September 19, 2001
I'll begin with an apology for
using this space to let loose a few of my own pent up feelings.
I don't pretend to be any great commentator on National Issues
nor do I delude myself into believing I'm about to create
any work of literature. I just find it difficult to attempt,
even for a moment to ignore the situation we as a people are
We have seen the absolute worst.
We have witnessed evil in its most hideous form. While movies,
books, and TV shows regularly brought images of mass destruction
before our eyes, never has it prepared us for the impact and
the threat of September 11, 2001.
I'm writing this on September 19,
just 8 days after the Towers fell. The stories I'm hearing,
not only from the news, but from people I know, are so disturbing
I'm not sure where my emotions are going at any given moment.
My Mom went to the dentist two days ago. She lives in NY and
was trying to go about her routine, trying to find some sense
of normalcy, keeping an appointment she had. Everyone in the
dental office was in tears. The dentist was delivering dental
records of his patients who had to be identified in the carnage.
These were neighbors of mine . . . people who grew up in the
same city as I did. They did nothing to deserve this yet the
actions of some deranged maniacal terrorists have snuffed
out their lives. It touches everyone.
Personally, I'm sad. I'm still
in disbelief. The World Trade Center, the buildings that are
the first thing I see when I fly into LaGuardia airport giving
me a sense of being back in my hometown . . . they're gone.
Once I get past the sadness, and the disbelief, I find I'm
angry. I want to help. I feel helpless to do so. I'm frustrated,
I'm enraged, and I want to understand why something like this
can occur, even in the mind of another human being. I want
revenge, I want justice, I want peace. Those emotions get
all jumbled around and then they all get pushed aside by the
"appreciation of every living moment" emotions. That's where
I am right now. Appreciating the fact that I'm still here
. . . that you're still here . . . and that the only way we
can be defeated is to wave the white flag. The ability to
maintain normalcy is in itself a victory.
a nation, we've been bruised, but not beaten. In trying to
maintain that outlook . . . to go about life as usual . .
. nothing feels quite right. Sure, I can go through the motions,
conduct my seminars and consulting jobs, and respond to e-mails.
It's just that everything seems so trivial compared to the
enormity of this attack on America, on human life, and on
freedom. There is something I've noticed however. Through
the ashes has risen an intense outpouring of Love. Yes, there's
a sense of patriotism beyond that which this nation's seen
in my lifetime, but on a more personal level, people are concerned
for their own. They reach out desperately to mourn, to share,
and to give to those they love.
We've heard the heart wrenching
phone messages from those who were only moments from the end
of their lives . . . they needed to say goodbye and tell those
close to their hearts how much they meant to them. Mothers
and fathers all over the country ran to pull their children
out of school . . . just to be with them. It brings home a
sense of what's really important. The number of phone calls
I received from people asking if my family is OK was staggering.
I have such appreciation for the caring of friends and loved
ones, and that's why, in this time of despair and mourning,
I have been able to come full circle and find my way back
to doing what I do . . . sharing fitness knowledge.
Last week my radio show was cancelled,
and rightly so. I wouldn't have been able to do a show about
anything other than the tragedy we witnessed. Tomorrow I'll
be taping a show which may or may not air this week . . .
and I've agonized over how to put my feelings aside, or at
least put those negative emotions aside, and get on the air,
doing what I do best . . . motivating people to change their
lives in positive ways. I came to realize, what I share with
people is not a quest to go to a health club, nor is it a
push toward vanity, but more than anything else, it's caring.
it's tragic beyond description to watch people perish unjustly,
and I don't only mean when they perish due to massive crimes
against humanity. If you've been listening to my show for
any period of time, you've heard me address the number of
deaths from weight loss drugs, from "fat burners," from excessive
cosmetic surgery, and even more widespread, from the degenerative
ailments and diseases Americans face only because they didn't
understand how to take control of their bodies. This gradual
death of spirit and body should not be lessened in its enormity
and its impact because a larger more senseless tragedy emerged.
That's what brought me here . .
. back . . . to do my show, to write my articles, and to continue
to spread a very important message. If love is in fact what's
most important, if our deep rooted primary concerns are for
being able to help and share with those we most care about
. . . we are in fact cheating ourselves and others by not
being the Best We Can Be. It isn't selfish to want for fitness
or physical excellence, but it should be an obligation, as
the more fit you are, the greater your abilities to provide
for and share with the family members who depend on you.
So, tomorrow, I'll tape a show
(which you might have already heard by the time you read this),
and I'll talk about the dangers of ephedrine, I'll talk about
the mistake of believing exercise is for other people, or
the danger that lies in believing you simply don't have time.
No, I don't believe I'll change the world tomorrow, but if
I can help a few people realize the important link between
that which I profess . . . health and fitness . . . and the
inherent value of our time spent on this earth, I'll sleep
well knowing I did some good.
It's hard to find meaning in the
good that we do after we are overtaken by an atrocity, but
at some level we must recognize evil for what it is. It's
the antithesis of good, thus it allows for a definition for
morality, for caring, and for making a difference. Without
a concept of evil, we wouldn't have so many words to describe
human kindness. Although we will never find any justification
in this disaster taking place, we can grow strong from knowing
that we somehow grew stronger, individually and collectively.
Defeat is only in dissention or
surrender. As Americans we have always treasured our individuality,
our freedoms, and our ability to remain committed to our personal
beliefs. When a crime however is perpetrated upon the whole
of a community, there are two options. Surrender or fight,
and in order for the "fight" to be effective, it must be undertaken
with the wholeheartedness of that community. Internal conflict
weakens any campaign. I personally become extremely distressed
when I find neighbors, Americans, doing battle with each other
because their Gods have different names or their skin colors
are a few shades apart. For us to rise to a higher level of
good, we must recognize the virtues in mutual betterment,
we must take responsibility and control for our health, for
our loved ones, for our futures, and for us to win this war
on terrorism, we have to unite, and as a nation living up
to its name, The "United" States, we can win, and grow, and
Thanks for letting me use this
forum to vent, to let off a bit of steam, and to justify,
in my own mind, why it's important, even at this time, to
continue to spread a very important message of truth. Don't
push self-caring priorities aside, don't lose the desire for
physical excellence, and don't abandon the program you started
out of a sense of their importance being somehow diminished.
These virtues and actions have earned a rightful place at
the top of your priority list, as they empower you to act
on everything that follows.
Wishing you love, fitness, and
Please send me
your comments regarding this Update. Help me understand how
your life has been affected and how this horrific event has
impacted your outlook on health and well being. I have posted
some comments from both
fitness professionals and individuals with varied commitments
to fitness. Read their comments.
I'll continue to update them over the next few days and weeks.
I encourage you to e-mail your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
or use the standard contact form.
I will continue to update the website with feedback I receive.
Note: As hard as this may be to
believe, there are those who will capitalize on tragedy and
several fraudulent telemarketers have been soliciting money
under the pretense of disaster relief. I encourage everyone
to give in any way they can, but be certain if your giving
is financial in nature, you donate to a legitimate organization.
The banner at the top of this page links directly to the website
for the American Red Cross.
For other legitimate options for contributions, visit http://www.helping.org/
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