Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Week in Review

We were at the track this morning for a class.  As we walked on, I saw a grown man (in shorts much too short, but no one else mentioned that) taking a couple kids through some exercises.  The way he was talking, I assumed it was their coach or a trainer.  
A little while later, the man and kids were jogging around te track and one of the girls in my class said "did you hear that?" And she repeated that one of the boys said "dad can I stop and get a water?" the dad said yes but the kids didn't stop running.  The dad jogged off, picked a water and ran it out the kids who were still running laps.  They were about 8 and 10 years old.
I said "looks like he's passing on his dads habits onto his kids."
Pretty sure the kids ran around 3 miles or so and someone might say "Good, kids need to learn to exercise."
In that atmosphere?  What was learned more, that their dad has some serious douchy tendencies and exercise is a drill or that exercise is fun? 
I'll admit, I'm pretty anti-parents in terms of their involvement with their kids athletics.  A great, great majority of my experiences, I've witnessed parents trying to relive or fix their poor athletic career instead of just encouraging their kid to be their own athlete and find the true meaning of sports, which is self expression through movement and competition. 
Something we seem to forget as we get older.

Kids don't need to run 3 miles on a track.  They run at will, they haven't learned poor form because they haven't been sitting at cubicles for 8 hours per day for 13 years. They know how to run and breathe and jump and compete and a have fun, that's what 8 year olds do until dumbass adults get involved an push their issues onto everyone. 


I noticed something that improved my training more than any supplement, nutrition plan or program... I stopped comparing myself to others in the gym. 
I used to walk in and think "Shit... I'm a big guy, I need to lift heavier weights," and get discouraged quickly if I didn't reach a certain point. 
I wish I could explain how that thought dissolved but it's been a very pleasant and fun lifting experience in the new gym I joined (Everybodys Gym in Chardon).  Maybe it's the gym... Maybe I'm enjoying being unknown there and I helped the thought along.  However, it happened, it helped me have more fun during my sessions, I'm working hard and the results are coming through. 
It's not a fast process and it shouldn't be.  It's a daily process, weekly process, monthly, yearly and for life.   


I tweeted once "I was never upset if they quit on me... I was upset they quit on themselves."
I thought about this recently and throughout my coaching and training career... I don't know if I'll ever stop being frustrated when people tell me their goals then disappear or skip sessions.  It's really not about me, its about their commitment to themselves.  God, that would feel so empty and just... eh. 
I want to do THIS... but never take the steps to make it happen?  What an unattractive quality to have. 


Sometimes it's a little difficult to share things we experience.  Sometimes, you just have to be "in it," to feel it.  So I'd like to give details and paint a picture but i really don't think it would do it the full justice.
I can't write what eye contact feels like when talking to a friend in pain.... The empathy that surges through like a lightening bolt can be overwhelming.   You see a friend who just needs a little more strength to see it through and all you want to do is be that courage... But you can't.  All you do is hope the right words fall out of your mouth at the right time that spark a light, a new light, a stronger light of energy.... And you just keep waiting for the spark. 
Something hit me this week... And I can't go into details to protect privacy and trust but it's a heavy point that settled home so I need to share piece.  
You read quotes on Facebook or wherever about "everyone's fighting their own battles..." and you can fill in the rest.  And I beloved it but never really gave it much thought, just said "ya, true," and continued scrolling.  But I have some friends... And family... People close to me... Now and past... In my youth... I know some now... Clients, coworkers... Any description or category  possible... They're in pain.  
We are all in pain.  
Legit pain.  Some more than others but it's still there.
That's one thing we all have in common.  
And we all deal w the pain differently.  Some ignore it, and try to funnel it away... But it comes back.  You're an organism unlike any other... That pain is stored away and will return.
Some try to hide it away...
drink it away.  
smoke it away.  
train it away.
sex it away.  
work it away.   
eat it away.   
Some are buried in prescription pills and numb it away. 
Some hide in music and shout out hints through old mix tapes.
Some have tried all the above.  
Some try to perch up on some high horse and preach it away.
You can look around any room and see pain and see how it's being dealt with.

And in feeling this, one night this week, I kinda broke down.  Sometimes you have to wonder.... where's the relief?  Where's the end?   Where's the moment where we settle and accept and smile about it and know it's all ok?  

