Sunday, December 28, 2014

Chubby Trainer?

The excuses and the "why's," are irrelevant.  If I thought they mattered, I'd share, but I don't feel they do.
I could talk about long work hours and body pains, but I'm going to.
I'm the big mouth that posts "No If's - No Excuses - No Bullshit," yet I've gained about 15 pounds of chub since Oct.
I can run intelligent sessions all day and help everyone get where they're trying to go, while bouncing back and forth between under eating to over eating, drinking to cleansing, training every day to missing 10 straight... what does it add up to?
To me, an irresponsible, out of control, idiot.  
If I observed as a bystander, I'd say "Ya, he knows he's shit but he can't do it for himself, so who cares?"
On a level, I know I'm hard on myself.  But on the flip side, I have to be.

So here's the deal.  I have until the end of June to lose 50 lbs, or I'll quit as a personal trainer.
As I write that, that's sad, because I shouldn't be in a position to even have 50 lbs to lose, but I am and I do.

How will I do this?
Time management:
I'll only be reserving "x" hours for training clients.  I wont be cutting anyone back or altering their programs, but I also wont be recruiting or adding classes to the schedule.  I'll need time for myself, something I'm not very good at scheduling.  I've learned this year that I have a pretty silly workaholic mind working and that needs to stop.   Again, the irony of this entire post is this, I need to start doing the things I tell my clients to do "Make time for yourself."
I'm 37 and still in a position to make some excellent changes.  I'm very confident in my genetics and work ethic so again, at 37, I know I still have time to turn a corner and finish strong.

Follow my own programs:
This is about me, training myself as my own client.  I'm putting my money where my mouth is.  First up... Taking myself through the Power Program I ran last year.  I'm extremely confident in the layout and design and I know it'll prove big results early... smart results.  I might be a little out of control in some levels of life, but if there's one thing I know, its program design and implementation of these programs.  
I have to be smart with myself.  I have to literally treat myself like a client in every way.  The trainer voice in my head needs to be present 24/7.
I'm going to print out the Power Program schedule and follow it to a T as if I've never seen it before and I'm a rookie.  (and then when I smash this goal, count on another power program launching this summer).  

Heal the injuries:
I said I wouldn't rest on these but it's a pretty legit issue and only writing about it because it'; be a hurdle to deal with.  Without being able to squat, dead lift or run, it's an issue.  I've been nursing a hip/back issue for a long, long time.  Years.  It's effected my foot and my cardio pretty substantially.  I feel I have a plan to heal well, but I also don't have X-ray glasses so I don't know exactly how fast or slow or efficient it'll be.   Getting out of a car really hurts and there are times where I cant stand up straight so again, fingers crossed for my inversion table.  So far, so good.  I've been on it pretty consistently before bed for about a month and it's helped with sleep and easing the pressure in my back.

I'm confident, but the pressures on.  I will quit if this doesn't happen, that's why I'm writing this.   I want you to know where my goals rest and why.  There's nothing more I enjoy (other than family things) than training you in the gym and running those classes.  I put a lot of energy and thought and heart into every session and every class I run.  I feel it's given me a purpose... not meeting this goal will end it for me... and that will hurt, but this is serious for me and is my absolute #1 goal as of right now.   (I just re-read that last section and got emotional... I'm kind of a bastard about sticking to my word, for better or worse, even if it hurts me.)

So sorry Joey's, sorry excellent little Chinese restaurant in the square and F you Paninis.. this is good bye.
No alcohol. No Redbull.  No candy.  No cheat meals.  No excuses.  No bullshit.  No days off.

I'll be logging this journey along with everything else in this blog.

Funny... As I wrote this, I flashback to high school awards assembly where my coach asked all the parents in attendance to "Not let him in your house unless his homework is done."  So now, I'm not leaving the gym until my own session (my homework) is done.  So if you see me, feel free to heckle me (but it better be funny or motivational).  Bother me the way I'd bother you.  I want it and need it... "it," meaning help.  

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Be The Star

We work and drive and shop and watch television... the news, world affairs, the economy, oil prices, conflict...  we have all this social media and allll these things that just go and go. Right? Busy, busy lives and brains. Days fly, as do months and then years. 

We'll reach a point where we're able to think back to experiences and moments. 
We'll think about camping trips... vacations... and laughing.  
We'll think about old friends and where we grew up... our hometown... the streets where we learned some life lessons.  
We'll remember certain things, certain people said to us... comments that became tattooed in our brains.
We'll remember love and crushes.  
We'll be relive it when a certain song comes on the radio and that one lyric can take you back to your first apartment and how you'd make easy mac n cheese before watching your show with your best friend.  

But right now... you're not there yet.  You're still writing your story.  
So who are you?  Are you writing yourself to be a back ground character?
Or are you the star?  It's ok to be the star... this is your story.  Why would you write yourself into a supporting role?  Be the star.  
Be the star to your children.
Be the star to your husband/wife.
Be the star to your friends.
Be solid.  
Be human.  

You wont remember money.  
You'll remember moments.  

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The 7 Moves You Should Be Doing (and why)

  1. This is written with the understanding that you are injury free.
  2. The moves listed below will not alone make you bigger, smaller, more tone, stronger, etc.  To achieve goals, you will need to use these moves performed in the proper set/rep scheme with proper nutrition.  Depending on goals, cardio and yoga could also be recommended.
  3. If possible, try to use a mirror or a partner to help cue your form through these exercises.
    1. I HIGHLY recommend hiring an experienced strength coach/personal trainer to learn all the movements listed below.  (Not just writing that because I am both, but because safety is essential and performing any of these incorrectly can result in injury.  

