Friday, August 1, 2008

Go Ask Alice

One pill makes you larger
And one pill makes you small,
And the ones that mother gives you
Don't do anything at all.
Go ask Alice

The Associated Press reports today researchers from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute have developed a pill that provides sedentary mice the “benefits of exercise” and that this pill may offer obese humans a way to receive the “benefits of exercise without working up a sweat”. According to the AP article mice taking this pill were able to run farther and longer in addition to lowering their body fat over a four week trial. The article made no mention of improved mental health in the mice as a result of the ‘exercise free exercise pill’. No worries here for there are plenty of pills to improve ones mental health available from your friendly health care provider. (And while you’re here how ‘bout some little blue pills to improve your boudoir fitness too?)

Since Clar and I began our project known as The Crucible we have had several requests for information borne of idle curiosity. The Crucible is not a fixed place, not a remedy - like a pill for some not all but of the benefits of exercise but rather a way to test one’s beliefs.

The only way to find The Crucible is through conscious evolution, accepting the challenge to your beliefs and overcoming fears of unknown territories that may lie ahead of us. It is finding out if you can meet the criteria to train at The Crucible - if you are able to joining us but if not perhaps making the commitment to be able to join us.

Recently I received this e-mail from our friend Nick Mallet who is training at his own crucible.
Hi C.J,
I like the idea of The Crucible Gym. Like the guy from Kona in your story I've seen so many New Guinea tribesmen who have the bodies of a Michelangelo sculpture. Why? They eat simple food and work out every day just by doing what they need to survive. They work hard! Maybe I will put into practise the Crucible Gym principles on my trip across the country, then again maybe I already am doing so. Keep fighting the good fight.

I forwarded the e-mail on to the Iron Maiden and her reply was simple, “he gets it and he is already there.” (To see why Nick gets it and is already there check out his blog at and I'm sure he'd like your help for his project!!!)

One reader reminded me to keep The Crucible “simple and straight-forward and you will be successful”. Sage advice and our approach. If pills for exercise and whatever were simple and straight-forward there would be no need for a page listing negative side effects accompanying each prescription. Dumbbells, railroad iron, concrete steps and running shoes – old school is about as simple and straight-forward as it gets.

Exercise is more than reduced body fat and improved cardiovascular conditioning, even in mice! Exercise affords illumination of The Self and becoming attuned to the richness of The Universe through awakening and contained in simplicity. Concepts like this both intangible yet also tangible can’t be contained in a pill. And The Crucible is not contained in a neat package or pill to swallow. For me The Crucible is finding a rock I like and lifting it rather than crawling under it and certainly much more or rather than lifting a pill!

"Crescat scientia vita excolatur" - "Let knowledge grow, let life be enriched"