Strokes Of Luck And Clusterf*cks (2020 In Review)


As I’ve done in the last few years by the end of December, I wrap up the highlights including my most read articles, most downloaded podcasts, my guest appearances on other podcasts and, of course, every book I consumed that year.

What can I say about this year that hasn’t been said (and said and said) by others far more eloquent than myself? True to the title of this post, there have been amazing things and catastrophically terrible things that have happened in 2020.

The good: RevFit not only survived the shutdowns we came out swinging. What began as a trend to have a banner year for this business since we opened in 2009 will actually finish as still a banner year, despite what happened with shutdowns in the spring. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: It’s because of our clients. At best, I opened a business that gave people the opportunity to not only be themselves but to do their damnedest at improving themselves. The rest of the “magic” is by our clients alone. They are the lifeblood of RevFit. Credit as well goes to my staff. In 2020, that would be Emily Blidy, David Cameron and Mike Roder. I could not have survived this year and every curveball it threw without them. Thank YOU.

Also on the good, my wife and I, after 11 years of being together turned a pivotal corner in our marriage. We spoke about it when she was a guest on my podcast a few months ago. I feel as if Marissa and I have gone from one difficult/traumatic circumstance to another for as long as we’ve been together. How you manage those problems is, I think, what makes or breaks a couple. It’s amazing what you “learn” about someone when you open your eyes/ears and listen and see. Marissa, I credit you: “A little different, a lot better” (Sorry folks, it’s an inside story…)

The bad: I saw a lot of great trainers and fitness facilities either close up shop or have to leave this industry. That is heartbreaking to me. I know how hard it is to survive in the fitness industry and some truly great coaches could not outlive the devastation of the pandemic and the shutdowns.

Also, due to the virus, I had to go through some very lengthy spans of time not seeing my son, Jackson. His mother and I, felt it was not in his best interest to open up anymore exposure than necessary to him, so while we have definitely had time with Jax this year, it has not been as much as we’re accustomed to and the holidays have not been the same without him. I know it’s all a blip on the radar but it’s tough, as a father, to not see your kids as often as you’d like. Someday (hopefully soon) this will pass and we can go back to “normal” but right now, his Mom and I agreed a little bit of distance might be best for the time being.

My wife also lost her grandmother this year. Not to COVID, mind you, but some other health issues that came up. This will be her first series of holidays to get through since her grandmother passed.

Lastly, something you’ll read about again in just a few, was the loss of one of our RevFit family members. Terry Waye passed away suddenly from a heart attack and I am still not quite processing that he is gone. It was, without question, the most devastating news I heard this year and I can only imagine the grief his wife and sons are experiencing.

On that note, let’s go for the lists:

My Top 5 Most Read Articles of 2020.

I should be thrilled when one of my articles completely shatters the reads and shares of others. On one hand, I am happy that the number 1 spot was so widely read but I had to lose someone I cared very much about to write it. I can’t even read it again myself. It’s too upsetting. However, it came from the heart and it came with his wife’s blessing. My post about Terry Waye took the top spot by a landslide.

  1. I Remember…(This One’s For Terry)
  2. The Introverted Personal Trainer’s Guide To Better Networking
  3. Life, When You Loved Me
  4. Weight Loss Begins With The Battle For Your Mind
  5. What Will You Do With The Time You Have Left? (Re-visited)

My Top 5 Most Downloaded Podcasts of 2020.

1.) (Episode 230) Tom Venuto: Getting Brilliant At The Basics

2.) (Episode 231) Susan Niebergall: The 6 Biggest Fitness Mistakes Middle Aged Women Make

3.) (Episode 248) Josh Hillis: “Lean & Strong”

4.) (Episode 233) Mike Doehla & Jay Woith: Calories, Comparisons and Self Awareness

5.) (Episode 228) Mark Zarate: This Is The Time

My Podcast Appearances in 2020

I’m always terribly grateful to be invited as a guest on someone else’s podcast. It’s an honor to be considered when there are really some fantastic coaches out there to be picked and some folks give me a nod as well. Thank you to everyone who invited me on, and as always, I hope the content and discussion help someone out there.

