Outsourcing Discipline

Giant sneakerOne key to feeling good: frequent exercise. It’s hard to feel depressed when you’re pushing yourself physically. Though I know this is true, I have to keep reminding myself—have to keep clambering back on the wagon I so frequently fall off of.

It’s the beginning of winter and crunch time at work and so many other excuses for not doing anything. I got to the gym on Saturday, stepped on the elliptical, and set my modest goal of a half hour. By inputting 30 minutes into the machine’s touchpad, I created a digital manifestation of my intention. There it was out there for me (and the nosey woman on the adjacent machine) to see. I’d created a measurable objective that I could either fulfill or fail.

It wasn’t exactly me against the machine. It was the machine as me at the start of my workout. About 18 minutes into the program, I was tired and felt like quitting. The machine reminded me of my original intention. I don’t like to disappoint, even if would just be disappointing earlier self masquerading as a Precor Adaptive Motion Trainer, so I kept going.

My iPod was playing kitschy songs on my cardio playlist: “Jive Talkin’” and “Dance This Mess Around.” At the end of 30 minutes, WORKOUT COMPLETE flashed in green LED letters on the elliptical display. I stepped off the machine, huffing, sweating and feeling a little bit fine. A little free.

13 Questions for Brad Taylor

How Your Stylist Enhances Your Sense of Self

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Brad Taylor

I honestly believe a good haircut is one of the keys to mental health. That’s why I wanted to talk to Brad Taylor, my articulate hair stylist at Pyara Spa & Salon .

Martha Henry: Do many of your clients come in with a photo of a celebrity and ask for that hairstyle?

Brad Taylor: Yes, all the time.

Do you get the feeling that they want the celebrity’s lifestyle as well as their hair?

Yes, they look at this picture and say, oh, their hair is so beautiful, but what they really mean is that the celebrity is so beautiful and they think that once they have this hair style or cut or color or whatever, they’ll look like that celebrity. A lot of people think that if they have Kim Kardashian’s hair, all of a sudden they’re going to be this socialite. A trick that we do is cover the person’s face and ask them if they still like the haircut. A lot of people’s answers change.

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