Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Quick one (a story in progress and money)

I have a "client," (I'm still uncomfortable with that word.)
There's a new Blue Chip Member (I like that better) that I've been working w a for a few weeks now. We met and the hard part was already taken care of, she was committed. Often, getting someone to buy in and commit themselves to training is actually the hard part. But we met, we talked and she was ready to get after it.
Everything I said, she did. It starts w goal sheets and laying out the nutrition plan. Both were ready to go by session #2 plus she had an equally motivated training partner so a nice path was already in place.
We began to start the work and one week after another, success and success and great stories after another.
One day, I noticed her notebook that she keeps EVERYTHING in. She always has it but I never said anything about it. (Btw, I love notebooks and jotting down ideas and goals). So she was telling about a recent accomplishment and I referenced her notebook and said "You're going to have a great story to tell."
And it's not about the actual notebook, it's about her journey. Notebook or not, she's creating a great story.

Are you?
Are we creating great stories or watching?


I had another conversation recently about "business." Someone said "I hope you are making some money... I want you to stay motivated to continue."
It would've bad timing to say "money doesn't motivate me."
I know he didn't mean it as far as I took it but still.

People who are in this line of "work," and who operate with a true and honest intention, aren't motivated by money, status, size of the room, size of the company, size of the staff, size of the client base, it doesn't matter if there's 3 people or 80, a room that's 20x40 or 100x40, I could be at a park, the beach, a room in the middle of an old warehouse with volleyball noise all around :) or the 10th floor of a downtown office building... My heart is coming out in this next session. Money couldn't possibly make that happen.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


I've always said -
Through the personal training, the bootcamps, the yoga... If it ends, when it ends, I want to be able teach enough so you're able to do it all over again on your own or with your friends and family.

The #1 thing you need, is an insane level of commitment. That's why I post "When you want to succeed as bad you want to breathe," as often as I do.
I somehow had that mentality as a young guy, many years ago :) Andy has it. You might, i just don't you the way i know andy. Just a lights out, F this, it's happening and not a damn thing is going to stop me mindset.

Commit. Anything you want, anything you want to see happen, commit fully and it will happen.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Be A Magnet And Attract Your Life

Many interesting and fun conversations have been popping up lately.  Interesting conversations, books, music, documentaries.

(These thoughts may spill out at random but I think it will make sense before its over.)

A while back, I wrote about a Jim Rohn audio I listened to where he instructed how to make a list of goals.
1) Get out a notepad or journal.  (Jim Rohn is huge on journal-ling and its something I need to be better at.  The benefits could be a difference maker.)
2) In your journal or notepad, write 50 goals.  It doesnt matter how big or small, how realistic they may seem or how simple or how large or small.  The first 50 things that pop in your head, write them down.
3) Once you have your 50 goals, separate them on another page into 1 year goals, 5 year goals, 10 year goals and greater than 10 year goals.
4) On another sheet, pull the top 5 of each category and write them down.
You now have a very well defined list of goals.  Its very exact and well thought out.

Now the magic... that list of goals will become a magnet. Your list, your action of writing them down will now attract them.  Sounds crazy?

I did this a few months back, probably last summer.  Want to see my top 5?  I achieved them all already.  The first 5 things that popped in my head, happened and they were not "gimmes," far from it.  Do I think I'm special?  Heck no.  But I believe in the power of attraction.  The power of your own thoughts, creating your world and reality.
Simple example we can all relate to: Have you ever thought of someone  then within moments, they text/call/email or even show up?  Its not a coincidence.  I know to some people that can sound very crazy and someone reading this is probably thinking "oh boy, hes finally lost his mind!"  But I do not believe in coincidences   I believe we create situations with the power of our thoughts.  Its something I often touch on in these blogs and circle around but never quite say/write.

