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Monday, April 27, 2015

Oh, the things I hear...

Q: "Look, what are we doing??  Is this going to make me a body builder?  Am I going to get BIG??"

A: Meeting a trainer once or twice per week isn't going to make you BIG, nor is a well planned program (program means nutrition as well as all elements of training appropriate for your goals). To get BIG, you need to lift in a very specific set/rep scheme for MONTHS while increasing calories.


Q: "So protein wont make me BIG and bulky?"

A: No.  Only a designed program with you following it will make you big and bulky.  Generically, failing in your sets between 8-12 reps is the sweet spot and like I said above, months on end of this scheme plus taking in an extra 500 calories (ish) of clean nutrients than your body/metabolism is already accustomed to.
The function of proteins is to help the body build an repair, not only your muscles but your hair, skin and internal organs.  Proteins are the building block for our entire body and is needed to help keep the body functioning at an optimum level.  I share this fact because too many people associate protein with the "BIG and BULKY," feeling.
It's science and facts, not opinions and feelings.  


Q: "But I work out, like, a lot, why do I look the same?"
A: Let me see your program.
Q: "I don't have it written down."
A: Then how do you know what you're doing?
Q: "Well I use this machine, then I walk for bit, then I use that machine thingy over there...

A: Anyone can buy a membership, walk in and "work out."  If you're actually trying to make changes and see real results in mirror, you need to take it more seriously.  We don't say "well... I kinda drove to work..., I pulled out, then I bumped into this, then took a random left turn, then I turned around and pulled over for a bit..." No.  We know where we're driving, so we know which streets to take to get there.  We have a plan.  And even then, sometimes to the plans need to change just as our drive to work might, but remember, just because the plan has to change, doesn't mean the goal does.
I recommend researching personal trainers in your area and purchasing a few sessions to learn a routine, learn how to use the equipment properly and figure out a plan/program.


Q: "Ya Bro, my fricking knees are killing me when I squat, whats up with that?"
A: Let's see your form.
He drops his hips, knees poke out way over his toes, his heels come off the ground, one knee is tweaking out to the side,  and he's pretty much bending over.
This didn't actually happen, but I see it CONSTANTLY.  I even have a friend that works in an NCAA D1 program and he still tells me how many freshman come in with no clue how to squat (good job HS coaches).
Without going into a 5 paragraph "how to," here's an easy test.  Walk up to a wall and place your toes about 1/2 inch away from the wall.  Now squat without touching the wall.


Speaking with a local wrestling coach
Q: Yoga?  Yeah we did that when we were younger but called it stretching."
A:  Never mind the money... I'll come in for free.  Here's the bet:  No tricks, no gimmicky crap, I bet you more of your guys quit and flop during yoga than they do during your conditioning.
Never heard back from him.
If you say "Yoga's not for me," I'd say you probably don't know what yoga is.  If you've never taken a class, you're probably intimidated or worried about "not looking cool."  If you have and still say that, I'd bet you were just in the wrong studio, wrong instructor or the wrong you showed up.  Even for you tough guys, a decent yoga class can show you many muscular imbalances that can greatly improve your training in the weight room, while improving your flexibility, concentration and overall body strength in many stabilizing muscles you may not be addressing otherwise.

(If I can get 10 power-lifters to join, I'll run a month of free sessions, around your current schedule, for a case study).  

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Devastating Family Home Fire Fund

Very little need for my set up... My opinion is this - We can donate our funds to a corporate charity where we have no clue where that money ends up and probably no actual connection to the recipients OR we can read a story like this and choose to donate a few extra dollars this month to real people that you may actually know, thatI know. 
A lot of these accounts are trying to hook someone up with start up money for a business or wedding money or something simple... this one is not that.

Please read Marty's story and lend a hand.

