Thursday, October 16, 2014

10/16 - thoughts from a rest stop

How about something quick and random...

This morning, my day started w random errand and then a funeral.
At the funeral, I sat in the back, alone.  I do so to control my emotions, not that I'll start sobbing uncontrollably or anything, but i also don't want eye contact to effect me.  This was actually the first full service and burial I've attended in almost exactly 20 years, the last was for my grandmother.
As I sat in the back, I didn't focus on the pastor.  I watched the family, my family.  His friends.

He was always a funny guy when I was a kid, always trying to stump us (the kids) with some clever riddles or trick questions.  I think he's one of the guys I got some of my sarcasm and humor from, along with my dad and other uncles.  I remember always enjoying time with the family, listening to the jokes they'd all tell or how they'd BS around a game, during a holiday function.   I remember looking up to a lot of them and how they'd talk, how they had their professions, (or maybe I imagined some of it... I was 10 or 12 when we stopped seeing everyone).  They had good, hard working jobs and a few served for the armed services.

Today, as I watched men fold the american flag over his casket, it hit me... We're very quickly losing a special generation that will never be duplicated  and with their death, dies class, work ethic and pride.
I felt this when Joe Paterno died.  I see their generation as a great men who worked hard, who stood for something, who worked for their families, who were noble and loyal.  Manners mattered.  How their kids behaved, mattered. Language mattered.  How they dressed, mattered.  I see this generation out for dinner and they wear shirts and ties.  I see them out in stores or running errands, and they are so, so out of place.

Technology and this society has rocketed off to another level that is accelerating faster and faster and more dangerous than ever.
We live in a world of instant gratification, where every answer to any question is at my finger tips.  I don't have to work for the answers.. I can Google it and its handed right to me.  I don't have to learn roads or highways, its right here on my phone.   We want 3 week diet plans and to be happy RIGHT NOW, so we pop pills to "fix it."

When I was younger, I found humor in Pete Townsend's line "I hope I die before I get old."  It was true then but I found it be a smart ass line against those older.  I thought "I don't want to turn into an old stuffy, dick, looking down and guys like me."  But now its true for another reason... I'm not enjoying the scenery here and there's nothing I can do and I don't see a light at the end of this.  I see technology and our government (the president is irrelevant) continuing to evolve into this carnivorous animal, consuming everything in its way.  Like a steam roller with shark teeth tearing apart anything that was "so yesterday."

I hate when people say "old school," as some sort of slight.  We need more old school.
(I think I live in the right community to hang onto some of this... we'll find out)


Right now, I'm sitting in a rest stop on the way to Detroit to see Pearl Jam.  When people asked where I was going, I should've said "headed to a self improvement seminar."  A) It would've been accurate, B) I wouldn't have heard any shit for going alone.
If you know me, you've already had the thought "Um a funeral and pearl jam in the same day?  That's dangerous."
This is the 12 city I've seen them and I tried to figure how many times but it's over 20 so... enough to not bother trying.

Every so often, we need moments that reset the brain a bit and give us some perspective.  I've often  found them in life milestones like the birth of my girls, deaths, and other events.  Days that make you step back and pay attention to who's who and where they stand.  Who you are, where you're going, what type of impact you're making.
I told a friend yesterday, I feel bad for people that think recreating a card board box is such a big deal to treat other people poorly, "My box is better you scum bag!" type shit.  
It makes me feel very alien.

I feel we need these resetting moments, these life challenges, these milestones to force us to look in the mirror and wonder, to look at our lives and wonder, to look at who we are and what are goals are.  How many people do you help?  How many people do you make happy?  And then never mind the quantity... hows the quality?  Maybe you have 2 awesome friends... be awesome back, who gives a F that theres only 2 and someone else has 12?
Be great
Be useful
Get the bullshit out of your head, that shit that you keep repeating, the anchor that slows your ass down.  Drop that shit and fly.

(Cont from row 20, seat 27, waiting for the band)
I parked and a guy jumped out of a car next to me, "hey bud, can we drink here?"  I look around and say "um, no cops." So he hands over a beer and three friends hop out of his car, 2 girls and another guy.
"You come alone?" They ask.
Haha from where?  
You must like these guys...
Oh, A little bit

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Yin and Yang of Blue Chip/This Yoga/Abby

Before I start rambling about yoga, I can't stress enough how good everything feels after an awesome session.  Next time you're in there, go hard, sweat your ass off, push through the uncomfortable moments, breathe heavy, focus and kick your own ass.