Think about this:  Have you ever seen a negative, pessimistic  unorganized, mopey millionaire?  I haven't, and I know a couple millionaires.  Granted... they're happy because they're loaded!  But A) money doesn't make people happy and B) people do not achieve success in life by moping around, kicking rocks and staring at the ground.  They become successful by having goals and making their dreams become a reality.

I highly recommend starting your goal sheet right away.  Find a nice piece of paper or even go out to a store and by a nice, attractive journal, something that you'll look fwd to writing in, and get it started.

Now, two paragraphs above I wrote "having goals and making their dreams become a reality."  I once wrote something like - We all have goals.  The difference between us is the length of the imaginary line between seeing our goals in front of us and how we decide to move towards them.

Think about that for a second.  Imagine a goal out there on the horizon or however far you may see it, the goal that popped in your head may be sitting a few feet away.  The difference between you and that goal is a plan and then executing that plan into action.

Executing the plan will take persistence, patience and perseverance and not sitting on your ass.
(Side story - years ago, after high school, I worked in a car dealership.  And I talked A LOT.  I was very annoying.  Actually as I think about it... I'm still annoying, but now I have an audience that kinda likes it when I get annoying :)  Back then I was some 19-20 year old big mouth trying to motivate a bunch of guys in a parts warehouse and mechanics!  One day I was talking about something, I have no clue what and I wrote a huge P on the dry erase board and added the "ersistence, atience, erseverance," next to it and it stuck with me.)
Anyway, PERSEVERANCE.  Have a plan, keep it moving, have unlimited effort,  know your surroundings, try to see the pitfalls before you fall. And if you fall PERSIST!  You cannot give up.  Ask yourself "How bad do I want it?"  If you only so-so want it... go home.  If you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe... hhhmmm.  And as you move along on the path towards your goal, be patient but not slow.  Be mindful, but not a full time "watcher."  Learn as you move and grow, that's evolution (baby! - Pearl Jam fans get that reference.)

Personal note:
As time moves along, I'm always in awe when I find music or a documentary that references something else I'm into.  An example, I read a book a long time ago about the ego and how the ego is not real but a mask we wear.  And we can have different ego's depending on our environment   Some egos/masks have beneficial factors and some have negative factors.  All in all, understand they are not our true selves, and understanding and learning and accepting the difference between an ego and whats true, can take years and even longer and some people never learn the difference or are happy living in their ego.  I was like that for a very very long time, but I didn't know it.  I knew I had "moods," or situations that changed my behavior but i didn't really pay it any attention, it was just how it was.  Once I learned this and began studying myself and my own behavior and asking "why?" to myself... things became more clear.  Ask "why did I say that?" and "what made me feel that way?"  Self analyzing is crucial, but do not beat yourself up.  Just ask why, listen to the answer, accept it, let it go and move on.

My example is, I grew up listening to two bands.  Pearl Jam and The Doors. There was always a strong attractive quality for me towards their lyrics (don't get me wrong, when Pearl Jam goes off... I just got goose bumps).  In "Last Exit," he sings "Let the sun climb, oh burn away my mask... shed my skin at last."  My interpretation looking back at it was that he was referring to his ego and there are several other references to this throughout the albums, mostly from Vitalogy on through.
Speaking of "through," and then ill wrap up this crazy long blog... Jim Morrison is extremely underrated.  In my opinion, 75+% of his lyrics (and life) were referencing "unlearning," and erasing the bullshit from our minds.  Ironically,  "Break on Through (to the other side,)" actually came up in a conversation this week when I was speaking with Glen, the jump coach at Eastside.  We were talking about training and athletes and eventually steered the conversation to yoga, of course, and our "breakthrough," moments we have on the mat, in life, on the field, at work, all over.  We break on through.  That same night, I actually had that song in my playlist along with some Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Hendrix and Zeppelin but changed at the last minute.  Not a coincidence.    

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Money & Status

There are things in life we learn to accept. Unfortunately, one of those things is the fact that a lot of people are only driven by money and status and that's something I need to be better at accepting.  I need to find a perspective that allows me to recognize, accept and let it go.  Right now, I'm not there. 

