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THE TIDAL WAVE

I had this dream the other night. It wasn’t like my usual dreams that seem to have little meaning until I wake up and analyze them before I head off to work. This dream was much different. While I was still unconscious I immediately understood why I was having this dream and what it meant. I know that I tend to ramble on quite a bit and go off on some weird tangents, so I will do my best to avoid doing that. What I intend to do in the following paragraphs is describe the dream as best I can. That will give you the opportunity to think about what it means to you if you choose to do so. After I describe the dream I will attempt to describe in detail what the dream meant to me, and how it relates to the, “real world.”
The dream began on a large cruise ship. Nothing too special about it, just your basic Carnival cruise ship. It was a perfectly sunny day and I was on the top deck with many people that I knew. I can’t name everyone that was there with me in this dream, but I recognized a lot of the faces in the crowd. While writing this I just thought about how the subconscious manifests random people that we do not recognize, but must have seen at some point in life. Crazy how the mind holds on to information we don’t think about. Sorry for the tangent, time to get back on track. On the ship everyone was having a good time and it seemed as though nothing in the world could negatively impact this perfect day that we were all sharing. Out of nowhere the sky begins to go black. Things went from clear to dark in the blink of an eye, and not a single person on that ship could have predicted it. After the sky turned, the seas began to get rough. It wasn’t long before a mammoth tidal wave began to present itself near the ship. It loomed ominously above all of us, almost freezing in time so that the image of it about to crash down upon us would be burned into our minds. When the tidal wave crashed upon the ship my dream transferred me to a birds eye view of the ship sinking and people panicking. This was only for a brief moment though. After seeing the carnage I was back in my body and sinking under water just like everybody else. In the past when something like this would happen in one of my dreams I would wake up to avoid whatever frightful situation was about to occur. I chose to remain present in the dream. I was aware that it was a dream because I have been practicing being aware of my dreams just as I have been practicing being more aware when I am conscious.
With the ship sinking and people panicking I had a few options. I could swim to the rescue boats (those appeared out of nowhere) with no thought for anyone but myself, I could accept what seemed to be my demise and sink to the bottom, or I could do everything in my power to help others and myself reach the rescue boats. I chose to do everything I could to help others. While I was swimming around and grabbing people I noticed my brother, Michael, doing the same thing. It was random because I had not see him on board the ship when we were safely cruising through life. Both of us, and a few others, were risking everything to help those around us that did not have the ability to help themselves. As I was helping people I was still observing everything else that was going on in the dream. There were many people choosing to swim to the boats on their own, often passing by people that were drowning. I saw people drowning without putting up any kind of fight for their life whatsoever. The worst thing that I saw was when I was swimming as hard as I could to grab one more person. We made eye contact and they were still above water. I felt myself shout to them, “just hold on, I’m coming for you. Keep fighting.” They were on the verge of being saved, and yet they chose to give up. Right in front of my eyes, I was doing everything to help someone and they just didn’t want it. They would rather give up. I suppose that was the easier option than facing a life in which things could go from sunny skies to a total shit storm at the drop of a hat.
After we were rescued by the random small boats that appeared out of nowhere we began to head towards the safety of dry land. Once again, we were safe, we were cruising along, and the past was behind us. The skies were clear again and the sun was beaming down on us. There were probably 3 or 4 rescue boats full of those that had escaped the tragedy of the larger ship sinking. As I sat safely on board my little boat I remember seeing a few of my life long friends standing near the railing. They were happy to be alive, and enjoying the ride. Everything seemed great and the beach was in sight. We were probably 100 yards away when another tidal wave approached as if it had been stalking us the entire time. It towered above us and then crashed just behind our small boats as they sped towards safety. Another giant wave presented itself and then came down even closer to us. I walked towards the back of the boat to get a closer look at the waves. They intrigued me for one reason or another. One last wave arose so close to us that I was able to reach out and touch the massive wall of water that was sure to engulf me, and my fellow travelers. I felt a sense of calm come over me. I knew things were about to get rough, but I didn’t mind. I knew what I would do when things got bad, just as I had done earlier in the dream.
The wave took our whole boat under water. Instead of having a bird’s eye view of the situation as I had in the previous disaster, I was swept under the surface of the ocean. I recall tumbling around with no control over what was going to happen. I could see others being thrown about by the turbulent sea that had been created by the tons of water that had smashed down on us. When I stopped rolling around under water I immediately worked towards swimming to the surface and looking for other survivors. The beach was in sight. I remember putting two children on my back as I swam my ass off to get to the beach. As I neared the beach I saw two parents screaming for somebody to help their child that had just began to sink towards the ocean floor. I dove under, I saw the child, and I brought it to the surface. I delivered the children to the beach, and to their parents. I was confused about why they hadn’t gone into the water to save their own children, but I suppose everyone has their reasons for the choices they make in life. After getting to the beach I looked around and didn’t see my brother. This is the first time in the dream that I started to panic. I started to sprint back out into the water to search for him. I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw him coming out of the water. He had already been to the beach and gone back out into the sea to save more people. That was the end of the dream.
When I woke up in the morning I was so excited that I had dreamt something so amazing. I didn’t need to lie in bed and think about what it meant because everything was so clear to me. It blows my mind to think about how I have an irrational fear of drowning, but in that dream I had no fear whatsoever. When I had dreams in the past that presented difficult situations I would often wake myself up and feel that anxiety from the dream in my awakened state. Things have changed quite a bit for me over the last year or so, and it is very interesting to see how my dreams, and the way I behave in them, demonstrate the change in behavior and mindset.
At this point I would like to get into what this dream really meant to me. You may view it differently and that is totally ok, and I will not judge that in any way. In fact, I welcome different opinions and views because they give me an opportunity to learn about other people and other trains of thought that are constructed based upon the life experiences of others.
To me, this dream represents life. The cruise ship itself is life, in a way, as we are all in it together. Regardless of our views, our skin color, our religion, our gender, our sexual orientation, our political affiliation, or whatever, we are all living life together whether you like it or not. The tidal wave, to me, obviously represents disaster, unfortunate events, challenges that spring up in life out of nowhere that everyone in the world will face at one point or another. Obviously there are several ways in which human beings will react to challenges, and those reactions are usually based upon their life experiences. What may seem challenging and frightening to one person, may seem like a walk in the park to another. In this dream, it appeared to me that the people in it reacted in a few ways. The challenge presented itself and people chose to: A) just give up and not make any effort to survive or overcome the challenge that they were faced with. B) swim to safety with no regard for anybody but themselves, ignoring others along the way that asked for help. C) risk their own safety to help others. D) be offered help and give up anyway. The actions of people in this dream are pretty symbolic, in my mind, of how people go about their everyday lives in the real world.
Some people in life see a challenge and they just run away, they just give up. Not just inside a gym, but at work, in a relationship, in any aspect of life. This behavior bleeds out from one part of life into the others. If you are willing to give up immediately when you are faced with a difficult task at work, how likely is it that you will rise up to the challenge when faced with a difficult task outside of work? Human beings are creatures of habit, and it is our choice to develop good habits, or bad habits. I used to have a lot of bad habits, I still have some, but I am aware of these things now and I work as hard as I can to learn from the mistakes I have made in the past so that I do not make them again. When I was younger, and certain things were difficult for me I wouldn’t give up, but I would have some excuse as to why I didn’t succeed. I would blame my lack of success on something or someone instead of just manning up and saying, “My fault, I just didn’t want to do it because it was difficult.” Sadly, there are a lot of people in the world that 1) give up fast, and 2) do not accept responsibility for their actions and choices. I suppose in the end, what it comes down to is how society conditions them to behave. Many people are catered to so much when they are young that they do not develop that responsibility for their actions. Somebody is always there to bail them out and tell them that giving up is ok because of X, Y, or Z. I used to play into that kind of behavior with myself and with others. Once I made the decision to be honest with myself, it became a lot easier to be honest with others when they were trying to back down from challenges. If you are one of those people that could see yourself, in this dream, just giving up and drowning, you can change that. You can start making the choice to swim.
There are also the people in this world that are only in it for themselves. They have the ability to help others, but choose not to. It is a different mindset, and one that is understandable. We are conditioned since youth to view the majority of things as a competition. When some people get into a competitive mindset they are willing to do whatever it takes to win. It doesn’t matter if it is the right thing to do, but if it gets them to where they want to go then it doesn’t matter who they affect negatively along the way. Some people might ask them for help, but they do not care. If they stop to help somebody then they perceive that as slowing themselves down. Why risk my goal to help someone achieve their goal?
Then there are the people that want success for others as badly as they want success for themselves. Some people believe that we will grow more and achieve greater things if they take the time to help people that are in need. There are a million different ways in which we can help people so I don’t really want to dive into the specifics. Usually it is just as easy as doing for others what you would hope they would do for you. In my experience in life, there are few things more rewarding than helping somebody else to achieve a goal of some kind. Even just helping to put someone’s mind at ease by listening to them, or giving sound advice can be extremely rewarding. The less that I have feared failure in the pursuit of my own goals, the more I have been willing to help others to achieve their goals. I even came to the realization that my main goal in life is to positively affect the lives of as many people as I possibly can. That is who I am. I understand that I say a lot of strange things and that many people will not be open to the things that I say. That is ok though. When you truly want to help people, all that matters is that you are extending your hand. It doesn’t hurt me anymore when somebody pushes the help away because I know that I approached the situation with love, compassion, an open mind, and an open heart.
In my time as a trainer and as a human being I have encountered many people that have said they wanted help, but when help was given they would turn away. People seem to talk a lot about their goals, ask for help in working towards them, and then do nothing to achieve them. Some people do not seem to understand that even though they are receiving help, they will still need to work hard. Many people, when faced with the challenge, even after or while receiving help, will still choose to cower in fear and back down. It is sad at times to do everything in my power to show people that they have the potential to achieve anything they put their mind to, but they are afraid to put in the work to discover that. I think that there are several factors that play into this sort of behavior. I used to get upset and frustrated when dealing with people like this. It was confusing to me because I would think, “How the fuck do they not get this? If a lame ass dude such as myself can do the few things in my life that I have done, how can they not rise up to this one challenge? They have just as much ability as I do, if not more. Fuck.” Haha. Then one day I realized that it doesn’t matter if I know these things. I know them because of the things that I have experienced in my life, and they have had a completely different set of life experiences. Once I learned to be patient with people, and understand that all that matters is helping them to realize their ability, things became much easier.
I guess what it comes down to is that I believe that everybody should have an open mind and an open heart when it comes to every situation. Maybe things won’t go according to your plan, maybe people won’t do what you think they should, or what you want them to, but what you think will not change reality. If you are willing to help, if you are willing to be open and honest and share your thoughts and experiences, and extend your hand to others, good things will happen. It doesn’t matter if it is as simple as saying, “good morning,” and sharing a smile with a sad looking stranger, or as difficult as loaning money to someone in need that you had intended on using to buy yourself something you wanted. Treat others the way you would like to be treated, be patient, be kind, and be understanding of others because not everyone has had the experiences that you have had, and therefore you can not expect them to view the world the way that you do.
I know this went on for a long time, and at the end it kind of drifted off into some random places, but I had nothing but good intentions when writing this. Thank you very much for taking your time to read all of my babbling and I hope with all of my heart that my experiences and thoughts can help you in some way. The purpose of writing this was to create the possibility to help even just one person that I do not come in contact with on a regular basis. I hope you have a wonderful life. EVERYBODY LOVE EVERYBODY.

