Tuesday, November 19, 2013

LOVE (and other very random thoughts)

I've had that topic sitting in the menu bar for about 4 days now... Maybe that's saying something about me.  

I had this thought while talking to a friend... I was kinda giving him a hard time about quitting smoking and working out and all the other topics that come flying out when I get up on my soap box and do my imitation of a motivational speaker.  My friend expressed that he wanted me to stay on him a bit but hearing me scream out "Where the F are you going?" every time he tries to sneak away can wear you down.  I think he may quit smoking just because he's thinking of smashing his cigarettes into my face... and that's ok.  I'll take it and smile when he's smoke free, rebuilding healthy lungs and saving $80/month. 

But then I started checking myself more and why I do that to him or anyone else that gives me the opening...  I went through a run where I pulled it all back and left everyone alone.  I thought "No one is going to want to be near me or talk to me if all I talk about is yoga or training or diets or podcasts or..." anything else that absorbs my life.  But I truly think it effected me and still is a bit.  I mean, I REALLY pulled back (and I know of one friend reading this right now nodding along,) and in pulling back, I lost energy.  I lost momentum.  So last time I saw my friend roll his eyes at me, I said "I'm not saying this to be a dick, I'm saying it out of love," and I mean that 1000%.  I don't say the things I say or do the things I do just to be a big mouth character (or however you see me, I have no clue) but I say because I want you to live.  I want you to achieve your goals.  I'm on a mission that I'm taking very, very seriously and I want you on it.  That mission is to turn dreams into reality.  I know it reads like a cheesy T-Shirt or some Facebook quote but thats what its alllllll about.  And you cant make it happen by staying who you are today... it happens by becoming the person you need to become to reach tomorrow.  If all you care to be is the "TODAY," version, you'll always stay right here.  I want to move forward and evolve and grow and succeed. 

Think about this... what do I, personally, have to gain by YOU reaching your goals?  Think about that...
That last conversation, may have been our last, right?  You never know.  So in that thought, I have ZEEERO to gain by helping you get it done.  I wont make any money off you, I may not be there to see you succeed, I may not every hear from you again and vice versa, so what do i have to gain?  
Nothing.  This is just me and these are the things that need to come out of my mouth to keep my wave growing, to keep my momentum pushing forward and barreling down on the list of 50+ life goals that are always in my lap top bag that I update and check off constantly.  Wheres yours?  
Its not a "me vs you," kind thing.  Its a "join me," kinda thing.
I want to motivate you because I love you and I want you to want it as bad as I do.
And sometimes love isn't just a hug... sometimes its a nice boot to the ass.  I've been lucky enough to have some pretty key men in my life to teach me this lesson.  Sometimes love is hearing something you don't really want to hear, but you need to hear.  And who can tell you better than someone who truly loves you.  Now, you're not reading this as a big, motivating, green light to go home and tell someone how much you hate how they cook or smell or whatever, but Im saying dont be shy when the conversations get emotional.  Dont be afraid to say how you feel, even if it might sting.  Love is truth and motivating, for better, and we'll turn out that way if we flow with it and not hold back.  


Along the lines of holding back.... 
Why i stopped teaching yoga a few weeks ago and in true "dumbass J," fashion (I have a habit of walking out of rooms without saying good bye), never explained why to those who were enjoying my class.  
Here goes... 
I was coaching, teaching, going to school, working the day job and training.  Throughout that hurricane of a schedule, anxiety and stress built up along with the above mentioned "pulling back."  And what I noticed was that I was having troubles being honest with myself.  I just dug down and said "Get to work and get it done," and didn't take great care of myself, didn't sleep much, didn't train enough, definitely didn't take one yoga class, etc., and because of that, I couldn't teach a class and tell you to do it.  That last yoga class I taught, I felt it... it felt robotic and I knew it was time to take a break.  I could the words sticking in my throat... I knew they weren't 150% honest and just couldn't force it out.  And if the yoga isn't honest, its not happening for me.  
That's probably my #1 pet peeve.  I've been on the flip side, the member/client/student side where I knew the person in front of me was full of shit, and I couldn't take it.  As a student, I'd hear things and think "What a freaking phony," from an instructor I just couldn't believe.  (Not being overly judgy BUT how can a 22 year old really tell a room of weathered adults how to be?  You're 22!  As Ben Harper said "You have to live my life to get boots like these," and I'm sorry but... I'll hear from Ben, not from you.)
Notice, the personal training and strength classes picked up when my yoga pulled back?  I can go off with that all day and not lose energy because it's more explosive and chaotic, whereas the yoga is more emotional and intimate and you cant fake either.  
So, it's just a seasonal thing.  I'll get my other side back real soon and start incorporating the Power Plus action.  


The Grinder Podcast is nearly ready to roll.  Hopefully by tomorrow, I have my lame little mic for my laptop and it's go time.  I've spoken with some very cool friends and they're ready as well.  This is going to be so much fun.  
All guests are people that in my opinion, represent the title, Grinder.  I wrote that blog a few weeks and its obsessed me.  I even bought a bunch of black rubber wrist bands to help me remember to GRIND.  Since then, I've popped up for the gym more mornings than not and absolutely continue to fine tune my nutrition.  
Anyway, the guests will represent.  Topics will include training and fitness, motivation as always (just wait to Dave and Andy get together... I know full well, you'll want to have what they say in your ipod) entrepreneurs, sports, coaching, football, yoga and people that are representing the mindset and just awesome people with awesome stories and awesome things to share.  (I haven't contacted everyone yet but be ready - Rich, DieHard McClain, Jared, Nick, Coach, Murph, etc)
And to be honest, I don't even care if this is just my lame excuse for getting together and talking... if just 1 person listens and gets something out of this, excellent!  
We keep too much bottled and we need to let loose.  


Just went through a lobby before sitting down, had some Coldplay on the Pod and thought while people watching, "What would it be like if we really focused for 24 hours to NOT doing anything douchy?"  Just everywhere you went people held doors, and said hello in elevators, and smiled just for the hell of it, and complimented what you're wearing and told more jokes and helped you more and drove with courtesy and didn't bitch... just for 24 hours.  
(No that was not a Coldplay inspired thought... I know what your dumb joke was ie "40 Year Old Virgin :)


Can we stop saying "girl push ups?"  Are we saying "boy push ups," are hard and "girl push ups," are easy?  And if so, does that mean we add "girl," in front of something and that means the easier version?


