ONNIT

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Atmosphere/Game On

...the irony that it's taken me over 2 weeks to right this.


I posted -
(Not a dig at any other training facility.). 
I've never trained (myself or clients) in a facility as full or as complete as Everybodies Gym in Chardon. The people, the equipment, lay out, set up, and ATMOSPHERE is bar none the most motivational and inspiring situation I've ever been a part of. People tell me alllll damn day "I train here," "I do this at home," and it's all good, but I'm telling you, the ATMOSPHERE here is contagious, you can't stop yourself from going hard in here.
Truth, no matter happens during the day, I walk in here, the owner cranks the music, the gym starts to get moving and the place goes off. If you're within a 25-30 minute drive of Chardon, you need to be here."
 
And that thought has been surrounding me for a while, how important atmosphere is.  There are gyms and fitness centers all over the country.  Some are great, some are average, some are lacking.
The post/thread went on -
"Atmosphere is everything. A million gyms have similar equipment and all the above... But there's an intangible, an "x," factor that's hard to define. The IT, that this gym definitely has plenty of." 
Of what?  Whats the "x" factor?

As always, there's a common line bringing together the fitness world with our careers/jobs and home, so I started thinking about atmosphere across the board.
In the gym, there's an atmosphere that can be intense but relaxing at the same time, I think that might be what I feel at my gym.  It motivates you to work hard, really hard, and also to stay and work longer.  I've been in gyms where I just wanted to get in, get my work done and get out as fast as possible.  I did not enjoy being in these gyms.  So one thing I can see is the actual space... it helps create this particular atmosphere... we aren't all on top of each other, waiting in line for equipment or bumping into each other.  There's plenty of equipment and more than enough useful, functional space.

We all have (or hopefully have) a job or career going and atmosphere is cruuuucial, because we spend so much time there, most of us 40+ hours per week.  We're there with coworkers, we're performing our "task," following guidelines and procedures, etc.  We're eating meals there, we might be changing clothes there and we usually develop friends there.  So this is basically home #2, which means how we feel while we're there is everything.
An employer may say "Well, you get a pay check!  Don't ya?  The place is clean enough!  Isn't it?" and that could be true... but is it enough?  (If I ask "Is this enough?" or "Is that good enough?" I'm setting you up.)  Is getting a pay check enough?  For me, I see it as why be a 6 when you have the potential to be a 9 or a 10?  Why sand bag it?  Why be "just good enough?"  Why not strive to be great?
Again, I think atmosphere is a little abstract and open to interpretation.    But I also believe there are a few enormous common traits we share as human beings that ties into the last scenario.

Home.

Like the gym, the work place and home, we want to feel like we belong... we want to feel like we can grow and be ourselves... We want to feel comfortable (but not lazy).... We want freedom to grow, but at the same time, we do enjoy some structure.  We need schedules, we need a certain set of procedures, because without these procedures and rules and such, we wouldn't have a drive to push them... to expand and grow and evolve into new procedures, create new and improved rules.

I see it, us, as plants... and our atmosphere matches.  As a plant, there are things we need to grow and become strong, healthy and maximize our true potential.  If you plant your garden in the shade and never water it, never care for the dirt, if you don't protect it, your plants will fail and die.  You may get lucky and pull a few tomatoes, but you'll never reap the benefits you could have had you planted that same garden in the sunshine and watered it, put a fence up around it to protect it from animals, cared for the dirt so the plants had a strong foundation to reach down with their roots and find home.  The plants need clean, fresh air, not contaminated, polluted, toxic debris.
Same goes for us.  We need to be in environments that allow us to grow, that want us to grow, to evolve into the best possible human we can become.

For me, I like to think that's one reason why people enjoy training with me and working with me.  I'm always ready and looking for the opportunity to take us one step further down the path of development.  Doesn't matter if i'm talking to someone about going back to school, or entering a fitness competition or making even larger life choices.
Sometimes all we need is knowing someone has our back... that could be all the atmosphere we need.