I understand, we have bills to pay. We have rent or a mortgage, probably a car payment and some other random bills, so I get it. We need "jobs," that pay those bills. We also need a "job," to support the life we dream of living. We want to go on vacations and see the world. We want a certain style home and car. I have my own opinion on "supporting the life," but that'll be for another entry. I'm just saying, I understand the need to make a certain amount of money.

But when is enough, enough? 
When do our decisions and habits change because we've grown so money hungry that we lost sight as to why we do what we do?

No sense in beating around the bush here, clearly my easy reference point is the fitness (gyms, trainers, ALL studios, instructors, etc) industry and I've never been shy to blast those who have changed their approach to their business based on their need to increase their own personal funds.  (Last time I touched this topic I received a couple angwy wittle phone calls and a visitor ✌)
It's a personal business.  People say business isn't personal... Bullshit.   People come into gyms, fitness centers, and studios often looking for something they don't have, or don't think they have.  They shouldn't be jerked around and taken advantage of financially or emotionally by companies (or trainers/instructors) looking to do nothing but increase their bank account. 

If I make $1,000,000 dollars doing this, I did something wrong. If that sounds really backwards to you... That's ok.

If your prices increased to accommodate your personal plans and support and lavish lifestyle, you're not someone I want to work with.  I know that reads/sounds crazy.  

As for status and recognition and ego... If you do what you do, whatever the field it is, to see your name on some screen, you probably need to talk to someone who can help guide you to figuring out those issues. Think about it. Trust me, I have my own issues but it's just the opposite (i don't want my name out there, I want the logo there) and I'm sure a shrink or someone could analyze it and that's fine.

Do you love people and service?
Or do you love money and ego?

I know this entry had a little "bite," to it but like I said in the top, I'm searching for an answer.  I see people in this industry making "money moves," and not necessarily doing what's best for the people they serve and I struggle keeping quiet about it.  

I get it, we're all who we are and creating our own path.  But finding more people for this tribe would be comforting.  

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Just do it

I overheard a conversation last week where a small group of people were talking about a friend.  I heard them say "What is she so upset about? She has a great job, she has plenty of money, she has a sweet car and a hot boyfriend!"

At some point in the day, I came across this pic and posted to the Power Room page.  Very fitting.
Why do people think "happiness," is wrapped up in owning things or obtaining a level of success or a car or a purse or a tan or a job or clothes or your bank account?

We're all in a search for happiness.  We think "hhhmmm maybe if this happens, I'll be happy!  It'll be the last thing I need and then BAM, it'll happen!  I'll be happy!"  Maybe I need a new job, then I'll be happy.  Maybe I need a new television?  That might make me happier!  Maybe I need to go out and drink!  That will make me really happy!

When its over and our money is gone and we have a headache and a bunch of crap and hating the new job.... we're still wondering where happiness is hiding.
Reminds of that John Mayer song "Somethings Missing." Actually... it really reminds of that song.  Its about being unhappy and you cant figure out why so you shop and try to find something, anything that could fill that void and make you happy. 

And like my references to training and everything else, I'm on the path too.  I haven't figured it all out yet, any of it really, I'm just writing away, having conversations, getting engaged in some conversations to ease the road, doing different things, diving into myself a little, trying to figure some things out, you know?  So don't think I write these like I'm pounding my chest and while selling you my "Blue Chips 10 Steps to Eternal Happiness Guide..." because that book isn't coming out any time soon... maybe one day :)


This past weeks Yoga BootCamp homework was to, is to, setting a goal to go out and find people to help.  To find someone who needs "picked up."  To find someone who needs a friendly conversation or a favor or anything and to do it with no intention of receiving anything in return.  Just do.  If you see someone upset, pick them up.  If you see someone who needs help, just help.  Don't ask, just do.  

