Saturday, December 15, 2012

not a huge deal...

I think I need to find a way to spit this out one time and try not to again. Not because I can’t or wont, but because I’m very not an “I” person and the whole “I” is very ironic considering what I’m about to get into… not to mention I’ve written “I” 9 times already!
This is not a religious post nor is it something that will push me towards getting preachy and pounding my chest about. It’s a post to define how and why I plan to take a step back and redirect my energy and focus. Nothing will change with Blue Chip. Training and yoga will continue and probably get better, but my approach may change, I guess I actually don’t know.
For a long, long time I’ve slowly gravitated towards eastern cultures and their philosophies. Like a magnet, I feel it’s pulled me into the atmosphere. In some ways very obvious (yoga) and in some ways, very subtle (how I’ve interpreted song lyrics comes to mind).
I remember when I was a kid, my grandmother had a golden Buddha statue on her dresser. She called it Uncle Charlie and said it gave her good luck. I was 15 or 16 when she passed, so she probably told me that when I was 10-12, so I never had the opportunity to ask her anything “real,” about it and I often wonder if she was into the philosophies as well. I do remember her often consoling me when I was upset and was the first person to tell me to “smile when it hurts.” Maybe I picked up some things from her and didn’t realize it. I wish I knew where the Buddha statue disappeared to…
To keep this short, I’m going to dedicating myself to Buddhism. It’s always felt like “home,” and I’m very comfortable in everything it teaches and guides.
I know my hang ups will be in the business world and with “competition,” that’s really my only concern, but its also where my Russell Simmons and Deepak Chopra books have been very helpful and I know as long as I continue to find ways to give and serve, I will be ok. To be honest, I really don’t feel competition and I don’t mean that in a cocky way. I mean that as in “we’re all here to deliver as much good as possible and there are a million people out there, so there’s no reason to compete.” I hope that makes sense.
Honestly, even just writing these very brief paragraphs… I feel lighter. I feel like I was keeping a secret and kind of odd. Aaaaahhhhhh… big smile and looking fwd to sharing my experiences.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Power Plus

I have to admit, I've kind of had a difficult time describing the new class... and thats not really a good thing.

The main reason is because I dont want to say "This class is better than the yoga options," because its not. But its also not a better/worse thing, its just different.

Actually, its been a long time since I've written in general about yoga and there is now a lot of new people around that may not have read the older blogs where I wrote about yoga every other day... actually, I'm pretty sure my mom was the only person reading then.

I feel yoga is the perfect "training." Top to bottom, for every reason you can google. I really cant fully explain how much yoga (Cleveland Yoga in particular) has done for me and that was truly to drive behind finding an avenue to bring it the building its in now. Even the location has great meaning for me, as much as its a pain in the ass at times, but trust me, thats being worked on as well (not changing locations but improving the sign situation, lighting and so forth). So believe that yoga isnt here so that I can say Blue Chip has another "service," to offer, its here because I think its amazing and as many people need to experience it as possible.

So then when I spoke with Sara and she decided to take a break to prepare for her baby, I felt this was a good time to shake up the schedule a bit and add an "x" factor class. Something that didnt completely scare off "yogi's," but something different enough to make you say "yes, I want that too." From the beginning of my yoga journey, I've tinkered with combination movements that I felt could cross over from yoga to the weight room and back again and to be honest, we're two classes in and we havent touched one yet. And as much as I think yoga is perfect, I also feel that there is no final answer to training. I think those who only hit weights, need to run and do yoga. I think runners need to lift and do yoga. I think yogi's need to lift and run. So for me, we have to do it all and continue to grow and evolve.

I'll never forget how my hips killed me at my first class and that really opened my eyes to what I was missing. Tonight, we went through quite a few push ups and squats, and even though some people may not have been overly thrilled with it, they may also know "Yeah, I need this too." So this class is that answer. Its the crossover class that takes yoga to the weights and weights to yoga. Its not a bootcamp by any means. We will still warm up w a nice yoga flow and get some heat going (yes, the room is still heated. I'll explain below) and then at some point, we will transition into a training style. I'm very confident in the results this will produce and how this will help you take your yoga practice even further. I posted tonight "looking forward to how we're feeling after a few weeks of this training," and I really, really am. I think you will literally see changes in your arms, legs, abs, shoulders... anything.

Why is still heated? Why not? :) I LOVE training outside in the summer, and I mean 90+ degree heat, so these will still be cranking hard. The goal of these classes is to push it pretty hard and challenge yourself in a little bit of a different way. A little more of a "training," mindset. Again, we'll still get into some flows, we'll still be touching some balancing poses, core and occasional inversions and of course Savasana (everyones favorite part:) but we'll also be squatting, lunging, pressing, pulling, twisting, etc.

Class is every Monday from 6-6:50, same pricing as the other classes and its included with all other packages.

K, I hope this clears it up a little. And please feel free to get a hold of me any time with any questions regarding this class or any other or to talk about your own training or anything else. Truly, my phone and e-mail is always on and I'll do my best to reply asap with whatever you need.

Take care and see you soon,


Sunday, October 14, 2012

I dont care...

...about your 6 packs, your defined muscles, your huge muscles, your whatever muscles.

Well.... that’s not exactly true. It is but it isn’t.