I’m about to reciprocate right in front of you. Don’t make it weird.

The year 2013 was an amazing year in my life. Quit possibly the most enjoyable year that I have ever had. I learned a lot about myself and at the same time learned a lot about other people. I made an effort to help as many people as I possibly could, and many people helped me in many ways. I am writing this because I want to say “thank you,” to all of the people that have helped me over the past year or so. I do my best to say it all of the time, but I feel as though we live in a world in which some people do not put much stock in the words of others. That is why I am writing this. Sometimes just saying things isn’t enough, and you have to put in the extra effort to really show people that you appreciate them and what they have chosen to do for you. So, in no particular order, I am going to start thanking a whole bunch of people for a whole bunch of things.

I want to thank my parents right away. They have helped me so much in my life that it will be impossible for me to show how much I truly appreciate them. In the past year alone they have helped me far more than you would think a parent needs to help their child. When I first opened the gym they gave me their support, and that is something that I know a lot of parents do not give to their children when they take risks. When the time came to expand the gym in February and I decided to ask them for a small loan (asking to borrow money is something I never wanted to do) they were happy to help. They even structured the repayment of the loan in a way that made sense for both parties involved that I had not thought of. They are so wise. At the beginning of summer when I was having trouble growing the business while paying rent at my house, they showed me that moving in with them was more of a lateral move than a step back. The money that I saved after moving in with them allowed me to buy more equipment at the gym, make T-shirts, and take the steps necessary to continue to move the business forward. I love my parents very much, and I want them to know that I appreciate every single thing that they have ever done for me or helped me to do.

My brother Michael has always been an inspiration to me. This year in particular he has supported me in my opening of the gym, advised me on how to become a better coach, and actually coached me. He has always been an amazing brother and friend. The year 2013 was just another demonstration of that. I thank him all of the time anyway, and I think it kind of gets on his nerves sometimes, but he can eat shit if he doesn’t like it, because I am about to do it again. Thank you Michael Baumgarten for going above and beyond to be the best brother I could possibly have. You are my hero, and I will always appreciate your help, guidance, love, and support. I love you man

2013 brought about the opening of There Is No Quit Fitness. This would not have been possible without my 2 business partners Nray and Derek. They are 2 of my closest friends and without them and the vision we all shared, we would have never have been able to open this gym together. We have some how found a way to grow all 3 of our business (crossfit, kickboxing, and yoga) under one roof. There were some rough patches early on as we all grew and learned, but we have managed to work together to help each other succeed. Without Nray’s idea of this gym back in November of 2012 I have no idea where I would be. He believed that I had the ability to do more than personal training before I believed it myself. I don’t believe he know how much that means to me and I want to thank him profusely for that. My best friend Derek has been there for me through thick and thin. He has advised me in business as well as in life. Whenever I have needed to bounce ideas off of someone or simply vent in times of frustration, he has been there. Without these 2 people There Is No Quit Fitness would not be where it is today, and it would not be going where it is tomorrow. In 2014 I will be parting ways with them to open a larger facility with my good friend Jake Adams, but I will never forget all of the things that we accomplished together, and I will always appreciate everything they have both taught me.

With the growth of There Is No Quit, and the expanding classes I needed help in a big way. I am extremely fortunate to have a friend like Vanessa Long to help coach our amazing members. Her and I began this journey into Crossfit together and have learned and coached each other non stop for the last 2 years. Without her as my assistant coach there is no way that our classes would be what they are. She brings balance to our classes and I know her smile puts a lot of our members at ease when I am lecturing them about how to unfuck themselves when it comes to exercise. I want to thank her for being patient with me as a coach, and for allowing me to continue to coach her as an athlete. I know that dealing with me isn’t always the easiest thing in the world. I tell her this all the time, but thank you for all that you do for me and our members.

This next group will be me thanking the large amount of people that have helped Vanessa and I when we didn’t have our own gym to work out in, when we were brand new to coaching, and when we were brand new to Crossfit. In 2013 I personally was allowed to work out at Red Wolf Crossfit, Orange Coast Crossfit, Crossfit RxD, Crossfit Chino Hills, Crossfit Tustin, Crossfit Los Alamitos, and Crossfit Sirius in Dallas. I want to thank the owners of each one of those gyms for their hospitality and willingness to allow Vanessa and I to work out their with our friends that are members. We appreciate it more than words can express. I would like to extend special thanks to Matt Banwart, Andrew Kong, Adam Quick, Vince Kong, Joe Garcia, Melisa Nelson, BJ Seeley, Kristen Curry, Kevin Bell, David Rael-Brook, Justin Jacobs, Maressa Fernandez, Joaquin Regalado, Kenny Leverich, Marly Campos, Tracy Plexico, Wally Skalliwags, Alex Wisner, Kelly Wright, Jared Childs, David Rabe, Rob Gonda, Will Hurst, Richard Truong, Kat Swindell, Reid Worthington, and that is all I can think of off of the top of my head. Each and every one of you, and probably several more, have helped me by either coaching me in some way or helping me to push myself to be better physically and mentally. I want you all to know I appreciate the support you have given to There Is No Quit, and all of the time we have spent throwing weights around and acting weird. If I didn’t remember to put your name on this little list, please do not be offended. It was not intentional, my brain just doesn’t work as well as it used to. Haha.

Special thank you goes out to my soon to be business partner Jake Adams and his wife Danielle. We became friends through fitness at the start of this year and I couldn’t be more happy that we met. You share the same passion for helping people that Vanessa and I do, and I know that will lead to amazing things when we open up Crossfit High Road this year. I am beyond excited to learn and grow in this business together and help as many people as we possibly can. I appreciate all of the help that you have given me over the course of this year and I know 2014 will bring amazing things for all of us.

I want to thank all of my friends that I have grown up with in Chino Hills over the years. I appreciate the support that all of you have given me while I have been working to grow this business. I truly appreciate the opportunity to repay that support when some of you come into the gym and allow me to help you work towards your goals. It means a lot, and I appreciate it big time.

I would be fucking up badly if I did not thank my Aunt Robin, Uncle Frank, cousin Amy, her daughter Sophia and my Colorado family, Aunt Sandy, and my cousins Megan and Becky, and their husbands Cody and Noah. I know that the structure of that last sentence was awful, but I suppose if I cared that much I would change it. Your support means the world to me, and I am sorry that I do not do enough to show that I appreciate it. With the new gym opening in a couple of months, my schedule and my life should start to clarify a bit, and I will do everything in my power to come out to Colorado this year. I love you all very much, and the kids too. And I can’t forget the cutest little cousins in the world, Carson, Kinsley, Wyatt, and Elizabeth.

And last but not least I want to thank the members of There Is No Quit Fitness. 2013 has been incredible getting to know all of you. I can not express enough how much I truly appreciate the effort that all of you give in each and every class you attend. Thank you for the trust that you give to Vanessa and I. You are trusting us to do what is best for you and your health, and I swear on my life that we will never forget that, and we will always work as hard as we possibly can to repay that trust. My thank you to all of you will be my never ending pursuit to acquire more knowledge, and to work each and every day to better myself just as all of you do when you walk through our doors. Thank you for being so positive in the classes and for supporting each other. You have no idea how proud and how thankful Vanessa and I are for the good vibes that you bring in each day. Most importantly, thank you for believing in yourselves. Thank you for believing that you are capable of more, and that you can work each day towards bettering yourselves inside of the gym and out. Thank you for inspiring me to work as hard as I can. Seriously, seeing all of you push to limits you never thought possible has helped me push in my recovery from all of my injuries. When things have challenged me I have thought about all of you, and it has helped. Thank you for that.

