Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Know Thyself

I'm not really sure where to begin?

A little over a month ago, Francesca & I had dinner with her client Vikki. Over dinner; Vikki & I began a conversation on Life, Spirituality, Fate, Coincidence, Success and how it all comes together to create some sort of meaning. I asked Vikki "What was the book that put you on your path?" Having absorbed many books over the last several years I felt ready to discuss whatever she threw my way. She replied 'The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari.' My curious look revealed the fact that not only had I not read it, I had never heard of it. After a brief description of the premise she suggested that I read it, to which I agreed.
The next morning I received a package from my friend Rick who 3 days earlier asked for my work address as he 'had some things to send to me.' Upon opening the package, I discovered a letter from Rick along with a book 'The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari.' Coincidence? or Do I really need to read this?

Work has been very busy lately. New clients are joining and taking care of themselves. We are collecting awards and being interviewed by magazines and publications. There has been little time for reading lately so a vacation to South Beach was just what was needed to relax, recharge & read.

Francesca & I were in South Beach in April of 08' (another needed recharge trip.) On that trip we encountered a guy (unsure of his name/age) but fixated instead on his craft (weaving fallen palm leaves into art) and his 4-legged Labrador sidekick "Lucas". We discovered that this guy found "Lucas" walking alone on the street without ID. After some food, water and attention "Lucas" was more than happy to sit at the side of the man weaving his palm leaves.

January of 09' brought another trip to South Beach. One night walking to dinner I observed the guy again; sitting this time in the park weaving his palms leaves without "Lucas." I couldn't help but wander over to him and say hello and inquire as to "where is the dog you had a few months back?" I discovered that the police took the dog from him since he (Lucas) was without ID and proper documents. I told the guy (let's call him "Artist") that I was sorry for his friends departure. He responded with a friendly "Thank You" and "God Bless" as I said 'goodnight' and walked to my hotel. Over the coming days I noticed that the Artist not only weaved in the park but he in fact was living in the park. Each morning on my coffee walk or run I would observe him in his chair sleeping, reading or gathering his palm leaves. South Beach has plenty of 'homeless' or 'park guests' but there was something about this guy that I couldn't understand. He was gifted, articulate and seemingly lucid. Was I missing something? Is he 'crazy' and I just hadn't seen it? Here was a guy living in a park and yet he seemed happier than most people I know. Upon my return home, I blogged about this and thought about the "artist" often.

This recent trip to South beach was an opportunity for me to read my new book 'The Monk' and enjoy some sunshine. The book was an easy read and very captivating. It's the story of a successful attorney who despite having all of the material toys and conveniences one could want, discovers that the best things in life are free and that true happiness is never bought, it's given.
On Saturday evening we decided to take a cab to Lincoln Rd for dinner. After dinner we decided to walk back 3 miles to our hotel. Sitting on the sidewalk (mid-way to our hotel) was the "artist." My initial reaction was to walk by him but after passing him I decided to turn back and speak to him. Something inside me just screamed "Go Back!" So I did.

Me: How are you tonight?
Artist: Great Thanks. And you?

Me: Good.....You won't remember me but we've spoken before. You had a dog with you at one point, a few blocks away, then a few months later you were in the park without him.
Artist: Yes, that's right. His name was "Lucas" the police took him because I had no License or ID for him. I think about him a lot. He was a good dog.

Me: Yes, that's what you had said. This may sound strange but I wrote a story about you and the dog and I needed to stop by and say hello.
Artist: (Smiling/Almost Laughing) That's great. Very funny actually. (Still weaving without missing a beat while maintaining eye contact during our conversation.)

Me: I'm Frank.
Artist: Hello Frank, My name is David.
Me: This is my wife Francesca (saying Hello)
David: It's a pleasure to meet you!

Me: David are you from Miami originally?
David: No. My family is from California. I lived in Santa Cruz.
Me: What brought you here?
David: Well. (Slightly pausing in his weaving to look up into my eyes and share his story) I was in the Custom Cabinetry Business back in CA. Years back the building that my business was located in burned to the ground. We collected no money from the Insurance Company and I'm still in Litigation with them. I went to the Keys to just get away for a while but it wasn't for me. I returned to CA and felt that there was nothing there for me anymore. So I gave up my things and I walked here.

