Sunday, May 28, 2017

I Am The Highway (my feelings on Chris Cornell)

Given the last 6 weeks-6 months of my life, this was a strange and difficult one for me to write about.  On one hand, I didn't want to over-state the news or my feelings on it, but on the other, my mom would understand how much this meant to me.... so here we go.... hopefully.

It's also taken me around 5 days to write this...

I wake up and usually scroll the FB feed for news every morning, so when I saw the initial posts, I thought it was bs.  I actually hoped he just went into the hospital for something odd and some low end paper reported a death to get link clicks.  So I waited it out a couple hours, read all the links, and waited some more before knowing it was real.
Then in private, I cried pretty good.  I'll admit, I'm still not 100% sewn up from April, but, is what it is.

And its kinda weird, right?  We mourn celebrities and people we never met, but a part of us feels like we know them (man... I should not be writing this one in public).  But we feel it because we do know them.
And I'm just speaking for myself and my relationship w this music and my bands.

Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots... my workout music hasn't changed in nearly 25 years.  My driving music hasn't changed in 25 years.  My motivating music, my music of inspiration and hope, my chill music hasn't changed in 25 years.  People ask about my tattoos.. all but 2 are about this music.  You know, when you're young  and you hear the sounds and this honesty, for better or worse, with all their pain and depression and angst and even cockiness, it effects you.  It moves you.
So when Chris died, a little bit of hope died.

I remember reading his interview somewhere in the late 90s where he talked about always getting a top floor hotel room, just so he could lean on the window and imagine the fall.  So as we all got older and seeing his life and music, I'd think "he made it out... he's ok..."

I've read so many good blogs and articles lately, I'm finding it difficult to not plagiarize their work, but also think its that universal.  We're all feeling the same about it.

I hear people criticize depression like "Get your shit together," or "what do you have to be sad about?" or even just a simple "why are you depressed?"  I don't think those people who question or wonder ever really felt the power of it... the darkness and the weight.  The squeeze it can put on your energy.
Similar things can be said for suicide... ."Selfish," or "I just don't get it," or an "easy way out."  Those phrases... Same as above.  .  On one hand I guess its good that those people never had the thought or wonder.  On the other hand though.... I wonder about those people.  I wonder how much of themselves they've actually explored.

Depression is much more relevant than most people will ever admit or maybe fully realize.

Kinda done being hung up on this post... I cant figure out the words for myself.  Its just empty and sad and I hope anyone who has ideas like this or any level off depression, finds someone to talk to.

Check out the tunes below

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

To be applied...

I was having lunch w a friend recently and found some new information.  We haven't been seeing eye as of late and I see shes going through some phases, changes and evolving in a direction, one that I feel could land her into an over-complicated life with unnecessary stress and "drama."  We've discussed her situations many times, but those conversations ended in heated debates, usually with her walking away annoyed with me.
So at lunch on this day, it hit me.. stop reacting.  Stop engaging in the debate.  Just lead.
I thought to myself "I cannot continue to react to her story or past, this hasn't worked yet, because its been negative.   If I want to guide her into seeing a future, I need to show positive outcomes within a path."  It's like smacking a puppies butt after the p on the rug or punishing a player after they break a rule, those things dont do much to retrain the brain to think a certain way.  Its like saying "Its raining outside, so we'll just close the blinds and ignore the weather."
There is always a lesson and a way.
So I thought more on this at home... and its still a little fuzzy to put into words at the moment.   Partly because I'm usually concerned the writing will come off "ego," or someone may say "who the heck is this guy telling me how to think?"
To briefly generalize "who the heck is this guy," maybe this will help.   My mom passed away 29 days ago... instead of diving into a hole and letting everyone give me a pass and time away, I searched for the lesson and energy.  Within everything, there is always a lesson to learn and way to learn it, a way to adapt and evolve.  A way to turn anything into a positive.
I saw a recent Gary V video where he ranted about the loud negative and quiet optimist, and it really struck a chord with me.  I see it often and I've also caught myself nearly becoming trapped by it.  Social media can be a great assistance in that, becoming negative or skeptical.  But when the tears stopped, or slowed down, I asked myself "How can I begin to transform all I've learned, all those books, all those classed, all these experiences, all the pain and happiness, the yin and yang of life, how can I turn this into a tool?"  Rule #1; Be Useful

I began setting time and became more mindful of meditation.  Not with an intent to find a zone, but just to quiet the storm.  Just to turn the volume down on life.  I strongly feel this tool is needed now more than ever, for everyone.  So when this became consistent and with much practice, a vision of sorts continued to arrive for me.  One of non-judgement, compassion, empathy and understanding.