Along those lines but totally different... something to think about.

I was listening to a podcast with two of my favorite podcasters, Duncan Trussell (comedian) and Aubrey Marcus (Owner of Onnit).  They were going back and forth on philosophical ideas as to what were all actually doing here... whats the goal... whats the plan... etc.
One said something like "What if this is all a game?  What if our real self is off somewhere playing this thing we're calling LIFE?  This game cost x amount of dollars are we're actually sitting in a game room... playing these characters."
They went on and eventually said "Who the F would choose to waste their game tokens watching the Kardashians?"
So on my drive home through beautiful Geauga County, I thought about that... Lets day dream for a second and think about decisions we've made, habits we have, things we currently do, and then what our plans are... If this were a game, would any of it change?
If's about control.  Its about not feeling like a slave, no?  Slave to debt, slave to money and again... freedom.   Because control would mean, absolute control of time and absolute control of time would mean we choose how and when we do what we do, the value on it.  
It would also mean control over every thought and action.  Our habits aren't really, real habits.  They're decisions that trigger "happy," chemicals, right?  We have a habit that makes us happy but we don't always know why... maybe a food or a show or a different drug, because actually food and television and anything that stimulates your brain to release particular chemicals (some of which are also found in certain plants, but are for some reason illegal) is a drug.  Crazy?

Jeez, thats off topic... point is, if this were a game... would you be playing it differently?
I had a friend who was obsessed with running off to do yoga alone in some mountain... I always thought how much he'd be missing out on.  Would he find happiness?  Maybe.  Would he be maximizing this experience?  No.
Aubrey and Duncan ended it joking about the monks saying something like "They think they're finding the meaning of life and nirvana by meditating all those hours... then the game ends and everyone back home mocks that thats how they used their game tokens... sitting in one room, breathing their life away, never really living... never getting the full gaming experience."


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Fan of Greatness

"Bleh, if I hear or see another thing about LeBron James, I'm goign to puke!"

Well get the bucket ready, because here are the multiple angles you should be paying attention to.
Friday afternoon, the big announcement came.  We all saw it, heard it, heard about it, heard rumors of how it all went down, and eventually read his letter (if you didn't you absolutely should, right HERE).
Everyone immediately took to Facebook and Twitter to celebrate and post how awesome the news was!  I was at work with my friends and we all said "Downtown is going nuts!  Happy hour is going to be crazy!"
Why?  Because it IS that awesome.  Its actually underrated.
Then as the day rolled along, the haters came out... bleh.  I saw posts that read "People are dying in Africa and everyone is giving a crap about a basketball player!  Get a life!" and "Who cares?  He
just dribbles a ball!  He doesn't save lives!"
You sad little haters are so wrapped up in depressing lives, you cant see the greatness in this, so I have some questions for you.

A) Are you a fan of area businesses increasing revenue?
B) Are you a fan of seeing local servers and parking attendants making more money?
C) Are you a fan of seeing people wanting to move their business downtown again?
D) Do you have any clue how much money playoff basketball or a championship contending team will do for the downtown economy?
E) Do you know how many more jobs this creates?
F) Are you a fan of seeing people happy?
G) Are you a fan of greatness?

For me personally, WINTER SUCKS IN NE OHIO!!!! BAD.
Why?  Because our teams suck!  Flat out.  I can deal with the snow, I can deal with crappy roads, but knowing your team loses way more games than it wins just sucks.  When the Browns suck on Sunday, Monday sucks... and Tuesday.  And then you look ahead to Sunday and get depressed because you know, theyre probably going to suck again!  And then you're stuck with 17 weeks of mostly bad football.
Will Johnny Manziel be the answer?  You tell me.  Are you banking on a party kid who's more concerned with hitting the clubs than the weight room?  This kids partying like hes already made it, won the Super Bowl 6x and retired into the Hall of Fame.  So no, until he starts lighting it up on Sundays, I dont want to see him anymore unless its on the football field.