In the beginning, I was a little concerned that people might think I was coming off preachy and find it all annoying... then I thought "why would they?" and really haven't given it much thought since.  Why not have a quick convo about helping people?  We talk about goals, we talk about work, we talk about what we buy, we talk about everything, so why not this?  

I referenced "Waiting On the World to Change," a few blogs ago... We cant wait on it.  We cant sit around, watching the things we see on the news and letting it bring us down, wondering when things will change.  If we want change, we have to change.  I know that sounds crazy... we think "How is my behavior going to help anything of any significance?"  First off, how do you define whats significant to you?  For me, i have the opportunity to train over 350 high school and junior high kids every year, over 100 sessions, plus all the adult classes plus all the 1 on 1's plus all this Facebook and twitter nonsense... that's nice size audience.  If I can motivate 10% of that audience into being a little more mindful with their decisions, that's significant.  Just knowing one person attempted what we talk about on Monday nights, that's significant. People think what they do doesn't matter, they're wrong.  If you think what you do, doesn't matter... you're wrong.  Someones watching you.  Someone looks up to you.  You are someones leader and inspiration   So lead, inspire.  Why not?  

Sitting back and watching the news, complaining, crying, bitching... its a complete waste of time. 
We cant change the entire world.  But we can change our world.  You can change your world.  Its like everything else, you just have to go do it.  

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Dear Parents/Coaches!!!

