Monthly Mix Tape

New MOOD by Onnit

Sunday, July 30, 2017

A Quick (and probably strange) Football Post - A Thank You Note

Started coaching around 2002, 2003 or so, I really dont remember the year exactly, but my HS coach called me one day and asked if I was interested in "getting involved."
General rule: if Coach Nack calls, you say yes and show up.

I graduated from Wickliffe HS and played with a great, great group of guys for 2 years under a tremendous coaching staff.  A lot of people talk about their "guy," or their team or staff, but to this day, I've never met a group like them.  I then coached at Richmond Heights, Wickliffe, Ledgemont, NDCL and now Eastlake North.  And in every stop along the way, those young guys taught me more and gave me more than I could ever give them and I carry them all with me into every single season.  This one more than ever.

The older we get, we're able to bring up our own history and lessons learned to reintroduce them in a new manner to help get a point across or open communication along the path.  Things happen and I'll think "ah this reminds me _____," and think back to when I started 2 sophomores and a freshman at linebacker, and loved watching them attack with no fear.  They had nothing to lose.  I have a habit of plugging in young guys often to help get them Friday night ready for the future.  I'm not afraid to let guys grow a little under the lights.  Each group of guys had their story, had their personality, sweat all over the practice fields.  Some guys/teams needed a spark of intensity, others needed cooled down, some needed to appreciate the game within the game.  All different, yet very similar.

Every year, every season, delivered a new character, a new personality manifesting itself as a team.   Less than 24 hours away, I wonder who we'll grow to become.  I wont know that answer for another 10-13 weeks or so but I do know it will be good, honest, and I'm confident we will grow into something we'll remember.  We always do.


Sunday, July 16, 2017

Go FAIL Yourself

At this moment that I sit down to write whatever pops in my head, I'm also playing 3 chumps at chess... 1 has already lost to me today, badly (requested a best out of 3), another is about to lose (it'll be over by the time I'm done writing) and the 3rd just began; watching ufc; washing laundry; and getting ready for Monday.

---

The past couple weeks or so, my landscaping has gotten my attention.   In the past, I never really noticed the yard much.  If grass was cut and nothing insane was out of place like a down branch or anything unsafe, it looked looked ok to me.
On my facebook time hop, a picture of my youngest daughter came up.  It was from about 3 years ago, with fish in hand, my yard in the background.  And I noticed how nice the bushes and perimeter of the pond looked.  So for about 4 hours on the weekends, I try to give it a little attention... until today.  I charged up as many batteries as I could find for the weed eater and hedge trimmer and anything else I could find.  Pulled out 150' of extension cord and my wheel barrow (one of those easy ones I ant spell... was it right?)

So I'm out there, having a nice time, sweating and pulling weeds, taking down dead branches and cleaning an area... no music or distractions.  Kinda hit me...    how fast things can get away from us if we don't give it attention.

---

I was visiting a business this past week and they invited me to wait while they finished a meeting.  Caught my attention because the conversation was about sales and prospecting and such, setting weekly/monthly goals.  So I paid close attention to the head of the meeting as he watched the staff talk about success numbers and to set goals of completing x sales per day.  This went on for about 10 minutes.  All about how many sales they needed for the week to hit the month goal, then ended with that.
I wanted to take it further... daily goals and then not just success goals but failure as well.  "I have to fail at least once today."  I literally have this goal for myself to fail at something everyday.
Before reading on, think about why I or anyone would want to fail.