But now... We have LeBron back... our guy.  Read that letter, he brought all the giddy feelings right back and I am so looking forward to that first tip of the season!  How can people post their nasty BS hater crap when so many people are happy to watch sports again?  This NE Ohio and like it or not, this area is passionate about their sports, its in our identity.  We wear brown and orange, we wear Indians gear and we love the Cavs AND THEYRE ABOUT TO BE GREAT AGAIN!

My first few points above were all based on money and business... think about that.  When the Spurs whopped the Cavs a few years ago in the Finals, the TV commentator said something like "Every home game brings in an extra $500,000 per game."  Are you freaking kidding me?  That changes lives.  That changes business.  Thats incredible and should absolutely be celebrated.  Imagine being such an awesome employee that when you go to work, your company improves AND every company near you... you cannot relate.

When in the history of this city, has a great player chosen to come here?  Never happened.  Ever.  And we have the best in the game, possibly the best ever before he's done and even further... maybe the best athlete to ever play any sport.  Who's better?  I'd love to argue that.  In basketball, its LeBron and MJ, done.  Save the Magic, Larry, Kobe nonsense. LeBron smashes all them left handed.  And people argue that Michael might be trhe best athelte ever along with Muhammad Ali and Jim Brown, so if Michael is that conversation, LeBron must be.  And if LeBron passes Michael, LeBron must pass Ali and Brown... and why not?  AND HE'S HERE!  He's wearing a Cavs uniform!  As usual, he wont be recognized for his greatness until after he retires, when he leaves a crater of greatness behind.
This guy left, regretted how he left, regretted why he left, and came back with a letter than gave me freaking goosebumps.
He wrote - But this is not about the roster or the organization. I feel my calling here goes above basketball. I have a responsibility to lead, in more ways than one, and I take that very seriously. My presence can make a difference in Miami, but I think it can mean more where I’m from. I want kids in Northeast Ohio, like the hundreds of Akron third-graders I sponsor through my foundation, to realize that there’s no better place to grow up. Maybe some of them will come home after college and start a family or open a business. That would make me smile. Our community, which has struggled so much, needs all the talent it can get.
How can you hate that?  "Bleh, hes not a role model... hes done" this and this and that other rumor.  Shut up.  Are you a role model?  No ones looking for him to solve world problems, he inspires greatness, he inspires kids to dream and do more and play hard and work.  He brings hope of a better image of our beaten down city.  National media still rips the city and LeBron can change that.  Why?  How?  Pay attention to the downtown economy.
He goes on - In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given. Everything is earned. You work for what you have.   I’m ready to accept the challenge. I’m coming home.
WHAT?!?!  I'm going to buy my jersey, t-shit and Cavs pajamas right now!


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Good enough yet?

I refer to this story often because I feel it truly epitomizes the essence of complacency.
I was a part of a staff that was coaching a team that happened to be ranked #1 in the state by news paper reporters.   I didn't care at all and if I had my way, there would've been zero mention of it on the practice field or I the locker room.  
On the field, I have two modes, Teaching Mode and Game Mode.  When it's teaching, it's slower, it's more thoughtful, we focus on form and footing, etc.   When it's game mode, it's everything we just learned in teaching mode but as fast as possible, as hard as possible, as intense as possible, as absolutely complete as possible, looking to explode and finish every single play, every single time, no matter what. In game mode, when the ball is snapped, I want the guys thinking one thing "Go get that f'ing ball right now." And if it doesn't happen, like a bank collecting interest, the next play we now want it 10% more than we just did, and so on.   So things get intense.
One day, I'm in Game Mode and I can see the guys are in Chill Mode... So I'm ready to explode.  Things come to a head, because their apathy is ready to make my head shoot off my shoulders and one guy says to me "coach, we're undefeated... We're number 1 in the state... We're working hard... You act like it's never good enough..."