We have a vision and that vision is our motivation, whatever it may be. Some say "I want a 6 pack," some say "I want toned arms," or whatever it is, you can even fill in your own as your reading (It doesn't even have to be fitness related.)  

And as you tell me those things, I say "Ok, we can do that, we can do that, and we can definitely do that... we can make all that happen. Here’s what we need to do," then we get into the plan. The nutrition, the cardio, the homework. We text and e-mail. You read my Facebook posts and "like," them and they motivate you and we're on our way.  

But to me, it’s not about 6 packs. Its about your health. Very few people say, "I want to be healthier," or "I want to live a very long time." I know you want it, its not that you ignore that part. It’s just that I see it differently. That’s why I tell you to buy a pair of running shoes. That’s why I try to teach you what to do and how to do it without me. (Reading between the lines there?)

I know certain people read this now and I hope they know I don’t write this stuff while pounding my chest like I'm some amazing leader of training. Far from it. I'm very open with the people I work with and they know we share similar hurdles and I'm on the path with them. Most know, I recently (over the winter) hired a trainer for myself. Jay Ashman writes my programs and it’s been great. For one, it’s so refreshing to not have to think about what I want to do to myself in the weight room. I see the paper and just go. Secondly, I like being held accountable. Its motivating that he writes it. I don’t want to suck! I want to be an example of his programming the same way I reference "Be the Brand," when talking about Blue Chip. Plus all the new ideas, new routines and its forced me out of my comfort zones and pushed me into new areas of training that I never would’ve bothered with. So again, I'm on the path. There's really no difference in me working with Jay and me going to take a yoga class... I’m looking for great ways to train my body.

But back to the health thing... I was recently at a function for my daughter and a woman got up to speak and she was probably 80-100lbs overweight.

I'm struggling in front of the lap top right now, because I really can’t express how I felt... I wanted to talk to her after... I wanted to give her my card and pay for a membership and train her for free. But I can’t just do that. People would think I was an asshole and who knows how she would take that... and I don’t mean it in any way other than, let me help you. I'll do it for free...    

That’s what I mean when I say "I don't care about your 6 packs." I want you to live. Your family and friends want you to live a very long time!

I was on Facebook (which is a great place to read dumb things) and someone said something about "fat and lazy," and I don’t see it that way. For me, it’s always been about self love. If you love yourself and love the people around you, you'll care to stay here and stay healthy and be there for people. If you don’t, you won’t. It’s not laziness, its awareness. It’s being mindful of all decisions. Its knowing McDonald s is slow suicide. Its self love. If you love yourself, you’ll care to put the work in, to be healthy to stay.

I bought a shirt not too long ago that reads "Vote," with the Om symbol on the front.  It got my attention the way that word does every time I think of it or read it or hear it.  You "vote," every second of every day, not just ever few Novembers.  You vote with how you eat, you vote with what you read and what you watch.  You vote with where you work, the car you drive, who you hang with, what types of companies you support and how you spend your time.  So how are you voting?  Are you voting to live to see 80?  Or are you voting for a heart attack at 50?  Think that's harsh?  Think that's intense?  Its reality.  If you had McDonald's today, you voted.  If you fed your kids McDonald's,  you voted!  If you skipped a run, you voted.  If you rocked that BootCamp tonight, you definitely voted.
How you spend your time and everything that surrounds you is a vote.

A fantastic level of health and wellness is the goal and along that path we say "I want a 6 pack," as our shiny medal to collect along the way.  

Whats on your calendar for 2013?  If you have nothing and need a partner, let me know.  Ill sign up for anything right now.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Be the Brand

I've been so out of balance lately, as I sat down to start writing this, I couldnt remember if I had already written it or not. That thought "Be the brand," has gone through my head so many times in the last few months, I feel like I'm seeing and hearing it everywhere. If you've seen me, it probably wasnt standing still, which is why I feel so "out of balance." I havent been to yoga in over a month, and one busy season has turned into another busy season.

Not complaining about being busy... but sometimes we need to stop and breathe.

However, in all my rushing around, I've found a love for audio books which is great because I'm not a very quick reader anyway. So now I'm able to "read," a book in about 2 days driving time vs my usual 4 weeks of reading time. Recently downloaded Eric Thomas' mixtape "The Blue Print For Success." A really great mixtape format of some of his speeches and interviews. In it he tells a story about his son forgetting to pick up his little sister from school, when that was his only direction and chore while his father was out of town. He made the mistake twice. So Eric says he sat him down and said "While I'm gone, you need to make decisions and behave as if I'm here." Be The Brand. \I think he must've been speaking to a corporation because he followed the story with more business type analogies about how to behave on the road and how to carry yourself in social type business meetings.

So "Be The Brand," has been a point I've been hammering home to myself for a long, long time with this Blue Chip vision. And in hearing Eric, it stuck even harder. I feel it carries similar feel as when I've used the word "intent," when heading into a workout or session, and now it carries into the work place and all over life.

To me, they're both about pride and self worth. If you work a job that you dont care about... does that say something about how you see yourself? I think it does. Because if you dont care, how much are you going to care to go above and beyond for the company? Yes, you care to keep your job, but just keeping the job shouldnt be good enough. Eric said something like "walk into work everyday and say 'my work is going to change this company for the better on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and then I can take a break on Saturday," and I truly feel that in many situations. I truly work with the intent of making any and every situation, job, opportunity better and to be remembered. If I'm in a situation where maybe they dont care... I struggle. Then I feel like an alien and its time to go find more suitable "home."