  • Back Squat
    • Approach the bar so that your head is aligned down the middle of the bar, duck your head underneath and set the bar on your upper back, not your neck
    • Stand up and take one step back.
    • Eyes set on a point slightly higher than your natural eye line, keep your chest up and shoulders back.
    • Keeping the majority of your weight on your heels, slowly drop your hips as if reaching back for a chair with your butt.  
    • Sink until your hips are as low as your knees.
    • Once there, drive through your heels and stand back up. 
    • Inhale on the drop, exhale as you rise.
      • Alternate movements: leg press; hack squat; body-weight squat; dumbbell squat (db's high); machine leg press; squat jumps; box jumps
Sarah in mid-squat.  Notice that because the majority of her weight is on her heels, her knees are in great alignment and the center of the knee is behind her toes.
  • Dumbbell Chest Press
    • Laying on your back with the dumbbells held high.
    • Feet, back, butt and head are always contacting the bench and floor (feet).  
    • Breathe in and slowly drop the dumbbells, bending your elbows and dropping them to a 90' angle. 
    • Once there, exhale and press through your palms, reaching for the ceiling.
      • Alternate movements: machine chest press; push up; barbell chest press; plyometric push ups
Perfect position at the bottom of the press.  I prefer an angle to the hands/wrists (as pictured) as well, to help influence a strong squeeze to the top of the movement.  
  • Dumbbell Shoulder Press
    • Standing with dumbbells at your shoulders.
    • Feet are set under your hips with a very slight bend in your knees.  You do not need to be anywhere near a half squat, but you don't want to stand with knees locked out.   
    • Exhale and press the weights to the sky.
    • Inhale as you drop your elbows to the same height (or slightly lower) as your shoulders, hands/weights directly in line with your elbows.
      • Alternate movements:  Machine shoulder press; barbell shoulder press; smith machine shoulder press; hand stand push ups.
The shot on the right is perfect.  In my opinion, in the pic on the left, his finish is a little low.  I prefer to teach clients to finish a few inches higher than what is shown here (elbows in line with the shoulders).
  • Walking Lunge
    • Standing tall, step out into a slightly longer stride than you would if you simply walking.
    • As your foot lands, make sure you are in balance, bend your knees and drop your hips towards the ground.  Breathe in as your drop.
    • Your body is tall, your core is tight and your eyes are fixed in front of you.  (Remember, your body goes where your eye go).
    • As you shift your hips forward, towards your lead leg, (exhale) press through your foot and stand back to a tall position.  Alternate steps.
      • Alternate movements: static lunge; single-leg leg press; step ups; lunge jumps; single leg squat.
Although the walking lunge is a very important movement, I teach the static lunge first to reinforce proper form.  The static lunge (pictured above) is similar to the walking version.  The difference is the only thing you're doing is standing up, feet aren't moving at all, and then you're bending your knees and dropping your hips back down.  
  • Seated Lat Pull
    • Prior to sitting, reach up for the bar and walk your hands out about 4 inches towards the outer edge of the bar.
    • Sit down and inhale and lean back 2-4 inches.  Eyes are focused and neck is neutral.
    • Exhale as you pull down, pulling the bar just under your chin.
    • As you pull, focus on squeezing your shoulder blades down your back, as if trying to pull your shoulders away from your ears.   
    • Squeeze your back and return to the starting position (step 2).  
      • Alternate movements:  pull ups; chin ups; supinated pull down; neutral grip pull down; single arm pull down
My cartoon friend has perfect form.
  • Dumbbell Bent-over Row
    • Standing tall with dumbbells in hand, and feet set a little wider than your hips.  Bend your knees and drop your hips as if squatting (inhale).
    • Stop your movement slightly above a half squat, pause and lean forward with a deep breath and tight core.  The dumbbells are now resting just in front of your knees.
    • Slightly arch your back and keep your core tight throughout this position.  This will help keep you from rounding your back.
    • Exhale and pull the dumbbells up towards your body.  (You can pull this weight in a variety of ways.  I prefer to teach clients to pull towards their ribs).  
      • Alternate movements; bent-over barbell row; single arm dumbbell row; seated low row
Not a huge fan of this pic but it was one of the better pics I found.  Here, I think his feet are too close and his back looks are little "archy," near the top.  I'd have him pull his blades back a bit, flattening things out.
  • Dead-lift
    • Approach the bar with your shoes laces just under the bar.  Feet are set even with your hips or slightly wider.
    • Reach high into the air, stretching your back.  Fold forward and push your hips backward while bending your knees, dropping into a perfect position (pic 2). 
    • Eyes are locked on a target in front of you.  
    • With an alternate grip (pic 1), pull on the bar slightly to remove the "slack."
    • Core tight, stand tall as you drive through your heels and pull with your hips and low back.  You should/could feel this in your quads, glutes and low back.  If you feel it too much or only in your low back, form may be off or weight could be too heavy.    
 Alternate grip, eyes are locked, slack is removed.
Same shot, different angle.  Notice how similar this is the squat.  Knees are in line, hips are back, back is flat.  Perfect set up form. 

All exercises above come a with a wide variety of alterations and adjustments 
based on specific goals.

Why were these weight training exercises selected?

A) Multi-joint movements recruit more muscle fiber.
B) Multi-joint movements burn more calories.
C) Mutli-joint movements increase bone density.
D) Multi-joint movements save time in the weight room and help to train multiple areas at once.
E) Movements like the dead-lift and squat can shape and tone your lower body, increase strength, increase speed, increase endurance and improve athletic performance.  
F) Most DB and/or standing movements also recruit your core during stabilization.
G) Multi-joint movements are excellent regardless of how you're training.  You can use these in a straight set routine or in high intensity circuit.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

"It's a mystery to me..."

-We have a greed, in which we have agreed.
You think you have to want more than you need.
Til you have it all, you won't be free.
Society, you're a crazy breed, hope you're not angry, if we disagree.
Society, crazy indeed, hope you're not lonely, without me."
Eddie Vedder (Society, from Into The Wild)


I went through, and actually still dealing with, some issues of greed, ego, power and money.... And this song has been humming along in the background.

We agreed to use paper with numbers on them as a means of bartering or trading (our money used to be based on gold, now it's based on an imaginary system that's controlled by someone else's imagination - want to debate this?  tell me how the stock market works?  tell what actually controls interest rates).
Someone or something decides our worth, our value and we agree or disagree to accept for our hours or services.  We perform whatever it is we do and collect on the agreement.
Then as we collect more paper, we place it in a bank and it's then basically points we see on the screen, like a video game.  We then trade those points for something we want or need.  "I have 2,581 points... another 7,000 or so and I'm trading those points for a new car."
All seems fair and makes sense to me.

But somehow, maybe through some type of ego driven evolution... or maybe human nature... we decided to place nearly ALL of our value, around the value/worth that we trade our time and services for, with thoughts of "I am _____," (insert job title).
And then somehow, those with more points in their game think they're worth more as people... Since "they are ____," (insert job title).
And then we even placed our value on things we trade our credits for...
We buy "things," and then defined by those items.
And who has the most "things," is the best. The winner!!
Then whoever has more of the best, is even better and then there's power.
And the more power, the more control and goes on and on.


All these metaphors I'm trying to dance around... What I'm trying to draw a picture of is the insane value we placed on money and titles.  We think WE ARE_____ based on money and objects.

I just traded my beat up 2004 Cavalier.  It was basically two tone navy blue and faded blue, rust around the gas door, and manual everything.  All the sudden with a better car... there's a different perception... "this car is more successful," someone said and I looked at him like he was crazy... It's steel and rubber and plastic just like the other w the same guy driving... I'm not _____ (insert whatever object or job title you choose).


