“Your body is the ground metaphor of your life, the expression of your existence. It is your Bible, your encyclopedia, your life story.”  ~ Gabrielle Roth


Fair trade oil?

I was reminded recently, in my reading of Sebastian Jungar’s masterful Tribe, of the abject irony of “no blood for oil” bumper stickers plastered across foreign-made, petroleum-guzzling clown cars cruising beautifully asphalted US streets.  Crazier still is that most Americans don’t get the irony in that irony.  I guess you’d call that fractal irony.  But whatever, it’s disturbing.

I suppose, though, that it’s not their fault, per se.  If you’ve never been asked by your tribe for a collective sacrifice, then you have no context from which to construct the irony.

I can chide them for not thinking, though; not questioning.

One of the major reasons I gave up my car in lieu of hucking mile after mile in the fixie saddle was exactly this: you can’t just rage against the machine without being an active part of the solution.  Not without being just another armchair asshole, anyway.  And secondly, it’s my firm belief that fitness is the first act of rebellion in the “disease management” economy. In short, you’re either part of the deepening problem, or tilting the scales toward a solution.

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World war II required of its stateside citizens food rationing and victory gardens; the Civil Rights movement featured sit-ins and marches, arrests and firehoses.  In each scenario, the individual within the tribe was asked for some amount of self-sacrifice for the good of the tribe.  It’s the same idea here.  Get your ass fit, opt-out, and starve the beast.

You can start now.  No matter where you are, you can take the first step toward regaining sovereignty over your own health.

Compare and contrast that collective ethos to the sacrifice asked of the citizenry during each subsequent war following WWII. Which is to say, nil.  A me-first, fuck-the-collective mindset that’s been encouraged over the last 60+ years, and epitomized by George Bush’s urging Americans to do their part by getting back out to the mall in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

We can do better.  And quite frankly, we’ll have to if this great American experiment is to survive another couple hundred 4th of Julys.

Heal thyself, harden thyself, change the world –


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Keith Norris is a former standout athlete, a military vet, and an elite strength and conditioning expert with over 35 years of in-the-trenches experience. As a serial entrepreneur in the health and wellness space, he is an owner, co-founder and Chief Development Officer of the largest Paleo conference in the world, Paleo f(x) . As well, Keith is a partner in one of the most innovative lines of boutique training studios in the nation, Efficient Exercise. He’s also a partner in ARXFit training equipment, and a founding member of ID Life. In his spare time, he authors one of the top fitness blogs in the health and wellness sphere, Theory To Practice.


  1. Just don’t let some Austinitenwith a “Coexist” bumper sticker grease you while txt-driving. Multi-trauma will suck you into the belly of the beast more quickly and reliably than the metabolic syndrome.

    • lol… The “coexists” part, anyway. Otherwise, yes: I ride as if I were invisible to anyone else. It’s the only way to survive the mean streets. I highly respect you ER docs, but the last thing I want is to visit you in you natural habitat.


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