if I wanted to upgrade for 65,000 miles. Hmmm. Not long ago, going to Disneyland from Utah, I used 65,000 miles to upgrade for a one-hour flight. This flight is in excess of ten and I have a bed, bar and everything else I can enjoy.

I really enjoyed my trip. The RKC II went so well; I have spent a LOT of time honing and fixing my notes and cheat sheets to the point that “it just flows.” Moreover, Europeans tend to be much more flexible, in both the sense of human nature and human movement, so it makes my task easier.

I’m not sure most people will need to do windmills and bent presses, but learning the steps up to these moves really has value. I teach them literally from the ground up as we start in a prone position. By the time, we “stack it all up,” the movements are fairly easy to learn and master.

Frankly, though, I’m tired. In ten days, I have traveled four and talked six ten-hour days. In addition, there is “everything else.” I still teach online and I have a lot of things to do…like write articles and books and workout.

This trip started off well. I co-taught a workshop with Tim Anderson. He is amazing and he just wrote a blog about our experiences.


4.)  Don’t take yourself seriously.

Dan constantly laughs at himself. He shares his failures. He tells bad jokes. He is the superstar who is not. He doesn’t take himself seriously. He is just there to share from his wealth of knowledge, knowledge that he has accumulated through trails, errors, successes and failures.

5) Care.

Dan’s biggest secret of success is that he cares about people. No joke. Dan started his presentation with a slide that had both his email address and his personal mobile phone number. “If you call me, I’ll answer.”

Who does that? Why would anyone do that?

End quote

I love that guy.

I can’t get myself to decide if I hate or love this next article.


After further analysis, experts concluded that although Martin and her husband overate, their diet was more balanced than they thought.

After indulging in a meal together on-camera, the next day both subconsciously consumed less food, which experts cited as a significant factor in terms of weight gain.

“I love my food,” says Martin. “But maybe there is something in the fact that all my decisions about food are unconscious.

“I eat what I feel like eating and I don’t get too hung up on it.”

End quote

I will let this article “Pass” without comment.


6. Food Allergies

The type of gas your body produces can be an indicator of how your body is reacting to certain food. Take dairy for example, if you are lactose intolerant you may pass a lot of gas after consuming dairy. So much so that it will be a noticeable indicator that something is up.

End quote

There is nothing new under the sun, but I thought this article is true from my life experience. My daughters used to wear sweatsuits in the summer and complain the house was hot.


In fact, as Patel points out, research in this area is so new that we have no idea what’s typical. The only long-term experiments are anecdotal, like mine, and the short-term studies use a range of different temperatures. So while the idea makes perfect sense in theory, no one knows how it’ll work for any individual, or for how long it’ll work.

But everyone agrees on one thing: Gaining weight throughout adulthood, even if it’s just a couple pounds a year, has genuine consequences. The more you gain, and the longer those extra pounds stick around, the higher your risk for diabetes, heart disease, and all the nasty stuff you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy.

If turning your thermostat down to somewhere between “toasty” and “are those your teeth chattering?” simply keeps you from gaining weight year in and year out, that’s a win. Or, as Nadolsky says, “It’s not harmful to be slightly uncomfortable, and you might save some money on energy. Just don’t expect a miracle.”

End quote

I’m seeing a pattern to this week’s articles: I’m not sure about my “feelings” with some of them. This article about mindset…and surgery…seems odd. With a positive mental attitude…and surgery…I can do anything.


Christine Carter’s weight loss secret? Her mindset.

Carter decided she needed to change the way she thought about food and take away its power over her. As she shared on Instagram:

I used to live for the next meal. Like…literally eating lunch I was thinking about what I would eat for dinner. I have learned to enjoy NEW things about food. I’ve learned to love cooking and am finding new ways everyday to make low sugar/carb meals that taste great but don’t keep me from my goals.

Carter says instead of relying on food, she plays the piano and exercises to feel good.

“Cause I learned the hard way that while bad food feels good now…it doesn’t make you feel good in the end,” she posted.

End quote

As usual, until next week, keep lifting and learning!


The argument against early specialization is a strong one, but Chris Holder believes that an early focus on one sport can be beneficial, if done correctly with a dedicated, well thought out strength and conditioning program.

Picking up with “The Sword in the Stone” (Part 15)

Finally!!!! It’s taken me a bit of time, but we are about to really leap into The Sword in the Stone. Our characters literally are about to leap and the magic really happens (in every sense) of our story now.

This will be Wart’s first lesson in power. How does one wield power? The Pike will argue that power is everything and it must be used. As Wart becomes King Arthur, this discussion will be the key to his kingdom.

But…in this selection, we have one more great insight about teaching and learning.

Let’s read (quoting):

“I wish I was a fish,” said the Wart.

“What sort of fish?”

It was almost too hot to think about this, but the Wart stared down into the cool amber depths where a school of small perch were aimlessly hanging about.

“I think I should like to be a perch,” he said. “They are braver than the silly roach, and not quite so slaughterous as the pike are.”

