My Favorite Published Articles of 2020

Man, what a year. I don’t have to say anything else, because we all know what a shitshow 2020 has been. But I will say more, because I like writing things.

2020 has been a strange, heart-breaking, eye-opening year. It’s been a year marked with immense difficulties for nearly everyone.

And it’s also one where I’ve moved around a lot. It started in a dorm on 5th Avenue, fled back to Vermont, then onto to Connecticut, Los Angeles, and back to New York’s Greenwich Village.

It’s the year I’ll consider the foundation of my business empire, as I took over partial ownership of Roman Fitness Systems, and weaseled my way into working with the NHL strength coaches.

Yet, no matter what was going on in the world, or where the hell I was in it (I even managed to leave the country, going to Toronto in March), this was also the year where I sat down day after day, stared at a blank page, and wrote.

All told, I think I’ve written more than a book’s worth of essays and articles in 2020. Some of which I’m eclectically proud of, others which will never see the light of day.

It’s the year I first started getting published, the year my writing skills improved to the point where I have the confidence to belong in any writing room — especially if it’s fitness related.

So, here’s a list of my favorite writing published writing pieces from this year. Some, of course, stand out. Some I invested great effort into, bleeding the words and emotions onto the page. Others I wrote on the subway in twelve minutes (and sometimes those became the most popular). Some have lead me to laugh, to cry, to wonder deeply about the world, to apply lessons from school, lessons from my apprenticeship, lessons from just observing this crazy year.

Nearly all of my fitness writing this year got publish on Roman Fitness Systems. Because I am now part owner, I’m obviously much more incentivized to publish there as opposed to here.

My personal website, and brand, I saved for personal essays, ponderings, and writings that I felt didn’t have a home anywhere else (and I couldn’t get other publications to accept). Call it my b-side album.

Fitness Content

You may have noticed that I don’t post much fitness stuff on here anymore, despite the perhaps misleading name of my webiste. That’s because I have a stake is a few other websites, the biggest of which is Roman Fitness Systems.

Fitness and Life Lessons From Chess and The Queen’s Gambit

I loved the Queen’s Gambit. I love chess. I found a way to make it about fitness so I could write about it.

Of Broscience and Bias: The Importance of The Scientific Method

If you only read one thing I wrote this year, this is the most important one. Among the writers I admire most, I’m often struck how they’re able to take a seemingly mundane, or even silly topic, and use it to make a serious, profound statement. In a world flooded with misinformation, I tried to use broscience as a vehicle to explain how to uncover evidence, and ultimately, get the closest to the truth we can get to.

The Importance of Ethos, Or Who You Should Trust

This was a follow up to the broscience article. It’s about how it’s not always practical to be “evidence-first” in a world with so much to study. It was selected as one of the PTDC’s top fitness articles of the week.

Ushering Uberman: My Experience With Polyphasic Sleep

I didn’t go to bed for two weeks straight. And I lived to tell the tale.

How to Train Like a Cobra Kai Student

Okay, yes, I watched a lot of TV and found a way to write about it.

The Ultimate Injury Prevention Guide

5000 words about how to never get injured again.

The Ultimate Home Workout Guide

Sine we were all stuck working out at home, someone had to write it.

Exercise Without Exercising

That’s right, you read the title. Go check it out.

Tracking Data: What Gets Measured Gets Managed

To be honest, I wrote this in about 12 minutes on the subway, but it was also selected among the best fitness articles, so I guess I have to include it.

Dorsiflexion for Posture Domination

Some typical fitness anatomy type stuff. I thought it had a few good jokes though.

The Case For Single-Leg Training

Okay, now I’m just showing off how much I can split squat.

Personal Essays

Since most of my fitness content is going on RFS this days, my personal essays I’m publishing here. A lot of my essays I haven’t published, others I sent out prematurely. Either way, here are a few that I’m proud of sharing.

Holden Caulfield Was Emo As Hell

This is called a “PCJ Essay,” a term coined by my creative writing teacher. It stands for personal/critical/journalistic. Basically, it’s taking a personal essay approach to topics common in criticism or journalism. I just to comment on my favorite book (which I have so many more thoughts about now and am writing more about) The Catcher In The Rye.

Of Dragons and Dreams: My Battles With Envy

Envy and jealously plague all of is. It’s a normal human emotion. But, it can be managed. And, I think, we can all learn how to control our envy. After this difficult journey going through it in my hockey career, I’m grateful for how I’m able to approach all types of relationships differently.

Rosie’s Rules For Success, Happiness, And An Awesome Life

Yeah, you read the title.

Becoming You: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Education

This is another foundational intellectual piece with concepts that have shaped my whole being.

Life Lessons Learned The Chess Way

Chess to me, is an expression of my interdisciplinary mind. Through chess, I learn how to write, how to train, how to think. It’s a medium for creating connections across different concepts and disciplines. And for that, I owe that game so much.

Quarantine Quavers

A collection of mini essays from the first lockdown in the spring.

Criticism

Redefining Emo: Five Years of LNOTGY

I wrote this for fun but if you love Neck Deep you should read it.

Look! I got Published In a Major Publication

There will be much more of this in 2021, but I’m super proud of getting published in Muscle and Strength.

3 Keys to Effective Home Workouts

General Awesomeness Content

Dating In A Pandemic

Okay, this one is hilarious. And also, quite practical. I’ve found a way to not only have success with dating apps this year, but also have fun with it. This is a 5500 deep dive, so get ready to take notes.

Eight Hank Moody Quotes I’ve Added to My Lexicon

Californication is an Awesome show, and I learned a lot from it. This article is also crushing on Google so it has to make the list.

The Power of Dichotomy

The concept of dichotomy, going against expectations has proved to be one of the most important intellectual concepts for me in so many areas of life, from writing to relationships.

Given how much I’ve written this year, I probably should’ve written a book instead. Oh, well, these articles were more fun.

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