Finalizing my Real Estate License and prepping for the exam... very excited to get it going.  This is another avenue that has my name written all over it!   The more I learn, the more anxious I am to begin.  It's all about obtaining the information to help you make an excellent choice, customer service and making dreams happen... whats NOT to be excited about.  I keep saying "I'm afraid of letting you blow $10 on a bad workout or let you do something with poor form, how the heck do you think I'm going to behave when you have your family and $200,000 on the line?"  ZERO mistakes, absolute 100% service.  
I just need an 8th day of the week and another 6-8 hours per for some sleep :)


Check out the new site, still BLUECHIPSTRENGTH.COM but also FUNCTIONALFITNESS440.COM.  Same site, two addresses.  I'm pretty proud of my supplements page and the recommendations page.  
The supplements page only has items that I personally use, AdvoCare and ONNIT.  Spark on AdvoCare and pretty much everything but the Hemp Force Protein on ONNIT.  I absolutely recommend the ShroomTech Sport and Alpha Brain on ONNIT.  Hands down, the best supplements I've ever used.
On the recommendations page, the Build Your Own Gym link is sweet.  Basically, I thought if you gave me a $150 or so and said "hook me up with a place to train at home," this is exactly what I'd buy and you'd probably love it.  Kettles, tubes, suspension training, mats and a stability ball.  
I also added a Book Recommendations page... couldn't help myself.  Check it out.  The top two books on there would make excellent holiday gifts, the Pressfield book is truly life changing as is the Baron Baptiste selection.  I'll be updating this page as often as I read a sweet book.  

hhhmmm... this was my 100th blog.  I wonder if there could be a book down the road....


see everyone in class or out and about.
take care of yourself and each other... time flies.

peace, love and empathy,

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The F Word

"Growing up," I probably trained very similar to everyone else.  I started caring about training and working out around 1998-ish, I'm 36 so that was around 21 yrs old.  There wasn't Facebook or anything back then.... Wow, I just wrote two sentences to start this off and I've already dated myself.  Man, I;m feeling old.  Anyway, when I joined the local Ballys, I was using workouts that I tore out of Flex Magazine or something else along those lines.  No real focus other going through the to-do list and getting the work done.

Time went on and life changed, flash forward a few years...

I'm sitting in class at NPTI (Facebook Page)and Miles, Mariam, Pete and Rich are preaching "Functional training, functional movement, functional blah blah blah," and I'm kinda hearing it, kinda not... probably more not actually.
I would perform these functional exercises and I didn't feel strong and I would think "How is this going to develop a big chest or butt or anything?"  I really appreciated learning it all, but thought it wasn't for me.  It just felt easy and unfocused.

Flash forward again a few years...

I meet a guy, Jay Ashman, (twitter @ashmanstrength) at Titans that seems to train in a way i think I'd like.  My back and shoulders are a piece of crap but I'm thinking maybe I can start over again with a very grounded and strong base.  So I hired Jay to help me reset some things and even though it was just a short, 8 week run of online programming, I think it was probably the best money I've spent in quite a while.  Because in that situation and going through Jay's programs, I also started teaching a bastardized yoga class called Power Plus, where we'd use dumbbells in the middle of yoga class.  So with the training, the teaching, me getting my foundation back, training with kettle bells and suspension training, acupuncture helping things along, a new Primal/Paleo mindset and nutrition plan... something started clicking.

All of this is functional training and a  very functional, realistic idea.  All of those points above, added up to a state of mind that feels extremely comfortable.  Opening my eyes to what a Paleo diet is was probably the tipping point.  I've listened to some Podcasts that just made too much sense to ignore.

My training is now a jumbo pot of anything and everything, but very focused.  Back squats are an absolute must, as is all the major multi-joint movements, then we need to work in the stability ball work and hardcore core training, then we need to find a few sessions for kettles and suspension training, and don't forget yoga.  And honestly, all but the yoga can be programmed into two different sessions.  Again, aside from backsquats, big pushes and pulls, I don't try to crush any one particular muscle, I look to get after everything.

Example workout:
5:00 warm up of choice

Barbell Back Squats
1 set at 20 reps; 1 at 15; then 5-7 failing around 10; then 1 more of 15-20.
Form is HUGE.
My favorite move for many reasons... something feels awesome about the shoes, the belt and the hoody while grinding through this.  Pretty high up, probably 1 or 2 in terms of caloric expenditure list and recruits muscles from your arms all the way through your feet.

Circuit A
Hammy Curls 8-12
Seated Lat Pull (Neutral Grip) 20, 15, 12, 12,  
Calf Raise
4 Rounds
I love hammy curls and how they feel, plus with all the pushing and running and such, the hamstrings are forgotten about sometimes.  Lately, I've been tossing these in prior to back squats just to pre-exhaust things.
Neutral grip pull, because I like it :)  actually the typical lat pull hurts my neck pretty bad so I go for this one and this is also how I train pull-ups, again for the neck reason.

Circuit B aka Core & Conditioning
Stability Ball Crunch 50
Double Arm Kettle Bell Swing - 20
Push-Up - F
Crunch - 25
3 rounds

water and continue with Core and Conditioning
Stability Ball Knee Tucks 20
Single Arm - Kettle Bell Clean/Press 15 each
Long slow bicycle crunch 20
Squat Jumps w KB's in hand 20

Finish w a very long plank, go for absolute failure.
I'll posting some "how to's" on the YouTube page very soon, subscribe now!

So if you're not yet involved in the Wednesday night class, you probably should be.
And check out the new site, still bluechipstrength.com but you can also find it via functionalfitness440.com.  Theres a page called BUILD YOUR OWN GYM! and from there, you'll find amazon links to some of the equipment I mentioned above.  I'm telling you, I highly recommend getting some of these things for your home gym.  People that have requested in home training, I tell them all "Get a kettle bell, get a stability ball, get some tubes and we'll get it going."  You really can get away with just that.

So have fun, take care and talk soon.
Peace, love and empathy,

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Are You Willing?

I recently heard someone say “Americans can’t save money,” so I perked up in my seat to pay closer attention.  He then followed with “Most people can only save around $100/month because things are too hard….” No joke, no exaggeration, my legs and ass flinched and I nearly stood up and yelled “Bullshit!”
Alright… maybe I wouldn't have yelled bullshit but I definitely felt an urge in my legs to stand and disagree. 

Lets ignore the whole “Americans can’t save money,” and just change it to people for the sake of argument, because leaving the word “Americans,” in there is a completely different argument all together and I haven’t traveled worldwide nor studied the savings account of other countries citizens (as I’m sure he hasn't either).

But here’s what I've seen, and trust me, I've seen this in a few different situations… it’s not that people can’t save money, it’s that people don't know how to sacrifice.  People don't understand that to save money, you have to either work and do more or pull back spending elsewhere.  It’s really hard to save money if you’re out shopping 3 times per week buying things you don't need.  It’s really hard to save money when you have a loaded cable package and renting pay per views while using some high speed internet connection.  It’s hard to save money… period.  It’s not easy.  We’re tempted all around, from the time we wake up til we go to sleep and that temptation is the issue; we don't know how to say no.  We don't know how to sacrifice.  We don't know how to become comfortable with some discomfort.  We don't know how to go without. 
How much is your phone plan?  How vital is it that you have that particular phone to your actual income?    Sounds simple and maybe too simple, but there’s a great chance your phone is a comfort and not an asset.  (Just an example that I’m sure 99.9% of us can relate to.)

