Dan John: Wandering Weights, Issue # 300

Wandering Weights
Our Epic Journey Through All Things Heavy, Issue # 300

This is issue number 300.
For almost six years, I have sent Laree (the greatest human of our time) [Editor’s note: I’ve always thought exaggeration should be allowed for anyone who can go 300 straight weeks without a miss.] these little compilations and she makes my ramblings look coherent and reasoned. I can’t thank her enough.
I have written these in planes, subways, hotels and beaches. I have never missed a week and I think that streak is going to continue. I have worked on these at funerals and weddings, in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health.
I try to keep these light and informative. I often notice that something will catch my attention and I will deep dive on it for months at a time. This isn’t a dissertation, so I am free to open any pockets of information and look around a bit.
Much of this is selfish: I truly enjoy the process of learning and exploring. I enjoy being confused about something at first and, ideally, soon mastering the concepts. And, for 300 editions, I think it has been fun.
There is no fee for WW and nothing, save interest, is expected in return. I try not to shill products here; rather, I strive to reach out and be part of the solution.
But, speaking of shilling…
Attempts: Essays in Fitness, Health, Longevity and Easy Strength is finally available. You can find it here.
I enjoyed doing the audio for this book. I was happy with the reasoning and the stories…I share a lot of stories here.
Speaking of talking, it’s been a busy podcast season.
I had a podcast with ANOTHER Patrick!! This was a delightful discussion on a perfect Sunday morning.
This was a nice podcast with Harrison and Michael…we are focused more on BJJ and longevity, but I think there are some gems here.
Each week, I sit down with Pat Flynn. This was a fun discussion.
This week on danjohnuniversity.com:
Here’s your link to Episode 55 of the Dan John Podcast.
Dan has been making several short videos for us every week. Here are a few that were popular from last week:
Up To 25 Sets
3 Sets of 8 Make Me Sore
Easy Strength Warm-Ups
Have a great week!
Let’s go around the internet. I read this article twice and decided that this paragraph is something that has been discussed here at WW for a while.

Getting cold, working out hard, and going hungry every once in a while all engage what Sinclair calls our body’s survival circuit, wherein sirtuins tell cells to boost their defenses in order to keep the organism (you) alive.

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Everything in this article seems to link up with truths from strength and conditioning. We do this, the first point, in the gym daily…and the rest are pretty spot on also.

1. The start to successful cooking is mise en place.
Mise en place is just a fancy term for having everything prepped, organized, and ready to go before you start. This means chopping all of your veggies, measuring out your spices, and having all of your equipment ready to go and then turning on the stove or oven. Taking the time to set yourself up for success results in better, more delicious food. In culinary school we would dedicate hours to prepping for the day ahead, making sure we had everything we needed to be successful.
Even if you’re not spending eight solid hours in the kitchen, you gain a lot by reading the recipe in full, measuring out all of the ingredients into prep bowls, and gathering your tools, pots, and pans before you start cooking. It might seem obvious, but it’s still one of the biggest lessons that culinary school stresses, and I’d no longer start a recipe without doing it.

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I thought this was a good article and I found that including an “anti-inflammatory” in the diet suggestions was interesting.

A “pro-sleep” bedtime snack is a small amount of complex carbohydrates and protein, such as wholegrain cereal with milk, or toast with peanut butter, says Fischer. An “anti-inflammatory” diet favouring fruits, vegetables, lean protein, nuts, seeds and healthy fats (and limiting processed foods, red meats and alcohol) has been shown to improve sleep apnea.
As for exercise, although being active during the day aids sleep, anything strenuous is to be avoided before bedtime. A lot of advice for preventing night-time “awakenings” falls under the umbrella of what has come to be known as “good sleep hygiene”: restrict the bedroom to sleep and sex, ban screens emitting blue light, keep to regular bedtimes and so on.
Our bedrooms – even our beds – have come to double as home cinemas, offices, “a dining room, maybe,” says the sleep consultant Maryanne Taylor. “You would be amazed at how significant that is for sleep. You’re training to associate your bed with wakefulness.” For that reason, if you do struggle to fall back asleep on waking up during the night, the advice is to get up for a bit. “Don’t just lie there – it’s counterproductive.”
So, too, is looking at the clock, especially if it doubles as your phone. “As soon as your brain has registered that it’s 2 a.m., you convince yourself that that’s your lot,” says Taylor. Such worry loops might be waking you up in the first place.