I think atmosphere is a pretty big deal.   I think where you spend your time is pretty huge.  Who you're around, the conversations you have, the genuine moments you share, it means a lot.  
Genuine is the key word.  And it's a real gray area now because sometimes when people are in pain, they're playing a part, a role.  They wear costumes and speak from a script.

Funny... As I'm writing this, a bunch of "yoga lessons," are dancing around the back of my head.  But even there... I know people who ran off and "found themselves," in the yoga room... Or did they?  Did they just cover it up w the new role?
I may have done that when I was younger.

I guess slow down is an answer... Start paying more attention to each other... Recognize the pain and help someone but don't forget about yourself.  Take a few moments each day to stop everything and sit quietly.  No crappy music, no distractions, just quiet.

Take care of yourself and people near you.  Recognize their pain and help.


Sometimes this thing feels really pretentious.  But I think there are conversations that need to be had and things need to be said.
There's a line in my favorite song where Eddie mumbles (as he usually does)...
"And a i caught a glimpse...  of my innocence... Got back my inner sense... Still got it, I still got it..." and the band rocks the rest like you're weightless, taking off into the sky.
I mention that because it reminds of what we should be doing... The entire song does.  (Writing in a public place... Changing locations... No shades on and people may wonder why my feet are playing "air drums," on the curb)

(Ok... safe place.) 

Back on thought... Somehow, we stopped having those big conversations once we said "Ok, I'm an adult now... I have a job now...I have bills now.. I have... blah blah blah" and we fade.  I heard in a podcast that we achieve something like 85% of our learning before we're 8 years old and I totally agree.  Problem is, we forgot a great chunk of it once we learned peer pressure, started watching shitty television and turned into lazy asses. 

Since we forgot so much...ask yourself the questions you used to ask. 
What do you want to be when you grow up?  (Because there's a very strong chance you're not dong it now)  Why? 


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

It's Not A Sprint

This one might be loaded with corny cliches and quotes you'd see those motivational posters.  You know, the ones with the rock climber, holding on by only the grip of his finger tips and still has another 500 feet to go and it reads "PERSEVERANCE"  blah blah blah.
I actually like those though.

I have about a dozen scenarios spinning around me right now, some are more intense than others.  Some have a little more on the line than others, but all point to the same poster quote.
Life isn't a sprint... and its not even a marathon.  It truly is a journey.

The irony of this entry is, its the anti-goal blog.
I had a conversation with someone who was having a mental issue with the speed of her results, or lack of speed I should say.  She tends to bounce around with her meal plans but always works hard.  And today as she was venting, I couldn't help but think "settle down... yes, I'm aware the goals are important, but you also need to be mindful of the actual progress you ARE making and stop looking at the progress you THINK you should be making.
Think about that.  In reality, the progress is there.  But she's so blinded or preoccupied with her expectations, the story in her head, shes missing out on all the enjoyment of the process.  And I know shes absolutely not alone, probably 80% of the people I talk to would say the exact same things she said to me.  
We're just piloting these vessels... (Sidenote:  This has zero to do with the training programs.  Everyone knows I do not prescript any "3 weeks to ripped," plans.  I prescribe life plans.)
I see this in yoga often when people get tied up with a pose and "I wish I could get this pose right," and I just want to ask "why?"

I understand my opinion, my angle, is in the minority but it doesn't stop me from wondering what it is inside of us, that makes us talk to ourselves the way an asshole parent or coach would.  That's really what it seems like.  "Why didn't you do it like that?"  "Why didn't this happen?  You said you'd do it."
For a minute, right now... think of time or something you;re currently going through where you talked to yourself... how did you sound?  What was your tone?  
So funny... just today, I was going through a pretty grueling circuit at the gym.  I grabbed a pair of dumbbells and lunged down 20 steps.  I got to the end then hit 20 push ups, 20 sit ups, 20 squat jumps, 20 shoulder press and set the dumbbells down the barely breathe... I walked off a few steps in one direction then turned and headed back for the dumbbells and round 2.  I picked them up, and stared at my Gatorade and water... just 20 lunge steps away and heard a voice, my voice, saying "No problem at all, 20 steps and go get a sip..." very, very calm, very cool and I was off and it was so enjoyable.  In the past, it would've been "WTF are you doing standing there, you dumb.... (expletive)," and on and on, but that voice is gone and a new one is here.  The new voice is a teammate, a great coach, a leader, and a friend and you have to be all four for yourself.  