If I'm setting out to do something outside of my range where failure is high probability, I'm going to grow from it.
If I'm just going about a care free day, doing what I can roll out of bed and do... A) its not very challenging and then B) because it's easy and not challenging, there's no movement or growth or opportunity.  Playing the safe, easy, care free day will always keep me in this exact same place.  And that can relate to business, or relationships or training or anything.
Came up for me twice recently.  As a real estate agent, we have to prospect a bit and reach out to "for sale by owners," and that kind of thing.  So its not easy and I'm not exactly Mr. Social.  I dont really ever just walk up to people and start talking.  So my goal wasnt "I'm going to get a fsbo to sign with me today."  Odds are greatly not in my favor.  Its just not something that happens like that (click your fingers).  So saying "I'm going to get one today," would be like "I'm going to run a marathon today."  The goal is the marathon, as the goal is letting the fsbo know I'm the man for the job.  So for the marathon, its "I need to run 3 miles today," and the FSBO its "I just need to knock on a door."  That's it.  You cant hit a grand slam with no one on the bases.
My other example was at football camp.   Summer camps and we install new ideas to see how things look and tweak it moving forward.  So we installed plays we needed and then set it into motion...
failed.  And failed.  Error after error.  I let them know "All good... we should be failing now and making mistakes... and then fail and error another 50 times... why?  Because it shows you're still working and then eventually you're going to have that AH-HA moment and it all comes together."
Ever fail on repping a max weight?  How did it feel the next day or moving fwd?  Providing you didn't tear a rotator cuff)  I have
Ever fail sprinting up a hill?  Just run and run and eventually thats it... legs are just jello and lungs burn so bad you wonder if anyone's around for CPR?   I have
Ever fail in competition?  I have
Ever fail in _____?  I have
And all those failures are so needed.  People that have it easy, and I mean easy.  I mean people who really never had to bust their butts to pay bills.  People who never recvd notice that electric was turning off.  People that didn't have to buy a car for $1000 just to get through the winter.  People that never didn't lose a house.   Some people were just born a little further ahead in class and didn't have to grind the way others did.  Those people, they just dont know failure the same way and because of that, they just dont have the armor that you do... they'll break and you wont.  They'll "tap out," and you'll keep pushing.  Because you've failed time after time after time and you continue to fight and push and find your way, because of that persistence, you are stronger, better and more equipped to handle every damn thing that comes your way.  You've already experienced the pain of failure and pushed forward.  Learned and grew stronger.  Now do it again.  Reach for the shelf that's just a bit too high and when you fail, call out that guy in practice thats a year older than you, put in one more hour at your craft, sign up for the class and finish the degree, take that side job you've been thinking about.  And swing away.  Fail and miss and come up short and then reload and do it again.

And when you succeed.... dont forget to take minute to yourself to sit in the backyard with your dogs... and just remember the actual important things in life.  

---

Chess news:
I tweet out "Free #POWERFUL to anyone who can beat me in chess."
So I whooped Brad, badly and moved on to take out Louie.  As this was going on, Brad requested "best of 3."  Sure.
Within 4 moves I thought 'This isnt Brad anymore."  So I text Louie during our game to ask who is playing Brads board.  Sure enough "His dad."  So then I had to turn my brain on, but it was too late.  Lost about 8 moves later.
Lesson learned. never underestimate an opponent.

---




Sunday, July 9, 2017

Without A Dragon...

I was working out this am.... nothing major, just kinda moving in and out of some things, trying to loosen up and relax a little.  Stressing the body a bit physically, getting the blood pumping usually prods my brain to get cranking and my day is ok.

But its hard.  I have a mental distraction that I don't know when or if, I'll be able to shake it.

I've been a certified personal trainer for... 9 years, and active in high school weight rooms with strength and conditioning for more than 12.  So movement, nutrition, multiple elements of health and fitness, its always been close to me and a tool to help point some direction towards a search for answers and education.  If you've been around the last 6-8 years, you can see the entire picture of what my intent was while trying hard to hide behind a logo or business.  The nutrition talks and info, the yoga, outdoor boots, personal training, the podcasts/books/docs that are recommended on the site, its all pointing in the same direction... a place of self awareness and self education, to help you be a better leader, mother, father, brother, student, athlete, sister, manager, coach, on and on.  The more in tune you are, the more self awareness you have, the more you strive to learn new and old, the more honest you are, the better you're going to be for yourself and everyone you come in contact with.  It's just how it goes.  Because you cant dive into all of this and not emit positive, helpful energy.

