Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Wherein I Torture a Music Analogy

Time- 1:11
distance- 7mi

Yesterday (actually, earlier this morning), I made a comment in this space about how if I wanted more readers I would focus on one topic instead of being widely self-reflective in nature. After reflection, this may sound like kind of a dickish thing to say. To someone, it might sound like I'm taking the piss on some of the more popular bloggers out there, and that couldn't be further from the case. Writers like Swim Bike Mom and The Maple Grove Barefoot Guy, to name two of many (see sidebar) normally stick to one topic and kick its ass all over the internet. Saying I'm not worried about being popular and I'm more worried about being me is kind of like an unsigned punk band claiming Green Day sucks because they signed to a major label. This is obviously not true. Green Day sucks because they write awful music. And both the unsigned punk band and I secretly wish we had half the followers Green Day does.
To stretch the music analogy further, clarify my point, and justify the title of this post, let's look deeper into my pathology, shall we? If I had to pick a band/artist who's career trajectory and choices I would like my triathlon/writing/teaching career to mirror there is only one option.
*Waits while my sister and closest friends roll their eyes and guess correctly without trying*
Mr. Henry Rollins.
Henry first rose to semi-fame as the final and arguably best front man of the California-based punk band Black Flag. A take no shit aggressive but self-reflective madman, Rollins destroyed audiences and himself across the world. During this time he also started doing spoken word shows, a different but no less intense experience. When the mighty Flag broke up Henry got back on the horse and started the Rollins Band, basically rebuilding himself and his music career. He constantly experimented and pushed himself to different places, both geographically and functionally. He's appeared in movies, cartoons, and television shows, always keeping himself busy. He only had one semi-hit, Liar off the album Weight, but he never stopped. Even after putting his music behind him Henry is on the road doing over 200 spoken word shows a year. He doesn't give a crap what anyone says, he does everything he can to stay intense and on point, and he understands self depreciation and humor help you stay within yourself. He also wrote the best fucking thing about working out I've ever read.
I want that focus, that drive, that intensity, and that will to understand myself, break it down, and build it back stronger. I want everyone to come along for the ride, but I'm gonna shout into the dark emptiness if I have to.
Still, thanks for reading. And I know it doesn't seem like it from this post, but I had a really good, pain-free run today.
Here's some Rollins for you.


  1. Whew... glad you got that off your chest! Now get back on the bike!!!

  2. I never followed a blog before, just for the reasons you cite for the popularity of other blogs. I like reading your free-flowing ramblings! Each one brings a little surprise, kinda like finding a new trail in the mountains! But I have to take you to task about Green Day! Songs like "Having a blast" and "Chump" play at the perfect cadence for biking, and are excellent for keeping your mind off the pain during a trainer or treadmill session! I know it's hard for a metal head to admit there might be something good about punk, but you should try it sometime!

    1. You did not read the above bio. Rollins was the front man for the mighty Black Flag, one of the premier punk bands of their day. Green Day is not and never has been punk. If you like their music I'll only tease you a little, but punks they are not. Green Day makes punk music like Michael Bay makes films or Cameron Diaz acts. Yes, they all do it, but none of them do it right or well. I do love me some Dead Kennedys, some Pistols, some Minutemen. Dirtbag knows punk.

  3. Just don't knock yourself out while transitioning to the bike...he can have that story all to himself....

  4. First show - Black Flag at the Channel in Boston. 1985 I think. Scared the bejesus out of me at the time but was basically first building block of a way of life I still follow today, tempered (but in no way altered beyond recognition) by marriage, kids, a mortgage, a (hopefully) general increase in intellect and not being 15 anymore, of course...

    Hows that for a run-on sentence?

    1. That's badass. Missed Black Flag, but seeing the Rollins Band for the first time changed how I look at concert experiences forever.

  5. I stand corrected! But, I still say the driving, fast rhythms of GD is more conducive to to biking cadence than heavy metal OR hard core punk!