Red Kites and Blueberry Pop-Tarts

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This is probably my most random blog title ever (even more than THIS), and I’m sure those who clicked on the link and are now reading may be scratching their heads wondering where I could possibly be going with this.  Bear with me.

I’m a member of a pretty awesome movie theater here in Boston called The Coolidge. It’s an independent movie theater that’s like four blocks from my apartment, and it’s not uncommon for me to make a cameo appearance every weekend to check out one of the new releases or to participate in one of their events like a midnight showing of Point Break (I. AM. AN FBI AGENT!!!!), a Lord of the Rings marathon (where freaking Aragorn himself actually showed up to serenade the audience), or a book signing by Kevin Smith.

It’s a pretty baller place and it’s essentially a second home for me.

Now, as you can imagine, it’s not a huge:  there are four theaters (one of which is a ten seat screening room), and a small lobby that serves the normal movie theater fair, along with fine wine and booze. Holla!

Because of its size, the Coolidge has an un-spoken rule (kind of like not bunting in the 9th inning to break up a no-hitter) that they don’t start seating people until roughly 10-15 minutes prior to the show starting.  Anything earlier and the lobby just becomes one massive clusterf***.

Last week I showed up a little early and was told by the guy accepting tickets to wait outside for a few minutes while the theater was clearing out and so that they could clean.  Cool.  No problem.  It was a gorgeous night out anyways, and I had a book with me to read, so I could easily pass the time.

Another (older, presumably uppity a-hole) gentleman was right behind me, and the tenant mentioned the same thing to him (that he’d have to wait a few minutes……outside), and the guy went off.  Like REALLY off.

“The thing is sir, we have a small lobby and it gets crowded as one showing is exiting and others are waiting to get in.  Plus, we have concessions that need to be addressed, and it just becomes……”

“Yes I WOULD mind waiting ten minutes,” the guy said, in a “I’m more important than everyone else here” tone.

I was out the door before I could hear the rest of what he said.  But in my mind, I couldn’t help but think to myself how freaking uptight and high-strung people are.

Adding fuel to the fire, when one of the staff finally came outside to announce that they were ready to seat everyone, another jerk went off because there was no inherent “order” to how they were letting people it.  Essentially everyone was bum rushing the side door and there was no “line” of people waiting to get inside.

Mind you, there were like 40 or so of us waiting to get in, and it was a 400 seat theater.  This guy was muttering out loud to anyone who would listen, “this is stupid.  Why do they do it like this?  I can’t believe this.”

All I wanted to say was,”dude, there are 400 seats.  You’re going to get one.  Relax.”

But I didn’t.  I just chuckled to myself, handed my ticket to the guy, and walked in and got a seat.

For those curious, I saw Arbitrage starring Richard Gere and Susan Sarandon.  About a rich dude who’s an a-hole.  Ironic given the company I was in.

Good movie, though.  I gave it a solid B.

Which parlays very well into the title of this post.

The other night Lisa and I watched the movie We Bought a Zoo – starring my man-crush, and BFF (he just doesn’t know it), Matt Damon.

Based on a true story, in it, Matt’s character’s wife dies (don’t worry, it’s not a spoiler), and as a result he buys a zoo.  Literally.  Throughout the movie he references his wife and how she was able to enjoy the simple things in life – two examples of which were red kites and blueberry pop-tarts.

It got me thinking:  in a world where we’re so caught up in playing 17 different games of Words With Friends or making sure the barista gets our Frappuccino order just right (I said NO FOAM AT THE TOP!!!!!!!!), it’s no wonder we rarely (if ever) see the beauty in life.

Is it really that hard to press the pause button and enjoy some of life’s simple pleasures?

As I’m writing this blog post, CP is empty.  I’m sitting here in the lobby on the couch with my feet up on the coffee table listening to some soft ambient music, and I’m perfectly content.  To me, this is it.  Just doing my own thing, relaxing, and writing to my hearts content – even though it’s something that’s completely not fitness related.

I realize some people prefer ostentatious things like a Ferrari, 55 inch plasma tv screens, or gold plated toilet seats.  And that’s cool.  But I still argue that it’s the simple things that count.

Things like:

– A perfectly succulent filet mignon cooked medium.

– Watching a red light turn green right as you’re approaching it.

– Hitting a PR in the gym and then giving everyone a high five within a two mile radius.

– Turning back to the channel the instant the commercial break ends.

– Telling someone close to you that you love them, and hearing them say it back.

– Snuggling up with your pet.

– Wearing a snuggie. Don’t worry, I won’t judge.