I was listening to an Onnit podcast where Aubrey Marcus was interviewing his S&C Coach/Trainer and how they fell upon their style of unconventional training methods.  Through their stories, they talked about having a base in body building building styles, which I think most people have some knowledge of if you were picking up muscle mags in the grocery stores.  Not saying its easy by any stretch, but most of the workouts posted in the mags throughout the 90's and early 2000's were all geared in that direction.  Then they talked about a variety kettle bell techniques, yoga, speed development, pre-ha and re-hab, trx, full body circuits, etc.
And as they went on and on, I listened and found the occasional goose bumps on my arm, for two reasons that support each other and give me more confidence (which is needed more often than shows).
I've always written honestly over the past years and those who have been around read about... well, all the above that Aubrey and his trainer listed.  My beginnings were also grounded in those workouts pulled from mags, then evolving into full body circuits, then speed and agility, then TRX, then yoga, then kettles, and as it moved along, we started combining things.  I remember early in my yoga experiences, I started tinkering w thoughts like "How can we add a DB to these yoga moves?"  and more importantly, "What am I learning in yoga that will transfer over the weight room?"
If an experienced coach sat and watched a more advanced session, they'd be able to pick apart the roots of where things come from.
Basically, I'm just proud I never had my head too far up my own ass to ignore all that's available to learn. I never arrogantly boxed myself into "I'M A _____ GUY!" and pissed on everything else.  As individuals we all like what we like, but as trainers/coaches, there's no room for that ignorant approach.
The yoga, kettles, speed work, power training, super sets, circuits, all the experiences training in the parks and in the stadiums... its combined for a pretty unique, unconventional, fun and functional method and I'm pretty happy with how things have developed.
(That was me patting myself on the back)
Just saying, I'm kind of alone in this, I dont really have trainer friends or people to bounce things off of so when I hear pros speak and I'm on their page, I feel good about what we do together.

Speaking of yoga... 
So sometime soon, we'll be starting a yoga class at Everybodies, which the more I think about it, the more I think its a pretty perfect arena for this class. I hear there's quite a bit of interest and we'll probably have a nice little group for the first class so most of my talking will be about form and safety and often it will always linger around those topics.  But once we're through that part, the actual class starts.  
(uh oh, is this where his yoga woo woo crap starts?)

I was just talking to someone 10 minutes ago about the class and she said that she was looking forward to it and listed several reasons why.  I felt the need to warn her "this isn't a toe touching humming class."  Obviously, I don't mean that as a shot at the lighter style of yoga class, but I don't want to mislead anyone either.  This isn't a slow flow.  

Physically, you're going to sweat your ass off.  You're going to challenge your body in ways you're not used and possibly not as intense as you're used to.  
You're going to feel your hamstrings, your triceps, your hips, your shoulders, your feet, your hands, your core, in ways you may never have. Literally.

Physically, yoga really helped shine a light on areas of my body that were out of balance, weak, and/or tight.  I remember my hip flexors cramping all the time and if it wasnt my flexors, it was my glutes, it was always something... but it was all good.  I found great pleasure in being exposed, to myself, as to where my training needs addressed.

But as much as I say "We wont be humming," there's the flip side.  We also wont be jamming hard, flying in and out of poses, just cruising through a bunch of movements, sweating and listening to sweet music.
(I've written and deleted 3 different paragraphs trying to describe what will happen... All I can say, and will say in class, forget whatever you thought was going to happen.)

Do you drive places and when you arrive, you'd fail the quiz titled "Name 3 things you noticed on the way here?"
Do you let work issues linger and effect your home life?
Are you hanging onto childhood issues?
Do you react certain ways, notice them and dislike that you do it?
Do you find yourself playing with your phone out of habit when you could be engaged in people around you?
Can you remember 3 meaningful things you did this week?

No training method has helped me more than this.. in the gym, in work, with everything.