I think it's a line in the Christmas Story, something about being in the "people business."  Businesses in general, have lost their way and its created a massive trickle down effect on society and the psyche of the great majority of the working population.   Too often, we're numbers to the machine.  Employers don't value employees, they value profit.  They don't value right or wrong, they value dollars and cents.  Businesses aren't concerned with creating atmospheres of personal growth, just financial.  And what's lost in the shuffle, is human worth and identity. 
You may find my opinion jaded.  Or you may look around at the sea of cubicles or coworkers, you don't really know.  People will come and go, and you won't notice and your job may not be effected... 
But this little ride we're on is such a small blip on the radar of time and very few of us will accomplish things that'll outlast our own breath.  
So why aren't we better to each other?

"Society, you're a crazy breed

I hope you're not lonely without me
Society, crazy indeed
I hope you're not lonely without me 
Society, have mercy on me
I hope you're not angry if I disagree
Society, you're crazy indeed
I hope you're not lonely without me"

Friday, November 21, 2014

I'm An Old Fart and Everything Was Better In The 90's!

And by everything, I mean music and sports.

Sports were better.

1) We had baseball games and dynasties people cared about.  You either loved the Yankees or you loved hating them.  Then you loved the Red Sox just because they weren't the Yankees.  Plus the Tribe was a realistic contender in the late 90's and there was pretty much nothing better than seeing Albert Belle flex at the Red Sox dug out after they requested his bat to be checked for corking... do young guys even know what that means?  Corking is something guys did to cheat that didn't involve jamming a needle into their ass or rubbing a cream on their teammates backs.
Heres Albert...
This was so awesome!  I remember watching this game.  He smashes a homer and the manager comes out to claim the bat to be investigated and he was livid!  You just saw him yelling from the dug out then busted this pose.  Epic.

2) We had Michael Freaking Jordan first and foremost.  Now, we have a superstar complaining that the season is too long.
Funny, I just finished watching a documentary on my favorite sports team of all time, the Bad Boy Detroit Pistons, and if you have any interest in seeing why todays NBA is pathetic, watch this program.  The Lakers and Celtics winning titles all through the 80's then this team of fun, wild guys comes along, starts punching superstars in the face and flips the league upside down.  And When it's over, Michael Jordan says "We never become the best team ever with having the Pistons to overcome."

Back then, teams didn't like each other.  They show Magic giving Isiah a little smooch before the game, then elbows him in the face 10 minutes later.  Now, guys have to be buddies for endorsement deals and they want to play together (we all had a good taste of that crap a few years ago).  Michael and Magic never wanted to play together, they wanted to beat each other.  The Sunday match ups between the Knicks and Bulls or the Supersonics and Rockets, would feel like playoff basketball every week.  Even when the Dream Team was created, the stories that came out of the camps were legendary.  "The most intense games I've ever played," players would say after.  And this was just practice.

Back then, the NBA was like the NFL, yes there were favorites and yes the Bulls dominated the 90's but it was always exciting, competitive, heartfelt basketball.  We had David Robinson, Hakeem the Dream, Barkley, Bird and Magic, Kemp and Payton, Ewing, Larry Johnson and Alonzo Mourning, Spud Webb and Dominique, Malone and Stockton, Michael, Scottie, and Dennis.  So many more likeable guys, very few pretty boys.   You saw the work being put in, you saw guys overcoming obstacles and breaking through.  Now?  You see new rules being written to help the points go up so they can sell more corporate level tickets while pricing out real fans.  Check the entire bottom section of Cavs games.  Are those real fans or people with a crap load of money who want to be at an "event?"  Anyone in those front seats should have to pass a Cavs exam before entering.  Who was Ron Harper traded for?  Who did MJ hit the shot over?  Name all 5 starters from the 1990 Cavs.

See the hand?  Who's is it?

I heard a guy say "LeBron is right, 82 games is too long."  Why?  Because its hard and everyone wants easy now.  It's hard for a reason.  Just like all challenges and great obstacles and once you overcome, you're better for it.
I seriously blame the NBA for helping produce a weak generation.  Kids see twitter and sprite commercials and flash, they dont see the work anymore.  Seeing MJ fail for 7 years then seeing him hurt in 1994 and 1995 and THEN come back and win 3 more... we'll never see anything like that again.  You learned something from watching him.

3)  Was the NFL better?
I dont think so.  I think the NFL is so good and so real and true, the only thing that can sink the NFL would be, or will be, when theres further concussion testing and Goodell hiding criminals.  Other than that, this is the golden sport in America.
But look out, because the UFC is gaining ground really fast and Dana White seems to be setting a great example.  AND if theres one sport I encourage young people to dive into, its this.  I dont want to see my daughters boxing or anything, but I think theres a tremendous amount of value in the training involved and then the functional use of Jiu-Jitsu and other grappling sports.

Music was better.
Did it all die when Kurt died?  No, but it changed.  Music now is... who?  Taylor Swift?  Lil Wayne?  I'm so out of touch, I cant even figure out a name to ask.  I see iTunes and names like OneDirection and I sample them to see if its a song I'd use in a yoga class... awful.  Searching and sampling through iTunes is the only thing I see so maybe my opinion here sucks, but... I havent cared about a new artist since... well, the 90's.
Like my list above of great 90's players, now, there's no Radiohead, no REM, and U2 isnt U2 anymore.   Pearl Jam is obviously still doing what they do and the Chili Peppers are hanging around, but other than that, you have to pay attention to college radio to find anything with value and substance.

and like my last post, I blame money and greed.
I was watching the Pearl Jam documentary a few weeks ago and one of the members (Stone) was talking about when they almost broke up because Eddie was being such a dick, control freak and wanted to pull back and rejected being a star.  The band wanted to be bigger and Eddie was stopping it.  Stone smiled and said "And we're still here... he was right."  Eddie's reluctance to push forward and make more money, saved them.

i still listen to a pearl jam bootleg from 1994 nearly every single time i workout and i watch Rodman yotube videos every week.

Maybe all the thoughts I wrote above are about my desire to feel more, experience more by doing less.  Seeing as though winter seems to be here, it makes me already think "We'll work through this, then enjoy the summer again," as in we pay dues, but in a good way.  Sometimes I wonder what people feel in Southern Cali, having never felt a blizzard.  I wonder if it makes them complacent.

Here, now, myself... I want to be great at 2-3 things and let those "things," create and grow.  I want to be 80 and look back at a laundry list of awesome experiences, to look at back at old photos from 2015 and think "What a fantastic year that was!"
I see the training will be one of those tools... coaching will be another... the 3rd is up for grabs, but I know I have room for it.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Where'd You Come From?

In class the other night, someone mentioned the pics in my office.  As usual, when anyone asks me anything somewhat personal, I turn into a weirdo, mumble and change the topic.  She said something like, you should tell people more about your training past, so I thought about it and decided that writing about some of the pics in the office would be a cool way to do just that.

