Patrick Fellows is a 5 time Ironman, TEDx giving, 32 miles swimming, endurance coaching, healthy cooking, entrepreneur and musician.  Born in Dearborn, MI, raised in Mississippi and a Louisianian for 30 years, 



This isn’t going to be some sort of “screw the rules” manifesto, a call to anarchy or to do whatever you want whenever you feel like it, but sometimes it’s better to ask forgiveness than permission.  

I am a rule follower. If you say we have to do “X” at 3:00 pm and not 2:30, regardless if there is a reason. I’m going to wait until 3:00 and do it. Even if it could have easily been done at 2:30. I’m going to assume that there was an adequate reason. 

What I can’t stand, however, are rules for the sake of rules and the notion of “well that’s just how we do things.”  Why people would sit around and make up rules for the sake of rules, baffles me. 

Never is this more evident than in schools and governments followed closely by corporations. 

When I was growing up, I attended St. Stanislaus in Bay St. Louis, MS. It’s a Catholic day and boarding school renowned for hosting malcontents from Louisiana. I lived 9 miles from it, so quit asking me what I did to get sent there. SSC, like all Catholic schools believed in building character through mostly oppressing any sort of deviation from hair a certain length. God does not want your hair to touch your eyebrow, ear lobes or collar. It’s a fact. It’s in Leviticus or something. In addition, collared shirts and khakis are a prerequisite for learning geometry. Get on board kids. The lame train is in session. These two rules alone created a life long quest of never wearing collared shirts/khakis and multiple Mohawks and mullets upon my arrival to LSU. 

It’s weird, my kids can have blue hair and wear shorts or jeans every day and somehow their school is a National Blur Ribbon award winning institution. Seems to be disproving the old “if you give a kid an inch...” adage. 

Rules for rules sake insult our intelligence. They’re reactions to the minority that apparently can’t have nice things so the majority suffers, and in most of these instances I’m going to just do what I want and ask for forgiveness later. The reality in most rules for rules sake situations is that after high school, no one is really watching or keeping score anyway and a well placed plea for forgiveness gets you through it faster than the painstaking and frustrating “no, that’s the rules” of asking for permission. 

So yeah, maybe you don’t smoke while pumping your gas, but is my van really going to explode if I pump gas while it’s running?  

I’ll roll the dice.