What Is The Real Deal When It Comes To Training?


Hi folks,

Fezzik the softhearted giant loved making up rhymes. From: http://goo.gl/jheiD

My all-time favorite movie is ‘The Princess Bride.’ I especially like Fezzik (Andre) the giant. But once again the book (by William Goldman) is better than the movie, except in one respect, Peter Falk was great as the granddad reading this fairytale to a disinterested young grandson. I was sad when Peter Falk died. He was perfect as Lieutenant Columbo. To return to The Princess Bride, as giants go Fezzik was the real deal. Big, sensitive and strong.

It is funny how the expression ‘the real deal,’ which I rarely hear, has turned up several times in my life in the last few days. Once with respect to Bruce Lee, though I think Bill Vick actually said, “The Real Thing,” when we were talking about martial arts the other day. Then today as I was riding along a country road I espied a young man with a camera and tripod walking along the side of the road. I stopped to talk to him.

My favorite black and white print film - gave me hundreds of hours of fun in the 1950s

What really caught my attention was his camera, an old large-format roll film type (looked like 56×56 mm). My curiosity was piqued, so I had to stop and talk to this guy (and keep my cycling partner, Sue, waiting – sorry Sue), as I was a real black and white photography enthusiast in my teens (late 1950s). My preferred film was Ilford FP4, which is still made apparently. It was a very fine grain slow film. A discussion of film type led me into an interesting conversation with this stranger, which took me back in time to many peaceful hours spent in my darkroom as a youngster (financed by my work on a pig farm at weekends). We finally touched on the subject of digital cameras. He was very resistant to the idea that they might be as good as the old tried and true film methods. I must admit that developing film in a tank, like watching images appear in a dish whilst printing photos as an amateur, has a magical feeling. I do wish I had all my old photos back, but they have vanished into the mists of time. Two in particular stick in my mind, one of pigs feeding at a trough, which was actually shown in a photography show in London (no way I could afford to go in those days), and another of a tree in the snow. Below is the closest image that I could find to that lovely picture of which I was so proud and that had me spellbound in the summer, transporting me back to winter whiteness.

Black and white (monochrome) photo of tree in the snow. From: http://apparentlynothing.com/

This gentle man, taking photos by the road of an early Sunday morning in North Carolina, said, “You know, digital will never replace film because film is the real deal.” This statement caused a bizarre but interesting movie to jump into my mind, Lars And The Real Girl.” Boy, she wasn’t real in our sense of the expression, but she was the real deal for Lars.

As I rode on my way on my great bike (Thanks Victor), leaving the photographer to his work, I got to thinking “what is the real deal when it comes to exercise and Ironman training?” My conclusion was simple. The real deal in sports is the very best that you have to give, and no less.

-k Your Medical Mind



  1. But a “deal” is a market relationship. It is arrived at when a supplier and customer have agreed on price and the good is supplied on time to price and of agreed quality?
    You cannot have a deal with only one. I guess there may be such a thing where there is a bit of the bi-polar about you.
    I frequently have discussions with myself so perhaps the term is an adequate match ….

    • Kevin Morgan says

      Hi Trevor,

      Let’s face it, who else is worth talking to? That said, it didn’t work out so well for Ritter in “Red Dwarf.”

      Here is the definition ‘the real deal’ from the Cambridge Online Dictionary, which makes sense to me – note that I have lived in the USA longer than I lived in the UK. Languages evolve and devolve all the time.

      “someone or something that is very good and has all the qualities that people say they have
      His performance proved he’s the real deal.”

      -k @FitOldDog

      • Lister or Rimmer in Red Dwarf?

        • Kevin Morgan says

          Hi Trevor,

          Funny that I remembered it as Ritter all of these years. I think it is probably Rimmer, the guy who had the ship’s computer make a hologram of himself so he could have some ‘intelligent company’ and his simulated-self drove him nuts.

          Was that Rimmer?

          -k @FitOldDog

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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.