So in my process and becoming obsessed with all of this and trying to funnel information, some hear it, some dont.  Some take it and run with it, some dont.  In the beginning, those that didn't, bothered me.  I'd spend hours and energy thinking about them.  Why dont they work out?  Why dont they enjoy this?  What am I doing wrong that they arent seeing the benefit and how this will lead to a healthier, happier life?  Like I referenced when speaking about teams I coached in the past, I blamed myself for losses.  I always said "I should've found a way to do more," and losses bothered me endlessly day after day.  So this field of work, is that times 20.  Because I'm not just working to win a game on a Friday night (trust me, that's still a goal), I'm working to make sure whoever is doing the grocery shopping at home, knows what theyre doing.  The goal is that whoever the leader is now plus the future leader, is equipped to think and research and also filter through the bullshit.  Its a job.  And thats the #1 problem.

I always felt home changed when mothers went to work.  As society shifted in the 80's to early 90's, more and more households went from single family income to a need for dual or even more.   So while there was once one person who oversaw the grocery shopping and meals for the  family, and that being a full time job in itself, that role was now minimized to barely a part time job.  Something that was handled in spare time and/or on the fly.  Meals were made in more bulk or quantity so that there was leftovers to save some time on baseball night or something along those lines.  This is where marketing tactics sunk their teeth in and went to work, selling products with nearly zero positive nutritional value.
Think about this and the things you know... when a slice of watermelon is left out for a few days, what does it do?  Rots, right?  Rots, grows mold, goes bad, within 2-4 days usually.  This is the case with most actual foods.  But when you go to the grocery store, there are aisles and aisles of food that doesn't go bad at all or if it does, its 60-90 days down the line... how can this be?

Over the last 35 years, same time frame I gave above (single income to dual), we have seen increases in breast cancer, prostate cancer, autism, obesity and earlier stages of puberty (among other things).
How and why?

One idea of the "how," is that the United States in one of the only countries that doesn't test chemicals independently (meaning not tested by the company that makes them) prior to usage.  So the tests are done, but only to make sure no one immediately dies.  That is a fact.  Our foods, our clothes, the air we breathe, chemicals all around.  We have products here in the US being sold to us, while the company that makes it, produces a non-toxic version for countries in Europe, where there are tougher, more diligent testings and laws.  How can this be?  Why is our own govt not protecting us?
Yes, we have agencies who are supposed to be overseeing safety levels of x, y, and z but....
...The "why?"  C'mon, you know this answer.

 
And this is the saddest thing ever... our health, our families health, kids health, has been hijacked, bought and sold, and you may choose to not believe that or even think about it, but it is 100% true.  When you start to watch documentaries, read or listen to podcasts, you'll find some things that might bother your thoughts on how you see society and this countries politics in regards to our health care system and the level of honesty in which information is shared.

You have to know and accept that you are responsible for the quality of life you will live and you're also in a great position to influence everyone you care about.  Understand the pros/cons of everything around us and dont be afraid to unplug from the norm.
Move your body.  Walk or jog or run.  Meditate or yoga or float tank.  Stress your body to grow a little, to strengthen yourself.  Eat as organic as possible.  Enjoy life with a free, clear mind.

The mental distraction I referenced above... its dark and menacing... the teams "losses" that kept me awake are nothing compared to this.  Honestly, I'm not entirely sure I want it to leave... I think I need it to keep me sharp and fighting... to keep me motivated and alive, on the mission... it's my dragon.

The number one person I had to teach, to help, to guide into new thoughts and a new way of seeing her health and a future, I couldn't do it.  There was something I was missing... and I should've been able to find a way to do more.

I'm not going to hide, I'm not going to keep quiet, I'm going to continuing pressing fwd and going after anyone or anything that endangers the health of our families.
We're better.  We deserve better.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

July Plans

Not going to lie... I'm not actually pumped about my July.  The thought of no coffee, makes me a little angry.  I usually drink anywhere from 1-4 cups per day, so this is going to be an adjustment.
But I know I need to do it.  I know I'll feel better and drop pounds and all that and probably for the first time in a good number of years, I'm going to shut up and follow someones else structure with discipline.
And you are invited to do it with me!!! haha wasnt that a sales pitch??  "Hey, I'm mad about this coffee rule... so you should join me!"