I don't remember my response, word for word, but I told him he was right. 
Imagine being strong enough to rep 100 straight push ups, but you stop at 40 because... Well, it's good enough.
Or being able to run 10 miles but you just do 2 because... Well, that's good enough.  
Imagine running a company and you just made $15,000,000 but you could've made more, but... That's good enough, no need to improve.
Imagine having the ability and the opportunity to experience greatness, why would you settle for "good enough?"

I was working w a group of guys on a project and we had to measure some things out to get the job some right.  We'd tap pieces into place and someone would say "good enough."  I cringed.   Is it right?   When it's right, it's good to go, if it isn't, there's no "good enough."
When you have goals and you have a job to do, you have responsibilities, "good enough," is going to leave you broke or unemployed, underachieving and sitting at home wishing you'd some things differently.  
"Good enough," will give you regret. 
"Good enough," will leave you with nothing, you'll be worse than a has-been, you'll be a could've-been.   I'd rather be a has-been because at least they once had it.   Could've-beens a never had it, they just should've had it. 

Problem is, too many people are too quick to pass the buck, to lean on someone else when it gets too hard, when times are tough.  They want it easy and smooth and when it hits the fan, they want the "good enough," button and get out of there.  
Tough day?  Shoot, I'm going home and chilling... Good enough.
Didn't lose weight?  Forget it, I'm having a treat... Good enough.
Missed a goal?  Whatever... Excuses, excuses, excuses... Good enough. 

Good enough is a lazy trick your mind wants you to think so you can go home and watch television and not run, not workout, not study, not put in the extra hours.  

Without a goal list, you have no plan, no vision.  Without a vision, without a passion for success and doing things w greatness, you'll always live w "good enough," on the tip of your tongue and your dreams will never ever come true.   You have to work and work and work and work and plan and prepare and work and adjust and learn and go hard.   You can't do all that "good enough."  Full go, 100% or don't bother.

The other day, I'm training and working a leg circuit from a leg press to hammy curls to calf raise.  I wasn't even counting sets, I was just going til things felt like hell.  And every round, I had to increase the weight for every move.  I'd go through a round and think "well, that round was bullshit, add weight," and so on until I reached my goal, far surpassing "good enough."  "Good enough," happened when I was pressing 560,but I needed to fill the rack and go until my legs just shooook.  Same thing goes when I'm working w the dumbbells.  I refuse to NOT use the entire set of dumbbells, I'll use every single wright available.  Why not?  I have it in my range, so doing anything less is bullshit.

Would you want to be a fan of a "good enough," team?
Do you want to be in a "good enough," relationship?
Then start placing those same demands on yourself and live up to them.  


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Podcast #3 - Me and Ben

I admit, I'm a little naive when it comes to any heavy narcotics or drugs, but when my friend approached me one day, telling me he had a heroin addiction, I knew I had to start learning and work to begin his healing process.  I knew I couldn't beat anything over this head, I knew he had to see a piece of the light for himself to believe it existed, and I knew I would be able to find the right combination of words and moments to help him see what he needed to see.  
In listening to the podcast as I write this, a couple thoughts come to mind.  I asked Ben to do this with me for a couple reasons.  
1) I wanted people to hear how common heroin is or can be.  Why?  Because it can be right next door to you and you not even know it.
2) I wanted them to hear a "normal," person come clean and admit his addictions, hear the comeback and hear the possibilities.  Why?  To dissolve judgement.  To not judge someone with an addiction, to not judge someone who comes out with the addiction and to then not judge anyone for coming out.  It happens.  I know people who will think "Ya, but he..." and I want to wash that away. 
3) Don't be afraid to get involved... I know quite a few people who went through hard times, gambling issues, drug issues, drinking issues, addictions, etc, and people turned their back on them for whatever reason.  Don't doubt that you can help someone believe.  Don't be afraid to get involved. Don't turn your back on your friend.
4) I want people to hear the clean, new, optimistic version of Ben.... 

Choices surround us, 24/7.  You can choose recovery, you can choose to help or you can choose to be a victim or an observing bystander.
Get in the game.

