Get While the Getting is Good

My Elite Level Trainer in Philly …

Today was a busy day. And we started off early. I had two loads of laundry to wash and fold. Afterwards, I hit the grocery store for some food. Cleaned the apartment and vacillated over whether to go work out or not.

The afternoon was getting later by the hour, and at 3 o’clock I decided to bite the bullet and just GO! The gym had already started to crank, by the time I got there. The lift room was full, so I decided on flipping my work out.

I hit the treadmill for a 2.5 km run, on Intermittent Hill Program. Since I have assorted mix music on my phone, I can load up a playlist and run with it. Matching stride for stride, the beat of the music. Somewhere around the 120 to 135 BPM. (beats per minute)

Only a music listener who pays attention to this kind of detail would get that. You’d have to work in a DJ booth or do lights for a living. Or play music. I’ve done all of those things in my life.

Junior Vasquez was the playlist of choice today.

By the time 30 minutes had elapsed, people were lined up behind me waiting for a treadmill to open up. The rush was coming.

I did some floor stretching and my Arms Race Guys Crunch Sets, and some plain old crunches. Until I could not crunch any more.

I headed upstairs for some lift time. Again, the room was packed so I made some choices of what sets I was going to do, because most of the machines I wanted had lines already, two and three deep.

I was doing arms and shoulders again.

An abbreviated Lift day for sure. BOOOO !

I shut up shop and started for home. The entrance has the coat check, and shoe drop. You can’t wear street shoes in the gym, you have to change out and drop your coat on a hanger.

They give us free gym bags when we join the gym, how cool is that !

A drove of people were coming in for the five o’clock rush hour.

Thank God I was heading home.

Another observation day of just how late one can push it, to beat the throng of after work, work out folks.

3 p.m. is the cut off.

If you hit the three o’clock group, you will hit blocks in the system and not get a full work out in, here. I guess I should stick to my morning work out hours from now on.

Gym Journal 9 Jan 2019

After a leisurely lunch with a friend, I hit the gym for the first time today. Wasn’t quite sure where to begin. I scoped out the entire gym to look see what was going on. The gym is set in the Old Forum building, spanning two floors of West facing windows.

The Cardio space is on the first floor with the locker rooms. The weights are on the second floor, in separate rooms for bar bells and weight machines in the other.

I thought wise to get a lay of my abilities on Cardio today. So I found a lone treadmill and set up the mountain program and ran 4 miles. It came easily.

It is kind of intimidating lifting weight with other guys. But I have all the gear I need to lift and the Odyn fitness clothing we all spent inordinate amounts of money on, to look good in the gym.

There are specific fitness classes offered so I might do that over the next little while, while I get my feet wet.

2019: Goals, I Don’t Want to become Old and Fat !!!

I know how people make New Year Resolutions, and though they might stick for a few weeks, in the end, resolutions become failures. I follow a particular gentleman who lives in Toronto and is a body builder. I want his body, but that is just impossible. Anyways, he posted the other day saying that he hoped that people in the gym system would be kind, respectful and tolerant of newbies in the gym, this New Year.

Like the Gym, the rooms get a bit more traffic come the new year, with people who either think they have a problem, or they come and deny they have a problem and just want to cut down, so to speak … They show up.

I’ve been on this Keto Diet for more than two years now. I’ve lost 50 pounds so far, and my tummy is beginning to disappear, ever so slowly. My friends over at Odyn are supportive and we all want the best for each other. The fitness Gods and Goddesses are role models for the rest of us, who want to not only dress the part, but actually Be The Part too.

I have a distaste for Old Gay Fat Men. I don’t want to get any older and also, I do not want to gain weight to make me Old, Gay and FAT ! UGH !!!

I am active, I walk a lot. I eat a healthy diet. I don’t eat junk food and I diet appropriately. I watch many of my friends I grew up with, and they have their fair share of medical problems. My approach to self care, differs from the way many of my friends self care. My friends struggle and I talk to them, but they don’t want to listen, nor take on board most of what I say, so I am talking to deaf ears.

Many of my friends have grown up, but more distressingly, they have grown OUT. I don’t want to grow out, any further than I have due to my own medical challenges. We tweak my drugs every so often, which then has a direct impact on my body both medically and physically.

A membership at the local gym is in the cards. This is not a resolution, per se, but a commitment to myself and my friends, that I want to step up my fitness game, not become a gym bunny, or some wanna be fit guy.

This is the real game. Not a dress rehearsal. I don’t want my fifties to be a DOWN THE HILL roll into old age. I don’t want to become a miserable old fat gay man. I just think old and fat is repulsive. It’s not a look I want for myself. Almost all of the hair on my head is still dark, however I have a wisp of grey, ala Jamie Curtis style.

This is the year to make change. Take care of yourself. Be good to yourself, and be fit, as you can. If you can move well, then make it work for you.

ODYN Athletics New Zealand



If you are a fitness enthusiast, and/or you hit the gym regularly, you want to look good while you pump iron and sweat. And the company you want to rep, while you pump reps, is ODYN.


The brand new Odyn Lithium and Odyn Carbon line of fitness gear is here. Pictured above is Odyn Lithium. I ordered my set just today. I am told that this gear is stunning. The photos of the gear do not do them justice.

All work is done in house by hand. Taking a total of 21 to 25 work days to create each exquisite piece of clothing.