Now I look at the Blue Chip landscape... and no doubt it is home. And by "home," I mean where I choose Blue Chip trains, who it trains and trains with.

However, there are some who need to figure out what their "intent," is and whether or not they want to "Be The Brand."

I've always been very open with those who train with me to let them know how appreciated they are for the work they put in every single time. I ran a Boot this evening and while they took off on a circuit, I thought "This is amazing... how driven they are... how hard they push... how bad they want hard work," and it motivates me to never let them down. There's an expectation now. A BootCamp is on the schedule and everyone knows, "It's going to be intense and unique and memorable." If it wasnt, I wouldnt be delivering the brand.

So from Boots, to the Yoga room, from Mentor to Downtown to wherever we are and in your own life and work place and home and everything you touch... Be The Brand at all times, BE YOUR OWN BRAND and come with an intent to deliver something great every single time, every place you go, to everyone you meet.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Survive or Thrive?

I(Written Aug 24, 2009)

According to

1 : to grow vigorously : flourish
2 : to gain in wealth or possessions : prosper
3 : to progress toward or realize a goal despite or because of circumstances —often used with on<thrives on conflict>

My old football coach used the expression "survive or thrive," and it has always stuck in my head.

I was our running this afternoon behind Squires Castle. There are three ways to the top, two somewhat gradual, one that is far from gradual, I ran the odd ball. My goal heading in was four laps as fast as possible, up the steep section and down the gradual hill.

I started off working my way from the far parking lot, getting a mini warm-up. Just getting loose from squatting the day before and getting mentally prepared for the challenge. I got to the back of the castle, set my play-list in my ipod and took off... sort of. The "take off: probably lasted 20 seconds tops! That thing is A) crazy with tree roots and B) waaay more steep than you think. As you start off, there is a mini hill right away loaded with roots, which isn't that bad but you definitely have to watch your step. Then you veer right and head down a few feet than up probably another 20 feet or so... and now the lungs start to shrink up a bit. Maybe another 20 yards of running and I had to stop.... literally barely breathing and quads getting a bit numb.

I looked up to see how much further... and that was the hardest part. The most intimidating section of the whole hill. If its damp, you absolutely need to have tree roots near by to grab or your going down. I gave myself a minute rest, than slowly trotted to the top, totally winded again. Once I got there, getting down was pretty easy.... but that was lap #1..

The next lap was pretty much the same. I started so-so, took a 30 second break, once at the half way point and once at the top and coasted back down.

Half way through, my more motivational music started to play more frequently and I started thinking... "I'm half-assing this! I'm literally just trying to get through... just trying to not die... just going through the motions." And that's when that voice came in my head, "Are you hear to just survive? Or are you to THRIVE?" And that was all I needed to finish one of the best solo experiences I've had in a long time. Pearl Jam's "Alive," was on my player and I tore up that hill like never before. Straight up, no break, no pause, no hesitation for footing, just gone. Sure, I thought I was going to die at the top... literally, I couldn't breathe and I was gasping for air.  But I kept walking, quads on fire, just focusing on regaining my breathe. Got it back probably 30-45 seconds later and I was off for the last lap.

Rounded the corner, changed to "Porch," and repeated the same lap! Looking back on it once it was over, it was one of those moments where all thoughts are gone, the only thing in my head was "GO, GO, GO!" and celebrate at the top... and now lets do it again just because I can.

It was an awesome challenge for me because I'm not a cardio guy. It's tough for me to go out and run anything more than 5 miles or so, partially because it's boring to me and partially because I've never focused on becoming good at it. So this challenge was a combination that I could get into. I knew it would be awesome for my lungs, awesome for leg power, awesome to be doing outdoors, and an awesome mental challenge to not quit and not just do it to "survive." Try to keep that in mind the next time your working out, or running, or swimming or biking or anything... it could probably translate over into anything in life. Office work, school work, meetings, coaching... are you just doing whatever you're doing to just "get through it," or are you attacking it and improving it? I'm real corny with quotes and one-liners and I'm going to print out merriam-websters definition of thrive. To grow vigorously, to progress toward a goal despite the circumstances...
despite the circumstances... I like that.