Let’s take it to a fitness level. 
How many people do you think have told me they can’t afford training or a class?  How many times do you think I hear that weekly?   People can’t afford to get into shape, which is actually an investment in themselves, the most important one they’ll ever make, but they can’t afford it?!?!  But I bet they can afford Starbucks.  I bet they can afford going to the bar.  I bet they over pay for their cell bill or cable bill or where they shop for groceries. 

Can people save money?  Absolutely

Can people get into shape?  Absolutely

Can people change their lives?  Absolutely

Can you improve anything in your life and live at a higher level?  Absolutely, 1000%, yes.
But are you willing to make the sacrifices needed to make that happen?

Are you willing to cut back a few expenses to save up or get out of debt?  Do you know that debt is modern day slavery?  Think about that.  The more you owe, the more you’re controlled and the less free you are. 

Are you willing to study when you want to go to sleep?

Are you willing to run or lift when you want to watch tv?

Can you say no to going to going out when you know nothing positive will happen and you need rest?

Can you say no to the drive thru?

Can you say no to skipping workouts?

Can you say no to skipping class?

Are you willing to stay in that plank just 30 seconds longer?

Start saying NO to things that hurt you and slow you down and make you  a weaker person and start YES to positivity and evolution and progress and hitting goals and making it all happen!  It can happen but you have to want it!  You have to really want it!  You can’t just wish for it, you have to work for it and sometimes work is saying NO to comfort, and saying NO to habits but that has to happen for a new space to be cleared for new YES’s.  And if you want your life to be field with a completely healthy life in every way, loaded with YES’s, you have to sacrifice and smash the habits that hold you back.

I recently heard someone say "Don't give yourself a reward you haven t earned," and that's so, so true.  We think because we've had a couple days on the diet and been strong that we can slip and have a "cheat," day.  Why?   I know people that think they deserve Pepsi as a reward for going to work everyday!  HUH?  A) How is Pepsi a reward and B) Why do you think you deserve an award for doing what you're supposed to do??  Stop rewarding yourself and patting yourself on the back for being a responsible person.
There's a time to be soft and a time to get it together and grind.  Sometimes we look for that soft, quit button a little too quick, that quit button is a little too easy to hit.
We left our blanky's at home a long, long time ago.  

If you want to have something great, it's not just going to fall into your lap as you watch television, you have to make it happen with action, determination, planning, perseverance, and dedication.

Are you willing to do whatever is necessary to turn all your dreams into a reality?  Whatever is necessary?   Anything and everything.  How bad do you want it?

Grind on

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Be Useful

Before I start to type away and find out what flies out through my thumbs (blogger app on phone), I wanted to say (type) how pumped up I am for the podcast to launch.   I've been day dreaming about this for quite a while now and I've been a part of some really inspiring conversations and I listen to some super inspiring pods and this is just a great fit.  For those of you who has no clue what a podcast is, t's basically a radio show.  Pretty simple.  The beauty of it is that we can record these "shows," anywhere at anytime and put them out via the website and iTunes... To be honest, just seeing the name on iTunes is going to excite me.  
Sooooo many stories, so many things that go on that I'll enable to share and if just one conversation or topic, motivates or helps one person, it's all worth it.  That's the beauty of reaching and connecting.  Being able to connect and then having that energy passed along in some form to more people to manifest and take it to another level somehow, that's awesome.
We'll have on guests from all different types of genres, entrepreneurs, trainers, nutritionists, motivational topics, music, whatever.  And when you want to listen to one, you can right on your computer or download to you ipod for your jogs.   I havent listened to a radio station in moooonths and my ipod is 75% loaded w differet casts.  Think of this... Even Alex or Lindsay or carls class can be recorded, you can download it and do it again at a later date.  That's sweet!  The primal strength class wouldn't work that well.... You'd hear me say "5 sets of back squats," and then you'd just hear people mumbling "F you," under their breath :)

 During my session in my garage Sunday night, after every set of squats, I wrote down a thought.  #1 was/is "Be Useful," and that actually plays right into what I wrote above and also asks a question.
What exactly does it mean?
It means.... Anything, really.  It means to ask yourself the actual question, "what can I do to be more useful today?"
To who?
To everyone and everything around us and yourself.  
How can you be more useful at home?
How can you be more useful at work?
In the community?
With your friends
How can you be more useful with yourself??  That's a big one. What can you do in your day to day activities to improve the situation or yourself?  
Be useful.  
There's a term "he's a tool," or whatever and I don't see that as a negative in a certain light.   I'll be a tool for you if it's towards a useful cause that can improve something.  Isn't what I do already that?  Isn't the podcast a tool?  Aren't the training sessions tools?   Sure they are, they're something we use to better ourselves and that could mean physical or mental or spiritual or anything else.  A tool is something we need to help achieve a goal or mission and I'm cool w being a tool like that and I'd want the same thing in return.
Be useful.  
It's about being assertive.  
It's about recognizing you're needed and then taking the initiative to step up and turn the thought into meaningful action.   
It's about not being lazy and making good choices at any given moment and not just when the spotlights on.  
Be useful. 
How can you help?
Now go help.
(Rereading that blog... It'll be so much cooler, more intense as a podcast.)
Sometimes I hear "Jesus!  All I see are Blue Chip quotes and posters on my Facebook feed!"
Yep, it's called being useful.  Maybe they'd prefer I post about getting drunk or some drama or some model pics, hard to tell.  But I'm using Facebook as a tool to reach and connect, however I choose.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Grind(er)

He said "It's highly unlikely, but for you it'll probably happen, you're a grinder."

The Grind
There's no map, there's no plan.

The Grinder
He doesn't give up, he's nonstop hustle.

The Grind
Is like humidity, you're in it, its all around you
And you're not escaping.
The Grind
Is like a current, moving The Grinder where needed.

The Grinder 
Doesn't want to leave anyway... he wants the heat.
Its all he wants.

The Grind
Is a magnifying glass unlike any other.  
You find out exactly who you are.  
In The Grind, you're exposed completely for better or worse.  
You can't hide and you cant close your eyes.  

The Grinder
Is a hunter.
Hunting for a passionate piece of life to sink his teeth into.
He's not concerned at all with dirt or mud,
He knows the glory is there.
He knows the glory is in The Grind.
He doesn't get off at the first exit for the easy road.
He's searching for something greater
 And the term "Good Enough," instantly exposes enemies.

The Grind
Is fire and extreme heat, so much so that the sweat is always in your eyes.
Your pulse beats with the rhythm of The Grind, 
You've become one with your atmosphere.
The Grind doesn't leave you and it never fades.
The Grind sees and records everything and 
Plays it back for you every time its needed.
The Grind is home.

The Grinder
Loves the pain for without it, 
There would be no appreciation for lack of.
The Grinder
Needs darkness present for its the light that directs him.
The Grinder
Only knows the Grind.