Me: Walked here? From CA? How long did that take you??
David: About 4 1/2 months.
Me: (Wondering if to believe this, while attempting to do math in my head) Why here? Why South Beach?
David: Frank. About 80% of the people here are on vacation. Everyone is in a great mood, there relaxed and enjoying themselves. It's a great energy. I get to share in that excitement each day and occasionally meet up with someone as yourself who according to you "wrote a story about me." It's a great gift to me each day to live here and I in return get to make a souvenir for someone to bring home that reminds them of their vacation and the fun that they had. It's a wonderful way to live life.

Me: (Standing, nearly speechless, not sure if perhaps it's not me who may be 'crazy') Do you think you'll go into the Cabinetry Business again?
David: (Shaking his head) No! I've had money Frank & I've had no money. The money never brought great happiness to me, even when I made a lot of it. The more I made, the more pressure I felt to make even more the next year. It never ended, if I made less I wasn't happy and If I made more the pressure to do it again instantly appeared.
Me: (I was really at a loss for words at this point. Who was this guy? Yoda? Socrates? Am I imagining all of this? I'm thinking 'dude your homeless and here you are dispensing the wisdom people pay money to learn.' )

Sensing my disconnect between his apparent lack of means and his apparent depth, coherence & eloquence. Dave began to pick up a palm leaf from the floor.

Dave: (Beginning to slash, bend & fold the leaf) Frank. You can be anything you want in life, if it is of your choosing. No matter what people say or think. Just like the 'leaf from the tree that wanted to be a fish.'
"there was a leaf from tree and that's all that you'll be, so they said. But I'm more you'll see than a leaf from a tree, it's fish I wish, in fact to be. In fact it's so as the story will go, that if it's a fish you wish, than a fish you will be."

And when his rhyme was done like a balloon artist to a child; Dave hands me a palm leaf shaped into a fish! I stood there speechless unaware of what to say.

Dave: Frank. I live my life by committing 3 random acts of kindness each day for strangers and I accept and expect nothing in return other than asking them to do the same for others.
Me: David. Thank You. I will pay it forward. I will be sure to see again before I leave. Have a great evening.
Dave: Thanks. God Bless.

The walk back to my hotel I was still unsure of what I had witnessed or encountered? Why? How? What?

The next morning Francesca & I went for Coffee and saw Dave sleeping in the park. I bought coffee for the woman behind us and a gift card for Dave (Coffee, Food, Water could help a guy in the park!) We went for run and still he was fast asleep unaware of our observation of him.

Later that day I finished 'The Monk' and began to realize that Dave is the 'Living Manifestation of the Monk.' I had earlier entertained thoughts of giving Dave the book but I recognized HE IS THE BOOK!

On Sunday evening (our final evening) we were walking back to the hotel and sitting in his chair doing his thing was Dave.

Me: Hi Dave. How are you tonight?
Dave: Hey Man. I'm great.
Me: I've been committing my Random Acts of Kindness and I wanted to give you a small gift to thank you for the 'Fish' last night. (I present him with the Gift Card.)
Dave: Thank you very much. I'm glad I bumped into you. I have a question of you.

Right here I'm thinking. "OK. This is it. Here is where he's giving me the
proof that he's a nut or something. Like he's going to tell me that he wants to
bring me to his planet 'K-Pax' or something."

Dave: I was wondering if I could read the story your wrote about me?
Me: (Wondering how?) Sure. I guess.
Dave: Would it be alright if I gave you my email address and you could send it to me?
Me: (Email???) Uh. Yea. Fran let me have a pen from your pocket book.
Francesca: I don't have a pen!
Dave: I do! (reaching in his bag.)

Writing on a palm leaf he proceeds to give me his GMAIL Address. Then turning over the leaf to write on the other side he begins to write again.

Dave: I'll give you my Facebook address also!

At this point I recognize that he's not homeless. He chooses to simply live in the park. This is a guy who lives the life he wants, despite the fact that society (and myself) for that matter choose not to walk or sleep in his shoes. Who really knows what road his life has traveled? What's known is that I'm certain he's steering his ship tonight!

Me: David. You & I will cross paths again in this lifetime of that I'm certain. When we do, I'll be sure to say hello.
David: I look forward to it.
Me: Have a great evening. I'll send you the story.
David: Thanks. God bless.