Saturday, June 2, 2012


I love quotes. I use them all the time, I try to come up with my own, I read them on t-shirts and bumper stickers... if I'm somewhere and someone says something awesome, I try to write it down so I can remember it and pass it along. I was attending a clinic at Penn State probably 5-6 years ago, and I was sitting in on Larry Johnson, Sr.'s portion of the event. (If you're a football coach and you're looking for a clinic to attend, go to Penn State. Trust me. Larry Johnson is worth the drive and is the main reason I go. Every year, he saves the last 10 minutes or so to share some stories and add something inspirational and motivational to the day. The first time I was there, I was "wow'd" by everything and he was the absolute highlight.) Anyway, he's going through his defensive line drills and coaching points and he's starting to wrap up so he turns off his overhead projector and begins walking back and forth across the stage, sharing a story about a conversation he had with some other high school coaches and a couple of their players. Repeated how the coaches missed their high school days so much and how it was the best time in their life and the "good ole days," (a phrase I now despise) and how they try to teach their kids to cherish the moments because they'll never return and it'll never get better... ... and Coach Johnson just stood there staring at the crowd and I immediately had that crazy, old feeling running through me because I knew what was coming and it actually reminded me of the way my old coach used to talk to me.
He said "NEVER GET BETTER THAN THIS??? THEY TEACH THEIR KIDS THAT THEY HIGHLIGHT IN HIGH SCHOOL?!?!?" From here he went on a 10 minute verbal rampage, like a preacher at his most passionate, lecturing the rights and wrongs of never looking back and highlighting every single day and being opportunistic and I remember having goose bumps and literally fighting back some tears (and even right now, thinking about it, takes me right back there.) That day, that man and that speech changed me forever. Without a doubt in my mind.
Highlight every single day.
Opportunistic... I love that word. I have nights where I can't sleep because there is something I didn't get a chance to finish. I used to play video games and now I think about it and think "there has to be something better I could be doing." I had a season where I coached defensive backs (and a few coaching linebackers and calling plays) and I used to preach "be opportunistic," daily. "When that ball goes up, IT'S YOURS! Go get it!" How every single play is an opportunity to make something positive happen. HHHMMM... think that translates into real life?
Every single day, every single work day, training day, days with friends and family... or just moments!   It could be just the final seconds of your day... you could change someone elses!  It doesn't have to be a full day at all. A moment at the grocery store where you see someone who may need a hand or to just be friendly to someone you don't even know! Sound corny? Good. Because really, the days and moments aren't all about you! 
It's about us! 

They're about the finger prints and footsteps you leave... yeah, its reeeeaaaallll cheesy.  Good.  
 And it's not about being noticed or recognized either. Its about making a positive impact to IMPROVE. Improve lives, improve your life, improve your surroundings, improve the workplace, improve your home, improve your relationship, and improve the lives of the people you care about most.  If you work to improve and progress and love every single day... you will change. You will change your life and you will change your friends and co-workers.  You will change your entire world.  Your own mindset will be so blinded by your visions, nothing else will matter.  Be mindful and engaged in every moment.  I dont care what anyone says, if you work to improve this world and love... anything you ever do will be special.  I promise you.   And all that love will return back to you 10x over and you will be the luckiest, happiest person and you will then be ALIVE.
One life... live it.

Monday, May 21, 2012

gnorts oot

or too strong?
(short thought)

Two weeks ago Junior Seau shot himself in the chest and died.  And two different articles in Sports Illustrated really connected for me for two different reasons.
One article was questioning how athletes are covered and that maybe they (the media) should stop putting these people on pedestals.  That maybe, the media created the problem. Maybe some sports writers have assisted in creating our "heros," and that these guys arent actually that... maybe theyre normal people.    Could be. 
We've seen how guys struggle into retirement and often dont know what to do when the crowds are gone and the lights are off.  How many times did MJ retire?  How many guys have we seen hang on too long or come back multiple times?  Even coaches do it. 

The other article covered his life and career, from college to retirement and then the end. In it, the author gave many examples and how Junior would refuse to admit or even hint that he was ever hurt on the playing field and would do whatever he could to be ready for Sunday. He would hide his treatment from teammates and friends. The author then questioned "Did Junior carry this habit into retirement?"

And it bothered me...
someone who felt so much pressure of people watching him, people trusting that he's always their "superman," couldnt show weakness... couldnt ask for help. It was engrained in his head and heart... and he broke.

"I get paid to practice... I play for the games for free."  Junior Seau

Saturday, May 19, 2012

rock bottom...

I've had some really interesting conversations lately... not sure if I've made a conscious effort to become more engaged, more often with more people or if these conversations are finding me.

I was doing some landscaping with a friend and sharing some stories of our past.  Somehow I/we found our way to the story I shared a month ago or so... the one where I was 325lbs and couldn't fit into jeans, then joined the gym but still didn't know what I was doing, then two guys saw me and helped me out, wrote my workouts and told me what to do... then I lost about 80-100lbs, that one.  And it was just a quick story about me hitting my "rock bottom."

Then throughout the course of the afternoon, we continued to randomly stumble across different versions of different peoples "rock bottoms."   A few of his own, a couple of mine, friends of ours and so on... and it made me wonder.  Why do we need it?

Why do you think we need to fall on or face before realizing where we are?  Where we want to be?  Do we really need to be in the black before seeing the light is what we need when we knew it all along?

"It's only after we've lost everything, that we're free to do anything."  Tyler Durden. 

It's somewhat unfortunate that Fight Club probably lost some people in the confusion of the story and the violence.  But really, its a very philosophical movie.  To me, the movie is about not having an ego.  It's about not being attached to labels of any sort.  The scene where he says "You're not your job. You're not how much money you have in the bank. You're not the car you drive. You're not the contents of your wallet. You're not your f'ing khakis," said it all. 

When we're younger, we have these ideas in our heads as to who we are or what we are. If we're lucky, someone or something comes along to help us clear out those ridiculous thoughts and we're able to begin again.  But some of us don't.  And those who don't, live their lives confused and in a constant battle with the voice in their heads.  Those voices can weigh us down and everyone in contact with us.

In the conversation with my friend, we started talking about religion.  I knew he was deep into something but didn't know what... so I asked.  He is a born again Christian and I really didn't know what that meant, so I asked... and he set his shovel aside and smiled and said "I'm glad you asked." 

