Category Archives: Maki Fit

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

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


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.

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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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