HI, everyone.

I haven’t been diligent with this blog.

OK, I said it. Shut up.

Let this also be a confession – 2014 was an up and down year. For personal training, especially. I learned quite a bit, as this career seems, more than any other, to be a quest of growth and learning. People are all different, and you must help them be better at being them.

Make no mistake. My job isn’t to make people love exercise, but to help people get through it, to coach them through the tasks they normally wouldn’t tackle themselves. They may hate it, but they won’t hate the results.

Anyway, last year was loaded with learning experiences. Even in your 30’s, you can still feel a bit of childlike wonder at the things you haven’t found out yet. You can meet inspiring people, who don’t live to inspire, they just live their lives, but with a grace that wouldn’t have occurred to you in the face of your own adversity, because yours was far too urgent and you had merely been escalating it with your own anxiety, as its unfamiliarity seemed to make it impossible. It wasn’t. You live, so therefore you must fight. That’s it.

There are many things that take precedence, it seems, over our lives our well – being, and they create the prisons of our own making. The idea that you are nothing if you don’t have things. The McMansions, the giant SUVs, the latest gaming systems, whatever. Life itself, the quality of it, takes a backseat to the day to day. I am not judging, but I am observing. I am verbalizing those observations, and I see what you spend your money on, and not invest in yourself. I know what is behind your excuses.

I am not in the business of telling you what you want to hear, either.

However, I am not here to belittle. I want you to understand this one principle, the one that anyone how really grasps life, and understands it –

There is nothing worth attaining without sacrifice. There is no sacrifice without suffering.

Now, what this means, is a bit more simple. It is a question you must answer.

“What must I give up to achieve a more worthy goal? What is it truly worth?”

Is it worth that dollar at the vending machine? Is it worth that extra slice of cake? Is it worth piling more processed crap into my shopping cart? Seriously, you tell me.

Ok, so back to the year. I didn’t talk much about it, so I should tell you what I went through. Well, I lost 20 more pounds, mainly because it was the right thing to do for my acting career, and also because the Tough Mudder kinda taught me I should. Some obstacles were more difficult than others. I needed to get lighter. It’s a continuing journey, but I am not unhappy with the results. Is the diet boring? Well, it’s a bit repetitive. I will also say the holidays are a REALLY tough time to diet. However, it’s good for the soul, so I trudged on.

You get used to turning down cookies. You really do.

So, I did a couple of films, too, and shot another season of the web series. I don’t have a whole lot of things to say as to where you can see them just yet, only that I did them, and anything else, well, I will let you know. I can definitely tell you their Facebook locations. They are headed to film festivals, and the like. The web series? That is beginning a reboot, and I am on board for it. I will link that for you. Yeah, that was exciting news, too.

http://www.shotgunmythos.com/

https://www.facebook.com/YourPomegranate

https://www.facebook.com/ReversalMovie

I began teaching a class, one of my own design, and I do it twice a week. I plan on revamping Brutal Camp a bit, and relaunch in April. That was a lot of fun, but as anyone knows, promotion is always the uphill battle, getting others to commit to it is fighting that battle while riding a mule who wants to walk backwards. Mule jousting. Yeah, it’s like that.

I have more to say, but I don’t want to ramble. Not today, anyway. I will, however, leave you with pictures. The Gang showing loveToshiba beginning the flipTiffany on MB at TMMe eating at TMMatt Deadlifting 300Group Symposium photoChanging of the guard

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A perspective.

I was having a conversation with a client about why I am involved in so many projects. She was wondering how it can be done, and what was the purpose in pushing myself in so many directions, which was a reasonable thing to question. I pondered that, and told her my answer at another session.

Before I go on, I should mention she is a straight – A student at SHS, but struggles with a serious illness, CMT. I myself had a pretty serious illness, which I had spent 6 yrs of my own life getting treated, that being Adult Onset Stills’ Disease. If anyone has had had an auto – immune disorder, you know how scary an attach can be. However, with a lot of unpleasant medication, mine was managed and phased out.

She, however, isn’t out of the woods, and is getting as strong as she can so that her recovery from yet another foot surgery can go a little quicker this time. She does those Kettlebell deadlifts with no complaints. I have to ask her what her limits are, because she wants to push past them. Needless to say, I am proud of her, but I just don’t want to seem patronizing.