Before I get into, I want to write about the actual decision to hang pics at all.  Truth is, I actually thought about quitting.  When I decided to end the Blue Room in Mentor, I didn't know if I wanted to continue training at all.  I let most of my contracts expire and kind of went into hiding.  When Dan let me in to train and began picking up clients, I could feel the momentum coming back.  Meeting the people I have met there, pretty much did what I needed it to do.
Which was...?
I actually dont know yet.  I think in Mentor, I felt a little like a machine, a juke box.
But in hanging these pics... what really good times they were.  Such neat experiences, some great, memorable sessions and some awesome, amazing people.
I've trained clients and teams in Aurora, Lakewood, Solon, Chagrin Falls, Cleveland, Wickliffe, Richmond Heights, Beachwood, Willoughby, Mentor, Eastlake... I dont even know where else.  I've trained in homes, parks, stadiums, the muni lot, running down E 9th, in front of the Rock Hall, the metor parks, the beaches, all over.
Being a trainer... you wear many hats.  You're the fitness guy, the ear, the advice, the big brother, the release, the punching bag, the entertainment, the _________.  And it's all awesome and I wouldn't trade it. I've trained thousands 1 on 1's and groups of 100+, kids as young as 8 and little Martha at a young 81.  I've run yoga classes and humbled football teams and coached a 17 year old girl into a 205 hang clean that helped improve her vertical 7" and work her way into a D1 scholarship.
I've helped countless people think about goals, write goals and then reach goals.
Here we go...
(SOB... now I'm pumped up to train someone)
One of my favs... This was a decent action shot during one of the last classes in the Blue Room.

 A nice shot of the weight room set up just outside the Blue Room.  Nice spot, decent for the circuits we'd run.  

This is one of my favorites as well.  This workout was pretty tough, Todd Field sessions usually were.  I think the group fed off the energy of having a bunch of people in the park too and everyone pushed really hard.  

 Nice group shot from the last session at Todd Field.  
 Just a cool action shot

 Definitely one of my favorite pics.  I always felt like a tool hopping off my mat to snap a pic but this one was worth it.  
Despite the financial short comings that prompted me to end things, I still think this room had something special.  A lot of great sessions happened here, a lot of great people came through the doors and we all poured a lot of sweat on the floors.  

I think Lindsay snapped this one... clearly I didnt, you can kinda see my oafy pose on the far right.  Always good to see people smiling in a yoga class! 

Ahhhh... the Titan days.  These boots were pretty sweet.  The lay out of the building was definitely helpful.  Having the cardio on one floor and that stair case separating it from the weight room helped create some challenging and memorable sessions.  
Here, the group is starting with a classic warm up:  1/4 mile sprint, 25 push ups, 25 squats, 25 push ups, 4 rounds. 

 The Power Program
I had an idea and I think we accomplished what we all set out for.  My goal was to help other people reach their goals, and they werent all physical, most were mental and emotional. A lot had to do with breaking through thoughts of "I cant," which were actually "I havent yet," in disguise.  
This class had nearly all beginners in it.  People lost weight, gained confidence, and realized things about themselves that they had blocked away... it was always there.  The class didnt add or give them anything, it removed the blinders.
Link to a blog I wrote leading up to the program here.

I had this idea for a BOGA class, half boocamp, half yoga... this was kind of it, I'm still working on it.  I'm pretty confident that I'll need some more equipment (strategically placed wooden horses, like the kind gymnasts use) to really capture what I'm going for.  Either way, this was still a very unique and memorable session, led by fellow April Fool baby and my buddy, Jen.  

 This is about 1/8 of the Monster behind squires castle. I spent a summer here, dropping 40 lbs or so and improving my speed up this hill.   So many laps, so many songs on the ipod.  This hill feels like a tunnel, tress all around, no room left or right and if you fall, it wont feel good.  Parts of this are so steep, you need your hands free to be ready to grab a root, this was yoga before I found yoga.  
To this day, I've never met anyone who can sprint the entire thing without stopping.

If Blue Chip had a Mount Rushmore, Elaine would be the first face on it.
Throughout the years, pretty much everyone that came through said something along the lines of "I want to train like her."

 Portable TRX straps in a MetroParks pavillion (thanks Dad for making these).  

 This team was a blast to train.  Eager everyday, brought great attitudes and truly got it.  I threw out so many physical, emotional and mental challenges and they responded perfectly, every single time.  They understood that training wasn't about just getting through to make the coach happy or to shut me up, it was about the journey and their own personal growth.  
Probably one of my top 3 favorite teams I've ever trained (despite getting stiffed on payment).

Just a really cool pic snapped on a really hard session.  Kerry always brought her A game and on this day in particular, I felt she dug a little deeper and pushed harder than ever.  One of those sessions were it didnt matter what I said or what challenges I tossed out, she was going to kill it.  This pic encapsulated her effort for the day and the group in general, sprinting up those 110 or so steps, probably 10-12 rounds.

The first bootcamp group... back in 2010?  

Kristin working her Turkish Get Up... in my driveway.  We used to run sessions in my garage and driveway back in South Euclid.  I had a pretty decent set up w squat rack, sand bags, kettle bells and such.  Again, a really cool pic for me.  You can also see a few people in the background w kettle high.  Along w Elaine, Kristin definitely represented everything I feel this company I'm trying to create is about - intensity, drive, goal oriented, just that skies the limit, anything can happen and nothing's impossible attitude.

This one is funny... for me.  I had this clever little idea of using the TRX straps and tying them to old tires... then take it to the beach and drag them for resisted sprints and other drills, all using the tires as their resistance.  Well, in this pic... they're pretty much protesting.  And this was the only time, EVER, where I thought "Maybe I went too far with this one."  Problem was, as they ran, the tires filled with sand.  So we set out to sprint 30 yards or so, but after 10, these 15lb tires were loaded with 30lbs of sand.  Then I said "Ok liets pick them up and throw them back and do it again!"  And as they picked them up to throw, sand would spill into their face.... you get the point, this one didnt go well.  But the pic is still good :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

What (most of) Our Mother's Taught Us and other thoughts from a student lounge

Whether you're going through a grocery store or casually talking to people you encounter during the day, this thought may enter your head: "Who raised you??"  Believe me, I have a laundry list of people that make me wonder that.  One thing I do know, is who didn't raise them, my mom.  A lot of my stories and analagies are grounded in lessons learned on the field or in a yoga room... Just hit me that the roots of it all were founded much earlier.

Treat people as you want to be treated.
 - The granddaddy of them all.  if we all did (treat people as we want to be treated) we wouldn't have issues w respect and decency.  There would be far less "drama," and issues would be resolved much faster, and again, w more respect.

Do your chores.
 - aka, handle your business.  Be responsible and do what needs to be done, as well as it can be done.

If you cant say something nice...
 - ...don't say it at all.  Again, grounded in kindness, decency and respect.  

Be nice to your brother and sister.
 - literally and figuratively.  

"P" before you leave the house.
 - Be Prepared.