Here's whats going on.  For a couple years, two people (mostly one) have been trying to give me info about a supplement line.  Every time they did, I responded w some dumbass reply about make up or beard oil or vegan blah blah blah, because it was Arbonne.  I'm just not huge on supplements outside protein, creatine or nootropics, so I declined multiple times.  After another attempt, I thought "alright, this might suck for me, but my wife might like... because its Arbonne and all."   Not trying to be funny, this is just how I thought.  I only knew it as a healthy, skin care line.
At some point, my wife was talking about her routine being stagnant and not being pleased with the nutrition plan or such, and just wanted something to help light a spark and turn a corner, so I said "give this a shot, talk to these two, maybe you'll like it."  (for the record, her routine or nutrition is NOT a reflection on me, I rarely train her... it doesn't go well).

Fast fwd a bit.  She is into Arbonne and enrolled in this 30 day challenge thing.  I didnt know much about it, but assumed it had the basics of all of these cleanse clean ups.  The products came, she had some friends do it with her for support and fun, they organized and went to work on it.  This is the end of their 3rd week and as a group, averaging 10lb loss per person, across the team, some higher, some lower.  Obviously, people lose at different rates, but it is what it is, 10lb average in just 3 weeks.  If they all bust ass this week, it could probably jump to 12+ per.
Now, this is a cleanse and a "reset," not a weight loss product.  It's a nutritional plan with proteins, fiber kit, supps to aid in overall digestion health, and a pretty awesome thing called a fizz stick which I reviewed on my snapchat about 2 weeks ago... very legit.  The proteins that I made fun of for the previous 2 years... I hate saying I'm wrong, but whatever protein drink she made, was THEE best shake Ive ever had.
So this kit is a cleaner and over the course of the 30 days, it will help you not only clean your system, but reset your brain into becoming more aware as to what you really need vs what your brain tells it what it thinks you need.   Many of us are sugar junkies, not because our bodies crave it for energy or to stay alive, but because of the brain chemicals that release when we get a little taste.

Lets wrap this up, heres what I'm doing:
A) I'm signing up for the 30 day challenge.  I need the reset.  Maybe more mentally than physically, but I need it.  I need a strict plan and some accountability.... posting his damn thing will keep me in line.
B) IF you want to do it with me, I will give you all the recipes and set you up with all the info my wifes group just used during their plan.  So all the recipes and tips and things to know, you'll have all that info too.
C) IF you do it with me, I will also write up your training program for the month and 4 free sessions over the course of the month ($298 value right there). Either at Titans or Hambden Health & Fitness, your gym providing they allow outside trainers in. One way or another, we'll make it happen.
D) IF a handful people sign up for this, we will have a check in day where I'll register everyone for a contest.  Not just weight loss, but body fat% and fitness test.  This will keep it fair.  Trust me, if a guy jumps in on this, real good chance he can drop 20-30 really fast and win.  A full assessment will be a very level, fair way to assess the work for the month.  So if you win, you receive a 3 month gym membership to Titans or Hambden Health & Fitness, a $50 gift cert towards fitness classes or training in Hambden, and a goodie bag w/ free supps, gift certs and prizes from around Lake and Geauga County.  *We may also add a couple bonus points for social media posts telling the world wide web about your awesome results and badass body.
E) FREE #POWERUL tank or t

With my football schedule coming up, I need to have this wrapped up by early August so I'm looking to start between July 5th and July 10th.  Probably best to shoot for the 10th to have time to order, deliver and organize.

Some details about the actual Arbonne package:
Vegan-certified, no animal ingredients
Gluten-free
No artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners
No trans fat
No high fructose corn syrup or fructose
Standardized plant extracts
Low glycemic index (Protein Shake powders)

Kosher-certified

These Arbonne Essentials products are included in your 30-Day Nutrition Starter ASVP:

  • 7-Day Body Cleanse:   Use once per day following the packaging directions.  
  • Protein Shake Mix:   Enjoy twice per day to supplement a healthy breakfast, lunch or snack.  Two different flavors if you like.
  • Daily Fiber Boost:   Add a scoop to your Protein Shake, favorite foods or beverages once per day. 
  • Energy Fizz Sticks:   Use once per day when you are feeling low on energy.
  •  Digestion Plus:   Use once per day. 
  • Herbal Detox Tea:   Enjoy a cup each day

If you sign up before Wednesday, you get an early BONUS assessment to help set up goals as well as a session plus a free Arbonne water bottle.  