They ask "What should I do?" 
I answer with something along the lines of "Get busy."  
Its all I know.  When it hits the fan, get busy.  when you need a little more, get busy.  
When you need an escape, get busy.
It's Grind Time.
"What should I do?"  Better get your goal sheet in order and get busy.
People think the answers are in some escape plan or external and its not, its never been.  
Its right here (tap your chest).
Every bad situation I've been in, I got out of the exact same way.
Every time I've had my back up against the wall.
When a goal is locked in and its my target.
The Grind
Doesn't care, get busy.
"What should I do?"  Get those goals locked in and get focused on yourself. 
Never mind the distractions.  

In The Grind
Distractions are all around and attacking.  
In The Grind, they want to see you off course, challenged and flop.  

The Grinder
Wants the obstacles, he wants hurdles.
Because more than anything else, The Grinder
Loves to annihilate the hurdle and completely conquer
Any and all obstacles.
He smiles are setbacks.
He protects The Grind,

And The Grind will protect him.

And when you accept the life and stop retreating to your happy place, The Grind operates with you and for you.  When you accept The Grind, The Grind is your ally.  Its current, it's vibrations excel you in the direction you weren't meant to be.


In no particular order, kids, you and The Grind and they're all intertwined and weaving all around at all times. 
"Why do you do what you do?"
The Kids.
My grind, my love, my passion is to do whatever I can, wherever I can, to help create a better environment for kids.   Any and all kids.  And I think there are many, many levels to this.  I think the environment is essential and not just how I treat kids when present, not just when with me.  If I can motivate a coach to be better, that's creating a better environment.  If I can motivate a parent or a teacher, that's creating a better environment.  So on a level, my goal is be the absolute best version of myself I can be and NOT hide my thoughts and actions away.  Creating a better environment for the kids is everything, absolutely everything.  

Its all about creating a better world and there are so, so, so many ways to do it.  I've just been lucky enough to have found this awesome avenue that's not a teacher, not a coworker, not a boss, not your parent or relative and through my own exploration, I'm able to spark conversations or a thought to just slightly adjust our course, just subtle enough that it doesn't create any explosions but also just enough where we can feel a slightly altered direction.  And in that direction, we can feel a new angle of sun and wind.  We have a new perspective and view on the same streets we've seen our whole lives, but now, they're new again and new everyday.  

The Grind.
I love it.  I get so burnt out but I cant stop.  I don't know if I want to stop.  My schedule... If I wrote it, you'd think I'm lying or bragging or asking for pity or something, I don't know.  It wears me down, but its OK.  I bounce back rather quickly and I have to... for myself.  Because The Grind of what I mentioned above "The Kids," and "You," its to important to me. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Learning from Loss; Another Tool; No Days Off

Friday night was tough.

And after the game, I really didn't have any thoughts, I usually don't after losses.  I linger on the field... I stare into outer space... I just stand around waiting for something to settle.  A thought or feeling that can clarify what just happened. 
I heard a coach once say "I hate losing more than I love winning," and I absolutely relate to that.  
Wins never really effected, losses did.  Wins were expected, losses weren't.  When you prepare and you're confident, a loss never really enters your mind as a possibility, so when they happen, it feels surreal.  And unfortunately, I have never felt unprepared on a Friday night.  Ever.  I may have been w some teams that I knew were outgunned or maybe they had a little something we didn't, but I also felt prepared and I always, ALWAYS knew my teams had heart.  Always.  And when you're prepared and you have a an undying will to succeed, anything can happen.  Anything can happen.  Writers can post predictions, people can place bets, and those on the outside can feel how they like, but unless you're one of the 30-40-50 guys involved on what goes on under the lights and on the grass.... Anything can happen.

So I'm staring into outer space... Wondering what went wrong.
And two days later, I see... Nothing went wrong.  We just lost more opportunities than we won.  Sounds pretty simple, right? We just lost more opportunities than we won.  We lost more plays than we won.  We gave up more big chances than we made for ourselves.  Every time I say it or write it, looks so simple.
And it is, but it doesn't help when you're standing on the field as the volunteers are cleaning the sidewalks and they want to turn the lights off....

So where do we go?
What do we do after disappointment and loss?
We breathe... We take a brief pause, knock the dirt off our shoulder, and get ready to do it again, but this time smarter,  faster, harder, stronger, better.  
Today is Sunday and it's not an off day, we're preparing to meet another goal on our path of many other goals. 
Friday was a loss but not a failure.  Through loss and pain we build strength.  Through loss and pain we build endurance and our character develops a will power over time that cannot be broken.  

Practice just ended on Monday and it was by far the most competitive, intense, emotional practice we've had yet.  


I posted today "You know the pressure I feel to not let you waste $10 on a bad workout?  Imagine how hard I'd work to not let you waste $200,000."
I wrote that while on break at Hondros... which is Real Estate school and by Christmas, I'll a licensed Real Estate Agent.

Someone asked "Why," and I have a few different answers but #1, definitely lays with my passion, which is customer service.  I truly LOVE being a part of a process that helps guide people through a situation.  When I worked in gyms, I knew most people were probably intimidated or didn't know what to do and had troubles getting comfortable.  I loved giving the tours and machine intros and helping them ease into the gym.  Same goes here, buying a home is a HUGE decision and people will feel unsure and intimidated and worried and I'll be excellent at covering those bases to help people ease their minds and help them make excellent decisions.  I have no doubts.

Selfishly, I have another reason.  My favorite clients have been wedding parties and pre/post pregnancy mothers.  Why?  Even though its a very small role, I love having that role in helping people feel awesome about their day.  One of my first clients was a girl named Julie, back in the Fitworks days.  Julie was engaged to be married about 7 months after we met and all she wanted was to look amazing in her dress.  So she came in one day with a pic of the dress and explained how it would fit and how she wanted certain body parts to look a certain way and so on.  7 months later... she looked gorgeous!   
So there are wedding parties, step 1.  Then babies is probably step 2 (at some point), and step 3?
Well, a personal trainer is kinda worthless when it comes to step 3 so I'll step out of the Nike shorts and learn to tie a tie :)  and you can bet a whooooole lotta money I'm going to bust my butt to make sure you're stepping through the doors of your dream home when the time comes.


As I'm sitting through day 2 of a 9 hour class... I started getting antsy and I thought "THANK GOD I DONT WORK IN A CUBICLE!"  Because eventually my leg started tapping and I started playing some drums with my highlighters and on break I wrote up my workout... which was still about 5 hours away!  Uh Oh.  I was feeling like a trapped gorilla!  So when I got home, I changed clothes and took off on a nice run, pulled out the kettles, loaded up the bench and let loose. 
Check out the Primal Bells at www.onnit.com

Monday - Power Vinyasa w Lindsay, 6:15-7:15
Tuesday - SAME (subbing for Alex)
Wednesday - Primal Strength Training w Jason, 6:30-7:30
Thursday - Power Plus/BOGA w Jason, 6:30-7:30


Last topic, inspires by this mornings post to Kristin.