The next morning Francesca & I walked for coffee with Dave sleeping in the park. We passed him going out on our run. On the final trip through the park on the way back to our hotel, he was gone. To where? I have no idea....

I returned home and immediately went to verify his Facebook address "Yep, there he was." I copied his story for him and sent him the email. Who knows what's going on with him? It doesn't really matter. What I'm certain of is that I sensed on an 'Instinctive level' something that those operating on an 'Impression level' never would have. Dave stopped making a living and instead made a life. God Bless.

Frank Pucher

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mid Week Body Sculpt

We want to take this time to tell you about our newest small group offering Mid-Week Body Sculpt.
This class is initially going to be offered only to our Fitness 121 clients and neighbors on Becker Farm Rd.
Class will begin on Tuesday, November 3rd. If you would like information on how to sign up for classes or specific questions regarding the class format, contact our small group instructor Anthony at 973.535.1177. You may also request information at

Body Sculpt(Occupancy Max: 5/Level: Intermediate)-The goal of Body Sculpt is to challenge oneself and enjoy a total body workout in a small group setting. Many types of training will be used to challenge your abilities. The equipment used in this class include: dumbbells, stability balls, mats, and medicine balls. You will laugh, You will sweat, You will feel amazing!
Price: $20 per class Day/Time: Tue & Thur 12:15-1:00
Wed & Fri 1:15-2:00

You will need to sign up for each class on a 1st come 1st serve basis. You may do so at our front desk or via email request

We look forward to seeing you in class!

*Sneakers & comforatble exercise attire is required. Fitness 121 has shower & changing facilities.
We provide towels, hair dryers & lockers at no extra cost.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Run Coach Program

Our "Run Coach Option" is the perfect fit for those that want access to our studio but without the Personal Training commitment. Here is how it works:

1) A 1x Fee of $100 entitles you to a Comprehensive Running Evaluation/Assessment & 1 Personal Training Session with one of our Fitness Professionals. You will be taught a strength program designed specifically for you.

2) You have 2 options to choose from: 6 month commitment @ $30/month or 12 month commitment @ $25/month.You may pay the entire amount up-front or by CC Payments (at no extra charge) monthly.

* This membership commitment is Non-Refundable & Non-Transferable.

* Our Run Coach will meet with you every 12 weeks to modify or adjust your personal fitness program as needed. You’ll receive weekly tips & suggestions on your training.

* Studio hours are between 6am - 7pm, Monday-Thursday; 10am-6pm on Friday. These hours do not include Holidays and may be adjusted due to inclement weather.

About "the Run Coach"
- Frank Pucher is a former 2x All-Conference Distance Runner and NCAA XC Qualifier for East Stroudsburg University. A 6x Boston Marathon Qualifier, he owns a Sub-3hr PR in the Marathon and a ½ Marathon best of 1:15. In addition to being the personal coach to many outstanding athletes, Frank is also the owner of Fitness 121 Personal Training in Roseland. He is one of the few Coaches/Trainers to receive certification as an Endurance Performance Specialist from The National Endurance Sports Trainers Association (NESTA). He is also certified by The American Council on Exercise and The Cooper Institute of Aerobic Research in Dallas, TX.
His website:

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What lies beneath......

Growth is always happening, even when it can't be seen.

As long as the conditions are present (Environment, Attention & Energy) growth is certain. It's really just a matter of science. However, if you remove or neglect one of the conditions required; your growth may be a lack thereof.

In whatever area of life you choose (Family, Personal, Business, Athletic) you must provide the proper conditions to let nature do it's thing. Too often we expect 'overnight' success and give up. Often we provide little attention to something and expect things to change immediately. It doesn't happen. Growth takes time, Growth takes patience, Growth takes faith, even when no sign of growth exists. Or does it?

This weekend Francesca & I bought 2 pots and placed soil and flower seeds in them both. We gave them some water and placed them in our kitchen. Each morning we ask them "How's your growth today?" A little silly I know. But the flower/soil represents growth for all things. It will take several weeks of Water, Attention & Sunlight before we see 'growth' but beneath the surface (as in life) things are happening!

As a couple, as a business, as people Francesca & I have grown tremendously over the last year.
While some people find contentment in the 'Status Quo' I would suggest that the 'Status Quo' is the reason most people are unhappy in their lives.