In sharing some thoughts and feelings, I wondered "sometimes I feel like Russell Crowe from a Beautiful Mind... Like I believe in this crazy idea of a world that doesn't really exist here."
They said "that's true, you do."
But it didn't help me feel better, it actually hurt my faith in our childhood belief that the right and good will always win vs the wrong and evil.
Troubled by the distinct lines of separation.
All we can do is create our own atmosphere and hope others enjoy their time in it while it lasts.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Yoga starts 11/6 - FAQ

Where is it and when is it?
Starting this Thursday, every Thursday at Everybodies Gym in Chardon.  Unlike the other classes I run, this one will be in the group fitness room.  Try to be there a few minutes early to get situated and get comfy.

What do I need to bring?
I recommend bringing a water for sure, then you'll need a mat and clothes that you can move in uncomfortably. People have worn umbro shorts and those were a little stiff, but the typical yoga pants and some running pants are fine or just a pair of shorts will work perfect too.  Guys, mesh shorts work fine.
A towel if you think needed.
Don't worry about shoes, you'll be kicking those off at the door.
I'll have a couple mats with but it's first come, first served so probably best to bring one just to be safe.
If you're not a member, you'll need $6 (members are free).

Am I ready for this class?
In my opinion, a plank is the best way to measure if you can take this class.  If you can currently hold a 20-30 second high plank, you'll be ok.  It will be challenging, but that's why you're coming anyway!   Dont worry if you cant touch your toes, you'll be getting there much faster than you think.
If you have any low back issues, take it slow and stay within your limits.  Good news, given the nature of this class, we wont be transitioning through very many "up-dogs," and once you see why, it'll make sense.
At the beginning of every class, I'll ask "Does anyone have any injuries I need to know about?"  Speak up.  Areas of concern are always shoulders, knees, back and hips.  I'll keep an eye out and make sure you're safe.
If you're pregnant and new to yoga, I do not recommend this class.

Who should take this class?
I'd say... everyone.
If you're trying to drop weight, if you're interested in improving flexibility, increase overall body strength, loosen up the hips and shoulders, improve core strength and endurance, correct muscular imbalances, breathe better, if you're looking to improve your overall balance... in and out, if you need to improve your mindset and mental focus, have more control of your emotions, have an improved outlook, be a better communicator and leader, reach life goals,
No joke... dive in and find out.

Is this a boring, slow, stretch class?
Someone asked me this the other day and a kinda cocky answer accidentally flew out, "Do you know who's teaching it?"
Beginners, don't be scared.  I have an excellent base in proper mechanics and body movement, so we will not be putting ourselves in any positions I feel are unsafe or often performed incorrectly.  Safety is always #1.

For those concerned if this a boring waste of time... I get it.  When I dove in a few years back, I had no clue what to expect.  I kinda thought it would be a little hard but thought "I'm strong, I'll be fine, I'll get a good stretch in."  All that was true... plus all those attributes I listed in the last question.  At the time, I was playing a lot of basketball and working out.  So I went in with the intention of stretching my low back and hamstrings.   Then in that first class my hips and glutes were cramping up so bad, it triggered a smarter way of training because the imbalance was so clear to me.  So for lifters, this class is going to show you some of these same things.

Because of all the balance work and focus "exercises," that I found in yoga, my basketball greatly improved.  My focus was better, my balance increased very, very quickly, my movement improved dramatically and my endurance increased.  I've always good feet and coordination and was in decent shape, but yoga helped fine tune and move more fluidly.

Like I tell everyone, whatever it is you do, this class will help you do it better.  Doesnt matter what is, this class will improve ___(fill in the blank)    .

btw... no fluffy music.  You'll hear Led Zeppelin, Hendrix, The Doors, some country, some rap, some Explosions in the Sky, Modest Mouse, Ben Harper, Jack Johnson, 80's, 90's, 2000's, John Mayer, Angels & Airwaves, Mogwai, Bright Eyes, Chili Peppers, and ummm maye some Pearl Jam.
Also, I take requests so shoot them over... trust me, you're going to want to rock in here.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Why I let one of my favorite "clients," go

As the great Popeye the sailor once said "that's all I can stands n me can't stands no more!"

I've heard "why aren't we training?" or "why aren't you training the kids?" probably 12x over the past two-three weeks.  In the beginning I simply said "time to make a change," but I've had a real strong desire to clarify recently, so I'll keep this short and sweet... Which probably means it'll be long and bitter. 

In the past, I've trained many groups of kids, many teams and even leagues.   So to guess at who I'm referring to, would be just that, a guess.  However, those who know, will know.   In this case of the "why I let one of my favorite clients go," I'm referring to a group of kids I trained, their coaches, parents and one decision by mgmt that I still disagree with. 

I cannot train kids effectively if coaches undermine my efforts.
How did they?
Example:  I ran a series of nutritional seminars, along w stretching classes that emphasized their particular needs for their sport.  The very day after the nutritional seminar where I stressed the importance of what to eat prior to competition, the coach brought in a birthday cake.  Just one example, but there are probably another 6 stories right along these lines. 
Aside from their complete disregard for teaching kids the importance of proper nutrition, and a nutritional base that'll help their play on the field, there was even a "coach," that would joke "out of energy?  Find some coke (as in cocaine)," and coaches that would pull their teams or particular players out of sessions claiming the athletes "didn't need it today."
So to summarize above:  I was being trumped by completely unqualified "coaches," who were making judgements and decisions that they had no business even discussing.

Parents today are very, very different.  Because of their need to be their kids best bud, they stopped being parents.  In doing so, they made it their mission to protect them from hard work.  The parents were (are) the number two reason why kids underperform.  
I'd say "what did you eat before you came?"  Chipotle
Ok... Go puke somewhere else please. 
"What time did you go to sleep?"
Ok... Why don't you go sit down and take a nap.
So much of this and it starts to turn from a training session to baby sitting. 

Two things to know, when we began our relationship, things weren't this way.  This group was tough.  From top to bottom, they were tough, worked hard, and wanted to be great.  There were kids coming through that just walked the walk and talked the talk.  They wanted to win, they wanted win in drills and constantly compete.  Now?  It's just not there.
(Number two, later)

Lastly, mgmt brought in a "specialist."
A sales specialist hidden as a trainer.  
It turned a corner and all the sudden numbers and profit were more important than facts, science and product. 
You'll hear from him "yes, the results of this training will fade quickly if you do not keep up with the program." No shit.  "So sign up for the next set of classes."
This has been my nemesis forever.  The clean, well packaged product.  Well packaged with little substance.  A very nice appearance and sales gimmick... But it's a trick.  
What the kids learned in these classes that advanced their numbers and became this trainers "proof," were a series of movements that imitated their sport movement.  Something that should have been taught in practice, for free.  But they sold it as a specialty.  This would be like me holding a special squatting class for my current clients... "Why aren't we already doing this?"
Because of this change and the hype and marketing they put into this, it reinforced my position as "group baby sitter."  The group began to see me as the evil sitter they were forced to spend time with throughout the week and everything I said or did became static.  
When this happens, me turning to static anywhere, I leave. 

