Saturday, January 31, 2015


If I didn't tell this story, I think I'd be cheating myself out of the entire reason I write this blog.

Some details I need to keep vague for the sake of others privacy.

If you've read the last couple blogs, maybe you could sense my own transformations going on.  I wrote in detail about my physical goals but only generally about everything else.  Reason... I really don't know.  I'm private but I share so I really don't know why.  

Anyway... I've been challenged over the last 6-12 months.   Challenged in a way I never have and from multiple angles.  I've been out of balance, upside down and in a fog.
Often my entries were a mirror of my own self, shooting back at myself.  My posts were reminders to myself.  Much of my own behavior was laced w messages of motivation, again to myself.
In the "we are connected," thought, you felt it, I probably wrote things that you related... Because we are all connected and although our paths may be different, we have similar needs and desires.  

Let's get to it... I'm stalling.

I was in New Jersey a couple weeks ago, this is where I wrote "Where I Am."  We were headed to a location, listening to a radio program, sports talk.  Somehow the conversation turned to talks of ghosts and then spirituality.   One guy, I think his name is Gerard Cherry?  He told a story of when he thought he may be on his way out of the league and he went home and prayed, within a minute, the New England Patriots called him and offered a spot.  So, keep in mind, I heard this story already on the edge of some sort of faith or a desire to learn and explore a faith... Something was pulling... Something I didn't really have. 

Growing up, (by growing up I mean 20's and 30's, who are we kidding to think we're done growing up at 22), my faith was "be nice and everything will work out," and thoughts of karma.  I rarely looked up and spoke.  (When I posted this week about belief and believing in the power of attraction or prayer or anything, this was the reference).

So after hearing Gerard's story (I'm sorry, I don't actually know his name), I went back to my room... Turned off all distractions and knelt on the ground and prayed. 
I prayed hard.  I read to be specific and to talk and communicate.  I text my sister and asked her if there was a protocol.  Haha so funny, I felt that foreign, that out of myself, I couldn't figure out "how to pray."
But I knelt and I prayed like I never have.  I asked for help.  I asked for guidance.  I asked for a sign.   I ended and still end by saying something along the lines of "I'm open to change, I'm open to learning, I'm open to hearing."  Prayed so hard I cried and basically begged... Because I was that unhappy w a situation I was in (not related to training, real estate or my personal life).
Within 2 days... I receive a text from an old friend, offering an "idea," that changed my life.  One that I cannot reveal just yet, but when I do, you'll see and say "that's his world... That's where he belongs," and how perfect the timing of it all is.
Someone may say so.
Power of my thoughts or the power of attraction?  Did I communicate a message to the universe?

Interpret it however you like, but this story is true.  Plug in whatever element of powerful faith you have.
From a movie opening my mind, to hearing a story of a miracle, basically, to me putting those thoughts into the physical act of asking or help... Help and light appeared. Fact. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Privilege, not Punishment

I was sitting here and a friend walks up and says "Is it ok if I have Chipotle?"  Pretty popular question.
I ask "What are you putting on it?"
"Chicken, steak, cheese, sour cr-"
And I cut her off and ask "What are your goals?"
"I hate you, I love you, don't talk to me," and she's gone.  A very popular response.
 She knew the meal didn't match her goals.

But it didn't stop here.

As the morning moved along, I could hear her being heckled by one of the guys, taunting her with Chipotle, the usual teasing that occurs when someone is trying to watch what they eat.  I could hear and see she was getting annoyed and might cave in, so I sent a note.

"Be proud of the mission your on.  Not eating junk food isn't a punishment, its a great thing to have the mentality and discipline to keep on the tracks.  Power over your decisions and yourself is true power."

I added later, "It's a privilege to be able to make great choices, not punishment."

And as time moved along, about a week, it's stuck in my head and helped me out.  It's hard to not feed certain urges, certain habits, and it truly is a gift to be able to say no. 
To say no skipping class, to say no to sleeping in when you should be getting up, to say no going out when you should be studying, to say no to that meal that you know isn't going to help you reach your goals. 
It's not about fitness or workout goals, its about life goals, its about living and holding yourself to a certain standard. 
I wrote in my last blog about feeling sloppy and this thought is the remedy, the cure.   This is the discipline that you should wear as your badge and let your results speak for themselves. 
"Yes, I am dedicated, I became...." and fill in the blank.

I became....
(Fill in the blank) and ask yourself, what is it you're trying to become? 