"My name is Marty Kobsik,  and this is my family's story and struggle against mental illness and corporate america.
My mother suffers from Mental illness.   She has suffered most of her life from manic depression and bi-polarism.   Seven and a half years ago my mother had a mental breakdown  and took 5 gallons of gasoline to my father's recliner and my sister's bed and set fire to our family home.  She walked out and sat in a lawn chair in the front yard and watched the house burn while attempting to take her life by over dosing on the cocktail of medications she was on for various health issues.  The fire actually saved her life because help showed up and found her and rushed her to the hospital.   We live out in the country and had 13 different small volunteer fire departements come to attempt to save our 150 year old farm house.  3 hours later they put the fire out but the house was a complete loss.  My parents insurance company declined to pay the insurance claim due to the fact that my mother was a named insured and it was arson.  My father contacted a law firm from Pittsburgh that was referred to us from a family friend and they got our hopes up that we had a great chance of winning a law suit.   We all got our hopes up even more when we had a judge agree that the insurance company should pay due to the fact that there was nothing in the insurance policy regarding mental state and that the insurance company should pay.  My father cashed out his retirement account and  paid every dime of it to this law firm to fight the insurance company, but insurance company having deeper pockets drug outthe suit to the point where he ran out of money and could not afford to fight them anymore after living in limbo for 3 years he had to throw the towel in.  My father is 68 now  and still working since he spent his entire 401k on lawyer fees.  We share an apartment together and for the last 4 years we've been demolishing what was left of the house ourselves and cleaning it up to hopefully start new some day.  I have been working and saving in hopes to get a construction loan to rebuild, but in today's economy with my large amounts of student loans, it is almost impossible to get a construction loan.  So my best friend suggested I try this.  My father and I have worked for everything we have and don't take advantage of "the system".  I will rebuild a home on my family's property,  my only concern is will he ever get to see it or live there.  With all the stress the last 7 years and everything we've been through, I'm not too proud to try this and ask for a little help to get my dad back on the property he raised his 3 children on and would like to spend the remainder of his time on this earth at.  So Please,  any little help is sooo appreciated and please spread the word and our story.  The Insurance company and Law Firm profitted from our misfortune, I feel my family is due a little good luck."
Link here: http://www.gofundme.com/now7sk

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Trap door in the sun...

(Just dive in... just start writing.. no clue as to what I'm about to babble, exactly, but I know what its about)

Listening to "You Know You're Right," to help set the tone and help me stay focused... so you should know, in case you're clueless as to the song, this one may not be a feel good story, but not sure.

Unsure because I want to write about a couple taboo topics that are fitting for the date, not Easter, but April 5th.
The day Kurt Cobain (1994) and Layne Staley (2002) died.  You'll read "self inflicted gun shot wound," and "heroin overdose," but not depression.

For some reason, saying "I'm depressed," is brushed off, maybe too ourselves in our heads or to whoever we may say it to.  We may look in the mirror and think it, eyes may well at times for virtually no reason... we get that ball in our throats, almost feels like a sore throat coming on, and we swallow the words down, wash our face off, put on our "costume," and move along... the costume helps us play the part of "I'm ok!" just as the smile does or the workload or whatever else we do to distract us or anyone looking our way.
Physically, it feels like someone constantly leaning on your back... like the fluids in your body are sluggish and not flowing smoothly... everything feels a little heavier, a little slower, a little less than 100 and we just feel "off."  Problem is, it builds momentum and what just felt "off," has snow-balled into a heavier load.
(I need to dive in a little deeper, so I change over to "Nutshell," by Alice in Chains and play it on repeat)
You stop seeing an optimistic "we'll figure this out," outcome in daily situations you once handled.
You doubt yourself in activities you once had confidence.
You may look to destroy your life and proclaim "I don't deserve what I have."
You look for exits from situations because the depression has given you anxiety about conversations, in with friends, and you hide away.  So you stay home and friendships dissolve.  You're probably not even productive, you just sit home,  over watching television and not taking great care of yourself.
Some people try to medicate with food or alcohol, over-eating or over-drinking, or both... some type of vice appears or escalates that helps you feel a bit of happiness, even if just temporarily, which is where the habits are born... we need to feel happy again.
If un-helped, a few of us tinker down a more dangerous path or more dangerous drugs, maybe prescription pills, maybe heroin or something along those lines and addictions amplify, leading to... to be honest, troubles I've never personally experienced so I can go on too much here.  But if you listened to my podcast with Ben, you heard his money troubles... I think he knows he was real lucky.  Others have had more severe troubles, more dangerous situations, and/or death via accidental OD or suicide... you may think "not me," and you may be true, maybe not... but it could definitely be the guy next you. There's no age requirement, sex, income... Anyone.  
I'm 38 and I've had many, many friends.  Friends with money, friends with low level jobs, lawyer friends, all over... friends w many relationships, friends with few... you might think "nah, not him/her, they had so much going..." but you cant know.  You'd never know.  Just as Ben told me what an awesome liar he was at hiding his addictions and everything he was into... and man, right now I get teary eyed just thinking of our talk... because it's so scary, that someone can be right next to us and appear so happy and here, but inside, they're fading, they're hiding, they're in so much real pain... but they smile to give us the "i'm ok," bs...   "Smile when it hurts."  So when they ask for help, or show a sign, you need to start paying attention, dive in and do not let go.  They will try to distract you and throw you off the scent.  They'll try to hide or run, run after them.  Like a wounded dog, they'll bark and bite when you get too close... endure.
They're in a dark place, maybe not as dark as you'd think, but maybe darker,  and you'd never know.  Work to pull them out, someway, somehow.  They might not be on an actual suicidal path, but that doesn't mean their life isn't greatly affected by the thoughts they're having.

