Last night was the annual Cowen date night – a night where mummy and daddy get to adult for a few hours with cocktails and canapés (my favourite kind of dinner, if I’m honest). We went to a stage show. One I’d wanted to see for about five years. And one I secretly hoped would transport me back to the 80s when I was a teenager and life was simpler and there was more rock and roll and no Justin Bieber and no Facebook status.
I’ve always been a tragic nostalgic. I’ve been reminiscing since I was 16, which is clearly decades before I had anything to actually reminisce about. Anyway, I chose to see this show because it promised to take me back to 1984. In a decade where I was going to grow up and marry Simon LeBon. When I was happy, angry, frustrated and liberated all at the same time. Teenage angst anyone?
What I really wanted. What I really, really wanted was to be at a concert with the real deal. Where I knew all the words to all the songs and the man behind the microphone was going to live forever. Except he didn’t. And neither did my teenage years.
If you’re a child of the 70s or 80s there’s a good chance that Queen, David Bowie and various new romantics shaped your music taste (unless of course you were punk, then that’s a whole other Sid and Nancy kind of conversation).
I sat through two and a half hours of the very witty, often funny and terribly cheesy Ben Elton’s We Will Rock You, with a talented cast who, for the most part, had pretty good stage presence as they sang their way through a handful of Queen’s back catalogue.
Sure, it was entertaining and I was comfortably numb with more than a few glasses of Shiraz and post dinner cocktails, but it didn’t satisfy me. Not by a long shot. Honestly, all it did was make me crave the real thing. Which made me sad because I can’t have that anymore. The unique and divine Freddie Mercury is gone. And this stage show, while trying to emulate the music he created with Bryan May, just reminded me of that.
So while I was wandering down Morose Avenue I realized that what I seek these days is authenticity. I don’t want no tribute bands. I don’t want no copycats. I want the real thing. Like those Coca-Cola ads of the 70s, where choirs of happy people toast to the real thing – Coke – as opposed to any other market imitation of their fizzy pop.
And that my friends is what Sam Wood has given me. Authenticity. Not just in the way he delivers his program to us but in the way that his program has inspired me to be my true self. I can be just who I want to be here on this blog and with the 28 Facebook community. The authenticity on this program is astounding.
On the taxi ride home I checked into the 28 Facebook page. Which was a mistake because I get car sick in the back of taxis and scrolling and reading small screens coupled with an erratic taxi driver very soon tallied up to nausea. But my addiction to the 28 community was more powerful than the waves of nausea so I pressed on (I know Sam would have wanted me to finish the round and have a spew!).
I came across a post from a fellow 28-er about how Facebook hits us up with ‘ads we might like’ and how a few of us have been targeted with alternative online fitness programs that seem very similar to our beloved 28. Incidentally I find it hilarious that my Facebook ads now show me sports gear and bikini body workouts when just three short months ago it was pretty much all about wine and wine related gags. The fact that the other two Facebook groups I belong to both have alcohol in their names could have had something to do with it I guess.
Anyway, I’m actually not surprised that there are programs copying and sounding a lot like 28. But you know what? They’re not. And you know why? Authenticity. Not one of them has the authenticity that 28 by Sam Wood has become synonymous with. Our boy is changing the conversation from weight-loss to wellness and that type of integrity and sustainability is much more my style. 28 is not about losing weight and busting out my bikini bod. It’s actually about feeling better and having a great life (bikini body optional as is your view on what the fuck a bikini body should be!).
Personally, I’ve measured my success not by the scales (although dropping digits is fine by me!) but by how alert and well I feel. My brain is firing, my cooking is fresh and lively and my daily written word count has increased exponentially. These are all big wins for me.
And sure, these other copycat programs will have their success formula and yes, their programs will suit some. I’m a big believer in diversity. And I reckon there’s enough for everyone to set up shop and have a crack at anything they want. Different strokes for different folks. But alternative exercise programs that ‘look’ like 28 aren’t for me. I can spot a copycat.
So good luck Facebook marketer…go your hardest! But I’ll stick with the real thing thanks.
I’m with Sam Wood.