The intersection of Effort, Art and Philosophy, a.k.a. The Worst Fitness Podcast in the World, formerly known as The Dissect Podcast. Hosts Michael Blevins, Kegan Dillon and Mark Twight explore the overlapping worlds of effort, action, art, digital and analog in conversations riddled with innuendo, inside jokes, and occasional insight. If you know, you know. Published weekly, usually.
# 157 — Cancelled
Last October Michael, Kegan and Joe Holmes got together with Billy Innes, who first appeared on the Episode 48 of the podcast, to discuss the risk of speaking one's mind on social media, and how difficult it is — even when mistakes are made by the accusers — for cancel culture to reverse course or admit the wrongness of its righteousness. Billy is an artist and former professional cyclist, whose team still holds the record for the Race Across America, and he was also the director of the U.S. Junior National Team until some unfortunate events in 2020 caused USA Cycling to terminate his employment. Billy describes those events in detail, which should be eye-opening for many, and does not bode well for the future of civil discourse or civility in our society in general.
# 156 — Karen Jarchow
I met Karen Jarchow at Rebecca Rusch's Gravel Camp in June 2019. She was helping out, instructing, guiding, and — as a bike relationship therapist — she almost got me to love my bike again. Her enthusiasm for the bike in contagious, after all, when describing her own relationship to cycling she declared, "I love(d) the sport so much that no matter how hard the crash, I kept getting up and trying again, and again, and again." She has raced fat bikes (2017 Fat Bike World Champion), gravel bikes (2nd at Crusher in the Tushar, and at the Queen's Stage Race [RPI] in 2018), and won the National Ultra Endurance Mountain Bike Race Series on a mountain bike in 2016 while racing with Team Topeak-Ergon USA. Since gravel camp we have shared more conversation than miles while she navigated a career-stalling injury (hip labral tear), divorce, the pandemic, ... 2020 was a doozy, shared with Piney, her two year-old cattle dog. Karen is the founder and owner/operator of the Vail Valley Alternative Sports Academy, a sports academy for kids where she and her instructors use, "cycling to educate a new generation of backcountry users in the basics of environmental stewardship."
# 155 — Charles Martel
Tyr, aka Charles Martel is the Director of Corporate Giving at Black Rifle Coffee Company, a veteran of both military and contracting work who joined us for a conversation about the current state of affairs in his world, our world, and the world. Tyr describes rushing the Third Precinct in Seattle to rescue stranded police personnel in the CHAZ/CHOP, and the natural trajectory of that incident which had been foreseen in literature like Lord Of The Flies, The Beach, Animal Farm, etc. We touched on so-called, inaccurately-defined fascism and the tendency for fascists to battle bad ideas with power — in an attempt to destroy their opponents — instead of communicating better ideas that lead to a more useful, and progressive position. More often than not, these power-dependent individuals are public servants who are actually self servants, and concerned with consolidating power rather than improving quality of life or increasing opportunity for those whom they have been elected to serve. We discussed the unacknowledged risk factors associated with deployed military service of sleep-deprivation, dietary problems, burn pits, RF energy and cancer risk, and how the government relies heavily on contractors because it's an "Easy Button" for them. Charles stated, "It is far more cost-effective to pay someone six figures to do a job for a few years than to invest millions in their (medical coverage and) retirement." And while Mother Jones is talking (ignorant, agenda-driven) shit about the company they are quietly helping veterans through a variety of mechanisms in a way that government and other organizations are unwilling or unable to do. For example, Tyr describes the emerging field of Magnetic Resonance Therapy as it relates to those suffering from TBI, among other conditions, and how BRCC will be installing a MRT clinic at their SLC location, allowing veterans access at no/low cost. Only listen to this wide-ranging conversation if you have an open mind, willing and able to engage with ideas you won't find being addressed by mainstream media and binary, either/or leaders and led.
# 154 — Blair Speed
I met Blair Speed in the wake of great tragedy, two too-short months after her husband, Travis Swanson, was killed in a climbing accident. The words and images and emotion we exchanged in that wake led her to our space, our circle, to the safety of understanding and shared loss that seems to coalesce around the gatherings we sometimes host here. When I invited her to commune with us, she accepted, and replied, "Thank you for giving me something to look forward to when I didn't want to look forward." And how could she look forward, look ahead, to a life without her love, her guide, her protector, lover, teacher, love? How will any of us look ahead once we understand that who we love most deeply may be taken from us in an instant? Why do we count upon a future we only imagine — a future we have been sold as certainty — when we should be drinking the present, slaking our thirst for connection and love and understanding right now? Here and now. Blair does that, now. She is a writer, and a photographer, an antenna, her images communicate beauty, and empathy. Loss shapes her vision, gives her insight to the meaning and weight of the everyday, the hidden moments where our lives play out, where we make and feel connections, where we experience what we might not see until it is gone ... she photographs soul and spirit, she stops time, and preserves time, moments, seeing in subjects what they may not be able to see in themselves. Blair is physical, an athlete, an artist, and a survivor who has much to teach us about life, about living with such rage and love that we maybe, hopefully, never look back and ask, "What if?"
# 153 — Quick Hit
Michael, Kegan and Mark take advantage of a free hour before FYF to talk about how to begin training after lockdown leads to being sedentary, aka the beauty of simply walking, and how the aerobic base built by doing so consistently can lead to other improvements. And then they veered toward the environment and our mistreatment of it — as a species that is a lot like a virus except we are killing the host. Michael's search for compostable packaging led to conversation about corporate entitlement, and capitalizing on the harvest of resources from public land ... and that led to some ideas about the parallels between religion and higher education, student loan forgiveness, and how intentional, organized default on credit cards used to pay for higher education could collapse a system that enriches itself with debt service and keeps employees obedient by leveraging that debt.
# 152 — Social Fast
The topic and use of social media is more of a minefield today than ever and many are examining their relationships with the various platforms. Michael, Kegan and Mark discuss their individual ideas (again) and map out a plan to wean themselves and the NonProphet project off the social media teat.
The various issues addressed begin with the fact the relationships established using these platforms are subject to manipulation by unseen algorithms that result in a non-committal, low-quality way to engage with people. The poor quality of the broadcast (image quality, restricted audience reach, etc.) trains us to unwittingly sacrifice quality for the sake of convenience and that is a contagious characteristic that can infect all creative output.
Finally, from a business perspective, by using social media to reach potential customers, we voluntarily allow a third party to influence not only our messaging but also — again — our relationship with quality, and that refers to production but also to the meaningfulness of the relationships we establish and maintain by way of social media. The radical and likely the best solution is to cut off all use but until we figure out the mechanism to replace this particular addiction, which we believe we have done, then some use is required — the platforms (and our own behavior) have made us that dependent. It's time to flee this fouled nest.