The Fight


The fight is not always outside. It is not always muscle against muscle, the metallic taste of blood, the sound of flesh being bruised and beaten, or the smell of war.

No, often, the struggle is within. It is a hard fight to stay the course. To be steady in your thoughts. To learn to absorb the pain and stress and keep it from those you love. To know that you will accept the pain and let it dwell within you until you find a place to unleash it. A proper place where no one will be hurt. Where, afterward, the only dweller in the pain cave is yourself, and it has manifested into the physical pain of true intensity and effort to make your mind and body more armored.

This fight is real, my friends. It happens within many of us without anyone ever hearing a word about it. The only sounds of this battle turn out to be gasps for breath, crashes of metal, the grunt of pain. One man finding a way to unleash this creature in a struggle with the iron. A place to leave all of the pain, the anger, the fear, the loss, the grief, and exchange it for mental toughness and physical improvements that ends each time with a wave of pain as the warrior lies on the ground and lets it wash over them. Cleansing. Fierce and burning. Curling the body into positions of safety.

A dip into the cleansing fire, a warrior emerging feeling victorious and battle hardened. Not so much over the iron or the demon that dared try to drag him away. But over himself. His own rapt fear and insecurity. His own pain and anger and longing.

He lies there, feeling the waves of pain washing over him after the intensity of the job let him stay just ahead of its breakwaters for just long enough to finish. But now, plunged into the cave with the tides coming to take their due, he basks in the pain. The pain lets him know he is still alive. Still ready and able to do battle. To kill the him that was there when he arrived. To exit reborn, a bit stronger and better.

You walk by and see a man looking at himself, sweating, drinking water and gulping air. Wondering why…why anyone would put themselves through that. Why they enjoy that pain so damn much. Why their palms rip and body aches, bloodied and flush. Unable to talk and maybe still lying there, trying to be able to move again. Perhaps one day you finally ask them…
“Why? Why do you do this to yourself? Why would you destroy yourself over and over every day? What are you trying to do? Kill yourself?”

He would look at you. Stare and try to discern why it is you cannot understand. Why you would ask such a ridiculous question. Maybe he would have his breath to answer. Maybe only his soul could whisper. Maybe it is written in the stare through pained eyes, the blood on his hands or shins, the tattoos on his skin, and the sweat rolling from his body.




“Yes. I am trying to kill myself.”


“I am trying to kill the part of me that came in with the pain from missing my children and my love.

The part of me that misses my family, those by blood and by choice.

The part of me that came in with the pain of the brothers and sisters lost in a far-off land.

The part of me that lost my best friend just weeks ago.

The part of me that came in with the pain of feeling isolated and alone.

The part of me that came in with the pain of feeling helpless to help someone far away.

The part of me that came in with the pain of feeling I lost myself somewhere.

The part of me that came in with the pain of being weak, fat, out of shape, an embarrassment to myself.

The part of me that came in with the pain of never wanting to leave my children far too early, as my parents did me.

The part of me that fights through sadness every day of my life.

The part of me that hates who I have become because I know who I once was.

The part of me that wants you to know that I have your back, even when you could care less about mine.

The part of me that thinks being called average is an insult, not a compliment.

Yes, I am trying to kill myself. Because a better man rises from that. A man that demands more of himself. A man that strives to become the best version of himself he can be.

The fight is not always out there. The fight much more often is in here.

I know my enemy’s weaknesses as he knows mine.

We will continue this fight.

The fight is not always out there.

The fight is within me. A beast. A beast I love and that I hate.

I am winning, for now.

And I will never stop fighting.”



Something to Believe In


There is an amazing speech that too few people have heard or remember. This speech comes from the movie Second Hand Lions. It’s a movie you don’t hear much about, but that had several good messages. I would HIGHLY recommend it to anyone that is trying to walk that path of honor and integrity and be a mindful human in this small world.

The text of that speech is as follows:

Walter: Those stories about Africa . . . about you . . . they’re true, aren’t they?
Hub: Doesn’t matter.
Walter: It does too. Around my mom all I hear is lies. I don’t know what to believe.
Hub: Damn, if you want to believe in something then believe in it. Just because something isn’t true that’s no reason you can’t believe in it.
There’s a long speech I give to young men. Sounds like you need to hear a piece of it. Just a piece.
Sometimes, the things that may or may not be true are the things that a man needs to believe in the most. That people are basically good. That honor, courage, and virtue mean everything. That power and money, money and power, mean nothing. That good always triumphs over evil, and I want you to remember this, that love . . . true love never dies. You remember that, boy. Remember that. Doesn’t matter if it’s true or not, you see. A man should believe in those things because . . . those are the things worth believing in.

We cannot choose or control what happens in our lives many times. What we CAN control is the way in which we react. Reactions are our own and no other being can ever force our reaction. It is purely yours. That makes it especially valuable and powerful. Don’t waste it.

Now the things that are worth believing in…

That honor, courage, and virtue mean everything. There is a simple truth I grew up hearing and that my kids are growing up hearing. That simple truth is that the most valuable things you own are your name and your word. Without both, they are worthless. Together, they are priceless. Honor, courage, and virtue are things that can be overlooked in today’s world. Make no mistake…their value is not lost. Only the appraisers.

That power and money, money and power mean nothing. Here’s the thing…if you lost every dollar you had, you would still be you. Remember that.

Good always triumphs over evil. Some will say that this makes things too predictable. We are, after all, in the age of the anti-hero. Breaking Bad, Deadpool, The Walking Dead, and a few others are good examples. But there is a greater truth out there. The good will always outnumber the bad. Always.

