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Better Not Shout, Better Not Cry, You Better Just Squat, and I'm Tellin' You Why.

Holidays wreak havoc on training. Humbug. I've always found it interesting that one of the ways we celebrate our lives is by disrupting them. That's probably salutary--breaking up the rhythm of our existence can be instructive and refreshing and restorative. But, as any middle-management pointy-haired boss will tell you, these discontinuities in our working rhythm are usually not terribly productive. This goes for training, too. Travel, accommodations for family, shopping, partying, special events--they all tend to elbow our normal routines out of the way for a month or two, and make it just a bit more difficult to perpetuate the patterns that make us productive. This can be frustrating, and I am in no way advocating that you surrender your training to the holidays (or any other life demands, short of the catastrophic). But I want to remind you, this holiday season, of what I often say: You train to live, not the other way around. Of course, some of you do seem to live to train. (Looking at you, Carson.) But most of us mere mortals are just trying to get strong and stay strong and improve our performance and fitness over time, so we can take that strength and conditioning and fitness into the Arena of Life. Well, the Arena of Life is open for the holidays. And only the strong will survive...or, at least, emerge with their sanity intact, and actually have a good time doing it. It is the strong and the fit who will be the life of the party, who will hoist the grandchildren on their shoulders, who will lug around the heaviest presents, who will eat with the heartiest and healthiest appetites, who will best endure the interminable trips to the mall submerged in a sea of the great unwashed and impolite. And it is the strong who will have the most to look forward to in the year ahead. The strong are useful are harder to break. People who are strong and useful and hard to break have more fun, and more to celebrate, and are more fun to celebrate with. This is not your blank check. I want you and expect you to show up to train on the platform during the holiday season as much as you can, and I want you to bring your all. If you make every single session, I won't worry that you're a Grinch (which isn't an altogether bad thing in my book anyway). I want you and expect you to make healthy eating choices, go easy on the eggnog, drive carefully, sleep well, and just go all Lebowski on the small stuff (and it's all small stuff). But humans in all times and cultures have taken time in the Winter to look forward and back, and to celebrate. We seem hard-wired to do it, and so we probably should do it. We train to live, not the other way around, and I want you and expect you to take the hard-won strength and fitness you've worked so hard for all year and go out and live with it.

That's one more thing to celebrate.


And now, in the shamelessly capitalist spirit

of the postmodern holiday tradition, may I suggest a great Holiday present

for that certain over-forty someone?

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