Have You Ever Time Traveled? Because I Just Did

lego time machine

I time-traveled yesterday.

Over the weekend, my friend/design Yoda Mike Bridgman wanted to give Nerd Fitness headquarters a more nerdy, retro look that screamed “NERD FITNESS!” Boom – I honestly get giddy just looking at it.

Seriously, if you’re reading this in an email or RSS reader, come check out the site 🙂

Anyways, during the weekend we also updated a whole bunch of other stuff and plugins on the site; one of those new services managed to revert EVERYTHING back to November 2011 yesterday. Things SHOULD be back to normal now, but for a few hours there I felt like I was trapped back in time, six months ago.

It was a rare (though forced) opportunity for me to see what the site looked like, what the message boards looked like, and how many members we had.

It taught me patience as well, as we’ve run into all sorts of snags, problems, glitches, and so on over the past two weeks getting this read…and then the site just didn’t work yesterday!

Last but not least, it also had me thinking of what my life was like six months ago (thanks to Mama T for the inspiration), and what life will be like six months from now.

Shall we go back in time?

Back to the Future

delorean and storm troopers

I want you to hop in your imaginary DeLorean and set the date for November 7th, 2011.

[If you actually have a DeLorean, get it up to 88mph and let us know how things go.]

Read some of your old work emails, IM conversations, and/or message board posts and see what your goals and missions were. At the very least, try to put yourself back in your 2011 shoes (which shouldn’t be too tough as they’re the same size as your 2012 shoes) and think about all of the life decisions (or lack thereof) you’ve made in the past six months.

Looking back, you’ll have different feelings: 

  1. Elation about the decisions made that worked out in your favor.  Maybe you changed your diet and workout strategy and lost a bunch of weight, or switched jobs and paid off a bunch of debt, etc.
  2. Sadness that something you tried didn’t work out or made things worse.  You agreed to go on a date with a total jerk, or you took a job that you ended up hating two weeks later.
  3. Regret that you had an opportunity to make a change or try something new but didn’t. You could have asked that person out but didn’t bother, or you could have taken a _________ class but passed on the chance.

Now, if we actually had a time machine, we could go back to make sure we did the stuff that made us happy, stop ourselves from trying the things that didn’t work out, and force ourselves to try the things that we failed to attempt.

Unfortunately, our flux capacitors are broken, which means we don’t have that luxury…yet.

Although we all want to have elation, we spend so much time worrying about the potential for sadness that we end up giving up the possibility of both, which results in a giant pile of regret.

I say no more!

Fortune favors the bold nerd



Every day is an opportunity to learn.

Right now, I’m can’t help but think about two lessons I learned on my recent trip to Ecuador:

1) I’m proud of myself for trying sushi. I don’t even like cooked fish, but I tried sushi and discovered that – although I didn’t particularly care for it and probably won’t be adding it to my normal menu – it actually wasn’t as abysmal as I had expected! I can now say “yes I’ve had it, and it’s not for me.”

2) I’m kicking myself for not trying kiteboarding. Ecuador has great, reasonably-priced kite boarding lessons. And yet, I spent too much of my time behind a computer telling myself I was too busy; in reality, I had the time, I just chose not to make the effort.  Now that I’m back in the states, there’s nothing I can do about it!

Both lessons are valuable.  I’m glad I learned the first one, and I’m absolutely pissed at myself for the second!  Yeah, I could have broken my leg or hated it or really had a miserable time, but at least I would have been able to say “I tried it.”

Try more

eye clock

If you thinking “sorry Steve, but I’m not as adventurous as you and I don’t like to try new things,” stop it.

I’m extremely risk averse, I’m a a picky eater, I have self-confidence issues, I get terrified when walking into a party of people I don’t know, I’m afraid of public speaking (this was the scariest moment of my life), and if I didn’t force myself to try new things, I might never leave my apartment – hell, 3/4ths of the items on the Epic Quest of Awesome exists because they scare me.

Why do I do it?

For three very important reasons:

  1. Because I’ve learned that new stuff can be freaking awesome!  Oftentimes, the new thing is even better than imagined.
  2. Because more often than not, the “bad” decisions aren’t nearly as life-ending as I expected them to be.  After a brief moment of disappointment, I get to say “welp, that didn’t work out! moving on!”
  3. Because regret is the toughest lesson of all to learn, especially when it’s too late to do anything about it.  “What if” drives me absolutely BONKERS.

