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.


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 🙂


A Night Light in Darkness


When I was a child, I was scared of the dark. ANYTHING could happen in the dark, and none of it was good. My son is the same now. He knows that the only way to make the darkness go away is with light. For now, we combat that.

Try asking him if he thinks that it will help if we kill all the lights and shut his door, making it darker. Ask him if that will drive out the darkness that brings him so much fear.

I am not the answer to all of the world’s problems. But WE ARE the answer to all the world’s problems. We can all be night lights.

Darkness and hate can not be driven out with hate and darkness. It doesn’t work like that. It has never worked like that.

The only thing that cuts darkness…destroys it…is light.

You want to destroy darkness? Try light. Try being the change. Be a night light. The cool thing about a night light is that, yes, it helps with your own dark. But, almost by accident, it helps with other peoples’ dark as well. It does not choose where its beams will fall. They fall everywhere and cut the darkness, providing a brighter view to the world around it.

What we are seeing right now are people fighting hate with hate. Closing the door and making it darker, believing that this will help fight the darkness. Until the rest of us learn to love, really love, nothing will change. It will grow darker. You will stop caring if the sun rises.

Be a night light.

Me? I still look for the sunrise. I still notice the vibrant greens after the rain. I still smell the salt air or the pines on the breeze.

Yes, I am a man that will always do what is necessary. Sometimes those things are not pleasant for everyone. But that is not what is needed right now.

The problem right now is a lack of love, compassion, and light. The problem right now is that there are too many fighting hate with more hate. We are killing EACH OTHER. We are not the enemy, folks. We are humans. We are beings.

We are scared of the dark. Be a night light.

Unless we can find a way to accept each other and love each other just for being a human, we will not recover. We can’t.

We need a night light.


A Good Man

Maybe it is time we all stop arguing about what is or isn’t right. What we should or should not be.

You know what it is to be and do good. Just go out today and do that.

Love, fight the good fight, spread joy, drive out darkness.



The Peace Within

“Nothing, to my way of thinking, is better proof of a well-ordered man than his ability to stop just where he is and pass some time in his own company.” ~Seneca


If you are struggling with nutrition, fitness, a relationship, your job, or life in general, I want you to realize something. Nothing outside of yourself that you do will matter if you can’t get your mind right. The secret to everything in your life is much more simple than you think.

A powerful mind is an interesting thing to define. Some will think of a story or movie they are familiar with that tells a story of overcoming hardships or life and death struggles. Some will think of the Dali Lama. Some may think of prisoners of war. But each of us is trapped within our own prison or cell. Our minds are so often the limiting factor of what we can do or accomplish.

Have you ever stood in your shower and turned the hot water down or off? At first, the feeling is unbearable…or so you believe. But there is a wonderful strength to be found in learning to bear such situations. Growth is most often achieved through overcoming difficulties. Becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable teaches us to dig within and find the piece of ourselves that allow us to persevere.

At the heart of it, these things come from love and positivity. Love and positivity are so important. I cannot stress this enough. If you cannot see yourself and your life in a positive way that allows you to visualize your success, no amount of hard work will matter. Wake up thankful with a vision of your life in mind. Say thank you out loud if you want! Write your goals for the day. Meditate and breathe peacefully. This isn’t all hocus-pocus. It is about getting you a set point that springs forth in a positive way. Knowing that any situation, no matter how daunting or awful, is simply temporary. You can choose how to react to it but nothing more. Your reaction is your own.

Here is a test…
The next time you are in a quiet place, close your eyes and attempt to clear your mind of everything. No thoughts of your day or obligations or responsibility. When something springs to mind, remove it. Clear your mind.

Were you successful?

I can tell you that, in times of stress, I used to find it impossible to simply read a book. I would read the same sentence over and over, with thoughts of my troubles constantly invading and overrunning my peace.

You must find your peace and your center. You must find your positivity. You must be able to focus on just your own breathing or heartbeat.

Until you can master your own mind, body, and soul you will find it difficult to master anything outside of that.  And like exercising or training, there are ways to train this. No one masters it without exercise and repetition.

This is truly where your journey will start. Just practicing being at peace with yourself.

There are so many good places to begin. Sit on the beach and watch the waves cycle. Walk through the woods and pay no attention to anything except the stimulus around you. Sit in the woods before daylight and watch the world begin to awaken as the sun rises.

The world is cyclical. Be mindful in your pursuit of these cycles and in your pursuit of peace. It is there for all of us and free of charge. It is your therapy and your medicine.

Your life is yours and yours alone. No one in this world cares more about it than you do. It is up to you how you will perceive it and grow within it. You cannot control what happens to you, only how you react to those things.

Live on your terms. Define your own goals and limits. Learn to be good company for yourself. Build a mind that is the strongest part of you. The rest will come.


Eating Mindfully

Being mindful and purposeful in your life can take on many forms and happen at any time. Many of the chances to do so are things you do every day. Although a meal may not seem to be something that you can do purposefully and mindfully, I will use today’so breakfast to give an example.


The coffee is from Black Rifle Coffee Company. They are a vey involved with other veteran-owned companies and are supportive of veterans. A sip is delicious and reminds me of the people I served with as well as the ones deployed and the ones that never are to return.

The bacon is uncured and delicious. It reminds me to read ingredients and understand as much as possible about sourcing.

The strawberries, spinach, and eggs are local. This reminds me to be conscious of helping the community around me and the chances that exist to provide for ourselves with more work.

Then the Kerry Gold cheese reminds me to not only consider my food, but the foods that my food takes in. Food sources are important on a nutrition, local, and global stage.

The key is that a meal does not have to be all personally sourced. But to be mindful is to consider the meal. Be thoughtful about what the meal means. What the foods are doing as fuel for your body. What that fuel means and the things it provides.

Take your time. Be mindful and purposeful with each bite. Chew it thoroughly and thoughtfully with each bite.

And most importantly, enjoy the meal completely and the way it feels. Not to be full, but pay attention to when your appetite is satiated. The point where you are really no longer hungry. How that feels. How your body reacts and the way not hungry feels as compared to the feeling of being “full” that most will try and attain. This is a very important lesson. Hunger can be a great tool and something we can all learn from. Hunger is a chance to be uncomfortable and find a way to be comfortable with that. It can then translate into comfort in many aspects of your life that may also be uncomfortable.

A meal isn’t just fuel for the body. If done well, it is a meditation.