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Sunday, November 15, 2015

10 years and maybe longer...

Little intro before it gets going (hopefully)...

Before I was ever involved in training, I was coaching.  Started coaching about two years before my oldest daughter, maybe three.  After so long, and different stops, it's kind of hard to tell when things started, the timeline gets fuzzy.  I see it more in phases.  I had HS, then a couple years dicking around after HS, then I got a phone call from my old coach asking my if I was interested in getting involved.  I started off as a scout and volunteer middle school, I made $25 per week.  Doesn't that already sound like some old school story from the 50's?  "I made $25 per week," and never cared.
Even then I had a knack for communicating and tapping into a deeper level, something I think all coaches must have.  If you've read anything or know me the slightest, you know I grew up idolizing Joe Paterno (even typing the name still makes me cry, literally), but I was also a huge Phil Jackson fan and read all his books.  His first "Sacred Hoops," I feel is one of the best sports psych around.  How he drew a picture, combining chaos of sports and art of movement, was inspiring.  He wrote about basketball as if it were yoga, moving meditation.  Calm in chaos.  So as I'm coming along, learning as I go, being around some solid coaches, following JoePa and taking in this Zen mindset, things began to develop.  My approach to coaching was developing.

Fast forward...
2 daughters
personal training
5 schools
my own development
yoga journey
life, etc

This past week was our awards banquet for the team.  All coaches had a chance to speak about their guys and inside the days leading up to it, were nerves.  I'm actually not nervous about public speaking, I'm nervous about saying too much and not know when to shut up or slip up and take things down a completely different direction. I had one kid to speak about and wrote up a power point of things to remember in case I slipped away from task but I nearly blew it up within 3 seconds.  Anyway! It went well, I'm sure parents were pleased, it was a 5, safe and sound.

But then we text after and I'll keep his end private but I will share what I wrote:
"Let football be your guidelines for other greatness and use what you went through as a learning tool and strive for excellence at everything you do moving down the road.  Words like preparation and persistence, and then what I said about you tonight "intensity, passion and enthusiasm," let those words ring in your ears to help you build an incredible life.  Never lose the drive, never lose the heart, and work hard at everything you do."
What I said about this young man was that he had the basics to play the position.  Speed, strength, awareness, experience.  But it was the x factors that made him stand out.  Enthusiasm to play the game, the will to play with intensity and the passion to play full go, regardless of score or outcome.

So many of us have the basics we need for x, y and z.  We are all able to play our "positions."  But to be great, you/we/I have to have more.

I remember a guy I coached a few years ago, we had some troubles connecting.  We got along fine, but when I needed some fire out of him, it just wasnt there.  He was a very smart kid and it made me wonder, "Does he just think too much?  Can he not let it loose?"  So I knew I had to find a more common ground for us to BS about and see what I could learn.  Turns out he plays guitar, ironically enough I've had a handful of guitar playing linebackers.  So I ask him, "who do you play like?  Who inspires you?"  Thank God he said Jimi Hendrix, because that was all I needed.  I asked more questions, diving into why he plays guitar, what he feels, why he enjoys it and on and on.  Within a few days, I turned guitar into defensive football and it felt like I stole a chapter right out of Coach Jacksons book.  His play improved immediately.  He started playing faster, he started communicating more and he started playing with more confidence and I'm pretty sure ended up w a nice collection of awards when it was all said and done.
He was smart, so he didn't need me to help him get it together in the class room.  He had plenty of family support, so he didn't need me there.  He was strong and fast, didn't need me there.  What he needed was to play with passion, enthusiasm and intensity, the same tools he already possessed but didn't realize.  All I did was show him a door, help him through and turned on a light.

I've had other guys that were the opposite.  Too much fire and explosive passion and it needed to be reigned in a bit.  Some guys get out there and the game is so emotional, things can get very intense.  If a guy doesnt know how to channel it, damage will be done.  Physically to himself, someone else and/or odds are very high of losing control.  Also, when guy is only fueled by emotion, the mind is removed, and I want and need balance.  The position I coach, in a lot of ways, is the QB of the D.  My guys cannot be absolute maniacs (but I do kinda like when they potential to be a maniac) because they need to see things clearly, make particular calls and move the defense.   If his mind is clouded with explosions and chaos, it wont work well.  Balance.  Calm in chaos.  Knowing when to explode and when to play safe.

