Measurement and How Close You Look

Here’s a pop quiz for you: how long is the coast of California? It’s a trick question, because you’ll get a different answer depending on what resource you ask. The California Coastal Commission, for example, says it’s 1,100 miles long, while many other resources claim it’s 840 miles. A simple search on Quora, however, reveals a claim that it’s 770 miles in length. 

I was inspired to search for the answer to this question in an effort to recreate an exercise from Nassim Taleb, who introduced the concept of fractal geometry by asking the same question about the length of a European coastline. The reason for this according to Taleb is that you get a different answer depending on how closely you look. For those of you near Venice Beach, you can imagine that the nuance of the Santa Monica Bay can be measured many different ways. If you’re measuring the coast of California from an airplane you might draw a straight line from Palos Verdes to Malibu, therefore skipping the enclave that forms Redondo, Hermosa, and Manhattan Beaches up through Marina Del Rey, Venice, and Santa Monica. Come to think of it, how do you measure the coast near the Marina? Shall we measure the general inlet from the jetty or skip it? Why stop there? Shall we measure each inch and foot that creates each unique boat slip? 

You see where I’m going with this and ultimately where Taleb was going with this. My reason for bringing it up is to bring similar awareness to the learnings here. Think of the elements of our GPP program. One can spend five lifetimes delving into gymnastics alone. The same is true for weightlifting, strongman, and powerlifting. Ask our friend, Dr. Romanov, and he’ll tell you that (if you care to) you can spend a lifetime exploring the nooks and crannies of running mechanics for the rest of your life, as well. 

Now, just because our coastline has endless complexity to explore doesn’t mean you should. However, it does provide beautiful optionality. The same is true for movement. I hope you can admire the forest, but also explore the trees every once in a while with us, too. 


Logan Gelbrich  


9/26/19 WOD

Complete 4 rounds for quality:

2 Turkish Get Ups

2 Rope Sled Pulls


Then, complete 4 rounds for time of: 

400m Run 

100′ SB Carry (BW)

-Rest 2 minutes-