I have two posts to write, one that will be filled with some pretty deep emotional and personal stuff, and one that will be just a nice little write-up on an awesome area. Wasn’t sure which to write first, but I’m feeling a little overflowed with incredibly wonderful emotions so I think I’ll write that one first!
This past weekend will officially go down as one of the greatest weekends of my entire life. I planned out this huge weekend up around Lake Placid, NY to spend with Lindsey and it went down without a hitch. In fact, I can’t really think of too much else that would have made it better. Getting down onto one knee in front of the girl I love felt like the most natural thing in the world. And every second since that moment I have felt more fulfilled and relaxed in the direction I, and we are headed than ever before. This is exactly where I am supposed to be in my life.
Lindsey and I have been through a lot. We’ve had our ups and downs. We even spent some time apart a bit ago. But in the end there was something deeper than our surface issues that kept us connected. And this fueled the need to work things out. This “something” between us gives me every bit of confidence in us spending the rest of our lives together, and having a wonderful family. I feel a deeper connection with this girl than with anything I have ever imagined. She makes me the best version of me. She relaxes me. She makes me feel comfortable and confident in public and when it’s just us. It’s cheesy as hell but when she smiles I can literally feel every single stress in my life just disappear. I have heard so many sappy love songs and read so many Renaissance-ian poems describing this sort of thing and I always liked the idea, but I never thought it to actually exist in my life. But it does. Say what you will, I told you this post was going to be an emotional and personal one.
This awesome girl drives me to get better every single day. Sometimes she says the most insightful things that open my eyes to new ideas I’ve never thought of. Sometimes she says stuff that bugs me to the core and lights a fire of energy in me to figure out just what the hell is going on and how to work through it. I cannot explain how important it is to me to spend the rest of my life with a person who forces me to use my mind in every single way possible on a regular basis. She does this.
I am so happy to know that we have found each other and have worked through so much to be where we are today. I know we’ll go through so much more in the coming years and I look towards all that with so much excitement. But right now I am just excitedly experiencing each moment, knowing that my girlfriend is now my fiancé. I am happy. I am so happy.
Lindsey, sorry if this is a bit embarrassing, I needed to share it all. To all my readers, sorry to get all sappy; probably won’t happen again for a while, but all this deserves to be stated. I hope everyone in the world gets to experience the way I feel right now at some point in their lives. Even if it’s just for a second.
OK, rainbow-y romantic, emotional stuff over! Back to the gym for some iron tossing and beard growing!!!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
First off I want to apologize for the crappy video uploads on the Occupy Strength event, I tried like 4 times and still couldn't get them all up there! If you really want to see all of them, and check out some pictures, your best bet is to go to my Facebook page. They're all on that. Next up, I was pleasantly surprised when I woke up to find myself on CrossFit Footballs mainsite page! Pretty cool! Two more things! I have created a site for trial this summer and you can check it out HERE. It is meant to be for all the athletes who are training at The Garage this summer, but I am in the process of trying to generate some data for the thing and if you all would be so kind as to check it out, offer opinions, ask questions, etc. And finally, I am hosting The Courage Games IV! All info will be posted in the Courage Performance Facebook page, but click HERE to register!
On to the good stuff! Breathe. Nope, this is not a post about the benefits of proper breathing techniques while lifting, although that would be a great post! This is more about taking the time to sit back, take in the warm summer air, and just breathe. All sorts of stuff has happened with me over the past six months. I have been up, down, and sideways. It's basically been one of the biggest roller coaster rides of my life and it left me more confused, lost, and overwhelmed than I've ever been. I forgot what it meant to live for the things I most hope for in life, and I got caught up in so much negativity I began to lose the ability to be positive and happy myself. This is always a tough place to find yourself in, and while I'm sure everyone experiences it, and I would honestly say that everyone SHOULD experience it, I really don't wish it on anyone. Everyone deserves to be happy. Everyone deserves to experience joy, positivity, and good. And everyone deserves the opportunity to live a life they dreamed of. The really cool thing to realize is that these things are constantly available to you if you just know where to look, how to ask, and how to take them.
With my days filling up with clients, workouts, social media craziness, and programming, I am finding it somehow easier and easier to just take a moment (even though the moments are sparse) to just sit down, gaze into the woods, and breathe. And every time I do, good things flood in:
I love that I can sit on a plyo box in my tiny little gym and look into the woods.
I love that every day, athletes of all shapes, sizes, and ages come in to work hard, have fun, and get better at whatever it is they hope to get better at!
I love standing in the backyard in the humid evening air, charcoal fire slowly cooking a grill-full of grass-fed steak, chicken and asparagus for my wonderful feasting.
I love the sweat dripping down my face as I grab the chalked-up bar, every inch of me focused on executing my next rep as perfectly as I can. Getting stronger, getting faster, getting better.
I love my friends who I know I can call and meet up with to fill up hours of energetic and fulfilling conversation. Having groups and individuals who support you in being who you want to be and challenge you to keep perfecting that is becoming more important to me every day.
I love the hope of another day bringing more experiences, more smiles, more challenges and more excitement. The next few months are going to be tough, I know that much. I have TONS of people to train, I have tons of training to do myself. I have major life-choices to make that no matter how you look at them, will make some people upset. But I see so much more clearly now that that sort of thing is just a part of life. Challenging decisions are the ones that end up changing your life the most, so they are not to be taken lightly. The only thing you can do is clear your mind of the things that weigh you down, and the answer will come to you, more obvious than ever!
I love hope. But I hope I'm not addicted to it.
I love learning. I love learning through doing. I love learning from failure. I love learning through succeeding. I love learning from reading. I love learning most through watching.
How many of you could articulate what it means to be happy, successful, positive, satisfied and generally GOOD with yourself and the world? And how many of you are DOING it? Because Batman is the greatest character in the history of anything in the world, it's obvious that I would use quotes from those movies and comics:
"It's not who you are underneath, it's what you do that defines you"
LIVE the life you want and not only your life, but the lives of people around you will be wonderful.
Never Stop, GET FIT.
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.
Stop making excuses. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Stop over-analyzing your day, your food, your workout program, your sleep and if you're hurt or not. Stop watching TV. Stop eating crap food. Stop looking at yourself negatively.
What would happen if you just woke up one morning, turned your brain off, and just did all the things that deep down, you really, really wanted to do? You think you'd fall way behind at work? You think you'd all of a sudden get fat? You think you'd ruin your friendships and your relationship and the world would just explode all of a sudden?
You have so much time. You have an amazing mind, creative, open, interested and ready. The only thing stopping you from doing all the incredible things you want out of your life is YOU. If you think anyone else is in your way, YOU ARE WRONG. Do what you want, what you deep down are meant to do, and you will become surrounded by the support, love, and happiness your deserve and need. All the negativity will go away.
What did you do today to make your life better? What did you do today make yourself happy?
What did you do today to waste time, become unhealthy and unhappy? Will you make the change tomorrow? Or maybe next week...?
Every second is yours to take. Every moment you exist on this planet is yours to control if you just TAKE control. If you are unhappy, do the things that will make you happy. You know what will probably happen?
You'll become happy.
Damn Nike for claiming the best phrase in the history of phrases: Just Do It.
Never Stop, GET FIT.
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