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

This Is Blue Chip