My oldest, Abby, is enrolled with a local theater group which meets on Saturday mornings.  While she's there, Livi and I head over to Beans and play Connect 4, then head back 90 minutes later and meet her out front,
Abby recently tried out for one of the plays run out of the theater and was waiting to hear back if she made it.  As we stood across the street from each other, her badly language didn't look good and I thought for sure she didn't make it.
For those few moments, some new feelings and thoughts came in... this would be her first real experience with rejection... and my first as her dad, helping her through it.  Ive coached for around 10 years, lost plenty of games, dealt with players and clients and their losses or short comings, missing goals, etc.  And through those, I've been able to find the right words to help.  But here on the corner of the street waiting for her to cross... I was thinking "Oh $hit,"
Fortunately, there was no bad news yet, just a bad mood.... 10 or 16?  Sometimes its hard to tell.
A few days later, she did receive the call that she did not make it and when we spoke on the phone she sounded disappointed but ok, which was good to hear, but I wanted to know how much she cared.  We can fail or come up short, but we cant be ok with it... how to communicate that to a 10 year old?  To my daughter?
I asked "What do you think?"  She said "Well, I signed up w a singing coach."  I asked "Do you think that's what you need to do?"  She said "I think it will help, they didn't say what I should do but a coach would help me.  I'll call and ask them what I should do to make the next play."

Did I say she's 10?  Not sure why I was so worried, she apparently can handle rejections much better than her dad.

I was so unprepared but she did exactly the right thing.  Take it, learn from it, move on.


My new coffee cup

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


I've always liked pictures of a loaded leg press machine.  Probably because I'm not an awesome squatter by any standards, but can load a leg press and push some decent weight. 

So I took this pic a while back and added a quote...
...for two reasons.

1) Resistance 
     It's relative.  We all feel it in some way.  What's easy to you, might be extremely challenging to another.  What's light for you, might be heavy for another.  It's all relative to the individual with many variables that can push or pull the lines in all directions.  
Like I've referenced in the past couple blogs, our roads/paths were on, they're similar but different.  We happen to be on the same planet, maybe in the same area of it, but with all very different childhoods, upbringing, development, etc.  We all have different skills and expertise, different strengths and areas where we strive just as we have the opposite.  A while back, I took my car in for troubles.  It was something super basic that I felt I should've or could've handled.  I apologized for wasting his time.  Mark, the excellent mechanic on the corner of Richmond Rd and Wilson Mills said "We all know what we know.  I know this, this is my profession, you have yours which I know nothing about.  You can teach me one day."
So it's important that we combine our knowledge and experiences and collect energy to create strong bonds and become a more helpful community.  
Be helpful.
Be useful.

2) Power
     (I'm about to write something pretty dicky but hang w me... I can clear it up.  You may be the exception to what I'm about to say so, settle down).
When hiring an employee, I would definitely give extra "points," towards someone who was once an athlete in a team sport, was a team leader of that sport or someone who was active in the weight room. 
Not because of work ethic exactly, and not because of some jockish machismo crap. 
Drive.  In my experiences, those who come from a team sport background, are driven by passion and pride, not money, and that's huge for me.  When you're driven by pride, a particular amount of dollars isn't going to change how hard you work or how you work.   
Now, obviously we all need to make money and spend money and all that, I'm not saying I'm anti-money.   But I am in the sense of motivational roots.  If money is the only thing in your head that will make you great, you're a flawed character.  If it's pride that fuels you, you'll be paid everyday. 
I've also found those in sports in general, not just team sports, have a greater tolerance for pain and are much harder to beat and again, these are the people that would make up my staff. How and why?  
When you grow up competing constantly, whether on a field, weight room, court, mat, ring, wherever... You are constantly being tested by others and testing yourself.  You grow and nurture (if done right) a need, a desire to always compete and win. So if we're talking about a sales position, that athlete is still  in there and wants to win big.  Whatever the position is, the athlete is still there, wants to win big, wants to dominate and stand out. 
Example:  I have a friend who heads up a department.  His had an employee on his staff that was an absolute standout.  I always asked "do you know why?"  He didn't.  I said "because she was a d1 athlete."  He resisted this idea... Until shelves and he had to replace her.  And now he's still searching for someone to step up into her role and do the job... Crickets.  I said "look for an athletic background and you'll find your diamond."
I know someone who doesn't consider themself an athlete may challenge this, but I attribute this mindset to runners, lifters, anywhere there are people pushing themselves physically and to an uncomfortable level.  
*Female athletes receive double points.  