Sitting here 30 some hours later, thinking about what he said... but not exactly what he said, but how he said it, smiling and full of positive energy.  As he went on explaining the process, what its done for him and how it helps him on a daily basis, I couldn't help but smile.  Smile for him and smile that even though I'm not a Christian, he could've easily been speaking for me as well.  He spoke of feeling "light," and how good things just seem to happen.  He's at peace with who he is and what he's doing in life.  I can relate.

So I was back to thinking about rock bottom... you hit the ground hard and you're laying in the crap and mud.  You're filthy, bloody, crying and maybe too exhausted to move... so you're laying face down... beaten.   You're in the black....
... but you can feel something behind you.  A presence.  And you have a choice.  
Your choice is to lay there and ignore it, or roll over, look up at the light and go for it.

This is not about religion.  Don't label it or try to find some short cut to thinking...

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Take a break...

"Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need." Tyler Durden

Ironic... the week I remove the blog for being "too personal," is the week I find the need to write something really personal. Often, and I've hinted or maybe flat out wrote it, that these are directed back at me at times. So when reading this, dont take it personally... I'm also talking to myself.

That quote at the top popped in my head today and maybe I shouldnt admit that they often do. Fight Club quotes? Kinda weird, no? But it fits.

We're very busy people these days. We're working overtime or 2 or 3 jobs. Stay at home moms are nearly extinct. Prices are going up yet our wages are staying nearly the same. I was talking to a man who has been driving a semi for nearly 30 years. His son is graduating high school in a few weeks and then off to college. We somehow got to talking about school funding and how horrible he felt voting his down. "I make the same amount of money now as a I did in 2002... but everything around me is more expensive." So he needs a second job.

There are people I dont see in the gym as often as they'd like to be there. I ask "where are you?" and they're busy... and they are. I know its not an excuse. I know they're not blowing me off, it really has zero to do with me or the workout... they're just flat out busy. School, work, the 2nd job, then errands and managing life, kids, dinners, little leagues... then we get a free second....

...and thats where my mind is. What are we doing with the free moments? When the day is finally coming to a resting point... what are you doing?

It's 11:43 pm right now... My resting point began about 90 minutes ago where I wasted some time watching a sitcom and Greys Anatomy (and what a waste that was! Terrible season finale!). I'm not overly thrilled about wasting my time in front of the television right now... I never really have but its kind of been automatic, and I'm working on changing that.

I went on a vacation a couple weeks ago and had some excellent time to read and write. I remember sitting there thinking something along the lines of how amazingly ironic that I had to fly to another country to find time, to force myself to find time, to sit down with my thoughts... and do nothing but stare into space... and thats exactly what I did.

I sat. I read some. I wrote some notes and observations... random thoughts. It helps clear my head and put everything in line.

Then I got home and thought "That habit isnt lost in Mexico... I need it here." I need to find time to stop and breathe. We all need that time. We all need to find a way to sit down and do absolutely nothing.

No television. No computer. No cell phones. Sit and breathe and that is all. Does that sound crazy? What if you showed up to an appointment with me... and instead of heading to the treadmill, we sat in a quiet room... and did nothing but breathe? For 30 minutes, you will sit there and breathe as slow and as deep as you can... would you be mad at me? :)

What if that was the best part of your day? 30 minutes of turning the world "off." What if you did that everyday? What if I told you, you'd start to feel less stressed and that you'd start to see things differently?

I get it... but I dont get it. The car that you thought you needed to make you happy, is the reason you need to work 2 jobs... still happy?

I talk to so many people everyday... all week and everyone is stressed. Right now as I write this, I'm thinking of someone who works too many hours... someone who is in school and working two jobs.... someone who is so stressed they cant get their thoughts straight... someone who sits up til midnight working on a website, emailing, facebooking, and writing crazy blogs that only his parents read :) hi mom.

Take a break... the weather is going to be beautiful this weekend... go to a park... go sit down and be alone for 30 minutes.... and do nothing but breathe.

Trust me. You wont regret it.

Monday, May 14, 2012

met a guy...

and we started talking about some random things... somehow we got into talking about animals and local wildlife.  
He said something along the lines of "I cant wait til we can hunt in larger areas."   I asked why. 
He responded "So we can kill more deer."   Again, I asked why. 
He said "Because they really destroy alot of the area."  So I asked how...
"By eating all the leaves, they can reach."


Good thing someone isnt watching us with the same line of thinking...
"Well, time to hunt them... they're pretty much destroying everything they can get their hands on."

Sunday, May 13, 2012

@ home behind the sun...

I recently decided to remove the blog from the Blue Chip website and also remove Blue Chip from the title here as well.  I think I was feeling too much pressure (from myself) to keep it fitness related... and that was beginning to bore me a little.

Do I still want to write about what goes on in the gym and yoga room?  Do I still want to write about the amazing people I meet everyday?  Definitely. 

But I went away a couple weeks and had some time to read and think... actually alot of reading and alot of thinking.  I would wake up and go for a run and try to spend as much time as possible just sitting with my own thoughts and reading.  Something I've had very little time to do lately and I could feel it.  I started writing very randomly and it felt great.  Felt great that no one was even looking at me wondering "why that weirdo is carrying around that note pad, randomly scribbling."   On the Blue site, it felt like someone was reading over my shoulder sometimes and I felt Iahd to keep it real clean and safe... and I dont want to write like that anymore.  Its not very fun.  :) 

What I wrote...