I suppose I decided to write all of this stuff because when I simply say “thank you,” people might not know how much I mean it. I am thankful for every experience that I have with every person that I encounter. I am thankful for every moment of my life. I appreciate the opportunity to help people every single day of my life, and I promise I will do my best to never disappoint. Thank you for reading this whoever you are, and thank you for your support. I want to help the world, I want to love the world, and I want to show how grateful I am for the opportunity to be a part of it.

EVERYBODY LOVE EVERYBODY
LET THERE BE LIFT
THERE IS NO QUIT

I THINK I GOT SOME INCEPTION IN ME

OK, this is about to get weird. I haven’t written a blog in over a month, and I have found myself really wanting to over the last few weeks. The things is, nothing that I wrote came out the way that I wanted it to whenever I sat down in front of my laptop. I think it was because whenever inspiration would hit me I wasn’t in front of my computer. I would either be driving, or at work, or doing something that prevented me from immediately getting my thoughts out of my brain. Then when I would sit down to type these past thoughts out it would seem as though I was forcing them. If you have read anything that I have written you will know that I am not a fan of forcing things when they don’t feel right. I like when things flow smoothly as a result of patience. Last night I came to the conclusion that if I like to write, I need to start writing notes to myself when I have ideas right when I have them. When I randomly started watching Inception last night I had a lot of thoughts run through my head. I have seen the movie a few times, but I had never really noticed some of the subtle underlying aspects of it like I did last night. I don’t believe I was focused enough in those past viewings to really understand the true meaning of it all.
I have been reading a lot about “the mind” lately, and consciousness, and all kinds of interesting things, interesting to me at least. Obviously for a long time I have been saying “everybody love everybody,” which was a line in the movie Semi-Pro, but still a very profound statement nonetheless. Over the last several months I have come to realize that I have one goal in life. I want to help as many people as I possibly can in my life. It requires me to open my heart and mind to the world, and I am happy to do this. I believe I can do this by being open and honest about who I am and what I think and feel. I can do this by sharing my experiences in life, my ups and downs and that things that have helped me to be at the point that I am and have the mindset that I have. I feel happier and healthier now than I ever have in my life. I believe that my commitment to my mental strength and well being has increased my physical health substantially. I believe that if we as a society work towards understanding the world and each other better instead of just blindly following social norms and accepting what we are always told, we will help one another and the world can have less negative energy. Below is a collection of things that ran through my head last night. A lot of these thoughts I have shared with people in the past and they have helped them as much as they have helped me. I know it might just seem like a bunch of weird new age hippie junk to some of you, and thats ok. I do not expect everyone to think the way that I think because nobody has lived the same life that I have lived. That’s part of what makes the world so awesome, we can always learn from each other because we are all so different, and yet inherently the same. Anyways, if you choose to go further and read this I hope that at least one of these thoughts will help you in some way. :) . If they don’t and you you don’t like any of them, that is ok too. You have as much of a right to think and feel the way you do as I do. EVERYBODY LOVE EVERYBODY

-Do you want to become an old man filled with regret, waiting to die alone? (this is the one thing in here that came directly from the movie)

-we are the architects of our own realities. You design it, but you must follow through and build the design.

-learn to navigate your own mind. Cease to think things without understanding why you think them. Understand why you feel the way you feel

-do you want somebody else to build your world for you? Is that the reality that you want? Is that the reality that you accept?

-discovering genuine inspiration without searching for it. Realizing that you are the inspiration. You create the reality.

-think about how you ended up where you are at? Every event that lead you to this point. Accept reality for what it is, but also accept that you have a choice.

-when you focus on each moment, time becomes irrelevant.

-you must become strong enough to keep your reality sturdy, and avoid allowing others to project their reality on to you. This is done by BELIEVING IN YOURSELF. BE TRUE TO YOURSELF NO MATTER WHAT.

-your subconscious will let you know when someone is trying to project their reality onto you and you will feel discomfort. You can’t control your subconscious but you can be conscious enough to defend yourself with love. You are strong enough. You are not the thoughts or feelings that others have towards you or about you. If you allow others to mess with your subconscious so much you will begin to destroy yourself. You will lose your reality

-YOUR BREATH WILL DRAW YOU BACK TO REALITY. YOUR BREATH IS WHAT WILL ANCHOR YOU WITHIN THE MOMENT. THE ONLY TRUE REALITY IS THAT MOMENT. ALL OTHER MOMENTS ARE PAST OR Future and do not exist in this moment

- to expand our own minds we must be open. If we open our minds to others they will open their minds to us. We will grow in consciousness and knowledge together

- we must understand that what determines how an individual views an idea is based upon their experiences, their reality, not yours.

- we can not continue to run from problems. We must begin to run towards solutions. Fear will lead you into darkness. The deeper you get into the darkness the more difficult it is to find the light. One day though, you can realize, no matter how far into darkness you get, you can become the light. In that beautiful moment, you will destroy the darkness that you had fallen into.

- your goals and dreams can be as small as a thumb tack or as large as the earth itself. The bigger the better. The greater the adventure. If you allow somebody to dictate your dreams/ thoughts/ reality, you are losing yourself.

- it is possible to have a dream within a dream. To have a goal within a goal.

- sometimes you will have to face things that you do not want to see, but you will need to see. Every time you overcome a fear you grow in strength. Your power grows. Your belief grows. Your heart grows. Your light grows

- do not become the person that attempts to tell someone else what their reality is. What it needs to be or should be. Love yourself and your life and you will open your heart to the world with ease. Through this we will all grow together.

- when you plant the seed of love, it will grow. Love will become the new super power. Love and knowledge are the universal currency. Money is an attempt by some to manifest power in a physical form. It is used to control. It is not who you are.

- when you attempt to live in the dream or reality of others you will cease to be yourself. You will act according to the construct that they have designed. How can you truly know yourself if you are acting as a character in someone else’s dream?

- I WILL LOVE EVERYBODY. I WILL HELP THE WORLD. Positive emotion carries more weight than negative every time. We must love each other and love the world to help everyone understand that we can create a world in which everyone can succeed. We have to redefine the socially accepted parameters of success to truly help the world. Success is acceptance. Success is loving ourselves for who we truly are. Success is loving others no matter what. Through love and positivity we can truly help one another

- TIME MEANS NOTHING. If I were to work for 100 hours to come up with a title for a book,is the only moment that matters the 1 that leads to me finding the Title? I
Must be patient, because I never know when that moment could come whether it be hour 27 or hour 99. Each moment carries the same importance

- if you continue to dream of the past you will lose your grip on actual reality. That reality is this moment. Acknowledge the past, but know that you can’t change it. You can learn and move on. No regrets, everything happens for a reason. Everything happens because it was supposed to happen. We won’t understand why it happens in that moment sometimes, but maybe if we stay patient, we will understand hour 99 better because we moved forward from hour 27. Not holding onto it, but acknowledging that it occurred and it was a necessary step in leading to this moment.

- regrets will haunt you like nightmares. The only way to wake up is to forgive yourself and let go of regret. You must let go to learn and grow

- occasionally in pursuit of our goals and dreams one must take a leap of faith, but you must understand that each moment itself is a leap of faith.

- we start lives as our true self. Every time we compromise who we truly are to please someone else we take one step away from the light that is who we are. The further away we get the harder it is to see the light, the dimmer it becomes until it is like the faint glimmer of a star on a winter evening. You can always see it if you look hard enough, and every time you make a decision in line with what your true self wants, you take one step closer to who you are.

- when you were a toddler learning how to walk you weren’t afraid to take your first step were you? You didn’t know how to walk, but you were not afraid to learn. Therefore it seems as though we, as human beings, learn how to fear the unknown. We aren’t born fearing it. We are born out of love. We are born with enthusiasm. We are born with curiosity. We are born with an inherent desire to explore the unknown.

What is inspiration?

There are 3 individuals and 1 group of people that inspired me to work towards my potential as a human being. The 3 individuals are my brother/hero, Michael Baumgarten, Robert Sanchez, and Cory Remsburg. The group of people is comprised of Airborne Rangers past and present.

The thing about inspiration is that you never know where it is going to come from. I don’t believe that true inspiration is something that can be sought after. It is my belief that true inspiration will find you. It will hit you like a lightning bolt. You might not even understand it in that very moment, but it will start to grow in your subconscious. You will start to learn about it and understand it more and more as it peers at you through the fog that clouds your life. One day something will happen and the fog will dissipate and you will see it clearly. You will and embrace it and it will cease being inspiration. It will become a belief. You will learn to love this belief, it will grow every moment of every day. In times of darkness it will be your light. It will pick you up off of the ground when you fall. It will be the compass when you feel lost.

It is hard to understand what inspires us unless we ask ourselves why we do the things that we do. In the past I did so many things because I felt that I had something to prove to my brother. Like I said, he is my hero. He isn’t just my hero, but he is a hero to many others. He doesn’t even understand the amount of impact he has had on people’s lives, even the ones that he has saved. In his mind he was another Ranger doing his job. That is it. The thing is, he did it on another level. He believed in the standards and did whatever it took to uphold them. There is a right way to do things, and everything else was wrong. There wasn’t much of a grey area. That is also what makes him an amazing coach. Attention to detail gets drilled into your head each and every day when you are an Army Ranger, and he has never let that go.