This is what coaching is for and this is 100% why I do it.  I've been a part of teams that went 1-9 and teams that went 10-0... does losing suck?  Absolutely.  Is winning more fun?  Obviously.
But the only thing I ever care to actually do is help guys improve and prepare them for the path.  Football is just a tool we can use, temporarily, to teach fundamentals for life and add to the experience.

Thinking back to my HS days, without football, I couldn't even imagine who I would be today.  The lessons I may have missed.  Without the coaches I had, without the experiences with my friends and teammates on the practice fields... I don't know where else I would've learned them.

How about a few pics?

 and a few oldies for fun....

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The C Word...EW

Being able to post and not read posts = excellent decision.  It's like I'm sitting up in a tree, no clue as to whats happening below, and yelling random things to whoever happens to be within reach.  Good move.

Now, the post...

I was on the verge of saying "Anyone under 31..." but then I kinda watched people for a few days and realized that's not the right age.
Might not even be an age, might be a problem with society in general and the lazy ass world that's being created.

I've been seeing the C word everywhere.
Casual behavior.
Casual effort.
Casual parenting.
Casual working.
Casual coaching.
Casual training.
Casual thinking.
Casual everything.

I know people, young people, who fear failure.  The fear failure so bad, they don't work hard, they don't put their heart into it.  They're casual.  Because if they try hard, if they buy in and give it their heart, and fail... it'll be too much. How sad is that?
AND, it's everywhere.

I blame a lot of it on all this hippy zen crap (kind tongue in cheek there).
But again, not.

Somehow people think "If I sign up and show up, walk through, do x, y and z, I'll be good enough, I'll be ok."
"If I go to work and just do _____, I'll be ok."
"If my kid just ______, I'll be ok."
"If I eat ______, this week, I'll be ok."

How about F being just ok?
Why is average the goal?
Why is just making it or just being good enough, good enough?

I see it in someone and I look at them like they smoke.  You know how smoking is such an odd thing now, when you see it, you're like
Same thing.

You half ass projects?  

You don't work hard?  

You make excuses for
coming up short?

You only go 65% but act like your're all in?

You only work 35 hours per week but think you should be rewarded for 60??

You train 3 days per week, eat like shit and wonder where the results are?

You dont give.  You dont help.  You dont try.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Inside Job

I know I wrote that I wasnt planning on writing much or anything, but I was telling a friend the story I'm about to write.  An hour later, this pic shows up in my text.


In the past, I've hinted at or pretty much told you about the different types of therapies I get involved with.  No medications. I heard a quote once that was something like "They cut at the damaged branches while ignoring the roots."  I think that fits well how I approach this.  For better or worse, whatever I find, I want the roots.  

Between the float tank and hypnotization (isnt that a word?  my spell check is flagging it), I've had 3 visions that have had a great effect on me, #3 being most dramatic.

I've replayed them in my head so many times, I feel I've shared them already.  If I start one you've read, skip ahead.

I remember being above a stage in an old theater,  parallel to the curtains, so I could see the play and the back stage action.
No one was in the audience.  The only action was seeing people walk across at one side and walk back in the other, but when they'd walk behind the curtain, they turned blank.  No face, generic body.  They made their way back over to the entrance side again and repeated it.  They'd come out new.  new bodies, new faces and then return back stage to nothing.  
What it means... I dont know.  Maybe we're all the same.  Maybe this vision was trying to teach me.

As I've said, in these sessions, I'm gone.  GONE.  So I do believe, a deep level of my subconscious is at play throughout.  Trouble shooting, relaying messages.  There's a communication at play that I cant hear during daily activities... it's always there, but muted or hidden underneath all the traffic and confusion that we see as our lives.

Similar to above but uniquely different.
I was floating in the tank, and once i stop splashing around like a child, I force myself to focus in on my meditation, something I've been very good (disciplined) with lately.  
First let me explain the tank.  When you walk into the room, it looks like a box you wouldnt fit in, or me at least.  You step inside and its maybe 4-6 inches of salt water, the salt water keeps you floating.  You step in and lay down, closing the hatch above your head.  When you do this, it's now pitch black.  No sound, no smells.  The water and air are the same temp as your body, so once you stop moving for a few seconds and relax... you're off.  Now, there is a mind game at play here, big time.  My first time, it was tricky getting comfy, to stop wondering how it was working or to move around, not trusting the process.  All of these were distractions and resistance. 