Quick recap:
30 day Nutrition Plan & Cleanse Kit (you will lose 10+ lbs)
Free program
4 Free sessions
If 5+ sign up, chance to win a bunch of free stuff yet (ill be shooting for gift cards at spas, hair, nails, dinners etc., it wont suck), plus the gift cert which can be used for training or yoga in the fall.

Any questions or on the fence, text me.
If you're in and want to kick ass with me next month, call or text Scarlett at 440-478-2083 or email her at scarlett.bickel@gmail.com.



Sunday, June 4, 2017

"First," Yoga Class

Decided to take my own advice for once and stopped making excuses with a busy schedule or intentionally sabotaging my schedule to "never have time."  So I made sure I packed my mat and a change of clothes to make sure the door was open.  Around 11am I checked a local schedule and found a class.
Ordinarily, I would find excuses to easily bail.  Things like "I've never been here before," or "I dont know how they teach," some bs to give me an easy out and just go workout. But I knew deep down, I need balance.  I cant just lift weights a few times per week and think I'm going to find new thoughts or balance in that.  So I pulled into the lot and walked in.
A nice, small lobby.  Found some comfort in the books they were selling as they represented a percentage of my shelf at home, then the obvious yoga "symbol," a large ohm on one wall, reminding me of what I once felt a home in.
That was all I needed to start getting comfy but I still felt a weight.  But I think I was nervous and a bit in my head.  I noticed this when I began to change clothes near the shoe rack... which is right next to the lobby and definitely not private by any means.  I had my pants undone and around my butt before I noticed, "Hey dumbass, you're in the hallway."  from there, I moonwalked back 8 steps into an actual changing room.
My usual space in a yoga room is secluded and near an exit.  A situation I felt mirror'd my behavior in real life.  So i made sure to choose my space differently now and chose dead center of the room.  I wanted, maybe needed, people around me.
Despite my absence, I got right into my comfort zone while waiting for class to begin.  I usually move around on the mat a little, stretching my hips or low back, before sitting at the rear of my mat, relaxing and breathing, attempting to take in a few moments to focus on intentions.
Class began and I remember thinking of how I was enjoying the flow.  I like when vinyasa instructors dont feel bound to the cookie cutter sequences and just flow.  Its the difference between karaoke at the local dive and a Hendrix guitar solo.  (Hows that for Buddhism?  But real yogi's will like the analogy).  We moved in and out and a variety of poses and movements, early twists and back stretches, really nice pattern and rhythm.
Physically, my body felt a tad behind a comfortable level.  Yoga can put you to work regardless of who you are or what you do, but you an build to a point where things are comfortably challenging, I'm probably about a month behind where I'd enjoy.
During a class, with practice, things can happen for you, the way they can during a nice run or any time you find in the zone.  My focus on this afternoon was just to breathe.  I had no magnificent goals or intentions, just breathe and focus only on that.  Things were moving along well.
Then we transferred from a lunge to airplane to tree....
OF all poses, f'ing tree pose, is where I heard "your mom just died," and I went down.
Didnt get mad at myself, just stood still for a second. That can happen in the early days.  You think "I should be able o get this pose," and you cant and you might bitch yourself out for a second.  But I stood there, and then got back in line with the class.  They were off to the other leg, "lunge.... pinky fingers to your side, retract your blades and open your chest... chin, deep breath... start to lean into the lead leg and stand..." again, airplane to "your mom just died,' but this time hip cramps and shaking legs and I went to the mat.
Took some water and childs pose.
Face down in the mat, I just wanted to sleep.  I heard that phrase probably another 6-10 times.
I thought "What would that one coach say to me right now..."
Dont let this be your exit.  Dont use this as excuse to fade or fail.  Get back up and keep working.

Thats all I tried to do from there on out.  Keep working, finish how you started, focusing on the breath.
Recognize those whispers.  They can be news and alerting or just distractions.  And sometimes we have to steer into the pain and face it so that we're able to recognize it and use it as a lesson.

There is no app to download.  No pill, no weekend retreat.  You have to to dig in and get the work done.  What you need is probably the thing you've been avoiding.