To continue the thought from above, part two, which has been my hurdle for a long time but I'm no longer interested in hopping it.
I've worked with teams for over a decade and been training in the gyms for quite a few years.  
I've read the books and studied.  
I've trained myself hard (I consider myself a 6 but I've found very few better.  The 6 rating is how I feel there's so much more to learn and do).
When my clients are engaged and committed, which is often, all goals are met.  I can honestly count on one hand the number of clients I've had that did not make drastic transformations and change their entire lives.  
My programs, especially in terms of sports performance... Good luck finding someone better. 
(Damn... So unlike you)
Well, sometimes there's a time to talk a little shit. 
I meet a client and always think "is there someone better for this person than me?" and of there is, I make that reccomemdation.  I'm 1000% honest in what I can and can't do.  

"No, I'm not coming back... I think it's time to make a change."
But no one from mgmt asked why, no coaches asked why which also reinforced my feelings of how little they think of my programming and what I bring to the table, which has all the sudden lit a major fire under my ass.
They havent felt it yet and probably won't since the mindset of so many of their coaches, kids and parents have changed, but they lost one of their best assets when I walked away. 

One of my only regrets is that I feel it was such a wasted opportunity.   It became too much about money (for me) and not enough about results (for them).  
The potential was endless.  But I was tuned out and ignored by the great majority.  (In saying that, I also regret, deeply, not being able to work w that very small handful that I was able to connect with).

"Why aren't you training us?"
Because aside from maybe 10 out of 300 kids (I can literally name the 8-10 and these are the only ones I'd work with elsewhere), and aside from maybe, MAYBE 4 coaches, tops (I can definitely name them), no one here wants to be great and it's too depressing to watch.

I always hung onto that small group I was reaching and even when coaching football, I knew out of 20-30-50 kids, only 4-6 really "got it," but the scale can tip so far the other way (parents, coaches, and mgmt/school boards not caring along w 90% of the kids sleep walking), it's time to walk.

*Addition:  Since posting this, a little over 48 hours ago, I have heard from 5 different teacher/coaches who have expressed similar frustrations and feelings towards their athletic directors, fellow staff, and parents.  I'm not sure how this came off, but I do not directly hold the student-athletes directly responsible.  Kids imitate what they see and know what they're taught.  Yes, they (as well all are) are individuals BUT, lessons are learned, and habits are reinforced early in life, so I do point the finger at the leaders and teachers who consistently drop the ball.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

10/16 - thoughts from a rest stop

How about something quick and random...

This morning, my day started w random errand and then a funeral.
At the funeral, I sat in the back, alone.  I do so to control my emotions, not that I'll start sobbing uncontrollably or anything, but i also don't want eye contact to effect me.  This was actually the first full service and burial I've attended in almost exactly 20 years, the last was for my grandmother.
As I sat in the back, I didn't focus on the pastor.  I watched the family, my family.  His friends.

He was always a funny guy when I was a kid, always trying to stump us (the kids) with some clever riddles or trick questions.  I think he's one of the guys I got some of my sarcasm and humor from, along with my dad and other uncles.  I remember always enjoying time with the family, listening to the jokes they'd all tell or how they'd BS around a game, during a holiday function.   I remember looking up to a lot of them and how they'd talk, how they had their professions, (or maybe I imagined some of it... I was 10 or 12 when we stopped seeing everyone).  They had good, hard working jobs and a few served for the armed services.

Today, as I watched men fold the american flag over his casket, it hit me... We're very quickly losing a special generation that will never be duplicated  and with their death, dies class, work ethic and pride.
I felt this when Joe Paterno died.  I see their generation as a great men who worked hard, who stood for something, who worked for their families, who were noble and loyal.  Manners mattered.  How their kids behaved, mattered. Language mattered.  How they dressed, mattered.  I see this generation out for dinner and they wear shirts and ties.  I see them out in stores or running errands, and they are so, so out of place.

Technology and this society has rocketed off to another level that is accelerating faster and faster and more dangerous than ever.
We live in a world of instant gratification, where every answer to any question is at my finger tips.  I don't have to work for the answers.. I can Google it and its handed right to me.  I don't have to learn roads or highways, its right here on my phone.   We want 3 week diet plans and to be happy RIGHT NOW, so we pop pills to "fix it."

When I was younger, I found humor in Pete Townsend's line "I hope I die before I get old."  It was true then but I found it be a smart ass line against those older.  I thought "I don't want to turn into an old stuffy, dick, looking down and guys like me."  But now its true for another reason... I'm not enjoying the scenery here and there's nothing I can do and I don't see a light at the end of this.  I see technology and our government (the president is irrelevant) continuing to evolve into this carnivorous animal, consuming everything in its way.  Like a steam roller with shark teeth tearing apart anything that was "so yesterday."

I hate when people say "old school," as some sort of slight.  We need more old school.
(I think I live in the right community to hang onto some of this... we'll find out)


Right now, I'm sitting in a rest stop on the way to Detroit to see Pearl Jam.  When people asked where I was going, I should've said "headed to a self improvement seminar."  A) It would've been accurate, B) I wouldn't have heard any shit for going alone.
If you know me, you've already had the thought "Um a funeral and pearl jam in the same day?  That's dangerous."
This is the 12 city I've seen them and I tried to figure how many times but it's over 20 so... enough to not bother trying.

Every so often, we need moments that reset the brain a bit and give us some perspective.  I've often  found them in life milestones like the birth of my girls, deaths, and other events.  Days that make you step back and pay attention to who's who and where they stand.  Who you are, where you're going, what type of impact you're making.
I told a friend yesterday, I feel bad for people that think recreating a card board box is such a big deal to treat other people poorly, "My box is better you scum bag!" type shit.  
It makes me feel very alien.

I feel we need these resetting moments, these life challenges, these milestones to force us to look in the mirror and wonder, to look at our lives and wonder, to look at who we are and what are goals are.  How many people do you help?  How many people do you make happy?  And then never mind the quantity... hows the quality?  Maybe you have 2 awesome friends... be awesome back, who gives a F that theres only 2 and someone else has 12?
Be great
Be useful
Get the bullshit out of your head, that shit that you keep repeating, the anchor that slows your ass down.  Drop that shit and fly.