So, I'm meditating in a pitch black box of salt water...
My focus is to breathe.. in and out, inhale a thought, exhale a thought... inhale and exhale, imagine my head getting more and more clear with every exhale.  If something distracting pops in, I acknowledge it and exhale it and move on. 
Before I know it, I'm seeing things... 
I remember seeing the back of film strips.  As if I was on the opposite side of a movie screen.  I was looking out or up (eyes closed), and seeing myself as a kid, but everything was in reverse.  Lefts were rights, and all of that.  And it was black and white.  As I watched, the screen waved round, like the wind would blow it, it didnt stop or move out of distance, just waved like a flag and continued on. 
I remember thinking "why is it like this?  Why do I see the opposite side?"

You know when you jerk out of nap fast?  That is scary as shit when your in a black box of water.

I was diving deep into a state... I knew going into this session, that it was going to be intense but that was my intent.  I wanted to dive as deep as possible and see whats there.

So I'm focusing my thought on a person and people... I'm seeing them/him/her, and they up above me, at a 45 degree angle floating around, spinning and moving.
Somehow, they changed into a ball.  A large glowing ball of colors and angles.  think of rubics cube, but with unlimited colors and instead of 6 sides, its millions. Just a bright ball of neon and shapes, spinning around, glowing, w a beating heart... in my head, it was still people/a person.... but visually, it was a glowing ball of shapes and colors.

i remember coming out thinking that this really was who we are.  for days I thought - We think we're just a, b and c, but we're limitless and not just a particular type of limitless, but even limitless from there.  The colors were already unlimited, but the shapes magnified it by itself, limitless. 

I've approached all people differently since.  And I was already a fairly emotional, empathetic, sensitive guy (to a point), this definitely added a level. 
People talk to me and I can wonder - Is this habit, or are they doing the math?  The decision they're making, the thoughts they're having, are they new?  Is it out of protection?  Are they feeling and hearing their voice?  

The eyes can tell you everything.  Body language is one thing, but it's all right there in the eyes.    

The therapy is very real guys.  I suggest you dive in. 

I've had this song in my head.  I miss using it in the power room. 
One time, crank it up all the way.  

Monday, September 14, 2015

You're on the clock

(I'll attempt to keep details vague to hide some things).


I was in a public place and someone I knew was there, just one.  We know each other enough, but not enough where we care to do anything more than a nod or smile.
So at some point I had to ask a quick question, physically, words weren't even needed, and person x looked... Kinda sneered and brushed it off like "ya ya get out of my face."

Personally, I didn't give a shit.  They are who they are.  But it did hit me what they do for a living.  I thought "if I needed my hair done, i would never go to x or recommend just because they're an asshole."
I used to give a similar talk to trainers in class, I'd say - You are your business card and you're always on the clock.
You never know who is watching, who is paying attention, why they're paying attention, who they know, how it could affect you one day, etc.

THEN it hit me from another angle... How much it must suck to have to put on an act.  To be a dick in real life, but have to fake it.  To be an actual asshole, a bad, rude, douche and have to smile at people and it be disingenuous (did I use that big word correctly?)
  I used to work for a guy like that.  He'd smile to your face, compliment you and give you a pat on the back, but demean you in private.   

So pretend we're on the clock... Are you free to be you?
Are you good enough to be yourself?  The real you? Brave enough?

The rude, the assholes, bullies, dickheads, whatever else... They're just damaged humans who wear their big tough mask to intimidate.   I don't dislike them, I have sympathy for them and their weakness.

I like people who aren't afraid to show their scars and tattoos.  People who aren't ashamed of their travels, but proud of their survival.  They know how to smile at the pain and accept days as lessons on the journey, open to all its experiences, whether labeled "good," or "bad," in their head.
But their is no good and bad, just lessons.  And some lessons suck and we may wish we didn't learn them or that they were able to be learned w less pain.
But I train smarter because of my injuries.
I appreciate more because of my failures.
I love you all more because I know lonliness.... (And you know my clock is legit, wherever you see me.)
People who need their hair just so, never swear, overly concerned w they're perfect limit image...? We all see right through you.
When you know pain, when you know your edge, not the bullshit "edge," of a freakin yoga mat, your life edge, you've seen another side of it all and your appreciation for literally everything is magnified.  