When we were young, the question was "What do you want to be when you grow up?"  then it faded in the real world and a lot of us forgot to continue asking and working towards it.  
You may have noticed a theme lately in my blogs and posts (and I feel the need to always write, "I'm not preaching, I'm sharing what I'm going through in hopes someone can relate and is nodding along,") but it's always about silencing the bullshit and still being able to hear the whisper... hear that voice telling me where  to go and what to do and once I'm there, I'm already ready. 
Your journey is the road of preparation.  If you're following your voice, once you get there, it'll feel like home and you'll already know why you're there and what you're there for.

It cant be forced.  It cant be faked.   

So if your road is challenging... if it feels too hard to handle and you ever want to quit, if you ever want to give in and have to know... you are the only one that can handle your road! 

It's a privilege to be a grinder, to be relentless, to not have a quit button.  It's a privilege to be who you are meant to be.     

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Where I Am

(just a heads up, this is definitely not a fitness entry and its going to be scattered and religious)

I recently saw two movies that left me... humbled... wondering... asking questions, more questions... wanting to learn and wanting to step back to watch, to witness.
American Sniper - From a movie review stance (and I wont give anything away for those who haven't seen it), it's perfect.  Like Heath Ledger's Joker, you really don't see Bradley Cooper, you see Chris Kyle and all the elements that we as viewers are here to see.  Again, I wont dive too far in because I dont want to ruin the movie.  But Bradley Cooper is amazing, Clint Eastwood is the greatest film director and the story is absolutely incredible.
For me, I wasn't in awe of his stats (although he was an incredibly gifted marksman, if that's an appropriate term)... I ended the movie feeling how I've felt a lot in the past year or so, but more intense...
To be honest, I kind of felt sloppy.
The word "standards," have been ringing around my head... Manners... decency... respect... discipline... doing the right thing... saying the right thing at the right time, being truthful... having higher standards.. being simple and true.
Simplicity is under-rated.
Discipline has become a negative word.
I don't know... I'm writing, but I still cant wrap my head around how the movie left me, other than wanting to be better.  Wanting to be a better version of who I am.
When I wrote "thoughts from a roadside rest stop," a few months ago, I remember feeling similar but not this intense.... as I get older, I see more and more people leaving this world that we should have and could have learned more from and it makes me uncomfortable.  Time.

The other movie... The Passion of the Christ.
I know its older, but I never saw it and always wanted to.  Again, another movie that has left me, as I wrote above, wondering and asking questions.

I took a comparative religion class many years ago at Lakeland.  At the time, I thought it was the most impressive class I ever signed up for and I think I got an A or a B, I enjoyed the class.  At the time, I enjoyed how the teacher pretty much called "Bullshit," on every religion possible.  Now, I see that he was simply placing his own slanted view on us and I bought it.  He was saying things that I wanted to hear, back then.  Classes would go on and he'd point out parallel stories between the books and religions and paint them as fairy tales.

Now I see that yes, there are similarities and parallels but for different reason.
I know over the years, I've said and written a lot of "hippy stuff," that was influenced by my Buddhist readings and beliefs and would smirk at those who would try to throw their Jesus at me. But now, with what I've recently read, I'm taken back to that class at Lakeland, and I'm seeing the similarities from a new perspective  That Jesus and Buddha were different people, but both were very real with a very similar message(s), coming from a very similar state of mind and approach, one of enlightenment.
Their goals were the same.
I don't see how we can accept one and not the other as our reality.
Is prayer not the same as meditation?
Is the "power of attraction,' not the same as prayer?

I've never taken credit for anything positive I've ever said or did, I've written that a bit over the last year and now I see why.  Even now when teaching yoga, I've admitted all the time when the conversation comes up about something I said or something we did, I'll say "I don't know where it came from," or that "I lucked into it."  Now I see why.
So many times in speaking with young kids, trying to deliver a message of motivation and wake them up to something great, I never knew what I was going to say in advance and I could never really remember it after, now I see why.
When your eyes are closed, all you can see is darkness.

I've learned through meditation and books and podcasts and apps that a goal is to quiet the chatter in your head so you can hear your inner voice... right?
Reminds me of a short story I heard a little while back, I think it was from an Aubrey Marcus podcast -
Our God was to available to too many, too easy to find and man began to take advantage and request too much.  So God said "I'll hide in the mountains, they'll have to work to find me here," and very quickly, very easily, God was found.  He then said "I'll hide in the oceans, man can't find me there."  But again, man found a way and God was found.  God thought about it and said "I know, I'll hide in the clouds," but again, he was found.  Finally, God said "I know the one place they'll never think to look... they'll search the land and sea, they'll create technology to search for me while they sleep, they'll form armies to search every village and every country and they'll never think of it... I'll hide in their hearts."
So my wonder was just that... Is prayer, is meditation a way to quiet all of the distractions around us, to hear the God that lives inside of us?

