Friday, September 30, 2011

Self Love?

by Jenn Dudich

Self love? That is great and all, but self awareness is where it's at. You see, from Day one on this Earth, our little subconscious minds are taking in information and making assumptions. Yes, assumptions. Those things that we learn later in life are one of the worst things we could do! But, this is how our 5 senses and our brain interact. The senses bring in the info, the brain decides where to file it. As we mature, and learn things, our assumptions are either confirmed or changed. Unfortunately, for some, they have been confirmed over and over by an outside influence, or by themselves even though they may not be true. Either way, these little assumptions pop up all the time in our subconscious and they begin to influence our behavior patterns, and essentially the results that we cultivate.

So, what the heck does that all mean? Let's pretend that we have a young aspiring football player that shows up for practice. Whoa...who is this kid? He will definitely be a star quarterback! But look closer, and you might see a kid that goes home to a family that tells him he is wasting his time with football. A family that tells him that he will never make it. A family that reminds him of all the failures he has already had in his life. They tell him to quit day dreaming. They laugh at him.

This young man has already been defeated and cut himself from tryouts. No matter how much the coaches are telling him that he is amazing, he only hears his loved ones laughing at him. He hears his own voice asking him what the keck he is thinking by trying out. He used to fight it, but then he didn't make any other team hi tried out for. Maybe he simply wasn't good enough for those teams because his talent was in football, and he didn't discover it yet. Unfortunately, that is not how he looks at it. Instead he assumes his family is right. And so his behaviors pattern follows and you watch helplessly as his skills back off through tryouts.

To me...a coaches job is to find that diamond in the rough and help them become aware of their strengths AND what they are doing to get in their own way. Help them prove their assumptions wrong so that they can begin to flourish. Yes, you may have to push them. You may even have to coach loudly! But, at the end of the day...the most important thing you can do as a coach, is understand that you may be fighting against a life time of wrong assumptions that this person is believing in. So, when they back off or don't follow through. You remind them that they are great. You remind them of their progress. You help them learn their self defeating patterns. You teach them to be self aware. You don't give up, because the minute you do, you just confirmed their assumptions once again.

This rings true for all of us in some way. We all get in our own way of success. Some of blame others for our failures. Some give up and decide they just can't. Some are so afraid of who they would be without their doubts that they don't ever let them go. Some are comfortable in their habits. Some are completely unaware that they can change their thoughts, their actions, and their lives. Some figure it out and soar. Be realistic...and figure out, which one are you? How self aware are you?

Question:  What does self love have to do with fitness and health and your general well being?

Monday, September 26, 2011


(Revised 3/2014)

I've been having some really great conversations lately with people I work with and friends about "effort."  And I know I harp on this all the time and I'm actually annoying myself but... I cant stop it.  Its in everything.  I recently posted something along the lines of "We're all motivated people, the difference is applying the thought to the actions."  We all want and need and have a desire to be better or to do more, but some of us have troubles putting together the actual thought to making it happen in real life.  We all day dream.... do they come true?  Why do they?  Or why dont they?  What stops us?

The two extremes are the ones that drive me the most crazy and honestly I admit its because I cant relate.  People who under achieve and people who ignore their themselves or their lives.  Maybe theyre not extremes but just both completely apathetic. 

Its so foreign to me.  Not that Ive nailed every goal Ive ever set out for, but Ive always given my all, always.  Always.  "Give til its gone."  I workout until I'm exhausted or I get the absolute most out of the time I have to workout.  I work all day long with very few actual breaks.  I hate turning the tv on because it distracts me.  Unless I'm scheduling appointments, I keep my phone out of reach because its too tempting to play a game.  I know not every single thing can happen, every single day BUT in every single day, positive movement can be made to "improve," whatever that word may mean to you.  So I see someone who I feel can be so much more and wonder "why." Someone said "who are you to ask why?"  I said "Well, because Im an annoying person and this is what I like to do."  I also think if there is a need to bitch every now and then, you know?  Why not try harder?  Why not point it out to people we care about?  If I didnt care, I'd let it all go.  If I didnt care about their lives, I wouldnt care at all about someone not working to make their dreams come true.  Think about that.  Think of how many of us let THAT dream float away.  And now we just day dream about it every now and then and think "what if...?"  But I work with waaaaaay too many high school kids, I refuse to coach day dreamers.  I refuse to train day dreamers.  I want dream makers.  And I truly dont care what it is.  I work with a young man right now, we train 3 days per week and he's a varsity player.  I want to know him in 10 years and he tells me it "all happened," or "it's happening."  I say "What is?" And he says "Everything I've tried to do." 

