The Bobby Rock Newsletter #86 (11-27-22) - The Discomfort Zone
The Bobby Rock Newsletter #86 (11-27-22) - The Discomfort Zone
Thanks once again for dropping in. Always appreciated. Let’s rock it...
In this Issue:
- In This Moment: Another edition of this Newsletter, written on the run, as life is unfolding. Here’s the latest…
- The Discomfort Zone - If we want to evolve, this lovely zone will be unavoidable. But what is the connection between stoking our personal evolution and running in the cold-ass rain? Let us ruminate…
- Some Rudyard Kipling wisdom... what I believe every dad would want his son to know... on 11-27-22—what would have been my dad's 83rd birthday. (Miss you, Papi...)
In This Moment
It is early Sunday morning on a travel day home from a Lita Ford hit. While I generally try to crank these Newsletters out on Saturdays, yesterday proved to be rather impossible to put this together. Why? Because I crashed ultra-hard Friday night at the hotel in Oklahoma, and the late wake-up delayed all show-day protocols by a few hours… just enough to have to delay work on this bad boy. But hey, anytime I can sleep like this, I gotta take it!
This might be the longest I’ve slept at one time all year. Guess I really needed it. As you know, we talk about the underrated importance of good sleep around here regularly, so when I can rock some exceptional sleep, it’s celebration time. (See issue #15 right HERE for more on Why We Sleep.)
Speaking of show-day protocols, this almost always involves some training, and yesterday was no exception—even though it was raining like a motherfucker all day and there was no gym at the hotel, or anywhere within its proximity. (More on that in a moment.) But the hit last night with the Lita Ford gang was “outta sight” (Grand Funk reference).
For starters, it was our bassist, Marten Andersson’s birthday. As is the Lita Ford band tradition, a birthday gets you a cake (or cupcakes) with candles and a song. Here’s a vid-still of Marten entering the production office where his goodies (and band and crew) awaited:
Lita to the right of Marten near the doorway,
asst. tour manager/merch queen, Debi,
and our soundman, Pilgrim.
Here’s a casual backstage shot of me talking with fellow drummer, Winger's Rod Morgenstein (a great guy and a monster player!), that I didn’t even know was being taken… until the birthday boy showed me this morning:
And here’s a quick snap from both soundcheck and showtime, my perspective:
After the show, I was told I had some special fans out there who needed a very special piece of VVI memorabilia signed. No problem. It turned out to be a serious collector I’ve known for years, Matt Lemieux (on the left), and his friend Adam, who actually owned the VVI piece. Cool!
Once upon a time, playing casinos had a weird connotation about it. These days… no way! The casino circuit has blossomed impressively over the past couple decades and, truth be told, they have become some of our better shows, in terms of gear, facilities, amenities, accommodations, and crowds. We love ‘em. Plus, to be able to just roll downstairs to the hit (in most cases), then roll back upstairs to your room post-show? Priceless.
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BTW, I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving this week. Truly, it is a great time to be alive right now. I know shit is whacked in certain respects, but isn’t it always? Conflict, obstacles, and spellbinding idiocy have always been part of life on earth as a human. If it weren’t, I personally believe we would’ve chosen to stay put “on the other side” and not bother to take another shot at it. Instead, I say, we want to engage the bullshit, and we want to struggle a bit—to actually be uncomfortable at times—just so we can get the spiritual brownie points for overcoming the obstacles. It’s the essence of the Hero’s Journey, my friends… and we are all on our own version of it.
Which leads us to...
Running in the Rain... and
My Weather app has a rating system for running conditions. A “10” means: conditions are incredible, it is breathtaking outside right now, so get your ass out there and run. A “1” means: conditions are treacherous, the weather is shit, and you would be an idiot to even think about going out there.
This was yesterday's running forecast:
And yet, yesterday was a running day. And when it’s a running day, we run.. no matter the weather conditions. And believe me, it was not much fun: Just north of 40 degrees, with some hard rainfall… which meant little puddles here and there… which meant five miles of soaking wet socks and shoes… and just… discomfort. Bingo. This was the point.
Obviously, I knew it was going to be rough. But I also knew that a little trip into the Discomfort Zone is what would make this a truly noteworthy experience. And it was, as I explained in yesterday’s running vid (click below to scope it):
Just to expand on the theme a bit...
The gap between where you currently are, and the best version of yourself, can only be closed by doing uncomfortable things. Think about it. We humans love to be comfortable… all the time. We love those “creature comforts,” so much so, that we become “creatures of habit” to enjoy them, every day, throughout the day. It’s our default mode. But getting up every day and engaging a Groundhog Day protocol of doing a lot of the same comfortable shit we did the day before, only serves to perpetuate our current status quo (i.e. "where we currently are"). We wind up in a doom-loop of replicating who we were yesterday. This is not so bad, per se… everyone has days like this, or at least aspects of their day like this.
However, as I mentioned in the video, if we want to evolve, we have to visit the Discomfort Zone… regularly. This is the only way to realize our potential here, and it is precisely why it’s so hard for any human to continuously advance toward their most self-actualized state. It’s always been difficult, of course, but I believe it is even tougher these days, given the staggering variety of opportunities in modern life for comfort, distraction, and gluttony.
And so, if you have a chance to engage in some constructive discomfort, run at it! I’m not saying we have to torture ourselves every day, but certainly, embracing some discomfort is a great tool to use regularly.
Epic Kipling Wisdom:
Since we're on somewhat of a wisdom kick here, let's go out with some Rudyard Kipling, from his book, Rewards and Fairies. This is what, I would imagine, every dad would want his son to understand. (I've italicized my favorite four lines.)
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
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Personal Note: While this is what I would want my son to know... my dad actually lived these words—daily. He was a tough act to follow... but I'll continue to try my best.
For more on my dad, scope the memorial blog I wrote for him. He was something else...
The MAN – Reflections on a Life with the World’s Greatest Dad
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