[location change for tomorrow’s workout at bottom]

53 hours.

That’s how long it took Diana Nyad to swim the 110 miles from Cuba to Florida, puking and getting stung by jellyfish along the way. You know, the sort of thing 64 year olds like to do on Tuesdays.

After getting enough fluids back into her body to speak, Nyad told reporters that she made this fifth attempt because “I wanted it to be a lesson for my life – to be fully engaged, awake and alert and alive every minute of every waking day.”

Right on, Diana Nyad, you queerio swimmer who got kicked out of Emory for parachuting out of a dorm window! Awesomeness through and through.

But surely one can be fully engaged, awake and alive some other way than swimming 110 miles through shark infested waters?

Here, I’ll google it: “How to be fully engaged, awake and alive.” Also, I’ll start a convo on Twitter about mindfulness, and oh look here’s a video of about a fugitive Buddhist monk, and here’s a link to a dancing dog, and so long as I’m scrolling through FB, lemme post a photo of the leaf design on my cappuccino.  Because nothing says I’m sucking the marrow out of life! like a photo of cappuccino foam art.

And then, in the midst of all this distracting internet muck, there’s these two mind-blowing videos. They’re about how getting online gets in the way of living life:

A survey recently found that people are more afraid of a two-day digital detox – no phone, no tablet, no computer – than they are of jumping out of a plane. Turns out, online connections and distractions are as addictive as crack. On a chemical level, your brain squirts out a little burst of dopamine when you see a positive comment on your FB post or when you watch a funny cat video.  On a deep psychological level, living your life online satisfies the deep human need for relationships without the risk of rejection.

Problem is, of course, time online is about as far as you can get from fully engaged, awake and alive. As Beyonce scolded  a fan too busy taping to sing with her, “I’m right in your face baby! You gotta seize this moment baby! Put that damn camera down.”

Here’s the Queerfit challenge for the weekend.  Diana Nyad barfed and swam for 53 hours in order to practice being fully engaged in life. Can you put the smartphone down tonight and leave it down until Monday morning?

Are you shaking at the thought of it? That’s reason enough to do it.

It may be that we should do this together.  A few weeks ago, 850 techies attended an invitation-only Summit Outside, where they gave up their tech for the weekend. No WiFi, no cell connection. The “curated community” (composed, not so incidentally, of 98% young white people) did a lot of yoga, saxophone playing, and eating at the late night noodle truck.

We have no late night noodle truck, but if you want to take up the challenge and try 53 hours of engaged, awake, alive, and screen-free living, we do have Queerfit at 10:00 on Saturday and Yoga at 11:00 on Sunday.  Seize this moment, baby! Put that damn interwebs away!

To awaken and enliven you even more, we’ve moved the location of this Saturday’s workout in order to celebrate the birthday of Coach Shae, aka “The Hammer.”  We’ll be at The Wall tomorrow, street address 660 Irwin St., Atlanta, GA 30312. Bring something heavy if you got it (sandbag, dumbbells, small child). Anyone seen checking their smartphones will be fed to the sharks. There will be handstands.