You can help someone you know.

If you are the one that needs a hand... show a sign, even if you don't feel strong enough to say it fully... just a look can be the sign, just eye contact.

I believe people can help each other... not talking about Dr.s or medicines, but conversations and moments.  You don't have to be a professional, just an ear... Just be present and attentive... That could be all that's needed.

Peace, love, empathy,


Immortality by Pearl Jam


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Tools


If you're not into my hippy rants, x out quickly....





Awww, you're still here!!! Thanks for staying!!!


I was listening to a podcast... that should be the new name of this blog... anyway, listening to Joe and Aubrey and somehow Aubrey spilled out this quote above, and the conversation ensued.
It lingered around on my drive to work and I thought about it more, the root of it all.
Then I went in for one of my "therapy," sessions later that day and thought about it some more and had a fantastic visualization...
I had this view of maybe 12-20 people... I was above the stage but even with the curtain, so I could see the action on the stage as well as what was happening behind... I'd see people out and performing, but when they went behind curtain and out of the bright lights, their bodies and faces changed.
It was like a conveyor belt.... they'd circle around and come out and all these different bodies and shapes and faces and then when they went around back, everyone was the same shape and color and looked the same.
And it made me think deeper about this quote and empathy and how a few moves in one direction or another and we could all switch places, real quick.  Our lives are... whatever you just thought, but few moves can change everything.  Money can come and go like water. Health can come and go, we think we have a handle but we dont (I knew a 38 vegan triathlete who died of a heart attack last year).  Friends and loved ones, jobs, you name it... it can all fade away or triple in volume, we never know.  So this quote makes me think of empathy a little more and it caused me to slow down a few notches and treat people a little nicer... and I'm already a super nice guy! (insert smiley emoji).  So next time you encounter a grumpy douche  or someone who is just rude, maybe give them a little crap to settle them down but also know, they could be you.  In a different light, on a different stage, with some different luck or circumstances, that could be you.
On a real tripped out level, it is you.

Buuuuuuuuut...
Part two of where this thought took me was to a "witnessing," gear.  I started taking steps backwards and paying attention or reexamining some of the "therapy," I've been through... and I see it all as a tool.
Then I started thinking about this "tool," concept and accessible it all is, if we choose to use them intelligently and with an intent to truly improve ourselves.  And this isnt about sales or promos, but my recent massage with Audrey kinda helped get this rolling.  What a tool it is, to have such a skilled massage technician (is that the title?  I think it fits).  I told her the symptoms I felt, she went to work and I'm sooooo much better, so much stronger and more effective in day to day life, its unreal and crazy to ignore.  Same can be said for what I do and go through when I see Jared and receive an acupuncture treatment.  I tell him whats going on, he makes an assessment and bam, we're off.  What a unique tool he offers, to be able to work that magic and heal... with what?  Needles, knowledge and my body.
I think those two go very hand in hand.
Same with yoga but it was much more "me," as far as I didnt sit down and have an assessment and then a pro went to work on me... it was me going to work on me, which is a f'n incredible tool to tap into, even for just that one brief moment, someone calls a breakthrough.  Those "ah-ha," moments. Yes, as a tool, its used for whatever we choose.  But yoga and Buddhism always went hand in hand for me and has many branches of tools circulating, such as meditation and body awareness, so... it is what it is.

