Motivation

Lessons from Joe Rogan and Skydiving

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I was listening to Joe Rogan’s podcast yesterday and he started talking about the importance of doing things you are not good at. He said it was crucial to become a beginner at something again.

That seems like a rough way to treat yourself, but I completely agree. It is good for you brain and your body to try things that are out of your comfort zone.

Never was this more alive to me than when I went sky diving for the first time last weekend. Check out that picture! Here is another one:

The most nerve racking part, when your toes are hanging off and you are 14,000 feet up.

It was definitely out of my comfort zone, considering I don’t like heights or flying. But when your wife surprises you with the opportunity on your 40th birthday, you jump at the chance. No pun intended.

And it was amazing! That first picture is from the free fall, where you are flying through the air like Superman. An unreal feeling that I wish everyone could experience.

Was it comfortable? No. Was I nervous? My palms still sweat thinking about it. But I am so glad I did it. My life was literally in someone else’s hands and that someone was a stranger!

Stretching and growing isn’t easy, but it is worth it to get better. I had a speaking engagement a few days later and my wife asked me if I was nervous and I said, “I just jumped out of an airplane, this does not worry me now.”

What are you afraid to do because it is not in your comfort zone? Are you afraid to try something because you are afraid to fail? Don’t be! Look at it as a win, win. If you succeed, awesome! If you don’t, you learn from it.

Your homework for the weekend is take some time and figure out what you need to do to stretch and grow. Lift heavier weights? Try your first 5k? Learn how to swim as an adult? Take up kayaking?

Find something you are a beginner at, stick to it, and continue to challenge yourself! The hardest part is the beginning when you are not good at something. Persevere and you will so glad that you did.

Bro, why do you only train women?

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One of the most common questions I get about my boot camp is "Why just women?"

My typical answer involves how my training experience led me to decide that women are the best clients and that was a need in the community for a women only fitness class. That answer does not tell the full story.

My experience in class not too long ago, tells the story a lot better.

I was in class the other day marveling at the amazing women that I'm surrounded by. In just one day I had the opportunity to train women who had lost husbands, children, parents, and everything they own to Katrina.

 

Women who had been through divorces, rehabs, abusive relationships, and layoffs.

 

Women who had beat cancer, sickle cell, diabetes, lupus, and numerous other serious diseases.

 

Single moms, women who take care of aging parents, and women who have taken on the role of mom and dad while their husband is serving overseas.

Women who have served overseas fighting for our country. And women who volunteer tirelessly in our community fighting battles against hunger, child abuse, and so many other worthy causes.

 

And these are just the women I see in my classes! Every one of these women is still standing tall and staying strong.

Why do I train only women?

Because they are bad asses.

 

Have a great weekend and happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!

 

Please read if you have given up

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I have a confession for you, but you have to keep it to yourself. There have been a lot of days lately where I have hated exercise.

It’s hard for me to admit, but I feel better telling somebody. That is weird because I have loved exercising almost my entire life.

Dealing with a couple of significant injuries and having some fatigue issues have really made it not so fun. Can’t lift as heavy, go as hard, or go as far as I used to be able to so what’s the point? It’s very frustrating.

Have you ever felt that way? You get to the point where you want to give up because it is too hard, uncomfortable, inconvenient, or insert your excuse here? If so, it is ok you are not alone.

You can not give up! Stop focusing on what you can’t do and dominate what you can do! Look for the reasons, not the excuses.

And I am not getting on to you, I am talking to myself just as much as anybody else. You may have to slow down, you may have to take a few steps back, and it may not be what it used to be right away but you can still make progress. Keep pressing forward!

If your lower body is injured, summer is right around the corner let’s get those guns ready. If your upper body is injured, that is great news! That means you can have all the squats in the world. And if you are too beat up to exercise, then it is a perfect time to put your energy into cleaning up your eating habits.

Most of all you need to stay positive. Feed yourself positive thoughts, get around positive people, and break the habit of talking negative to yourself.

Let’s keep each other encouraged, build each other up, and keep this train rolling. We have stuff left to do in this life and we are going to need to be at our best to make it happen.

Have a great weekend!

Inspiration from the Barkley Marathons

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Last night I started watching a documentary on Netflix about the Barkley Marathons in Tennessee. It is an insanely tough race, that many consider to be the hardest race in the world.

Great documentary to check out next time you are lost in the Netflix searching zone. It even has a guy from Huntsville in it.

I loved the quote I heard from the race director, Gary “Lazarus Lake” Cantrell. He said, “You can’t accomplish anything without the possibility of failure.”

I thought that was so awesome! Looking back on your life, what are your proudest accomplishments? Chances are they came with a high chance of failure. We tend to live safer lives the older we get. We also tend to stop growing as people the older we get.

