Happiness. Joy. Positivity. Beauty. All these things and everything good are always right there in front of you, it's your state of mind that allows you to see them all or not. Have you ever looked at something and just didn't give it the time of day, just walked on by, or even scoffed at it thinking how insignificant it is? Then, all of a sudden one day you see the same thing and you are blown away at how amazing it makes you feel? The thing itself did not change; it’s you that did.
I knew all along during my time of negative thoughts and extreme lack of motivation that I would find it all again. After all, I have always prided myself as being one who saw the bright side of life, and spent more time seeing the good in things than the bad. And it's just so funny to think that out of the blue you can see the world in a whole new light. I'm not about to say that I am ready to go skipping through the woods, rejoicing and singing songs or anything. All I am saying is that I have remembered what my purpose is in life and have re-focused my attention to what I like and what makes me feel alive and good. There are still bad things there, but I am systematically moving them away from me so that I can be the person I've known I wanted to be for so long.
It's incredibly powerful, and awesomely self-strengthening to realize that it's completely up to you to feel good or bad. If something is happening in your life, you ALWAYS have a choice to keep it, or get rid of it. I know that there are times when that legitimately feels impossible, but the fact of the matter is, you really do have the power to be in control.
When you see your life spiraling in the wrong direction. When you are getting sick, getting overly stressed, acting out, expressing anger, sorrow, fear, and you are becoming generally more angry for any reason at all. It could be your job, your family, your relationship, your living situation, literally anything. You need to take a moment here and there to assess whether or not some of the things in your life, or the choices you make on a daily basis are the right ones for you. Here's a bit of a light-hearted example. Over the past few months I have been watching a crap-ton of TV shows on my computer. No joke, I would probably spend an average of about 4 hours a day watching shows (honestly, it had to have been more than that!). I was doing this to avoid having to face the fact that I was acting like a little bitch and avoiding all the things I should be doing. I was feeling so down, sorry for myself, and so many other things that I overwhelmed my own brain and just decided I would do my best to check out. I didn’t go run around the woods, I didn't go climb a tree by the water. I didn't hit an extra workout, hell, half the time I didn't even hit ONE workout. I could watch an entire episode of Arrested Development without even cracking a smile. Now that is freaking bad! The things that made me happy were right next to me all along though. Sort of hanging out, waiting for me to give them attention because they knew I wouldn’t be able to avoid them forever. I guess my happiness is smarter than me.
And all it took was a little change of perspective. A little time where I could rip myself away from the negative things bringing me down, where I didn't have a computer and couldn't escape to my TV shows. When all of a sudden you have a handful of incredibly supportive people next to you, asking you to join them in things you know you love doing, rather than you having to find the motivation to do them yourself, your eyes will just flash open. For me it happened with three major things: running up the crazy sand hills at Baker Beach and looking over the Golden Gate Bridge while gasping for breath and dripping sweat. That was nice. Climbing a tree in Golden Gate Park, somewhere away from the cars and people. And walking a freezing, windy, empty beach at Ocean Beach. Just a couple days and all of a sudden I could not keep fooling myself into being a lazy, negative person. My natural personality reemerged and it was so unbelievably invigorating and exciting.
For me, it was simply putting myself in a situation where people that naturally supported me doing the things that make me feel good could surround me. And where I could not avoid doing things I liked to do. I was able to remove all negativity from my life for a couple days and that was all it took. Maybe all I needed was an hour, or perhaps I would have needed a week or a month. Either way, the simplest way to do it is to step away from things that bring you down, surround yourself with things that lift you up, and boom, you're good to go!
I know it's all way easier said than done, but saying it, or finding out what to do to make your life better is so simple. Age-old quotes and sayings are age-old for a reason; they work. Get rid of all the negative in your life, and surround yourself with the positive. If you choose to make excuses about why your life sucks, that’s on you, it’s your damn choice to make things better. If you know what you want out of life, pursue it with more passion and energy than anything else in the world. And if you don’t know what you want, constantly try new things so you can learn what it is you were built to do best. I am a rare case it seems. Rare in the fact that I have known what I wanted since I was pretty young. I wanted to play professional baseball. I mean, I REALLY wanted it. I never knew anything else besides that desire. And when baseball became a reality, that same passion and drive was found in wanting to inspire others to become healthier. I hope to inspire people, not just through writing and coaching, but through living my life the way I always talk about and share with others; you know, practicing what I preach. And I preach to be honest with yourself, wear your personality on your sleeve for everyone to see, good and bad, and do what makes you feel good and right (as long as you're not hurting others).
I still have plenty of things to work through, and I will always have negatives in my life. It is ridiculous to think or expect that everything will always be wonderful and perfect. But if you spend most of your days completely understanding what it is you are living for, it makes it so much clearer and easier to figure out how best to deal with the negative and the bad.
