The Potato, Egg and Coffee

Many people spend most of their lives searching to find themselves. Through work, relationships, travelling, or by doing things that they feel will bring them happiness. But in the end, many of us react according to the circumstances in our lives. 

Today I wanted to share a story with you about perspective, adversity and how you might view yourself.

Once upon a time, a daughter complained to her mother that her life was miserable and that she didn’t know how she was going to make it. She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed just as one problem was solved, another one soon followed.

Her mother, a chef, took her to the kitchen and said, “I want to show you something.” She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Once the three pots began to boil, she placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot.

She then let them sit and boil, without saying a word to his daughter. The daughter moaned and impatiently waited, wondering what she was doing.

After twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She took the potatoes out of the pot and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.

She then ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup. Turning to her she asked. “Daughter, what do you see?”

“Potatoes, eggs, and coffee,” she hastily replied.

“Look closer,” she said, “and touch the potatoes.” She did and noted that they were soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma brought a smile to her face.

“Mother, what does this mean?” she asked.

She then explained that the potatoes, the eggs and coffee beans had each faced the same adversity– the boiling water. The boiling water had changed them. However, each one reacted differently.

The potato went in strong, hard, and unrelenting, but in boiling water, it became soft and weak.

The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior until it was put in the boiling water. Then the inside of the egg became hard.

However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water and created something new.

My question to you is: Which one are you?

Are you the potato that seems strong? But with pain and adversity, do you grow soft and lose strength? Are you the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial,  Does your exterior look the same, but on the inside you are bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?

Or are you like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water – the very circumstance that brings the adversity, the pain, the hardship – into something quite wonderful.  If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you improve and change the situation around you for the better.

When it rains it pours. Maybe the art of life is to convert tough times to great experiences: we can choose to hate the rain or dance in it.” ― Joan Marques

In With A Roar Out With A Whimper?

– There are 5 seconds left in the game, and the visiting team needs a touchdown to win. but they’re at the 40-yard line.
– They’re down a goal with 60 seconds left in the gold medal game and they’ve pulled their goalie to gain the man advantage.
– He’s been knocked down, has barely made the 10-second count, and it’s the final 12th round.

I’ve just described some of the greatest comebacks in sports history. Nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat thrillers that’ll have you jumping up and down and screaming and shouting like a person gone mad.

What do all of the greatest come-from-behind sporting events in history have in common?

It’s how they finished!

And if we take this and apply it to our lives there’s a clear lesson here for us.

It’s not how you start; it’s how you finish.

It’s easy to start well, when you’re motivated, and physically and mentally at your best.

Then you start to lose your focus, you hit a bump in the road, suffer a minor setback, and then feel like the possible is impossible. It’s easy to lose your passion when things aren’t going the way you had envisioned them.

A word that describes this phenomenon is, backsliding.  Backsliding suggests we were making progress, but then we veered off track and began sliding backwards in our life.

The 28-Day challengers just finished their first week at the dojo, the 8-week Mansformation program started this week, and the 8-week C.H.O.I.C.E.S program also started this week.

I can guarantee you that everyone is motivated. But what’s going to happen when they finish? How are you going to finish this year off?

Remember: it’s not how you start the journey; it’s how you continue and how you finish. Will you start 2018 with a Roar and finish with a whimper, or start the New Year and finish it with a ROAR!

Dedicated to your fitness,
Maki Riddington



My Client Fired Me!

The MPT dojo isn’t a place where we’ll bombard you with endless varieties of dead-end diet/exercise programs, or make you tired of enduring the complexities of the fitness journey on your own. Over the years, I’ve assembled a team that will do the all-important research for you AND provides an easy “all-in-one” package that enables you to reach goals you never thought were possible to achieve.

I’m not one to slack off nor is the MPT team. We never stop experimenting, learning and discovering the ways to optimize the operation of our bodies. Through all our years of research along with trial and error, we’ve come to realize the three most important elements in achieving fitness goals.

They are:

Simplicity – Thinking can be annoying, especially when it comes to getting rid of old, bad habits and initiating new, good ones. The simpler the process, the less thought is required, the more change becomes effortless.

Routine-Based – Your training will become automatic to the point where your body will lead you to the gym—even when you don’t want to go… TRUST ME!

Team Accountability – My own training improved dramatically, once I surrounded myself with the whole-heartedly motivated team I have today. They hold me accountable to my training in the same exact way we will hold YOU accountable for yours. Success is nothing if you can’t share it with those who interact with you.