"This past Sunday, my good friend Ben came over to discuss his into, and then out of, the world of heroin."

Sunday, June 22, 2014

It's Science, Not Sales/People Watching/Do You

A couple days ago, I posted my memory of story/experience I shared with another trainer: 
"Years ago, I was a part of another training company and one day a guy I knew came in to pitch his new certification. He says "ya man, I'm certified in this and this is what we do... 21 push ups...21 air squats...21 power cleans...21 pull ups."
I say what if someone can't do 21 push ups?
"They can't move on until they do. That's the workout. 3 rounds as fast possible and done. We'd run this class everyday, it'll kill."
I ask "why would some do 21 power cleans?"
He answered "I don't know, it's just the workout... It's competition in random exercises."
Wait a sec, who's competing in exercises?
"The class... You do this workout as fast as possible and people try to beat your time."
And people pay for this workout?
"Absolutely! It's getting huge on the west coast and making a ton of money."
No thanks.

I could've jumped on the band wagon 5-6 years ago but it's not about sales and it's not about competing in movements that aren't a competition. When you're trying to pull 21 power cleans as fast as you can, you greatly increase your chance of injury. When an untrained person tries to rep 21 pull ups and can't move on until they do, they greatly increase their chance of injury and just as bad, decrease the chance of success in their quest for peak level of fitness.
This style of session are for those who are at least in high-moderate condition w a base in Olympic style lifts and should only be used as a "fun," supplement to their current base routine."

Sometimes the marketing machine can be so convincing, so overwhelmingly powerful, facts and science don't really matter, and it really is simple science and pretty definite facts (as far as I've ever heard).  Tendons, ligaments, muscle fibers, bones, joints, they all grow and adapt under different types of stresses.  There are a couple ways of looking at this, one being to think in terms of the three primary categories of training, those being ENDURANCE, HYPERTROPHY  (SIZE) and STRENGTH/POWER.  
When in the endurance phase, reps are usually around 15+ and rest periods are anywhere from 15-60 secs.
When in the hypertrophy phase, reps are between 8-12 with a longer rest period, 60 secs - 2 minutes. 
When in the strength/power phase, reps are between 1-5 with an even long rest period of 3-5 minutes.
Ok, now what?  What does that mean and why?
The reason for the set length (reps) and rest period is because in the endurance phase, you're moving faster, less rest, your heart rate is probably higher and your muscles and joints, etc are under less tension but for longer period of time, (recruiting the slow twitch muscle fibers) as opposed to the strength/power phase where the intensity (weight/resistance) is much greater but also for shorter, tapping into the explosive, fast twitch muscle fibers.    
Simply put, you're tapping into different energy and also using different muscle fibers.   
Heart rate and recovery time play an optimal role in writing up your programs (plus the periodization of the program).

Did I really waste all that time writing that just to poke holes in CrossFits WOD's?  Not really.  I wrote it to call bullshit on any program/trainer that isn't written based in the science of how our body operates.  If CrossFit said "Yes, these are our WOD's but we know you have to train your power clean x amount days per month to lift for your max this many times per week or even month."  See when you max out constantly, your body breaks down, your joints literally start to wear down and not strengthen.   Again, I truly feel like a D talking trash but c'mon, but without periodization and personalized programming, its a very generic session in warehouse with awesome marketing and a cult following.  
  