Ok, ok. This was my answer. “When you feel like you have been close to punching your ticket, when you have been so sick that you actually wonder if your body will just shut down rather than feel worse, all you want is another shot. So, if it could happen, and you know it can and will, then it’s about what you will leave behind. These were the things I loved when all is said and done.”

She just smiled and nodded in approval. She got it. So, yeah, I guess it is something I constantly think about. I will leave you at that.

For information on CMT, read here.

http://help4cmt.com/articles/?id=133&pn=personal-stories-triathlete-trainer-with-charcot-marie-tooth

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Man. Lots on my mind.

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My last post was really kinda ranty, wasn’t it? I was pretty much a bummer. I usually like to be upbeat, but that day just sucked. It got better. Not to mention, my birthday had just passed, so perspective sort of smacked me across the face with its aged leather gauntlet.

I still see Facebook as a massive social experiment. People seem to take themselves waaaay too seriously on here, and they do and say things that they would never do or say to someone in person.  I don’t believe in marginalizing anyone or a group of people just because you don’t agree with them. I see a LOT of it in a newsfeed on a daily basis.

Seriously, it’s amazing how deeply affected people can be by viewpoints that I may have seen as trite or trivial. It amazes me the impressions they can have from celebrities, or the loathing they can have for someone that they had never met. I don’t get it, but I am not them. Man. Aspects about people you don’t know that shouldn’t matter to you that you choose to hate, or because people like them. I dunno. Just not something I look at or concern myself with.

I understand the great rule of thumb to follow is never discuss politics or religion. Now, there are plenty of people expressing their political opinion or what their faith means to them through memes, but here are the things I often post to just gauge reaction from people to really kinda see what people see as taboo any more. Many of them relate to my job as a trainer as well. Here comes the list.

 

1) Food or dietary advice articles. Oh my goodness. I simply put it out there. Some things are kinda bad for you. I have eaten them, too. My lifetime has not been without the ingestion of junk at some point, I just really don’t wanna have my diet being nothing but junk food. Eat what you want. I get that not everyone has had to bear too many consequences for it, but I know plenty of people who have. This is advice. Do what you wanna do.

Seriously, I get that not everyone wants to look statuesque. Totally. You don’t wanna be all “Calvin Klein”. Ok. However, there are people who come to me who don’t want to look Calvin Klein – esque. They would, however, like to adopt a healthy lifestyle, because they have gone through too many extremes. Those extremes have affected them, there is no moderation for them. Kinda like giving up drinking. Yes. Yes it is. Any extreme can draw this comparison.

Many people out there may want to lose weight. I am posting for them, mainly. That may not be you. And if it should be, then I will let you draw that conclusion.

But, wow, do people get defensive over that one. Just, wow. Some of the smartest people I know just hate it when I post an article about what is in ice cream sandwiches. Hint: it’s not ice cream. Still, if you know this and still wanna eat it, then go for it. Cool. Nobody told you not to. This is part of my job, guys.

Dude. Even Neil DeGrasse Tyson kinda missed the point on the topic. Look, if people wanna eat GMOs, I don’t care. I just wanna know is all. THAT’S ALL! Is it proven that growing my own corn would be better for me? Maybe not. But I would still like to know what I am eating. Do I buy into any hysteria surrounding it? No. I just don’t want to know. That’s it.

Good grief, I remember posting an article about how the process of cooking doughnuts and French Fries was generally bad for you, and a couple of guys who never seem to comment on anything, but post how awesome being single is, how people with kids suck and inconvenience them ( Yeah, somebody was always the best and the smartest in Mom’s eyes, and she sure did tell them a LOT.) or how they have the life, they just had to think they were going to let me have it. One wasn’t even my Facebook friend, but I avoided him in High School. I wasn’t FB friends with him for a reason. He was a jackass. He was even meaner to people who didn’t acknowledge his superior intellect.

Look, if it brings that much ire from you, the problem isn’t the food. It’s just information. Resenting it for what it is won’t change that it exists. This is true of many things, and leaving that behind and accepting it will actually make your choices much firmer to you, whatever they are. You won’t need to dispute them for anyone. However, if you eat them too much, you will not be in the best of health. And if you want to be more athletic, then you have to put them down. Sorry. But not.

2) Entertainment . Holy Mother of Blanche Dubois, do I have a lot of friends with strong opinions. Like what you like. Seriously, nothing seems to be more filled with unnecessary hyperbole as things that pertain to movies, TV shows, and music. That is quite interesting to me. Apparently if TMNT is popular, the end of Western Civilization has come. A movie for kids, mind you. “Oh, and hey – if you don’t think so, I can pull up this snarky blogsite to back me up!!! See? You suck. You should be ashamed.” This is just one example.

