Functional Lifestyles Training

Peter Norvig
2 min readApr 1, 2018

March 20th was the first day of spring, but it is April 1st when many people start thinking about getting in shape for the coming summer months. Finding the right gym can be confusing. I regularly pass by the Functional Lifestyles gym in Palo Alto on my daily commute, but I didn’t understand how they operate until I stopped in and had a chance to interview their Irish-American head trainer, Miranda Haskell-O’Caml.

Functional Lifestyles, Park Blvd, Palo Alto, CA

Q: Miranda, can you tell us the philosophy of Functional Lifestyles?

A: Functional Lifestyles is dedicated to making our clients stronger, slimmer, healthier, more robust, more concise, more elegant, and better able to multitask, by introducing them to a pure functional lifestyle, and weaning them from the imperative lifestyle. We offer a one-on-one personalized experience; we’ll always call you by name.

Q: What should I expect in my first workout?

A: First we’d do some folds, both to the left and to the right. Such a great way to reduce! Then, for strength: lambda lifting. Many clients have inadvertently put on a few unwanted free variables, and lambda lifting will reduce that dramatically. Usually we can slim down even more with some lambda drops.

Q: Is this for anybody?

A: Absolutely! No matter how eager or lazy you are, we’ve got an evaluation strategy for you. And we have structures for all forms; whether you’re an endomorph, an isomorph, or a homomorph, we’ve got the mapping for you. It is completely safe — no side effects whatsoever. And if you’ve got multiple concurrent problems, we can help you reach clojure.

Q: Can the training become almost a religious experience?

A: I wouldn’t say that. At Functional Lifestyles we believe in a strict separation of Church and state.

Q: I’ve heard that some people who get hooked on the functional lifestyle find it hard to communicate with their non-functional friends?

A: Not at all! We’ll set you up with monads that will allow you to do all the input and output you want, and even handle exceptions!

Q: So would you say that your training will change me for the better?

A: Oh for Milner’s sake, no! We consider all our clients to be immutable. What we do guarantee is that the application of our functions will produce a new and improved version of you.

Q: Isn’t that basically the same thing?

A: OK, you’ve got a lot to learn. Let’s get started!



Peter Norvig

Fellow at Stanford's Human-Centered AI Institute and a researcher at Google.