Anyone can do something easy.  
Who pushes through the hard work?  
Who doesn't have a quit button?
Who doesn't mind the pain? (Tattoos anyone?)
Who can sit at half time down 3 scores and know deep down, "we'll come back," and believe it and then make it happen?
Who can lose?  Who can lose and let it hurt so bad all they want to do is get back out there, get back to the weight room, get back to practice and make it right, then go back and compete again w no fear?

Pressure and resistance mold us, it shapes us accordingly to take on the challenges we need.  Challenges we personally need to become who we are destined to be.   
When we were kids, we asked "what are you going to be?" And "what are you going to do?"  Then a phase of life comes around and we stopped asking and settled into the momentum of our childhood.  Maybe for better, maybe not, we let pressure and resistance mold away and we went along for the ride.  
Use it as a tool.  Your will.  
Examine how you personally challenge yourself in life.  Do you take the easy road?  Do you back out when in pain, challenged or pushed?
Do you road back like a lion and claw through the grind?

Never stop evolving.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

First Rule of Fight Club...

First rule of the blog, never talk about the blog.
I was logging in just to move some links around and kill some time... and I happened to notice the stats on these blogs, which is something I really try to ignore now.  But like I said, I happened to glance over at the numbers and thought "that's kinda cool."
I write, I share and this blog has been visited nearly 14,000 times.
I used to ignore the numbers because I didn't want it to effect what I choose to write about it what I say.  If I write a rather boring "how to," blog and only see 50 some readers, I'd react and stay away from those thinking no one cared to read it.
But now, I just write and ignore the numbers... for the most part.
Above all else, I hope you're enjoying the honesty.  When I'm writing, I truly treat it like a journal and often get a little nervous to share these online.  Then when I do, I think with all the crap on social media, this post will fly right by and no one will click it.
But thanks for "clicking it."  :)

I had a list of notes in my phone that I wanted to share this week, because some new things have popped up since my last post, which was literally written as the title read, on my lunch break with my shoes off.
Lets just say, I was in a situation that tends to "poke me."  Remember that friend you had that would linger a finger in front of your face taunting "I'm not touching you?" and then you eventually grab that finger and twist it til you hear a little pop, then they start crying about "why'd you do that?!?!"  it's pretty much like that.  So at one particular moment, I had to walk off and find some quiet time.  I didn't plan it, I didn't think much of it, I just walked off into some woods and stood.
And honestly, tears came... I stood there and just kinda let them fill up the eyes and took a deep breath and just relaxed.  I tried to relax my shoulders... my back... all the crazy pains I've been feeling and when I did, tears just slowly built up and it felt really, really good.
Clean.  I remember walking away feeling like I just washed my face and hands.
Anxiety is a mofo!  Really is... stress and anxiety can really whip your butt.  See, I'm awesome at telling everyone else whats best, but pretty bad at taking my own advice.  I need constant reminders (which are loaded in my phone via alarms, notes and scheduled messages) to listen to the advice I tell others.
That afternoon, I took a chair and my salad and sat at the edge of the woods, and took my shoes off.  I felt I needed to reconnect to something... maybe the grass.  Maybe it was a placebo effect but it worked and I felt really good about my time.  I left my phone alone, no surfing any sites or social media, just chilling.  Near the end of my break, I set everything down and meditated... first time in months and I felt it.  150%.  I just sat, breathed, felt the air, and focused on relaxing every muscle, every joint, every single ache and pain... I just focused on relaxing whatever was needed to relieve the pain.
When i finished, I wrote the last blog, "shoes off lunch break."
Then a word slowly stirred through my mind and hasn't left me, SIMPLE.
Be simple.
Thinking of the stresses and anxiety, it was built up from a pretty hectic and truly stressful year.  And in the commotion and pressure, I've overworked and let some things that are/were important to me, go and I now see the need to get them back.  For example, that brief meditation session near the woods, it turned a light on an area I pushed to a dark corner.  I felt it physically in the form of aches and pains and once I paused long enough to acknowledge them, I was able to control them.
Mediation was something I was once very consistent with and found it extremely helpful.  Then all the sudden, I was toooooo busy to sit down and take care of myself in this way.  And like the old saying goes, "if you're too busy for 5 minutes, you probably need 30," or something like that. But its true.
And now I'm thinking BE SIMPLE.
I have a statement on my dry erase in the office "Take care of the little things and the big things will take care of themselves."  I feel this is right in line.  I was so busy worrying and pressing for this particular end goal, that I've flown right through the year.  A baseball analogy?  ok... it's like I was trying to hit grand slams without getting guys on base first.  Little things, baby steps.  All my goals, I was seeing as these massive hurdles and ignored all the little things, the little steps it takes.
You cant save $12,000 in one month, you do it over a course of time.  You can't lose 40lbs in one month, you do it over the course of time.
"Take care of the little things and the big things will take care of themselves."
Day by day, step by step...

