Ruth Bader Ginsburg

A Tribute Workout

Persis Drell (Provost, Stanford University):  Could you encapsulate what it means to lead a meaningful life for you?

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: To put it simply, it means doing something outside yourself. I tell the law students I address now and then, “If you’re going to be a lawyer and just practice your profession, well you have a skill, so you’re very much like a plumber, but if you want to be a true professional, you will do something outside yourself, something to repair tears in your community, something to make life a little better for people less fortunate than you.” That’s what I think a meaningful life is, one lives not just for oneself, but for one’s community.

– from The Rathburn Lecture on a Meaningful Life, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, 6 February 2017

68 degrees, very light rain at the start of the workout.

PAX: WallE, Mountie, Dick Clark, Scar, Dos Equis (q), and Black Hole on ZOOM.

The elements of a Ruth Bader Ginsburg workout are flexibility, cardiovascular and strength conditioning.  It is remarked that she would  “drop everything” to have a workout with her personal trainer, Bryant Johnson, which she did over the last twenty years.

Flexibility / Warm-Up 

Arm Circle, Circle Arms, Side stretches, Windmill, Imperial Walker, Lounge Act.

Mosey to the Tennis Courts

Fight for the things you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you

Ruth Bader Ginsburg


A type of merkin (10x) at each corner of the pair of tennis courts, with a different type of movement between the corners;

Standard Merkin, high knees movement to next corner

Shoulder Tap Merkins, knees back/buttkickers to next corner

Tempo Merkins, backwards run to next corner

Carolina Dry Docks, side shuffle to starting corner

Hand Release Merkins, high knees movement to next corner,

Ranger Merkins, backwards run to next corner

Wide Arm Merkins, side shuffle to next corner

Standard merkins, at starting corner.

Mosey to ParCourse Exercise Equipment area and coupon storage pile.

Don’t be distracted by emotions like anger, envy, and resentment.  These just zap energy and waste time.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Strength Conditioning

With the coupons, we did these exercises, 10x:

Thrusters, Curls, Squats, Chest Press, Kettle Bell Swings, Derkins,

And the debut of “RowBlocks” by Mountie (See End Notes for description.)

I’m dejected, but only momentarily, when I can’t get a fifth vote for something I think is very important.  But then you go on to the next challenge and you give it your all.  You know that these important issues are not going to go away.  They are going to come back again and again.  There’ll be another time, another day.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Count-A-Rama, Name-A-Rama, Annouce-a-Rama

Closed out in prayer by YHC.

Someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of her ability.  And to help repair tears in her society, to make things a little better through the use of whatever ability she has.  To do something, as my colleague David Souter would say, outside myself. ‘Cause I’ve gotten much more satisfaction for the things that I’ve done for which I was not paid.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, on how she would like to be remembered

Thank you, Justice Ginsburg, for your service to our nation.

#Honored to lead,

Dos Equis


End Notes

  1. During IPC2020, we observed how it had been a long while since we had done workouts with coupons – perhaps too long.  The Pax are encouraged to add coupons to your workout plan when you Q, and you know that our brother Scar will be able to provide plenty of adaptations and modifications to help the pax.
  2. RowBlocks (by Mountie):  Set-up a line of coupons (cinderblocks), flat side down on the ground – you decide the number (it can equal the number of pax at the workout).  Allow a merkin-width space between each coupon. Either start with the pax members at one end of the line waiting their turn or pax evenly spaced throughout the line. You begin with an uneven merkin (with right hand on block, left on the ground). Then move to the right and do a regular merkin with both hands on the coupon. Move to the right again and do another uneven merkin, this time with the left hand still on the block, right hand on the ground. Finally, move to the right for one more merkin with both hands on the ground between the blocks. Move to the right, rinse and repeat through the rest of the line.  When you are finished, get back in line until the Q says to stop.

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