Dear Coach, Dear Parents!!!
(This is so long over due)
Parents first since they're actually making a real solid effort to get rid of good coaches with their annoying politics and middle school antics.
#1 - In terms of athletics, parents need to step back and let their kids be kids, whatever that may mean and its probably on an individual basis. That may read very broad and general but you need to think about it. Actually don't think about it. Here's what I want you to do, just go to practice and watch from afar. Don't stand their offering advice, don't bother making your presence known, go be a mom or dad and sit down and just watch your kid play their sport and participate in practice.
#2 - Believe it or not, the coach doesn't need your tips or input. If you want to coach, sign up and do it. Otherwise, see rule #1, by some popcorn and take a seat.
#3 - DO NOT undermine the coach at home or to the other players/kids on the team. Again, the coach is the coach for a reason (more on that below), and you're the parent. So try coming up with a much more constructive way to communicate any issues their may be other than bad talking the coach. Once you start doing that, you set up excuses for not only that season/sport but also for every other season/sport or even job that comes up down the road. Ever have a job where you didn't see eye to eye with the boss?
#4 - If you have a problem with the coaching style, schedule a meeting to talk about this in private, and not in front of the team or other parents. Strong possibility, calling out the coach after a tough loss is going to have some high emotions attached to it. Do everyone a favor and send an email like this, "Hi Coach, I was wondering if we could set up some time this week to talk about some things that are going on?" Any coach who cares will schedule that asap. (More on coaches who care below).
#5 - You probably weren't the All-State athlete your memory likes to pretend you were, so please don't push it on your kid. And if you know you fell short, don't push that on your kid either.
The coach is the coach, the player is the player and your job is to be supportive, give positive/sound advice, and car pool if necessary. That's it.
Personal note: I played a few sports growing up and like to think I could hold my own. I also have two daughters. If they don't want to play sports, fine. If they do, fine. Will I ever have an issue with a coach? Maybe. Will I have an issue with my kids not being athletic enough to fill some void I have? No way. I see it a lot. Too much actually. Some "has been," dad trying to mold his kid. I see dads trying to train their kids... it really makes me sad inside. Go be a dad and get out of here. A) you're risking injury and B) they don't need you for this. Any kid that ever signs up with me, I always ask "Who signed you up?" If they signed up on their own, good. If mom or dad did... I dive in to find out where they're all about because I'm not going to be an extension of some crazy parents wishing their kid was headed to a D1 scholarship when its just nor realistic.
And if the coach signed you up.... good :)
Now coaches...
#1 - BE A COACH, NOT A BFF! This drives me crazy! These kids have plenty of friends, they don't need someone coming in trying to be Mr or Mrs Cool talking about JWOW or whatever other dumb ass show they're watching now. Be a coach.
A coach should be an extension of a parent and teacher. Its fantastic "x," factor position and its not for everyone. Theres a great chance, you actually have something they need very badly... playing time and everything it involves. No one signs up to ride the bench, they want on the floor and its your job to get them there and help them find moments of greatness. So because you have what they need, you have leverage which is something teachers and parents sometimes don't. Because of that leverage, you can now guide things in the class room AND at home. Coaching really is a very special position so ask yourself... Does the job stop when the seasons over? Does it stop when everyone goes home or when the games over? No. Why?
Because you need to improve the way you ask your athletes to so...
#2 - Go to clinics! Unless your last name is Wooden, Lombardi, or Jackson, strong possibility you have more to learn. My old coach told me "There is always something to learn. No matter how smart you think you are, no matter how long you've been doing this, theres always something new to learn." So get your head out of your ass and start googling clinics to attend. The future of your team is depending on it! Do you want those parents emailing you to meet? Heck no! Get it together or they will be.
#3 - Dress the part! Nothing pisses me off more than seeing a coach trying to dress cool with jeans and a crooked hat and a piercing. Are you a coach or a very unattractive abercrombie model? No ones there to look at you so save the effort. If you need help, call me. Ill hook you up with a very comfy Blue Chip hoodie for $30.
#4 - Do your job.
Your job is not to win games. If you think it is, you're coaching for the wrong reason. Your #1 job is to help get the kids ready for whatever is next. If your coaching middle school, get them ready for high school. If you're coaching high school, get them ready for life after high school.
Coach responsibility, accountability, respect, work ethic and maturity. You tell me this... how awesome is 8-2 or 10-0 or 22-8 or a state title if your starting linebacker or point guard gets arrested a few weeks after the season? Are you still coach of the year now?
Personal note:
Growing up, I was a Penn state fan. Someone asked Joe Paterno "Whats the best team you ever coached?" He said something like "Ask me in 20-30 years when we see who became a doctor, a lawyer... when we see who the good fathers are. That'll be my best team." Not many days go by where I don't think about the guys Ive coached... some great, great guys. Wins and losses never meant a thing to me. I think some enjoyed that approach, some didn't. I actually don't care one bit because I know with all my heart that the guys that really listened and worked on things are on their way to greatness now, when it really matters, not on a football field 7 years ago, but now.
AND if any of this offended you... good. Because you're that coach or that parent. Know your role and do your job.  We're doing this for kids, not so you can brag and act like a moron. 
Oh yeah, parents and coaches CANNOT criticize the trainer for any reason!  :)  I'll write the trainer rules next when Im really ready to have everyone hate me.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Why is it relevant?

There have been a few times recently where someone asked how and/or why I started getting into this. I know I've written about it so I went back through all the old blogs looking to just repost it but couldn't find the full story, just references to the year I started training.


Maybe 1998 or 99... Hard to remember. I was a year or two out of high school and not really doing much. Not doing anything really. I didn't go to college and worked at a local car dealership in the city I lived. Well, not doing much may not be true, I was doing a lot of eating and drinking.

In high school I was around 260 but somewhat solid. I had some chub but I wasn't sloppy. Within a few years after, I somehow ate and drank myself to around 325lbs without noticing. I remember looking in the mirror one day and seeing a stretch marks on my side... That was a low point but somehow still not a wake up call.
(That last sentence alone just made me stop typing for a second... Imagine that. You think you're "ok," then you look in the mirror and see stretch marks on your "love handles," and it NOT bother you. Seems unreal.)