Women’s Peachy Leggings Arcadia Floral – Women’s Crop Long Sleeve


I am talking to you right now. I can tell you that the ladies Odyn gear is flying off the shelf at speeds never seen before. Just as important a demographic, the ladies fitness gear rage is alive and well. The Odyn team prides itself in some of the greatest gear made for performance and sleek style and functionality.

I have two sets of Odyn gear right now. Eris and Mars. I only have half the sets, at the moment. Today I ordered a full set of Lithium compression tights and long sleeve shirt.

Ladies and Gentlemen I encourage you, if you are into fitness and well being, that you take a few moments and go visit the Odyn site and score yourself some really EXCEPTIONAL clothing.


ODYN: We Are Odyn on Facebook
Odynathletics on Instagram
Mark_Norman on Instagram Odyn

Odyn sells on the American Dollar. And they ship internationally.

You will not be disappointed.

Go Now Chase NXTLVL


See It, Find It, Buy It …


This piece is on its way from Australia …

The world is your oyster, when it comes to shopping these days. Some areas of the world are better to shop from, than others. I have always said that, shopping from just any site that appears on the internet, may not always be wise.

Just because a site looks slick and authentic, and the merchandise is what you want, if you aren’t familiar with a particular seller, my caution is always the same:

Buyer Beware !!!

Social media has gone through many incarnations. And the ability to see something online, find it and then buy it, has become much easier, and A LOT more reputable. I have made some serious mistakes in trusting just any site out there, having been burned for hundreds of dollars by Shanghai gangsters.

I still will not shop in Asia. Not even on a selling platform like Ebay.

And lately it seems that something is going on, on Ebay. In the past, you could filter your shopping destination, to a particular zone. It is too bad that Australia is lumped in with Asia.

I try to stick to North America, and Australia, when I hit Ebay. Now, Ebay has disabled the filter by zone feature on their website. And the first location that masses on the front pages are items from China and Hong Kong.

To find what it is you are looking for, you have to scroll through pages upon pages of Asian merchandise to get to someone from the zone you are really looking for.

Pain in the Ass …

If you take, in combination, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Etsy, and Snapchat, you can find anything that is photographed, and attach it to a reputable seller. Like I said, this ability to link up with a reputable seller has gotten much better.

Over the past few months, my Instagram has ballooned. Friends of mine sport clothing they have bought from a particular creator, and posted photos of said clothing on their social media sites. We come along, see such clothing, and if you are like me, you probably wanted some of your own.

From this came clothing designers who come to my Instagram, and they follow me, and tell me to buy from their inventory and post a photo of that piece you have bought, and tag the creator. Etsy is a new site I shop at, because of Casey Neistat. He made a purchase, posted a photo, which generated huge business for the Etsy creator. Instagram is a huge site where you can confidently, see, find, and buy.

A few weeks ago, I was on a friends blog, and he posted a photo from a creator in New Zealand, called Odyn. I went over to Odyn and scored some of my own, from their Odyn collection, which will arrive here tomorrow. It took a month for them to hand sew all their gear.

Well worth the sweat equity.

I saw another set of gear from a seller in New South Wales, Sydney Australia. I had to wire the payment from my bank to their account, on the other side of the world, which added a few more days to shipment. But that was painless.

All of my gear from New Zealand and Australia is en route tonight.

The perk with shopping by zone, is the exchange rate. The best place to shop is where your dollar goes the furthest. If you can make a purchase and the exchange rate not kill you in the process, that’s the way to go.

Shopping in the U.S., Euro Zone or the British Pound, will cost you. I shop in Australia because the exchange is almost dollar for dollar. The Canadian Currency is about par, if not a few cents cheaper, going towards Australia. My shop in Australia saved me seven dollars on the exchange. New Zealand went with the U.S. dollar. So I paid a bit more on that one.

Each zone you shop from will either sell in their local currency or they will choose to run with a particular currency that translates across the world selling platform. Like the U.S. Dollar.

I’ve found that the trustability factor goes up, if you follow the logic of someone posting photos on social media. Because if they either create it, or wear it, that piece came from a reputable creator or seller.

Instagram has blown up with creators and sellers. To the point that new creators that have garnered business from a single photo, have expanded to go to other social media platforms and opened groups and business accounts, which has spawned even more business for their companies, moving product to further corners of the world.

The fitness clothing rage is alive and well. Now in year number two, as fitness clothing goes. I remember when I first noticed it, when I started loosing inordinate amounts of weight because of my medical regimen, which changed the way I live my life and the clothing I choose to wear.

Over the past year and a few months, cool clothing creators have come out of the wood work, so to speak. My friends sport clothing they buy, which spawns their friends to repeat that purchase, which drives business way up, and every time you buy something from a creator and you post a photo of your gear, YOU drive the business for the creator you sport.

When I went to Ottawa a couple of weeks ago, we photographed all the gear I had bought over the last month and Instagrammed them. This proved very good for each of the creators I sported.

Buy great clothing, by creators and designers, that work hard to produce quality gear. Creators that do their own work, “in house” by hand, always gets my vote.

It may take a few weeks to produce your gear, but it drives business in big ways. I’d rather buy from creators who want to make an honest days wages, because they are making the clothing we buy every day. By Hand …

There is good stuff to be had, created by great creators.

Get out there, and share in the creative cycle …