My Left Foot, Federer’s Right Forearm and Carolina Blue Collar

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I am right footed.  I used to play soccer.  Soccer was my ticket to attending one of the top liberal arts colleges in the nation.  On grades alone, alone I probably would have been denied admission.  SAT 1310, Math 740, English 570.  One could say soccer took me places.  I may not have been as fortunate as the professionals who eventually traveled abroad and played and lived abroad with the sport, but I am grateful for the opportunities of soccer.  Weekend tournaments in Virginia Beach, Richmond, Atlanta, Tampa.  A senior year college training trip to Buenos Aires, São Paulo and Rio De Janeiro (ironically, I never scored a goal in collegiate play, but I did score in a scrimmage against some pretty gifted Brazilian kids.  Ego boost.).

But I am curious about the phrase my Mom used to scream from the sidelines and one that still reverberates inside my head, “use your left foot!”  It’s every kid’s worst nightmare, this feeling of discomfort when kicking with your weak that can quickly turn into ridicule from your teammate as he watches the pass that was intended for him swerve and putter to a halt feet away from their feet.  But, with repetition, and years of practice, my left foot became my advantage.  It probably helped me get more playing time; my left foot allowed me to play on the left-wing on teams that didn’t have a lefty.  The left foot was never as accurate as the right, but it was good enough to get the ball to my teammates.  And oddly, my left leg is both longer and more massive than my right which meant I could generate more force in kicking the ball.  It became my rocket launcher.  I launched a big one from over 30 yards out in our intra-squad scrimmage junior year of college: a half-volley that screamed across the pitch 2.5 feet off the ground threading the needle of people’s legs and past the hands of the goal-keeper but only to clang off the bottom left post.  There was probably a lot of pent-up frustration in that shot from not getting the playing time I thought I deserved that season.  It felt great ripping that shot.  Only possible because of Mom’s constant plea over the years to, “use your left foot!”  Thank god she had the awareness from the sidelines to notice that kids that could use both their right and left foot had an advantage of the single-legged kids.

Federer is arguably one of the best men’s Tennis players of all time.  He just won his 18th Grand Slam at the Australian Open.  He’s 35 years old and still swinging the racket and beating kids younger than him.  Pro athletes like himself are role models.  But he is also an anti-model: an example of what we should not be.  The majority of us won’t be winning Grand Slam titles anytime soon, and probably in our entire life.  I want to argue that Federer lacks balance.  Have you seen the size of his forearms?  His right looks like it came from Popeye and his left looks like it came from a boy going through puberty, sans the hair (we’re focusing on size here).  I’m not knocking him for his achievements, but it’s the equivalent of us going to the gym and working out only our right bicep or right pectoral muscle.  It’s like walking sideways all night at a party to show of your fierce-looking right side while hiding your scrawny left.  Symmetry is beauty (but if you can win grand slams, it doesn’t matter what you look like).

After analyzing Federer’s forearms while watching him on TV, I vowed to never look like Federer.  I vowed to train each hand and arm equal to its opposite.  Perfect reason why: when I was at Canaan Farm I descended the stairs in the dark and my friend asked me, “woah, how did you do it without seeing?”

“I used my feeling.  I used to pretend I was blind when I was younger.  I would shower with my eyes closed and see if I could reach for the soap and the shampoo from memory.”

You never know what could happen in the future.  You might lose your right hand or your left arm.  Practice discomfort because it eventually becomes comfortable, and when an ‘uncomfortable’ situation arises (like walking down stairs without a light) it won’t be a thing (without that swing).

So how does this tie in with Carolina Blue Collar.  When add white to blue you get light blue aka Carolina Blue.

From Wikipedia:

White-collar work is performed in an office, cubicle, or other administrative setting.

A blue-collar is a working-class person historically defined by hourly rates of pay and manual labor.

I gained balance when I learned how to use my left foot.  Federer’s right forearm is an example of an unbalanced athlete (that can still win 18 Grand Slam Titles – the end justifies the means).

With the goal of balancing out the world’s energy usage and to eliminate energy waste, white-collars need to perform a little blue work as part of their day and vice versa.  It’s a win-win situation.  White-collars don’t have to go ‘workout’ aka waste energy in a gym.  Blue-collars get some much-needed rest and the privilege of learning what the world of computers and internet has to offer.  Every deskman ought to spend time in the fields or in the retail space where his brain can be of benefit and the labor can be of benefit to his body.  We’re evolving into all brain and no body.  How will we reproduce?

There’s a saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

Here’s a new one for you, “One man’s punishment, is another man’s work.”

Why are we threatening/brainwashing our kids,”if you don’t go to school and get a degree, you’ll end up being a farmer or flipping hamburgers?” (Someone’s got to flip the burgers and produce the food)

What would happen if no one wanted to be a farmer?  What if all the blue-collars became self-sustainable and started to only produce for themselves?  All the white-collars would starve unless they knew how to produce their own food.


Farmer – Otousaan, Kiyuna Farm.

I’ve done both kinds of work, white and blue.  I remember working at Whole Foods.  I had achieved Team Trainer status in a few months and found myself experiencing increased computer time.  I  remember thinking to myself, “shit, the better I get at my job, the higher up the ladder I’m going to climb.  And the higher the ladder I climb, the more time I’m going to spend sitting in front of a computer rather than standing in front of people.”  My suggestion is to straddle that line of blue-collar and white-collar.  Be Carolina Blue Collar.  Balance yourself – no one will for you.

Mindset.  Sixto Rodriguez’s got it.  Watch his documentary, “Searching for Sugarman.”

Newton’s First Law of Thermodynamics: (Conservation) states that energy is always conserved, it cannot be created or destroyed.

hw’s Amendment to Newton’s First Law of Thermodynamics: Energy is always conserved, it cannot be created or destroyed, but it can be used efficiently or inefficiently.



The Three-Foot World of the Emoting Machine. Think with the heart. Live hard, train harder, die easy. =」

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