When my brother and I were growing up, we were cool, but we weren’t that close. We were closer than most brothers though because of the things that we went through together as kids. Mike is a genius, a serious fucking genius. The amount of knowledge that this man holds in his brain has boggled my mind since we were young. He was always pretty quiet growing up until he found his true calling when he became a Ranger. I suppose that is where his confidence really grew. That is totally understandable considering the amazing things that he was doing. I have never once heard another Ranger say a single negative thing about him, and if you know Rangers they are quick to point out flaws in their comrades’ work ethic or performance. After all, we are programmed to uphold certain standards. My brother raised the standards, and others followed. Mike wasn’t always the strongest, or the fastest, but he always worked the hardest and helped lift those around him to another level. That is what a great leader does. He is the standard as a leader by which I hold all people that attempt to lead.

I remember after my heat stroke in 2006, and finding out that I would no longer be allowed to perform my job as an infantryman I was crushed, and extremely disappointed in myself for what had happened. I was in tears telling my brother about it a few days after I got out of the hospital and all he did was ask if I was ok and tell me to not be disappointed because I gave everything that I could. I still could not help but feel as though I had let him down. As though I had let down every single on of my Ranger buddies. I carried that negative energy with me after I got out, it ate at me for years. It crept into every aspect of my life. My brother never knew about it because I kept it to myself (probably why it fucked me up so bad), but one drunken night in San Diego I let it all out. I poured my heart out to him in a drunken stupor saying how I felt, how I wish I had just asked for an I.V. instead of pushing forward, but I guess I didn’t want to let him down by stopping. He told me to let it go, he consoled me and reminded me that I gave 100% of what I had and my body just couldn’t keep up. He gave me a hug and told me he loved me, and it was probably the nicest thing he ever did for me as a brother. He helped me let go of the negativity I had towards myself. He is my hero because of all of the things that he has accomplished, but even more so because he has never asked a single person for recognition for it, or to give him anything. Giving everything and asking for nothing, he will always be my hero. As a person, and as a role model, he inspires me every day without knowing it.

My admiration for Rob stems from a different past. He arrived at 1st Ranger Battalion a few months before I did. I never really hung out with him until we returned from Iraq in January of 2006. I met up with my friend Keith Suarez to play cards with a group of his B CO buddies. Rob was one of the people there. He was shit faced drunk, and acting a fool. haha. Pretty much every time I saw him while I was still enlisted we were at the bars, hammered, with a bunch of Ranger buddies. We would see each other on post during the duty day and say whats up, but that was about the extent of our friendship then.

In March of 2009 I went back to Savannah to visit all of my old buddies. Rob was my brother’s roommate and one of his best friends by then. Rob had changed since I knew him before, he was more “squared away,” as they say. During the week that I was in Savannah we all hung out and had a blast. He was my brother’s brother now, and that was it. He was part of the family. I got to know Rob a lot more as a person during that trip, and I gotta tell you, he was an amazing dude. Strong work ethic, smart, funny, and a great friend. After that trip when I went back home to California Rob and I talked on a regular basis, whether it be on Facebook messenger or via text. I thought it was pretty cool becoming closer friends with my brother’s best friend. I remember in July of 2009 he and I had plans to meet up in Vegas when I was going to be there for my birthday, and he was going to be there for a small part of block leave with some fellow Rangers. Both nights that we were in Vegas at the same time we texted trying to meet up, but failed in our attempts as we were both with large groups of people. As you well know, it is a real cluster fuck trying to get large groups of drunks to travel around in Vegas. When we talked after, I remember us having a conversation about how we would hang out in Savannah after he and Mike got back from that deployment.

When I found out that Rob died I was angry and sad, just as everyone that knew him was. I wasn’t the closest person to him by any means, but he was a friend, and he was one of my brother’s best friends. Nobody that I had been friends with had ever died, and I didn’t handle it well. Rob sacrificed his life for people he knew and people he didn’t know. We live in a world where people idolize professional athletes, musicians, and celebrities that have talent, but in many cases are shitty people. Robert Sanchez was a great man that served with many great men, and he lives on in the hearts and memories of those that had the honor of meeting him. I hope that one day society will shift what it admires from idolizing what people do, to appreciating who they are, and knowing that they too can be great.

Army Rangers are a rare breed of human being. Each and every one must undergo more than what most men are willing to endure. In the past the selection process was called the Ranger Indoctrination Program, it was 4 weeks of physical and mental testing to see if you had what it took to become a member of the 75th Ranger Regiment. If you failed here, you would be shipped off to a unit in the Army that did not require such a high standard to be met. It was during these 4 weeks that you would see men of unparalleled physical strength break down mentally and either quit or fail. You see, after a day or two of getting your body crushed with exercise it kind of stops wanting to do things. That is where mental strength shines through. The 75th Ranger Regiment is comprised of men with mental strength beyond that of most people, whether they know it or not. They not only volunteered to serve their country, but they volunteered to go through physical and mental tests that could potentially crush their souls. When they survived these tests they were rewarded with a tan beret and a chance to train and fight along side other men of great will. The tests didn’t stop when you reached 1st, 2nd, or 3rd Ranger Battalion. The veterans would test you, trying to weed out the mentally or physically weak that had slipped through the cracks during RIP, or RASP as it is called today. Without asking for recognition, and without hesitation, Army Rangers train harder, and fight harder than almost any other group of men on the planet. You won’t see them asking for hand outs, most of the time you wouldn’t even see them in uniform when they weren’t at work. We were taught to be quiet professionals. Being a Ranger was a job, like any other, and should be treated as such. I miss being a Ranger each and every day, and the lessons I learned in 1st Ranger Battalion will help me for my entire life. I admire the men that have done that job, and currently still do. I know what they have gone through to get there, and I know what kind of work they put in to stay there. Those are real heroes, whether they know it or not. These people inspire me each and every day to uphold a standard.

Cory Remsburg and I were friends when I was still in Battalion. Even though Cory outranked me, he never treated me like I was less of a person. When Cory saw effort, he acknowledged it and respected it. We would drink together at the bars when we weren’t working, as most Rangers did, and we played soccer together when the hangovers weren’t too bad. I enjoyed Cory’s company and I recognized that he was a good Ranger. He worked hard, like most Rangers, but I never knew at the time how much heart he truly had.

Cory was one of the men wounded the same night that Rob died.October 1, 2009, on his tenth deployment in the Middle East in support of OIF/OEF (Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom), Cory found himself in Afghanistan. Along with the seven other members of his unit, Cory was injured when an improvised explosive device (IED) was set off on the side of the road they were traveling. Several other Rangers in Cory’s unit were injured, he and 2 others being critically wounded.

The explosion threw Cory into a canal, face down in a pool of water with a penetrating head wound. Due to the heroic actions of his fellow Rangers, Cory was rescued and rendered immediate life-saving medical care. He was taken by helicopter to Kandahar Air Base, then to Bagram Airfield, where he had surgery on his most serious injuries. Cory then spent two weeks at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany for further life saving medical treatment. On October 16, 2009, Cory was transported to Bethesda Naval Hospital where he spent the next two weeks in the intensive care unit.

When Cory came out of his coma he couldn’t talk, and he couldn’t walk. Cory is still an Airborne Ranger and he has been an amazing example of what the means. Since the day he came out of his coma Cory has worked each and every day towards his ultimate goal of living independently again. Cory did a lot of his rehab at Casa Colina in Pomona, Ca, about 15-20minutes from my house. It gave my brother and I the opportunity to see him during his rehab. In January of 2012, the first time I really got to hang out with him since he was injured, it was challenging to understand what he was saying, but I knew Cory was there. A few months later I got the chance to see him again and there was dramatic improvement in his ability to speak clearly. Against the odds, he was fighting towards his goal and making progress. Many people cower in the face of adversity and he drives towards it, faces it head on, and kicks its fucking ass. In April of this year my brother and I went to see Cory for the last time before he moved to his own place in Arizona, where he is from. One of the coolest things I have seen in my life was when he stood up on his own to take a picture with us. Basically, Cory lets everyone in the world know that there are no excuses when working towards their goals.

Excuses are a defense mechanism that human being provide themselves with so that they are comfortable with failure. I used to do it all the time, and I still practice avoiding excuses every day. The inspirational lighting bolts that I was hit with for a few years didn’t even register in my brain until a year or so ago. Life is funny like that. THERE IS NO QUIT isn’t a mindset that I created by any means. I just thought of it as a name for my business because I wanted to send a message to people that when they come in and tell me their goals I will do everything in my power to help them reach them. The mindset itself, for me anyways, was inspired by all of the people that I have talked about in this post and the life experiences I have had up to this point. You should know that in your life you will face tough times, but what you do in those times will determine who you are. You can accept and understand that you, like each and every person I have talked about, have the ability to stand up for what you believe in and chase your dreams. You have the ability to tell the doubters and the negative people in your life to go fuck themselves. You need to believe in your goals as much as I believe in your ability to achieve them. One of the things that makes the people that inspire me so great is that they will tell me that anyone can do what they have done. That is true, to a point. Everyone on earth has the potential to work hard, believe in themselves, be honest with themselves, and never give up, but not everyone believes that they have the ability to choose to do those things. THERE IS NO QUIT is a mindset, not a gym, it is a belief in yourself, it is a belief in those around you. It is helping lift up the person next to you, it is being open minded and patient. It is loving everyone around you because life is tough for everyone, no matter what they do or say, that is just the way it is. We can either go at it alone or we can come together and help each other to understand that we are all capable of amazing things, mentally, physically, and as human beings. You have the power to do great things. I believe in you. Ask yourself what inspires you and what that inspiration means, and when the time is right, you will understand it, and it will take you wherever you want to go. EVERYBODY LOVE EVERYBODY

I am not a great man, but I have known many great men and I try to follow in their footsteps as best I can. This is dedicated to my brother, to Robert Sanchez, to Cory Remsburg, every Ranger past and present, and everyone that has ever stood up in the face adversity and not let it stop them from moving forward. THERE IS NO QUIT IN LIFE.