She said "you cant just grab them by their neck and throw into the box you want them to fit in."  True.  And I dont feel thats what I do, but...

... when I was young, I had no clue what "Full go," and "Effort," meant.  I thought I did, but I didnt.  I would practice, I thought I practiced hard.  Because I knew I could practice at 75% and still start, still be "good enough." So I thought I was doing the job. I made excuses to skip the weight room.  Why?  Because I had a real jerk off ego and thought I didnt need it.   Then I met a guy who basically wouldnt leave me alone.  And at the time, he was the absolute most annoying person on the planet.  Every corner I turned, he was there.  Every time I skipped a class, he popped up.  Every time I tried to skip weight room, there he was in the exit.  He would call my house, he would talk to my friends, he was on top of every single thing I did.  Then every drill I didnt finish, even if he was 100 yards away, I heard his voice.  Every missed assignment, he saw it and "addressed it," before the play was over.  In his mind, there was no explanation for not finishing a drill, for skipping the weight room, for not applying yourself and that went for the classroom even more than the field and even into our personal lives.  And then he went from most annoying person ever to one of the greatest ever, in just 10 very fast, short weeks. 

Why?  Because he saw what I/we didnt.  What we couldnt.  Because we all had so much other shit crowding our visions and minds, and he came in and cleared the air.  And he didnt quit even when he thought we ignored him most of the time... God, we wanted to.  But he never quit.  Even when we failed, he was there the same as he was when we were successful.  He was full go and full go was our goal. 

I was one of those guys.  I was fully willing to coast and not even achieve let alone underachieve.  I was the type of person that thought good enough, was good enough! He didnt grab my neck and force me into his vision.  He grabbed my heart and forced me to create my own vision.  Thats what parents and coaches jobs are... what friends jobs are.  What we're here for... if you're not improving yourself and people around you, I truly dont know what youre doing.

He said "Sometimes I feel I'm forcing myself to operate at a "5," because the "10," gets tuned out and people really cant handle it on a daily basis."  Then someone else responded with "You're doing yourself and everyone around a disservice (working the 5 instead of the 10)... do what you're here to do.  And if they dont want, do it again.  And if they reject it, do it again.  Never lower your expectations."   

Never lower your expectations, no matter where you are or what you're doing.  Sometimes things just don't work out, they don't match up.  Could be a job, a relationship, a trainer-client situation, anything.  
This is your life and that absolute last thing you want, is to sit there at 60 yrs old wondering "what if I tried harder..."

Sidenote:  A friend told me thats its not always a desire type thing.  It could be mental road blocks that we really dont realize we have.  We have the ability to sabotage ourselves without ever really accepting the fact that we're sabotaging ourselves!  Sounds crazy, right?  But Im a victim as well.  I know there have been times where I could have done this or that... and I didnt.  The obvious relation on this website is fitness.  We talk ourselves out of running, or let ourselves cheat our diets when we know in our heads what we should be doing... yet we allow ourselves to "fail."   
So stop.  Make the conscious decision to stop letting yourself fail or fall short.  Imagine you have a mtg w yourself.  What would you say to motivate in this situation?  What would your you, say to yourself?   
I just did this last night driving home, I had a nice 15 minute drive on 44 where I turned off the music and said to myself "You need to..." And went on and on and when it was over, I felt great.  I didn't beat myself up, i just said what I would've said had I been my own client.  I then went home, worked out, wrote up a new 4 week plan, and finished some work.  
Give it a shot.  Talk to yourself like you're your own client/friend.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Luxory & Service