(Cont from row 20, seat 27, waiting for the band)
I parked and a guy jumped out of a car next to me, "hey bud, can we drink here?"  I look around and say "um, no cops." So he hands over a beer and three friends hop out of his car, 2 girls and another guy.
"You come alone?" They ask.
Haha from where?  
You must like these guys...
Oh, A little bit

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Just 1%

I forget which podcast I was listening to, but I heard a guy say "just trying to get 1% better today," and it's been ringing in my head since and has been an excellent driving thought.
I've been thinking about this blog all week... "What if we all worked to just improve one thing, 1%, every day?"  
We all know what 1% x 365 days equals, but really think about just that little baby step, that small percent, 1%, and how it can add up.
A couple blogs ago, I wrote about feelings of being overwhelmed when looking at the big picture of situations rather than breaking them down into more manageable moments and goals.  Had I had this 1% thought in my head, I may have been a little more calm and then less stress and anxiety. 

There have been a few of these 1% type thoughts that have helped me along the way and to continue working to improve.

1) Having a goal list - I don't understand how anyone could not have a goal list.  I strongly recommend getting a pen and a notebook w a binder and get to work on this immediately.  Start w just writing.  Anything and everything. 
Where do you want to vacation?
Where do you want to live?
How many kids would you like to have?
What kind of car do you want to drive?
What do you want to accomplish?
What kind of memories do you want?
Might not be about money or achievements.  Maybe you have a relationship in your life you'd like to "fix."  
Maybe there's something internal you'd like to improve.  
Do you want to handle stress better?  
Do you want to enjoy more time after work?  Write it down. 
Write them down, just write.  No order and nothing you wrote is a bad idea.
Shoot for 50. 
When you write a nice chunk of goals, go back through them and think, "is this a 1 year goal? A 5 year goal?  A 10 year goal?  Higher?" And write a little number with a time frameyou guess you might be able to obtain that goal within. 
Next, rewrite them in likeness of those numbers.  
Sounds like a lot of work?  
Good.  It should be a small project and one you'll always continue and improve, check off goals and modify.  This is a great tool, a great plan, for your future.
I went through this exercise about 4 years ago and before I knew it, I was checking off goals left and right. I didn't really notice it at first, I just headed out and continued to work hard and work towards a few goals and then I noticed how many of my goals were related to other goals.  Like dominoes, they started falling into place.  From moving to geauga county, to the yoga room, to real estate and many others, I was able to check off goals, continue my list and keep it moving. 
If you don't have goals to work towards, what are you working towards.  Sometimes as "adults," we allow ourselves to get distracted and let ourselves make up very convenient excuses as to why we've grown lazy.   Sometimes I'll say "I need a chill day," and then think do I? Or am I just being lazy?  Could go ether way, sometimes we do need a chill day.  But if we haven't accomplished... Not sure where that chill out time is deserved.  I also think sometimes were a little too quick to pat ourselves on the back and give ourselves a break, so even set a goal for the breaks.
"I'll take my chill day when I accomplish 5 of these 8 goals." 
Keep it moving and watch how fast things happen.

Another valuable tool that fit the 1% mindset was:
2) Time Management - given the busy goal list, life got hectic... Chaotic actually.  
One thing that greatly improved my productivity was to write out a schedule to keep everything in line and to help find more balance.   I'd schedule every job, every location I was scheduled to attend, every appt, and then I'd also schedule my school time, my own workout time, and everything else.  Id schedule and designate time for as much as I could.  By doing this, I greatly reduced those panicky moments of "where am I going?" and "am I prepared?"
So write a schedule to maximize your 24 hours. 

And random thoughts...
When you go into a store or going through the bank, use your 1% improvement mindset to pass that energy along to others.  Engaging with the cashier/teller, look to improve their energy and lift them up.  
Michael Jordan didn't win championships until he had a squad working to match his level.  Be that.  Create a positive environment where people are working to match your level and you're pushing together as a unit.  Just 1% everyday... That's it.  Positive momentum being built and gains strength like a wave, building and building.  
That could be your community, your company, your family. 
Goals are your road map and time management is crucial to keep them moving. 

So when you get a chance, check your surroundings.  Check out how you feel at work, at home, in the gym, at school, everywhere. How can you be more useful, more helpful, more giving?  
How can you improve 1% everyday and the  help others to do the same?

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Yin and Yang of Blue Chip/This Yoga/Abby

Before I start rambling about yoga, I can't stress enough how good everything feels after an awesome session.  Next time you're in there, go hard, sweat your ass off, push through the uncomfortable moments, breathe heavy, focus and kick your own ass.


I was listening to an Onnit podcast where Aubrey Marcus was interviewing his S&C Coach/Trainer and how they fell upon their style of unconventional training methods.  Through their stories, they talked about having a base in body building building styles, which I think most people have some knowledge of if you were picking up muscle mags in the grocery stores.  Not saying its easy by any stretch, but most of the workouts posted in the mags throughout the 90's and early 2000's were all geared in that direction.  Then they talked about a variety kettle bell techniques, yoga, speed development, pre-ha and re-hab, trx, full body circuits, etc.
And as they went on and on, I listened and found the occasional goose bumps on my arm, for two reasons that support each other and give me more confidence (which is needed more often than shows).
I've always written honestly over the past years and those who have been around read about... well, all the above that Aubrey and his trainer listed.  My beginnings were also grounded in those workouts pulled from mags, then evolving into full body circuits, then speed and agility, then TRX, then yoga, then kettles, and as it moved along, we started combining things.  I remember early in my yoga experiences, I started tinkering w thoughts like "How can we add a DB to these yoga moves?"  and more importantly, "What am I learning in yoga that will transfer over the weight room?"
If an experienced coach sat and watched a more advanced session, they'd be able to pick apart the roots of where things come from.
Basically, I'm just proud I never had my head too far up my own ass to ignore all that's available to learn. I never arrogantly boxed myself into "I'M A _____ GUY!" and pissed on everything else.  As individuals we all like what we like, but as trainers/coaches, there's no room for that ignorant approach.
The yoga, kettles, speed work, power training, super sets, circuits, all the experiences training in the parks and in the stadiums... its combined for a pretty unique, unconventional, fun and functional method and I'm pretty happy with how things have developed.
(That was me patting myself on the back)
Just saying, I'm kind of alone in this, I dont really have trainer friends or people to bounce things off of so when I hear pros speak and I'm on their page, I feel good about what we do together.

Speaking of yoga... 
So sometime soon, we'll be starting a yoga class at Everybodies, which the more I think about it, the more I think its a pretty perfect arena for this class. I hear there's quite a bit of interest and we'll probably have a nice little group for the first class so most of my talking will be about form and safety and often it will always linger around those topics.  But once we're through that part, the actual class starts.  
(uh oh, is this where his yoga woo woo crap starts?)

I was just talking to someone 10 minutes ago about the class and she said that she was looking forward to it and listed several reasons why.  I felt the need to warn her "this isn't a toe touching humming class."  Obviously, I don't mean that as a shot at the lighter style of yoga class, but I don't want to mislead anyone either.  This isn't a slow flow.  