I think I'm going to rename the blog... actually rename the old name.  @ home behind the sun.
I actually rolled my eyes at the sun today...
"Oh you again?  Alright then, lets get on with it."

I dont need a 24/7 life-attack-dog.  But I do need people who know when to attack life... "people," who know when to rip off your clothes and jump on in because the water is perfect and this could be it.  not irresponsibly, but knowing when... not pumping the breaks with fear of ruining your hair or concerned with a shower.

Went for a run... and a waiter from a resort started running alongside me... said "where are we going?"  I motioned down to a building down the beach.  He laughed and said "see you tomorrow," and it made me think... we all need to give more.  WE make life worth living.  WE need to give more of ourselves to each other.

The irony in vacations is that we actually have the effort to make time to do the things we should be making time to do anyway.  This week I worked out, ran, had a nice time going through some yoga, meditated, read two books and started writing.  Other than time with my daughters, these things should be top on my "to-do," list every week. 
Instead... most of us are plagued with pressure and work and other bullshit time fillers like television, or iphones, or the internet... not to go all hippy and tell you turn them off but... damn they soak up our time and drain our brains.

In most of our minds, we need busy schedules and busy lives to keep us far away from whats really important... ourselves.  We're hiding.
We take prescirption drugs, drink alcohol and other drugs to fade our thoughts... in an attempt to ease the stress or the pains.  When we really the exact opposite.Think of how we got over our fears... we go through them... we experience them.  When you were a kid and the closet or shadow or under the bed were some of the scariest thoughts imaginable... we turned on the light, and the fear was gone.  Think of our physical strength... the only way to get stronger is to expose the weakness.... then they dissolve.   So we dont need prescriptions or vodkas or drugs to fix our minds or hearts.  We need to turn the light on and open the door, to our weaknesses... and allow ourselves to become what we truly are.

We are not our surroundings but we allow oursleves to immitate.

I need to build a cooler Facebook page for the people I work with...

MySpace offered a cooler set up...

 3 guys w/ everything in common... prefrat boy, frat boy, post frat boy.

Seeing alot of really nice tattoos here... but double in cheesy/wish i was cool or 22 again style tattoos.  those = One very boring tattoo on the upper arm so you can hide from friends and co-workers.  Thats for guys only.  Women can have any tattoo and its probably amazing.

Went for a workout...
Got bored so I ran...
Got bored so I stripped and swam...

"Let the oceans... dissolve way my mask."

Have you stopped asking yourself... "who am I?"   "Why am I here?"

And on Wednesday... the Americans arrived!  There goes vacation.  Things very quickly went from a week of peace and quiet and relaxation to a very annoying frat party.  And not a good frat either.  This is a very lame frat where 100% has some obnoxious nickname and its cool to scream for Kenny Chesney to the foreign DJ who clearly isnt taking requests.   What was once a pool view of couples lounging, drinking mojitos and margaritas is now a landscape of crooked baseball hats and bud light beer.  Ironically, Im glad they came... it strongly reinforces my desire to vacation away from a resort.  This group defintely would not dare to get a hotel anywhere there could be danger in rudely reqesting "save a horse, ride a cowboy."  Theyre here because its safe... and all the sudden I dont like my hotel anymore.  Ive been in sun for some time now and have had quite a few Pina Colados... I could be a few coronas away from really "american-izing," this situation and slapping the texan that wont stop screaming "Hey Amigo!  Play american country!" in the face with a pool side lounge chair. 

I seriously considered asking hotel mgmt to let me run a 7am Boot on the Beach!  But after witnessing several of the fitness classes offered... I think I'd probably kill someone.  Be proud NE Ohio!  Imagine the "Matrix Workout," in 80 degree Mexican heat.. Not many would enjoy that here and Ive been told the Mexican justice system isnt very fast... I might miss my plane.

Ive seen 200 people at the MetroParks this year... 2 hellos
Here.... 100% hellos and all smiles.

4 and 6 packs are great... but if it sticks out past your chest... we'll have to discuss this.  

If your eon vacation wiring random observations in a notebook... you might have a serious mental problem....

We've never had more ways to communicate at our fingers... yet we feel more alone than ever.

The blog needs to come off Blue Chip

Blue Chip needs to do more... offer more... give more... get more people involved... give it away.

We are what we consume... food, drink, watch, read, internet, music, conversations, relationships...

... is the path "right," enough to dissolve the "wrong?"

"home," needs to become ALIVE again.

Happiness is not a $500,000 home...
...not a fancy car
...not an extravagant vacation cant buy it

religion is inside us.
you god is inside you.

wake up.  be mindful.  be happy.

Time to start blowing some extra cash on live music...
Time to find some extra cash.

I'm in deep shit when Vedder, Stipe, Harper and Bono pass on one day...

(found a page that was apparently my coaster for some time... cant read it all.  Something about Ben Harper not being human)

Considering the number of people at this resort... I know exactly who is from Texas and Jersey... because theyre completely obnoxious and yell where theyre from.  no clue why theyre proud.

"to the universe, i dont mean a thing."

