Monday, June 27, 2016

Broken Monkeys

I've had a bit of alone time recently, and don't read between the lines on it, but it's needed.  I realized how much value their is in silence.  Obviously, a handful of jokes can be made when a wife and pup leave the husband alone for a couple days, and clearly my opening sentence could get me into some trouble... but she also knows I'm a tad strange and that this is probably (hopefully) headed somewhere.
Being alone, for me, is extremely meditative.  I rarely turn on the television, and if I do, I search for things I dont usually watch, like the news (more on that in a moment).  I was alone and busted out a very chunky to do list, and filled it with things that A) needed done and B) a few things I didnt actually know I could do.  So I adjusted my perspective on it and said to myself, yes I talk to myself when alone, I told myself to look at the lawn mower like its a puzzle.  I have a riding mower and it crapped out on me about 4 weeks ago.  So my yard looked pretty much like a pasture with no animals.
I found a part I felt could be needed, a PTO cable that attaches from the rear right fender and wraps around the back of the seat and down into the actual blade deck.  Look how smart I am explaining that to you!  Except I never knew those words or what a PTO cable was 48 hours ago.  I knew where it insert and where it finished... thats it.  So piece by piece, I started taking the mower apart, carefully keeping all nuts and bolts and other crooked little pieces of medal together hoping I'd remember where they go when the time came to reassemble.
First I removed the blade deck... didnt even know it could come off.  I thought "this is it, all done."
Nope.  I then had to remove the seat and battery compartment so I could reach the "shifter-thingy," where the other end of the cable attached.  Good thing I've been working some yoga in, because I was basically playing a game of twister, mounting the rear end of my mower with hands and wrists contorted into holes my meaty hands were much too large for.
Fast fwd to the end... mission accomplished, about two hours.  Now that I know, its maybe a 30 minute job.
All throughout though, I'd run into a speed bump and for a moment, I'd freak out.  I'd want to quit, I'd swear, I'd "curse my ass for being dumb."  But then I'd think - It's already broken, whats the worst thing that could happen? and get back to it.
I found a little Zen there.

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So I'm on my mower, listening to a freaking stellar podcast (for gods sake hit the link, go sit on a back porch a hush for a bit.   If you're reading this in a newsletter, you probably dont see all my hyper links inserted throughout, but copy/paste this http://observingbystander.blogspot.com/ and there it is).
So Joe and Russell and really ranting, one of my top 3 podcasts ever, and Joe always turns his aims towards these primal, animistic urges that he feels we suppress, and I 100% agree.  Actually a lot of podcasts lately have been along these same lines, not sure if I'm finding them or theyre finding me.  But someone was talking about animals, either Russell, Joe or Aubrey, and they asked "ever see a bear give a shit what he looks like?"  and Joe said "we're just broken monkeys."  I laughed and played it back.  Paraphrasing but he said we all want simplicity and happiness and to have community and be useful, but we cluttered it up, just a bunch of broken monkeys.
Isnt that the truth?
Then for some crazy reason, I turn on the TV for breakfast and decide to watch some news.  I never, NEVER watch the news.  I am very receptive to anything that enters my ears, to a fault.  If I'm near negative people, my energy goes down the dumps.  If I hear any gossip or people just talking trash on people, really messes w my psyche.  So I avoid the news.  But I'm thinking I'm on a roll here, very zen couple days for me, lets give it a go.  And there's an interview with Mark Rubio (I think thats his name) and he's talking about Trump and Hillary and the UK and global economy and fingers on war buttons and border patrol and on and on and on.
And I'm sitting here feeling like I just landed from outer space.  What in the shit is this guy babbling about?  Oh, this is real life?!?  This is the crap that's taken over the world?
Broken monkeys.
I'm watching this guy, and he didnt bother me, what bothered me was the game we've all enrolled in at birth.
This is a very silly situation with some wild ass rules and psychotic people running it.  I mean really, sit back for a moment and try to watch some news with fresh eyes.  Watch the news like a child (haha i just compared myself to a kid) or like an alien.  Doesn't the entire thing look nuts?  There's a battle and struggle for control and power and money... but if there was no need for control or power and money... what would we be fighting about??
So why not pull the root of the weed out at the root and go back to where we were?

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I took my oldest out for breakfast the other day and we're talking about a bit of everything.  For fun, I bring some work/training talk and a little thought Im having but trying to push it away, maybe a bit of fear.  She says "why not do it?"  I say Abby, it isnt that easy.  She says "why sure it is!  We learn this (business) in school, first you do ____ and then ____ and you need ____ and thats it."  I smiled at first and asked more questions, letting her teach me about business and plans, but then it hit me.
She just saw it through the eyes of a kid.
Which meant she saw it as success and without fear.
A view I've had troubles finding lately.
And she re-sparked something inside me.
Poor broken monkey.

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I'm at the grocery store and I hear a man say "hey its the workout guy!"  I'm wearing a tank top, the face and beard may change but the tattoos arent "I'd recognize you anywhere!"  Hey buddy, whats up? Good to see you.
I used to train his daughters a few years ago.  He asks me why I left and shut down and stopped training there and the whole thing and I always give the standard answer "just time to move along and do something different," never telling the truth.  He says "ah man, you've been missed (and I'm thinking - time to go) "everyone knows you had those kids on a mission.  The coaches are ok and all, but you're 'umph' was needed."

