Break’s Over

20180529_210840-EFFECTSWell, that was a long break. But sometimes life jumps up and demands some stoppage time.  So let’s get us all up to speed.

1 – I am back in Indiana. That means I am back to training with my Search and Rescue team, which is great. It also means I am away from my family and friends in Florida, which sucks. And away from my daughter, which i awful. There are many positives to focus on, which I am trying to do. But I am not always super successful.

2 – Nutrition and training. I am currently on a fat loss template from Renaissance Periodization. It has helped reteach me about the value of carbs and, yes, even sugar at times! I entered a Transformation Challenge to that end. It has taught me some mental toughness and grit. I am beginning to see real body recomposition and it is awesome. No eliminating entire groups of macronutrients. Just learning to fuel properly while still holing on to the principles that I believe in.
As for training…I still enjoy flipping and beating tires. I have added heavy caries again and throwing a heavy tire overhead. I am working Wendler 5/3/1 Boring But Big templates and adjusting assistance work to try and eliminate weaknesses. It’s been nice getting back to basics.

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3 – Mental. I have gone through the last few months feeling like there is a hollow spot. It feels like no one really gets me and, honestly, the pain inflicted through training is what gives me a sense of knowing and peace. There is just an odd part in there that I cannot figure out. Some missing piece. It’s a tough thing to feel like no one really gets you. But we will simply work through it, stay mindful, and figure out what that space is for.

4 – Education. I am still reading constantly. Finding positivity, education about the role of food in our lives. I am also attending University of the People. It is a tuition-free but accredited online university. It is legit! I am looking for a 2 year degree for now in Business and we will go from there. It will be useful when I open my gym someday.

Other than that? I am just trying to enjoy what is around me. My team, my kids, my training, and my friends. I continually try and push outside my comfort zone and will never stop doing that.

To tell the truth, I have been hurt by people very close to me. And that’s the thing…life does that. We will all be hurt sooner or later. People are human and they will let you down. But as Stoicism teaches us, it can only cause harm if you allow it. You don’t know their demons either. You and only you are in control of how you react to such things. You cannot control them, but you can control your reaction. You can control the way outside stimuli effect you. You can use that the same as you would use a cold shower or hard training. As a chance to practice getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. And if the same people hurt you twice, it is only because you have allowed it.

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I have been hurt by old friends, found new friends to love, trusted immediately, loved completely, and challenged myself constantly. But I am still far from ever becoming ugly. Except to those that don’t get it.

My life is not perfect. But it is helping me learn and grow and it’s full of love. So I guess that is something 🙂

 

Comfort Teaches Nothing

Funny thing about comfort…it’s comfortable. And if you are talking about a bed, blankets, a hug, or a pair of shoes, it’s a good thing. In general, comfort is good. It makes you want to experience that, whatever it is, more. That is a pretty good thing in many aspects of your life.

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However, with a career, training, nutrition, and other things, comfort is your enemy. You move into comfort and enjoy the feeling. You like where you are. On the surface, that is good. But it does not promote growth. Growth comes from being uncomfortable. Forcing yourself to learn a new skill or trade. Forcing yourself to work harder and move out of the sweet spot you have been coasting in. Loving your job, but pushing yourself to learn new parts of it. To be better. To find and work on your weaknesses.

True growth comes from putting yourself in a situation that does not feel good. Growth is gained through being uncomfortable. Uncomfortable situations often force positive change. Intentionally putting yourself in such a situation amounts to a lot of suck. It is not big fun, nor should it be. It is hard. It can be painful. It can be sad. It can make you uncomfortable. Like being tossed into the fire. And that means uncomfortable situations are simple to find. Try standing under a cold shower. Work out outside in the freezing cold or the rain. Turn off the air or heat in your car. Do something you are afraid of. Find a weakness and begin to punish it. Get comfortable with the feeling of being uncomfortable.

The good news is that steel is forged and strengthened in fire. Fire is a catalyst that promotes growth. Put the sword in fire. Pound it some more. Cool it. When you want to again strengthen the sword? Back into the fire.

Too many people are afraid of pain today. Physical and emotional pain is cleansing and a symptom of personal growth. There is no reset button to save you. Your only respite is to quit. And not quitting when it gets truly hard teaches you who you are. What you are made of. What you are capable of.

Find your fire today. Find your pain and let it strengthen you. A class. A trade. The gym. Dip yourself into that fire and forge yourself into what you were meant to be. The best you that you can be. And that will serve you well when the pain and discomfort are not your choice. Your only choice is how you will react.

Unbeatable.

Indestructible.

The best you that you were meant to be.

Comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Better than yesterday.

Are You Lost?

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“Get busy with life’s purpose, toss aside empty hopes, get active in your own rescue—if you care for yourself at all—and do it while you can.” ~Marcus Aurelius

Here’s why that matters:

You may be lost.

Don’t be afraid. It happens to all of us. We get focused on the happiness of everyone else. Our partners, children, family, team. We live for them. We live simply to make sure they are safe and happy. To be what it is they need us to be. Until one day we look around and realize something.

We are lost.

We don’t know where we are, who we are, how we got here. We aren’t who we remember and aren’t really sure we can find them again. And here’s the problem with that…

Although none of those people will tell you…they miss you. They love you or hang with you or spend time with you because of who you are. Or now…were.

We stop. Suddenly we are more round in the middle and pretend it doesn’t matter. Start dressing in a way we think they will like better. Stop taking the time for the gym or nutrition because, well, they are more important.

But they aren’t.

The rub is that you aren’t taking care of them anymore as soon as you aren’t taking care of you. And yeah, I can hear all the parents out there:

“I am a parent! I stopped living for me when I became a parent. I love my babies! You shut your damn mouth!”

Well, you are fooling yourself. How in the Hell can you take care of anyone else if you are truly refusing to take care of yourself? Sure, you can convince yourself and live through your kids. But they WILL leave sooner or later if you do your job. And then what? Then you truly have nothing. You have built no life, no temple, no community. You have defined yourself as something that you never were except for 20 years or so.

Look, I get it. I am a parent myself. I have 2 amazing kids. And I love them as much as you love yours. In fact, I love them SO much that I make sure I love myself, too. I am in a volunteer organization that helps the community. I coach people on wellness, fitness, nutrition. I teach folks to work out. And I eat well.

I teach folks to hunt and fish or just how to live a life that is mindful and purposeful if they wish. Including my children. And they see me live by that code. Helping others. Giving back. LOVING MYSELF.

I had a time long ago where we would play outside and I would suggest we go in and find a movie. I cringe thinking of it now. Since that very day, they saw a change. I was almost 300# and looked every bit of it. Now? I eat well. Lots of plants and some animals. 2 to 3 big meals a day. I fight inflammation and illness with my diet and will always do so.

Listen, I know you love your kids. So do they. Now show them how much it is ok to love themselves.

Live by your own code. Live a life that you can be proud of. And THEY can be proud of.

Purposeful. Mindful.

Just Full.

I promise you, seeing the confidence and independence and sense of self-worth it builds will give you all the feedback you need.

They deserve the best version of you that you can be.

And so do you.