There is no better way to lose an argument than to present opinion as fact. Rather than say ” I think that….”, you begin it with “This is terrible, and an insult to my intelligence!” Or my favorite (especially by single men over 25), “(Insert filmmaker here) They’re ruining my childhood.” Hyperbole doesn’t make it more true, either.

This is a tip I have learned through a experience. I am really not singling anyone out, mainly because I know at least 25 people who have been guilty of this on social media. SO, how do you know if you lost an argument? When you didn’t get the other side to acknowledge your point, not when you received accolades from your friends or like – minded people. When you didn’t show the understanding of their viewpoint, and used absolutes to express your opinion, as it is through empathy for an opposing opinion that you can begin to dissect it. It’s really effective. Remember that when you are scrolling your message boards.  Or snarky blogs. I AM NOT SNARKY!!!!

Oh, and it also seems to be true for workout advice.

3) HEY! Young People! Who are these “haters” you speak of??? I am going to actually cite an example, but not specifically name her. She is an actress/model, and 19 years old. Pretty girl, as it is probably a requirement in being a model who works. Ok. She posted one of her many selfies, and captioned the latest one with “One for all my haters”. I saw no hate in the comment section, just more affirmation of how pretty and talented she was, which she was probably just looking for anyway.

I have seen numerous people post about the haters, usually it’s people who post a lot of selfies. Usually young people. Usually in some sort of entertainment. They are struggling. It is a struggle, going to auditions out of town, and maybe not even getting the part and spending the gas to get there, just to have the opportunity of tempting fate. Why? Beats never having tried.

Actually, it’s not just entertainers. It’s just people who post a lot of selfies seem to be really paranoid that haters are going to prevent them from achieving their personal objective, and they are somehow posting pictures that solicit adulation is standing up to these mysterious conspirators.

News flash – there aren’t. No one is trying to stop you. You just can’t seem to face that you can be responsible for both your successes and your failures. No one made that happen but you. If you make bad decisions, then correct the tendency to make bad decision by re – examining the outcome. If you can’t, and you seek the adulation and sympathy when you suffer the consequences, that is called narcissism. Recognize it, and you can get it under control. If not, you will become toxic to others, and you will achieve none of your objectives.

Now, young folks, many of you can outgrow it. No, really. Just know that life will continue beyond this moment in time. Make short term goals that will lead you to the big picture, then stay with your plan. Don’t let anyone create distraction for you, and don’t empower toxic people by blaming them.

Also, many of the people who got up in arms about something I posted are probably not going to read this. I totally understand that.  It didn’t have a headline that meant something to them. It’s only people who feel the need to defend a position on something that has a singular meaning to them that do. And that’s fine. It makes me appreciate those of you who read this that much more. I am grateful for you if this is of interest to you, the reader.

Yep, That’s all I got for right now.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

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How I Learn From Failure (and other musings)

Ok, so far, not having the best day. BUT THAT’S OK!!!!!

Seriously, it is best not to just post what a horrible day it is on Facebook, and how you hope the next one will be better (or how you are gonna kill the next person who posts something you don’t like, etc, etc), and actually examine what you can take from it. Supposedly it is best to wait and not to write things like this when you are annoyed, but I think that is not true in many cases. It means you are not being honest.

Now, this summer for Brutal Camp has just been a DISASTER.  People just have better things to do. I totally get that. However, if you do, then you need to tell me. It isn’t going to hurt my feelings to tell me NO. However, being passive aggressive makes me wary of you. It says to me you don’t really care if you let me down.

It’s a tip I tell to young people who say they don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. You can actually damage your reputation more by avoiding honesty. No, really. Living in the South has taught me not to trust “Sweet” people. They are nice. To your face.

Does this apply to anyone in particular? No. It’s really more advice. I try to surround myself with people who let me know where I stand. The people who try to be nice about masking how they really feel, they make me suspicious. I don’t rely on them. They want everyone to like them.

Ok, no ranting.

So, yes, it has been a disaster. However, I have not been clear on policies. Why? I was being too nice. A good turnout, or at least one that pleased me, didn’t influence me to change anything. I thought I could just build on that. It made me forget that this had been rare. I took it for granted.

