Thoughts To Carry With You As You Dive Into 2014, And Don’t Forget To Exercise Your Mind And Body For Heaven’s Sake

Erin, Emily, Kelly and Jack, members of the UNC diving team, and very friendly to boot. Photo by FitOldDog with permission.

Erin, Emily, Kelly and Jack, members of the UNC diving team, and very friendly to boot. Photo by FitOldDog with permission.

Hi folks, welcome to the end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014.

A wonderful gift, a book, from my grandson, Tyler.

A wonderful gift, a book entitled Simple Truths, by Kent Nerburn, from my grandson, Tyler.

This morning I was sitting quietly enjoying a cup of coffee, whilst reading ‘Simple Truths: Clear and Gentle Guidance on the Big Issues in Life, by Kent Nerburn,’ in one sitting. Then something caught my eye, four pairs of feet under the adjacent table, each pair wearing Nike Free shoes. My favorite light running shoe. I said to this quartet (the heads not the feet) that I found it interesting they should all run in Nike Frees, only to be informed that they were divers not runners, being members of the UNC diving team. I have great respect for competition spring and high board divers, having had a little experience in the sport in my teens (In the late 1950s).

Now there’s a metaphor for the New Year, diving.

Kevin Diving Certs small file

Had to dig through my files to find these. Surprised I still have them. So long ago, yet fresh in my memory. I wasn’t a great diver, but I did my best.

You train! You plan! You execute. But as you leave the board about 80% of the die is cast. You bring much of your experience in the art to the moment of departure, just as you will when you depart into the New Year, 2014. I wasn’t a wonderful diver, but I did accomplish a few good dives – my best was a jack knife with single somersault from a handstand on the 5-meter board. I was pleased to get that far, anyway, but this is nothing to modern divers – just go see that remarkable display, ‘O’ of the Cirque du Soleil – it defies belief.

Here are some thoughts from Kent Nerburn’s book, which I highly recommend, to send you on your way into the New Year:

violin-07On education and learning: Remember the words of the musician who was asked which was greater, knowledge or wisdom. “Without knowledge,” he answered, “I could not play the violin. Without wisdom, I could not play the music.”

On work: Find what it is that burns in your heart and do it. Choose a vocation, not a job, and your life will have meaning and your days will have peace.

FitOldDog the angel investor enjoys his business success

FitOldDog the angel investor enjoys his business success, waving his windfall in the air.

On money: Money rules our lives. Be a giver and a sharer. In some unexpected and unforeseeable fashion, all else will take care of itself.

On possessions: If you build up possessions just as the logical outcome of pursuing your desires, you will lose your wings to fly.

On giving: Once you become a giver, you will never be alone [comment by FitOldDog – but avoid giving to parasites, they will bleed you dry and ask for more – if you don’t or cannot give them more they will become angry, so beware].

On travel: Travel, no matter how humble, will etch new elements into your character.

The Thinker Cleveland Museum Of ArtOn loneliness and solitude: Find this peace [of solitude] in yourself, and you will never know another moment of loneliness in your life.

On love: If it chooses to leave your heart or the heart of your lover, there is nothing you can do and nothing you should do. Be glad that it came to live for a moment in your life. If you keep your heart open, it will surely come again.

On marriage: Laughter is the child of surprise. If you can make each other laugh, you can always surprise each other.

Three wonderful sons. I thought I was happy but I wasn't. I am now, and I still love my sons to death. Yes, FitOldDog was young once upon a time.

Three wonderful sons. I thought I was happy but I wasn’t. I am now, and I still love my sons to death. Yes, FitOldDog was young once upon a time.

If you can always surprise each other, you can always keep the world around you new.

On parenthood: When you experience parenthood […] you understand your parents more and honor them more for the love they gave and the struggles they had.

On strength: A person who can quietly stay at home and care for an ailing parent is as strong as a person who can climb a mountain.

On tragedy and suffering: The question you must ask yourself is not if you will heal, but how. Grief and pain have their own duration, and when they begin to pass, you must take care to guide the shape of the new being you are to become.

Chez Ollie Click image for link to website – interesting.

The spiritual journey: [Comment from FitOldDog: I don’t agree with this, one little bit, but you might like to hear it] We are all born with a belief in God. Some people will tell you there is no God [FitOldDog says: makes sense to me]. Chuang Tzu spoke about [them] when he said, “A frog in a well cannot be talked to about the sea.” [Comment by FitOldDog: I don’t buy any of this stuff. One can be spiritual without the need for imaginary beings in the sky, or wherever they’re supposed to be, coax, coax]. [FitOldDog again: PS, I was going to say that the frog could see the stars, but this turns out to be a myth – nope, you can’t see the stars from the bottom of a well].

The elders: [FitOldDog says: Hey, this is important, listen up kids!] So love the elders. Honor them. [Yeah!]

Liesel&DeathOn death: [FitOldDog says: “I really became quite fond of the character Death, in The Book Thief – good guy, whilst in The Golden Compass Series we each have our own death to accompany us through life”]. So, fear dying if you must. It takes from us the only life we know, and that is a worthy loss to mourn. But do not fear death. It is something too great to celebrate, too great to fear.

Oh! Yes! And in the words of Tom Robbins, along the way don’t forget to erleichda, which means from the Tibetan (according to Tom Robins) chill out!

Happy New Year.

-k @FitOldDog



  1. “You bring much of your experience in the art to the moment of departure…” Ah, that is good. I’ve done that mountain-climbing thing 3 times. Learned a lot, still hard. And I do believe in a Spirit force, because of several inexplicable experiences I’ve had, the last being my mother coming for a final farewell from this life. I know there’s ‘something else’. Happy New Year !

  2. Frog image does not load here.

  3. Marsha, I am intrigued by your mother’s “final farewell”. Please tell me more. My email address is:

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.