Acerbus et Ingens (Latin for Fierce and Mighty)
Why Fierce and Mighty? And who the hell uses Latin any more?
In the Summer of 2008, I put a gym in the basement of my condo and was seeking a name for it that would connote my goals and approach to my training. As someone with a bit of a history fascination, I came across the Latin phrase “acerbus et ingens” which means… fierce and mighty. I put this up on the basement wall and would need to pass by this every time I went down to train as a constant reminder. I am all for taking a thoughtful and intelligent approach to planning things out in life… but when you reach the point of execution, I like the General Patton quote of “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan next week.” Plan thoughtfully. Execute fiercely.
But this blog is not meant to be a focus on the physical alone, but rather, on the idea of pushing yourself forward as a whole and complete person. The physical training piece is but one tool to that end – I have learned an enormous amount about myself in the solitude of my basement with a barbell in my hands. I’ve also learned a lot from trying to stoke an insatiable curiosity for great ideas. And perhaps I have learned the most from the brave struggles of those close to me who have been fighting leukemia; they have humbled and inspired me to a degree that I never knew before. Teddy Roosevelt put it best in his speech “Citizenship in a Republic” at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 2010:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.
So this blog is about what I have learned in pushing myself to do a little more and be a little more as a human being. My hope is that I can share this with others in a way that is useful and meaningful because as much as I enjoy this process for myself, I truly feel a great amount of joy in helping others along in this process. If I can assist or be a bit of a catalyst for someone else… perfect. Slowly but surely, I am coming to see all of this as my real passion in life.
And since people like to know, a little about me in particular. I tend not to try and define myself much by my job. It’s far too easy to let your job be your identity and there so much more to the human experience that just your job (unless your job perfectly matches your personal passion and if so, kudos!). But for the technical details: I am an attorney by trade, but I am currently an ethics officer for a Fortune 50 company. I’ve spent the last several years working in “non-traditional” legal roles because… well… I really hated being an attorney in a law firm. I lift weights, read voraciously, make dumb mistakes, play soccer, bruise a little too easily, fight relentlessly, try to be a good uncle to two amazing nephews, play video games, be a good son/brother and be the best boyfriend of all time. It’s going pretty well so far.
I am looking forward to the journey and hope you come along.