I was listening to podcast while shaving last night.  Three guys, talking about anything and everything.  Somehow, they got on the topic of depression and people being disconnected.  The discussion went on and one guy said "it's a love issue... People are too busy or too cool or too scared to openly confess positive, loving emotions.  Anyone will tell you to F off, but few will say they love you, even if they do."
And it's so true for a lot of people and something that's definitely settled w me lately.  I've never been a hugger, but recently, they've been popping up!  No clue how, but the handshake just looks and feels lame, so I go for a hug!  So weird how it's come along but I'm not fighting it :) if you go for a shake, get ready for a big papa bear hug!

So cheer, sing, dance, celebrate, hug, love, high 5, embrace... Enjoy it all, full go.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Connected, Turned On, Cranked Up (not a fitness blog)

(As the training and atmosphere has evolved, so has the blog.  I apologize in advance for not writing about push ups and sprints all the time.)

The more I move along, I learn/accept/understand how important connections are to our state of mind and probably overall well being.  I guess it could be just me, but the more I write and share, the more people tell me how much they relate, so I use "we," and "our," and "us," much more often.  
And even in using those words, they're "connecting," adjectives... So that's where my mind is.
Which is ironic and difficult for me sometimes.  Because the thing I need most is the thing I actually avoid out of fear.  Why?  When I was younger, I struggled w keeping energy low and chill, so my instincts are to crank it up and look to maximize every opportunity and push the envelope, however possible.  Over time, I realized a few things, A) it's really annoying :) and B) not every moment has to explode through the sky the way I was always aiming.  Basically, I felt a little like an alien... So I pulled away and hid a bit.   I felt out of place. Like http://youtu.be/Cy6iwP9Ux3A

I'd get invited out... I'd make up an excuse to stay home. (As I'm writing, our lady peace's live version of "innocent" came on the pod for everyone to hear - http://youtu.be/MpFfLO9cSRc).

But something crushed that this summer... A few things actually.  Like a giant came through and smashed all my little hiding places and  I somehow plugged back in... Through music, through training, through experiences, they were all sending me messages and signs.   Everywhere I went, I was reading "come back," and "get out of the damn house."  I mentioned a few blogs ago about my delay in deciding to coach and I've thought about quitting training many, many times... But it all settled and I realized something's that were very hard to realize younger.  I'm needed here.  
At first read, you may have read that like I'm being egotistical, but I'd say the same thing about you too.   You're needed here.  
I ignored that for a long, long time... I refused to believe it.  You may call it a "self worth," issue, I'm fine with that.  Exposing insecurities builds strength and I have zero issues exposing my flaws or insecurities.   

"Wrap it up!"
The connection... It's fresh air.  The more we talk, the more we share, the better we are.  I truly believe that.  Even on a weirdo, deep level that I love to dive to... Let's say the yoga world :) moving together, breathing and sweating... That's awesome :) Saying something that sparks a thought to ten people and they're all on this epic level... God, that's amazing to witness.  

I'm making more of an effort to get back to my true inner voice and further... No more caution lights, dive into what you fear and really feel it. 

Of course, my mind is all on this "primal theory," of who we are or what we are as humans, developing and evolving.  I referenced above "fresh air," and how refreshing conversations and connections are.  I believe that's so crucial to full fill our lives.... To talk and share thoughts and feelings... Eye contact... Body language... Breath... Open expressions of experiences... Empathy and sympathy... It's all needed, like air.

At the top I said "as I move along..."
Because it's a path, a journey, with so much to experience along the way.  If you keep your head down or cut yourself off from society and people, you're going to miss the fun.  
Where are you connecting?
Where are you avoiding connections?

If we were reaching, what could this have to do w fitness?
Maybe energy level would be higher, lower anxiety or stress levels.  Those three things right there could recenter your focus and get you headed in a better direction.

Shed the ego, expose yourself, and live freely.

Peace, love and empathy.

Thursday, September 26, 2013


(Writing this from my phone app.  Please excuse any typos.)

I recently shared my little back issue and the hurdles and issues it created, then the "rehab," process (acupuncture).  Since that day, a little over 1 week ago, I've run about 15 total miles.  Not a lot but it is considering I wasn't able to run one 14 days ago and had zero miles the previous 2 months.
Now... It's all I want to do.  Obviously I can't be a dummy, I need to ease back in, change form a little and be careful w the back/hips to not slide backwards.  I've shortened my "stride," and more careful of how I plant and push.  (Btw, I placed stride in quotes because when your run is more of a mediocre home run trot... It's not much of a stride.  I have stumpy legs.). 
Anyway... During my runs, listening to a podcast or the new (and awesome) John Mayer album, I'm noticing things.  I used to run w the intention of hitting x amount of miles.  Now, I'm just running for enjoyment and literally enjoying it, big time.  My moderate pace, feels like a nice jog.  I'm running around the city just to run down streets I've never been on.  I'm doing at night because... Well, that's when I get home, but also, it's just prettier and quiet.  There aren't as many cars out... The sun is down, the stars are out and there's a calm in the neighborhoods. I'm appreciating the experience much more for just being a calm, simple, relaxing experience and break from the day... To just breathe and move. 

That's what's kinda funny about injuries or catching a little flu bug... You appreciate your health more.  Feeling good now, I want to be smart and take advantage, to not slip back.   To not take health for granted... And that means time as well, we all know it's limited and valuable.  
I meet people, able bodies... And they're in some lala land thinking their diets and lifestyle is going to keep them strong into their 40's, 50's and beyond... They'll figure it out.  

If you're reading this and not quite tapped into your "you," not quite plugged into those thoughts you have but not put the action to...  Think about it.  Think about your life, your goals, things you want to achieve or experience.... Go for walk and think and feel.  
Ask yourself why. 
Ask yourself what needs to happen to get it rolling.
It might be health related, it might be going back the school or moving out of your parents or anything.   
Goals are inside and they want out, they want to live too.  Let them out and experience it all.  
Inside is the artist of your life... Paint your picture with no fear.  

One day, this back injury may creep back and I'll regret NOT running.  

**Addition - last night at football, we end w some brief position mtgs and talk for a moment, I'm w the linebackers.  
I say "the seasons half over... Counting summer ball, we've been together about 7 weeks... We have 6+ a playoff run left.  Use this home stretch as motivation to want to work harder for and w each other.   Seniors, your run is coming to a close soon and the time will fly... Don't regret NOT working hard.  Underclassmen, this is a great opportunity to work w a unit like this... Enjoy the ride and give everything you can to the moment, to the team, for yourself and yor friends."
That's one of the beauties of a season, you know when it's coming to an end.   It forces you to appreciate the subtleties that much more.  Every day is loaded w unique experiences that won't happen again.  
The leaves start to change... The air smells different.., the sun goes down a little earlier everyday.  
Soon, it'll be winter and we'll wonder where another season went...

Saturday, September 21, 2013


I don't think I really touched on the subject often, but up until about 6 days ago, I was having some pretty serious back issues.   Because of the type of pain I was feeling, I was sure it was a pinched nerve... you know, plus we all have x-ray vision and can diagnose ourselves?  Anyway, the pain was sharp, real sharp.  I had trouble standing from a seated position, body weight squats hurt and getting out of bed in the morning was very painful.  Running was impossible.  Planting the right foot with any force at all sent a lightening bolt into my back and hips.
I went to the chiropractor a couple times and it felt ok, but the pain never really faded.
One day I thought "Why the heck haven't I ran this past Jared???"