Originally written on 05/21/10

Client - "Why are your prices as low as they are?"
Me - "Why would they be higher?"
Client - "If you charge too little, people are going to think you're cheap for a reason."
I had that conversation last week while watching the Cavs get destroyed by the Celtics. 
Prices of certain things have always bothered me and I don't understand how someone can charge "X" amount just because they can.  I don't understand hidden "start-up" fees, when you think you're paying a certain price then someone says "oh yeah, plus a $159.99 transaction fee," and we're supposed to accept that. 
In my opinion, personal training is not a luxury, it shouldn't be, it's a service.  It shouldn't priced to a point where only certain people can afford it.  It should be at a point where nearly everyone can find a way to make it work within their budget.  Families should have an option to take a class and not be stuck in some monthly contract.  (If someone calls me today, and says "I'd like you to start a Family Fitness class," and if I think they'll show up, that class is happening.) 
I love yoga and I'll probably never stop taking classes as long as I'm healthy, but it really upsets me that the price is so high.  It's somewhere around $13-$15 per class depending where you look and the price could drop if you buy a large package... but does it have to be that high?  How many more people could have their lives improved and be open to a new experience in life if it was affordable?  It's hard for me to talk young athletes into going to these studios when I tell them the cost... $15 is 3 Subway subs to a 16 year old!    One class per week would cost $60 per month plus renting a yoga mat or purchasing one, in my opinion that's a little high.  Why not get more people involved?  Why not drop that rate and open up to those who were on the fence or couldn't quite afford it?  (I'm not beating up yoga studios. I think they all do an absolutely amazing job, but if it was more affordable I'd take class 4x per week.... and running at the park is free.) 
I heard someone say something like "it's expensive to be in good shape and to eat right."  Unfortunately, theres some truth to that.  But it doesn't have to be that way.    There's an enormous difference between cheap and affordable.
As written above, I wrote that in 2010 and very little has changed.  The pt prices have not increased, if anything, they're cheaper and you should investigate.... In no way whatsoever do the prices represent the quality. Just the opposite.  Who you can afford, is the best.
My reference point about yoga costs was interesting to reread.  Not only has my stance not changed, I found a way to create a room where for $60, you can take 16+ fitness classes per month, 75% of them yoga... Far from just 4 classes for $60.  
Gyms, fitness centers and studios are in business to make money.  We're all in business and work to make money.  But it should be more affordable and a higher quality.  
People keep telling me "stop giving things away," and "charge more," and I smile and end the conversation.  They'll get it one day.
I've also heard "get off your high horse," lately and that's even funnier.  So sad that someone thinks doing the right thing is the "high horse."  

"I knew the rules, but the rules did not know me... Guaranteed."   Eddie Vedder; Into The Wild Soundtrack; Guaranteed 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

When you want to succeed...

Pregame dinner; warm ups; coin toss; locker room; intros and kick off.

You had a plan.  You prepared all week based on the information your broke down ahead of time.  You felt there were certain things you'd be able to do well and certain things you felt you may struggle with.  You knew how you wanted to move the ball and knew how you wanted to stop them.  You knew special teams and field position would be important.  You knew limiting mistakes would be crucial.  No fumbles, no interceptions, no costly penalties.  You knew you had to stay positive and you knew you had to be focused.

Then they blitzed... and now you have to adjust.  They're bringing pressure you didn't expect.  Coverages you've never seen.  They're showing things you didn't think you'd see.  You're worried you're not as prepared as you thought you were and you're confidence is shaken.  But no one can know.  You're in charge, you're the leader, what are you going to do? You have to stay positive and keep with the plan but you also know you have to adjust.  Not bail on your game plan but adapt.  What are you going to do? 
Now its raining and you didn't plan for that.  The ball is slippery and the receivers are struggling to catch it.  Its getting muddy and the offensive line is having troubles with their footing.  Its raining so hard, the fans and band left. 
Things are happening that you didn't know how to prepare for... you didn't even know this situation was a possibility... but here it is.