Literally two days later, I'm walking through the mall and see a few former clients, now HS athletes.  We go through "hey, whats up?  How ya doin?" and all that and I'm trying to scoot along because Im a socially awkward weirdo and a girl says "give us a speech," and I laugh.  "No, seriously, we miss those speeches you'd end workouts with."  And now, I'm thinking A) she's kinda bringing up something tough for me and B) guuurl, you dont want to me tear up a pep talk right here! (wink)
I say "i'll stop one day," and laugh and bust out.

So these two stories, and its happened before, definitely hit me.  You know how you have that song or maybe a number and you keep seeing it or hearing it and you eventually start to think maybe somethings going on?  Like "man, i keep seeing 1037, i better play that lotto number!"  thats kinda what I'm feeling.  x conversations have come up drawing me in a direction and I may have to investigate whats over there. (no, not 8100).

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alright two more thoughts
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I have this stone with a weird on it "create."
It's just a weird that's always in my head and the stone is just a physical form, a little reminder, a little something to keep it present.  
I ask myself "what am I creating?"  
What kind of atmosphere?
What kind of life?
What kind of memory?
What type of thoughts?
And I took it a step deeper and thought about our energy and what we create with that.  How would our energy create an atmosphere or a relationship or even just a brief encounter?
SO just ask yourself, I think it'll help set the mind right for the day or night, "what am I creating?" and challenge it a little.  Poke it and pull at it.  Are you creating a healthy state of mind?  A loving heart?  Or are you creating stress and pain?  Either way, just witness yourself.  Like what you see?  Continue.  Dont?  Work to change.

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I heard Aubrey say "Everything is medicine," and talk about an exercise where they would have to say "this is washing dishes medicine," and "this is clean shirt medicine," or "this is exercise medicine."  And the point to it was to feel and witness how you felt when you looked at everything as medicine.  The science or theory behind it (one of those) is that everything actually is medicine.
Everything you say or do or watch or hear, its all medicine and it has an effect on your brain chemicals.  
Disagree?  Think of your favorite song... how does it change your behavior?
Think of a very sad song... did it have the same effect?
Think of someone you absolutely love spending time with... how does it change your behavior or perspective.
Now think of someone that you feel causes you pain or stress.... Now how do you feel?
A nice drive on a Sunday with nothing to do, listening to great music, windows down, youd feel great, right?
That was "Sunday with nothing to do, listening to great music, windows down," medicine.  
Hopefully just a couple tricks to help you out.

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One more, yesterday was "Build a badass table!" medicine!!
And I can build you one as well!  
Hand-made Farmhouse table, delivered for $500!
(seriously though, I freaking love making these)







Thursday, June 16, 2016

Yellow Moon (Yoga chatter and a whiff of...)

Nooooo, no, no, I cant write about some boring fitness crap.  If you have a question, text me.

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Life can get a little... weird, might be the word, when this nut case is in your ear 80% of your alone time.

Somehow you dive quickly into odd ball conversations you may not normally and you say things "normal," people dont quite say and you find a way to say it a super weird way, but when it wraps up you go, "Oh wow, I like it like that."

-----

I was talking to someone in the gym, a very non-yoga gym, in the traditional sense and I recommended they give some yoga a good 3 month commitment and see whats up.  They said "maybe, i think about it here n there."
Working to open them up a tad, I said "Yoga for me can be like that closet of things you kinda forgot you had, but never wanted to throw away and you walk and go "ho-ly shit!  Where did you all go?  I've been looking for you!" and they say "Hey ass, we were always right here, you're the one that left," and you find a wave to tap back into that youthful innocence and truth."

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You read about Paula in the last blog?
Stopped in to get my salad and asked her whats new.  She's doing well.  Very calm lady.  Said she's still working for 30 minutes of yoga every day, she tries to start the day with it and often hits a bit after work.  I asked her how she feels about it.  She said "I live alone, but I dont feel alone anymore."  Paula, lets not try to make the big guy cry when the suns up.  k?  

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Have you checked out the site or videos?  I like whats happening there, check it out and give me some feedback.

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So its getting hot out.
And footbball is brewing.,
And I've been really attacking weights.
And listening to a buttload (or is it boat load?) of Pearl Jam.
So the minds in hyper drive.
And I like it.
Thinking about goals again... honestly, life has been such a tornado of chaos, they've drifted far from thoughts.  I actually found myself avoiding things I like because they were reminders of my goals, which I was trying to ignore (what a circle - Pearl Jam playing right now, havent listened to them in a really long time and now its like a new band again and these songs are pounding away.  I could listen to yellow moon and write about anything all night).  
So with some thoughts floating around, conversations have found me and its kinda been like a scene in the movie where the character hears something come from a random stock boy or guy at a gas station and the character looks around like "are you talking to me?"  and the other guy doesn't even speak English, but you swore he said something right to you? (hows that for run-on sentence?) 
Like Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams... "If you build it..."

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"If you teach it..."

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(story time)

One guy said: Hey, you know that thing you say dream about? The thing you doodle and write and draw? Want to do it?
Other guy said: Nooooo no no
Guy says: why?
Other guy: no
Guy: Why?
Other guy: Just not a good idea anymore
Guy: Then why do you still dream about it?
Other guy: I don't know
Guy: Why not try again?
Other guy: Not the same, too much risk now.
Guy: You're afraid of failure?
Other guy: Guess so... Failure now isn't the same as failure back then.
Guy: But what if you KNEW you wouldn't fail? What if you had the support and everything else you think you need? What if you KNEW it would "win?" Would you go for it?
Yes.

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When I write and use (example) in the middle, do you read that as me mumbling or talking a little under my breath?

Here, listen to this pretty song one night, one I cant get enough of right now. 