A few years ago, I was having similar pains plus some.  Doctors and pills and treatments weren't doing a thing, so I found Jared West and tried acupuncture.  Jared is by far, one of the most intelligent and interesting people I've ever had a conversation with.  I cant wait to get the podcasts rolling just so I can hang with him and ask 1,000,000 questions.   So we met a few years back and like magic, he fixed me up.  No meds, no back cracking, no massages, just these teeny tiny needles that I never really felt.  He poked them in, I chilled out for 20 minutes, he pulled them out and that was that.  (Through out talks, he sent me to my first yoga class and we know how that turned out).

So I emailed him a few weeks ago telling him whats going and he said "Come on in, we can probably fix that in one session."  One session?  I can barely move!  We'll see about this.
I went in, we ran a few "tests," I guess you can call them, he worked his needle magic and the next night I ran 3 miles for the first time since probably May or June.
Now, its obviously not "needle magic," its a science of sorts.  If you're unfamiliar, acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine where certain points of your body are activated or stimulated with the needles.   I don't know which areas are designated for which issues, that's Jared's expertise, but you can probably google a body map and see it.
This is just one more example of what I always say, our bodies are incredible and we have everything we need right here.  We just need the tool kit and knowledge to tap into it all.  When our minds and our bodies are clear and in sync... anything, absolutely anything can happen.
I highly recommend Jared to everyone I know.


This is my first season back in coaching since Joe Paterno passed away.
(I pause after writing that... and tear up a bit)
Its kinda crazy... I didn't play a down for him but I felt very attached to his program, his philosophies... his story... his legacy, everything.  I've worn blue and white for as long as I can remember.
When the story broke about Jerry Sandusky and things unfolded... I was crushed.  (I met Jerry once and had a conversation about defenses and linebacker play.  He was also one of the reasons I coached and coached linebackers.)  When Coach Paterno was called out for not doing enough, then fired... that was hard.  Everything I believed, everything I tried to model myself after, was gone.  Really gone.  And when he died, I cried for a long time.  I know that sounds a little goofy, but he was my idol.  Legit.  I read every book about him.  I know his college stats from playing at Brown waaaay back in the mid 1940's.  Basically, a bunch of info you don't care to read now :)  you'll have to trust me, this guy meant a lot to me.   I'd visit the campus for coaching or lifting/training seminars and eventually annoyed the staff enough to where they would email me info or invite me up.  Seeing that field house, the weight room, the facility, and being around those coaches and that atmosphere... unreal.  Coaching football meant a lot to me and to be able to get training directly from the people I looked up to most... it couldn't possibly be any better.
To be funny and annoy my Buckeye friends, I'd carry a picture in my wallet and "accidentally," let it flop open just so they'd have to see his face.
So when it all went down... I felt my identity, my ego, was attached to that same foundation.  Its kinda of a crazy feeling when your idol crashes like that.   I really thought I was done coaching.  I lost a lot of fire when he died.  I stopped writing, I didn't train a few days, I was a little depressed.
(My thoughts are a little scrambled on this topic... I just want to keep writing about the memories and emotions)

Point is, when he died, I lost my fire.  I felt like too much of who I became, was guided by that program and if the program wasn't what I thought it was, then who am I?  One idol was a child rapist heading to prison for life, the other is accused of covering it up... I felt everything I learned there was built on lies.  I thought they stood for honor and integrity, no matter what and it helped me.  That thought, those standards, helped me become who I was, who I am... and if they lied... I just couldn't handle it.
So I didn't want to coach anymore and had a real hard time motivating teams I was working with.

A few months back, Brian (who I coached with at Ledgemont) called me, telling me he was the new DC at NDCL and would like to discuss bringing me on.  I kinda blew it off, hoping he wouldn't continue asking me.  I appreciated that he thought of me, but wasn't interested.  But Brians pretty persistent.
So I decided to meet with the head coach just to talk and feel things out.  It was extremely refreshing that we really didn't talk about football, we talked about people, we talked about kids and teaching.  Then we talked about Penn State... and I almost walked out.  A panic button went off and I thought, "Nope... lets go back home."  But we talked about it all, turns out he (Ben Melbasa, excellent, excellent coach) was also a JoePa.PSU guy growing up.  I told him my #1 goal is to find a true home in a school and never leave.  That was my inner JoePa dream.  Find a home and stay forever, be great, teach, guide, honor, integrity, leadership, honesty... and be real about it all, not just mumbo jumbo coach talk.
So I said yes to the job and there I am, coaching linebackers at NDCL.

Early on, there's a lot of teaching, mechanic wise.  Footwork, hip movement, etc.  Basic things.  But when it came to motivation and turning up the heat... I couldn't find it.  I was puttering.  I could feel it in my heart, but the words just weren't flying out the way they once did... and I started to second guess my decision.  I really beat myself up about.  I hold coaching in very high regard and I started to feel like I was ripping them off, getting paid for a job I wasn't brought in to do.  Anyone can learn the x's and o's but not everyone can actually do the job from top to bottom, I once did... I used to be able... but now I was missing my top gears!  Where'd they go?  Did the fire really fade?  Couldn't I just tap into my history and pull it out again at will?  It was gone.
A few Saturdays ago, I was able to clear my schedule and spend the day completely alone.  I walked, I read, and I walk around some more.  I didn't work, I didn't do anything distracting.  I just needed to find an avenue to hit that "CTRL/ALT/DELETE button on my brain and reset the system.
So I meditated in the am... then again in the PM... then went for another walk and sat down again in my backyard around midnight and closed my eyes again to breathe more... and it came to me.

Nothing was ever fake.  Everything I learned was still there.  Everything he said... was still true.  People make mistakes.  (pausing)
People make mistakes... that doesn't mean their words are bullshit, it just means they made a mistake.  He loved football, he loved the University, he loved his players and he loved teaching the wisdom and all the details.  Whatever it was that JoePa did or didn't do, doesn't dissolve the great things he did do, the things he did say... I let that thought marinade and run around my head and I swear, I felt lighter.  I smiled.  And my coaching greatly improved the next day and since... greatly.

(I posted today "Watching PSU now is like driving by the house you grew up in..."  theres love for the memories, but its time to find a new home, a real home... hopefully on that beautiful campus out in south Chardon)


Leadership is a tricky thing.  To lead, someone must follow.  To lead, you must be a legit leader, people have to believe you.  To lead, you have to inspire others to do the things they may think they cant, to inspire them to reach outside themselves and reach for new heights.
In coaching/training/teaching, that's the good stuff.  In those roles, you're a leader and looking to teach leaders how to be more effective.  Sometimes, you have guys/gals that think they're leaders, but no one wants to follow.  Sometimes you have guys/gals that don't think they're leaders, but they are... those are the good ones, if they can open it up and let loose.
Leaders aren't afraid.  Some may argue with that, that they're afraid of letting down the team.  But I don't think so.  You have to have guts to step to the front and be ready to fight first, the let your heart out there for others to see... that's essential.
Leadership is emotional.
Leadership is thoughtful.  
Leadership is honesty.
No holds barred, honesty.  And you cant be afraid of anything.
You cant be afraid to be wrong, you cant be afraid to fail, you cant be afraid to go too far... if you are, you inevitably will fail.  you wont break through and you'll never be great.  Harsh?  Maybe, but if you can't handle it, don't lead.