The beauty about football and sports? 
For me, it's the clock.  Knowing how much time is left. 
(Take a second to re-read above and think how it relates to life.)

You planned, you thought you prepared well.  You probably did.  But life, like football, can throw you into some situations you weren't prepared for and didn't even know you should've prepared for.  And we have to adjust and adapt or we'll "lose." 

You knew what you wanted to get done, you had goals.  In football, the ultimate goal is to win the game.  And along that path, there are many mini goals that lead to the ultimate goal.  A coach cant just blindly say "Our goal is to win," without other conversations like "we need to block better, we need to tackle better, we need to limit mistakes, we need to attack them here and protect here," and on and on.  Maybe your goal is to own a home.  So along to that goal is a path of several goals.  Could be get a second job, start a savings account, save "x" amount per month and on and on.  Many steps can lead to one goal.

You have to overcome adversity and know sometimes not everything is in your control. The team couldn't control the weather and the mud.  The team couldn't keep the fans and the band with them.  The only thing the team could control was how they would adjust and respond.  In moments or phases of adversity, how will you react, adjust and respond?  Cars break down, companies go out of business (some for very strange reasons), things happen... how will you react, adjust and respond?

But the clock is still in the background.... and that's the only analogy we cant really relate to.  Our clock isn't in our site. We don't know when the game is over.  We may know we're down two touchdowns and its 3rd and long... but we don't know we're already in the 4th quarter and we never really will.  But we know we only have one "game," and we have to play it to "win." 

Whats your "game?"
What are your goals?  Can you see the mini goals along the road?
How are you preparing and planning?
How are you adjusting, adapting, reacting and responding? 
How will you "win?"

A friend recently sent me an amazing youtube clip where a young man was training and there was a motivational speaker over the highlight.  The speaker told a story of young man who wanted to be successful.  The quote that has stuck with since and has really always been in my head is "When you want to succeed, as bad you want to breathe... then you'll be successful." 

When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe.  When you want to win as bad as you want to breathe.  When you want to live as bad you want to breathe.  When you want to _____ as bad you want to breathe.... then you'll be successful.  Because remember, success is full go!  Success is maximum effort!  Success is going and going and going and working and doing every single thing you can, in every moment you can... when you want it as bad you need air!  That's success. 

One game.  One life.  Full go.