– Saying “eff it,” and tossing in a set (or ten) of arm curls at the end of your training session.

– Carbs.

– Reading a good book.

– Going to the airport and NOT having your flight delayed.

– Making eye contact with a complete stranger, smiling, and saying “how are you?”  Dude, don’t be weird. You can look away now.

– The smell of freshly cut grass.

– Fenway Park. Granted the Red Sox are a walking pile of suck right now, but it’s still a beautiful place to watch a game.

– Sunday afternoon matinees.

– Beef jerky.  Or any form of dead animal flesh.

– Coming home after a rough day and taking a loooooooooooooooooooooooong shower.

– Walking into a subway station and having your train be the next one to arrive. Score!

– Caffeine.  Is. Glorious.

– A solid 8-9 hours of sleep. Seriously, is there anything better?

– Boobies.  Boobies are way better.

– Deadlifts.

– Realizing that with your next purchase that slice of pizza is free because it’s the tenth hole being punched in your “buy ten, get next one free” card.

– Being able to look down and see your wang without a big, ol, gut impeding everything.  This one courteous of Eric Cressey.

– Training at a gym that not only allows chalk, but encourages its use.

– And people.  People are just cool.  Except for Kanye West.  He’s kind of a douche.

Those are just a few examples of “simple” things that I enjoy and allow me to realize that life doesn’t necessarily have to be so complicated and full of angst.

Believe me:  I know that everything isn’t always puppy dog kisses and rainbows, and sometimes things suck. Like, a lot.

I just feel that if more people took a step back and didn’t take things – or themselves – so seriously, they’d probably see that life is kinda cool and that it shouldn’t resort to complaining about waiting ten minutes for a movie to start.

So with that, if you wouldn’t mind, do me a favor and do two things for me:

1.  Share a few things in YOUR life that you enjoy below.

2.  Pass this along – share it, like it, whatever it takes.  I think this a message that more people need to hear/boobies are really, really awesome.

Did what you just read make your day? Ruin it? Either way, you should share it with your friends and/or comment below.

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Plus, get a copy of Tony’s Pick Things Up, a quick-tip guide to everything deadlift-related. See his butt? Yeah. It’s good. You should probably listen to him if you have any hope of getting a butt that good.

I don’t share email information. Ever. Because I’m not a jerk.
  • Rob Brokaw

    Coaching- seeing the light go on in people’s heads. ITs great!!
    Finally getting that popcorn kernal out of the teeth
    Early morning krisp air with a breakfast sandwich and a coffee, and a football game.
    Inside jokes, with a person you barely know.
    Blog post like this one from TG!!

    • TonyGentilcore

      Thanks Rob! And great list!

  • Mike A.

    to go along with being able to see your wang sans gut, is looking down and not having Moobs. I’m grateful every day for that.

  • Penny

    Getting rid of stuff. I believe life is truly more enjoyable with fewwer things to manage, maintain, and take up space.

    • TonyGentilcore

      For every two t–shirts I add to my (admittedly kick-ass) collection, I try to donate one to charity.

  • Bryan

    Great list Tony!

    A few things on my list:
    1) Taking my dog for a nice long walk
    2) Finding a nice quiet spot to just focus on breathing
    3) Having a monster “random” training session with a few of your best friends
    4) A glass of good red wine
    5) Having moments where you laugh till you cry (or even borderline piss your pants)
    6) Salma Hayek

    P.S. thanks giving me such a detailed response to my email about studying for the CSCS!

    • TonyGentilcore

      I’ll take your Salma Hayek, and raise you Salma Hayek in From Dusk to Dawn. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I watched her snake dance.

  • Barath

    Stepping out in the morning air drawing a long breath of the fresh goodness only to see a dog mounting another.
    Have a charming conversation with a pretty girl, come home, and discover your fly was unzipped all along.
    Gallantly give up your seat in the bus to a pregnant lady only to offend her because it turns out she’s just fat.
    Gallantly give up your seat to an elderly woman only for her to scorn you and walk past because she thinks she ain’t old.
    Keep sitting even when you see an old person only for the old person to ask you to get up rather rudely.
    Stare at a nice ass in the grocery store only to discover it’s a dude.

    Ah, life’s little pleasures.


    • TonyGentilcore

      I remember one time I was standing in line waiting for my tea, and the barista was calling out for some other person’s order. I tapped the woman a head of me and said, “mame, I think she’s calling you.” She gave me the look of DEATH for referring to her as “mame.” It was funny/I feared for my life at the same time.