EXERCISE STUFF, AND SOME OTHER THINGS

I have noticed a lot of things being posted the last couple of days about how dangerous Crossfit is, and how dangerous Crossfit is not. For some reason I’m not seeing any articles about how dangerous it is to play recreational flag football, pick up games of basketball, or running long distances when your aren’t trained properly for it. I also haven’t seen any articles about how dangerous it is to move furniture, or move equipment, or pick up a child improperly. Why isn’t there a bunch of stupid bullshit going on the internet about all of these things? I mean, just like Crossfit, or anything for that matter, when done improperly, these things can fuck you up. My old roommate threw out his back brushing the pool improperly. Guess what, it wasn’t because he had hurt it playing sports or doing Crossfit, it was because he doesn’t do anything other than sit at a desk all day, and sit on his ass all night. I love the guy to death, and he is one of my favorite people in the world, but he doesn’t do anything to take care of himself. Like many people in this country, and in the world, he wakes up, he goes to work, he eats like shit, he goes home, he drinks a beer or two and smokes a J, and then he goes to sleep. Why are we not seeing more articles about how dangerous it is to do absolutely nothing? It isn’t marketable. That’s why. Media outlets are looking to get your attention, duh. If you write an article that says, “Being an average American is dangerous,” most people will think it is either 1) total bullshit, or 2) they won’t read it because it isn’t polarizing. It doesn’t generate a buzz and divide the masses. With Crossfit it seems as though there are 2 opinions for the most part; people either love it or hate it. The Huffington Post wrote an article about how dangerous Crossfit is because of “Crossfit’s dirty little secret,” and people on both sides of the line were bound to give it a read. Then an againfaster.com article starts to circulate talking about how safe Crossfit is. Lots of shit going on, creating more buzz about Crossfit. People will make their own choices about what to believe based on their life experiences or experiences that other’s have had and told them about. Either way I don’t really give a shit. My personal opinion is that anything that is done improperly can be dangerous, but if you live a life where you don’t take chances of any kind your life is probably going to be incredibly boring. Driving a car and texting is dangerous, but I know that me and probably everybody reading this has done it at one point or another (I do not advocate texting and driving btw, that is probably not a risk worth taking.). I support human movement that is instructed properly (no matter what it is labeled), and I support eating healthy.

People get really caught up sometimes thinking that the fitness program that has gotten them the best results will get the best results for everybody. In theory, with some programs, that is true, but what the majority of people seem to fail to acknowledge is that other people might have completely different goals than they do. I am sure that the majority of you at one point have heard the expression “there’s more than one way to skin a cat.” Becoming healthy is just like the age old practice of cat skinning, there are several ways to do it. I have seen people achieve amazing results with a wide variety of fitness programs: yoga (a personal favorite), kickboxing, basic globo-gym weight training, pilates, tai chi, kickboxing, karate, running, walking, pretty much anything that gets the human body moving has the potential to help people become healthier. Who am I to force something else upon them that they have no interest in trying? Do I believe that Crossfit provides the best all around program, yes, I truly do, when it is instructed properly.

I also think that there is a problem with the marketing of Crossfit as a competition more than it is marketed as a fitness program. Yes, I understand that competition helps people to push to achieve greater things, but I also think there is something to be said for teaching people how to find something that motivates them more than exercising super fast or lifting super heavy. I have seen myself, and too many of my friends in the past get frustrated by the competitive aspect of Crossfit, and it ends up turning something as positive as becoming healthier into something that potentially stresses us out mentally. I really dislike that part of it. I mean, in the end, what value will it give you if you lose your shit trying to win a competition or qualify for a competition? I am not trying to degrade anyone for this pursuit, I want to make that clear, but I want them to ask themselves what it means to them. Are you going to do things that you know are not in your best interest to achieve these goals? Yes, you will be recognized as a fast exerciser, and you can win money and fame, but ask yourself why these things have great value to you? Are you doing this stuff to make yourself happy, have fun, and find your potential, or are you doing it because you want people to view you a certain way? I had to ask myself these questions in the past, and I had to give myself the tough honest answers. My personal goal with this whole Crossfit thing is to have fun, be healthier, and help others achieve their goals, no matter what those goals are. As long as they aren’t sacrificing their health or happiness to achieve these goals, I am on board 100%. As far as pursuing avenues of fitness other than Crossfit, I support that as well. If it feels good, makes someone happy, is done properly, and makes them healthier, then it is probably a good idea. I try to do my best to educate people on what might be the best for them physically, but becoming healthier overall isn’t just about the physical. Mental health and physical health are 2 different things, but they are closely tied together in many ways. For example, I know people that only do Yoga, and although they are unable to move large loads over long distances quickly they are amazing people and a joy to be around. Many of them don’t judge others because that is not what yoga is about. They support everyone doing whatever makes them happy. In the Crossfit world I have encountered just as many shit heads as I have awesome people. It is difficult to be around people sometimes when they are constantly judging people based upon how fast they exercise or how much weight they lift. At that point it doesn’t matter what kind of abs you have or how “healthy,” you are. You are still displaying an unhealthy midnset by looking down on other human beings. For the most part you don’t know shit about these people and are unwilling to have an open mind and learn what they are all about, why they do what they do, or what has gotten them to the point that they are at. There are many roads that one can choose to travel on the journey towards happiness. Don’t give someone shit or talk shit about somebody because they choose a different road. You have a couple of choices when you see someone choosing a different road. You can accept them for choosing that road and support them while realizing that you now have less traffic. Or If you see that their road is leading them away from their ultimate goal you can be helpful, and try to guide them towards a road that gets them back on the right path (please do this in a positive way).

Onto the topic of people giving people shit for doing Crossfit and Crossfitters giving people shit for not doing Crossfit……..
What is the point of giving people shit either way? I think it is pretty silly how some members of the “Crossfit Community,” think that they are better human beings because they do Crossfit. Basically that sends a message to people that don’t do Crossfit; that message being “Hey, I am way better than you because of the exercise program that I follow. Please ignore everything that I do outside of the gym because being a super human physically is the most important thing in the world to me.” I also see the other side of the coin, the people that have negative things to say about people that Crossfit or they have negative things to say about the program. Usually the message that sends is “I don’t believe that I am able to do that, so I don’t think that you should because somehow it makes me feel bad about what I am doing.” Or “That shit is dangerous and you are stupid for pushing yourself that hard. No, I have never done it, but it looks crazy.” I think society as a whole is retarded when it comes to how they view others. It seems as though we have been conditioned to judge people by the things that they do, and not who they are as a person. People are people, regardless of what fitness road they travel, what sports team they like, what school they went to, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, their choice of religion or choice not to have one, or the clothes that they wear. Start being open to new experiences and new people. Talk to people and learn about them and what makes them tick. They might be different than you, but that doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with them. It just means that they haven’t lived a life like yours or the people you associate with. There is so much to experience in the world, don’t shut yourself off to any of it. Realize that every individual creates their own world around them based upon their perception of every experience that they have. We should start to appreciate these things about other human beings, and learn and share experiences because that is the only way that we can truly grow as people. I guess in the end, what I want to say is, EVERYBODY LOVE EVERYBODY.

These are just some thoughts of mine. I understand that many people might not see things the way that I do, and that is ok. I love you :)

POSITIVE ENERGY, NEGATIVE ENERGY, AND SOME OTHER STUFF

Have you ever seen Ghostbusters 2? Basically, in that movie, all of the negative energy generated by the inhabitants of New York City creates a river of ooze that flows beneath it and ultimately leads to a lot of really bad shit happening. Ghosts and demons start appearing and pretty much begin to piss in everyone’s cornflakes, metaphorically speaking of course. In the end, the day is saved when the Ghostbusters, and Rick Moranis, get everyone to realize that they need to stop being dickheads to stop this evil from happening, and with a little help from some ooze infused with positive energy they defeat the evil that was threatening to engulf the world. HERE IS A LINK http://youtu.be/EQj3LIH-DqM I kind of feel like that is what I am seeing in the world today. There is a large focus on negative events, leading to negative behavior towards one another, and a growth in negative energy. Sadly, Bill Murray, with all of his awesomeness, will not be able to save us. Oh, and its not just New York City that has people treating each other like total shit, it is every city in every state, every state in this country, and every country throughout the world. Is it just human nature to erode society or is it just something that people say to justify acting like fucktards? It seems like a lot of this negative energy that people generate towards others stems from a fear of the unknown. “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering,” Yoda. If you don’t know who Yoda is, you’re probably fucking up already. Haha. There is a lot of suffering in the world and a whole lot of hate and negativity caused by several things. I’m not a fan of that, and would like to do what I can to combat the negative energy with some positive energy. I think that is what all of these words are working towards. At least that was my intention when I sat down in front of my computer and started punching these buttons with my finger tips.