I read an old Pearl Jam article today on RollingStone.com.  They talked about in the old days, when Eddie forced the band to pull back, stop promoting, stop doing interview, stop filming videos, stopping working with ticketmaster, etc.  They said, at the time, it felt like crap and that they would fail.  Looking back, they see it saved their career and possibly their lives.  How?  Why?  Eddie is/was the leader... he knew they had to pull away from the spotlight, no matter how wrong it seemed, how many millions of dollars they would leave on the table.  He followed his vision and his heart and he was right.
(In that process, they lost the fans who only wanted radio singles and held onto those who loved the pull back into an almost underground persona of sorts... ahhhh, dont you make you smile?)

Are we ever really wrong when we do that?
Isn't that ultimately what leadership is?
If we're quiet, we hear that whisper... and if we listen, we'll be ok.  If we let our friends vote for us... eh, we might be ok, but maybe not, but then we're just a follower letting people vote on what we do.  Are we on a reality show?

Sometimes, we have to make hard decisions or do things that seem scary... that's living, that's creating the experience and that means everything.


last topic...
I'm addicted to instagram, not sure how it happened.  Annnnnnd Im pretty proud of some of my pics too :)  I have a bit of an obsession these days with landscape... it tells such a great story.  I think coaching out in Chardon (NDCL) has a lot to do with it.  Ive never coached in such a beautiful environment.  Trees allll around.  Its amazing.
I don't usually promote my social media profiles, but I like what goes on here.  If interested, here's the link.
Training pics, some personal pics, landscapes, anything I can find or come across that inspires.

Peace, love and empathy

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Excuse me, while i kiss the sky... (this blog is not for everyone and its not really about fitness)

Admit you just played a little guitar after reading that... no?  Then you need to download that song and learn the air guitar!

Anyway, I wrote something in the last blog about the natural high and its been rattling around my brain since.  The "how did it get there?" part.  Why do little things excite the hell out of me?  Literally...  My heart rate accelerates when I witness something unique, no matter how irrelevant someone may find it... I cant tell, I've never asked anyone.  Lately, the sky and clouds have amazed me every single morning.  Those I'm friends with on instagram have seen nearly every skyline I've passed over the last month.
That might be why I love working with, training and coaching kids... they're still pretty un-rattled with the daily stresses that absorb us.  They have stress, absolutely, but they also still have a sense of innocence, no matter how tough and big some try to to act.  I see the truth.

So I wrote a blog that I probably wont publish.  I tried to sit down and detail the events of my life that probably helped shape this "high," mentality.  I tried to write about all the music and why its important.  I tried to write about all the friends I've had and the relationships and the how's and why's of it all.  I tried to write about the books I've read and how I found them and what they did to me...

But none of it seemed to bring it into focus.

Then I reread, "Tick, tick, tick."
Then I reread, "when you want to succeed," and "Public Enemy #1"
And a few other old ones and it became clear.  First thing i thought was "Jeez, I really wrote some things that I used to be real shy to say out loud."  Second thing I thought was "I was pretty fired up," and I can feel that same passion in re-reading those.
Tick, Tick, Tick, probably captures it best as to the why behind my "high," and the life and the music and books and people I've known all helped shape it and bring it out.

I've accepted the clock, I always have.  I accept it and acknowledge it every day, in everything I do.  Literally.  I think all the Zen type books and Buddhism helped me settle down a bit but Scarlett says all the time, "You just do things different, you're able to flip switches and go."  I feel a deep sense of urgency to accomplish my goal list (I have two goal lists that I take pretty seriously).  Its very important to me.  I think I have time... but I don't take a single moment for granted.  Not one.  I mean that.  Every single day, I acknowledge the possibility of the end of every situation.
Every conversation I have, at some point i think "Say it... this could be the last conversation."
Every class I teach, I need to walk and calm down because at some point on the way I think, "this could be the last class."
Everything I do, I acknowledge this could be the last...
Its a desperate mindset in a way, but it really helps to force you to look around and pay attention to things you may take for granted.  
I struggle w being around people or situations that act like "there's always tomorrow."   I just can't see it that way... That type of thinking feels lazy, complacent and will inevitably lose at life.  People who "wait til tomorrow," eventually run out of tomorrow's and are left w emptiness and regret, having experienced very little.  
I want everyday to have incredible highlights and memories... People think its unrealistic... I think they're boring people.

My memory for heartfelt conversations is incredible and I haven't forgotten anything.   I have a fire inside that's burning from conversations and moments that date back to when I was too young to know how I old I was.  Trust me.  Not a bad, angry fire and not an entirely pleasant one... but an honest one.  

There are people counting on me that I cannot let down... I wont let it happen.  I see the clock in the distance and there absolutely no time to waste.
So the high... I know full well with all my heart, this is all a great gift.  Everything is.  I post things about loving my job and the people in my life... not for show :)  I truly see all of this as a gift.  Our days, our moments, our talks, our texts, our laughs and things we share.  This life is incredible.  Truly.

I didn't think Id reference music here but I wrote something above that forced a damn guitar riff into my head and I've been humming it since I wrote this line.
I don't take it personal that only 3 people will click the video but this song has been my running song since, ohhhhh, 1992 ish.  Its my alarm clock, its my centering song and brings it all into perspective and I could talk about it for hours.



These blogs would be so much better in conversation around a bonfire :)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Stop Observing/Primal Weight Class/Power Plus/Modest Mouse/Habit

It's been a little while since I've just sat down and let whatever random thoughts that have been circulating, spill onto the keyboard... 