My next thought was "momentum," and how powerful it can be and can be found everywhere.  In our relationships, the work place, our training, our education, our personal development.  We can see it in our friends, in our children or parents... we see momentum.
I see it in a more spiritual way than just saying "habit..." I think it's different.  Similar but different.
Even as i write that, I thought ahead to my day tomorrow and how important it is for me to wake up earlier than usual, to start getting my body moving earlier.  I have much better days when I'm not rushed to leave the house and more moments tend to come together for me.  When I'm prepared, well rested and so on, my mind is in line, my body feels good and thats how I start to build momentum for that particular day.
Not to turn a corner, but as I thought of wrapping up, I wanted to add one more point.... bad momentum.  Understand that its due to negative self talk.  (Again, read above... I'm bad at listening ot myself, but working on it.)
Negative self talk can sabotage everything you're doing, and all of your dreams.  I know you probably cant just turn it off, so many people think you can.  Like depression, you really cant just snap a finger and bounce back.  But just acknowledge it.  When you say something negative to yourself, about yourself, about your job, about your life, just pause and notice it... notice where it came from... notice if theres really any valuable truth to it or are you just repeating something someone said 20 years ago... as they passed their shitty momentum onto you... think about that... how you see things... is it really you, or the glasses someone handed you?  Are you seeing things, yourself, your life, your choices, through your eyes or someone else's?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Shoes off lunch break

Imagine you own (or if you do own, no need to imagine) a high performance vehicle...
And even though we own it, we do not have unlimited funds, so we budget our gas and other expenses to care for it the way we should. 
We make sure the tires and suspension are in good shape.  We check oil levels and other fluids to be certain there are no issues while in use.
Then we fill it with the most efficient and clean gasoline we can find and we're on w our day.  
Again, were on a budget so we're not joy riding, we're making use of our gasoline and using our tires wisely.  We drive w care for ourselves and others, we can't be reckless w this vehicle.  Like I said, we own it now, but do not have the funds to replace it if something were to happen.  

Now remove the car and think of our bodies...
And think.
How do we care for them?
How do we fuel them?  
How do we maintain?
How are we certain we're using our only true high performance "vehicle," to it's utmost potential?
What if we viewed our food, our nutrients, our calories, as they truly are AS we consume?  And think... "This protein will fuel my body to..." or "these vitamins and essential nutrients will help me..."
Go where?
Do what?
What will they help you accomplish?

Do you know what proteins, carbohydrates and fats do for you?  (Hint:  they're not just staples in the newest fad diet.... They're real.)

Take a moment or several, to sit quietly alone... Maybe find some shade and grass... Take your shoes off and reconnect.   Breathe...
Think of our "vehicles," and where we're going...

Then take it to another level...
How do we maintain our "computers?"  How do we care for our mental state?  What are we doing to evolve, learn and progress, like a program?

And the intangible...
The soul.  
How is it being cared for, nourished?  It too needs attention, like a plant needs water, sunshine and great soil.

And take care of the "vehicle," and all others near you

Monday, September 22, 2014

Play All 4 Quarters

Last blog I said footballs been ruined by greedy old men.
The blog before I said "I'm not a football guy."
This blog, I'm totally full of crap on the previous two comments but will justify it with an attempt at a clever analogy.