Thursday, June 9, 2016

If you see me quickly pull my phone out...

I'm probably pulling up my notes app and tying something to write about later.  Like this stuff:

I was at a gas station and a guy kinda cut me off, no big deal, people are rude, what are you going to do.  Most of the time, I awkwardly say "Oh go ahead," 5-10 seconds after they already went ahead.  This guy says "Lemegetapacka..." and mumbled something else.
Again, he walked to the counter and just blurted out "lemegetapacka."  Sound that out.  English translation = Let me get a pack of.  So "lemegetapacka," annoyed me enough, but there was no "hey, whats up man?" or "hows it going?" and obviously no "thanks, see ya," at the end.

So I pulled out my phone and wrote about it to remember for this.

I'm walking through a grocery store.  I'm making my down an aisle and a woman reaches up high to grab something, as she does, she pulls down a display area with kids bubbles and such hanging from a hook.  She looks back at me and laughs and just walks away.  I say "Oh dont worry, I'll get that for you," and pick it up.  She looks back and keeps it moving.  I definitely was not mistaken for an employee.  I wasnt pushing a cart and wearing  tank top.
how bizarre is that??  A grown woman, looked like she had some sense, just knocked a bunch of crap over and continued walking...
just another weird observation that makes me wonder if I'm on television.

So I pulled out my phone and wrote about it to remember for this.

ANOTHER grocery store story, this time I didnt clean anything up.
I'm walking through, I believe it was the weekend before the holiday, aisles were tight.  A woman pulls buns out of her cart and leaves them in the fridge area with the hot dogs and such.
huh?  how f'n lazy are you?

So I pulled out my phone and wrote about it to remember for this.


So it made me daydream about buying a very large area of land... 150 some acres and break it into 2 acre sections.  You cant buy it from me, but you can lease it under certain conditions.

A) You have to have a skill you can barter.  Obviously, I'll build a sweet bootcamp course on the land and offer that as my gift.  But you have to be a good cook, gardener, hair dresser, mechanic or something useful if you want to lease space.
A1) You cannot work more than 40 hours in the "real world."  40 hours is enough and you are needed in the community, just to be present.

B) You have to be nice.  Zero assholes allowed on my land.  Any assholeness is immediate termination of the lease, no questions asked.
B1)  no yelling
B2)  no violence
B3)  no negative talk

C) No real world nonsense will be permitted.  Any talk of celebrity gossip, politics, or scandals must remain inside your house.  My land, my rules, and they are just distractions.  Those topics bring out a side of people I try to hide from.

D) One mandatory community dinner every month... just for the hell of it, and you MUST drink.  Not sure if I fully trust someone who cant handle a buzz appropriately.
D1) One mandatory community fire per month, I run the music.
D2) One mandatory community yoga class... same as above, I run the music.
D3) One mandatory round table discussion on the meaning of life.

E) Any behavior you may witness at a Wal-Mart, county fair or political rally is strictly prohibited.

F) You must make one mix-tape per year to share with a neighbor.

G) Every Sunday, we will discuss a different religion, just for fun.  Everyone is free to practice what they like, but everyone must learn about one they know little about.

H) We will only watch NBA games from the 90's.

So I pulled out my phone and wrote about it to remember for this.


I'm checking out at Heinens on Sushi Wednesday.  Cashier says "Is that a yoga tattoo?" and of course, I get weird.

"Yes," and i explain the reasoning of the speakers next to the symbol, I very rarely tell the truth about this (or any others).
She tells me how shes been trying to work it into her life every day and how much better she feels... so this breaks the ice and I talk.  She said something like "something about it... I feel people would be nicer if they all tried yoga more," and shes a newbie.  (I hope she doesnt get brain washed)  She also said its made her, somehow, stop playing with her phone, that its made her much more comfortable just sitting in silence, which to me sounds like a vacation.
Thats all.  Just a super nice encounter.  I did tell her I used to teach and she reacted how most people do "YOU?"
Buddha wasnt exactly a skinny Lulu girl, you know?

So I pulled out my phone and wrote about it to remember for this.

Anyone else kinda dislike court-side fans?  Its bothered me for 20 years.  You watch a basketball game, court-side and what do you see?  Pretty blondes, old white guys, maybe some little kids.  Right?  Maybe I'm being prejudice here, but for some reason, the instagram models dont really look like die hard fans who deserve to be sitting court-side.

And speaking of prejudice and racism (get what I just did?) that kid that was let off with 6 months for raping the passed out girl... 100% racist and if you dont think so, you're probably racist.  People who think stuff like that isnt racially motivated, at least to large degree, are lying or blind, and both are dangerous.  If that was a black kid, he would've gotten 20 years easy.

So I pulled out my phone and wrote about it to remember for this.


However you are voting, in 2 years you'll be embarrassed for being so committed to them/him/her.  I have zero faith in our government or their procedures.  How many million people live here?  Hillary and Donald are it??  A career criminal vs a clown.

So I pulled out my phone and wrote about it to remember for this.


I'll never understand why people talk to me about the things they do, but I dont question it anymore.  It did make me write this after a talk:
Who we are.  Identity false.  Does the ego hold us back.
I wrote that after a conversation w a friend who is having troubles with their "path."  This person is very caught up in the momentum of the wave they've been riding but they dont want to continue, yet they do.  "I may not know what to do without this," and thats scary.
2016 is scary.  Everything is ripping past us, technology has catapulted us into the weird space where information is shared instantly and nothing is private.  Who we are, has become a facebook status and how we're valued is measured in "likes," or views (you people better start liking my damn videos! ha).
If they floor falls out, if our bank accts are drained, if we have no social media, no way of communicating this particular persona, who are you?
If you're left alone to recreate from scratch, who are you?
If you are rock f'n bottom, no friends, nothing.  What would you do?  Who would you become?
Are you already there?
Or are you living the ego out?