So in getting back to my lunch friend, my attention was longer to treat her as she was, but to approach her as she is.  A human, trying to balance and figure life out on a crazy, rocky, unpredictable path.  When you write out what life means to you, it might take an entire page or one sentence.  You might and draw a dark picture with small amounts of light or the opposite, sunshine and flowers with some darkness.  And it's all perspective.  It's your reality.  What is scary to me, isn't scary to you.  Whats fun to me, might not be fun for you.  Our realities are different.  So we cannot judge or treat each other as we see them.  We may influence or attempt to highlight our vision, but at the end of the day, our minds are our minds.
All we can do is lead with who we are.  I think thats an extremely powerful statement, to lead with who you are.
Now the trick is this... who are you?

When we meet, do I leave you with optimism and hope?  Do I leave you challenged for self improvement and awareness?  Do I leave you happier than when we met?  Thats just myself, how I approach and engage life.  You may never see me walk in a bring a room down, very very very rarely do I walk in and someone asks "whats wrong?"  And again, if you read this with judgment.... read it again, but after a walk of clear thoughts.  Dont read this after sitting in traffic for 45 minutes or after a fight w a friend, because look at what that does... everything is "F you," after that, right?  Perspective and reality, but only for that moment.

Take a moment and understand how reactionary we all can be.  We often react to a certain situation or react to momentum of a person, place or thing vs acting and leading.  So in thinking that, understand that your current surrounding, your tribe, your workplace, your home, could be reacting off of you.  If you accept that, understand you have control of the landscape you present.   And whether happiness or sorrow, stress or clear, it could be your energy/vibe/actions that push the needle in a positive or negative direction.
Very similar to finny meme or quote you'll from time to time that reads "If you think everyone around you is an asshole... maybe its not them."  Maybe its your vision.  I recently spoke about levels in terms of "leveling up," like a video game in referencing life experience and evolving as a student of life.  If you imagine a ladder, you can take one step up.  How much did your view change?  Now take another step... not that different from the first but fairly higher than the original place.  Now climb to the top of the ladder... how far can you see?  How different do things look?  You're still you.  You're still in place x.  But the view, your vision is different.

When you begin to settle the monkey brain down and relax into who you really are, things unfold.  But that leads us back to the trick question and riddle of finding out the most important answer and acknowledgment.  Who are you?  And can you accept it?

I will continue this thought in the next blog.

And then another wonderful song that you should listen to.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Things to know when working w me (real estate blog, actual information for buyers)

Idk how your experience(s) have gone but I've been a client twice on the purchasing side of real estate.  
Both I'd rate below expectations or disappointed, but I only have that perspective because of this information I now have, being in the business.  At the time, I felt pleased with the process.  
Keep in mind, nothing in this post is about another agent, but I do have my opinions and processes that I use for myself and in dealing w you, because of those experiences.  

Lets begin... 
Say you're starting to get the itch.  Spring is here, maybe you scanned through Zillow or something just for fun, and you're getting interested.  
First question you need answered is "What can I afford?"  So you want to come up with your own personal budget for yourself and/or your family.  (Notice I didn't say "find out what you're approved for," big difference, more on that in a sec).  In your budget, some of the obvious - income, credit card or school debt, consistent bills, school loans, and maybe some projections involving your cell phone, gas, electrical, etc.  At this point, given that you haven't actually purchased a home, some of these are ball park figures, but it will help you narrow down where you currently rest from a financial stand point.
*Along w these ball park figures and projections, take into consideration your "fun money," family growth, vacations, etc.  This is a conversation we'll have, not too sure how many agents will, because we may be talking about finding a house that costs less.  If you're budget is set at a certain point for a particular house, but you're only left w $200-$300 left at the end of the month, that doesn't sound very secure.  By secure I mean car trouble, health issues, plus vacations, random getaways you'll need.  What if you want to go back and take some classes in 18 months, you'll need money.  Now, this isnt for me to judge, but things get emotional and exciting and you're going to want to pull the trigger on that "dream house."  But the last thing I actually want is for you to make that decision then regret it 12 months down the road because of finances.  I want this decision to be well thought out and have your family in mind.  
So when setting your budget, be smart and think down the road a little.  