Woke up Sunday morning in a downtown hotel and along w a couple buddies, headed over to a lot for some pregame festivities.  In past seasons, this was the highlight, but so far this years Brownies have been worth tuning in for despite the 1-2 start.
2 losses as time slipped away.
The previous two games, I sat home and listened on the radio, texting Andy random thoughts and observations as to the play on the field.  Both of those games, my last text was "that's why you play all 4 quarters."
Against the Steelers, had they quit at halftime, we were blown out.  But we adjusted, came back and took a lead before losing as time expired.
Against the Saints, we came out strong but had many moments where we looked as though we were trying to give it away. 
 Same goes for yesterday.  We looked so good, so strong, for so long... But it wasn't enough.  Too many mistakes in the 4th quarter lost us the game.  At times, we looked confused, unprepared and we just didn't get the job done when it matter most.
In football on nearly any level of any game and throughout a season, there are highs and lows.  You have time on your side as a type of checking point as to know when you need to make a particular move or look to adjust.   You know the season is 8 or 10 or 17 weeks.  You know the quarters are 8, 10 or however long.  And you know in each game, you have 4 quarters to make of happen.  
There will be mistakes.  There will be success.  There will be things, moments, that you knew would happen, moments or plays you prepared for, and you'll either execute or you won't. 
You may get a big lead one day, but then lose focus in the success and blow the lead.
You may start off rocky, losing by 21 in the fourth, but make your halftime adjustments and fight your way back into the game.  
Maybe you'll win, maybe not.  But you have to go hard for 4 quarters in order to absorb all the benefits... I almost wrote nutrients. Same thing.  Those experiences of life, wins and losses, success and failure and all those little moments within that fill the space with intangibles, those are the nutrients for our soul.  
I barely remember the games... I remember the practices.  I absorbed all those nutrients for years.  

So let's say, for the pictures sake, we'll live to be 80 years old.  That means every 20 years is our quarter.  
Where are you?  Me, I'm approaching halftime pretty soon. My score... Not quite sure.  I think I probably came out of the first quarter a little rocky the way most rookies do but I've made adjustments.  See, I'm a good coach, I know you have to be willing to learn and adapt and evolve to win.  So once I made to through the learning curve of the 1st quarter and most of the 2nd quarter, I picked up momentum and headed myself in a more fitting direction.  
Am I losing at the moment?  I think it's a close ball game, but I'm headed into halftime soon and see myself as a great second half team.
How about you? 
What quarter are you in?  
How's your momentum?
Remember, you can really suck in the first half, but if you come out of the locker room ready to play, you can come back and end the game respectable.  Maybe even win it.  

But sometime, some teams think they can coast and win it in the 4th and that works on their field... Not ours.  We don't actually get to see the clock.  We don't know when our 4th quarter starts or ends.
So play hard now, win now and you won't have to worry about the clock expiring. 
Every day is that chance to score, to have success, to make positive strides forward.   Don't wait. 
Go back to school.
Get back on your training schedule. 
Write that goal list and hit those goals. 
Make your dreams become a reality.  
We have one game to play.  
Play to win, everyday. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Just a quicky (8 yr olds playing football and "when is yoga starting?)

Last weekend, I was driving through a neighborhood with my daughters in the car, listening to Modest Mouse (People as places as people).  Quick sidenote:  When I was younger I thought how I didnt want to influence my girls and wanted them to "blossom," into their true selves.  But then I thought "Hey dummy, your taste in music is sweet!  Influence your ass off!" So in my car, they get to hear Modest Mouse, John Mayer, Jack Johnson, Dave & Tim and of course, some pretty Pearl Jam tunes.
Anyway, we're cruising along and talking and I see a flag football game.  We're at the red light, all watching the action... the 8 yr olds playing the game.  And I kinda had to get out of there.
I think the book I recently read, referenced in the last blog entry, on top of the Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson had me a little ultra emotional about things, especially kids and then football.
I now see the NFL as I do most things... a great idea, seriously F'd up by adults, greed and money.  Very few things haven't fell into that category at some point.
But here, I saw kids playing a great sport at the core level, in a neighborhood, with parents in lawn chairs.  Not to be too negative about it, but it goes down hill from there... why?  Because some goofy ass dad is going to think his kid is the next Buckeye great and force feed it down his throat and it gets progressively worse from here.  middle school, high school, to college (maybe).
Yup, my opinions on youth sports are jaded.  But not because of the kids, because of the same reasons I listed above, adults-greed-money.