But then to pause our life-game and look at ourselves like a... wild, dynamic, alien monkey with this incredible computer brain that we really dont know much about... and looking at our lives and all these tools surrounding us.  Classes to learn, music to inspire or relax or motivate, social media to reach and share, computers to expand and grow our "database," nutrition to heal and improve...
I think too often, we go monday-tuesday-wednesday-thursday-friday-saturday-saunday-weekweekweekweekmonthmonthmonthyearyearyear oh shit, I'm 38... what have I done w my time?
When this question pops in your head, its a good thing, even if it temporarily makes you sad or depressed.  Because the questioning, hopefully, makes you start to see tools around you and start getting to work on....

---
Be useful, Be helpful, Be a Tool!!!
That would look nice on my stone :)
Awww too cryptic? Just wait til my next blog on April 5 (thats a hint, free hug if you text me the topic)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

He said/she said

(laptop was down so I pulled up the app and started writing random thoughts to finish once my laptop is back, which it is)

So I'm texting w/ a friend...

We're going back and forth about meeting up to workout and all that.  He says his workouts are ok, wants to introduce more of what I like to do and his nutrition is solid... back and forth, back and forth and eventually we come to an agreement that its the MRS in our homes that tank it for us!  (that's right and i guarantee every guy reading this agrees!)
So my question, what is it with dairy?  Everything can be rolling along just fine then BAM, "someone," needs cheese and sour cream.  Why?  I often say no cheese because I don't really taste it and don't see the benefit of having it (other than mexican).

------------------------------

Me and my daughters are driving through  a parking lot, looking for a Redbox.  As we drive, a car comes up the wrong way, cuts us off and "steals," a spot we were pretty clearly moving towards.  Talk about yoga being a great tool for life?  Do you know how hard it was for me to not roll a window down (imagine manual windows) and rip this person up?  Holy moly.  Instead, i used it as a teaching tool as what kind of person to not be.
Somehow these lessons followed us around.  As we walked in, two boys about 25 were in front of us.  They opened the door and stepped... think they held a door for a 10 year old girl or the old man (me)?  Nope.
THEN we're driving home and another car pulls in front of us at a red light like we werent even there.  It was a drive way where I would've let the person out anyway, once we made eye contact and a wave so they could see I wasn't moving anymore.  I eventually just told the girls that there was a crazy virus in air turning everyone into rude, mannerless monsters and we need to get home before we catch it.
Yes, they know I'm an idiot w analogies but jeez... Maybe it was the day or something, but I'm starting to wonder if this weather is turning people into assholes.

-----------------------------

I'm reading this new book on "tapping into your talent..." which I need to find first, anyway, but the first chapter said "Stare at your role model."  Study how they walk and talk...  Study how they move and their body language....
This immediately depressed me.... actually had to put the book away and pull it together before heading out to train some clients.
If you've been reading this longer than 6 months or so, you know my role model passed away on January 22, 2012 and I've been a real wimp about it all since.  Probably in a pretty unhealthy way too.  Setting football season aside, I can try to imagine he's still alive and I've been working on the whole "energy," thought from my last blog, that's been helpful... but I cant help but get super emotional about it.
Is it ok for your role model to be gone?
Someone text me "Hey i liked the energy stuff, especially for music."  He got it.  Thinking of Jimi Hendrix, he's gone but the music still lives, so he's still here.
Just hard to do when thinking about someone a little closer than a rock god from the 40 some years ago.