Friday, May 20, 2016

Glasses, Silver Dollars, Kids Choir Concerts and Random Rants

I'm I don't remember the exact session that it came it to me, it was a few weeks ago... Or the client that I happened to be training when a scenario popped in my head, but I do know it was during a plank.

Someone can come in to sign up and I'll ask "what are your goals?  what are you trying to do?"
Most will say something around the arms, abdominal area, butt and legs.
A few may say something in regards to how they want to feel, "I want to feel stronger," or what they want to do "I want to run a marathon."
And from here the A, B, C's fall into line. Goal Z sends us along this particular training path/program and so on.
And inside that path, I tweak and find little nooks and crannys to improve variables within that path, within you.
Then deep inside of that is where I actually find the gem... where I show you some thing's, if you're paying attention.

I've had clients, even still have a few, where I point in a direction and they nod "ya, ya, ya," but they arent actually listening.
Sometimes its just not about that ripped arm  or 6 pack and looking in the mirror and being happy.
Sometimes its just about looking in the mirror and being happy.
Sometimes, this training, is just that... helping you change your perspective.

Funny things have happened in my sessions, over the course of sessions.  We've talked about college and job decisions, we've talked about engagements, wedding parties, affairs and leaving people, we've talked about depression and pain, abortions, sick babies, sick parents, self help, and goals.
No clue how we go down these rabbit holes, but over the course of my career in this... yes, I see they want their goal list, thats the easy stuff to deliver.
I want to deliver that and then add the whisper in their ear and be the voice of the motivational quotes they read on instagram and say, "go do what you really want to do... go be who you really want to be.,, get back to day dreaming... dont be afraid to leave the cubicle jungle, don't be afraid to change.  Don't be afraid."
What if you sat there and gave yourself 5 minutes to acknowledge that all of your fears and anxieties are completely made up?  That they actually dont exist?  That you're afraid to ________ and that fear isn't real.
The world is flexible.  Your life is flexible.  Your story is being written, by you.  It could end at 80, it could end at 70 or 55 or 46 or in 15 minutes.... what are you writing?
If the 20 year old version of yourself were next to you, what you say to him/her?  What advice would you give?  So whats the difference in saying it to yourself right now?
I'm sitting here, typing away, thinking if 20 year old Jason were right here, what would I say....
I'd say, "Never give up.  You're going to change... you're going to go through things... never give up.  Dont let pain take away your enthusiasm.  Smile at it.  Keep moving.  Keep working to improve yourself, your character.  Dont let deaf ears shut you up.  Keep going.  Dont let your dreams fade, you can make them a reality.  Just go for it.  It's real.   Dont become a slave to debt and bills.  Take chances.  Travel.  You could be gone any day, leave it all out there and die on E."
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Do kids concerts rock?
God no.
But I really, really enjoy seeing kids develop.  I would never play one of those songs, right?  But I love seeing a group of kids get up there and do something I would definitely not do.  11, 12 or 9 year olds, up on a stage, singing a solo as well as they can, whatever it may be, that's awesome.  That's so freaking brave to see kids do that and grow right there in front of us.  They're who they are at 6pm, they're solo is at 6:30pm, when we meet them again at 7pm, after their song, they're now a new person.  They have a bit more confidence, they have another experience inside them.... they just grew, they just experienced something new.
why adults lose this... mind boggling.
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People come in, I've heard them say things about "felling self-conscious."  Men, women, doesn't matter.  They choose spaces where they won't feel that feeling.  I get them going, warm them up to the environments, I see their comfort. 
 But too often, I still see that smile lingering.  That "I want to smile full, but I'm so conditioned to worry, anxiety, some panic, and fear, I don't really smile fully," type of smile.  I literally just saw one. 
And every time I do, this song pops on:

The goal is to be at a level where you truly do not give a F what anyone says or thinks of you, because you know who you are, what you do, how you think, all the above, w confidence.  Not saying we can't or don't change, we should be evolving. But be at a level where if they don't like you or you're worried about what someone may say, for whatever reason, that's their issue, not yours. 
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I was in a little flea market thing with a few pricey items a couple weeks ago and walked past a guy on his phone.  He said "Hey, I have to call you back, I'm staring at a solver dollar," and I smiled.
Do I give shit about silver dollars?  Nope.  But I thought it was pretty cool this random stranger got a high off it.  It was a big deal to him.
Last night, I stopped by my parents and my mom showed me 20 some pieces of crafts she made for their flea market trips.  It's my thing, it's hers, I enjoy that she has a thing to enjoy.
We all have our "thing."  Just because  my thing isnt your thing, its all good things.
Unless your thing is being a dick, then no.
Which brings us to.....
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Random Rants
Dont like my potty mouth, dont continue.
1) If you are at a kids concert, control your kids in the crowd.  They're not funny, they're not cute, its not their show or yours.  Everyone is hear to see kids perform on stage, not your goofy kid dancing in the aisle.  