I vow that I will continue to try new things and report back here with my findings. After all, I can’t be preaching this stuff without practicing it myself, right?  Without change, there can be no progress, and that progress is key to my happiness.

So, I apologize in advance if Nerd Fitness breaks again for most of the day (the past three days have been incredibly frustrating for me, but I know it’ll be worth it), or something doesn’t work right, or if I launch a new project and it completely bombs.  I’m sorry if I miss an article because I was out learning how to __________, or I make a declaration and then change paths two months later. I want to continue to innovate and grow and explore opportunities and possibilities and chances. I’d like to think that most of them will work, but quite a few will probably blow up in my face, injure or humiliate me, and/or cost me a bunch of money.

That’s learning and I look forward to the ass-kicking life will deliver.  

We can’t predict the future, but we can look back on our past and remember the things that made us feel the way we do:

  • Six months ago, you might have been in a dead-end job that made you miserable. Do you still complain every day about it without actually taking action? Or are you taking daily steps to improve your situation?
  • Six months ago, you saw that cute girl/guy in the coffee shop but didn’t say anything because you were scared. Do you still admire from afar and regret each missed opportunity?  OR do you now approach and say something like “hey, I think you’re really cute and wanted to introduce myself, I’m [name].”
  • Sixth months ago, you said you wanted to take Karate/cooking/dance classes but never got around to it because you were too busy. Are you still busy, or has the realization finally hit that you’re not too busy and you DO have time?

Regret less

There will be moments when you attempt something or say YES to something that you shouldn’t have.

And there will be moments when you try something new that breaks your website for an entire day and makes you want to punch a hole in the drywall 🙂

As long as you look at those opportunities as learning experiences (“trying to eat the Heart Attack burger was a bad idea,” “I now know that I can’t fly by jumping off my roof with cardboard wings”, and so on), then you will be able to avoid making similar mistakes in the future.

Look back on your past 6 months, and think about the moments where you wished you had done something but didn’t. Figure out WHY you didn’t do it – was it fear? Lack of time? Lack of resources?

It’s time to put systems in place to remove those road blocks so you can take action without regret:

  1. Lack of confidence? start here.
  2. Lack of money? read this.
  3. Lack of time? practice better time management, and make time – I’m going to write a post on this very soon.
  4. Too scared? Here’s why you need to do more sh** that scares you. every day.
  5. Afraid to fail? Failure is awesome.

Its far more desirable to look back and say “that wasn’t for me” or “too bad that didn’t work out” instead of “I wonder what if?”

And who knows…the damn thing might work out and actually change your life 🙂

We can’t be like Marty McFly and go back to change what’s happened.  We can only learn from those experiences and apply them moving forward.

I’d love to hear from you today with THREE things:

  • One change or something you’ve made in the past six months that HAS worked out for you – take a sentence to celebrate your success.
  • One opportunity you passed up on in the past six months and are still kicking yourself for.
  • One new decision you’re going make or new thing you’re going to try as a result of that experience you missed out on.


NF hoodie

MEGA SALE PS:  NF Team member Staci handles the merch around here – When you order a shirt or a hoodie, she’s the one who packs it up and ships it out.  She also stores all of apparel, which means her apartment looks like a full blown Nerd Fitness store.

Well, she’s moving in a month, and she’s got a closet full of ridiculously comfortable Nerd Fitness hoodies.  On top of that, we’re about to enter into a new partnership for merch that will allow us to offer way more options for Rebels (performance shirts, anyone?) Rather than make her move all of these hoodies to her new place, I figure why not just sell them in an epic sale so they don’t need to be moved again!

It’s late Spring, which also happens to be perfect Nerd Fitness hoodie weather. Funny coincidence, eh?

Here’s my latest attempt at trying something new. First and foremost, we’re dropping the price on hoodies:

Add $3 for 2XL sizes, and add $5 for international shipping.

On top of that, in honor of this new site launching, we’re gonna sweeten the deal.