--------------------------------

Another friend text "Hey man, I need something positive."
My first thought was "shit... what do i have?" Not often that happens where its requested, usually it just slips out at a good time.
But i'm flipping through instagram and then the onnit page and then i see Joe Rogan, who is a bit of an inspiration these days.  Yup, the ole Fear Factor guy.  He's a but more than a comedian and UFC commentator, you should check out his podcast, preferably one with Aubrey Marcus, Graham Hancock, Alex Grey, Neil Degrasse (spelling).
Anyway, the quote was "Write down 3 things you want to improve.  Write down 3 things you wont tolerate from yourself.  Write down 3 things you never want to see yourself do again."  So 5 days later, this was my advice.

Improve
1 My overall health
2 My level of education
3 Relationships w family and friends

Things I wont tolerate from myself
1 Cutting corners (laziness)
2 Being involved in gossip
3 Accepting less than I deserve

Things i never want to see myself do
1 Beat myself up over things i truly cant control
2 Accepting anything but the life i see myself living
3 I never want to see myself not being a person of my word

(nice exercise, I'll expand in a future blog)

-----------------------------------

Another friend once text "I just want to teach yoga... somewhere off in Colorado... build a nice studio with state of the art heating system and towels for everyone... a scenic view (and I swear, as I'm reading this, I start to hear Kurt Cobains guiter puking all over this)... a scenic view looking out into the woods..." and on and on.
My thought was "how easy."
I want yoga where it's needed.  Schools, cities, i want it in a factory.
I want it to go back where it belongs, before stay at home moms and poshy little studios turned it into a fad and something to brag about on girls night.
I want it organic and real, taught by lifes warriors, people who are living and grinding, battling and surviving.  i want it here one minute and gone the next.... it'll taste better that way.
Counting on it never leaving?  it'll be taken for granted.
I see it like art and like life.  That was 8100.  It was never built to last forever, it was supposed to come and go.  It means more.

------------------------------------ 

I said
I dont see life as a path, a thin line heading in one direction or even zig zagging.... I see us circular.  Like a merry-go-round.  We come and go, we see things and move and see new things and move, then maybe we see it all over again, but different.
Like a wheel, and we're in the center.  We steer it and head into a direction, but so does everyone.  Think of the people who have come and gone in your life... then they come back and go again and on and on... are you headed down the same path?  Maybe, maybe not.
Is it because we attract events and circumstances? Maybe, maybe not.
Maybe we're on a ride... and if we acknowledged it, we'd be having a little more fun and things would be better.

---------------------------------

She said
i finally did it!
And I thought... this is what we all need, to push ourselves, every single day.  One day might be mental, one day might be physical, one day might be everything and completely overwhelming... but this is how we grow and evolve and I dont think theres much more important that doing just that.
Training is the obvious analogy to growth.  
Whats your weakness in life?  Where do you want to improve?  what are you plans to work on it?  How else can you grow?  To be full?  Like what I wrote above... its a ride... and what I wrote above that, it'll come and go.  So while you're on the ride, be great.
Motivation?  just that.   Be great.  how?  work at it.
Whats your "it?"  how will you know?  
you already do.  Stop talking yourself out of "it."
i want to travel more.
i want to see more live music.
i want to experience cultures and see everything.
how?  i'll work to make it happen.
dont be stagnant.
go back to school if you need.  I'm about to be 38... but I'm also a sophomore.  and it doesnt bother me at all, it actually excites me.  because soon, i'll be a junior and then a senior and then guess what?  Dreams turn into reality.
and then maybe I'll be ok to keep staring at photos of my role model and get back to working on that dream
Never mind school for a sec... Look at the list you wrote above... What's the plan to a better...?
To never...?
To not allow yourself to...?
dont give up
i know its hard.
Life has a way of f'ing us up sometimes... but pause and think of it as  a challenge, something knew i read.  "A warrior doesnt see good or bad, hard or easy, just challenges," and in the challenge is the lesson.
these lessons and challenges mold us.  who will you become?
it really is our own choice





Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Science Over Style/Energy Over Everything

(Writing this on my phone so please excuse typos or repeating thoughts, it's hard to read this as I pound away w my chubby thumbs).

