Friday, September 10, 2010

Dear Jen

Once upon a time there was a small company called Phillips, which developed a magical little gizmo which they dubbed the DirectLife activity monitor. It does all kinds of things, including… okay, it only does one thing. But it does that one thing incredibly, fantastically, magically well: it rests in your pocket or around your neck or in your shoe and it MONITORS your ACTIVITY. Whoever heard of such a thing? The program includes magical online tracking stuff and one-on-one motivation and interaction with your very own DirectLife coach. I had a little bit of a misunderstanding with my DirectLife coach (DirectLife Coach Jen), but now it’s all good between the two of us.

Dear dear Jack,

One thing is for sure Jack, I will never have another participant like you - I completely agree! I am terribly sorry that you received the email and thought it came from me. It was an automatically generated email to give you feedback on your Plan.

I really appreciate you letting me know how you felt about receiving it as I will pass this along to the team here so that we can avoid such confusion in the future. In no way do I want you to feel that our relationship is over. In fact Jack, Plan One is just the beginning, if you'd like to continue this is of course possible. Are you interested in continuing? You can choose to keep at your current target for awhile, or keep at increasing your activity by starting a new Plan. If you are up for it, I have found that many people benefit from trying to maintain their end of week 12 target for a while to really solidify those good habits.

Can you let me know if you are willing/open/excited to continue with the program? I will remain here as your resource to help you along, support you, guide you and motivate you if needed (although you somehow seem to have this nearly bottomless supply of motivation to continually improve).

and Jack... I am very impressed with your progress throughout the Plan. How do you feel about your progress?


Dear DirectLife Coach Jen,

I should have realized that other email was just another one of DirectLife Coach José's crazy plots to mess with my head. WELL, IT WON'T WORK, DIRECTLIFE COACH JOSé! YOU CAN'T GET IN MY HEAD!

Sorry it's taken me so long to respond to your message, too. Do you answer all the emails that come to your spam folder? I'm beginning to think it's a big waste of time, but my mother taught me that if somebody is nice enough to send you a letter, you should be nice enough to write them back. The bad news is that it's a real time suck... but on the plus side, I seem to be winning quite a lot of overseas lotteries! I guess you gotta take the bad with the good...

Of course I'm continuing with my activity plan, DirectLife Coach Jen! As a matter of fact, I have some ideas on kicking things up a notch and... DON'T THINK I DON'T KNOW YOU'RE READING THIS, DIRECTLIFE COACH JOSé! WHY CAN'T YOU JUST LEAVE ME BE? WHAT HAVE I EVER DONE TO YOU?

So... I'm happy that we can still be friends, DirectLife Coach Jen. You've taught me quite a bit about the importance of incorporating more activity into a healthy lifestyle while I feel like I've taught you a little something about everything else. See, we make one great team... NO MATTER WHAT DIRECTLIFE COACH JOSé SAYS!

Actively yours,


DirectLife Coach Jen’s follow-up email was kinda long, so I edited it a little…

Hi Jack,

You have… opened up my eyes… Your blog is…. super. … I… want… to … jump… you.

There were some more words in there, but you get the gist of it...

Dear DirectLife Coach Jen,

When I said I was going to kick things up a notch, I didn’t necessarily mean I was going to be doing more and more activity. I was laid off at the casket manufacturing plant last month and have taken a job as a notch-kicker for a small specialty firm that does a lot of work in the notch industry. The good news is that I get a lot more activity during the work day than when I was testing caskets; the bad news is that my boss Pete is always riding my ass about the poor quality of my kicking. Hey, I’m new at this!

Anyway, I had a few questions about the activity monitor that I was hoping you could clear up.

• I know that you can swim (both underwater and ummmm… over water) while wearing it, but the FAQ section doesn’t say if the gizmo can withstand fire. I do some volunteer work for my community’s fire department, so that information is very important to me. Actually, I just own a fireman’s uniform and show up at fires and run around barking orders. But it’s a lot of activity!

• Am I the only person who, when they see that they just have one more little push to get to the lightshow on the device, simply shakes it until it goes off?

• The device is awfully small and sometimes I accidentally toss it in the trash when I’m throwing away all my loose change at the end of the day. Are there any plans to make a giant version of the activity monitor so that it won’t get mixed up with keys and coins and whatnot?

• Did you hear I’m speaking at FitBloggin’ 11? Are you and DirectLife Coach José coming to cheer me on? More importantly, are you gonna talk to some corporate bigwigs at Phillips into sponsoring me?

Well, that’s all I’ve got for now. Pete’s yelling at me again to “get ta kickin’!” so I better put my foot back to the grindstone (some of our top-of-the-line notches are made of grindstone... you really should check out the catalog).

Take care,



  1. Damn you Jose! Toying with Jack's emotions!

  2. I was worried this was over. I'm glad your relationship is continuing for my amusement.

  3. Cool Jack you speaking at FitBloggin’ 11!

  4. Sh.t on a Stick, you make me laugh Jack! :) Thanks for the chuckle. It's Day 4 and I'm on the floor!

  5. I'm envious that you'll have coach Jen another 12 weeks Jack but I'm glad she's still yours lol. You know I'm in Maryland so I might just get to see you at Fitbloggin 11, would be cool for sure. Keep up that casket making mister though I don't want one anytime soon but will keep you in mind for the job.

  6. Man, your blog is crack...

  7. What am I going to do with you Jack! She's no good for you! Don't be fooled by her!

  8. wow Jack,
    That little post was the perfect blend of paranoia and sentiment.
    hope Jen has that restraining order. lmao.

  9. I love these letters! Makes for a great read! :)

  10. Who exactly is this JEN person? I'm feeling so jealous right now. *snort* Just kidding, Jack. Congrats on the FitBloggin 11 event!

  11. You're speaking at FitBloggin'?! Congratulations!



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