From now until Friday night at midnight, buy a hoodie and get any Nerd Fitness ebook 50% off! Or, I guess you could look at it like “buy an ebook and get a kickass NF hoodie ridiculously cheap.”

Whichever method works best in your brain.

Here’s how it works:

Then, on the payment page, put the code “TALIM” and it should apply the discount!

Offer valid for one hoodie and one ebook.  No returns or refunds on this (if you order the wrong size, email us and we can try to figure out a solution).

One more thing.  We also send out kick-ass Nerd Fitness decals (one red, one white) in each package when you buy a hoodie or t-shirt.  If you don’t want hoodies or shirts but just want the decals, $5 bucks will get you one red and one white.  You can add a set of decals to your shopping cart here.


photo sources: dolorean and storm troopers, lego time machine, clocks, eye clock, alarm clock

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42 thoughts on “Have You Ever Time Traveled? Because I Just Did

  1. Can I pre-order an NF performance shirt? Excited just thinking about it!!

  2. One change : I decided to do activities that I enjoy and that work for me, which has led me to do the 30 day shred, while also occasionally hiking, riding my bike, and jogging. End result: I’m happier and stronger, because I realize I can do whatever combination of things that work for ME.One opportunity you passed up : I got screwed over by a ‘friend’ and after 5 months haven’t said anything. I should have said something within a week of not receiving payment for my time and services, but now I’m settling for never having to deal with her BS again. Lesson learned.One new decision : An old and very good friend asked me to do photos and I said yes because the circumstances are right this time. I should’ve said ‘no’ to the other person, because they asked for the wrong reasons. I also have vowed to really push my fitness level so that when I see the person who screwed me over I will be healthy and confident.

  3. I got my first pull-up this past six months! 😀
    I regret not being more active when I went to Colorado.
    I’m going to keep a closer eye on the hiking meetup so I don’t miss more opportunities to be active outdoors!

    An awesome website I found that sorta plays into this is futureme.org .  You write a letter (email) to yourself, and it sends it at some specified time in the future.  It’s really interesting to read when you finally get the email to see how much has changed, how much has not, and what is different from how you hoped/thought it would be!

  4. The site looks awesome!  Well done, Mike!

    Great exercise here!  Reflecting on the past few months, this is what I came up with:

    One change: I focused Strong Inside Out into actionable steps and stopped trying to decide on fitness OR self-development.  I realized after running a survey that people came to my site because I blended both!

    One missed opportunity: I try to take every opportunity that comes my way because I’ve been really conscious of fear being a sign that I SHOULD do something.  Those that I miss, I try not to dwell on, but I fall victim to the I’m-too-busy-excuse way too often.  I’d love to take a weekend every month or two to fly up to NorCal to see the family.  Also, I want to devote more time to my friends and family here in LA.

    One new decision: I will go up north once every 2 months at least to see my parents and grandparents.

    I’m glad you brought this up today.  We really aren’t guaranteed anything in life except today.  Right now.  This is all we know we have, so don’t waste it!

  5. Having a sight problem — TALIM does not appear to work for the Rebel Fitness regular edition book. “Sorry, your order does not reach the minimum purchase amount for the ‘TALIM’ coupon.”

  6. Change: Started following Nerd Fitness, and have become inspired!

    Regret: Just about everything! So many missed opportunities in life!Decision: Gonna take control of my life, and start doing stuff that scares me. Gonna get in shape. Gonna make more money. Gonna full out join the Rebellion 8)

  7. LOVE the new site look!

    One change: I decided that I am in control of my experiences and the energy I put out into any given space. Regardless of anyone else’s attitude or actions, it is up to me to create the best situation and only I can control how I feel at any given moment. It has kind of changed my life when I actually began putting this into practice.
    One missed opportunity: To have an honest, continuing conversation with someone who I care about a lot about our relationship and how it would manifest. If we both hadn’t been wrapped up in our own stories and insecurities, we may not have grown so far apart.

    One decision: Keep the conversations and opportunities open, both with other people and myself. When something is uncomfortable, take it as a sign that I should step into that sensation rather than retreat from it.