  1. With Adam Willis on The Empowered Body Podcast
  2. With Leigh Martinuzzi on The Hidden Why Podcast
  3. With Julie Tussey on The Julie Tussey Show (first appearance in 2020)
  4. With Mark Zarate on the Cool, Calm & Chaotic Podcast
  5. With Chris Kershaw on The Grafters Podcast
  6. With Paul Brodie on the Get Published Podcast
  7. With Julie Tussey on The Julie Tussey Show (second appearance in 2020)

The Books I Consumed In 2020

I take books in via physical (handheld) consumption and through audiobooks. I have always read at a frantic pace and if COVID has any silver linings, it’s that I definitely got more reading in this year than normal. I also got into a series of books that led to a higher rate of consumption as well: the 33 1/3 series. This is a collection of books where an author selects an album in history and writes a full tome on it. The books average between 100-150pgs in length and I can normally conquer one in a day. Some of them are great, some are not. Because my mind works in strange ways, I started at the beginning of the series and have been working my way diligently through them. I read no more than 10 of them a month and by the end of this year, I will be roughly through half of the series. I normally hotlink the books with a place to purchase but I read so many that I just thought I’d list them this time. If you see something of interest, please check out your local bookseller or book website of choice and support the author by purchasing a copy for yourself.

1-A Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham

2-Simply Bourbon by Bob Davidson

3-He’s A Porn Addict…Now What? by Tony Overbay and Joshua Shea

4-Toddlers Are A**holes (It’s Not Your Fault) by Bunmi Laditan

5-Good And Mad by Rebecca Traister

6-Gods At War by Kyle Idleman

7-Radical Candor by Kim Scott

8-Incognito: The Secret Lives Of The Brain by David Eagleman

9-The Eating Instinct by Virginia Sole-Smith

10-The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart

11-Fanatic! by Henry Rollins

12-The Body Book by Cameron Diaz and Sandra Bark

13-Romantic Violence: Memoirs of an American Skinhead by Christian Picciolini

14-Deaf Republic by Ilya Kaminsky

15-The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

16-One Two Another by Tim Burgess

17-The Midnight Line by Lee Child

18-Habits Of A Champion by Dana Cavalea

19-On Bowie by Rob Sheffield

20-ACT Made Simple by Russ Harris

21-The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

22-Gutless by Christian Finn

23-On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

24-Maybe You Should Talk To Someone by Lori Gottlieb

25-On Time: A Princely Life In Funk by Morris Day and David Ritz

26-Manage Your Day-To-Day by 99U

27-Herd: How To Change Mass Behaviour By Harnessing Our True Nature by Mark Earls

28-A Book Of Common Prayer by Joan Didion

29-More Fun In The New World: The Unmaking and Legacy of LA Punk by John Doe and Tom DeSavia

30-Horror Stories by Liz Phair

31-The Wealthy Fit Pro’s Guide To Getting Clients and Referrals by Jonathan Goodman and Mike Doehla

32-The Moral Animal by Robert Wright

33-The Core 4 by Steph Gaudreau

34-On Writing by Stephen King

35-The Confidence Gap by Russ Harris

36-The Female Brain by Louann Brizendine

37-Territorial Rights by Muriel Sparks

38-The Supermale by Alfred Jarry

39-A Liberated Mind by Steven C. Hayes

40-Go Ahead In The Rain: Notes To A Tribe Called Quest by Hanif Abdurraqib

41-The Fitness Chef by Graeme Tomlinson

42-The Intimacy Struggle by Janet G. Woititz

43-The Future Of Feeling by Kaitlin Ugolik Phillips

44-The Way Of Men by Jack Donovan

45-Diet Recovery 2 by Matt Stone

46-The Long Distance Leader by Kevin Eikenberry and Wayne Turmel

47-Stay Fanatic! Vol. 1 by Henry Rollins

48-Unplugged by Brian Mackenzie, Andy Galpin and Phil White

49-The Gynae Geek by Dr. Anita Mitra

50-Bad Blood by John Carreyou

51-The Club King by Peter Gatien

52-The Names Of The Dead by Kevin Wignall

53-Who Killed Mister Moonlight? Bauhaus, Black Magick and Benediction by David J. Haskins