35 is suddenly feeling experienced... rahter than late or old.  Ironically, I could say 35 is the half way point as easy as I sid it at 20... yet even though my new outlook has relieved some stress and anxiety, I still say 40 or bust.  40 is too old to gamble.

i had a dream last night about a fitness center that writes a presciption for what you need....
I remember seeing the gym.... I climbed over a wall where people were doing pilates and started talking to someone in charge... he knew who i was but i didnt know him.   he was checking people in.  i asked where they were headed... he said "1-4 are headed to yoga, want to get them started?"  and he handed me their daily schedule.
made me think of blue chip... and where it currently is... maybe not that different.maybe that dream could be closer than i thought.

The life that leaves me very little room or time to breathe... is the life i need to survive.  what i do, is exactly what i want to be doing.  create & serve... its that simple.  so many great things on the horizon... so many great people around me... i wonder if they can tell...

follow the music.

Nice try Amigo!  Frontier Arilines doesnt have first class!!!   wish I wouldve known that when the 20 year old at the check in desk tried selling me an "upgrade," for $20.... cash only.  hahaha I can smell home already!

Went out for one last run... hit SHUFFLE... Big Sun by Eddie Vedder... toooo perfect.

breathe deep and smile

Monday, March 12, 2012

This past week...

someone e-mailed me and asked "Have you ever, personally, gone through great amounts (more than 25#) of weight loss? Or strength training to gain muscle/weight?" The firt part of my response was something along the lines of "wow, no one has ever asked me that!" Ever. And I have no idea how or why thats never happened because as I thought more about this past week, it's probably one of the most important questions someone could ask.

I think the question and answer help develop a communication line. In coaching, it's always been important to me that the players know and understand the thought process behind everything. I also feel it's important that they trust the "coach," could play. That he knows how to compete and has an intensity. On the flip side, when talking to high school kids about larger issues that surround them in the classroom, at home or with friends, I think it helps having an element of "yeah, I've also been there." I never knew if my coach was all-state or played big college ball, but I could see it in his eyes, he knew what it took to make us great. So again, in the questions asked above, I feel that the answer is a definition that says "Yes, I've been on the same path you're on and actually still working that path."

I might have been 22 or 23 years old and somehow gained a considerable amount of weight after high school. I think it was partially due to alcohol, maybe some depression and general lack of activity. I remember going to find a pair of jeans at the mall and literally couldnt find a decent pair. I had an event to attend and needed something new to wear and because I couldnt find clothes to fit, I didnt go to the event and missed out on an opportunity. I weighed around 315 lbs.

I very clearly remember the following weeks. I remember being very angry with myself and i'm not even sure if 315 sunk in. At the time, my issue was being too big for the clothes I wanted. So I decided to join Ballys.

I had some workout experience from high school but not much. Ironically, I was never really into the weight room. No clue why. I think I was lazy and complacent. I was one of the those dumb kids I now bitch at... kind of a big fish in a small pond. I knew I'd start on Friday nights without the weight room so I didnt care... which was a very large mistake. So I pulled some generic workouts out of a magazine and started my training. Monday was chest, Tuesday legs, blha blah blah boring workout. I remember my cardio was very, very lame. I thought I could hop on an elliptical for 20 minutes and think I was burning "x" amount of calories and be great. I would swim maybe twice per week as well.

One day two guys came up to me who were in very good shape, turns out they were Marines. One asked what I was trying to do and and I told him "lose 80lbs." He asked to see my workout routine and I handed him my notebook. He said "I'll give this back to you tomorrow. Til then, run. Just run. Dont try to be cute and mix in all these toys, go buy new shoes and just run." The next day, I came in and he handed me my notebook back with 7 new routines. He told me rotate through and run every day. They took me through the workout a couple times to show me the form and that was it. They also said to cut carbs and alcohol and to eat alot of protein.

So I listened. I wasnt a great runner and ever really ran more than 1 mile per day. (Maybe because it sucks counting 16 laps at Ballys to get to that mile.) Every morning was a shake, every lunch was a salad and every dinner was 1 chicken breast, 1 cup of brown rice and some vegetables. Thats it. Every single day, all winter long.

5 months later, 225lbs.

I dont think it was that hard because I wanted it so bad. It's all I wanted. Nothing could distract me.

I remember weighing in every week and thinking "Damn, 5 lbs this week!" I remember when I dropped under 275, then 250, then 240... then things slowed down but I stayed with it and got there.

I never even knew the guys names that stopped me and told me "run." I would see them everyday and they would watch me, but I kept my headphones in and just worked (plus I was shy and I dont think they wanted to bother me.) Thinking about it now, its probably why i say some of the things I say. Maybe why I train how I train. I learned firsthand why cardio is so important... actually why running is even more important. Can it be done without running? Yes. Could I have? I'm not sure. Everyone I train, I say "Get a pair of running shoes," or "That treadmill is our goal, so get comfy with it asap."

If you're reading this and wondering "Can I lose 40lbs?" Absolutely, you can. I know you can. But its not easy. It takes sacrifice and discipline. And I'm even throwing myself in the equation and not as a trainer. I let things slip late in 2011 and I'm back at it hard right now. Im back to shooting for 225 and I know i'll get there. I'm back to that mind set of nothing stopping me. And I know I have to run and I have to be disciplined and I'll have to sacrifice.