  • Keith F.

    You are my Matt Damon! Great post Tony. Living in the DC area I see WAY too many of these high-strung douches that have their head stuck too far up their own asses to look around and appreciate the little things in life. For instance, I just nailed a 45 minute nap between my morning and afternoon clients and I feel like “I’M RICH BITCH!”

    • TonyGentilcore

      hahahahahahahahaahaha. You’re my Ben!

  • that feeling after taking a big poop

    • Aren

      You took mine. But I would like to add.
      -A big poop that is a first time clean wipe! (those are rare. Thats why there’s wet wipes)-The feeling I get when the Gamecocks beat Clemson in any sport.
      -Sitting in a deer stand watching the birds and squirrels

      • TonyGentilcore

        Ding ding ding. I’m right there with both of you.

  • Jennifer Blake

    -watching my kids sleep is one of the most peaceful and beautiful things on earth to observe.
    -cool, breezy sunday in the early fall. Football on tv. Chili on the stove. Nap.
    -that 30 second period when all the laundry is done.
    -really good service in a restaurant.
    -when you allow that person to merge in front of you and they give you a little “thanks!” wave. Bonus if they’ve used their blinker.
    -a random good hair day that I didn’t have to slave over. (I’m a girl dude, what can I say?)
    -the rare time in life when my husband gets off work early enough to have dinner with the kids and me.
    -that moment when someone who you previously took to be very reserved and shy lets loose with a hilariously clever string of profanity and cursing. I love cursing.
    Thanks for this post! I can’t agree enough that if people just took a little time to look around and appreciate all the good that goes on in this world they wouldn’t get so caught up in the little things that suck. Sharing!

    • TonyGentilcore

      I can’t remember the last time I had a good hair day…..;o) Thanks for chiming in Jennifer. That was a spectacular list.

  • I guess on the flipside, you have no idea what’s going on in that guy’s life. Easy to judge others by your own advantages, but I can think of all manner of genuine, compassion-inducing reasons he might have been at his wits end and just wanting to wait inside/sit down…

    Back to the question at hand, though. Three things from the last 24 hours: snuggling under a duvet when the weather turns colder, a scalding hot mug of homemade chicken broth, and the sound of my cat snoring contentedly at the end of the bed!

    • TonyGentilcore

      I know, I know. Maybe the guy was having a bad day……..but come on. Really? Yelling at the ticket collecting guy because he had to wait ten minutes? No one else complained.

      I have to agree with the cat comment. I love when my cat snuggles up next to me.

  • Monika

    This post reminds me of the Book of Awesome- But fitness nerd edition 🙂

    • TonyGentilcore

      Coincidentally enough, I just read the Book of (Even More) Awesome not too long ago….;o)

  • James Louthan

    1. Finding sneaky ways to increase strength (neuro)
    2. watching my 4 and 3 yr old girls playing together and making each other laugh hysterically. its a beautiful sound (even better on my deck on a sunny Seattle day).
    3. the 30 seconds after cleaning out the garage.

  • Jay

    1. Watching my daughters sleep. There is something so peaceful and innocent about it.
    2. Hitting a squat or Deadlift PR knowing that had my right femur not been operated on by someone who worked there ass off to go to school to be a doctor I would have been an 8 year old kid who couldn’t play sports, which means I never would have left Colorado to play hockey in RI so I would not have met my wife! Wow! Have not thought about that in a long time thanks for the post Tony totally brightened my day!!!

    • TonyGentilcore

      Glad to hear it Jay, and thanks for sharing. It’s pretty neat that think about the “what ifs” in life when we look back.

  • Lisa V.

    Having my dog curl up next to me.
    Being greeted at the door by my dog, tail wagging.
    Fall crisp air, sound of football on TV.
    Being able to do a chin-up.
    Watching my son turn into a mature, funny, polite 18 YO, despite all the mistakes I’ve probably made in raising him along the way.
    Picking my boyfriend up at the airport after not seeing him for 8 weeks.
    Having endless trails to walk and run, right across the street from my house.
    Being 51 YO and still fit and healthy. Life’s biggest blessing.

    • TonyGentilcore

      Hey hey hey……I was there when you did your first chin-up! Hope to see you back here soon Lisa. Just wait until you see the new space!

  • Could not agree more.
    Wait till you have kids man. List gets longer by an order of magnitude.

    • TonyGentilcore

      Thanks John!

  • Seth

    Tony, boobies are great and all…but a good booty cannot be overlooked!

    • TonyGentilcore

      Dually noted, sir. And couldn’t agree more.