2) Since we can now change birth certificates and change gender and all that, I definitely want to get involved.  For a really long time, I knew something was different and its time I come out of my closet and let everyone know.  I am an alien and want it changed on my birth cert.  Or, if this isnt acceptable, I choose to be a monkey.  I always wanted to be a monkey as a kid, so this is it.  I am now a monkey.  I love bananas, I love sitting around in grass and doing monkey things so, thats that.  Now that I'm writing it, I choose monkey over alien.  If I go full alien, things may get weird and they'll want to dissect me.  If I go full monkey, I'll have some nice options.  And I dont mean baboon or whichever one runs around with colored butts throwing poo.  I'll be a fuzzy guerilla, laying out catching sun, napping in trees, eating leaves, monkey-ing it up.  

3) Trump... where to begin?  I've asked a variety of people, "why are you voting for Trump?"  and you know what they say?  nothing.  They say nothing thats actually PRO-Trump, they say things that are anti-Hillary.  So I ask again "Why are you voting for Trump?"  and now they'll say something like "He's not a politician."  no?  Please explain.  And this turns into an anti-Barrack thing or an anti-democrat thing and i stop them.  See they cant actually say why they're voting for Trump.  But I do see a very common thread among the great majority of pro-Trump.  
Racism and sexism.  
Everything I've heard Trump say is rooted in fear, anger, stupidity, racism and sexism.  If that's your president, what does that say?  
Now, this isnt pro-Hillary.  This is how absolutely awful our situation is.  On one hand, we have  completely unqualified, ignorant, silver spoon, B television star.  On the other, a career white collar criminal.  
Dont be blind.  Dont bother talking shit one way or the other.  Our choices are terrible.  We actually have no candidates.  So dont embarrass yourself standing on your soap box, posting a bunch of anti-Hillary or Trump crap, both options suck.  The best thing we can do is no show on voting day.  A complete protest of zero votes and make them rethink the entire system.  Clearly its flawed.  We have how many people in the U.S. and these are the best available???  So dont vote.  "Well, if you dont vote, you dont have a voice and your opinion doesnt matter."  I used to say dumb shit like that.  Then I saw Florida cheat Gore out and the governors brother happened to be the beneficiary.... hhhhhmmm.  No, your votes barely count as is.  Then when whoever gets there, they're owned by congress and billionaires, your voice is 99.9999% irrelevant.  
 Back to the main point and note I had on my phone: Trump is racist, sexist and so is the great, great majority of his supporters.  

4) Apparently, I'm attracting people of supreme intelligence... And I have no issues sharing w you. 
I was just pitched a supplement company by "Miss Organic," who went on and on about how healthy she is, and everythings organic and her kids are organic and blah blah blah.
We say bye and she goes to her car... Where she lights up a cigarette. 
Are you f'n kidding me?!?!
You can be super nice, a real sweety, but if you smoke, close your mouth about your nutrition, supplements and "organic lifestyle."



5)  The next asshole that tells me they're friends with Stipe, I'm quizzing you.   
I mean... An asshole came up to me, thinking he was bragging "ya, my boy Stipe, we hang... Can't wait to watch him fight Werdum," and pronounced it WER-dum. It's pronounced like ver-doom you f'n idiot. So not only are you a poser for lying, you're a poser for not even knowing shit about the sport you claim "your boy," competes in. 

(Rant over)

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

My training; sharing light and conversations

(The header on the blog should probably change to "I'm basically weird as £¥@> with pretty weird @ss opinions, hang in there."  Shit happens when you study Hunter Thompson, Dennis Rodman and Jim Morrison at a young age.  That's basically my asterisk on most things I say and write.  Fortunately for football, those pretty blue and white helmets in State College, PA and the coach w rolled up khakis and coke bottle glasses... Things stayed within "balance," and by balance, I mean it can swing reeeeeaally far one way and reeeeeeaally far the other way. 

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"Hey moron! How about something about fitness!"

Gotcha
I rarely write about my own actual training.  Not entirely sure why, but mostly I feel like a dick.  "Hey i can lift a bunch of..." but maybe it's relevant.  And sometimes people wonder if I actually do workout... That might be saying something. 
Well yes, I do.  Historically, I've really tried to get into everything.  I definitely still believe balance is best and most healthy and you should run, lift, yoga, sprint, kettles, all that and then some.  But this year, especially recently, I truly don't care to do anything other than lift the heaviest damn weights in the gym.  
The biggest pain in my ass is loading the leg press.  A) it really sucks trying to track down 18-20+ 45lb plates and B) I hate loading them.  I've actually considered hiring a personal trainer for leg day just because I don't want to lose the plates, how's that for lazy. Second biggest pain in my ass is kicking up Dumbbells for shoulder press.  Anything over 75's just sucks.  I also thought about a trainer for this as well, just someone to hand me the 100's would be super useful. 
(I'm kinda writing this funny, but I actually have these thoughts in the gym.)
Back and rows, I pick a weight and add 20lbs every round until I'm using the entire stack. Super meat head and I don't care. Repping 200 for 15 reps on the lat pull feels pretty sweet.
Chest work, because I'm an idiot and attempted to "power lift," I hurt my rotator cuff because the form is ridiculous. I knew better, but my fat kid ego said "435lb bench isn't that hard," and now I have pain at a certain depth. Dummy. For the record, it wasn't very long for me to get over 400.... But that's probably also why I'm hurt. Flip side, I don't really care much because I suck at caring and training myself. So for chest, I fatigue my chest w tons of chest flies before touching a bar.  Probably 6-10 sets of fly variety to really torch it.  The goal is to make 225lbs feel like 500, then I don't have to sit there for 45 minutes repping til my hands fall asleep. 
Legs... As I said, screw the leg press.  Squats and deadlifts... Welp, back to me being a dumbass. About 75% I tweaked something in my knee, possible mcl. Nothing constant, or too intense, but enough to scare me into not being a complete idiot. The last thing I want is a surgery so if this means I'm turning into a pro power walker, so be it. 
Cardio... See knee notes above.  I do try to hit the prowler 1-2 per week just to crush the lungs and heart rate... Love that thing. 270lbs loaded up, a decent 60 foot (maybe?) sprint and your lungs are on fire.  6-10 of those and you'll be looking for a trash can or a dial a friend for cpr.
Another downside to my meat headed-ness?  Almost no t-shirts fit, only one dress shirt fits, and I've split 2 pairs of khakis in the ass and one pair of jeans right up the thigh, Incredible Hulk style.  I sat down, heard it and went NOT AGAIN, and looked at my crotch... But no rip.  I assumed my ass, found a mirror... No rip. I heard it!  Where is it? Literally right up the front of the thighs... Jeans.  Idiot. 
What have I learned?  I learned that I'm finally enjoying just lifting and not worrying about x result.  Maybe I've gotten biggie than I'd liked and my goal of 225 has taken a back seat (gained 15 actually), I don't care.  I really enjoy lifting the biggest Dumbbells available.  

