For those of you who knew the previous website, you may wonder why Radically Transformative Fitness has been re-named Art of Slowing Down. One reason is that I never really warmed up the original title, which was suggested by a well meaning friend back in 2005. “Radically Transformative” always sounded a bit new-agey and even commercial to me–a term I would more expect see in an advertisement for an expensive self-help seminar in Bali, a recently discovered “superfood”, or a the latest diet and exercise bestseller. Moreover, the term connotes something otherworldly and instantaneous, perhaps reminiscent of a Hollywood film where Clark Kent runs into a phone booth one second and flies out as Superman the next. Unlike in Hollywood, however, radical transformation generally occurs over a prolonged period of painstaking attention and effort.
Finally, I’m still unsettled about associating the human body with the word, fitness, because of its link to the term, survival of the fittest. Nature kills off those who are “unfit” and in doing so, separates the chaff from the wheat, so to speak—at least that’s how the popularized version of evolution goes. A famous failed Austrian-born artist took the idea and ran with it… all the way to the borders of Stalingrad. He killed some people on the way.
A question that we have forgotten to ask is: “Fit for what?” If I am deemed fit to be on a magazine cover, does that also make me fit for the rest of life, which occurs outside of the confines of a photography studio? Should Albert Einstein, who probably never performed a single push-up, be deemed “unfit”?