During my 29 years of life I have experienced quite a bit. Maybe I haven’t experienced more things than most people, but I have definitely experienced different things than most. Over the past 6 years as a personal trainer I have had the good fortune of interacting with people from many different social classes, races, religions, political affiliations, and cliques. It has helped shape the way I currently view the world and humanity as a whole. Although every single person I have encountered is different, they are all inherently the same. They are all human beings, and they would all rather be happy than sad, and healthy rather than unhealthy. I have heard people make 8 billion different excuses for why they aren’t happy in life, or are not in the health that they want to be in. I view it as my job to not only help them become healthy physically, but also mentally. It is difficult, but totally possible, to have one without the other, but when you combine the two it usually leads to a much more balanced and happy life. Through my encounters with clients, friends, and strangers throughout time I have noticed some pretty strange things. Well, strange in my eyes today at least. I used to just accept all of this stuff as “ Normal.”

We are gifted with the uncanny ability to learn and grow, no matter what stage we are at in life. Some people know that, but many people have forgotten. They are conditioned by society to shy away from challenges or things that would set them apart from the masses. They are conditioned to play it safe and fall in line. What is normal though? What is right and what is wrong? I noticed, in my life, that I am happier when I help people and treat people the way I prefer to be treated. My life became a whole lot more positive when I started doing that, but I don’t always see people doing that in the “ real world.” Below, you will find several different rants on a variety of topics that disturb me in one way or another. I am writing this to help me let go of some of the negative energy that these thoughts generate when I hold them in. You may agree or disagree with the things I say, and either choice is ok. These are just some of my thoughts and opinions on these topics based on my life experiences. I am not attempting to change how you think or impose my beliefs on you in any way. You are who you are as a result of your life and choices, and I am who I am as a result of my life and choices. Everybody Love Everybody.

What is going on here? We are living in a world where your 12 year old sister is posting selfies on instagram with #beautifulgirl and has 4,000 followers. She “does it for the likes,” but your parents are confused by the fact that her grades are slipping because she just can’t seem to focus in school.

We are living in a Democratic nation that seems to think it is cool to force Democracy on other countries that have entirely different cultures and a different way of life, but for some reason we feel as though our chosen political system will work great for them. Somehow we are surprised and offended when it doesn’t, and our people begin to look down on these other human beings. They don’t have the same opportunities that we have in our country, they don’t have the same technology, infrastructure, natural resources, and have completely different ideas about how the world looks, but we think that they should see things the way that we do. As if their life experiences must be similar enough to ours with millions of different factors leading up to how they view the world, they should view it the way that The United States of America does. Does that make any sense at all?

We live in a society in which cigarettes literally have zero health benefits but can be purchased easily even though when you smoke you are not only harming yourself, but those in your immediate proximity. Its ok though because once you are hooked the chances of you quitting smoking are slim to none no matter how disgusting you and those around you think that they are. No matter the damage that they are having on your skin, teeth, hair, and lungs, you will just keep on puffing away and spending 6 dollars a pack. Weird that this is legal?

Is it weird that people are driving drunk and killing each other every day, but there are non stop advertisements on television, the radio, and the internet telling you that it is hard to have a good time without a couple of beers. Driving under the influence is illegal, but there are few things that stop people from doing it because they think they will be able to get away with it. I know, I’ve done it, and you probably have to, but there are many that have been less fortunate and have gotten DUIs or even worse, they have to live with the guilt of taking another persons life while getting in a drunk driving accident. Go to the bar and have a blast though. Make sure you have some wings while you’re at it.

I think it is strange that there isn’t more of an outcry to fix the problems that we have in this country before we go sticking our political dicks in the faces of others. Our education system is a total disgrace, but hey, at least we have been sending our sons and daughters to war for the last 12 years for some absurd fucking reason. We are the most powerful country in the world, but we are not powerful enough as a whole to realize that we are holding an entire culture responsible for the actions of a few extremists. Is it just me that finds it a bit odd that there are multiple media outlets that constantly use the phrase Muslim Extremists, but they never really seem to discuss the millions upon millions of Muslims that are not total fucking nut jobs. Their countries have oil though, and we want that. Guess what, I have encountered a lot more religious extremism in my life with Christians and Catholics telling me that I am going to hell for being a Jew than I have in my encounters with those of other faiths. I still choose not to hate any of them, because there would be no point to it. There is no point in hating anybody for their chosen faith. So, they’re different, big deal. If you have black hair do you hate people that have brown hair? Same shit. Hating someone for being different is not very cool, accept it, and move forward.

It worries me that as a people we create more reasons to separate each other than we find reasons to bring each other together as human beings. Yes, I get that religion, politics, and all kinds of other shit bring people together, but at the same time they have the potential to tear people apart, and they often do. I do not see a lot of these types of things that say “hey, be cool to people, they might not have had the same life experience as you, but they are still human beings. Accept them for who they are and treat them right because, despite what you want to think, your beliefs do not make you superior to them in any way, shape, or form.” Not that long ago I was at breakfast with a friend, a liberal, that constantly posts memes and propaganda talking about how crazy right wing conservatives are. Often these memes and messages have little hateful blurbs written with them. I asked, “ why do you hate these people so much?” This person then began to explain to me that they hate them because they are wrong for hating people based on their race, economic standing, political affiliations, or religious beliefs. They described them to me as oppressors of truth and justice. I then proceeded to ask them to tell me how their hate was more justifiable than the hate of those they claim to be against. This person really didn’t have much of an argument. That works both ways too, Democrats hate Republicans for being wrong and visa versa.

In reality, or what I perceive to be reality, someone’s belief system is often shaped by their life experiences. How can we expect people from different parts of the country, and world to see things the way that we do when they have had life experiences that are completely different from our own. Does that make any sense?

We live in a country in which people are constantly complaining about the cost of health care, but at the same time they are driving thru Mcdonald’s, Jack in the Box, Del Taco, and Burger King each day. They don’t have time or money to eat healthy. It’s just too hard. Are you fucking kidding me? Are we really living in the “land of the free and home of the brave,” but it is too hard to throw some meat and veggies in a pan for 15 minutes? The laziness I see and hear about each day blows my mind. I suppose you can’t totally blame people for choosing fast food and having a distorted view of what is healthy and what isn’t. They are bombarded every day on television, radio, and internet with amazing deals on fast food. 2 dollars for a burger and fries? Sounds like a great deal. No, I don’t care that the meat has been frozen for a year and has rat dicks in it. I also don’t care that the fries fell on the ground during their preparation, and the 16 year old making minimum wage didn’t feel like throwing them away and making a fresh batch. Sure buddy, I trust you with what I put in my body even though you are just figuring out what to do with yours. Pretty weird shit if you ask me, but I was ignorant about topics such as this too. I never actually acquired knowledge about health and fitness until I went out seeking it on my own. I actually never acquire knowledge on any topic unless I choose to. Weird how that works. Following blindly is way easier though, and after all, it is what we have been conditioned to do since we were young kids in school.

I understand that not everyone has the time to exercise each day. After all, with all the time we spend on Facebook, Instagram, Xbox, Netflix, drinking, and smoking cigarettes it is tough to find 30-60 minutes a day to take care of our bodies that we have to use for our entire lives. Yes, I understand the irony of me posting this on social media. Also, it is incredibly difficult to spend 30 minutes in the kitchen making myself meat and veggies for the next 2 days when I have the option of sitting in a drive thru line and having some kid make my food for me. Sure, it will eventually lead to me contracting heart disease or cancer, but ya know what, it’s cheap and easy, and I get to have it my way right away.

We live in a world that puts musicians, actors, and athletes on pedestals for entertaining us each day. They don’t really do much for society besides distract us from the real important things like family, friends, the quest for knowledge, and finding ways to help society unfuck itself. Heaven forbid we start to appreciate school teachers that are shaping the minds of the youth of today. No wonder each generation seems to be less intelligent than the one before. I am sure it is much more difficult to help students that are distracted by ipads, iphones, ps3, videos of twerking, instagram, facebook, youtube, and all kinds of other bullshit. I can’t imagine the kind of trouble my friends and I would have gotten into if that was the kind of shit we had when we were in high school. I didn’t even have a cell phone until I was a senior in high school, and for some reason it is now common practice for people to buy them for their 4 year old sons and daughters. I mean, the iBabysitter really gives you a lot more time to yourself, but I feel as though it might help if you spent some quality time with your kids. I’m not perfect by any means, but I also feel as though the priorities and values of many people in modern society are totally fucked.

Instead of being conditioned by society to constantly uplift and assist our fellow humans in their work towards achieving their goals, we are conditioned to compete and win at all costs. So what if I have to do some fucked up shit along the way, money is power and I want power. The acquisition of material wealth is seen as success by many people in society today, often at the expense of their humanity. At what point did that become the definition of success? Do you let others define success for you or do you define it for yourself? At the expense of sounding like a hippy, I define success for myself as leading a happy life in which I help others each and every day. I choose to do what I can to help people try and find what makes them happy, and then pursue that. Society today dictates that I need money to live the life that I am comfortable living. I will not sacrifice who I am, I will not sacrifice my integrity or what I believe to be right just to make a little more money. I refuse to become a slave to the dollar as so many in my profession have. I think the way that I think because of my life experience, others define success differently, and that is their choice. I do not look down upon them for it. That would go against what I believe to be right.