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I have always thought that Steve Martin, the comedian, is underappreciated as a writer. His book on stand-up comedy was a marvel and I took his online course. This tribute to Carl Reiner is fantastic.

I’ve known only two perfect people in my life. One is that son of a bitch Martin Short; the other is Carl Reiner.
I met Carl in 1979 when I asked him to direct my first film, “The Jerk.” Carl was the go-to comedy director of the day, having made hits like “Oh, God!” as well as respected art fare like “Where’s Poppa?” Carl said yes, and I was thrilled. Exhausted by my previous 10 years on the road and a bit personally lost, I would now get to hole up face-to-face with Carl Reiner while we worked on a movie script. Rather than hibernating in my barely furnished condominium — the road had left my personal life bereft — I would hang out at his home on Rodeo Drive, where the sofas and pillows held indented impressions representing years of family and friends.
I was a novice film actor-writer wannabe, and I got lessons right away. Minutes after I arrived, he opened the script and said, “Here’s the first thing I do.” He started going through page by page making occasional marks. I said, “What are you doing?” He said, “I’m changing all the nights to days.” Carl was saving cast and crew the pain of unnecessary night shoots, where your body clock is severely whiplashed, as though you’ve taken a quick weekend round trip to China.

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I didn’t like the movie, The Blues Brothers, but, I know, “I get it.” I’m not a car crash guy, so I just found the movie hilarious…then tedious. It’s the same issue I have with the movies that are now owned by the mouse but used to be comics: The movies are great until the 45-minute fight scene…that doesn’t move the needle on the story at all. This review of The Blues Brothers is going to make me watch it again: Dan Aykroyd and John Landis: How We Made The Blues Brothers.

We lost John one night. But it wasn’t because he was high, it was because he was hungry and didn’t like what was available to eat on set. I couldn’t find him anywhere. Finally, I saw this path going through a parking lot and into a nearby neighbourhood so I followed it. The neighbourhood was dark except for one house. I knock on the door and say, “Excuse me, we’re shooting a movie and missing one of our actors.” The guy goes, “Oh, Belushi? He came in about an hour ago, raided my fridge and crashed on my couch.”
At the time, cocaine was a currency. For some of the crew working nights, it was almost like coffee. I never liked it myself but I wasn’t going to police others’ behaviour. We drove John Landis crazy. Sometimes he didn’t know whether we were going to show up for work after the parties, but Belushi was a professional and there was no way he wouldn’t come through.
Southern cinemas didn’t want to screen the film because of the African American artists but when it became a hit they opened up and people got to see it. It acts as cultural preservation. We made sure the writers of the material kept their publishing rights. John and I took performers’ rights only. Every one of those songs we recorded remunerated the original artists 100% due to album sales. It was an ethical decision and the songwriters today and their estates have benefited from it.

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300 editions. I hope you have enjoyed them. And until next week, keep on lifting and learning.


For your quick access link, here’s Dan’s full OTP page, including all of his articles, books, lectures and videos, all in one place.

The Sword in the Stone, Part 153

For clarity:

“What is my mission in life? You might think it a humble one, considering my size, but I find it amusing. I am antipathetic to fleas.”

Let’s pick up on the story:

All the trees laughed at this-it resulted in a splendid summer that year-and decided to go on with their dance. It was a sort of Indian dance, in which they moved their bodies but not their feet, and a very graceful one it was. The Wart watched while the whole troop of them rippled their twigs like serpents, or made slow ritual gestures about their heads and bodies with the larger boughs. He saw how they grew big and lusty in their dancing, how they threw their arms out towards heaven in an ecstasy of being alive. The younger trees tired first. The little fruit trees stopped waving, hung their weary heads for a moment, then fell down on the ground. The big ones moved more slowly, faltered and fell one by one, till only Oak was left. He stood with his chin sunk upon his chest, kept upright by his mighty will, thinking of the lovely dance which now was over. He sighed and looked upwards to Athene, stretched out his bare arms sorrowfully to her, to ask her why, and then he also fell on sleep.

End quote
“Fell on sleep.”
Not “fell asleep.” I never understood this. Why is Oak sorrowful? What is the “why?” In the next line, we begin the Dream of the Stones, but this has always puzzled me.
No matter. The lovely dance is over.

DanWandering Weights is published each Wednesday by On Target Publications


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