Years later at a gym near Solon, I worked along side (sort of) another trainer who sold a specialty style of training, "jump training."  We spoke and he wanted to work as partners which I entertained early on... then I saw his program "(no real resistance training)... then I saw him pitch it (he believed in himself 100%)... then I saw him sell it to nearly every parent that crossed his path and I learned a very valuable lesson, very few people care to do their own homework.  His program had virtually no science behind it.  It was all about this fancy word that parents needed to hear, PLYOMETRICS!  Ahhhh the parents loved hearing it!  PLYOMETRICS!  YES!  JUMP TRAINING, YES!  What are they going to be able to do?  ITs going to be amazing!  
See, when you take a kid who doesn't really know the mechanics of a jump and teach them to jump... they jump higher! oooooooohhhh
And it ends.
Then when you take that same kid and have then jump up and down, nevermind their form, 100x on foot, then the other, then off two feet, then over hurdles, then up and touch a target... they will jump higher... 
But that is where it ends if you do not incorporate power training (see above) into your routine.  
You cannot teach a box jump if the kid cant bend his knees while keep his back straight and dropping his hips down between his knees.  Why?  General movement and body strength.  If a kid or anyone cant squat, its because they're either weak or tight, either way, they really shouldn't be jumping very high off the ground and its not about the jump, its about the landing. They need to land with a cushion in their hips, knees and ankles, they need to be able to absorb their own body weight.  
All those parents bought the program over and over and over.  

Around 5-6 years ago I attended a jump clinic down at OSU and heard about a half dozen strength coaches from the mid-west talk about their programs and the results they accomplished.  Take a wild guess what they had in common.... They all squat, they all dead-lift, they all power clean.  Guess what else... They really only incorporated plyometrics as a means of endurance training and agility training or as a means of testing an athletes current vertical.  
They used vibe-plates, they used kettle bells hanging off of barbells (also to force a vibration and create instability) and they lifted HEAVY.  See above... power/strength training.  Loading up for a lift of 2-6 reps with 3-5 minutes in between.  Form has to be perfect, if its not, don't do it.  If you're not ready for the 2-6 load, which means back off and hit another gear, to work form I recommend the endurance phase for 3 weeks, the hypertrophy phase for 3 weeks and then try again for strength/power.

They can market their asses off and make a million dollars.  It only bothers me because too few people care to learn how their body operates.  I've said it 100x, people research doctors, they research their dentists, they research their vet and probably mechanic but no one researches their trainer... the guy/gal that is probably more influential than any of the above. 

-----------------------------------------------------------------
That was the nerdy one.. this is the weird one.  

I was doing some people watching... and I must've been in a mood.. I was just chilling, watching servers interact with patrons, watching tables drink and talk... and it made me wonder and daydream a bit.. 
I don't know how many of them were comfortable.... some really looked a little stuffy and uneasy, maybe nervous... some just didn't look relaxed.  And I remember feeling bad, I felt really sympathetic for a couple people that caught my eye... In a dream world, I would've wanted to go over and pull them aside and ask if they were ok, even though they weren't crying or looked upset... they just didn't look at ease.... I don't know why it got my attention... or why I'm writing about it.
Then it got me thinking some more... I've recently encountered some people who represent nearly everything I'm anti... They're a little selfish, they kinda bully people around, they're not very honest... just greedy in multiple kid of way typeasshole.  And on one hand I always think "man, I'd love to break down their silly little wall that makes them act like this and bring back into our world..." I often, genuinely feel bad for them.  But the part that felt mucky about it all, was that I'm so anti them and usually around people that are so anti them, it shook me that those types of people are still alive.  I thought, "Jeez, I forgot this breed still existed... I thought they were extinct."  Or at least evolved, right?  I mean, who's trying to stay the same or even go backwards.  
I remember I had this friend when I was young and we were around 18 or so and for some reason, he'd rant about politics, but had no clue what he was saying or why... I mean, he was 18!  But he'd repeat the crap his father would say and just go on and on and from the last time we spoke, he was still doing it.  Still had those views, still regurgitated things he'd heard and still a big mouth.  I remember thinking "Holy crap, this guy has wasted so much time staying the same guy he was at 18."
What is it that forces people into their "character?"   Into their role?  
I feel bad for people who move their ego into some protective state where they treat people like lesser humans to make themselves feel better... 
and I feel bad for people who hide their shine.



Thursday, June 19, 2014

Acupuncture Podcast #1

Quick chat w Jared West from Acupuncture & Integrative Solutions.  
  1. 25901 Emery Rd #109, Warrensville Heights, OH 44128

After this past session, I had a chance to sit w Jared for about 20 minutes and briefly dive into some of the FAQ's that I've heard from clients and friends over the years.  Hope you enjoy it and definitely count on hearing more from Jared down the road.  
Any questions, please email and we'll discuss when we meet again.