It rained last night. I hoped for good weather this morning. I got it. However, others were put off by last night’s weather. That’s ok, I really appreciate the ones that called. I do. They let me know what they were hesitant, and made their decision based on that, and I respect that. But when I am still expecting 5 people, and only ONE shows, that is a bit…disheartening.

Before I go on, I want to give Justin a THANK YOU shout – out. And I also know that someone didn’t realize I was on the other side of the park. I should’ve clarified that. That is on me.

It’s also on me to be more assertive about this. When you say “going” on the invite, and don’t indicate you are not, then I assume you are “going”. If you are not, I would like to know beforehand. Now, does this mean I am angry? No. However, it means I now have to plan AROUND you.

Now, I say this not to be derogatory or passive aggressive. I have learned that I needed to discourage this behavior from the start. I was too nice, I counted on the idea of momentum, but not the elements that would’ve prevented it from gaining. Still, you don’t have to blow smoke up my ass. I will respect you more with a simple “yes” or “no”.

Again, I am not angry. But you need to understand a few things first. I don’t have a truck right now. I had to get a buddy of mine to come out on short notice from another county and pay him 20 bucks to do so. However, that brings me to my next point.

NEVER make a decision out of desperation. Stick to your guns.

I wasn’t originally going to host it today, however, I was kinda persuaded to do it by some interested parties who wanted to join in, but ended up cancelling. I should’ve stuck to the plan, I knew it was going to rain yesterday, but rolled the dice when I wanted to leave the table for a minute. I should’ve told them next week. Oh, well. Just because I need this to take in doesn’t mean I shouldn’t take some time to fine tune it. Now I will. I will see them next time, they were open about the weekend, and I appreciate it.

So, now I know what I want, and it’s mine. My product. Input on aesthetic choices has been taken in, but the overall class is damn good. It needs promotion, and man, that ain’t easy. However, the plan is formed, and it is final. So, really, it was a good day in that the bad was necessary.

  Thanks for stopping by.

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Just tired.

Yeah, this happens. I am quite tired. I am doing a bunch of stuff, trying to promote so much. My training, my acting stuff, my brutal camps. If I don’t write this stuff down and write lists obsessively, it doesn’t get done.

Actually, when this is done, more messages are to be sent. It’s 11:30. My daughter is in summer vacation. I get peace when they are in bed, but for the summer, that doesn’t happen much, either. But, I do what I gotta do.

The thing is, rest is just as important as the exercise part itself.

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/cant-shed-those-pounds

http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/excessive-sleepiness-10/lack-of-sleep-weight-gain

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/sleep-unsung-hero-fat-loss.htm

Yeah, this has been my worst enemy. I am a night owl. Horrible habit. Since I was a kid, I used to love to stay up into the night reading comic books, or getting caught up in a movie. Unfortunately, it is now my greatest enemy to factor into life. I am tired a lot. I think I am mainly writing about it in hopes that sharing it will be like the effect of confession, that if I put it out there for all, I will stop doing it.

It’s also to let you know I have bad habits to overcome as well. We are all flawed individuals. I look at the time, and then realize “Wow. I know better.” Yet, I have always done this. I eat so clean now it’s boring. I exercise religiously, yet I don’t do one thing, and that’s get to bed on time.

Ok, ok. Enough realizations. I should get to bed. After the Godfather. Yeah.

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What do you guys wanna talk about? Seriously, just ask.

I have to admit, I haven’t had as much to talk about, no real anecdotes. My mind has been HEAVILY occupied on many different things. I am really kinda working through that, when I shoulda been talking to you folks. No, really. I didn’t even realize I had neglected this.

Not going to make excuses. I am caught up on Game Of Thrones, however.

Actually, I have been asked some questions on social media, and I am actually going to encourage those. So, please, leave a question in my inbox on Facebook. I will attempt to answer them, but if I can’t I will attempt to refer you to someone who can. Oh, and try to make them related to training.

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Oh, and a pic of Thor. Because, Thor.

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I did a Tough Mudder

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Yep. I just thought I would write about the experience.

Quick story – it was back around December, and an old friend asked for my e – mail and physical address ( He has been living in Texas for a couple of years), and within the hour I got a text saying “Cool. You are signed up for The Tough Mudder”. I was shocked. My friend is a psychologist, so I was going to suggest he take the other side of the couch, but I then thought “You know, this is kinda what I needed. A tangible goal. A reason to do cardio.” So, I simply texted back “Well, guess I had better start running.”