This is why I believe the clients who’ve trained with the coaches at MPT have experienced phenomenal success in reaching and surpassing their goals.

The coaches at MPT give you everything you need to finally take control of your body and your LIFE.  If you’re struggling to believe putting in the effort will change your life, then consider the opinions of those who used to be in your position…

Here’s what Miri Winkler a long-time student had to say about her experience training at the MPT dojo.

As a child and young adult I was a very active person, playing basketball, soccer and running but then life got in the way. Working long hours, giving birth and being a busy mom who also worked full-time.

In 2003 my child left to study in another province and I made the decision to take control over my life. I started working out in a local community centre and while working out I watched the various personal trainers. One of the trainers caught my eyes because unlike the other trainers in the facility he matched the training to the individual. I signed up with him for 5 sessions and never looked back. That coach’s name is Maki Riddington!

Shortly thereafter Maki started his own fitness group though at that time he did not have a permanent place we followed him wherever he rented a spot.

The training was group training and true to his belief every session was different, never a dull moment. We were definitely hooked on Maki and his training. As he evolved so did I, I never felt better or more fit and enjoyed every session with Maki.

Going forward to July 2010, regrettably I broke my ankle required surgery and now I am a proud owner of a plate and 7 screws in my ankle. It took me a long while to recuperate and at the same time, I moved to another province until the summer of 2013.

When I came back to Vancouver I was far from being fit and I was overweight but decided yet again that I have to go back to training and there was no doubt in my mind that I will join Maki Performance Training who by this time had his own dojo, his own home.

At first, I started with group training, however, this time around it did not work for me for various reasons. I was older and out of shape and I felt that I could not compete with the younger crowd, but every cloud has a silver lining. That’s when I met Erin Huffer and boy did I like her style! Just like back in 2003 with Maki I felt that she was different and even though I began personal training with Maki again in no time I “fired” him and switched to Erin.

Erin empowered me, every session with Erin was a delight. I loved working out with her and was sorry I could not workout more often. I started feeling stronger, more fit and paid much more attention to my nutrition. As a result of that, I lost quite a bit of weight, gained quite a bit of muscle and felt good about myself and my body.

The MPT dojo is the most welcoming fitness facility I’ve ever been to, everyone is so welcoming, the trainers are top notch. Maki and the trainers continuously challenged us yet made it fun to be at the dojo. Of course, there was also the social aspect the fundraisers, always giving back to the community at large, holiday parties and so on.

Anyone contemplating joining a fitness club should start by hiring a personal coach. You receive more personal attention and a better idea of what you’re capable of. Ideally having both personal and group sessions are the best especially if your personal coach is also coaching a group, the benefits are numerous.”   


It’s YOUR choice to dramatically improve your body/life. Choice can be a gift or a curse, but once you train your brain and body to work towards improvement, what were once difficult choices requiring massive motivation become as easy as breathing and walking.

If you’ve thought about one to one coaching you can test drive what we offer by signing up for our PT Kickstarter.

Sign up here:

It’s probably one of the best deals in town, or so I’ve been told. You get one month of unlimited classes and four one to one training sessions (only limited to one per individual) for only $240. That’s a $410 value.

Sign up here:

Dedicated to your fitness,

Maki Riddington



The Power of The High Five


You’ve seen it at sporting events, on TV, or at our children’s game-times, and we even do it here at the MPT dojo. The High-Five is a key part of North American sports culture and beyond. There are several stories about the origin of the High-Five, all of which are interesting in themselves, but I’d prefer to talk about what the High-Five currently represents, and why it could play an important role at the MPT dojo.

The High-Five is often seen, and used, as a gesture of greeting, elation, celebration or congratulation in our society. However, once you look at it more closely, the High-Five has a deeper meaning and a wider effect.

Have you ever noticed what happens in a basketball game after a player makes a free throw? Regardless of whether they make the shot or miss it, the players around the teammate who’s made the shot, give him /her a fist bump or High-Five.

Why is that?

A study was conducted on NBA players which recorded the number of times they touched one another in a game (fist bump, high five or a pat on the backside). In 50 minutes of play, they saw a total of a minute-and-a-half of touches made between teammates. Now, given the fact that each touch was maybe a hundredth of a second, you can see that this adds up to a lot of touches overall.

What researchers found was astonishing. They looked at the teams with the largest number of touches and saw that these teams actually placed higher overall in the standings. Not only that, but teams with the largest number of touches also had better stats on passing, and setting picks. In other words, their team-interaction had improved their performance.