  • Ben

    -seeing a professional athlete make a “hustle play”
    -1st sip of beer after finishing a rugby game, even if its natty light still tastes delicious
    -when one of my patients achieves a goal they’ve been working really hard for (I’m a PT)

  • Paying with exact change
    The first real “hoodie” day
    Pulled pork sammiches
    My 5yr old nephews laugh

    • TonyGentilcore

      I’m wearing my hoodie as I type this!

  • kylee

    -busting out a bunch of pullups because it makes me feel badass and i dont see any other women in my gym doing them
    -deadlifts same season as above
    -the love hate relationship with the first dive into a cold pool before a brutal workout, you feel weightless, cold, scared, excited
    -swimming fast
    -synchronized swimming because its technical and beautiful and way harder than anyone who hasnt tried it thinks it is
    -living on vancouver island!
    -the ocean and the few months that its warm enough to swim in it

    Good post, i have the zoo movie but havent watched it…any good?

    • TonyGentilcore

      I’m jealous. Lisa and I visited Vancouver earlier this year, and LOVED it. Especially Granville Island. I could totally see myself living there.

      • kylee

        Vancouver island is so far from vancouver! Vancouver is far too big of a city for me, check out the island next time 🙂 I went to boston last month for work at MBTA and its a pretty sweet place too, I really wanted to see a ball game but didnt have enough time…I have never been to one…oh well next time I go.

  • NeilC

    We Bought a Zoo and Into The Wild……movies people can learn a lot from. FACT

    I said FACT so there is no disputing it.

    • TonyGentilcore

      Ooooooo, Into the Wild. Great movie. Nice call on that one.

  • Brett

    This one may be my favorite blog of yours to date, well said Tony~

    • TonyGentilcore

      Thanks Brett – much appreciated!

  • MaxGroszewski

    The ocean.
    Real music (isn’t mass produced/endorsed to make moneysss).
    Living in the moment.
    Lifting to death metal.
    Real food.

    • TonyGentilcore

      What, sodium diphosphate isn’t food?????

  • TonyGentilcore

    THANK YOU everyone for chiming in!!!!! Awesome, awesome stuff

  • Sean

    staring at the sky and muttering …”fn Carl Sagan man…..” , being mesmerized by anything Alton Brown does, a wide range of music from all things from Brian Wilson to Minor Threat and Fugazi, faces my daugther makes that I make including an eyebrow raise, seeing weight left on a bar that someone didn’t put away yet and picking it up heavy or not.

  • OB

    Listening to my three adult children reminisce about the “best day of their life”, a football game we went to in Alabama.
    Clearing that impossile climb on a MTB.
    Knee with replaced ACL better than the original.
    Having your kids refer to you as “the man”.
    Getting a call back after the interview.
    On the green in regulation.
    Life is so freaking good!

    • TonyGentilcore

      Our first golf reference! Wow, I’m surprised it took this long…haha. Thanks for sharing OB.

  • Nick


    A perfectly succulent filet mignon cooked totally freakin’ rare.”


    …but yeah, consumerism is basically the thing that’s been fed to people for the last century as the fix-all to being less than fully content in life. It’s good to know the trick hasn’t fooled everyone.

    • TonyGentilcore

      Would you hate me if I told you that up until recently I used to ALWAYS order my filet medium-well???

      Not kidding.

      Lisa, thankfully, has trained me well.

  • Kate Soltow

    Cute animals. Of any kind!

  • Awesome post! I LOVE sunday afternoons and being able to kick back on all of the personal/fun stuff I wanted to do during the week but was too busy working 🙂

    • TonyGentilcore

      That sounds like my Tuesdays!

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  • Geoff Tam

    Coming up with the perfect nickname for someone
    Awesome weather + time to kill between class/work
    Running into a good friend unexpectedly
    A solid “bro” handshake
    Making people who are on the quieter side laugh
    Working with children
    Comfortable silence

  • oli

    You may have seen this but well worth a watch given the theme of the post, funny as heck; Tim Minchin-

  • Ashley

    Sharing my favorite parts of childhood (movies, toys, music) with my 3 year old because you can get anything on Amazon
    Early mornings on the back porch with coffee and nature
    Fresh clothes after the beach
    Having the funniest girlfriends (truly blessed with 5)
    Filling awkward silences
    Sunrises at the gym
    Unexpected freebies
    toast with peanut butter, honey, and a glass of milk
    Realizing at 29 that I’m just like my mother and she was right all along

    • TonyGentilcore

      Thanks for sharing Ashley!

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