An exchange in the comments on MexicanSharpshooter’s article yesterday got me thinking. The slimmed down version is MS told us about a Mises Caucus member who appeared a bit mad at the women he encountered in a dating app. That lead to a discussion about what is, or is not, genetically determined and how to deal with the situation.

I think it’s a variation on “it’s somebody else’s fault” syndrome. Or I tried it once and it didn’t work. In the words of our revered President, “C’mon man!”

We all have gifts. We all perceive our own shortcomings. (Whether others do is a different conversation for a different time.) Far too often, we stop there. I can do this. I can’t do that. That’s just the way I was made.


David Goggins has a 40% rule. When you feel completely tapped out, you actually have 60% of your current ability left. You must reach down inside to find it. Think about it. How often do we just give up because, “I’m done.” You’re done when you choose to be done. There is a reason a workout partner can get you to do a couple more reps, a few more minutes, or staying in the game. It’s not because they are magical, it’s because you suddenly believed you had more in you.

A life lesson I learned as a young adult was the value of persistence. I learned in a context completely divorced from fitness. My lord it was difficult and scary to learn. But it has served me we well for decades.

To start, you do the best with what you got. And then you do some more. Maybe you need to do more of the same thing. Maybe you need to learn new skills. Maybe you need to explore new ideas. You keep moving. Motion takes you toward your goal. Quitting ensures you won’t reach it.

For that frustrated young man, maybe he needed to speak to a few more women. Maybe he needed to learn better social skills. Maybe he needed to meet women somewhere else.

In the fitness realm, another day of sulking that your genes won’t let you get big/complete a marathon/win at [your sport goes here] isn’t going to cut it. Are you really giving your all? Maybe it’s time to do more of what you started. Maybe it’s time to explore better nutrition. Maybe it’s time for a partner. Maybe it’s time for a trainer. Maybe it’s time to explore the out of favor way of doing what you do.


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I went to the San Diego Zoo on Friday with daughter #1. It was a beautiful, sunny day with a light breeze. I couldn’t believe there were a smidgen of people wearing masks. Nearly all of them were, I estimate, between 15 and 25 years old. The social repercussions of the pandemic response are frightening.

This week’s music is for MS’s frustrated acquaintance. (NSFW) There is always something to get you through to better times.