That took some getting used to. I hadn’t really been much of an endurance athlete. I had been really just getting on the bike to read. It was just after Christmas, so I had to get back to a diet. I was mainly just lifting, and working on strength goals. It’s easier to do strength goals in the wintertime anyway.

So, I decided to suck it up when the weather reached 45 and just run outside. Yeah, that sucks, but it’s all about adapting to the elements, right? Plus I really hate the treadmill. I really do. Until late March I was on there a lot. It was a pretty rough winter, really, one like  I hadn’t seen in years.  I had committed, however, to doing it, so I would head over. I got back from filming Shotgun Mythos one night, and it was 11 PM, but I headed to the gym because I had to run for 4.5 miles. I did.

So, I will fast forward. Needless to say I focused on just running hard, and could do 10 miles in 75 – 80 minutes. I had never attempted this much running before, and though it wasn’t a marathon, I was doing it. Not to mention, plenty of marathon runners will tell you, if you can run 6, you can run 26. It’s all in your head.

Alright, so, last Saturday.  I had spent the night at my sister – in – law’s house which was near the site of the event. I was picked up by a friend, who then introduced me to his girlfriend (Who was pregnant. He had a funny way of announcing his impending fatherhood, but that is another blog.), and we headed to the fairgrounds.

It had quite a bit of pageantry. There were costumes, concessions, souvenirs, whatever. One guy was Duffman from The Simpsons. As we walked further into the grounds, there were people on the other side of the rope doing the race, and people with bullhorns keeping them going. He said into it “Don’t let the guy in the Tommy Bahamas shirt beat you. No, look. He has a Tommy Bahamas shirt.” I looked. He did.

There was a group of guys all dressed as Kurt Angle. One guy was the Ultimate Warrior. However, the Mario Bros characters were the best.

So, we sign our release forms, and meet up with our team, including some people I hadn’t seen in a long time, then we get herded down to the starting area, which began with a climbing wall. We then listen to a pep talk and stirring stories, and then comes the National Anthem. Then we high five the guy with the microphone and we are off!

It was pretty easy going at first. We ran some trails, then we jumped some hay bails. We saw a lot of hay bails. We climbed them as well.  We then trudge through some mud to get up a hill. Yeah, that happened a lot, too.

Ok, I can’t describe every obstacle, so I will just go through ones of note.

I was to low crawl in some mud with barbed wire over my head. Now, to any member of the branches of the US military who have to do this on a regular basis, this is nothing new. However, it was a learning experience for me, as the poor girl ahead of me seemed stuck. I looked up to say “Are you ok?”, and got a small, superficial scratch across my head. Turns out she got slightly caught in the wire. I ducked, so it barely got me. Lesson learned.

I had callouses from years of weightlifting, and they got scraped off on the monkey bars. That sucked. Really wish I had good gloves there, because it affected my ability to climb the rope. Ah, well. today I took the bandages off, seem to be healing nicely. 

I jumped off a 15 or 20 ft platform. Too tired to be afraid of heights. I did, however, need 5 minutes, mainly because I may have been slightly dehydrated. I then went up and jumped. You can’t see anything when hitting water. It’s muddy. You just start kicking. I actually swam pretty fast, in spite of being out of practice.

Lots of climbing things. The running wasn’t an issue, so much as my lats and traps from climbing walls, helping others get over walls, out of mud pits, etc, etc. Carrying my friend on my back for 50 yards was tiring, too.

Jumping into a refrigeration tank of nasty, muddy, ice water was kinda messed up. I compare it to jumping into a Frappe’, but those are probably tastier than that nastiness. I don’t drink those. That’s not to sound snobby, I just prefer good ol’ coffee in the morning.

Oh, yeah, and I got electrocuted. I don’t remember much of that, honestly. Still, I was able to sprint across the finish line. Mainly because electrocution really wakes you up.

So, when it’s all said and done, I get some pics done. Then got my free shirt and headband. I said goodbye to teammates, who had to get their kids. Mine were playing with cousins, they were cool. They went to the pool. they were great.

So, I did it. But not without my team. So, I will now express my appreciation for the following people -

 

Matt & Tiffany, Chris & Ali, Brian & Maria (Though she had to drop out at mile 3. Give her a break, folks, she is pregnant.), I am grateful to have shared this experience with you.

 

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

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