Copy and paste:
http://www.buzzsprout.com/18541/182222-quick-chat-about-acupuncture-w-jared-west-http-jwacupuncture-com-index-htm


Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Week in Review (The F Word - part 2; What is Leadership; Be Authentic)

Someone asked "What is it that keeps you going?"
I looked at the 3rd person in the room because I didn't think he was asking me... At first I thought about answering but then thought "He cant be asking me... I haven't done anything."
He saw me looking away and said "I'm asking you," and nodded at me.

One word came to mind.  FEAR.
The laundry list of fears quickly raced through my mind.  I said "Fear of being broke.  Fear of not having the freedom to do the things I want to do." I want to see the world, I want to see every great thing this planet has to offer and when I picture myself at 60, I just cant see a guy sitting there saying "I wish I would've had the money and the time to see the Grand Canyon, to drive through Europe, to swim w dolphins, to wake up one morning and fish in Alaska..."  The fear of those things not happening... I just wrote that line and debated folding up the laptop and going for a run and then to the gym to hang some promo posters and then organize everything for this weeks training... That's the point, I wont rest until I'm pleased w my goal list is, which may be never but it doesn't matter.  Because if I can sustain this energy and this life for another 10-20-30+ years, he possibilities are endless.  For a while, being 37 was bothering me and I was thinking old, but then I thought, I know 27 year olds that need naps and have no ambition...   I move and think and act younger than people 10 years younger me... I'm in pretty good shape and improving, I have a sweet little career going and improving, I have a sweet life and its still improving... 37?  I cant think of one scenario where I would give a shit about that number.

The conversation was then turned to fitness "Fear of being immobile... Fear of my body not operating correctly."  I'm not afraid of someone saying I cant do "x," I'm afraid of not being able to run a mile when I'm 65.  Never mind now, I want to be fit and mobile and active until the day my heart stops beating.


And this whole fear list has had me thinking since... I wouldn't say I live in fear, but its definitely present.  I think it would be a little naive to act like we're fearless.
Do you want to be homeless?
Do you want your kids to go to dumpy schools?
Do you want to drive safe, reliable transportation?
Do you want to live in a safe neighborhood and have enough food for yourself and your family?
Maybe thats the problem.  Too many people that have, haven't lived without.
Takes me back to that old Eric Thomas speech, "When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe..."  Have someone hold your head under the water... and hold it and hold it... and then finally let you up.  All you wanted to do, was get some fresh air into your lungs.  This mindset is automatic for me.  I've been written off and brushed aside, I've been the underdog, I've been without.  I don't trust the people without the scars, without the battle wounds. I've been broke and bankrupt, I've been laughed at and mocked.  I've felt pain and I've been to the edge man...
So because I know what that tastes like, what it feels like, I'm not going back.
Want to challenge yourself?  Go three days without.  Work on some mini cleanses first then up the ante.  Remove your comforts and the things you take for granted.  I really dont see how we can stay connected to our inner fire, our voice, when we drown ourselves in iphones, shitty music, mind numbing television and the hectic stresses of our day jobs.  We need to unplug that crap and go into the woods for a solid 3+ days, alone.  Go without.  I guarantee, youll walk out of there feeling some new things and you'll start making some changes.

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I asked some people "What is a leader to you?" or "What are leadership qualities that you'd be motivated to follow?"

They wrote:
"An honest will to better others."

"The ability to inspire a vision of confidence."

"Someone who leads by example."

"I'd follow a leader who exhibits confidence in their knowledge yet openness to new ideas, determination to want to make a difference and follow through to show that learning is one thing but applying knowledge is the most important part."

"Leadership is someone that makes you want to work harder... But in a good way."