Physically, you're going to sweat your ass off.  You're going to challenge your body in ways you're not used and possibly not as intense as you're used to.  
You're going to feel your hamstrings, your triceps, your hips, your shoulders, your feet, your hands, your core, in ways you may never have. Literally.

Physically, yoga really helped shine a light on areas of my body that were out of balance, weak, and/or tight.  I remember my hip flexors cramping all the time and if it wasnt my flexors, it was my glutes, it was always something... but it was all good.  I found great pleasure in being exposed, to myself, as to where my training needs addressed.

But as much as I say "We wont be humming," there's the flip side.  We also wont be jamming hard, flying in and out of poses, just cruising through a bunch of movements, sweating and listening to sweet music.
(I've written and deleted 3 different paragraphs trying to describe what will happen... All I can say, and will say in class, forget whatever you thought was going to happen.)

Do you drive places and when you arrive, you'd fail the quiz titled "Name 3 things you noticed on the way here?"
Do you let work issues linger and effect your home life?
Are you hanging onto childhood issues?
Do you react certain ways, notice them and dislike that you do it?
Do you find yourself playing with your phone out of habit when you could be engaged in people around you?
Can you remember 3 meaningful things you did this week?

No training method has helped me more than this.. in the gym, in work, with everything.


My oldest, Abby, is enrolled with a local theater group which meets on Saturday mornings.  While she's there, Livi and I head over to Beans and play Connect 4, then head back 90 minutes later and meet her out front,
Abby recently tried out for one of the plays run out of the theater and was waiting to hear back if she made it.  As we stood across the street from each other, her badly language didn't look good and I thought for sure she didn't make it.
For those few moments, some new feelings and thoughts came in... this would be her first real experience with rejection... and my first as her dad, helping her through it.  Ive coached for around 10 years, lost plenty of games, dealt with players and clients and their losses or short comings, missing goals, etc.  And through those, I've been able to find the right words to help.  But here on the corner of the street waiting for her to cross... I was thinking "Oh $hit,"
Fortunately, there was no bad news yet, just a bad mood.... 10 or 16?  Sometimes its hard to tell.
A few days later, she did receive the call that she did not make it and when we spoke on the phone she sounded disappointed but ok, which was good to hear, but I wanted to know how much she cared.  We can fail or come up short, but we cant be ok with it... how to communicate that to a 10 year old?  To my daughter?
I asked "What do you think?"  She said "Well, I signed up w a singing coach."  I asked "Do you think that's what you need to do?"  She said "I think it will help, they didn't say what I should do but a coach would help me.  I'll call and ask them what I should do to make the next play."

Did I say she's 10?  Not sure why I was so worried, she apparently can handle rejections much better than her dad.

I was so unprepared but she did exactly the right thing.  Take it, learn from it, move on.


My new coffee cup

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


I've always liked pictures of a loaded leg press machine.  Probably because I'm not an awesome squatter by any standards, but can load a leg press and push some decent weight. 

So I took this pic a while back and added a quote...
...for two reasons.

1) Resistance 
     It's relative.  We all feel it in some way.  What's easy to you, might be extremely challenging to another.  What's light for you, might be heavy for another.  It's all relative to the individual with many variables that can push or pull the lines in all directions.  
Like I've referenced in the past couple blogs, our roads/paths were on, they're similar but different.  We happen to be on the same planet, maybe in the same area of it, but with all very different childhoods, upbringing, development, etc.  We all have different skills and expertise, different strengths and areas where we strive just as we have the opposite.  A while back, I took my car in for troubles.  It was something super basic that I felt I should've or could've handled.  I apologized for wasting his time.  Mark, the excellent mechanic on the corner of Richmond Rd and Wilson Mills said "We all know what we know.  I know this, this is my profession, you have yours which I know nothing about.  You can teach me one day."
So it's important that we combine our knowledge and experiences and collect energy to create strong bonds and become a more helpful community.  
Be helpful.
Be useful.

2) Power
     (I'm about to write something pretty dicky but hang w me... I can clear it up.  You may be the exception to what I'm about to say so, settle down).
When hiring an employee, I would definitely give extra "points," towards someone who was once an athlete in a team sport, was a team leader of that sport or someone who was active in the weight room. 
Not because of work ethic exactly, and not because of some jockish machismo crap. 
Drive.  In my experiences, those who come from a team sport background, are driven by passion and pride, not money, and that's huge for me.  When you're driven by pride, a particular amount of dollars isn't going to change how hard you work or how you work.   
Now, obviously we all need to make money and spend money and all that, I'm not saying I'm anti-money.   But I am in the sense of motivational roots.  If money is the only thing in your head that will make you great, you're a flawed character.  If it's pride that fuels you, you'll be paid everyday. 
I've also found those in sports in general, not just team sports, have a greater tolerance for pain and are much harder to beat and again, these are the people that would make up my staff. How and why?  
When you grow up competing constantly, whether on a field, weight room, court, mat, ring, wherever... You are constantly being tested by others and testing yourself.  You grow and nurture (if done right) a need, a desire to always compete and win. So if we're talking about a sales position, that athlete is still  in there and wants to win big.  Whatever the position is, the athlete is still there, wants to win big, wants to dominate and stand out. 
Example:  I have a friend who heads up a department.  His had an employee on his staff that was an absolute standout.  I always asked "do you know why?"  He didn't.  I said "because she was a d1 athlete."  He resisted this idea... Until shelves and he had to replace her.  And now he's still searching for someone to step up into her role and do the job... Crickets.  I said "look for an athletic background and you'll find your diamond."
I know someone who doesn't consider themself an athlete may challenge this, but I attribute this mindset to runners, lifters, anywhere there are people pushing themselves physically and to an uncomfortable level.  
*Female athletes receive double points.  

Anyone can do something easy.  
Who pushes through the hard work?  
Who doesn't have a quit button?
Who doesn't mind the pain? (Tattoos anyone?)
Who can sit at half time down 3 scores and know deep down, "we'll come back," and believe it and then make it happen?
Who can lose?  Who can lose and let it hurt so bad all they want to do is get back out there, get back to the weight room, get back to practice and make it right, then go back and compete again w no fear?

Pressure and resistance mold us, it shapes us accordingly to take on the challenges we need.  Challenges we personally need to become who we are destined to be.   
When we were kids, we asked "what are you going to be?" And "what are you going to do?"  Then a phase of life comes around and we stopped asking and settled into the momentum of our childhood.  Maybe for better, maybe not, we let pressure and resistance mold away and we went along for the ride.  
Use it as a tool.  Your will.  
Examine how you personally challenge yourself in life.  Do you take the easy road?  Do you back out when in pain, challenged or pushed?
Do you road back like a lion and claw through the grind?

Never stop evolving.

This Is Blue Chip