So what does that tell us about High-Fives, and why we should be doing them more often, both in our day-to-day lives and at the dojo?

1. It is a gesture of interaction with other humans that celebrate our togetherness.

2. It is a great way to communicate and to display positive feedback.

3. Just like the handshake, the action of slapping your hand on someone else’s signifies a physical connection.

4. Athletes who High-Five have been shown to perform better.

5. It’s an energized/energetic act.

6. It promotes positive reinforcement.

7. The High-Five is an instantaneous way of telling a person that they are important, and deserve your personal attention.

8. Tactile communication is known to increase cooperation, to convey positive emotions, and to provide a sign of trust—which was illustrated in the study conducted with NBA players.

You see, the secret to the High-Five is in the touch. Not only is it the greatest way to increase social camaraderie, but it establishes a hands-on (you might say) connection with your fellow human being. At the dojo, in order to help you reach your goals, we need to find ways to connect with you. And giving you a High-Five is one way to do this, when we see you arriving, during a workout, or afterward as you leave.

One of my hopes is to see people connecting with one another, and for me, myself, to connect at a stronger level with each of you. The High-Five helps bridge this gap and starts the valuable process of relationship-building.

A process which can:
• Help you better achieve your goals.
• Give you something to believe in.
• Create an environment for your growth.
• Give you social ease.
• Give you peace of mind.
• Allow you to express a philosophy.
• Provide you with a feeling of service.

So here’s my October challenge to you. I call it the “30-Day High-Five Challenge.”

Can you High-Five a person you don’t know every day for 30 days? Make eye contact, raise your hand, and make palm to palm contact followed by a greeting, or some sort of positive affirmation.

The second part is to High-Five at least 5 people every day. If you’re a teacher, stand at the entrance and give out High-Fives. If you’re a business owner, greet your employees with a High-Five, and if you’re a worker, greet your co-workers with a High-Five.

Before self-doubt creeps in, ask yourself, “Would the difficulties of doing this outweigh the benefits?” The answer lies in the 30-day challenge.

Dedicated to your fitness,
Maki Riddington


Dojo Class Etiquette at MPT

You were probably taught to make eye contact while speaking to someone, to say, “please,” and “thank you,” to keep your elbows off the table, and to extend a firm hand shake. Congratulations – if you practice these! You’re a generally well -mannered human being. But do you know which hand to cough into, from which side to approach and exit your chair at the dinner table, or the difference between pointing at someone, as opposed to pointing at something.

There are many minor etiquette rules you might break on a daily basis without causing offence, but when it comes to behaviour at the gym, do you know the basic rules of etiquette observed here?

At MPT we abide by a simple set of etiquette principles: Keep your socializing to before-and-after class – not during the session. It’s rude, disruptive and suggests that you are more important than everyone else around you. As a coach/trainer, when I’m demonstrating or explaining various exercises I expect your undivided attention, and this also means your ‘quiet’ attention. At MPT we encourage interaction during classes as it helps build camaraderie. However, there is a fine line between friendly interaction, and consistently talking to the point that it becomes disruptive to the flow of the class, and instructions need to be repeated several times over. The last thing I want to do is call someone, or people out in front of everyone, as I’m not a big fan of public slamming. However, if I see that my position, and the interests of others in the class, are not being respected, it may become an option that I will exercise.

I may be taking the risk of sounding old-fashioned (though it actually has nothing to do with “fashion” and everything to do with manners and respect for others), but this needs to be said:It’s not ok, to be late for a class. It’s rude, inconsiderate and selfish. I know this may sound unduly harsh to some, yet it is the honest truth. That we all live busy lives, is a given, so it’s more of a cop-out than it is an excuse. The truth is that some people no longer even pretend that they think your time is as important as theirs.

To clarify, I’m not talking about being two or three minutes late, I’m referring to a ‘habit’ of being five to ten minutes late on a regular basis. I understand life is not always a smooth routine, and things come up that are out of our control. However, if you’re committed to taking part in an event that’s been scheduled and requires punctuality, please make every effort to be on time.

Here are some other rules of etiquette that you can follow at the MPT dojo.

1. Check your ego at the door.
2. Be consistent and be on time.
3. Respect this dojo and respect each other.
4. You can be tired, but don’t act tired.
5. Be better than you were yesterday.
6. Eat real food. Do not diet.
7. “Train” here. “Exercise” somewhere else.
8. Don’t count the reps: make the reps count.
9. Put your excuses and weights away.
10. PR’s are meant to be broken.