I probably had quite a few moments that should've gotten my attention and made me change things but it didn't happen. I truly have no clue where my head was and what I was thinking back then. I guess I needed that moment to absolutely slam me in the face and knock me out hard... A moment that changes things.
It eventually happened and I'm thankful for it. I experienced that "rock bottom," moment where you sit and your completely beside yourself and there's only one thing to do... Change.

I joined a local ballys w a friend who also needed to lose some weight. We pulled a few workouts out of magazines and started doing what we thought was best, the typical Monday-Friday, chest, back, legs, shoulders and all that, straight sets w some cardio.
I remember trying to run 1 mile... I couldn't do it. I jogged a little then my feet cramped and I was breathing heavy and wanted to quit. Even worse, the track was surrounded by mirrors and I had to see myself the entire time... That was hard. But I didn't quit.
I went out and bought better shoes.

Being consistent was important. Some days I would try to run a little, some days I would swim, some days I would elliptical. All with little success. I was eating better, i was "working out," and I was hitting the cardio... Or so I thought.

One day, two guys approached me and asked to see my workout. They said something like "hey, we see you here all the time..." And basically said "throw this bullshit away, you're wasting your time." They weren't trainers or at least they didn't try to sell me anything. They met me the next day w a new workout plan.
No more swimming, no more elliptical, just run. No more straight sets, no more bicep curls, just big fast lifts. Squat, bench, deadlift, pulls and tinker in a few random moves and again... RUN.
I didn't miss a day. They told me what to do and I did it. If I had a question, they helped.

I think I started my training in the fall and by June, I was 90lbs lighter right around 230-235lbs.

Why is that event relevant?
I was extremely obese, 325lbs. Thats not attractive, thats not healthy, thats not safe.
I hit the bottom and fought. I ate salads and protein shakes everyday. I measured out my meals, every meal. Zero cheating. Zero alcohol.
Why is it relevant? Maybe I don't even know, maybe you know. Had I grown up ripped, maybe you'd see things different. I've always said and say "I'm on the path too." Maybe I try to get up front and lead a little but I'm on the path. I don't act like I'm too good or on another path all together. Looking at where I am now... I have about 30-40lbs to drop. Hold me accountable.
(No, do not bust my chops to jump in a boot! If I get in, it'll turn into an hour of push ups and tire flips. I won't be able to focus on the session while sweating my ass off and breathing as hard as everyone else)

Why is it relevant?
I know the struggle too. I know the pain it takes to do it. Part empathy, part ass kicker. I feel you and also know what it takes and you can't quit. A pat on the back and a kick in the booty :)

Personal note: in rereading that... In some ways I'm still living off of that. I need to do more, right now. Time for another change and another level.
New goal pic below... Hey! It's cheesy, borderline man crush, but if we're working towards a goal, it's good to have multiple inspirations, and this guy is definitely one of them.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Weakness to Strength

Last week we talked about making a conscious effort to bringing "namaste," out of the yoga rooms and into the work place, into the home, deeper into our lives.

This week we talked about "turning a weakness into a strength."

Turning a weakness into a strength is easy to locate and addressing the fitness and health sense. When we look in the mirror, we might say "I need to run more," or "I need to workout more often." If we don't feel right, we pause and usually take care of it. If we have a cold, we take medicine, if we have a headache, we take Tylenol.

But what do we do when it's about relationships in the workplace or at home or w a friend? So that's our focus this week. Lets take a moment to first acknowledge the issue, whether big or small, and think about what we can do to improve it.
A) what is it youd like to improve?
B) what is your plan to improve?
And remember, avoid pitfalls of old habits that have already lead to this "issue," needing addresses to begin with. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results... Don't go insane. Don't be afraid to do something different.

Imagine your envisioning this issue the same way you would a weight loss goal. If it were a weight loss goal, you'd wake up early in the morning for cardio, maybe workout on lunch and possibly even a third workout in the evening. Your address the issue, set a plan and work the plan. Now do that same thing for your "personal," goal.
Address the goal, set a plan, work the plan.


This Is Blue Chip