My reference was "I feel like a 65 yr old lady."  
I don't really leave the house for much... I work and coach and that's about it.  I don't think I'm anti-social or anything like that, I think I might work too many hours and by a certain point, I just need to go home and sit down.  
But yesterday afternoon, Scarlett and I went to a flea market on E 55th and I never thought I'd say this, but it was awesome!  I loved the entire thing!  So much to see and so many cool people selling some really, really cool things.  Not junk like a garage sale or anything like that, but items that were built or collected, pieces with character and history.  People with passion and awesome energy about the things they were offering... and it felt like an offering, not selling. 
I had a brief conversation with Mike Lea who owns Black Kitten Vintage (www.blackkittenvintage.etsy.com) with his wife, Laura.  What a table they had!   I should have taken a pic to show you!  You know how sometimes you see someone selling some vintage items and its like "Eh... just old crap?"  not this table.  I seriously wanted to buy half his table.  Maybe its nerdy, but I love Polaroids and I miss flipping through a stack of pics with notes on the bottom or back.  I love the fact that you cant crop or edit or anything like that... just bam, right there, it happened and its gone.  Same with all the vinyls they were selling... something so awesome about cover art and the actual texture of the old records.  Now, we just hit "click," on itunes and we never even see the covers.   
Whens the last time you walked through a real record store, flipping through the albums or cases, coming across random names and just giving them a try because their name is cool or their cover looks amazing?  It just doesn't happen very much anymore.  This table was a throwback and this couple takes sooo much pride in their efforts and what they're offering.  
As soon I walked away from their table, a Modest Mouse lyric popped in my head, "Playing cards we all get to act sly, so much beauty it can make you cry."  (Check it out, its juts a 1:30 minute song and real catchy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCD7fbhylM0) And I just started people watching... and just stood around, watching all the people mingle and share their gifts... it was incredible.  Then I thought, "Stop watching and start interacting."  I do that too much.  I like to sit on the porch and watch cars pass... When the girls were little, i liked to walk 10 feet behind just to watch them wander and explore.... when people are rocking their workouts or yoga and I'm not needed, i step back and just observe... I need to interact more.

Then we met Paul Hanslik who owns Holly Ridge Nursery in Geneva.... again, amazing person. (www.hollyridgenurseryohio.com)  I'm not too macho to admit flowers are pretty sweet and I've never seen flowers like his!  Ever.  They looked fake, they were so symmetrical and perfect and once he started talking... he just lit up and went on and on about his process.  I have no intentions of ever doing anything like he does, but I wanted to keep asking him questions just to listen to him.  He was so passionate and knowledgeable and we bought a little arrangement he made. 

The highlight may have been the T-shirts at the Ape Made table.  I admit, I stopped because of the name and was expecting some monkey t's.  I quickly learned Ape stands for April, which was a little disappointing (but I love the name). I was really hoping she had some theory about evolution and how were all hold back our inner primate... no such luck.  But I do think if i had 30 minutes and a couple shandys, I could talk her into the theory and adding a chimp to these bad boys.  
April hand prints very awesome and custom Cleveland t-shirts.  (www.apemade.etsy.com)  Excellent quality T, cool colors and cool pics.  We bought two.  As we're talking, I'm looking at her and im thinking "this is what its all about."  This entire set up and day.  People, strangers coming together and sharing some genuine moments.  
So much beauty it can make you cry... 

I'll be going there every month if anyone ever wants to join.  We'll hit the market and lunch in Ohio City too.  Have something to drink and people watch and talk and all the good stuff.  


I dont know how it happened... I have no clue what i did, it might have been a combination of everything.  The music, the life, the decisions, the thoughts, whatever... I dont know what happened or when, but I get so high off of simple things.  Like a legitimate  goofy, mental and physical high.  It started happening after awesome workouts for myself, then they just continued all over the place.  If I have a fun conversation, I feel a  body buzz after.  If I run a sweet session... I feel it.  I'm in my garage right now with all my equipment and pretty lights in the rafters.. . I ran in to get a water and Scarletts just staring at me like Im up to something... Nope, just high on life!  And often it feels very literal, pretty incredible feeling.  
I wish I knew where to connect the dots and share... hopefully this all winds up creating that path for someone somewhere.


Started a new class this past week and it was pretty awesome.... Pretty sure we'll need a word count on "awesome," this blog but honestly, thats how things are feeling.  
Its called "Primal Weight Training," and runs from 6:30-7:30 on Wednesday evenings.  I'm basically throwing the word "Primal," in front of everything I'm doing, if it fits.  (If you need explanation about my "primal theory," read this blog.   I just have this need to draw a line in the sand vs others in the industry.  Not being a douche but still, this stuff is very different and I'm very experienced at doing it.  This first session we ran was beginner in terms of exercise selection but not with the intensity.  I've been running sessions like that since 2002 so I knew how it would go and the group responded how they always respond, they kicked ass and we enjoyed every minute of it.  That style of session is going to show tremendous results for everyone who stays consistent with it and I think it will evolve and grow.     

The class is nearly 100% weights and I best describe it as, if you were a 1 on 1 client and we only saw each other once per week, great chance this is what we'd do.  
Obviously, when working with 1 on 1's, the sessions are designed specifically for the goals of that one client and not a group but still.  There are certain exercises that do certain things. Movements and exercises that help increase your bone density, something women need to pay special attention to.  Movements and exercises that help improve testosterone levels for men.  Movements and exercises that help crank up your metabolism  that adjust imbalances and joint pains, etc.  This is what we'll be doing. As the participants gain experience, I'll be writing up 2-3 different sessions every week so that when new people come in, they have their session and the experienced will have theirs.  They may be very similar and everyone can definitely still train with friends, but the weights and intensity may be different.   
Those who know me from the 1 on 1 format or athletes who have trained with me in the past, this is the class you were waiting for and I'm absolutely 1000% confident in the results it will bring.  


Speaking of Modest Mouse.... 
I was texting with Alex the other day and we were talking about music and Bright Eyes and found out we were at the same concert... probably 10 years ago.  And in thinking of it, it made me nostalgic for finding great music and then that awesome experience of seeing that act live.  Right now I'm listening to Bright Eyes "Road to Joy," probably my favorite song of his.... but so hard to rank these things.  What an underrated guy... but I think he likes it like that.  Which he kind of says in this song (ironic).  
Read between the lines on that one? :)


Power Plus/BOGA is also back on the schedule, Thursdays at 6:30pm.  This class used to give me some anxiety.... Id think "Dont suck, dont suck, dont suck," for about 3 hours leading up to class.  Now my thoughts are "Lets rock this and have a blast." So Im pretty confident in this one too :)


I'll be working to blog more often and much honest and open moving fwd... Somewhere above, I referenced this "high," Ive stumbled on to...  I feel if i don't at least try to share some thoughts and experiences with true honesty and without fear, then whats the sense of any of this?   So many times, I write things about myself and to myself but people tell me how they relate to them.  And when blogs are reaching 100+ every time... that's a pretty cool thing.  Sharing honestly.  
I daydream now of way to incorporate the music and the people I talk about... the bring it live in a way.  So that's where the "blogs," are headed.   I want to reference a song and have the audio available.  I want to start my own podcasts and have all these awesome people I know on with me and just let it rip.  Too many things are buttoned up and vanilla.  I want to have some fun and create some things and try to do some different things... even if it flops and it just ends being for my own fun... who cares?  Right?  I want to look back at the end of the ride and have stories and experiences to tell.
Ever hear that cool old guy tell stories about the good old days of sitting on the couch and all those memories from the television?  
Me neither.  
I want to blow televisions up :)  anything that distracts us from us... I want to take it down.  Whatever that may be... a mental distraction, a habit, misinformation  whatever.  Anything and everything.  

...change your mind.


I am so pumped for tomorrow morning... Its just a Monday.  And I want to create something every single day.  

This Is Blue Chip