FIFTEEN MINUTES OF FAME
Elaine Doll-Dunn, Psy.D.
In the seventies, Andy Warhol (he of tomato can repetitions) predicted that everyone would be world famous for fifteen minutes. Warhol's prophesy has been realized by the ascent of the World Wide Web; anybody can put anything out there and ultimately garner 15 minutes of dubious fame. That being so, if you could pick your “Fifteen Minutes of Fame”, where would they be? Would they be in the area of the arts? Athletics? Money? Philanthropy? Education? Just where would you like to have that coveted recognition, that peak of performance, that lauding of perfection in the pursuit of happiness in this world. Interesting concept, huh? So many avenues, so little time. I get vicarious “fame” as a parent, a litany of vignettes qualify as FMF just by those fun successes of my children and grandchildren; but I don’t think that’s fair to count. I think you have to personally produce your own. So let’s develop the “Fitness Fifteen”, those fit moments that make us famous.
Fifteen minutes of fame is really a misnomer, the fame is in the journey, and ‘a place in the sun’ is just the culmination of concerted effort at wherever we put our energy. We succeed where we strive. So if the direction you choose is focused, prioritized, positive, and credible…chances are you have FMF on your horizon.
So the “Fitness Fifteen” (not to be confused with “Freshman Fifteen which are much easier to acquire) begins with you. Given that a fit and healthy body contributes to a sound mind, the direction of energy seems like a no-brainer. Being fit makes it all better, it really does. Even the couch potato routine is more satisfying after a two hour workout.
A set point of recognition presupposes coming to some sort of a peak, or finish in most endeavors. That isn’t the case with fitness. Fitness is on-going, addictive, personal, and powerful. If one is to expect an FMF to surface, readiness for that is a daily dose of planned workouts. No sluffing.
If then, that regimen becomes as habituated as brushing your teeth, if missing a run/walk/bike leaves you with an “unfinished business” feeling, then the eventuality is inevitable. Qualify for Boston? Win your age group? Climb a mountain? Run the Great Wall? It can happen.
I’m remembering when as a little girl, the epitome of fame and notoriety was to sing on stage…this when I was too shy to say my name in public…then being chosen as a freshman at Black Hills Teacher’s College to sing a solo on tour; it was truly the apogee of my young life. (Given that it was a short solo and we were a small choir, I still felt like Maria Callas.) Then learning as I grew, that each piece of success just raises the bar for the next, and the intoxication of the adrenaline rush keeps you on the track and pushing the envelope. Fifteen Minutes of Fame leads to a lifetime of fitness.
If it’s finishing a mile, nailing a 10 K, completing a half, or surviving a marathon; benching 65 pounds, climbing the rope to the ceiling (just kidding, Linda Hughes only made little kids do that; I wanted to see if you were listening…), running the whole hill, passing a fast opponent… climbing the stairs that used to be daunting, fifty sit-ups with-out crying, back into your skinny jeans…yeah…these are all Fifteen Minutes of Fame. It’s how you look at it….or how you look? No, more how you feel. Go ahead, center stage is all yours. Create your Fifteen Minutes of Fame and thank Andy for the Soup Can, Marilyn Monroe, Brillo Pad idea….repetitions do result in a work of art.