 

My next question is this: Have you stopped challenging yourself?

When was the last time you did something that you were completely scared to do, but you did it any way? Whether or not you succeed is not the point, it is the intent to step out there and stretch your limitations.

Here is your homework. Write down one goal you want to accomplish that scares you to death.

One that makes your heart race just thinking about it. Did anything just pop into your head?

This goal can involve fitness, your career, family, relationships, or whatever it is that you are scared to do. When you figure yours out, I would love to know what it is. I'm still trying to come up with my next goal.

I look forward to hearing about your new goal!

Why you need to struggle

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I was reading an article about why Japanese children do so well in math compared to other countries. The reason was not what I thought it would be.

 

The kids do so well in math because their teachers allow them to struggle the longest with problems.

 

That sounds kind of counter productive at first, but it makes sense. It is hard to watch kids struggle! Have you ever watched a small child “help” with dinner, tie shoes, dress themselves, or learn how to walk? Your first instinct is to help them out and do it for them. You don’t want them to suffer through the process.

 

But the struggle is vital to make change and progress. Otherwise they will never learn to do things on their own.

 

We need to struggle to move forward. And that is especially true in exercise.

 

You have to continually struggle to get better, the workouts should not be a breeze every time, and some days you may even wonder why you try. Those feelings are natural and happen to everybody.

 

The one thing you must avoid is comparison to others. No one knows what all you have going on and vice versa you knowing about them. We all struggle in different ways and handle the struggles in our own personal manner.

 

Next time you are struggling, embrace it and don't give in. The struggle is helping you reach your goals, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time.

It’s that time of year…

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Did you know that now is when you see the most dramatic drop off in gym attendance every year? For whatever reason the third full week in February is when most resolutions are over.

If you have given up on the goals you have set for yourself, it’s not too late! There is plenty of 2017 to go, you just need to recalibrate.

Your first step is to find out what went wrong. Did you choose a goal that just sounded good, but not one you were committed to? Did you set too many goals? Did you have the right goal, but it turns out you hate working out?

It could be several different reasons why things did not work out. No pun intended.

Your second step is to figure out a new game plan. Don’t think about having to commit to the rest of the year. Set a goal for the next 4 weeks. As legendary SEAL Joe Maguire says, “Don’t look forward to the pain.” More on that in Friday’s e-mail.

Your third step is to figure out the most enjoyable way you could reach your goals. What types of exercise do you actually enjoy? Roller skating, yoga, swimming, hiking, lifting weights, shaking weights? Pick something you look forward to.

The fourth step is to do the same thing with food the next four weeks. Find some healthy foods that you like. They are out there I promise, you may have to do some experimenting. Or if you prefer you can start with the food first, then try the exercise in the fourth step.

Living a healthy lifestyle does not have to make you miserable. On the contrary it should make you feel energized and excited! You just have to find what works for you, even if it isn’t the typical “go to the gym, eat foods you hate but are super healthy, and look great but hate your life” tract that people get stuck on.

 

Challenge #5- Don’t be a victim

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Your challenge this week is to do one thing to eliminate one major source of stress in your life.

 

What's the thing in your life that causes you the most negative thoughts in your life? When you read stress, what immediately popped into your head? That's what you need to attack.

 

Whatever it is, just do ONE thing this week that starts to work on the stress source. You will feel so much better just by doing one thing!

 

I am a true believer in the AAA principle.

Action Alleviates Anxiety

No matter how big the situation is, pick out something to do. In debt and can't see your way out? Start a budget. Does it immediately solve your problem? No, but it's a start.

 

Are you so out of weight and have so much weight to lose you feel paralyzed? Start keeping a food journal, do 10 minutes of exercise, or eat one healthy meal. You didn't put all of that weight on overnight and it's not going to come off overnight. Start the process now.

 

Do you find yourself stressed out by the political climate in America right now? Do something positive in your community. Does it fix the entire country? No, but it sure beats worrying and feeling helpless all the time.

When all you are doing is worrying about a problem it becomes a much bigger problem. You become more negative and the stress continues to build. When you start to do something about the issue, you can begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Take action and you become an active participant in getting the stress resolved, rather than just being a victim. These may seem like small, worthless steps but they will help I promise.

Do one thing this week to help with your biggest source of stress.

How Marines use the power of Why

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I have just started to listening to the book Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg on CD. Shout out to the public library. It’s full of free stuff!

 

One story in the book was talked about techniques that recruits use to get through boot camp to become Marines. When things get the absolute worst the recruits are taught to ask each other questions that start with Why.

