“Salt, Sweat, Sugar” (and the rest)

June 14, 2011 By Lauren and Tom

Something you’ll quickly learn as you follow our blog, I am a huge music guy, and I have been since I bought my first CD’s with my very own money during the summer before 7th grade (Barenaked Ladies and Fastball…don’t judge).  My iPod is a collection of everything you can imagine and as I think with many people, if an iPod could be part of an autopsy it would truly paint a picture of who a person really is based on what music is in their playlist.  I work out with an iPod, I work from my desk with an iPod, music is always on in the background when I’m at home, and I never drive without something playing in the car; so I guarantee you that many of my posts will have musical references and most of those will either be incredibly cliché, or incredibly obscure.

“Salt, Sweat, Sugar”, penned by Jimmy Eat World back in 2001; originally released on July 24 of that year on the album Bleed American, due to the September 11 attacks they changed the album name to Jimmy Eat World, and renamed the first song they released off of it from “Salt, Sweat, Sugar” to the original album name of “Bleed American”.  Consider that your musical trivia for the week.

This is truly relevant, honestly; mostly.  This song and album has been played thousands of times by me, the lyrics were the first to be heard when I drove a car by myself after first getting my license, driving to hundreds of cycling events, road trips, college parties, and everything else involving adolescent angst turning into young adulthood.  Somewhere along the way I got sick of the song, and it lost its place on my “Recently Played”, it popped up on shuffle when working out a few weeks ago and I immediately fell back in love with it.  Here’s the relevancy…

Salt, Sweat, Sugar is very much how I view life; they each have their role and they each play a part in everything I do, though the rest of the lyrics of the song actually can relate as well, but I won’t delve that deep into musical ideology and underlying meaning.


It’s the thing that makes life happen just as much as water and air.  The salt is what I use and rely on every single day of life, it’s simply what I can’t be without.

1.       Lauren:

My better half, best friend, ally, and the person who keeps me in line when needed without fail.  I wouldn’t be who I am without her and I view her as the most vital aspect of my day to day functionality.  We simply have fun and enjoy whatever we’re doing without a worry in the world, and she never hesitates to laugh at me when deserved (or undeserved…).

2.       Family:

I’m an only child, I’m a great mix of both of my parents, and they’re a big reason for the personality I have today.  As I’ve grown older this has extended, my family now includes the best parent-in-laws a guy could ask for, a sister-in-law to make up for the many years of me being an only child, and all of my extended family that I know I can rely on and we can pick up right where we left off no matter how long it has been since the last time we saw one another.  I truly didn’t know how fortunate I was until I was grown up and able to look upon what I had been gifted.

3.       Friends:

TRUE friends, we both have lots of acquaintances and people we have fun with, but while I have always been selective with whom I trusted, the past year has truly shed light on who will be there for us and who I can count on to do the right thing.   Friends are family to me, and I wouldn’t be where I am now without them.  You know who you are though I am open to suggestions for catchy nicknames for this blog when I need to reference you….

4.       Mentors:

I grew up in the sport of cycling with an excellent mentor back in Columbus, OH, he is a father figure to me and put up with me in my adolescent years (man, I was really a pain back then).  When I moved to Indianapolis just before my 18th birthday to start school and continue my cycling career I hooked back up with my track cycling mentor from a few years before and he also quickly became a father figure to me.  Neither one of these guys would be justified in the “friends” category, and I come from way to normal of a home life to try and put 2 additional fathers in my “family”, so let’s just call them a bit of everything, both have seen me at my best and worst, and been standing there right beside me the whole way. 

5.       Dogs:

Yep, the dogs in my life provide amusement, love, comfort, and everything else.  Bailey, Ellie, and Zilla (Zee), are my companions in my office, on the couch, when I’m grilling on the patio, and just about everything else.  They’re our kids, we love them with everything we have, and provide sanity in this absolutely insane life we seem to have.


You have to sweat to really live and experience life, you have to feel that heat and exhaustion and need to shower after to wash it away only to sweat again, both literally and figuratively.  I grew up working out just about every day, sweating on a bike, in the gym, and anything else that got me moving.  I live to work out, I crave it, demand it, and the sweat that comes with life and the activities that cause it have taught me more than any classroom ever could have.  This might be the single best trait Lauren and I have in common as it pushes us both to be better athletes, individuals, and is a common thread between our lives before we met one another.  I never knew what the daily sweat meant to me until The Crash last year when I was unable to exercise with any sort of familiarity without pain from my injuries; let’s leave it at “I will never take the sweat for granted again” as something I tell myself often.  You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone might be cliché, but it is cliché because it’s true.

This applies equally for work; I love my job, I get up and am excited about where it’s going and what the possibilities are.  My single biggest fear when I was in college was not finding a career that I felt was an extension of who I am as a person; I think I’ve found my calling and the hard work and stress that goes with it makes me a better person and acts as an educational opportunity and chance for true personal growth at every turn along the way.


Sugar always tastes so sweet; it is the rest of the “good stuff” in life that compliments the Salt and Sweat.  They all go hand in hand, but my sugar is everything from a day getting greasy working on something mechanical to enjoying good food and drinks at one of our favorite little restaurants or something I cook at home, floating in our favorite lake, or a great cup of coffee.   The sugar isn’t any one major thing, but all those little times I smile throughout the day that makes it just a little bit better.  I’ve never really tried to keep a list of the sugar in my life, as I just try to enjoy its sweet taste at every opportunity. 

And the Rest

Not all of life goes with the Salt, Sweat, and Sugar concept.  There is definitely bitterness, frustration, and sadness that is part of my (our) daily life, but I try to keep in mind that these three concepts make it tolerable to get through the negative, more so in the past year than I ever knew was possible.  Don’t forget the Salt, Sweat, and Sugar of life, and don’t take any for granted; they can be turned upside down in a heartbeat and then you find yourself wishing they were invincible, infallible, or never ending.

Thanks for reading, the next one of these will be from L, and now it’s time to go earn some Sweat and then celebrate Lauren’s birthday today with some Sugar!