Bali nuisances for the ego

If you are hedonistic or even narcissistic, maybe a bit insecure or have some false feelings of superiority about this or that and you want to leave it that way, then I have some advice for you: don’t go traveling with somebody who is a professional personal trainer who takes his job very serious. Yes, even when on holidays. “But where does this advice come from?” you ask. Well, as a matter of fact I’m making this mistake as we speak. Ok, I learn a lot. But that is about the only upside there is. Let me give you few examples about the hardships I go through.

Yesterday we went to the gym together, me and Mike. Now I’m in not such a bad shape. Compared to normal people, that is. But I see myself in the mirror standing next to this Men’s Health cover model all the time. My body fat is probably around 12%, his is around 6.8%. That’s the difference between Steve Saunders from Beverly Hills 90210 and Brat Pitt in Troy. You can imagine how Steve would feel. When we start working out it turns out that my friend manages to add complexity to every exercise. Not normal squats, no it must be ‘clean gripped front squats’ and ‘hook gripped overhead squats’. Of course this means that I look like an amateur. Which is probably why these grips and varieties were invented: to reveal the amateurs and make them look stupid.

In between the exercises my buddy revealed to me that while I don’t have so much body fat my problem is having a lot of visceral fat. It is located around the intestines and comes from bad eating habits in the past. Meaning “you might have been taking care about what eat the last five years or so but your past is still haunting you” or in plain English “you might have visible abs but you still look fat”.

This is what Buddha meant when he spoke the first noble truth “Life is suffering”. We carefully build up this self image to see it being shattered all the time. Of course we can deny that and hold on the image we have of ourselves. But I found that denying costs even more energy. So let me continue. One would believe that after hard work it is time to play hard, right? Last night we blended in with the party people in some club. As I go to the bar to order beers for us, he enlightens my about the effects of alcohol on the body and what results of my work out I will obtain if I take that beer: zero. He is certainly not drinking (“I worked out today, no alcohol) so now I can’t have a beer either because I don’t want to be the only one who suffered for no reason.

If you think this is bad, read on. I might look like an amateur at weight lifting compared to Mike, I have been lifting heavy iron for the last 20 years. But our weaknesses are the polarities of our strenghts. Now guess what is the scariest thing to do for a weight lifter? Yes. I know. It’s yoga. And what do you think we will do tomorrow morning early? Yoga class! And obviously these universal rules don’t count for Mike. Mike doesn’t just specialize in strength training, he is also an avid martial artist and.. a yoga teacher! Now I have really something to look forward to. Not.

I have said a while ago that personal growth happens outside our comfort zones. I regret that.

Edit: If there is not enough suffering in your life or you have masochistic tendencies feel free to contact Mike at But if you want some relief of suffering go to and join one of my mindfulness courses. 🙂


  1. says

    Thanks for putting a smile on my face my friend!
    In times of trouble it’s always nice to know you’re not the only smashed ego on the world.
    Today my ego got blown to smithereens, and it hurts. 300 red roses, 2kg of Leonidas, tickets to Paris and letters from the deepest depths of my hart, did not do the trick I hoped my honesty and the complete book of romance would have done (=get my ex-girlfirend in my arms again)
    Good intentions, openness, whole harted effort and the drive to be my best-self can hit you (me!) in the face easier than 1, true, 3.
    Why do I have to lose someting to know how much it means to me? I guess pain is needed to reach some deeper parts of me, to let them feel that nothing comes for free (or is for sale).
    So let me share with you, my friend A., cherish the pain, you’ve let me understand that no pain=no gain.
    And to Mike, if you read this, hurt him as good as you can, my pain needs to be shared, as close and as hard as possible
    Merry 3rd xmas day and a good fuck*n new everything in 2011

  2. Anna says

    Thank you for sharing this. I think both of u, put yourself in a very vurnable place by writing this. It takes courage. And to be honest, the combination of vurnability and courage makes my womanhart go faster.
    I know these strange patterns which leads to question like Why do i have to lose someone to know how much i love her/him. Or: how come i deel more love when he dont want me anymore, And we all know the arttraction of hard to get…
    I learned that i can get insight to the answers in this questions by looking to the first love relationships we ever had: with our mum and dad, even when they were not fysically around us. A child always thinks that the parents loves them. If he dont, the child dies. In this relationships we learned what how someone who loves us, handle and relates to us. An (extreme) example: father loves me, father beats me, live=beating, when my boyfriends beats me, then he loves me. It gives more insight to fill in this formula for yourself. X


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