54-The Art Of Gathering by Priya Parker

55-The Turn Of The Key by Ruth Ware

56-Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls by Jes Baker

57-The Beautiful Ones by Prince

58-Forties On Fire by Kathryn Kos

59-Talking To Girls About Duran Duran by Rob Sheffield

60-Ham On Rye by Charles Bukowski

61-Bourbon: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of an American Whiskey by Fred Minnick

62-The Jazz Ear: Conversations Over Music by Ben Ratliff

63-The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks

64-What You Did by Claire McGowan

65-Key Person Of Influence by Daniel Priestley

66-Hard Listening: The Greatest Rock Band Ever (Of Authors) Tells All by Various Authors

67-Lean & Strong by Josh Hillis

68-Palaces by Simon Jacobs

69-Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott

70-Eat Me: The Food And Philosophy Of Kenny Shopsin by Kenny Shopsin and Carolynn Carreno

71-Becoming A Supple Leopard by Kelly Starrett and Glen Cordoza

72-Fitness Hacks For Over 50 by K. Aleisha Fetters

73-The Boatman’s Daughter by Andy Davidson

74-My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

75-Hard To Handle: The Life and Death of The Black Crowes by Steve Gorman with Steven Hyden

76-The Beck Diet Solution by Judith S. Beck

77-Punk Rock: An Oral History by John Robb

78-The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

79-Raise High The Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour, An Introduction by J.D. Salinger

80-King Warrior Magician Lover by Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette

81-The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

82-33 1/3: Dusty In Memphis by Warren Zanes

83-33 1/3: Forever Changes by Andrew Hultkrans

84- 33 1/3: Pet Sounds by Jim Fusili

85-33 1/3: Harvest by Sam Inglis

86-The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge

87-33 1/3: The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society by Andy Miller

88-33 1/3: Meat Is Murder by Joe Pernice

89-33 1/3: The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn by John Cavanagh

90-33 1/3: Abba Gold by Elisabeth Vincentelli

91-How To Be Ultra Spiritual by JP Sears

92-33 1/3: Electric Ladyland by John Perry

93-Hacking Whiskey by Aaron Goldfarb

94-Eat Their Lunch by Anthony Iannarino

95-33 1/3: Sign ‘O’ The Times by Michaelangelo Matos

96-Among The Thugs by Bill Buford

97-33 1/3: Unknown Pleasures by Chris Ott

98-Cured: The Tale Of Two Imaginary Boys by Lol Tolhurst

99-Give Yourself More by Georgie Fear and K. Aleisha Fetters

100-Chapter And Verse by Bernard Sumner

101-Clothes Clothes Clothes Music Music Music Boys Boys Boys by Viv Albertine

102-To Throw Away Unopened by Viv Albertine

103-33 1/3: The Velvet Underground and Nico by Joe Harvard

104- 33 1/3: Let It Be by Steve Matteo

105-Life, Animated by Ron Suskind

106- 33 1/3: Live At The Apollo by Douglas Wolk

107- Fair Warning by Michael Connelly

108- 33 1/3: Aqualung by Allan Moore

109-33 1/3: OK Computer by Dai Griffiths

110-The War For Kindness by Jamil Zaki

111-33 1/3: Let It Be by Colin Meloy

112-33 1/3: Led Zeppelin IV by Erik Davis

113-33 1/3: Exile On Main St. by Bill Janovitz

114-Set The Boy Free by Johnny Marr

115-Them: Why We Hate Each Other And How We Heal by Ben Sasse

116-The Bourbon Bible by Eric Zandona

117-Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together In The Cafeteria by Beverly Daniel Tatum