Thursday, June 1, 2017

Arc

Someone asked "Can yoga help with that?" and I said yes.
Then a couple days later, another conversation came up and I said "you know, you should give a slow flow some opportunity..."
Then about a week later, another young guy asked "think yoga could help with that?" and I said yes.
Then I'm sitting my back yard, enjoying some fire and I start receiving a text...

You're a personal trainer, right?
          Yes
So you tell people how they should exercise, what they should do and such?
          Along with a few other things, but yes
Ok, so when you're training someone, what is the ideal body image?
          It's all up to the client.  Whatever their goals are, thats what we work for and everyone is different.
Ok, what would you guide them against?  Like if someone wants to look like a certain person of a magazine that is all skinny and crap, do you help them get there?
          Against?  Want to make sure I'm reading your question correctly.  (in my head I'm thinking, so much for a relaxing fire)
Yes, like if they wanted to be unnaturally skinny, would you help them achieve that or would you guide them against the idea?
          Ok... I would work w them and slowly start introducing yoga and balanced nutrtiion plan, emphasis on balance and overall body health.  Introducing yoga and continuing would help them see a better plan.
And what if they dont believe in that?
          (I laughed to myself, she responded like yoga was a religion or faith to be believed in).  We chat... I work it in over time.  Yoga is more than a class.  Yoga theory is all around us and in my opinion, rooted in Buddhist philosophy.  Thats the stuff that is worked into talks and helps people find a way.

---

Its never really a non-topic.  After one of the above occasions, I followed up the conversation to be more direct.  I dont want them thinking I generically say "yoga," to everything they ask... but I do.  I explained why I say it in more detail.
Not to be judgy or an ass about it, but yoga in the US or at least the popular reach for it, has changed considerably.  It's been a long, long time since I found the class I was looking for.  A lot of yoga has turned into "workout yoga," which has its place and many benefits but the instructor is crucial.  I believe a yoga instructor must be grounded in Buddhist philosophy... (ironically, as I judge away.  But I dont need to be perfect. And thats the round and round we play).
When I followed up I explained that a focused yoga practice with an honest intention can take you to places you have not yet been.
(and they go "ho-ly shit, what is he talking about?)
When we were young, learning was all around us.  We were in school or experiencing new events and moments, learning valuable lessons every single day.  Lessons that helped, for better or worse, shape the character we portray during the week.
As our bodies grew older, age rises with birthdays and we transition into particular roles.  Roles that maybe we created.  Maybe your title is mom or boss or coach or accountant or landscaper, could be anything.  "you are a _____," and your identity is suddenly defined.
Ten internally we say "I'm supposed to be ______," and we can fill it in with any adjective.  Rich, smarter, skinnier, funnier, better looking, on and on.  And those adjectives are rooted in comparison.  We often compare ourselves to others or the story in our head of how its supposed to be.  As you probably know, I just turned 40 and 16 days later, my mother passed on from the effects of cancers, so you can imagine the little mind game thats been bouncing around.... especially if you actually know me.  By 40, I should've ______ by now.  make sense?   I think we all do it.
So then all these little head games alter our character.  The stress and anxiety, creates a troubled mindset and thoughts dont quite connect with clear vision.  As if static has been introduced to the picture.
And this is exactly what yoga can do.
Remove the static.  It removes that voice, that ego is what it really is, and replaces it with truth.  The youthful truth we lived inside of when we were 6.  Before anyone ever introduced what you're supposed to be.
Can yoga and meditation heal?  I believe so.  I am a very, very strong believer in the effects of the mind and what your mind can do to you physically and emotionally.  There are many studies that have shown the great benefits of meditation, and that's a large part of what yoga is, which is why the instructor is so crucial.  Harnessing the power of the mind can, like I said above, with an honest intention can take you to places you have not yet been, by uncovering whats always been covered.  Your true vision and voice.
And its hard, for many reasons, but worth it for one reason.
It's hard because in many ways, we're barely ahead of monkeys.  In many ways, we are still animals with wild minds and intense egos.  Its the flaw in humans.  We're not designed for perfection and this society, this world, is a playground that can be manipulated anyway the momentum likes.  Just look around.  Does culture look civilized?  Do we really appear advanced?  I think barely.  We have our primal urges and they control a good deal of how we think, feel and act.
But why its worth it.... to disconnect.  To unplug from the above.  What if your vision was washed and clean of comparisons?  What if you didnt think about your 401k or how much money you need to make this year?  What if you suddenly stopped caring about your abs or gap in your teeth.  What if the only thing thats important is right now and your interactions with other living beings and thats literally it.
There are many games in todays world and yoga can remove a great deal of the rules.
In yoga, you will start to hear yourself again and for the first time.  You will see the truth in our existence.
And dont misunderstand, we do have to operate here and now, so we cant go broke and move up on a mountain to meditate all day.  Health is important, but health all around.  Many people are only concerned with particular branches of their health.  Like financial health, social health, appearance health, while their minds, organs and souls are in constant battle, even if they rarely feel or hear it.  Thats the subconscious.  Thats the root of stress, pain and the uncomfortable feeling you cant seem to put your finger on.  You are out of balance.