Friday, September 16, 2011


I think it took me about 5 minutes to think "Everyone at BootCamp would love this!"  Then 5 minutes later I thought "Holy crap, everyone I train would love this," and by the time it was over I was thinking "EVERYONE I KNOW WOULD LOVE THIS!" 
The drive wasnt awesome and the wait to get into the parking lot wasnt great, but it was all so worth it.   We registered for the 11am take off but quickly learned that didnt matter.  I think we finally took off around 11:30 and it was immediate fun.  The race started off with a couple hundred people waiting by the start line (they say a few hundred take off every 30 minutes).  Started off on a nice little run down a hill and maybe 1/4 mile down the trail we came up on our first obstacle.  Actually we knew it was coming long before we saw it because we could here people yelling, laughing, splashing, screaming and could eventually see them trudging through "Deadweight Drifter," which was a small section of the lake... about 3 feet deep and had around 3-4 logs floating in the middle.  If you werent willing to launch yourself over them, it took a bit of a team effort to push them down and climb over the top.  Thought this was nice because it kept you cool early.  From there we were straight up what seemed to be about 1/4 mile hill and back down... but pretty much loaded with mud or at least very unstable conditions.  Actually alot of the first half was very muddy and you really had to be on your toes or you were going down... which I did. 
Once we made it out of the woods and mud, we were on to the "meat," of the obstacles, about every 100 yards or so was something new.  The order in my mind is a little shotty and actually the website has them out of order to but I remember; about 15 yards of car tires to run through, in and out of a dumpster, then more tires, then another dumpster, then more tires, then one more dumpster; 2 or 3 different rope and wall climbs; about 40 feet of balancing beams; and a really nice over/under obstacle (over a 3 foot wall, crawl under a wall without 2 feet of room above you).
However, the best was definitely last.  We get to the top of the last hill which was pretty exhausting and there are two fire "lines," in front of us and across the path.  Definitely not too crazy, just pretty cool because they take your pic jumping over the fire which can be purchased a few days later on the website.  But that was the coolest part.  We approached a mud pit and I saw people crawling and I thought they were doing it to be funny and just to get dirty because you actually could telling it the were walking or anything.  So we walked in... and immediately sunk at least 3 feet... tried to walk and it was so thick it was nearly impossible.  The only way to get through it was to basically doggy paddle through the top layer.  By the way, if you could stand and walk through it, you werent allowed because there were lines of barb wire about 12-18" above the mud... so you had to get into it.  And again a picture station right when you crawl out to capture you at your "hottest," which is also where you cross the finish line.... but its not quite over because now you have to get clean.
So you're covered in mud and making your way down a slippery slope and into the lake where everyone else is mud sliding in and bathing together!  Which sounds really ridiculous and maybe gross but trust me, the event is so much fun you just buy in to everything going on.
Next years Ohio event is already on the site for June 2nd/3rd and I will be creating a FaceBook event to get as many people in as possible, no doubt the more involved, the more fun it will be.  We'll probably camp next year as well if anyone is interested.    Pics will be on the site soon. 
In re-reading this, I really cant capture 1/10 of the fun this thing was.  But I know if the Boots are willing to flip those tires, run through the woods, bear crawl and all that other crap we do, this will be your super bowl!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Public Enemy #1 (revisited)

(Originally written in 2011)

"The arrogance of success is to think that what we did yesterday is good enough for tomorrow."
Complacency is keeping me awake tonight.
I think the weather has a little something to do with it too.

Before I start, take a second to briefly glance at aspects of your life... your job... your health... your relationships... your marriage... your habits... your schooling and education... anything you do that really matter to you.  Take a look at it...
Think about when it started... how bad you may have wanted it... how excited you were to go back to school.
How happy you were when you lost your first 15lbs....
How excited you were when you got engaged... or even before that... when you knew this was the time you wanted to be engaged...
Think of how much you knew you wanted or needed the job... and everything you did to get it...
Think of how motivated you were to fit into that shirt/dress/skirt/pants...
Think about day #1... date #1... workout #1... That interview...
Is the fire the same?  Do you still work that hard at your career?  Do you still buy her flowers?  Still running?  Still watching those late night carbs?   Still putting in O.T?  Still going the extra mile?  Is it still automatic?  Is the fire the same?

Tonight, I'm wondering how often "success," softens us.  How often complacency is enemy #1.  I've seen it time and time again.  Football teams have let up, coaches have let them, teachers coast into retirement, mgmt slacks, owners think mgmt is handling it, trainers get money happy, relationships go flat, on and on and on and on. We've all seen it, and you may have even added a couple examples in your head as you were reading.  

What is it that allows us to coast?  To relax?  To ease up?
Why do people let something that was once their passion, float away, left to one day wonder... "What happened?"

I'm not ranting on anything particular tonight but just wanted take a look at somethings in life and make sure we're not taking anything for granted and continue to strive, to move and evolve and grow.. whatever that may mean at this moment.  Might mean planning a dinner.  Might mean staying up late to prepare some things for work.  Might mean calling someone.  (Fill in the blank)... might mean___________.  So do it.  
I use my metoblism and fire analogy often.  How do you keep the fire hot?  Consistent logs, every so often.  How do you keep your metabolism burning? Consistent nutrients/calories every so often.   Same goes for life, your work, your love, your hobbies, etc.  You have to pay attention to that flame and work it... If you don't, it will fade away.

As soon as you accept a complacent thought, you just took an enormous step backwards.  Your competition just got closer, your passions just distanced and your will to succeed softened.  

Don't let it happen... 

This Is Blue Chip