I was talking to friend who's going through some things... and we're talking through situations and role playing and such and early in it, I could see the doubt and worry.  In his mind, someone just whispered "It wont work," and it was all over his face and body.  But before the end of the day, through conversations and some quiet time, something switched inside of him and I noticed he was standing taller and the gravity I heard in his voice just a few hours before was gone.  I asked him how he felt.  He said "optimistic, lighter, better than before."
Our minds are the absolute trigger point that controls every single thing.  The voice in our head needs to be on our team.

We also need to be surrounded by great people and our environment is crucial.  
Have you ever been in a great mood and then you're around someone and nothing crazy even happened but all the sudden, your mood is just gone?  Just sucked right out.  All the enthusiasm you had, just vanished.  Be careful of these mood suckers.  Maybe its not even a person, maybe its a place.  
Question is, when can you change your atmosphere?  When can you really change a person?  Can one person impose their will and change the scene?
Someone asked me this recently and I replied "When you're truly powered by love and truth, its not possible to wrong a wrong decision." And I see it like the wind at your back... everything moves faster and your right there with it, you're in the zone.  The words are right, the timing is right, the pauses are right, and they can feel the vibe, and they want some too.  Who wouldn't?  
It doesn't matter whether you're with me in a yoga room, on a football field, catch me at the day job, the weight room or showing a house, you're going to get the exact same guy, me, because I know when the mission is to help, to serve, to give, and to do it with truth and love... Things happen easily.

And here's the tie in... It doesn't always go how the voice in my head said it was supposed to go.  And that's totally ok.  Because this isn't a sprint.  So many of the things we go through are just tests.  That's it.  Literally.  It's like one huge test with infinite choices.  We're tested, we choose... yeah!  We got that one... lets move on to the next.  We're tested, we choose... ooops.  But a few moments or days or months later... we've moved on.  We learned, we enjoyed, we grew.   

Again, our minds are the absolute trigger point that controls every single thing.

Last thing... we have these roles, right?  We wear all these "hats," and play particular parts.  And often, we don't really choose them, they've been chosen for us based on the needs of someone else.  But we're in there.
Be mindful of the day the roles dissolve.  Don't be left wondering who you are ro where your worth lays.  No matter what your role may be for others, always continue to grow and evolve and learn and connect.  Be human.  There are too many distractions and ego based booby traps that can mislead us, don't fall for them.  The dark ego wants you to succumb to greed and selfishness and power and bully tactics.  Don't fall for it.  Remember, truth and love will always be the wind at your back, easing you along, guiding you right into your sweet spot.  

Enjoy the ride.
Peace, love and empathy.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

In the Plank; Boot Pics

So I'm in this plank and it kinda hit me...

It's a pretty unattractive exterior... It's getting old and there are issues popping up here and there....There's always a lot of traffic and noise and commotion... And it's been a real pain in the ass the find and get a hold of.   You'll arrive and wonder "am I at the right place?"
Very few knew what was inside, but those who did, fell in love.
The irony is that hidden inside one of the least attractive buildings on the street, is a gem.  

And it hurt as a "business," but I wouldn't change it because it filtered out the fad type clients, the "quick fix," people looking for a... Quick fix.   I like to think because of the appearance, the location, because of the marketing, because of the aura and vibe of the style, the flavor, something really, really cool and organic grew.  Something totally natural. 

I know things would've been different had the location been better and the hours been more open and all that.  But it wasn't.  It was specific and we didn't cater to any trends, we just went after it honestly, passionately, and with open minds.  

People came and left, the best stayed
Do you see the analogy?


Wednesday afternoon, someone reported my Blue Chip-Fitness page to Facebook mgmt and it was temporarily deleted.  When it was relaunched, I was forced to create it as a "business page (like it and select to get notifications)," which really sucks because I often used that acct to promote local businesses, entrepreneurs, and other websites.
No old posts transferred over, all information was deleted as were all the pics.  So I had a free hour while waiting for the cable guy to finish his install, I organized all my pics and began re-posting, the first being "History of Outdoor Boots."
And I was trying to put them in chronological order and write a few notes... Damn, we've been doing this quite a few years now!  And every pic truly does tell a piece of the story.  If you get some time, check them out.  Feel the heat of the beach... The pics at squires castle, it was a warm, muggy July 4... The pic on the steps, that was probably round 9 or 10 and look at their stride... Working the suspension straps in the pavilion, it was about 85 degree and non-stop.
A lot of memories.  So many people.  What a ride.
So, thank you to whoever reported my acct for being so suspicious... you helped me relive some memories and spark some ideas for the summer!
 Knee tucks 

 Resisted Sprints

 Core Circuit

 Team Tire Flip

 Resisted Sprints 
(and the tires filled with sand the further they ran)

                                   Kettle Bells...Then a sprint up the toughest hill in Lake County
Even training in the Muni Lot garage!