I guess in the end, after all of this venting and rambling about all these different things I am trying to get a couple of points across. I think that people should always try to learn more. Not just about themselves or their jobs and hobbies, but about the people around them. You can learn something from everybody you encounter. You can learn something from every experience that you have in life. Your inner world determines your outer world, so make the effort to stay positive. Live in each moment, appreciate each moment, appreciate your life. Avoid negativity as much as possible and do what you can to contribute positive energy to the world. Seriously, treat others as you would like to be treated. It makes life a whole lot easier. Take care of yourself, you only have one life to live, possibly. If you have a goal, do what it takes to achieve it. Overcoming challenges is one of the most rewarding things you can do for yourself. It is 2:41 in the morning now. I suppose I will close with something that my best friend and I say on a regular basis. EVERYBODY LOVE EVERYBODY.

ERRMMAAGGGEEERRRRDD: VANESSA’S BLOG

CrossFit. You say that word to someone and they have one of four reactions, or something along the lines of, 1) what is that? 2) ERRMERGERD! I love it!!! _______ (fill in CrossFit lingo here) 3) That’s too crazy and intense for me 4) That cult? It’s so not good for you. I am not saying CrossFit is perfect but to each side there are actions that have led to any of those four particular reactions when asked about it.

CrossFit is just another form of exercise, so why has it come to debates about it being like a religion or a cult, it is too dangerous and other forms of ongoing dramatic and incessant posts arguing for or against it? Here it is plain and simple: somewhere along the way people forgot it is just exercise. It isn’t perfect, nor is it the superior form of fitness, but I believe it to be very effective and love it, but that is what works for me and the people I train. I wouldn’t go up to a body builder and tell them they should do it to be more successful in their field because, well, it wouldn’t work. At the end of the day, whatever fitness program you do in the form of leg presses, bicep curls, Zumba, spin, CrossFit, P90x, Insanity, Olympic lifting, whatever, technique and safety are the most important. So, going back to it being just exercise, somewhere someone got hurt doing CrossFit and then told their friends and they told other people. This happens for multiple reasons, you were either an idiot and didn’t listen to your coaches, your coach was an idiot and didn’t teach you properly or loaded your barbell with weight you had no business lifting, or it was a genuine mishap (which in exercise or anything physical there is an assumption of risk). More likely, it is one of the first two that causes the main concern for people who are not familiar with CrossFit. There is an assumption with CrossFit that you have to always be faster, sacrifice form to get more reps, and you will always want to vomit after a workout. No. CrossFit was meant to be for everyone. CrossFit didn’t make up the squat, snatch, or burpee. Squatting below parallel isn’t a CrossFit thing, it is a squat thing. If it wasn’t, how would you explain the physics behind Olympic Lifting when they clean well over 300lbs in a squat position or better, just look at a toddler pick something up off the ground, they have the best squats. It is designed for anyone of any age or any fitness level because our needs whether a CrossFit games athlete, Olympic lifter, or the mom next door varies by DEGREE, not KIND. If you hand a soccer mom a 15 lb barbell and teach her safely (it might not be perfect since, well, it is probably still new and how many of you were perfect the first time you were shown something?) a thruster and then hand the girl ready to compete the next weekend at regionals an 85 lb bar, you could give them the same workout with a thruster and they would each get a good workout because the intensity level was relative to the individual.

Now we can cross off the bad form and dangerous thing off the list. When people say it pushes people too far and then that leads to injury. Josh put it best the other week when talking to people about hard work. He said, the world baby’s you. Everyone tries to find and take the easy routes. No one wants to work hard any more. Guess what? We are going to push you. We are going to challenge you and get you to realize you have unlimited potential (that’s paraphrasing, his version was much more colorful). It isn’t about getting people to throw up. It’s getting people to realize they have something more in themselves and to become mentally strong. You won’t die from doing a burpee or feeling the burn of an exercise (done correctly of course). It’s about asking yourself, “Am I giving it my all and how much more am I willing to give?” in that moment. How you are in the gym can reflect on you outside of it in everyday life, work, school, or home. I have seen men and women become more confident in who they are. I have seen women be happy they finally have a little muscle in their arms and stop caring about a number on the scale. People who have opened up and shown a different side we never had before. It allows people to grow. We watch people overcome obstacles.

Community is my favorite thing about what CrossFit has done for me. Some of my best friends have been because of it since I started in January 2012. The other drama within CrossFit itself (that’s a whole different post) about rival gyms and such is just silly. We are a family. I don’t care what gym you go to, what your Fran time is, how much you snatch, or even if it’s your first or 300th class. If you are willing to put yourself out there and do your best in every class then you are already a step closer to being a better you. Leave the gym better than when you walked in. Focus on you, it is YOUR workout. At the same time motivate each other. Encourage the person next to you. Help your friends be better. Call each other out in a respectful manner because you want them to be better. Do it because you care about the people you are with. Check your ego. We all suffer and succeed together. Have fun above everything else, because remember this is just exercise. But it is exercise that has meaning behind it. It doesn’t fine us. There are more important things than worrying about exercise. It is about making it something worth waking up to do because you enjoy it and makes you a better version of yourself.

So the next time you want to give someone a dirty look for doing CrossFit, or you think you’re a superior being because you do it, look in the mirror and ask yourself, why? Who cares what anyone chooses for their fitness. Everyone is different. As long as we are moving safely and being healthy that should be good enough. I know why I love it and I am more than happy to share it with everyone. To each their own.

WHY I LOVE TO COACH

Something happened today that led to me writing this piece. I had a meeting with a man that has the same profession that I do, but this man views our shared profession in a completely different way. As odd as it is to him that I think the way that I do, I think it is strange that he thinks the way that he does. I understand why he looks at things the way that he does because he has had a completely different set of life experiences than I have, and that will obviously lead to a different mindset. I can’t say he is wrong in thinking the way that he does, but it is definitely not right for me. After this meeting I had some free time with which I chose to meditate for 10 minutes. During this meditation thoughts about coaching and why I love to coach went through my head.

Really in the end what it comes down to is how much I love the challenge that comes with unlocking a persons potential. The challenge of getting them to believe in themselves inside of the gym and outside of the gym. The challenge of helping them to realize that they are capable of achieving anything that they want if they are willing to put in the work for it.

I have sat here for several minutes trying to figure out how to elaborate on why I love coaching and I keep coming back to the same thought. I DO IT FOR THE MOMENTS. That might not make sense to a lot of people, but it makes sense to me. One of the reasons that I have been mulling over whether or not to use that thought is because it is difficult for me to expound upon. It seems like the only way that I can do this, is to describe certain moments. I will have to use examples from my life and that will involve using the names of some of my clients. Hopefully they don’t mind. hahaha. And if they do, tough shit, I helped create that moment so I feel as though I can write about it.

Since most of you know my friend Vanessa I will describe some events that happened with her to illustrate these “moments,” that I am talking about.
So, many of you know that Vanessa and I train together and coach each other. You see her doing backflips and lifting weight like its nothing and finishing 12th in SoCal regionals like a super bad ass. Little do you know, her potential is far greater than that, and her Crossfit experience wasn’t always smooth sailing. What I am about to write is not intended to embarrass or demean Nes, it is just a story to illustrate one of the moments in my time coaching her that I appreciate the most.
When Vanessa and I first started Crossfit we had no coaching, we were in the the personal training gym I rented space at, and the only people there that knew what Crossfit was were me, her, and a couple of our friends. Each day her and I would pick a workout from the internet to attack. We would try and find times that Crossfit Games competitors had posted in these workouts and we would give everything we had to beat those times. We were maybe 2 weeks into doing Crossfit and had decided to do some amazing workout that ended with 70 burpees. It was something like 10 of something-20 of something-30…-40….so on and so forth til those 70 burpees. Now, I have yet to see someone hit muscle failure executing a burpee, but I have seen fuck tons (yes, tons of fuck) of people mentally fail on burpees. So, I finish the workout before Vanessa and she is about 20 burpees into it. She begins to stop. She wants to quit before the workout is over. I won’t allow it. I tell her to keep moving. She starts to move. I tell her to move fast because I know she is capable of it. She starts to move a little faster. As she is doing these burpees I can see in her eyes that there is an internal struggle going on. I get louder. I view it as my job, as her coach, as her teammate, as her friend, not to allow her to give up on herself. That means my voice of positive energy must be louder than the voices in her head. I keep telling her to keep pushing, that she can do it, that she is capable of anything. She continues to move as fast as she can until she reaches burpee number 70….immediately afterwards she breaks down and starts crying. We talk and she tells me what was going through her head. That is between her and I, but the fact that she pushed through that internal struggle was amazing to me. To be the one that helps her work towards her potential that day was awesome. Its moments like that. It is other moments like seeing her smiling and laughing before each event at regionals that remind me why I enjoy coaching. And its not just the super human that I enjoy coaching. I love coaching regular folk like you and I just as much.