"Guidance... focus... honesty"

Scanning through, certain words pop out at me... 
Honest
Inspire
Confidence
Knowledge
Openness
Guidance...
And you may have chosen a few more.  

Honesty is something that really cant be faked... at all.  We've all known someone who really wanted to appear honest.  Maybe it was a salesman, a boss or even a friend.  We've all known someone like this, someone who appeared honest but wasn't.  
We can ask, "What makes someone honest?"
Lack of fear from being judged?  Fearless in terms of making mistakes?
Is it entangled with confidence?
He said "The honest will to inspire others."  What does that mean?  
An honest will...
I read that as truth.  But I really don't know if its something that can dissected with words in this screen... I truly think it needs to be felt.

I remember when I jumped into my first coaching job, over 10 years ago.  I spoke with my former coach about it and he said "Don't fake it, they'll know... Kids can always tell when you're bullshitting them and they'll tune you out."  So for me, coaching middle school kids (football) was fantastic training in communication.  People may think, "its football, its coaching young guys to play, its not that tricky." True, on a level, it isn't.  But keep in mind, I was on another path... Just like now where even though this package is surrounded by the fitness world, its not really about fitness.  Fitness is just a tool we use to discover new things inside of ourselves.  So when I started coaching, this was the birth of my passion.  It was never about football... never about wins and losses, it was about using football as a tool to open their minds to new doors, to clearing the foggy and confusing glasses that adolescents often wear while navigating the tricky waters of the teens.  So it was very important to me that I was on another level of honesty and it had to be authentic and open.


"The ability to inspire a vision of confidence."
To make them see something, a goal, AND make them believe it can become a reality.
To plant a seed, a thought, an emotion... To step inside their head and heart and help them see with their minds eye, a dream, a goal... And then make it so real, they can feel it and smell it... They believe it can happen and will happen.

Taking time to think about leadership and the kind of people you want to be around or follow is extremely important.  Someone said to me the other day, "Is it bad that I've been a follower?  Is it wrong that I don't lead?"  My first thought was "Damn, this guy doesn't even see himself accurately."  Why?  Because he has one of the absolutely best work ethics of anyone I've been around and he's probably in the top 10 smartest people I know.  So I don't see it as "He's not a leader," but I see it as "He hasn't found his arena to lead in yet."  My answer to him was, we all have leadership qualities in certain areas, it's just a matter of finding where and then getting in those areas.
I know many people who aren't doing what they love and because of it, they're dimming their true light.  They only come alive in certain spaces and its sad.   It's sad that our day jobs don't do more to help their employees step into their own power house of energy, still continue their jobs but let them grow.  I think that would create an extremely powerful company and better yet, community.
So in thinking about this leadership thing... For me, its about empowering people to become themselves and live full lives.
"Dude, your always saying "become yourself," wtf are you talking about?"
It's hard to explain actually... but when people are stressed or have gone through trauma, maybe they have high anxiety, maybe they have temper problems, or live in fear... maybe they have troubles in relationships... maybe they have honesty issues... maybe they hide... None of it is real.  Yes, the trauma is real, the pain is real, the issues are real, but they're not real in a sense of "Well this is just me, this is who I am, I'm a high anxiety person."  Ask yourself why.  How?  You have to do some digging and that can happen in a variety of ways that I actually cant write fully about in this forum.  But yoga is definitely one way, so is running and high intensity lifting.  Exhausting yourself is a great tool, releasing those endorphins... next time you go for a nice long run, when your finished, lay down... be quiet and just lay down and breathe... stare at the sky or close your eyes and breathe.  Dont think.  Dont watch the clock.  Watch what starts to happen.
If you're willing, you have the power and the means to heal, to unlock your truest potential and live the life you were born to... IF you want to.   











Sidenote:
Do you know how many troops, worldwide are in the arctic circle ready to fight over natural gases and oil at the north pole?
This story isnt on CNN or FoxNews.  Check out ViceMedia on HBO and youtube.
"Where'd that come from?"  I dont know... pisses me off that so few people watch news that matters.