So your budget is set, now you need to know what the bank says or whatever union is supplying your loan.  They'll require financial docs per their standards and basically looking at your payment history and debt to income status.  Then they'll say "approved for $170,000."
But what if your budget parked you around the $135,000 range based on the fact that you want/need your mortgage payment around $900-$950 per month?
My advice, stay in the 135 range.  Don't get caught up in saying "eh, whats another $50?"  Because you'll say it 3 times and that extra $50 turns into an extra $150 really quick.  Just because the bank says you can buy in that zone doesn't mean you should (yes, the bank would love to hand out a large loan).  Again, go back to your budget.  Let the budget be your backbone in this, not the bank, a pre-approval letter or your emotions.  I've seen many people get very excited w their search engine and continued to add $5,000 here and there and finally finished their search $25,000 higher than they actually wanted because they "fell in love," w a house.  It happens.  But work to not let it.  Make the decision w logic and think about your life.  

So now you're approved!!! Time to actually tour around and see what's what!

You call or email me something to the effect of "searching Zillow, saw a sweet 3 bedroom in _________.  Can we check it out?" Absolutely, let's roll!  
We walk in, I hang back.  

I will never "sell," you on a house. Ever.  My job during this portion of the process is to host the tours, supply significant information pertaining to the house and other relevant homes in the area (relevant means similar acreage/bed/bath/square footage,/school district/etc).  If there's something better in the area, I'll say "you can get more for your money," if you're on the fence.   Speed is important when buying, but not desperation (unless there's a situation where you need to buy NOW). 
If it's priced accurately or comparative to others in your area, I'll say it.  I will always give you the actual information and trends, not my personal preference.  
**Something to know (more for young families), I've been a football coach throughout North East Ohio for a few years now, 13.  So I have a pretty strong handle on school systems and movement/trends in levies.

Staying with tours and theres two sides to this and we'll explore as we move.  On one hand I want you to see a lot of homes.   I want you to actually explore your likes and dislikes.  Seeing pics on a website is one thing, but actually walking through a home is completely different.  Pics can be deceiving in both directions.  I've seen homes w a poor gallery online but looked really nice inside and vice versa.  So we want to get in there and actually see different lay-outs.  
Other side is speed and this is touchy.  You dont want to feel rushed and you want to think and process information, but so are 15 other buyers who have toured the same home you're looking at.  And they also know time is essential.  So while you're sleeping on it, they pulled the trigger and now you're in a multi-bid situation or already lost it.  
When you see it, execute.  Especially right now (May 2017), houses are flying right now. Great time to sell and buy.  
"Yeah yeah, you're writing that because its your job."
If thats your thought, I'll show you my screen.  Many, many houses have been sold with 14 days this season, that's fast.  Especially with Howard Hanna.  The largest mountain with the biggest net.  When you list a home w me, you will have maximum exposure.  When you purchase through me, everything is in house and communication flies to minimize any hiccups in connecting banks w loan operators w agents and so on.  There are many moving pieces in the process, so quick communication is essential.  

Once your offer is in and accepted, there will be inspections and some hoops to jump through (mostly signatures and alterations) but stay patient.  Everyone involved wants to see it happen, no one is against you, its just a matter of crossing T's, dotting I's and the banks processing the proper paperwork.

Like everything in life, have a plan and execute.  From your budget to your search, home prep to the open house to the sale.  
Contact whenever you like to go over your options, get some general info, get a handle of the market in your area, check out some homes in the areas or meet with our finance officer to see exactly where you stand.   


Thursday, May 4, 2017


I've touched on this a few times, one of those things that's lingered around my head a bit.  The Power Program.  I think a part of me felt that it was the entire goal, my goal, wrapped into one month.  And it had it all.  My process, my mission, and then their successes.  Every part of it clicked.
The mission of the program was to turn a mirror around on people, let them say hi, and then alter their vision.  I knew how to teach this, because I did it to myself.  I looked in the mirror and saw damage and pain and regret and unhappiness, but still had goals and optimism and hope.  So the program was designed to hit goals, yes, but most importantly it was designed to help you seek and find your inner power and then in that power, your peace.  To say "Its OK, here I am, lets do this," to whatever it might be.   To walk out of the program and know, with absolute confidence that whatever obstacle is thrown out there, you can handle it.  Not only handle it but even be honest enough in your own awareness that you might be an underdog.  This obstacle is a monster, the odds are long.... but its all good, lets do this.