Phase 1 was Womens Weight Training.  Think of a large mason jar, phase 1 was filling it with marbles.
Phase 2 was Kettles, Core & Cardio.  That was us filling it with small pebbles and sand.
We thought, "Alright, we're getting it all in now."
(no bs, I just heard someone mention in the hall "When is the yoga starting?"
Phase 3.  You've taken yoga before or maybe not.  You may have some expectation as to what will happen in there... "we'll stretch, and pose, it'll improve my flexibilty... We'll hum."  I don't know what you really think.  But I know, without any doubt, that your thoughts are short compared to whats actually going to happen... Except for the humming, we won't be humming.
The first two classes are sound. They're needed.  They're the bread n butter.  But Phase 3 is the intangible.  Its the class that'll change how you train, how you run, how you walk, how you work, how you think, how you feel, how you study, how you teach, how you coach, what you look at, how you breathe.
Lets rewind.

I'm new, right?  (obviously not to everyone reading, but i have a target audience in mind).  So I'm new.
Here's a brief summary of how it began...
I weighed around 315-325lbs.  No one told me and for some reason, I didnt see it.  One day, some bad bad news came around and I blamed my fat.  Positive from a negative.  So I joined the gym, Ballys in Willoughby.  I tore out some workouts from a Flex Magazine and headed out with a friend.  I had a clunky pair of white high tops, sloppy clothes and no cardio.  I tried running.  Couldnt run 1/8 mile.  Tried the elliptical, legs hurt.  I curled, I shoulder pressed, and floated around in a pool.
One day, two guys pulled me aside and asked me what I was doing.  I said "trying to lose weight."  They've obviously seen my pathetic effort and program and decided to help this sad bastard out.  They wrote it up, told me what to eat, told me how to do it all and said "See you tomorrow."
I remember thinking "Crap... I'm a big guy... I dont want them thinking I'm a wimp.  Now I have to show up and do this."
These guys were Marines and chiseled.  Not overly muscular or body builders, but defined, large and athletic in appearance.  One of the workouts they gave me is still one we go through in bootcamps and I post it online often.
Anyway, I did it.  I did everything they said, ate what they said, ran the way they said, and lost around 90lbs.
Later on, I became a high school football coach, then started working with high school athletes, then became a personal trainer.

Then I hurt my back and went to a chiropractor... excellent guy up at the Clinic, Dr. Torak (sorry if I spelled it wrong).  We talked a lot about training, rehab tips and a new buzz word "pre-hab," ways to train imbalances to prevent potential injuries.  At the time, it wasn't something I ever thought much about.  Yes, form is one thing and lifting properly is essential, but this was different.  This had more focus on intangibles, the deep fibers, the assisting muscles that you dont flex in the mirror. Through our talks, he said "give some yoga a shot."
So I googled, found a place and went up.  I was (or maybe I still am) a Buddhist so walking into a  yoga studio for the first time didn't overwhelm me the way it might other guys.  I was prepared to be surprised... and that was an understatement.  Within a few weeks of classes, I immediately appreciated the physical benefits.  But the catch, the hook, were the thoughts and feelings that arose.  This wasn't a workout.  This wasn't a stretch routine.  There was something going on in here that I haven't felt since my old coach used to whisper (or grumble) something at me that made want to run through a wall, in a good way, of course.  I came out of these classes feeling AMAZING.  amazing.  And I wanted more.  I wanted to know why.  So I dove into the books, the history, the science.
Then I began incorporating everything, the lifting with the yoga, the yoga with the athletics and it became my passion.

So here we are... and roll all that up.  Maybe you've read some blogs and have a feel for what its all about.  Maybe you've dove into my Monday and Wednesday classes and got a feel for it all.  But I'm telling you, without a doubt, this is the class you want to set your clock to.
It wont be easy.  Yes, we'll be starting slow, because I have to assume we're all "new."  But you know how we're in a class and I say 5 more and somehow say 3 more 5 later?  :)  Bring a water, a mat and change of clothes.  You will not want to sit in your car in the same clothes you're taking class in.