3. Thank you
2. Gratitude and Depression
1. FAI

A few days ago I passed the (overly difficult) test and became a Certified Functional Aging Specialist through the Functional Aging Institute (FAI).  I know.  I make fun of some of these specialist and obscure certification courses, too.  “Certified Mop Handle Specialist.”  “Certified Yarn Ball Expert.”
But, now I know how to age… functionally.  Being able to leg press a Dodge doesn’t mean that you are benefitting from it. Truly functional exercise can improve all aspects of your life; from standing up out of bed to wake boarding behind a battleship.  It is about your workout working for you.

Many people have completely given up on some of their favorite activities because they think that they are just too old to do them anymore.  It isn’t “old” that is the problem.  You can’t stop time, but staying healthy and strong can make the difference between living a fun, active, independent life or a dreadful, dependent, sickly one.  The FAI course taught me how to develop exercise programs for older adults that will benefit their daily life.  We aren’t talking chair yoga and pokey “retirement center” exercise classes.   This stuff is hard.   I have already been sneaking this into your workouts.  Tell your friends why you are so Awesome – your trainer is Certified.


I recently had an extended play-date with my Black Dog.  It sucked.  My schedule and priorities got out of whack and the Black Dog sat on my head for a few days as I found my way out of the depression… again.    But, it was well timed.  It reminded me of how far I have come.

The Holidays are approaching.  You may have noticed.  When it gets cold, we schedule time to be Thankful and Jolly, unless you are not.  I have a few recommendations for those of you who might be seeing some of the Black Dog this season.

  1. Statements of Gratitude, Thankfulness and the Counting of Blessings don’t work if you are truly depressed.  They actually make it worse.  Making a list of all the good things in your life only serves to provide you with a belt of ammunition telling you how screwed up you are.  “Your life is great.  Why are you still in such a bad mood?”   Would a list of gratitude help heal a broken ankle?  Nope.  Same deal here.  Depression isn’t a mood.  Telling yourself that your life is good doesn’t make it good. Being grateful is great.  But it can’t cure a disease.  Handle with care.
  2. Think one day in advance.  Not weeks.   Not hours.  Just one day.  Tomorrow, will you be glad you drove to your Mother in Law’s house?  Probably.  Will you be glad you had three pieces of Bost Cream Pie?  Nope.  Will you be glad you took a walk?  Yep.   Will you be glad you drank eight beers?  No.  Not at all.  Doing this will help stabilize some of the drama that makes this season so exhausting.
  3. Tell someone if you feel crappy.   Don’t worry about being a holiday bummer. Friends (that you may or may not be related to) want to help you feel good.  That is why they invite you to parties.  If they walk away because you told about your Dog, screw ‘em.  One less Christmas card to send.  TALK.  Depression is like farts – don’t hold them in.  They will only get worse.  And like farts, try not to wait until the middle of a party to let them all out, but do tell someone.  Tell me.  I would rather talk to you over coffee than go to a Christmas party.  Save me from them.   I hate sweaters and ham.   The coffee (and ventilation) at Panera is great.  I will meet you there.
  4. Ignore the instant backhanded self-help from the Internet and magazines. 
  • “10 shocking things people who are better than you do before 4 am.”
  • “8 unbelievable super-easy things you can do to suck less NOW.”
  • “12 unexpected ways to be less of a screw-up this holiday season.”

      These damn articles are click-bait.  They don’t want to help you.  They want you to feel bad so you to click on their link so they get paid by their advertisers. Again, Screw ‘em.  Let them fester in their own self-help.

Summary:  Don’t count your blessings or hold your farts.  Tell someone if you are feeling depressed.  Consider how you will feel tomorrow about things you are doing today.  Don’t click on any self-help, no matter how “unbelievable” or “shocking” it might be.


 If someone forces me to make a Gratitude List, the Black Dog Fitness followers will be on it.  I can honestly say that I hope to help all of you in some way get healthy and thrive in your Awesomeness.   I don’t know how to better express it than by saying Thank You.

I hope your Holidays are happy and healthy.  Call me if I can ever help.   A good walk or cup of coffee can make the difference.  Let ‘em rip!

All the Best,

Zach Guza

President, CEO and Assistant Janitor