On a rainy weekend in the fall of 2009, a handful of unhappy kids stole away to a cabin to vacate their life. As you’d imagine, they followed standard Sevier County cabin protocols. They ate, drank and made general merriment. But as the day grew dark, so too did the color of their thoughts. They waxed a bit about philosophy, food and fitness, but mostly, it was a discussion peppered with resentment and despair.
They critiqued the world. Why hadn’t it fulfilled the promise of success they had so often heard? They resented their jobs. Weren’t’ they to be places of satisfaction? They resented their coworkers. Don’t they see how valuable we are? They resented the ‘man’ for holding them down. But more than those, they resented themselves for making so many unexamined and irresponsible decisions. Lucky for them, as they gulped down the final dregs of cheap wine, a fateful idea began bubbling it’s way to the surface. That idea turned those two kids’ lives upside down. It turned them into conspirators. And likely, if you’re reading this, it did you too.
Nietzsche said many, many things of remark, but the one most germane to this story reads, “Madness is rare in individuals – but in groups, parties, #423nations and ages it is the rule.” (This, ironically, written before he went mad. Let’s all hope we don’t soon suffer the same fate)
As I reflect again on the madness of the previous 8 years, I realized that thinking critically might be the most conspiratory thing of all. By my estimation, successful people (like you), find value in unexpected places; in thinking on the ‘known but not understood’ first principles. So I write today for a twofold reason. The first is to offer thanks for a debt not soon to be repaid – your trust in our fitness and lifestyle design. Happily, we are ever in arrears! Never can we praise you enough for joining this delicious conspiracy of fitness excellence.
The second, curiously enough, to reconsider the idea of a conspiracy. We all think of conspiracies in terms of lunar landings, Kennedy assassinations, and areas named ’51.’ Today, not much unlike that dark, rainy weekend so many years ago, our task is to find sustainable, ethical and real ways to not just make the world different, but better – to go from zero to 10ex ?…to inspire through fitness. Peter Theil, author of Zero to One, said that conspiracy is linked with intentionality, with planning, working towards longer-term goals…in a world where you don’t have conspiracies maybe those things disappear as well. Maybe we need more conspiracy than less. Maybe not.
I’m starting to believe that the best people in the world already know this. Every great community is built around a secret that’s hidden from view. If these years have taught me anything, it’s that a great is a conspiracy to change the world. When we share our secret, the recipient becomes a fellow conspirator. And to that, we again eat, drink and offer a cheerful toast for conspiring to move the world in a better direction. Conspiring to inspire…now, there’s a thought.
Kings to you,
Holiday, R. (2018). Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the anatomy of intrigue. NY, NY: Portfolio/Penguin.
Thiel, P. A., & Masters, B. (2015). Zero to one: Notes on startups, or how to build the future. London: Virgin Books.