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Taking on a Challenge: Is It Worth It?

Over the past 30 days, I've been doing one of these internet meme athletic challenges, in this case the #PlankChallenge.  I'm sure you've seen them.  These are the challenges where someone posts a picture like this: It's pretty easy to see how this works.  You basically just do the prescribed amount of reps/time for the exercise in question for each day, and then announce your progress on social media using the indicated hashtag.   I think these are a great idea, but not necessarily for the reason you think they are. Yes, they help you get in better shape, especially when it's a challenge on a core muscle group like planks above.  That can't be denied.  I will take issue with the amount of rest this particular challenge allows you, however.  Some of these challenges will actually do a hard day, then drop back to an easier day as a rest of sorts... the one I just completed did not do this, as you can see.  That got to be pretty tough in the second ha

How Essential Oils Are Manly

The real man's toolkit: essential oils and duck tape.  "Yeah, I use essential oils." Silence. This is the normal reaction I get why I, as an adult male human, tell other men that I use essential oils instead of things like aspirin, Tums or Rolaids, Ben Gay, or any number of other pharmaceuticals. There's this impression out there that essential oils are girly, I guess, or that they're like most other products that are primarily for making things smell nicer: they're for the ladies. Or even that they're new agey and woo-woo - to be used only when listening to Windham Hill CDs and cleansing your chakras. Real men don't care about smells, right? They thrive on sweat, piss and vinegar. They belch, fart, and otherwise release smells into the air that are simultaneously hilarious and relieving to the body. They get upset because their wives bought decorative soaps and guest towels for the bathroom that they're not allowed to use. They frown a

Your Goals Might Not Be My Goals

I got a tweet to my @Train4AutismCLB account the other day, just out of the blue, that really got me thinking about goals and motivations.  For those who aren't in the autism community, there's a bit of a rift regarding the charity Autism Speaks, which is the biggest, most visible autism charity out there.  Many people who are higher-functioning autistics believe that one of the organization's stated goals of "curing" autism would only take away a facet of their personalities that make them what they are.  Then there are those who would love to have a cure for autism or at least some way to relieve some of the nastier aspects of autism and help their loved ones to have an easier time functioning in today's society.  It's a fine line, no doubt.  But the tweet I got was from someone whose profile said they were an aspie, which is shorthand for someone with Asperger's Syndrome.  This is a high-functioning form of autism where people are very smar