Its not a mood. Its a life decision. I think thats the difference. I think people get into a mood where they think "Jeez, I need to lose 15lbs. I feel chubby," or anything really. "Jeez I need to improve (fill in the blank)." But that mood fades and then it's gone. When you make a decision and commit to yourself... then thats it. It's happening.

Every say "I'm going to (fill in the blank)." Did you do it? Did you commit to it? What happened? Success or failure?

Another season is coming... the weather is getting warmer and soon it'll come and go all over again. Will you be sitting in that same seat in one year wishing you did something different?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Eastside (Blue Chip Stamp)

I referenced a couple times "Andy and I have been fortunate to play under or train with great coaches who were able to install certain attributes..."  Install might not have been to most fitting word, at least not with Andy.  I have a feeling he was born with the fire the displays now.  I think it was always there, he just had coaches (or role models), that may have helped him find comfort level in displaying it.  So it didnt need to be installed, just ignited.  There isnt a thing he touches that he doesnt have the intent of making it great.  Better than great. 
Tonight we finished the winter training with Eastside Volleyball and this past weekend, we knew we wanted to have some things to talk to the girls about at the last workout.  Again, our coaches found ways to motivate and we both still hear their voices.  If there was one thing we said that help even one girl find a way through a situation, job done. 
One consistent topic was work ethic.  This past Sunday I saw Larry Bird talk about the difference between LeBron and Kobe.  He said "If you want to have fun, play with LeBron.  If you want to win, play with Kobe."  The interviewer asked why.  "Work ethic," was all Larry said.  It's the intense, borderline obsessive drive to be the best at everything you touch.  Sports, training, school, life.  Shoot for the stars.  I know it sounds cliche' but you have to.  You cannot go into any situation thinking "Oh, well #2 would be cool."  No.  #1 is the only thing in mind and anything less is unacceptable.  #1 is it.  Train to be #1, practice to be #1, study to be #1 in your class.  Go hard every moment of everyday. 
I cant get into everything we talked about... we talked about alot.  But tonight there were a few points that somehow came out that I hope hit home.  I said "I couldnt tell if this was one of those bitter-sweet moments or not..."  and its not.  I'm not happy the training has ended... not at all.  I love training this group, Andy does the same.  But I also feel like "hey, we put in some hard work, harder than any group they'll play against... time to get some trophies!"  I really feel excited now.  I cant wait to watch them play!      I fell like they've been through the ringer and now its time to reap the benefits of the hard work... so I'm not feeling bitter-sweet (maybe a little... i couldve talked all night tonight) and I'm not sad it ended.  I'm happy it happened and pumped to watch those girls go out to their tourneys and win. 
The other point I brought up to the 17-18 year old group was actually off-topic from training and volleyball.  It was more of a life thing.  I heard a coach mention it once maybe 10 years ago and wanted to give it my own spin.  I said "Ever hear someone go on and on about 'the good ole' days?  About how 'Oh everything was awesome in 1999!' and stuff like that?  That sounds so loser to me."  I told them yeah, these days your going through now are great and you will look back on them with fondness... but its not your highlight.  These are not your 'good old days.'  Every year is your highlight year.  Every year is a 'good ole day.'  Make sense?  You will be great and better at every stage of your life!  Great high school careers, great in college, great jobs, great friends and great lives.   Believe in yourself with all your heart.  Even when the chips look down, dig deep and believe.  Remember, work hard and you can accomplish absolutely anything. 
I look at them... Andy and I watch them during our downtime.  I see strength and confidence that I dont see in many other places.  I do not see any fear in their eyes. I see excitement and energy and enthusiasm.  We asked a football team to challenge each others heart and dedication and asked "who would you go to war with?"  I 'm sitting here asking myself that question in regards to these girls.... any one of them.  They are tough as nails and they dont back down from a challenge. Full of heart and passion.  Leaders and role models.  These "kids," are amazing... barely kids really.  Kids now have so much more to deal with than we did, we all know that.  They have to be stronger now... the world is different.  The girls that Andy and I have had to pleasure to train over the last few months... hands down amazing and I cant wait to see who they become down the road. 
Parents, congratulations.  You have amazing daughters.

Sunday, February 12, 2012





Saturday, January 21, 2012

I don't train...

...your spike.  I don't coach your swing.  I don't coach boxing or how to defend in the ring.  I don't teach you how to shoot a 3 or run the pick-n-roll.  I don't "x," and "o," your sport.  But I do watch you play and study how you move and that is what I do train, your movement. I hear your coaches coach and ask them what they need from you, then I help you make it a-whoooole-lot better.
I train the muscles that make the movement more efficient, faster, stronger, and more functional.  If you need to jump higher, run faster, be stronger, hit harder, breathe better, move quicker... I'm the guy that helps you make that happen.  Without a doubt.   If you're interested in posing... might want to keep googling.  I'm not interested in beach muscle.  I'm interested in your vertical, your power and strength, your movement... your scholarship.      
I train you mind.  By that I mean, I show you how to find a new level of "full go." Something we all think we know... but then we meet someone who shows us there's another level.... BlueChip is that level.  By the time we're done, you'll never have "I'm tired," in your thoughts.  You'll never give up. 
You'll train so hard and develop such a passion for your success, you won't let anyone beat you without the absolute best fight of their life.  You'll work so hard that every single time you step on the court, onto the field or in the ring... you will believe, 150%,  with all of your heart that you will win

This Is Blue Chip