Merlyn took off his hat, raised his staff of lignum vitae politely in the air, and said slowly, “Snylrem stnemilpmoc ot enutpen dna lliw eh yldnik tpecca siht yob sa a hsif?”

Immediately there was a loud blowing of sea-shells, conches and so forth, and a stout, jolly-looking gentleman appeared seated on a well-blown-up cloud above the battlements. He had an anchor tattooed on his stomach and a handsome mermaid with Mabel written under her on his chest. He ejected a quid of tobacco, nodded affably to Merlyn and pointed his trident at the Wart. The Wart found he had no clothes on. He found that he had tumbled off the drawbridge, landing with a smack on his side in the water. He found that the moat and the bridge had grown hundreds of times bigger. He knew that he was turning into a fish.

“Oh, Merlyn,” he cried, “please come too.”

“For this once,” said a large and solemn tench beside his ear, “I will come. But in future you will have to go by yourself. Education is experience, and the essence of experience is self-reliance.”

End quote

It’s obvious from the first reading that Merlyn’s enchantment is simply speaking in reverse. Here you go if you missed it:

“Snylrem stnemilpmoc ot enutpen dna lliw eh yldnik tpecca siht yob sa a hsif?”

Merlyn’s compliments to Neptune and will he kindly accept this boy as a fish?

This phrase is the key: “Education is experience, and the essence of experience is self-reliance.”

Years ago, I wrote this article. I edited out some parts for clarity…I worry my editing skills might not help!

Common Sense in Education (quoting):

It was at this time that I noticed my feet were burning. So, I looked down and realized that I was barefoot. I was barefoot, on the sidewalk in front of my house, in December, at three in the morning, standing in rock salt. And my feet were burning.

It had been a rough week. Tuesday night, Kelly ‘exploded’ with the flu. My wife, Tiffini, and I cleaned and comforted her, then struggled off to the rest of the work week. Thursday night, somewhere around three, Lindsay’s flu came to the surface. As we scrambled to take care of her, my wife handed me a bundle of items to throw in the garbage. Friday is garbage day, so the can was at the curb. It was the Christmas wrapping season, so our can was full. So was our next-door neighbor’s. But, one of our neighbors, a few houses down had room. After I loaded the mess in the trash, I noticed my feet were burning.

Over the past few months, I have dedicated articles to what many consider to be the real keys to an education: the skill of understanding, the ability to synthesize information, and the importance of focus. An important point to keep in mind concerning education is that it should never be limited to the schoolhouse. As Emerson said: ‘The things taught in schools and colleges are not an education, but a means to an education.’ In this article, I wish to discuss a topic that seems lost in modern schools and colleges, yet is a hallowed concept in classic education: common sense. And the guy writing the article doesn’t wear shoes outside in the winter.

Philip Howard’s wonderful book, ‘The Death of Common Sense,’ provides example after example about the silliness of new rules and regulations pumped out by local and federal governments. He explains the rise of homelessness in the United States as a by-product of statutes that make building low cost housing impossible. The late Earl Nightingale used a wonderful example of a real estate agent telling Earl and his wife, ‘This is the kitchen.’ Telling someone ‘this is the kitchen’ or ‘this is the bathroom’ certainly assumes the total loss of common sense in America.

Watching those awful daytime talk shows, one finds that common sense may be dying in America. The ‘easy answer’ and the ‘quick fix’ are often the antithesis to common sense. Pythagoras, the Greek philosopher, gives this common sense advice: ‘Choose always the way that seems best, however rough it may be, and custom will soon render it easy and agreeable.’ To understand that the rough way will soon be the easy way requires some understanding, some guidance, and some community.

I need to be careful about writing this article. Someone may read it and pass a regulation requiring shoes to be worn to bed. Or rule that sidewalks be carpeted. I just wiped my feet off with a towel and went back to my family. It made sense.

End quote

Education is experience, and the essence of experience is self-reliance.

Wart is going to “jump in” to many adventures along his way. This time, Merlyn makes it clear he needs to go it alone in the future.

Here’s the rub: he never does! The late Father James Semple used to love to tell the story of the young boy who decided to go into the big city by himself. He told the family that he was a man and set off to take a train and a bus to see the sights.

His father sat still reading the paper ignoring the boast. The boy got his jacket, paid for the train, hopped on the bus and explored the town.

Hours later, he returned triumphantly. The father was not in the chair.

When, the boy left, Dad hopped up and followed him on his whole adventure….just out of sight. Father Semple used this story to explain so many different things like the Holy Spirit and just good parenting.

Wart will “be alone.” With others. But to learn, he must get some experience.

I miss Father Semple. I miss my Dad.

But, I ‘m not going it alone.


From Gray Cook, Training Wheels Don’t Teach Balance: “Have you ever seen a child lean on one training wheel while making a turn? The child learned a behavior that will need to be unlearned. This was not learning to appreciate balance; it was learning to ignore it.” Read more…

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