I think I've accidentally taught that program more than I actually know.

I was in a coffee shop recently and ran into a friend from the gym.  A guy I always enjoy chatting with, he sparks thoughts and interesting topics.  I think he has a real entrepreneur spirit and a passion for self improvement, a common thread we share.  I don't remember exactly how we worked down the path but we got into life coaching and leadership situations, public speaking and such.  People have said some of these things to me before, but I blow it off, "Who?  ME?"

A few days prior to the coffee shop, I was killing time outside a building and someone who reads the blog approached and asked "Do you have plans to write a book?"  This is another question I blow off.  I delayed an answer and just said maybe.  "What would you write about it?" he asked and I immediately answered "Competitive leadership, to teach people to inspire people."  Its something I've thought about many times, with many rough drafts started.  Tough task and not for everyone.  Not to change directions of where I'm headed with the blog, but we've all been in situations where the one missing piece was the person to inspire... think about it.

So I posted something one day on an Instagram account, something to inspire,  A good friend of mine commented "#POWERFUL," and like a wave of ideas and energy, it hit me.  Nothing wild, something subtle.  But I thought what can I possibly do to inspire.  What can I do to help without being in your house, pumping you up while you're getting read for work? Or on your phone, or on your screen or in your gym?
I had an idea and shared it w someone.

I said  - Its kinda abstract... I think it'll be a consistent work to be molded and used.  To keep it simple, just T-Shirts.  But a few people approached me recently about my blog and coaching and life stuff and it got me thinking about a lot. About how to be more useful and helpful.  To inspire.  To inspire entrepreneurs to never give up, writers to start, teachers to keep learning, coaches to coach better, kids in school, parents to get off their asses, people to be better, nicer, more mindful.  I want you to put the shirt on and it makes you want to achieve the goal.  Or a project or yourself or call someone.
Whatever thought pops in your head, i want you to put on this #POWERFUL t or tank and you look in the mirror and its just "Lets do this."
By now, you know I don't care about sales or money or any this weird shit (I wrote all that yet refer to money as "weird shit."  It is), so this is not me trying to have the new cool local T.
This is the T I want to see when you're breaking your bench or squat record.
This is the tank I want to see while sweat is dripping off your brow in a Warrior 2, 40 minutes into a Vinyasa class.
This is the T I want to see you post a pic off after running 10 hill sprints.
I want to see a T under your shirt and tie, and rip it open like Superman after crushing the job interview.
I want to see this tank while you're putting in extra hours at the library, studying for that final.
... then I want to see this tank while you're just hanging with your family at a local fair, because that's power too.  Power to be a leader of a family, a positive contributor to society, a role model, the rock of whats most important to you.
You can exhaust yourself in whatever it is you do, in whatever way you can, its all relative.  But at the end of the day, you need to look in the mirror and know you gave it your best effort and that you'll be back to do it again in the morning.  Thats powerful.

You guys buy these shirts and tanks, i'll make $3 off them, 100% honest, I'll share the paperwork.  That basically covers my gas to go pick them up when you order one, about a 25 minute drive.  I want you to buy one because I want to see the tribe form.  I want to see a society, this society, our culture right here, of POWERFUL individuals making positive changes, everywhere they can.  You're not just a leader when the lights are on and everyones looking at you.  You're a leader 24/7/365 and you are needed.
So if you buy one, hit it on instagram and hashtag #powerfulbluechip and tag me so I can see them in action.  Put it on your facebook and tag me so I can see it.  Just for some fun.