What to do... buy a nice yoga mat and ignore the label on it.  Then buy a bottle of water and head into a yoga room for a class.  Dont look around the room, you're not prepared for that.  Why?  You'll judge your clothes, your body and wonder if you've made a mistake.  Just unroll your mat, take  sip of water and wait quietly for class to begin.  Just sit and breathe.  When class starts, dont judge yourself with "my _____ pose sucks," or "why cant i ____?"  Just be the version of you that happened to walk in today, and breathe.  Let your breath be the soundtrack, regardless of the pearl ja, er, I mean music thats playing.  Set an intention.  Something calming, a word to focus on, something your kindest coach would whisper in your ear during times of struggle.  "You're going to be fine... you got this... breathe, get a sip, lets get to it..."




Sunday, May 28, 2017

I Am The Highway (my feelings on Chris Cornell)


Given the last 6 weeks-6 months of my life, this was a strange and difficult one for me to write about.  On one hand, I didn't want to over-state the news or my feelings on it, but on the other, my mom would understand how much this meant to me.... so here we go.... hopefully.

It's also taken me around 5 days to write this...

I wake up and usually scroll the FB feed for news every morning, so when I saw the initial posts, I thought it was bs.  I actually hoped he just went into the hospital for something odd and some low end paper reported a death to get link clicks.  So I waited it out a couple hours, read all the links, and waited some more before knowing it was real.
Then in private, I cried pretty good.  I'll admit, I'm still not 100% sewn up from April, but, is what it is.

And its kinda weird, right?  We mourn celebrities and people we never met, but a part of us feels like we know them (man... I should not be writing this one in public).  But we feel it because we do know them.
And I'm just speaking for myself and my relationship w this music and my bands.

Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots... my workout music hasn't changed in nearly 25 years.  My driving music hasn't changed in 25 years.  My motivating music, my music of inspiration and hope, my chill music hasn't changed in 25 years.  People ask about my tattoos.. all but 2 are about this music.  You know, when you're young  and you hear the sounds and this honesty, for better or worse, with all their pain and depression and angst and even cockiness, it effects you.  It moves you.
So when Chris died, a little bit of hope died.

I remember reading his interview somewhere in the late 90s where he talked about always getting a top floor hotel room, just so he could lean on the window and imagine the fall.  So as we all got older and seeing his life and music, I'd think "he made it out... he's ok..."

I've read so many good blogs and articles lately, I'm finding it difficult to not plagiarize their work, but also think its that universal.  We're all feeling the same about it.

I hear people criticize depression like "Get your shit together," or "what do you have to be sad about?" or even just a simple "why are you depressed?"  I don't think those people who question or wonder ever really felt the power of it... the darkness and the weight.  The squeeze it can put on your energy.
Similar things can be said for suicide... ."Selfish," or "I just don't get it," or an "easy way out."  Those phrases... Same as above.  .  On one hand I guess its good that those people never had the thought or wonder.  On the other hand though.... I wonder about those people.  I wonder how much of themselves they've actually explored.


Depression is much more relevant than most people will ever admit or maybe fully realize.

Kinda done being hung up on this post... I cant figure out the words for myself.  Its just empty and sad and I hope anyone who has ideas like this or any level off depression, finds someone to talk to.
440-983-7783

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