    And this doesn’t even cover the fitness goals! 🙂

  8. Since november 2011 I’ve done 2 Grim series races, gained a personal best in my 10km, traveled around the sunshine coast of australia (the highlight being chasing our campervan up a valley in flip flops!) and discovered NF. I’ve altered my diet (not 100% yet but getting there) and thought more about what goes into my body and more importantly what I get out of it. I feel pretty elated about what I’ve gotten up to in the last 6 months!

  9. I quit my job in corporate America to pursue real, legacy building kind of work with passion. That was pretty bad-arse!


  10. One change: Started taking martial arts lessons. Great way to vent out my frustration work and fantastic physical exercise. Plus, it’s incredibly fun and it turns out I’m halfway decent at it. 
    One regret: Not applying for the last NF job that was posted. I probably wouldn’t have gotten it, but I should have gone ahead and given it a try. 
    One New Decision: Part of my challenge is to spend time every week working on my writing. I realized that part of the reason I wanted that job is because working from home on a flexible schedule part time would have allowed me to drop to part time in my “real world” job, which while I love my job, would probably be healthy for me. So my goal is towards the idea of someday being self-employed through a combination of writing and teaching/coaching/training sport horses. 

    Also, I hate fish too. But I love sushi. It doesn’t always have to have fish in it. I love Tempura Shrimp rolls, and California rolls with just veggies are sublime. I’m still trying to decide if I like eel or not. 

  11. Hey Steve,

    This reminds me of a webapp I use, futureme.org. You can basically write an email to your future self (it’s delivered on a specific date that you choose).

    If you write a good letter, you can easily remember where you were 6 months or one year ago, and if you met the goals you laid out for yourself in the email.

    I send a small one to myself every 6 months, and a bigger one every year. When you’re living life, time really flies by, but when you read your futureme emails, you gain plenty of perspective and realize how much you progress (or can progress) in just a few months.

  12. Cool, cool, cool 🙂 Great improvement on redesign, changes aren’t too big which is good (I learned readers don’t like big redesign changes at once) but at the same time everything was improved: navigation, icons, colors…And finally Disqus font size is the same as the rest of the site! 😀 BTW, I noticed that when you change “categories” on sidebar to “topics” or something in that style people tend to click it more…just something to consider.

    I need to say you’re a real inspiration to me, not just for fitness. Here is goes:

    Missed opportunity/regret: more than allowed delicious-not so healthy food (I love going to movies, to often) and postponing out of country travel last summer. Decisions: For the last 6 or more months I managed to make my online job full time now and I plan on traveling more starting this summer, including SEA this September. Already purchased the ticket so definitely no backing out! So I guess this is main decision for me, overall. 

    I’m also experimenting with slow carb diet this month, just for fun. I’ve been doing paleo  4-5 days a week before that this year.

    In terms of fitness, I learned to enjoy my training by diversifying it almost monthly. Running, joga, strength training, lifting, cross fit… I’m enjoying learning something new, don’t get bored and I have actually improved my 5k which is mine main fitness goal. 17:42.

    One change for the past 5 months:  Going out less. I’m in college so I used to go out few times a week, not just weekends. Now I’m saving more money, don’t eat in drive-ins after, work more online, feel better and I don’t feel I’m missing out on anything…

  13. Nice motivational post Steve!

    One thing I changed: I went Primal!  I read the Primal Blueprint which took a lot of my thoughts, and finished them off, and then some, creating a basic concept I can live by!

    One thing I regret:  I was going to become a personal trainer, but I never got around to signing up for the course to gain certification.  I’ll make it happen.

    One new thing:  I’m in my own house, set up my own gym at home, and cancelled my gym membership.  My workouts these days are far more intense and my envrionment is more fun!  That’s one shackle I broke off My loyalty to gym when i didn’t need it!  🙂

  14. First off, love the new look Steve! Props to you and Mike.

    One change that worked – making a public pedge to change.
    One regret – no regrets here.
    One new decision – moving to NY!

    One change Having dropped out of college in lieu of 10 years of working for company after company, I’m taking control. Found out I qualified for a Pell Grant and am starting back up next week to finish a bachelors.
    One opportunity you passed up This…I can’t really say I’ve got one. Lots of great stories (insane many of them may be) have come from the many escapades of my wife and me. Although I do have a number of regrets, I learned from them.One new decision Taking control of life and not letting it control me.