118-There There by Tommy Orange

119-Drunk by Ben Stearns

120-Everything Is Combustible by Richard Lloyd

121-Mindfulness & Acceptance for Treating Eating Disorders & Weight Concerns by Ann Haynos, Evan Forman, Meghan Butryn and Jason Lillis

122-The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis

123-Eat Less and Move More: My Journey by Paul G. Brodie

124-Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

125-The Dichotomy Of Leadership by Jocko Wilink and Leif Babin

126-Things In Jars by Jess Kidd

127-The Drop Edge Of Yonder by Rudolph Wurlitzer

128-The Road To Character by David Brooks

129-Rotten: No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs by John Lydon

130- 33 1/3: Ramones by Nicholas Rombes

131- 33 1/3: Armed Forces by Franklin Bruno

132-Blue Moon by Lee Child

133- 33 1/3: Murmur by J. Niimi

134-Anger Is An Energy: My Life Uncensored by John Lydon

135- 33 1/3: Grace by Daphne A. Brooks

136- 33 1/3: Endtroducing… by Eliot Wilder

137- 33 1/3: Kick Out The Jams by Don McLeese

138- 33 1/3: Low by Hugo Wilcken

139-Playing Changes: Jazz For A New Century by Nate Chinen

140- 33 1/3: Born In The U.S.A. by Geoffrey Himes

141- 33 1/3: Music From Big Pink by John Niven

142- 33 1/3: In The Aeroplane Over The Sea by Kim Cooper

143-Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

144-The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa

145-The Girl With The Louding Voice by Abi Dare

146-Glitter Up The Dark: How Pop Music Broke The Binary by Sasha Geffen

147-Little Weirds by Jenny Slate

148-Between The World And Me by Ta-Nehesi Coates

149-Manifesto For A Moral Revolution by Jacqueline Novogratz

150-Attempts by Dan John

151-Haints Stay by Colin Winnette

152-The Body: A Guide For Occupants by Bill Bryson

153- 33 1/3: Paul’s Boutique by Dan LeRoy

154- 33 1/3: Doolittle by Ben Sisario

155- 33 1/3: There’s A Riot Going On by Miles Marshall Lewis

156- 33 1/3: The Stone Roses by Alex Green

157- 33 1/3: In Utero by Gillian G. Gaar

158- 33 1/3: Highway 61 Revisited by Mark Polizzotti

159- 33 1/3: Loveless by Mike McGonigal

160- 33 1/3: The Who Sell Out by John Dougan

161- 33 1/3: Bee Thousand by Marc Woodworth

162- 33 1/3: Daydream Nation by Matthew Stearns

163-Friends And Strangers by J. Courtney Sullivan

164-The New Way To Eat and Get Slim by Donald G. Cooley

165-Blacktop Wasteland by S.A. Cosby

166-Violence Girl by Alice Bag

167-Fitness Science Explained by Michael Matthews & James Krieger

168-Menopocalypse by Amanda Thebe

169-Change Maker by John Berardi

170-Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig

171-It Doesn’t Have To Be Crazy At Work by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

172-Me And White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad

173-On Grand Strategy by John Lewis Gaddis

174- 33 1/3: Court And Spark by Sean Nelson

175- 33 1/3: Use Your Illusion I & II by Eric Weisbard

176-Consider This by Chuck Palahniuk

177- 33 1/3: Songs In The Key Of Life by Zeth Lundy

178- 33 1/3: The Notorious Byrd Brothers by Ric Menck

179- 33 1/3: Trout Mask Replica by Kevin Courrier

180-The Autobiography Of Malcolm X by Malcolm X

181- 33 1/3: Double Nickels On The Dime by Michael T. Fournier

182- 33 1/3: Aja by Don Breithaupt

183- 33 1/3: People’s Instinctive Travels And The Paths Of Rhythm by Shawn Taylor

184- 33 1/3: Rid Of Me by Kate Schatz

185- 33 1/3: Achtung Baby by Stephen Catanzarite

186-Compete Works, Selected Letters by Arthur Rimbaud

187-Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion

188-Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris

189-Generation X by Douglas Coupland

190-A 2nd Helping Of Chicken Soup For The Soul by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen

191-Sporting Body, Sporting Mind by John Syer and Christopher Connolly

192-The Time Of The Assassins by Henry Miller

193-The Rapid Fat Loss Handbook by Lyle McDonald

194-What’s Right With You by Barry Duncan

195- 33 1/3: If You’re Feeling Sinister by Scott Plagenhoef

196- 33 1/3: Pink Moon by Amanda Petrusich

197- 33 1/3: Let’s Talk About Love by Carl Wilson

198- 33 1/3: Swordfishtrombones by David Smay

199- 33 1/3: 20 Jazz Funk Greats by Drew Daniel

200- 33 1/3: Horses by Philip Shaw

201- 33 1/3: Master Of Reality by John Darnielle

202-Sweat The Technique by Rakim

203- 33 1/3: Reign In Blood by D.X. Ferris

204- 33 1/3: Shoot Out The Lights by Hayden Childs

205- 33 1/3: Gentlemen by Bob Gendron

206-Hook Point by Brendan Kane

207-The Gallows Pole by Benjamin Myers

208-Voices Of Courage by Mike Domritz

209-The Ultimate Diet 2.0 by Lyle McDonald

210-Resistance by Tori Amos

211-Girl In A Band by Kim Gordon

212-Found Audio by N.J. Campbell

213-Pity The Reader by Kurt Vonnegut and Suzanne McConnell

214-The Deeper The Water The Uglier The Fish by Katya Apekina

215-The Un-Prescription For Autism by Dr. Janet Lintala

216-Leave The World Behind by Rumaan Alam

217-Love Goes To Buildings On Fire by Will Hermès

218- 33 1/3: Rum, Sodomy & The Lash by Jeffrey T. Roesgen

219- 33 1/3: The Gilded Palace Of Sin by Bob Proehl

220- 33 1/3: Pink Flag by Wilson Neate

221- 33 1/3: XO by Matthew LeMay

222- 33 1/3: Radio City by Bruce Eaton

223- 33 1/3: One Step Beyond by Terry Edwards

224-The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom

225- 33 1/3: Illmatic by Matthew Gasteier

226- 33 1/3: Another Green World by Geeta Dayal

227- 33 1/3: Zaireeka by Mark Richardson

228- 33 1/3: 69 Love Songs by LD Beghtol

229-The Vine That Ate The South by J.D. Wilkes

230-Bluefishing by Steve Sims

231-Be Calm by Jill P. Weber

232-Remarkable Retail by Steve Dennis

233-Coaching Rules by Brendon Rearick

234-Iron John by Robert Bly

235-Last Exit To Brooklyn by Hubert Selby, Jr.

236-Remain In Love by Chris Frantz

237-Good Food, Bad Diet by Abby Langer

238-Yes Is The Answer. What Is The Question? by Cameron Mitchell

239-The Box Man by Kobo Abe

240-Childhood Disrupted by Donna Jackson Nakazawa

241-Who’s Your Gladys by Marilyn Suttle and Lori Jo Vest

242-What You Do Is Who You Are by Ben Horowitz

243- 33 1/3: Facing Future by Dan Kois

244-How To Have Impossible Conversations by Peter Boghossian and James Lindsay

245- 33 1/3: Wowee Zowee by Bryan Charles

246-Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey

247- 33 1/3: Highway To Hell by Joe Bonomo

248- 33 1/3: Spiderland by Scott Tennent

249- 33 1/3: Pretty Hate Machine by Daphne Carr

250- 33 1/3: Song Cycle by Richard Henderson

I’m capping this off with one of my favorite client pictures of the year. Don had just lost 50 pounds when we took this picture and it was a little bit emotional for each of us. Of course, it’s 2020 and sadly, we have to be mindful of who we hug these days. But this was a big deal to Don and myself. It will be nice when we (collectively) can get back to a day when you can hug each other without a hint of fear.

Take care of yourself, take care of others. In the meantime, I’m signing off on the 2020 recap with the words we live by around here…

“We Make Great People Greater”

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