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I had a conversation recently.... And as it was going, I wanted to say "do you mind if I write about this?" But i don't want people thinking anything they say to me could end up here.... Truuuuuuuust me, I hear some crazy shit 😉... No seriously.. Crazy shit. Especially with election talking heating up.  Craaaaazzy shit. 
Anyway, this was a former client/athlete/etc., and they were slipping, confused, lacking motivation, just treading water. We text. I asked about goals, they were scattered.  They are floating out there but no plan, just there.
I asked what they do w time.  No real productive answer... Again, just there.  
It got to the point where my questions and persistence was riding them hard.  I could feel it, they started responding different, shutting down a bit, almost like my asking about goals was a personal attack.  Which was fine w me.  If asking about our goals feels like an attack, that says something about how you feel about your goals, not me asking.  Think about it. 
So I lightened up and shared my perspective. This was a few weeks so I'm paraphrasing as best as I can remember, but I said something along the lines of - 
I get nothing from you. You don't pay me, there's no physical reward i receive from seeing you become successful and make it, right?  We may never cross paths and have contact again. So understand, the only thing I get, my reward in life, is knowing I did something to spark a little light inside you. That's it.  I may never actually see it shine. I may never know if you did anything with it. But I need to know I tried to spark it. I need to leave this conversation knowing I tried to help you see the spark. You know you're talented, you have vision, you have drive, you have the potential... You just need the light to see the path. - 

I've talked about yoga, meditation, fitness, reading, float tanks, fringe therapies, outlier therapies and concepts, a bunch of wild things, right? (Buy me a few beers and I really start talking).  
A problem we all can suffer from to some extent is "life."  This life.  We get caught  up in the momentum of "this is my life now," and lose that voice that whispers the entrepreneurial idea we used to day dream about and scribble drawings of on napkins in coffee shops.  We go "I have bills and debt now, so" blah blah blahdy blah and throw water on the fire, the light.  It's like the camp fire man.... It's still smoking... There's still some hot coals in there.  If there's a light, if there's still some heat, if there's still a pulse.... Light it up. 

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It's so weird for me... I'm xx years old, still not 100% sure what type of resume skills i have, but there's one thing i can really, really do well. Talk you into doing that thing you've been wanting to do that you've been putting off.  And I mean what I said. There's no money here for me, I don't stick around long enough to be in the equation, if it was even a thought. I truly just want to enjoy being a part of kindling, the match.  The fire is yours.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

What To Expect At Summer Boot


This will be the 5th or 6th year of running these and we'll be turning back the clock a bit and integrating some of the ideas that were used in year 1.

The idea reaches back to my very first training opportunity.  I was shadowing/interning at a studio in Beechwood and the owner, who was "ranked," by a national magazine as a top 10 or 20 trainer in the nation, would notice my sessions.  To keep the story short, I think he saw me over-using some overly complicated movements, masking them under the "functional," blanket.  He asked "Why do you do that?"  I probably became nervous and answered with something out of a text book.  He went on and said that it didn't look "natural," and the session didn't have a "flow," to it.  He pulled me out of his rotation and I was back to shadowing.  He mentioned his "flow," more and knowing everything I know now, I saw it.  He transitioned between strength movements the way a yoga flow would, and it's something nearly all of you have done with me.   So I began to see his rhythm and used it.  
Then he saw me again and asked "why?"

He knew I was a football coach.  He knew I had a base and passion in athletics and movement.  He said "You're training the next client at (whatever time).  Train her like you would a strong safety (football position just in case you dont watch)."  I said ok and asked for some details.
"54 year old female, about 40 pounds to lose."

That one day really was the first step to everything.  Train like an athlete.  Obviously, I now see things a tad differently but the base is still there.  Not everyone can train like an athlete, but even those who cant, I actually train them like an athlete in rehab.  Injuries, aches and pains, limitations, anything that pops up, my first thought in my mind set is "Lets get back to moving without pain," and we proceed from there.

When I was young, I underestimated peoples power and strength.  I'd see someone, not know anything, and underestimate their effort, their ability and their heart. I thought only person "x" was able to work like an athlete, not the mom from the school.  The mom from the school was looking for the nice session, lets do some crunches and feel good.  Again, we now know I grew up and learned.