2nd favorite location, the Todd Field Stairs.

The O.G's of Blue Chip Boots!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Bring The Pain; Todd Field; Power Program; Anything & Everything

We train hard, right?  We push, pull, press, squeeze, jump, extend, curl, run, crunch, stretch and contract.
And in all that, our muscle fibers tear... literally, they tear.  Very teeny tiny little tears in your fibers occur and that lactic acid and fluid that rushes in there is a good part of the burn you feel.  Think of peroxide in a wound, something like that.
So all those squats, romanian deadlifts, knee extensions, walking dumbbell lunges, knee curls and calf raises have you limping funny from Monday to Wednesday.  What you're feeling is the repair phase.  The protein and amino acids, the water and blood going to work, repairing those torn fibers, bringing them back to full strength... and further.

The workout, the recovery, the build and we do it again.

We go through things... we recover... we're stronger.
The analogy is intense.  This is why I find such "yoga," in the weight room, such a zen vibe.  We go through the sessions and they hurt, we know they do.  I met with a group Thursday night at Todd field and we ran probably 10 trips up the stairs and a few on the hill and man... those quads were so numb and the lungs were just on fiiiiiire.
But you get to the top and you look around... regaining your breath, shaking out those legs and you're looking back down and you know full well "this is making me stronger."

And I tell people, you're building so much more than your legs or your cardio.  Your building your WILL, you're building you HEART, your inner WARRIOR.
Its one of those zen type yoga moments but in an intense training atmosphere where its you vs you.  It's you vs that lazy version of you.  Its you of tomorrow vs you of yesterday and theres no going back down that hill, we go forward, we go UP.  We dont fall back, we dont retreat, we progress, we grow!
And yes, theres pain.  Yes, theres hurt along the way, but we recover.  We will always recover.  And when we do, we're smarter, we're stronger, we have more stamina, we have experience, we have wisdom and you cant get any of that from a book.  You cant go get that w a 4 year degree, you cant go buy it at the mall, it MUST BE EARNED.
And when you earn it, ITS YOURS.


Bikini Boot is rolling STROOOOONG.  SO STRONG.  And I kept telling myself and some of the ladies, "This is not the power program,"  trying to say "Its fitness, its just the workouts and nutrition."
In the Power Program, there were a few mental and emotional challenges planned out along the way and people expected more of that here, but I kept saying "no."
But that slowly changed, and it hit me today getting out of the shower... Right there, literally across my chest... "Anything & Everything."  How you do anything, is how you do everything.
I've coached football teams, I've trained around 1000 different high school athletes in the area over the years, I've worked with over 100 people in the gyms, and the atmospheres change but the core doesn't, the heart doesn't.  It doesn't matter who the group is in front, its all about the goals, the plan its going to take to obtain them, then executing that plan and adapting/adjusting while seeing it through.  Makes no difference at all who the "team," is I'm with.
So the bikini boot has turned into the power program.  That team I coached last fall, recvd some of the power program, my clients in the gym are enrolled in the power program.

Have your goals, set a realistic plan, execute the plan.

Training in general, is empowering and it's impossible to go through these sessions, any of these sessions, these tests and say "No, this isn't the power program," because everything is.. anything & everything.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

In My Tree

We wake up from sleep and its there but it takes a little while for it become noticeable.  For most of us, we don't see it or feel it until we get to work and realize our time is not actually our time... or so we think.
But its with us at all hours, in every moment, it never leaves us.
I'm talking about POWER, and the type of power that's been bouncing around inside my head like a wild monkey, has been the power of our words and what they can do.  

I heard a recent podcast, or it might have been an audio-book, and the speaker gave a stat, I don't remember the exact numbers but it was staggering.  He said there was once a study and that 85% of prison inmates said they're parents told them at a young age "You're going to be in prison some day."  Then there were similar numbers of kids with college degrees, they claim that they always knew they were going to graduate college because of the same reason.  Their parents said they would.  

