What's with all the arrows?

You’re back! I guess the random link dumps and talk about what a tightrope we're all on health-wise didn't scare you off. Where to start today's post, then? Let’s start with the name. Why “Double Arrow Metabolism?”

I grew up on a farm in south central Kansas. Our farm raised cattle, at least until I was 13-14 years old or so. According to WikiPedia, branding, in the form of burning a pattern into animals’ hair and skin, has been performed since at least ancient Egyptian times to identify cattle. The Wild West of the 1970s and '80s hadn't changed the practice. Our farm’s brand was the double arrow, two vertical arrows arranged in parallel, each with an arrowhead on each end. You can see it splattered all over this site:

Everything in Kansas leans to the right.

Everything in Kansas leans to the right.

Now, this may be simple coincidence, but as you may recall from post #2, I’m an endocrinologist, a hormone and metabolism specialist. And if there’s a medical specialty that loves arrows, it’s endocrinology:

There was a time when I could draw this from memory. Then I decided that God gave us Google images for a reason. Now that space is taken up by happier memories.

There was a time when I could draw this from memory. Then I decided that God gave us Google images for a reason. Now that space is taken up by happier memories.

Wow! Converting cholesterol to hormones takes a lot of arrows. And chicken wire. Maybe now you can see how, when my world shifted from the windy, sun-drenched agrarian plains of southern Kansas to the fluorescent, air-conditioned, mint-scented hallways of medical academia, sometimes my studies reminded me of home. And not to get sentimental, but that two-headed arrow has always looked like it wanted to move. It reminds me of freedom of movement back and forth between phases or choices. Or, in my case, over the last couple of years, movement away from those fluorescent-lit hallways back to the outdoors and back in contact with people, not just patients.

So: Double Arrow Metabolism.

It’s not particularly catchy. It doesn’t follow the craze of single-word names out there (Spruce) or baby noises (Hulu) or left-out vowels (Scribd, Flickr) or any of the other internet weirdness. It hasn't been tested for SEO or "optimized" (I hate that word) through Google Ad Words. It hasn't been A/B tested.

But it’s honest. And since I’m looking to connect with people and not necessarily just to optimize search engine results, I like the homage to my past. Plus, metabolism is a cheap way to sound smart without using a word people can’t pronounce (if I'm looking to throw out unpronounceable words, I think I've covered that with the diagram above).

I promise that I’ll get back to discussing the path toward medical, financial, and health independence soon. But first a couple of observations: you shouldn't let the process of getting yourself healthier intimidate you. Just as not every new business name has to follow the naming conventions of Silicon Valley, not every healthy person has to be an athletic coastal hipster foodie or a lycra-covered sex kitten. I mean, if that’s what you are, then great. Magazines apparently can’t shoot enough pictures of you:

Backstreet's back, alright!

Backstreet's back, alright!

But you can just as easily be a middle-aged, slightly frumpy guy like me who decided to paddle himself out of the vortex we talked about in post #1. And you can be as happy as that guy is at how it feels to have your feet planted on dry land.

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