This sounds a little strange, but there is a method to the madness. Duhigg explains, ”If you can link something hard to a choice you care about, it makes the task easier, Quintanilla’s drill instructors had told him. That’s why they asked each other questions starting with “why.” Make a chore into a meaningful decision, and self-motivation will emerge.”

 

Quintanilla is a young man who is going through boot camp. During a grueling portion of boot camp called The Crucible his buddy asked him “Why are you doing this?” His reply was, “To become a Marine and build a better life for my family.”

You have to have a Why in your life too. I want to lose weight is not enough. Dig deeper!

-Why do you want to lose weight? To fit back into that dress I haven’t worn in years.

-Why? To feel better about myself.

-Why? So my husband will be attracted to me again. Ding, ding, ding! This is the real Why.

That is a real example that I have experienced. When you get to that deep of a Why, you are almost guaranteed to be successful.

Tie your Why to the mundane task of chopping vegetables, prepping food for the week, or planning meals. Remember your Why when it is cold, your bed is warm but your workout is waiting. Remember your Why when you are shopping for groceries or trying to get through that last set of pushups.

The actual workout part is physical but the mental side is what will keep you going. Put the work in, it is worth your time to discover your true Why.

That time I got scabies in Ireland…

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When I was 21 years old I was living in Dublin, Ireland. The last two weeks before I was about to go home, my older brother Tony flew over and we traveled along the coast of Ireland.

 

We had some awesome adventures and saw some great sights. One place stands out in particular for a not so good reason.

I got scabies from a hostel in Killarney located in County Kerry.

This was pre-internet in your pocket, so we based all of our decisions on one of those Fodor’s travel books. We would pick the cheapest hostel from the book and stay there.

It backfired on us, when I got scabies. If you want to horrify yourself, go look up what scabies are. Shudder…

So I have these super, itchy rashes on the inside of my arms and along my waistline. The best part of my day was when I got in the shower and burned the places with the hottest water I could find. Side note- that’s not what you are supposed to do.

I didn’t go to a doctor. Didn’t get any help. Just kept doing my quick fix of really hot showers that gave me temporary relief.

When I came back to the states, I finally went to the doctor. I got a prescription cream and it cleared it up almost immediately.

Pretty silly to wait that long when I could have gotten help huh?

People do the same thing every day with their body. They are not happy with how their body looks, feels, or performs but they will continue trying quick fixes.

Fad diets, the latest supplement regimen, or a couple of weeks of random workouts on their own. It’s ok to get help! This stuff is confusing and constantly changing, I feel your pain.

I get it, I did the same thing. I was embarrassed, I was broke, and I figured I could just deal with it.

It doesn’t have to be like that! There is no need to be embarrassed. I’ve been overweight and out of shape myself, don’t ever give up on yourself. We all started somewhere.

You don’t have to be rich to get in great shape. Want to hear some great news? Burpees don’t cost a thing! There are tons of free ways to get in shape. Eating healthy appears to cost more overall, but there are ways to eat good and not break the bank.

You don’t have to put up with feeling bad about you look. You don’t have to accept feeling tired all the time.

Life is too short to not be enjoyed to the fullest! And you can’t do that if you don’t feel good about how you look and feel.

If you have questions that I can help you with, please don’t hesitate to ask them. I’m always here to help.

You have gold underneath your plaster

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Have you ever heard the story of the Golden Buddha statue in Bangkok, Thailand. It’s pretty amazing!

The statue, officially called Phra Phuttha Maha Suwana Patimakon, is a 5.5 ton statue made of gold that was believed to be from the 13th-14th century, but was not discovered until 1954. How did a giant, gold statue avoid discovery for so many years?

For hundreds of years the statue had hidden in plain sight. At some point over the years, the beautiful, gold statue had been covered in plaster so it would not be stolen by invading armies.

The discovery was accidental. Workers were trying to move the statue, the ropes broke, and the giant statue came crashing to the ground. On further inspection after the accident, gold was seen shining through the cracked plaster.

Isn’t that amazing? Something similar to this is one of my driving beliefs for boot camp.

I truly believe that everyone has an athlete inside of them.

I’m not talking about being great at sports either. I’m talking about the joy of movement. Our bodies are meant to move, to be challenged, to try new things, and to experience the thrill that comes with doing those things.

Do you know why it feels so good to exercise even when it hurts sometimes? Because you are doing what your body is designed to do!

It is your job to find out what that kind of movement is. If you’ve hated exercise in the past, try something new! A great way to describe our boot camps is: exercise for people who hate to exercise.

A common compliment we get from our classes is “I can’t believe it, but I actually enjoy exercise now!” That could be you too.

Find some form of movement that you enjoy and that you will continue to do on a consistent basis, whatever that happens to be. It is worth the effort and it will change your life.

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