The plan with future T's and tanks is to inspire.  Every month will be a new design, prices may fluctuate given graphics, but I will never up charge.
See below, all colors available per your request.  Sizes range from JS-XXXL.
Ladies Racerback
Ladies V-Neck (Not pictured)
Mens T
Mens 3/4 Sleeve
Purchase via: and in the notes section of check out, type your size and color.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Sometimes You Don't Know What You Don't Know

(an actual fitness entry - read along, it'll all tie together)

I have a client who received a complimentary fitness assessment at her apartment complex with a new personal training company.  You might be surprised but I encourage all clients to check other things (gyms, classes, trainers) out, you'll see why below.   When you receive these assessments, really strong chance its a combination of an actual assessment and a sales pitch.
Which is exactly what happened and that's fine.  That's the business.
Problem is, its hard to decipher the bullshit these salesman "pitch," vs actual advice thats sound for your body and overall health.
Example:  You might be a runner or lifter or anything, doesn't matter.  And when you have the assessment, they might say "ouch, thats not the best for you," or maybe you enjoy blowing off steam in the gym, walking for an hour so and a sales trainer would say "whoah, way too long!"
Their goal is to build trust.  They say these things and because you don't study the science, its not your job, you trust what the "pro," is saying.
So the fact that they say what you should or should not doing, very gray area.  As long as its safe, nothing is off the table.
Are some things more effective than others?  Probably, but it still comes own to body type, genetics, limb length, and actual pleasure.  Some people HATE weights, some HATE running or yoga or whatever, fine, dont do it.  Do what you enjoy, but understand some science behind it.


I have a client who recently re-signed to train with me after a couple years of pure barre.  When she stopped training with me to take up barre, I didnt say a thing other than "good luck," and "let me know if you need anything."
She had to have the experience and learn and grow.  There was something in her, pulling to that style, so have at it.  If I stopped her or persuaded her, sent doubt down her path, I'd be a poor human.  Now she's back, w more experience, more body awareness and knowing that it didn't work 100% for her for the length she was involved.  It was a sound decision and served a purpose.
We learn.
I've had numerous clients head off to try different things from yoga to crossfit or even a break.  My response is always the same.  "Good luck, let me know if you need anything."  I may have seen a certain potential in them, but that might have been my goal, not theirs.  Remember, YOU are the client.  


I give tours and free assessments... know how many people I call to follow up or attempt to sell?
If you want it, you'll say something.  As long as you're safe, I'll never trick you into a false confidence that what I say is any better than anyone else (but dont be confused, I'm very confident in the things that come out of my mouth.  If I wasn't, I wouldn't say it).


People ask about nutrition and advice of eating this, avoiding that, protein shake here, high fat there, on and on.  Very confusing again for those who dont study it.  And believe me, if this wasn't my profession, I may not read it either.  But you can google paleo, keto, high fat, high protein, low carb, moderation or find percentages to eat this at that hour or whatever.
Then the sales trainer says "you should be eating this."
Same as above.
Truth is, he's guessing.  Maybe a sound guess, but still a guess.
This is not a comparison or a me-me-me post, BUT when I meet with someone, first thing we do is talk about a food log.  What do you eat, when you eat it, how much of it.  Then we tweak and I always say "Lets do this for 3-4 weeks and see how you feel, how things progress."  Every single time.
Again, why?  That sales trainer just said "Paleo is how we're supposed to eat."
Supposed to eat, meaning 100's of years ago.  Through evolution and adaption, our systems have changed.  My weight is different than your weight, I metabolize carbs different than you do, I burn fat different than you do, I build muscle different than you do, right?  We can go on and on.  So why would it be a fact that there is a one nutrition plan or guideline to think "this is it!"  Some people need more carbs than others.  Some people need more protein.  And thats not even mentioning actual goals or a natural body weight/composition.


Here's the point and ironically, the overall concept of Blue Chip... you have to try it all or you'll never know.  My daughter will say "eh, I dont like _____ (food)," and she's never tried it.  Same as yoga or pushing weights.  Have you tried it?  have you tried it with me?  Do you understand it?
Its about balance, moderation, experiencing, trial and error.
Many different ways to get fit and it involves many systems working together.


And it really isnt all about the mirror or jeans.  Its about your heart, your lungs, your tendons, joint strength, stress relief, confidence, vision, balance, release.  Its about walking out better than the way you were when you waled in.
Everyone knows, I coach and work w a good deal of young guys.  I have them write goals and we review and talk and I work this exerciser all over.  The point of the goals isnt actually achieving x goal(s).  It's about becoming the person you'll need to become to achieve the goal.
Think that through and read this out loud.

Its not about achieving the goal.  Its about becoming the person you need to become to actually achieve the goal.

So when you come in the weight room or yoga room for our session, you're not going to leave the same.  You will walk out a stronger more #powerful human than you were just 30-60 minutes ago.  It's not bullshit, it's not sales.  

This Is Blue Chip