I was in a theatre, 12-13 years ago, watching a movie alone.  Fight Club.  
Put away candy crush for 4 minutes, watch this, then come back:

Wouldn't you rather absorb life and the interpretation of?
Be flawed but be nice. 
Have an experience.
Do something uncomfortable.
If you're not weird, I don't trust you.  I know you'll break when needed.  The weird have very few fears and they're willing to let it fly.
When's the last time you went for a run in the woods and got lost? On purpose.
What's your last rock concert?
When's the last time you cried? Out of happiness or sadness, both.
What's the last thing that excited you?  That made your heart race, made you nervous?
What are you going to leave behind? 
Regret or experiences?  A story or nothing at all?  
Did you help or did you hurt?  
Did you take or give?  

You are on the clock, like it or not.
Are you going to sit their watching the minutes/hours then days and weekends "oh shit, I'm 34 already!" then 40-45-50... "What do I do?  It's almost over and I haven't done anything!"

Get in the game.

(Share this if it's useful)

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Hey Hey, My My

"You good?"
-Ha, I always read that like a trick question!
"You're fb post concerned me. Just want to know my boy is good."
-No... Truth... This world isn't home... so my social media thing is a hopeful way to disconnect from this crazy planet and create my own world 
"Interesting.  Wanna have a sit down?"
-ha think I've finally lost it?
"Maybe you've found it."


If we don't like our job, we have the freedom to change it.
If we don't like our body, energy, eye sight, clothes, car, house, partner, pet, _______, we have the freedom to change it.
Obviously, not all changes are easy and some are harder than others, but we have free will and can change if choose to and make every effort to.

What if we don't like the information that comes to us?
What if we don't like what we see in this particular "reality?"
Can we change our actual reality?


For me, Facebook was about sharing a story, try to be useful, share music and books and podcasts... But I feel a little bitter-sweet about it all.
I wanted to be completely invisible, just operate behind the scenes, trying to make something cool happen.  I wanted to have an idea, whisper it to someone and let them have the success.  So this is just a mini step, searching to become invisible again.
I was a pretty naive, introverted guy... I don't like the things I've learned on social media.

Facebook was designed to connect us... Has it?  
(Ironically, you're probably reading this via a link I just shared on social media).  

I have x number of friends on Facebook, yet when I go to the mall, I see people I'm "friends with," avoiding eye contact, staring at their phones and walking past.
Think it's a coincidence we have so many socially awkward people around?  

I see news stories apps/links covering things that aren't news.  
Hollywood is not news.  Bruce Jenner becoming Caitlyn is not newsworthy.  Kanye West is not newsworthy.  
Then the things that are newsworthy are manipulated and snow ball into x more stories that arent newsworthy.  
Would the riots have been the same without social media?
It's a distraction from news, just as the phone is a distraction from life.  We look down, not up.  We create false connections over electrical devices, not actual human contact.
"Another boy dead over Heroin overdose," is the news headline, but that's not the story.  The news as we now know it sells fear, not stories. 


I see Facebook and I see the ego of us, creating a particular picture that we want everyone to think of us.
And it's not reality.
Facebook has created High School, Part 2, but here you're free to recreate however you like.
And it's still not reality.
Everything we eat, we can think "is this helping me or hurting me?"
But we don't do that with our eyes/minds.  Scrolling through Facebook, very few posts offer "help," or anything positive to help us build positive momentum in our lives.  I see too many pains, too many posts, links, pics that are really online bullying, or chest pounding "Look at me!"
Did I get 10+ likes??  Success!!!!!


I was at a restaurant and just glancing around... everyone had company at their table, yet had their phones right there.  A text or phone call came through or whatever app notified them of something incredibly important, and their mind left the table and headed off into the iWorld...  