So to boots...
I was working at a chain gym in the Mayfield area, doing a real solid job, very proud of the work that went on there.  One client asked "how much would it cost to bring some friends in?"  The gym didnt allow it.   Client said "Lets go to the park, I'll bring some friends."
I thought hhhhmmmm... What can I do for 60 minutes?  At a park?  With almost zero equipment?

First thought - Speed & Agility
Prior to this first class, I ran probably over 50 of these sessions, but with high school kids.  No difference.  I pulled out an agility ladder, I pulled out some cones and we were off and the ladies LOVED it.  I trained that first season like it was my team, my defensive backs, all had to improve speed and movement.

So count on seeing a lot of that this year, something we haven't really touched much over the last 2-3 season.  We were focused on travelling with kettles and finding fun places and that was all fine, but this year is about results, it's about training, and above all it's about you finding that window, that little voice that reminds you "yes, this is what I need to be doing."

Why?
Keep reading...

A new trainer pulled me aside the other day and asked what helps me put together the sessions, any sessions, any program.
I said #1, their goals. The goals sets the program, but the goals isn't a step, its the goal.  To get to goal, we need A, B and C.  And in between A, B and C is Aa, Bb and Cc, on and on.  We have primary muscles and secondary muscles.  We have the big movers and all the little muscles that help the big movers and all need trained.  Some need trained hard and fast, some slow and easy.  We need flexibility, cardio, core endurance and strength, mental toughness, we need to be able to breathe right on and on.  We all want to move with pain, we want to be to accomplish things (whatever it may be) and we want to look good naked.  Flat out.  We want to look in the mirror and like what we see.  That doesn't always mean 6 pack or big shoulders or whatever.  Sometimes looking in the mirror, naked, is just a time to say... fuck ya, I kicked ass today (and maybe flex!)

We all know, I'm not into sales and if you've read the blogs at all, you know how I feel about what goes on, its not me - it's the energy of the group as a whole.
If you want in, definitely get in now because I'm still offering those 2 free sessions and the program.  The 2 free sessions alone are already at a discount.
Do you know how to squat?  Do you actually know the form on a lat pull?  Everyone pulls, but few feel the lats... think about it.
Do you know what weights you should be using? How much rest between sets?  How many sets?  How many times per week?  That's what the 2 bonus sessions are all about.
2, 1 on 1's  (usually $55 per)
12 boots    (drop ins are $10 per)
and a program  ($60 value)
all that for $110?


Copy/paste/commit
https://squareup.com/store/jason-bickel/

(As you read this, you may have been on the fence, maybe you're in, maybe you're unsure, maybe you're procrastinating.... Whatever you may have filled in, ask yourself why.  Whether I ever see you or not, as yourself why.  We all have moments of resistance, I certainly do.  When it pops up, I notice it and I ask "why?"  What makes us not do something?  I don't want to go on and on w this, like I said, I'm really not trying to oversell this. I want people in here who want it.  But if you're on the fence, dive in.  I've literally only had 2 people (out of hundreds) EVER walk away w regret and that was only because of ego.  No one says "this workout sucks," or anything like it.  Trust this is money well spent.  Dive in)


Generic Todd Field boot idea:
5-10 warm up

Phase 1
Walking steps and general body weight movements

Phase 2
Core and slightly more intensity on steps

Phase 3
Speed work

Phase 4
Core and dynamic movement

Stretch

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

4/20

You freaking hippy pot heads!  Admit you clicked on this because of the title... go on...

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Is it football season yet??
Actually it sort of is, the seasons never really end.  We go from actual game play, month away, to weight room sessions and meetings, to camps, to summer ball, to actual game play.  Definitely not a complaint.  Its only 4/20! and I'm wishing it was August.

But I had some thoughts/feelings that I thought I'd share. Football has taken an ass kicking recently, maybe a tad undeserving.
I'm referring to the concussion situation/scandal?/reports.  Obviously, my intent here is not to copy and paste the laundry list of issues concussions create.  Ok, maybe just a couple... hang on... googling...
Symptoms
  • Headache or a feeling of pressure in the head
  • Temporary loss of consciousness
  • Confusion or feeling as if in a fog
  • Amnesia surrounding the traumatic event
  • Dizziness or "seeing stars"
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Delayed response to questions
  • Appearing dazed
  • Fatigue
Some symptoms of concussions may be immediate or delayed in onset by hours or days after injury, such as:
  • Concentration and memory complaints
  • Irritability and other personality changes
  • Sensitivity to light and noise
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Psychological adjustment problems and depression
  • Disorders of taste and smell
So that pretty much sounds like an issue.  And when an NFL Hall of Famer puts a gun to his own chest, pulls the trigger and writes something to effect of "please study my brain..."

Anyone who played when I played and before, pretty solid chance you have had multiple concussions.  Maybe weekly.  We used our helmets and heads as weapons.  I'm talking about high school now, so imagine a guy who plays pee wee, high school, college and pro.  Thats a lot of contact and trauma and over the years...

My stance on it:
A) I've encouraged football players to wrestle, play rugby and learn a martial art for years.  Not to toot my own horn, but I've been talking about rugby for literally 10+ years.  I said "How do we get guys to stop using their heads?  Take away the weapon."  Weapon being the helmet.   Get guys playing rugby, they learn to use their bodies.  This is also why I encouraged wrestling and martial arts.  Learn to use, control and master your own body.
B)  And finally an NFL coach says "Teach Rugby Tackling!" and creates a great youtube video to teach football coaches how to teach it on the field.  Thank you Pete Carroll.