Sunday, January 11, 2015

More on that later...

I only try to write once per week, so I try to jot down notes or random posts to help me remember things I want to further a thought on for Sunday nights.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.  Often, when you get the urge to do something, you just have to do it when the moment strikes... there's just something in the air or a voice in your head saying "now," and that's it.

So, we're in class Saturday morning... yoga, and things happen here and there.  I've been coaching and training and working with people for a really long time and one thing I'm really, really good at is reading people.  Reading facial cues, body language and all that, and yoga is a really easy place to do it.  Most cues are saying "Go F yourself and this chair pose." jk.  
So there are times, where I know to pull things back or crank it up, throw out some challenges or advise a childs pose... dont be worried about taking a needed child pose, trust me.  no one ever does.  I was literally in a class yesterday that had me just kneeling and laughing at myself as everyone around me handled it all much better than I did.  That was the fun.  I kinda see that sometimes.  Classes I'm in and classes I teach.  Its not a competition... its not a pose off... if i could remove the mirrors in there, I would.  This is the fun with yoga... its so much more than stretching.  All the time, people associate yoga with stretching and fluffy music and humming and chirping birds, but there's something hidden in there.  And you really have to settle down and witness it, witness yourself.  Almost to remove yourself, from yourself, and just watch.  Watch as you move and breathe, as you start to think about randomness during class, as your brain starts to distract you from one of the actual goals... clearing your brain.  
Yoga can be used for many things... it can humbling, it can be physical... you can use it for training... for mental state... it can help with nearly anything.  I say that to people and it sounds so vague and generic,  they may think I just don't have anything better or think I'm just selling a class... but it really can.
I do think you have to be in a comfortable environment.  I'm comfortable with irony, its funny to me.  My little ego finds entertainment in being a 260lb tattoo'd guerrilla with a tank top, moving in a room with 50 other people, 99% women, just pouring sweat... the same sweat.  And again, that's one of the points... the erase boundaries, whether real or imagined.  
So when I say certain things in class, I really hope its never taken as some "know it all, douche," up there spitting his stupid yoga crap.... its kinda one of the only places, I'm comfortable to say these things (other than when I work with teams).  I don't know why.  Maybe I'm reading you're looking open to it.  Maybe because I know what the flow can do.  And when I say yoga can do everything for you, I mean it.  Its a drug.  and its free.  you don't need a prescription.  
Trust me, there was a day... a phase in time, where I had an ark of issues, two of everything... some im still managing (arent we all?) and i can say with 100% confidence that it was yoga that helped me handle it, accept it, manage it, work through it... release.  i remember when I was in one of my first classes, the music, the intensity, the words the instructor said at the right time... just crushed me.  I went to childs pose and cried.  no clue why.  And i didnt mind or care... I was so sweaty, I wasnt worried about anyone seeing plus I dont think anyone really cared.  it happens to a lot of people.  
So dont be worried in these classes to do something perfect or wrong... not deep enough or too fast or slow... whatever... all I'll ever ask is that you take moments to witness things that happen, inside and out.  
Have you learned that muscles store energy?  And that we can carry emotions in certain muscles?
Ok, when tense and stressed, why do your traps and neck get tight, cramp or hurt?
So then I'm thinking... We all have these different forms of how we like to move and exercise.  Some of us are power lifters, some love Pure Barre, some run, some yoga, some body build, etc.  People ask "what should I do?"  Trainer J says "Welp, what are your goals?"  But the real guy thinks "What do you want to do?"  Because your body already know whats best.  Its built inside of us.  
Yes, we now have information and scientific study explaining how to achieve goal A and then B and C... but, so what?
Yesterday, I had a plan to workout around noon or so and I felt ready to roll.  But when the time came around, I looked around the gym and it just looked boring and redundant.  So I went home and gave it some time, did some things around the house and it hit me "Lets see who's teaching in the area," and I went and found a yoga class and it was amazing.  
Now, this log isn't about yoga... sort of.  

Today, I was starting my session and my plan sounded great, I was pretty excited to get it going.  I had my Explosions in the Sky in my Pod for warm up and then Pearl Jam ready for when I needed them... then I look over and see a girl running on a treadmill and it hit me again.  Obviously, I wasn't looking at her oddly, but I thought "she's running so easy, so smooth... she was born to do that."  Ever see people like that?  Where they're just doing what they love and because of that, their body takes care of itself... there's no battle between "do this, not that," and a bunch over used information in crappy magazines.  she came in, ran really well, hit some core and out. 
So next time you're in and wondering what to do, do what feels good.  Its already in our primal mind, we're built to move, run, jump, lift, stretch, sweat, breathe.   We're supposed to be dynamic, physically, while evolving in every way possible.  To be as complete as we can, naturally and whatever happens, happens.