I hear goals.
Then I hear "I want to..." or "I don't want..." in regards to lifts and loads.
In my head I think "the goals steered us over here... But the words that followed erased that and now took us there."
The problem lies in disinformation.  Magazines say one thing, and odds are, they're full of shit.  I think it's Women's Health that I follow on Facebook.  I clicked a few links to read their articles and completely disagreed w the entire article.  The next 3-4 I read were equally inaccurate.  
Fact:  our bodies respond differently to different loads and time under stresses (ie, the weight and/or actual time of reps per set).
Should you be lifting heavy?
Should you be lifting light?
Should it be fast or slow?
Yes, yes, and yes.
Programming and periodization has been destroyed by fad styles and catchy little boot camp studios.  Even the boots I ran, I always designed them to follow a specific program.  People think they need to be covered in sweat or too sore to walk, when both are irrelevant.  

"Cardio," is heart rate.  Doesn't matter what you're doing.  You burn calories at rest, doing nothing, so adding movement elevates the heart rate... Cardio.  Yes, might not be as intense as some would prefer, but that's not the point.   

Program.  Think in terms of gears.
I write programs on the fb page where I say "failing at 10," or another number.  That failure number designates the "gear."
Power/strength = 1-5
Hypertrophy/size = 8-12
Endurance = 15+
My programs, nothing makes sense if we're not touching all 3 gears.
"I don't want to get big."
It's not about "getting big," and lifting in that phase for 3 weeks won't do it.  What it's doing is, stunting the growth, shocking the muscles and breaking routine.  
How can you have endurance but no strength?
And vice versa?
That's not a very functional human to me.
Then, are you healthy?  Are you in pain?  Does your program address potential injuries?  
Point = in my opinion, your program must  have a rotation of phases, even if it's only primary lifts.  People love to argue this but it's science, not an opinion.  Feel free to borrow any of my NSCA texts and read it for yourself.

---------------

I said "well I'm kind of on a church tour."
They laughed, but it really is.  I'm pretty much checking out different churches, different religions, just to see and feel.  I'm not really looking to become a member or not, my goal is really to feel energy.  
This past Sunday, I really tried to talk myself into staying home.  But I thought "what will benefit me here over the next 90 minutes?" So I got dressed and headed to a service.
On my way, every was my thought.   Just to be in a room with a group of people, sharing and channeling energy, sounded really nice.
And it reminded me of yoga... Actually every Sunday reminds me of yoga.  Yes, I would often say "studios are my church," and meditation is my prayer... And the more I read and learn and open up about things... I think I'm right! (Go figure, right?)
Prayer to me, is quiet time, channelling thoughts and energy... Maybe in search for answers?  Guidance?  All depends I guess, but that's what I look for.  Meditation?  Same thing.  As we quiet and really work to quiet our own goofy voice and all the phones and televisions, and work, and world... Answers come to us.   They do.  
Yoga and church... A group of people, sharing energy, maybe similar energy, over time.   I can see where a pastor can be motivational or thought provoking unlike many yoga instructors, but if you're lucky, maybe you'll find an instructor that does the same.
Point is, I'm seeing similarities.  The flow of energy.
We meet people, we feel their energy.
A song, energy can passed or created.
An atmosphere, can change energy, create energy, expand it... It can be contagious.
If we're lucky, we'll be a part of energy that outlasts us.   Isn't that what memories do?  Conversations?  We say things, and we're gone. Our words, our energy, floats around.  One day when we're @ home behind the sun... The vapors of our energy can still make a difference.
Maybe WE ARE just energy, trapped in this flesh and skeleton, blood and oxygen w this wildly untapped, under-used, computer between our ears.  Just bodies as tools to maneuver, experiment, enjoy...  

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To be honest (as if that hasn't happened yet), I strongly urge you to dive into new realms of self exploration.  New ideas, or maybe old that you dismissed, of therapies and ways to tap into a new line of thinking. (Are you paying attn to my posts?) And when/if you do, don't be afraid of the truth you find there.  There's happiness there.  
  