I see guys make head to head contact and cringe.  If I had sons, I don't know what I'd do.
Or do I?
Because I do coach... wouldn't it be hypocritical if I coached a sport I wouldn't want loved one to play?  What would that say about how I feel about the guys I coach?

C) The juice is worth the squeeze.  A lot of people may disagree with that, but its true.
Thinking waaaaaaaaay back to the mid 90's, lessons were learned out there that weren't being taught anywhere else. Trust me, I tried to find that class again, its not available.  It only exists on the practice fields, in the locker rooms, weight rooms, and on Friday nights.
Coaches have the opportunity to teach life lessons in a way no teacher can.  It's just not the same subject.

Can other sports do it?  I dont know.  Wrestling, yes.  Baseball?  I dont think so.  I think there's something in me vs you, speed, strength, power, my body vs your body, my heart vs your heart, that's where the lessons are.  Who are you after getting your ass physically kicked?  Someone hits a grounder past you... eh.  Is it the same?  Not trying to dog baseball but I just don't see it the same.  Rugby, martial arts, absolutely.
(Knowing Todd reads this... Soccer?  Ehhhhh, its higher than baseball ha.  Inside joke.  At my old job we used to talk alot of shit and I'd rank sports and say things like "Baseball isnt a sport, its skill and hobby.")
Point is, at this age, the risk is worth the reward.
Example:  You might be coaching at a school.  One day a quiet, big guy comes in.  Shy, maybe a loner.  Super nice guy.  He wants to play, he wants on the team.  Another reason why football is best, there's a position for everyone.  Fast, slow, small, big, clumsy, skilled, there's something here for you.  But he main reason, this kid who may not have had a very memorable high school experience, just found x number of coaches who are there for him in nearly any way and x number of brothers on the team.  Nearly automatically.  Show up, bust your ass with your brothers and you will form a bond that you will remember and carry inside forever.

Last week, my brother and I were texting about football and such and reaching kids and how things have changed in 20-25 years.  I wrote a last line, then deleted it, didn't want to get all f'n nutty heading into work,  But it was about what I just wrote about the brotherhood and then the 6-15 fathers (coaching staff) who adopt you.

So why "the juice is worth the squeeze..." if I can create just 25% of the mindset and work ethic and passion and love, those coaches helped create in me, 21-23 years ago, these kids are going to have something to take with them.

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Texting with a friend right now.  He's basically packing up all his shit and heading down to Fla with his wife.
He writes, "Funny thing is, neither of us have a job yet, but we're going anyway."
I replied "Man, that's freaking so kick ass.  Easy for me to say, but that's pretty exciting to just go down and wing it and know it'll work out."
Doesn't it always?  Cant you count on one hand the number of times it DIDN'T work out?  It always works out.  We get ourselves into shit and go "uh oh... this might be it," and it never is.  It might be "it," for a phase or a piece or some ego stuff, but we survive, we grow, we learn, we move, it works out, and we're better for it.

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Everything's a big deal.
Too many people act like shits all cool and casual and it blows.  Its ok to make something a big deal.  It's ok to not be a bland old whatever and just blah your way through everything.  Babies are big deals, weddings are big deals, promotions are big deals, turning 18 is a big deal, first ______ is a big deal, everything is a big deal.
Stop under-celebrating.

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Back to football, here's one of those lessons I refereed to above.
We were in the weight room and the guys are moving through their workload for the morning, 6am.
And this one group is on the 3rd of 4th section, performing x movement 6 times.  I see this kid do it... looked pretty easy.  I ask him "Was that hard?"  He says eh, ish.  I say "Hop back in there... as many as possible," and he gets the oh shit look.  He hops back and hits it (writing it to add the freakin) he hits it twenty-freaking-three times.
Now in my head is math, and not "well shit, he did 6 the first time and twenty freakin three the second.." No, math as in "Is he afraid of pain?  I dont think so.  Is he lazy?  No way.  Is he still sleeping?"
Still sleeping?  Sort of.
He doesn't know yet, how to crush himself in there.  He hasn't learned yet what weight room pain can do for you.  This was at 6:25.  By 7:00am he learned.  He became my private 1 on 1 and I took him through the zone, through the fire, thats how you learn.  It was punishment.  In no way did I do it to dog him out, act like  big man, and show grrr this how you train like a beast.  No.  I did it because he needed to learn intensity.
As young people, we all do.  That's the stuff I was talking about up top.  Your edge.  If you dont find your edge, challenge your edge, you never change.  If you do the same stuff everyday, what result will you get?  None, you'll never change.  You may even go backwards.

Think if you never read a book, listened to a podcast or heard lecture, how would you learn new information?
If you never ran hard, how would you improve your ability to run hard?
If you never push yourself, how do you know how to push yourself?
Day in, day out, you have to challenge and grow.  You have to.
When I lived in lake county, I loved hitting this hill/mudslide behind squires.  I would run it so hard, I had unlimited moments of "oh my god... i might actually die this time," and lungs just huuuuuuurt so bad, legs so numb and I'd just walk and recover... then i'd slow trot and recover... then back in my jog and gone again to the bottom.  I'd count for 60 seconds and do it again.  I'd finish and my brain would just be flushed with clarity.  Flushed with clarity.
Because I pushed to my edge, I created a new edge.  And then again and again, new edge.
Thats how we change and improve.  Push harder.  Do more.

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How about this t shirt?

Fine.  One weed opinion.
If you don't know weed is a miracle drug w/ unlimited potential:
A) you work for a pharmaceutical company.
and/or
B) you never bothered to actually read.  Which means you're still regurgitating the same shit someone taught you 30 years ago.