Ask yourself, at work, at the gym, home, wherever you are... is this helping me or hurting me?  

Problem is... we're distracted.  Phones and television, bills and money, war and conflict.... what do they have in common?  Man made.  

Just like I said yoga is a drug, there are ways.  How can we dissolve the borders and lines and labels in our head?  
More on that later

Thursday, January 1, 2015

It was overwhelming...

... I thought I could compartmentalize, and put things in their place, but I couldn't.  And it's one of those lessons you don't learn, until you go through it and learn it yourself.

I was at Dominic's house and we were about to record a podcast.  We were just bs'ing, catching up real quick and he asked something how real estate was going.   I dont remember my exact answer but I referenced a day job and he stopped and said "Wait a second, you're working..." and listed off x jobs.  Most people may think "Wow, look at you," but Dom said "Aren't you spread thin?  How can you give all three the energy?"
He nailed it and I knew it then... I just smiled and blew it off and said something that would exit the conversation, which I'm good at.
But he was right on the money and it was completely overwhelming.  Mentally suffocating.  There were nights when I'd get home and have to get on emails or follow ups and try to book the weekend and I'd have my calendar and I'd try to book every spare hour with some type of apt.  Non-stop, all year.  Given the year and everything we had going on, I had no choice.  I had to grind like that to make sure certain things happened and that we were somewhat set for the winter.

But a lesson was learned, one that came to me after writing "chubby trainer."  Very simple, there's only so many things you can handle well, with productivity and drive and passion and all the goodies that make you do the things you love to do.  No clever title.
I've written about the "Goal lists," a bunch of times and when I meet new clients, we talk a lot about building small lists, 3-5 things, that's all.  But I re-write, edit, cross off, add on and constantly check my list... 50 things.  Within that 50, I have another list of "how," those 50 things are going to happen where I write 3 "how's," per 50 goals.... that shit's an afternoon project!  Yes, I do feel it's important and it's helped me find success with a good deal of them,  BUT, there was something missing.
I wasn't in the goal list.  Yes, on one hand it was all about me and things I was going to accomplish.  But I never wrote down "read a book a month," or "go for 2 walks per week," or "pick the girls up from school more often."
And because of all that, I wound up where I was the night I wrote "chubby trainer."  Ground zero, feeling like shit, thinking of quitting, mentally exhausted and depressed.
This is what happens when you;re firing off at 50 goals, shooting for them all, every single day.
"It's better to burn out than fade away," has always been one of my favorite quotes and I actually still believe it but... it's time to touch the brake for a bit and realign the focus.

Like I said in the last blog entry, I need to train myself.  I need to develop myself.  I often post things on FB talking about myself and that was one of them.  I see things within myself and I want to share.  There's a line in Eminem's "Rap God," where he says "So I wanna make sure somewhere in this chicken scratch I scribble and doodle enough rhymes, to maybe try to and help some people through tough times," and that's why I enjoy sharing my errors and shortcomings and insecurities and everything else.  Maybe someone's reading this thinking "Damn, thats me too...." and it takes them somewhere mentally to make an adjustment.

Aubrey Marcus said something along the lines of "We're just a drop of water the ocean forgot about."  And the first time I heard it, I kinda got emotional... in a very humbling, settling way... We're that small.  We may think something now... we're so important or this and that, but the things that are important are what we share.  Not our money or the house, we cant let that turn us into slaves.  Not how may likes we get or how many people read our blogs, we cant let a funny ego run the show.

Point is... just as I was working too many hours and targeting the goals, I had my "how," list available, but not my "why," list.
I've lost friends and my phone is only filled with people who know from one of my jobs (aside from maybe 6).
I can feel a very strong wave of change and transition coming... I'm good with it.  

You have to be balanced.  You have to work hard and have fun.  You have to have friends and have alone time. You have to be versatile and complete.

You know what I really hate?  Going out in public.  Why?  Because I run into people and they always want to talk about training and a gym.  I don't think they do it because they want info, they do it because they dont know what else to say to me.

You know what I really love?  Someone text me after reading the last blog and said "And if you ever feel like quitting, let me know.  I'd be happy to reciprocate (f'ing Iphone just died at 23% while copying her text!!!)"  I think it ended with something saying "happy to reciprocate what you did for us."  this was sent by someone in the Power Program I talk about and this person, probably transitioned more than any other I've ever trained and I told her this when we ended in May.  So getting this text... was something I always wanted to hear.

I always said - I'm not above or below, I'm with you.

This Is Blue Chip