True love never dies. I don’t think I need to go into this one.

And really, that’s the point he makes in his speech. It doesn’t matter if they are true. It doesn’t matter what I say. It doesn’t matter what anyone else says. All that matters is if you believe.

My suggestion is pretty simple…figure out what you believe. Figure out who you are. Figure out what counts.

Then become a warrior who is not afraid to fight for what you believe. Who is unafraid to sacrifice everything for those beliefs. Who makes those things worth believing in your creed and your life. Who is unafraid to taste their own blood to protect them.

Someone who will do whatever is necessary to make sure those beliefs stand firm.

Someone who needs no motivation, for they have discipline.

Become as valuable as your word and your name. And then make sure those you surround yourself with are held to that standard. After all, sometimes believing in someone is enough for them to become what you believe they can be.

Love and belief…therein lies the real power.

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.

It’s Simple: Just Live

Some folks have asked me where Hunter Living comes from. Why is Hunter Living a thing? Is it about hunting?

The short answer is no, it is not. But one pillar of Hunter Living does come directly from the hunters and gatherers of our past. And, to that end, many of the healthiest populations in the world also share this trait.

That is, an active life.

For the hunters and gatherers in our past, being active was a necessity to survive. Working fields to grow crops, fishing in part to fertilize the fields, hunting to bring home meat and knowing you would go hungry if you failed. Life was constant work to take care of your family’s needs. REAL needs.

Although it is more indirectly, the same can be said for us today. One of the issues is that instead of journeys by foot, most of us sit in a vehicle to get to a desk where we sit. Many people wake up at the last minute, eat whatever is handy, if at all, show up and stare at a screen. We sit our entire lives. We are largely sedentary. And it is killing us. Not in some dramatic way, but slowly.

One of the most important lessons in Hunter Living is to be active. So no, it doesn’t mean gathering berries and seeds and hunting for your dinner…but it could. You could plant a garden, forage, hunt. Those are wonderful ways to feel at one with your environment and great practices in mindfulness. However, you could also walk to the store when possible, get up from your desk 5 minutes every hour and walk or do some other form of exercise, or do some form of exercise in your life.

This pillar is not about me designing a workout plan for you, although it could be. No, it is about finding a way to be a little more active daily. Move and use your body a little bit more. Be a more active participant in your world. And this does not need to be an all-in, overnight change. It could be as simple as taking a walk every day.

Believe me, I understand being busy. But if you don’t make time for yourself, your health, and your own piece of mind, who will?

If you want to look at your diet or exercise and find a way to small improvements, that’s fantastic. I would even be more than happy to help. But the journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step. So try and mix in a 5 minute walk today and see how it goes. Do it 3 days in a row and you suddenly have a habit.

Life is not meant to be passively enjoyed. We were not designed to sit for 12+ hours a day and then lie down for 8. We were not meant to be tied to a desk for hours at a time with no freedom of movement or control over our environment. We are, all of us, meant for greatness. Get up, move around, discover your environment and find a way to actively enjoy it. Be involved in your community and life. Make them better. And leave the world a better place.

Love yourself so you can love each other!

You don’t have to be a hunter or farmer to live better. But you do need to be active in your life. How you choose to do that is up to you.

Make the most of what you have.

That is Hunter Living.

Hunter Living

To be a mindful person means a lot of things to a lot of people. But there is one really good place to start, and that is with answering a couple of simple questions:

Where am I?

What time is it?

Being mindful means recognizing some really simple answers to those questions.



Many other things can be going on that define those two spaces. But your job is to recognize what they mean and where you fit.

In you’re here and now, are you eating? If so, have you thought about where the food came from? One of the biggest problems with fast food is not only the added calories through needless ingredients. But also losing touch with the fact that the meal is important. That there was a story. If I go and plant a garden and harvest the vegetables. Then I hunt and use the meat, prepare a bone stock, and perhaps tan the hide yourself to have a blanket. These things all make you consider what went into it as you eat. The memories of things that happened when you were preparing the garden. The hunt that brought your satiety and warmth. This is not only with meats, but with all things that you have.

We will speak more on the hunt later.

For now, just try thinking on your place and time. One of my favorite quotes by Seneca reads:

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

Try being still and quiet. Can you clear your mind of all of the traffic that is usually moving through? Or is there so much that it is hard to sit and just “be”? I can recall being in a place where I could not even sit down and read without being flooded with thoughts. Being bombarded with thoughts and stressors. One thing after another screaming for attention. I was a man unable to do as Seneca suggested. That meant needed changes in my schedule and routine. Add time to get my body and mind strong again.

Learn to recognize where I was and what time it is.

Learn to, once again, get to know the man I was staring at in the mirror and to take good care of him. To be mindful of his place.

That is Hunter Living.

Love is all you need…

Hey you.
You need to know something.
I have served as a United States Marine. I have been on many searches with my search and rescue family. I have chosen vendors mindfully. I have tried to live positively. I have done good for the sake of being good and helped whenever I can.
And there is a reason that I have done these things. Why I will always do these things.

It’s because, no matter who you are, what you think of me, or how you feel right now….
I love you.

Whether you feel alone, happy, sad.
Whether you need a friend or need to be alone.
Wherever you are.
I love you.

And if you love me and each other, then a difference begins to be made
An amazing difference.

A change in the world.

A positive charge!

And it all started with you. With 3 words and a belief.

I love you. And I know you can love, too.

Now go out and be the change! The Peaceful Warrior! The positive charge.

Be the difference.

All it takes is a little love and kindness to change the world.

You can change the world.

It starts right now. Right here.

I believe in you.
And I love you.