  16. The new site looks awesome. Kinda disappointed about the lack of Doctor Who references in a time-traveling post though, lol.

  17. My big change is I moved into my own place, we’ll see if I regret it later or not!  
    One regret I have was actually last summer, I didn’t go see my family.  So this summer I’m going.  I’m also considering quitting my job to work for myself.  VERY HARD DECISION, ack!

  18. This is completely awesome. I’ve been waiting to buy the strength guide, and I wanted a hoodie or pullover! This sale has awesome timing! Woohoo!

  19. Hi Steve / Staci,

    How about a breakdown of the new font families and sizes used now for the paragraphs and headings? I’m really digging whatever you have going on here! Bonus points if you provide the CSS details on fonts (e.g., font-size) and text (e.g., text-decoration).

  20. I’m glad this went up today.  I went back to the gym 5 months and 27 days ago today.  It was the best decision I’ve made in years.  I was terrified of it, and am really glad I did it/stuck it out.

    It’s inspiring me to reach out to some old friends I miss who I haven’t spoken to in forever.  I wasn’t the best in keeping in contact with them these last few months.  I need to fix that.  I think that covers both my regret and my change I’m making. 🙂

    Thanks for the post and site!

  21. One change I have started eating healthier 4 weeks ago. I’m not there yet, but I am trying a plant based diet to see if it works for me. I’m even on a 3 day juice detox right now (day 3, yay!)One opportunity you passed up I don’t really want to think about that. Regret is boring! One new decision I am creating a stream of passive income that should be here by Oct 22 2012. That’s my deadline.

  22. Great post!

    1. I have made so many changes that I’m proud of:

    – Upgraded jobs – I make more money and I am HAPPY to go to work every day, my schedule now allows me to plan my time more efficiently and I have separated myself from my previous toxic work environment.

    – Quit smoking – I quit 2 weeks ago and will never go back. I have had very few cravings and am down to 1 or 2 pieces of nicotine gum per day. Quitting has never been this easy in the past (and believe me, I’ve tried), and I attribute it to a NF post (and ultimately my realization that I don’t lack willpower, I create my own destiny!), and my stance that I am NOT an “ex-smoker”, I am a NON-smoker.

    – Finally cut all the crap out of my diet. No more justifying cheat meals that turn into cheat weeks that turn into a ruined diet and zero energy; I am 100% paleo at this point in time and am doing a 30 day sugar fast. I’ve never felt so great and had so much energy for my workouts.

    – Cutting alcohol out of my life for 30 days has made a huge impact…I realize how much I was using alcohol as a crutch and was slowly slipping into alcoholic tendencies. This break has taught me that I don’t need a glass (or entire bottle for that matter) of wine to relieve stress during the week. Because I’m not loaded every evening, I have more time to take care of basic household stuff like cleaning and laundry that was driving me crazy before. I have more energy to work out after work, I get a good night’s sleep every night, and am no longer going in to work hungover. Steve’s post about motivation and underwear piles (lol) opened my eyes to the fact that I was letting myself fail. I simply made the decision to do, rather than try.

    – Started seeing a shrink to get a handle on my struggles with depression and poor self esteem.

    – Oh yeah, working out! started a strength training regimen that I like to mix up with some fun team sports based cardio and bikram yoga. Best of all, I do this at home, so I really can’t make an excuse not to lift heavy dumbbells when they’re staring me in the face!

    2. Opportunity I passed up: going down to Florida to visit my grandfather, who at the time was dying from a collapsed lung due to emphysema (wow I actually spelled that right the first time) because I had a tonsillectomy scheduled 2 days after my mom and aunts were flying down. It was a decision that completely tore me apart but I had to choose my health and all the preparations I had made for this surgery and the accompanying time off. I wrote grandpa a super long letter that my mom read to him (and that you can read here: http://yarnandfarn.tumblr.com/post/12679763371/and-now-a-very-special-blog-post) in which I promised I would quit smoking…he smoked from age 9 (!) till his mid 60s before quitting. I’m happy I at least finally held up my end of the bargain.

    Grandpa miraculously pulled through from the brink of death, and here it is 5 months later and I haven’t visited him yet. Shame on me.

    3. Decision I will make: visit Grandpa. Tell him in person that I have held up my end of the bargain and give him a hug before it’s too late.