And it made me wonder and daydream, thinking back, thinking forward, thinking about all the kids I've worked with, all the adults I've worked with... everyone.  
The power of our words... the power to control emotions and help someone else do the same, with our words... the power to infuse hope, with our words... the power to maintain a faith in whats right, in whats good with our words... the power to help with our words.

Ironically, I sat down here at my laptop thinking a bunch of words and stories would spill right out... but I'm still thinking...

"Some words when spoken, can't be taken back."

I don't really want to dig up any old, hard stories... I've said enough about all of that.  
I'm think ahead now.

Words can do a lot.  they can drag someone down, the can lift them up.  They can manipulate, they can motivate.  They can pull emotion, the can numb you, the can force you back in time or take you into the future.  Our connection, our communication... is everything.  

I hope you know and really believe that you have the power to help someone.  I want you to know that you have the ability to say something to someone inspire hope.  You're needed.  Hope is needed.  

We get into our routines.  We wake up, we punch in, we work and work, we go to lunch at the same time, we do the same shit over and over... some of us do that, right?  Things can get really routine.  And because of that, sometimes life feels static.  We drive to work and forget what we saw, we don't even remember the drive.  We'll work for 5 hours and not really take anything positive from it... we were just, there.  
So that static feeling, we turn into robots and forget how needed we are.  We're so locked into the path we're walking, we forget that that's not really what we're here to do.  Very, very few of us are working the job that they were born to work, so I think it's kind of silly to drain so much energy on it, while ignoring people.  I'm not saying you cant get a tremendous amount of pleasure out of your job, not at all, you should be enjoying your job.  I'm saying enjoy it all, but don't forget about the people around you.  

Don't forget to listen more than you respond.


Think about water... think about nutrition.  Think about how important it is to take in the right amount of nutrients to grow, to become as healthy as possible.  Think about we need it everyday.  Right?  
Think about being responsible for the health of children... you;d want to do the same thing.  Feed them healthy foods, make sure they're taken, make sure they're hydrated, etc.
Think about taking care of a village... same goes.  You'd want to make sure they all have food to feed their families, right?
None of the above would you want to feed junk, garbage picked, crap food, right?  You want clean, healthy, fresh water, not sewer water.  You want clean, healthy food, not junk, rotten food.

Now substitute nutrition with positive speech, with loving speech.  Sub in motivating, inspiring, speech that makes you daydream and want to be something so awesome and dynamic and well rounded and peaceful.
Like the water we drink, we want it clean and refreshing.  We want it hydrate our soul and energize us.  
You have the power to give "nutrients," and the choice is yours in how you do it.  You can hand out nasty, dirty, muddy water or you can hand out the most refreshing, hydrating, tasteful water you've ever tasted.  
Its absolutely up to you.  

Its Sunday night so set a goal to stop yourself when you feel some sewage about to spill out.
Stop telling people what they cant do and tell them how endless the possibilities are and everything they can do.
Stop telling your friend how dumb he or she is and guide them mindfully.
Stop holding your kid back.  Stop trying to force them into your mold, into your thought.  Do you hold trees down by the branches?  No, we give them sun light and water and space to grow.  Let the kids grow however they grow.  Yes, we can protect them and offer guidance, but more than anything, let them grow into themselves so they don't have to do it in their mid 30's or later.  
Don't box people into your thoughts of right or wrong, enjoy each other.  We're all so different, its so amazing.  I truly enjoy so many, so many people because of that.  The only thing that makes me sad is when I see and feel that they're not living truthfully, they're still trying to find their path... and that lost path is loaded.  So when you get the chance to shed the light, do it.  
When you get the chance to be around kids, you better have your shit together and be honest and real and be a leader.  If you're not, quietly excuse yourself until you're ready.  
Stop holding back your honesty.  Don't be afraid.  
You have to learn through experience.  None of the good shit is learned in books or via story telling, you cant absorb a life you haven't lived yourself.
(get that irony?)
"Deal with your shadow before it deals with you."  
Notice the people around you... are they lifting you up or bringing you down?  
If you see someone being treated unfairly, step up and show your strength.  You don't have to be rewarded for it.  You might actually be punished for it... take it.  You'll never regret honesty. 

Do whatever it is you have to do, to help you find your voice... you have one, its their.  

You're not here to be average


This Is Blue Chip