I am waking up each day now thinking about teaching and coaching. And right next to those exciting thoughts is an eagerness to spend my quality time with the barbell and the outdoors each and every day. And the people in my life that bring me warmth, and respect me for who I am will inspire me today. And the ones that question me, and bring me down with their negativity will not get my attention.
Never Stop, GET FIT.
This past week has been filled with a whole slew of different things, some good, some bad, just like any week. But for some reason today, I was hit with this overwhelming feeling of happiness. I get this here and there with pretty much any emotion you can think of and it hits me so hard. I tend to spend an hour or so, usually hanging in the gym, or finding some remote, natural piece of land to just sit there and soak in the feeling as to understand it a little better.
This weeks happiness can be broken down into three distinct occurrences (although, there were ton of other things that I remember as making me so damn good as well).
Brendon Mahony's little girl, Josselyn (sorry B-man if I misspelled that). She is one of the cutest things you will ever see, and during yesterdays workout, she was all over the gym doing her thing. I kid you not, every time her little voice popped up you just couldn't help but smile. And when she ran into the room, or was fascinated by my camera (saying "cheese" every time I turned it on!), bouncing around like crazy on the big mats or throwing a little football around, her energy and sheer happiness was contagious. Kids rule man, absolutely rule!
At today's baseball game (I am helping out at a High School in Pacifica, CA during the start of their baseball season). We played a team that was worse then I think I have ever seen. So bad in fact, that one of their pitchers needed to literally be taught how to pitch, while on the mound during the game! But, despite their absolute inability to compete with a somewhat decent team, they all were completely in the game at all times. They cheered each other on, they supported each other, hell, when one of them hit a foul ball they would all cheer. When a group of people can rally together and support each other unconditionally like that, I am moved and inspired. I was envious of them, even though we won, by a TON of runs, I kind of wanted to be in their dugout, at least for an inning. There is something to be said for positive reinforcement people, it's a great thing.
My girlfriend, Lindsey. She overwhelms me with happiness man. This blog really isn't the place for me to go on a romantic rant, so I'll just leave it at that and leave the lovey-dovey stuff for between her and me. But all I know is that nothing in the world could ever replace sharing your life with a person you truly love.
I am sitting on the floor in my living room right now, Lindsey, sick as a dog, sleeping on the couch behind me, TV on and a huge bottle of water at hand. I feel at peace. I feel ready for tomorrow. I feel ready for my life to begin, again.
Yeah, pretty different type of post today, just 'feeling' a lot and this blog (for those of you who follow regularly) is a bit of an outlet for me from time to time. Let me change the tone a bit and talk about my weeks training.
I started the day off with 30 total muscle ups, taking my time and just working on the technique of it all. I then did a little push press work that finished with a 1-5 ladder at 145# as an 8 minute AMRAP (for 8 minutes I did one rep, racked it, two reps, racked it so on until five reps; then started again at one). I then met up with the CrossFit San Mateo crew at the track for some 200's. Ugh. Best time of 27 seconds, worst of 33. Totally spent after that, it WAS only two days following a competition and then a cross-country flight. Double ugh.
Feeling pretty beat down, I joined Brendon for an easy 20 minute on the rower. I got 4978 meters and actually felt really good after that.
Still really sore I worked 3 sets of 3 of overhead squats, box squats and weighted pull ups. OH squats felt very off balance and I was only able to get 2 reps at 235#; not for lack of strength, but really because I was fighting so hard to stay stable. The box squats felt real good and I pulled off a very clean and comfortable set at 335#. The pull ups were pretty good, strong but I was feeling tired. Each of these strength moves had about an hour or so between them, so I was a little low on energy by those pulls. But I was able to get 70# for a solid 3 count. I finished off the day with an awesome metcon:
5 rounds of 30 total reps each round. Do pull ups for as many reps as possible each round, then do 6' broad jumps until you total 30 reps. My pull up numbers looked like this: 22, 20, 20, 17, 15 (making my broad jumps 8, 10, 10, 13 and 15). I finished in 6:27 and was completely DONE! (video of this day coming soon!)
SO SORE! But I wanted to get something tough in. With my good buddy Jon, I hit a monster one:
25 minute AMRAP of:
200 meter sandbag run 52#
20 wall balls 20#
20 KB swings 62#
20 box jumps 24"
2 muscle ups
2 handstand push ups
Finished 5 rounds on the button (Jon got 3 and change) and I needed desperately to replenish my glycogen. And while I feel like I just ran a 50-miler with a 100# weight vest on, I somehow feel good! Tomorrow is an easy day of messing around with various skills and strongman things during CrossFit San Mateo's 1-year Anniversary! And Sunday I am off. Cool news and posts to come!! Thanks for those of you who read this whole thing!!
Never STOP, GET FIT.
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