    Whew. That was cathartic.

  23. This brought a tear to my eye.  Very touching and inspiring.  I will keep your Grandpa in my paryers.  Good for you Elizabeth!

  24. Thank you Patty! I hadn’t re-read that letter in months and it brought tears to my eyes as well. My grandpa (and my whole mom’s side of the family for that matter) is a bright light amidst a murky fog of emotionally abusive relatives and I have taken him for granted. Just called my mom to help me schedule a flight down to visit him within the month 🙂

  25. Steve, November was the month that I started my training in Krav Maga, subsequently leading to a complete redefinition of what fitness means to me over the last six months.  

    For seven years I have been nearly fanatical about going to the gym – I’ve been in great shape throughout but for a long time willpower alone was the only reason that I was working out anymore. Three months ago I gave up the gym cold turkey and developed an approach to fitness that involves skill acquisition and combining daily routine with exercise – I’ve never been in better shape!  

    It’s not a coincidence that November also happens to be the month that I discovered your blog – thanks for the inspiration!

  26. The change that I’ve made in the past six months that I’m most excited about is starting my blog, http://www.philosophymatters.org. It’s given me a great project to focus on and is something I really enjoy and hope will help others. 

    Something that I’ve passed up on in the past 6 months is really taking ownership of my diet. I’ve struggled with it on and off and overall I’ve made progress, but I haven’t been able to make those life-long changes that I need to make. In order to correct this, I’m going to sit down and make a list of small changes I can implement one at a time in order to really make that change and then move on to the next one. Then these small changes can start adding up!

  27. One change I realized that I say no a lot. I mean a lot. For whatever reason, no is my first response when I’m asked if I want to do something. SO, I decided to start saying YES! When these opportunities come my way – From the simple (staying up later than normal) to the complex (let’s start a new business partnership). Saying YES! has been wonderful.One opportunity you passed up I totally let my fitness & nutrition slide over the last 6 months.  We’re talking sit down with a spoon and _________(insert unhealthy item here) and consume while gym bag hasn’t been opened in months. BUT! See first question – Offered a free membership to my gym and I said YES! So now back at it… I missed the opportunity of working out the last 6 months… but no longer.One new decision I’ve realized that each day matters… each effort matters… and each choice matters. I can choose, right now, to do something positive – for myself and others. I’ve decided to refocus and re-energize many areas of my life.. including fitness.

  28. Did you try sushi rolls or sashimi fish? Because both are incredibly different and sashimi is, in my opinion, way better than cooked fish any day!

  29. 1. Changes I don’t regret – Signing up for ToughMudder (running on Saturday!), Adult Amateur Soccer League, volleyball (team captain FTW!), going Paleo, and downsizing my stuff collection.  Asking out one person in December…first person I had asked out in a few years…she turned me down

    2. Missed opportunity – well, there have been a few in the past 6 months, one is not asking out the girl who gave the extra push I needed to try soccer (but she I did ask her to be on my volleyball team).  More recently, there is this girl who I’ve been talking to off and on with excellent taste in wine and food, is adventurous, likes hunting, but doesn’t like fishing who I keep telling myself I SHOULD ask out, but I keep losing my nerve.

    3. New decision – Take the hint from this adventurous one and ask her to at least dinner, maybe just a movie (she LOVES movies), she might be the type who likes to start with a platonic friend.  Another decision…say yes more to my friends who build (strange that they’re from my favorite coffee shop) and no to the “friends” who tear down (these have been my friends for years)

  30. Sushi (fish on a small bit of sticky rice) and Sashimi (just raw fish, no rice) are my absolute favorites!  Sushi rolls though…with the seaweed and the texture make me not so happy.  Gotta have some pickled ginger for some sushi, tamari for others, and wasabi for others, but all around, Sushi is awesome!

    I had my first sushi about a year ago 🙂

  31.  I have to say, I dont know if its the clashing colours or the dangerous grammar, however this weblog is hideous! I imply, I dont need to sound like a know-it-all or anything, however could you could have presumably put a little bit extra effort into this subject. Its really fascinating, but you dont signify it well at all, man. Anyway, in my language, there usually are not much good supply like this.

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