I was at another function recently... around 100 people or so stopped by to say hi and talk about the reason I was in their area.  We spoke about fitness and working out, which lead to pains and injuries or excuses and procrastination.  As x amount of people came through, I stopped seeing them as they were in the physical form, in front of me.  
They became the same... not in a bitter "you're all the same," type thought but in a "WE're all the same," type thought.
We all have the exact same needs yet we think and act so different.
Deep down we need water, nutrition, sunlight, human touch, movement, brain stimulation and other very primal needs.
Yet over the last 20-30 years, we've changed and headed into a new direction of isolation.  We're becoming more anti social in this social media world.  
Customer service is no longer serving the customer.  It's just banging out x amount of files per day.  You're not cared for because now, you're a number, you're notification on an app.  It's become a fast food society.  
We don't have to learn, because the answers are at our finger tips.
We're never alone because... well, right t our finger tips is 1000 conversations we can now interact with...
But none of it is real.  


This entire world we operate within is completely unnatural for us.  We've boxed ourselves into games of "house," and "adult," and "life," with rules that our brains and hearts and souls weren't really meant to understand fully.
The system says "you need a degree..."
And then make $30,000/year with that 4 year degree...
And then that job is forcing you to get a masters within 2-4 years...
And add another $20,000-$30,000 in debt on top of the $100,000+ you've already accumulated...
And now you're 27 and wanting to get married, buy a house and have kids...
So thats another chunk of change, handcuffing you to a job that completely under pays you and you're starting to see "oh shit, if I'm lucky my school loan will be paid off by the time I'm 39."

How many teachers can relate to that scenario?  Yet here we are, willingly playing these games that we didn't sign up for because.... everyone's doing it!


So I posted:
All social media accounts will be down soon. Looking to unplug and disconnect from the ego/mask and drama drug we've grown up addicted to.
Hung into them for this long for business reasons and to share... But scrolling feeds, it's really just loaded w shit I don't care to read. Shit talk, pain, negativity, etc. I'd read it and it would bring me down. My wife mentions things on the news, and it's all news to me... Better or worse, I want to ignorant to the outside world... I don't want to be effected anymore by the craziness that's reported. I know human instincts and capabilities, I don't need to read it/see it and then feel it.
The joy was reading people's successes and seeing pics of friends and their families, showing pics of my girls and life... those friendships should be live and in person. Show me your pics when we see each other, tell me your stories at happy hour.
If you've enjoyed the entries in the link, hit it and subscribe. When my flip phone arrives, that'll be it for this drug (Facebook - you think it connected us, I think it did the opposite)
If you're interested in personal training or hanging out:
my number is 440-983-7783
As for these blogs, I'll continue to write but wont be sharing via social media.  There's a link on the right to subscribe, if you like.

As for marketing for business, Im fine with not using social media... I want to found naturally, for better or worse, not because I posted some dumbass ad at the right moment.  Find me because you heard I'm good, not because I'm here.


The song below is one I find myself humming daily... The story, the movie, the soundtrack has been with me a long time and moves me very much.  The song means, to me, literally what hes singing.  "society, crazy indeed, hope you're not lonely, without me."
My personal opinion, there's something really beautiful to me in going hard, pouring your heart into every single thing you touch, your whole life... just give and give and give and give more and leave it all out there, with nothing in the tank...
then gone, like a shooting star.
So remember kids, "it's better to burn out than fade away."

Can you tell I start off sober then slip into weirdness and music analogies?

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Power Room kept me awake...

... it was around 1:30 and then I think again around 3 or 4... I was laying awake thinking about something I posted:
"This yoga isn't advanced."
"My yoga cert is better than..."
"The yoga at _____ is more recognizable."

Thank you!!! ...
Thank you to nearly every yoga instructor I've ever met (probably 85%), for turning your "non judging," atmosphere into a high school cafeteria all over again.

The top part in quotes, I've heard it too much.  Judging.  Someone posted a pic of a handstand and immediately, people jumped on it "that's too much for my studio," and "wow, you're really good."  So I panicked and ran to my "yoga books," searching for the rankings!  I couldn't find them anywhere.  Then I googled "yoga pose ratings," and couldn't find it there either. 
Lastly, I searched other studios... and there it was, examples of the ratings and judges right there, on the mat.
People ask "Where'd you get your cert?"
I bought a piece of paper, same as the others.  Mine was much cheaper though.
"But where'd you learn anything?"
From doing.