Sunday, February 15, 2015

Let Me Clear My Throat

Ever hear that song?  Love it!  I've been playing it pretty much everyday since about 2 weeks ago, and ironically, I've had a little lump in my throat that I need to "clear."
(the tone of this one actually isn't a party anthem, its a more Eminem or Public Enemy but whatever)


So you may have felt a negative vibe off my posts recently, I did, but I couldn't 100% shake it off.  If you've read everything just in 2015, this blog might have actually turned you off or left you thinking "this dude is weird and depressed," (I'll still proudly hold the weird title).
This week it hit me... I knew it, but I was able to find separation (finally) and see it as it truly was - A horrible relationship.
I'm talking about one of my former jobs.
I posted "2 weeks ago, my anxiety was "oh god... It's Sunday... I have 5 straight days of..." a job I actually enjoyed, the people... my friends and coworkers, I miss very much, but the atmosphere was toxic.  Truly.  Mgmt and ownership created an environment of fear, anxiety, distrust and panic.  And I wasn't quiet about it.  Throughout my time there, coworkers would vent to me and I would approach mgmt with their issues (with their permission, anonymously).  Ignored.  I would ask to open communication between the "pawns and elite," as it was referred to by certain members of mgmt (imagine that), and it was shut down with "if you don't like it, leave," responses.

It made me see things differently... I know I have a hippy heart that fights with the brain and body that's been placed here, I know I have conflicts because of it, but this just didn't feel like a reality to me.  I feel, no matter who we are, where we work, what our jobs are, there's still decency and respect between us, no?  For most of us, what we do for work is not who we are, so why be a dick?  Not here.  "The king rules, if you don't like it, leave," was told me too many times.
But I didn't leave.  Instead, I continued to fight for what was right, what was logical and for coworkers.

This is where I started to pray, as I eluded to in the last two entries.  I prayed for answers, relief, help... and it happened.

A guy called me and basically said "Hey, do you want to come back to being you again?"
But a part of was addicted to fighting with these other people...
But I sat there and said to myself... "Hey dumbass!  You asked for answers, relief and help... here you go."
And I left and started a new job.
So now on Sundays, I'm thinking about programs we can run to help people instead of dreading being 1 minute late and getting "1 point," as a penalty and then sitting on some dumb conversation about "well, you've been late twice now in the last 6 months..." as I'm daydreaming of that scene in Fight Club where Ed Norton beats himself senseless.  I'd think "This guy is telling me how to work? Am I on a television show?"

Point?
Looking back, I didn't realize how damaging that job was, how much it effected everything I was doing.  Being treated like a "pawn," by people that really couldn't hang in real life situations, very weak characters who I feel enjoyed keeping me ion the position they did (it was personal), beat me down a bit.  I definitely had to get out before it sunk me, before it completely swallowed my drive and soul.  I wondered "was this job so depressing and stressful, it ruined my enthusiasm in Mentor?"  I think so.  Was this job so stressful and depressing it effected some contracts and made me want to quit everything?  Yes.  I cancelled classes because I was so upset dealing with the issues that surrounded the actual job, I just wanted to go home and go to sleep... that's not healthy.  It truly feels like I was walking around in a room w low ceilings and couldn't stand up straight, and now, I'm upright and tall again.  I wake up excited again.

If you're in a position like this, working a job you dislike or making someone money you dislike (who makes sure to shove his purchases in your face often), you have to work to fix it (as I did for too long) or to be aggressive in finding new work.  Just as a relationship, if you're unhappy, you have to work to fix it or leave.

Now, I'm knocking off some rust and just taking one more step toward improving my life and living exactly how I envision.
The day I quit, I sat there going back and forth, almost trying to talk myself into staying in my seat.  I walked to the men's room and looked in the mirror... Literally fighting back some emotions... My onnit "One Day as a Lion," T shirt popping out of my button down.  
Never looked back.  

(Sidenote:  No, this isn't some "get on the internet and blast a former employee rant."  If it was, I could go on A LOT more.  My feelings were not a secret, this is the analogy (work to life to relationship to life to work) and finishing the post I started a few weeks ago.)