I can honestly guarantee you that if everyone who is a student at the MPT dojo followed these guidelines on a consistent basis, their experience and results would be beyond anything they could ever expect.

Dedicated to your fitness,
Maki Riddington

When Misfortune Strikes

When I was a boy growing up, I believed good things only happened to good people, and bad things happened to bad people. When I became an adult I soon realized that bad things happen to good people, and good things can happen to bad people. Of course, the opposite can be true as well. But we’re left asking the proverbial question, “WHY?”

One could conclude, by watching the news or reading a newspaper, that the world is, objectively speaking, full of misery and misfortune. But I learned this past weekend, personally speaking, that when misfortune strikes there’s always a lesson to be learned. Often times we refuse to see the lesson because we’re so weighed down by the event and caught up in feeling miserable about it.

This past weekend the Riddington’s were ready to go on our very first camping trip as a family. Both my wife Catherine and I both grew up in families that camped, so we aren’t strangers to the wonderful world of tents, camp fires and canned food. But this past weekend, misfortune paid us a visit, and we paid its steep toll. But it left me with some insightful lessons.

The story began on Thursday evening.

Read more…

The Book Worm


book worm


“Why do we neglect to read the books that can change our lives? Why do we complain but remain the same? Why do so many of us curse the effect but nourish the cause? How do we explain the fact that only three percent of our entire national population possess a library card-a card that would give us access to all of the answers to success and happiness we could ever want?

Those who wish for the better life cannot permit themselves to miss the books that could have a major impact on how their lives turn out. The book they miss will not help! And the issue is not that books are too expensive! If a person concludes that the price of buying the book is too great, wait until he must pay the price for not buying it. Wait until he receives the bill for continued and prolonged ignorance.

There is very little difference between someone who cannot read and someone who will not read. The result of either is ignorance. Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary. We must not permit anything to stand between us and the book that could change our lives. A little reading each day will result in a wealth of valuable information in a very short period of time. But if we fail to set aside the time, if we fail to pick up the book, if we fail to exercise the discipline, then ignorance will quickly move in to fill the void.

Those who seek a better life must first become a better person. They must continually seek after self- mastery for the purpose of developing a balanced philosophy of life, and then live in accordance with the dictates of that philosophy. The habit of reading is a major stepping stone in the development of a sound philosophical foundation. And in myopinion it is one of the fundamentals required for the attainment of success and happiness.” Jim Rohn

I enjoy reading a good book no matter what type it is. As a child I was raised without a television set. Instead my mother took my brothers and I to the library to pick out books. It was a real treat for us, and I remember gettng lost in the aisles trying to figure which books I would pick out, and the order in which I was going to read them. On holidays my father would rent a tv for a week , and we would be allowed to visit our local video store, and pick out some Walt Disney movies for our viewing pleasure.

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Are You Successful?



There are a multitude of interesting tidbits I come across each and every day I log onto the Internet, thanks to the power of sharing through various social media platforms. This one piece I came across got me thinking about how we as human beings can easily get stuck in a rut operating inside our everyday lives which over time can distant us from becoming the person we desire to be.

Success in today’s society is often described as how much money, or personal items such as cars, homes, jewelry and clothing we own. However, if we take all these so called markers for success away, what we are left with are a person’s consistent ability to take action everyday that will often determine how much they accomplish in life.

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50 Statements That Have Changed MPT – Part 1


“Knowledge comes from learning. Wisdom comes from living.” – Anthony Douglas Williams

My fitness story began at the age of sixteen. I had been athletic all my life, and had dabbled with lifting weights at the age of thirteen, but it wasn’t until I ran into trouble in high school that I really turned to lifting weights. After several years, I grew up and released myself from my troubled past, however, in the process I lost my purpose. Then I realized I could make a living at getting people in better shape, and transforming their bodies. I had done it for myself, so why couldn’t I do it for others?  Over the years I grew to understand that there was more to fitness then just telling people what to do to change their bodies. There was more than a physical component to what I was providing. I could see the need to impact their mindset, and,in some way, change this aspect of their lives for the better,

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1% Better




“Success is a few simple disciplines, practiced every day; while failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day.” —Jim Rohn

As of 2010, there had never been a British cyclist who had won a Tour De France. Then, Dave Brailsford stepped in as the newly-appointed General Manager and Performance Director for Great Britain’s national cycling team.

Brailsford took a simple approach and applied a single strategy. He believed that using the concept he referred to as, the “aggregation of marginal gains,” would help propel Great Britain into the spotlight, and change their cycling history forever.

Read more…