They say "can you run that program again?"
I don't know what we did the first time, so I don't know how to make it happen again.
"But it was a program...just run it again."
 it was really a collection of things I do, things I've experienced to help me along... ideas and books, programs, moments... Getting you to run at Squires Castle, the beach, the park isn't a program I want to run right now.

The things I said and did over our time together wasn't planned, so I don't know how to repeat it. I've been asked to bring the Power Room on Tyler back and its not happening.  We caught luck there.  We caught a sweet moment in time, hit it out of the park and that was it.... anything we could've done moving fwd past that would've been calculated and that's where I would've fizzled out.

If it's natural and organic, its hard to repeat.  I wonder how yoga instructors last so long.  For me, its too personal.  I have moments in time where I have the energy to rip off 4-8 classes over a couple months then I need a break.  If the room isn't right, if the people aren't open and putting in the effort, it drains me even faster.  Too often, I've been the energy, and it zaps me very quickly.  Which is where I see the troubles with the finances.  Money or no money, free or $100/class, its an energy that cant be faked.  I've left too many rooms thinking/saying "that wasn't right," and someone would say "huh?  that was rough..."  Might've been rough, but it wasn't right


I believe everything great comes from organic energy.  A natural explosion of just the right amount of effort, awareness, and love. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

HEY!! You've got to hide your love away...

Had that song in my head... and this blog is the exact opposite.


Unfortunately, I spend a bit too much time driving.  Actually, the unfortunate part of this situation is that too much of that time is spent wondering what the fuck is wrong with people.  I should be appreciating the scenery, listening to a podcast or music, but no.  Somehow my thoughts are wrapped around trying to nail down the year, decade or generation where it all went to shit, because yes, it is.  (Uh oh, the cynical douche bag is here today).

Can we do like everything else and blame the media?
When celebrity gossip is a top headline, it makes you wonder if this is reality or a wicked acid trip.  "Who will ever believe what Kim and Kanye named their next kid?!?!"    Who has two thumbs and give zero shits? know the rest...

Maybe it's technology?
Maybe all of our training we've had, staring down with bloodshot, watered eyes has turned us into anti-social zombie, crack heads, looking to get our next "fix," on whatever knew gadget or app pops out to us next.   Kids dont know what commercials are, or a library.  The Dewey Decimal system is long dead, and cursive is coming up next on the endangered list.   As Morrison screamed, "We want the world and we want it NOW!"

Or maybe this just the path we've been riding for the past 20 years and we've created a world around us that suits our greedy, selfish needs.  People don't hold or open doors, say "have a nice day," or are friendly just to be friendly.  People take, do they give?

Can we blame Chuck for not being a role model?
Pop culture is certainly partly responsible.  But I think its circular... the media let guys like Muhammad Ali fade away, "Service to people is your rent to earth."  Who talks like that now?  No one.  It's all about the money, being in commercials and being cool.

Maybe being cool is the problem.  Everything has to look cool.  Appearing to have effort and trying, nah.  Kids now, athletes, they need to look smooth and effortless.  Sweating, screaming and passion?  I still think that died in the late 90's.   My glowing example of this is comparing MJ to LeBron.  MJ would fight teammates for not working hard enough and keeping up with him. LeBron... pretty sure they're distracted with their instagram selfies.

Personally, I feel I've made strong effort to break off anyone and anything that serves my world negatively.  If you're positive, open minded, you're in.  If you're a close minded, conservative, control freak, you're out.  Right?  Wrong?  It's energy.  I can't operate fully with mood sucking, energy draining, life leaches around me, so right now, there are none... but I see you.  

Yes, I believe the world has changed for the worse and we will continue to ride this curve, as a human race.
Unless something truly world rattling takes place, we will continue to slide down and away.  Down a darker, lonelier hole and away from human touch.

All you can do, is be open... Honest... Clear the trash from your head... Clear the history... Let the damage and the scars be part of a cool story, of a survivor... And create your own pocket of positive energy and absorb everything around and try to infect them w your energy, your light and work to keep it brighter and hotter than the anti-,and be a nucleus and spread it all as far as you can as long as you can... Until you burn out or fade away...