The classes that Vanessa and I coach are full of people that have yet to achieve a standing tuck, and did not spend time in a Div-1A college athletics program. I celebrate achievements they make like I just got called up to meet Bob Barker on The Price Is Right (fuck you, Drew Carey. you can’t replace Bob Barker).
ITS MOMENTS LIKE THESE:
-I honestly think that I was more excited than Stephanie when she got her first pull up. The girl could barely do a lunge on day 1 and now she is crushing pull-ups. That shit is amazing to me. I don’t think she understands how amazing her progress is.
-My friend Jordan got his first pull-up here too. The first pull-up of his entire life I believe. That is some bad ass shit. Now he is doing them in sets, after knocking out a bunch of thrusters.
-Freddy, a computer programmer, a guy that never lifted weights in his life, went from barely being able to air squat on day 1 to perfectly executing 165lb clean n jerk 7 weeks later.
-The look on my former client Rebecca’s face when she stepped on the scale and saw that she had lost 100lbs.
-My long time client Rick could barely do 3 push-ups when we started training 2 years ago and now he squats over 200lbs with ease. He no longer enjoys regular push-ups and always wants to fly off the ground he pushes so hard. He used to be terrified of lifting weights and now he loves it. He is 50 something years old, and in some of the best shape of his life
-Seeing my friend Heidi get Toes 2 bar for the first time, seeing her first pull-up, seeing her lift a ton of weight every week when she used to be afraid of all of that before.
-Erin and Janine overcoming their fears of hard workouts to start taking our classes, and losing weight and inches within weeks. More importantly, and what makes me way happier, they stopped being afraid to be strong. That shit is fucking awesome.
-Each and every person that walks through these doors each day to work towards a goal, not because they have to, but because they want to. Every person works hard, and helps others to work hard. It is unbelievable to see what people working together in each moment can do for each other.
I could literally ramble on and on and on with reasons why I love my job and the moments that make me love it. What it boils down to is that helping people makes me happy and I can’t picture myself doing anything else. I don’t even want to. I firmly believe that each and every person has limitless potential physically and mentally. If you are willing to have an open mind and learn from each moment in your life, you will always make progress. I am proud to coach every person that is willing to let me help them. Little do they know that every time they take a step forward, it inspires and motivates me to keep moving forward as well. Thank you to everybody that has ever let me coach them, and everybody that has ever coached me. #THEREISNOQUIT #MUCHLOVE #YOLO(didn’t show up as a typo btw. I am so sad for the world right now) #HOLLAATCHABOY #NORAGRETS(it’s from a movie, I swear I might not be stupid) #MUSCLEsCLASSES #BRAINCOACHING #GETDOWNONIT #FOREALDOE #MAKEAWESOMESHITHAPPEN #EVERYBODYLOVEEVERYBODY #PEOPLEHELPINGPEOPLE

THIS IS YOUR GOAL SPEAKING…….

THIS IS YOUR GOAL SPEAKING…….

I am your goal. I am the light at the end of the tunnel. I am the satisfaction of a job well done. I am the first breath you take after being under water. I am the turning of the page. I am the culmination of all of your efforts. I am a thousand sleepless nights. I am your first thought everyday. I am your last thought every night. I am the burning in your muscles. I am the constant reminder that there is more work to be done. I am discomfort. I am the greatest challenge you will ever face.

I will put obstacles in your path. You will have to lose sleep to get to me. You will have to sacrifice childish things. I will injure you at times. I will demoralize you at times. I will ask you if you can get up off the floor one more time. I will try to crush your soul to test your resolve. You won’t always enjoy what it takes to reach me, but I will let you know these things have to be done.

You’ll have to ask yourself why I am your goal. If you aren’t willing to do whatever it takes to reach me, am I really your goal to begin with? Or am I just something that you talk about? You can’t just talk about me. You will need to be about me. Why am I your goal? Will I help you get a better job? Am I a better job? Will I help you feel better about yourself or are you pursuing me to please others? These are the questions you have to ask yourself. If, at the end of this contemplative period, I am not truly what YOU want, then I am not your goal.

How far are you willing to go? If the answer isn’t “as far as it takes,” then I am not your goal. Are you willing to change who you are to become the person that it will take to get to me? Are you willing to experience the fear of the unknown, and fight through it? If I am your goal you must already know that you will have to do things that you have never done before, to reach me. You will have to feel things that you have never felt. You will have to think things that you have never thought. You will have to open your mind in situations when it used to be closed off. Because, after all, a goal has to be something that you have never done. How could you remain the same and still get to me?

I will take every ounce of focus that you have. I will take all of your energy. I will take all of your strength and power as a human being. I will tell you that you have to find out something new about yourself if you want to get to me. You will need to sacrifice who you were yesterday to become who you want to be. You can not remain stubborn. You have to do whatever it takes to realize your unlimited potential as a human being. To realize this potential you must live in each moment. I am the last piece of a puzzle constructed of every moment in your life that leads to me. You can not get to me unless you focus on each individual piece before me. Realizing that you control only one piece at a time will help you focus and ultimately you will reach me sooner. You will not be able to correctly place piece #3,454,345 without putting the other 3,454,344 pieces into place first, one at a time, one breath at a time, one move at a time.

What motivates you to chase me? Is it personal glory? Is it the quest for material things? Do you think those things will make you happy? What is it that you value most in this world? Am I a quest to help others achieve their goals? Do you believe that all goals tie into each other in some way shape or form? Would you rather be the best person that you can, in every moment of your life, or be perceived as the best at one thing for one moment of your life?

I will try to distract you from reaching me. I will tell you to party. I will tell you to sleep in. I will distract you with fake goals and fake people. I will place these diversions in your path to keep you away from me. Do you have the will power and intestinal fortitude to resist? If you stray from the road that leads to me do you have the wherewithal to find it again? When you get lost will you ask others for help so that you can find me?

I will demand that you humble yourself. You will not be able to do this alone. You have to check your ego. I am unattainable if you are unwilling to work with and learn from others. Will you swallow your pride enough to take a small step back in order to make two giant leaps forward? Will you be patient enough to learn from each moment? If the answer is “no,” to these questions, you will not find me. You will be the dog, and I will be the tail. No matter how fast you run or how hard you chase me, you will never catch me. You will get close, but I will slip away in the end.

I need you to believe in yourself as much as I believe in you. I need you to understand that you have the same potential as everyone else that has come into this world. They fought to get to me. I didn’t make it easy on them either. Some rose up to my challenges, many fell by the wayside. As unique as each of you humans are, you are all inherently the same. It doesn’t matter where you have come from. It doesn’t matter what you do for work or for fun. It doesn’t matter what you value the most. You all have goals, you all eat, you all sleep, you all breathe, you all must drink, and you all have ups and downs. You make it harder on each other to achieve your goals as individuals by separating yourselves in so many different ways. As long as you are good to each other, and good to yourselves, it will be much easier for each of you to get to me.

I am at the top of the mountain. It will not be an easy climb to get to me. You will stumble, you will fall, you will get back up if you have it in you. You will need the help of others to get to me. You can follow the paths that others have tread that lead to the top, or you can find your own way. The only wrong way is the one that leads you all the way to the bottom. Trust yourself, believe in yourself, and one day you will find me at the top of the mountain, waiting for you.

I AM YOUR GOAL. COME AND GET ME

Staring Down the Barrel of a Loaded Barbell.

THIS WAS WRITTEN BY A FRIEND OF MINE. I AM HAPPY TO POST IT BECAUSE I THINK IT IS AWESOME.

We have stopped living. Our time spent on earth has increased but our time spent living has decreased. We have Pinterests and Facebooks and Tumblrs and innumerable other ways to live vicariously at best.

We look at pictures of men chopping down trees through a vintage filter and tell ourselves those were better days. But how many of us know the difference between blisters from an ax handle and blisters from new grips on a golf club? How many of us know the soreness in our obliques from planting our rear foot and driving hard through the trunk of a ten foot pine and how different that is from oblique pain from dumbbell side bends?

We look at pictures of luscious gardens full of kohlrabi and sweet peppers and cucumbers. Yet we are more familiar with the business hours of Whole Foods and the price of organic quinoa than we are with the feeling of top soil under our fingernails and annoyingly ubiquitous itches that form on the side of our temples that have to be awkwardly rubbed away with our elbows because both of our hands are covered in dirt and one is holding a garden shovel and we have made that mistake before.

We have not stopped living because we do not want to live. We have stopped living on accident. We have gradually been given “access” to worlds we could have never known if not for the Internet and television and the infinite choices of screens on which to view those worlds. We are given channels to watch that show us animals running around mountain sides in foreign countries but we no longer know what it is like to stand at the foot of a mountain, staring up at the peak, and grasp for one fleeting second what eternity must feel like.

And that is okay.

One of the most popular pieces on health and fitness never mentions rep schemes of technique theory or anything else that tells us how we should lift weights or jump on a box or pull the rower handle. But it does contain one of the most important lines in any exercise literature: “But two hundred pounds is always two hundred pounds.” Henry Rollins was not talking about a max snatch or dead lift. He was talking about a mountain and a garden and a ten foot pine.

With all of our time spent at our jobs pouring over numbers at work and turning our brains off in front of the television, there is still one place we all still truly live. When we put our hands on a barbell or the handle of a rower or stand in front of a box, we know that we are about to live. Because there is no passive way to snatch. We will not finish our fourth five hundred meter split if we disengage any single fiber of our being. And we would not dare to put only half of our heart into a PR box jump.

That is the difference between their gyms and ours. We can not complete our daily workout by turning off our brains and staring at another screen while floating on an elliptical. We do not dare step foot in our gym until we are ready to live harder through every moment of our workout than we do at any other point during our day. Once we make that choice it no longer matters whether we have ever cut down a tree or eaten food we grew ourselves or even been in the presence of a snow covered mountain. And no matter what anyone else tells you, we are not all in this together. We are in this for ourselves. We may perform better when we are cheered on by those who finish the workout before us and we may be too afraid of the shame that comes with halfheartedly attempting a dead lift. But there is no one else who is going to make that decision to stare down the barrel of a two hundred pound barbell and tell ourselves “Right now I am going to do something I have never done before and that is going to take everything I have to give”.

And that is living.