Developing the wisdom & patience to enable real growth is no easy task. So I offer you the flower/soil exercise. Give it a try. Like the flower yet to bloom is a new YOU the world has yet to see.

Frank Pucher

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Last night was a great night @ Casa de Pucher. Our Fitness 121 TEAM was over to enjoy a little get together over good food, good wine and good laughs. We discussed where we have been, where we are going and the most important question of all "What would Jesus drive?"

Parked outside of St. Rose of Lima Church (God's House) in East Hanover sits a new LEXUS!
I was a little surprised at the notion or insinuation that Jesus preferred a LEXUS. I would have assumed that a man of his stature would drive a Mercedes. Of course no one really knows; perhaps he would really appreciate the new AUDI? With it's comfortable leg room and understated elegance, he may find it's appeal irresistible once he slipped behind the wheel?

One thing is for certain, our TEAM had a great evening, (no matter what's parked in Jesus's garage) Francesca & I feel very blessed to have spend the evening with the TEAM.

This will be a GREAT week. Bring on the Monday!

Frank Pucher

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Fitness 121 Recommends October 09'

Increasing use is being made of the foam rollers at Fitness 121.

Foam rollers are commonly used for balance training, self-myofascial release, self massage and stretching. Foam rollers are also used for Golf swing practice, Yoga and Pilates.
All four foam roller variations can be used for balance training. The half round foam roller versions can be used flat side down as a starting point. Progress to the round foam rollers when you've mastered the half round rollers.


A molded foam roller that does not contain cells making them last three times longer than traditional celled white foam rollers.
Unlike traditional celled foam rollers that break down and flatten out, these molded rollers do not have cells and therefore will last much longer.

Available in 4 sizes Benefits/Uses

Use round rollers for stability exercises and myofascial release and alignment and half round rollers for balance and stabilization.

Improves alignment and hip mobility while increasing core flexibility.
Also can be used for Pilates, Yoga, Massage Therapy, and Fitness Training.

Download the Foam Roller Exercise Sheet (FREE!)
Watch the included Foam Roller instructional video Specifications.

3' Long, 6" Round
1' Long, 6" Round
3' Long, 6" Half Round
1' Long, 6" Half Round

Browse the Perform Better site for all of your home equipment needs. Foam rolling feels great and is just the thing for tight & sore muscles!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Saturday Small Group Schedule

Body Sculpt
(Occupancy Max: 5/Level: Intermediate)
-The goal of Body Sculpt is to challenge oneself and enjoy a total body workout in a small group setting. Many types of training will be used to challenge your abilities. The equipment used in this class include: dumbbells, stability balls, mats, and medicine balls. You may be asked to work with a partner every so often so don’t be shy and make new friends at class!

Price: $20 per class (Friends too are welcome!)
Day/Time: Saturday at 9:15-10:00am

Stretch and Tone
(Occupancy Max: 5/Level: Beginner)
-The goal of Stretch and Tone is to return the body back to its instinctual patterns and create functional balance within a small group setting. Different types of training will be used in class to create balance and increase range of motion. Included will be an introduction of myofacial release techniques. The equipment used in this class include: foam rollers, stability balls, and mats/pads. Partner stretching will be part of class so be ready to have your flexibility improved to the max!

Price: $20 per class (Friends too are welcome!)
Day/Time: Saturday at 10:15-11:00am

** You must sign up at the front desk for each of these classes, 1st come 1st serve**
You may email and we will add you name as space permits. Please include the names of any friends that will be attending.

Jersey Shore Half Marathon 09'

Sunday we had a small contingent in Sandy Hook, NJ. Competing in their 1st Half-Marathons were Chris Adams, Katie Gardner and Gary Pucher.

Each of them were looking to run under 2hrs and then some.

Chris ran an impressive 1:45 (with me fetching his water!)
-Quite a fine performance considering he's only been running for several months now.

Katie ran a very strong race in 1:51, despite some side stitches the last mile..she kept the hammer down and ran strong to the finish.

Gary (all 200lbs of muscle of him) ran 1:55 and felt great the whole way. He is on pace to run sub 4hrs in his Marathon debut this January!

Francesca, Lori & I ran along (for fun) and were very proud of our competitors efforts. Afterwards, we met up for some post race brunch and enjoyed the beautiful weather we were given.

What did you do this weekend?

Frank Pucher