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There Is No Quit Manifesto

THERE IS NO QUIT MANIFESTO

The message I need to convey is that it is simply about not giving up. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as you have a passion for it. It doesn’t have to be related to your job, fitness, financial standing, academics, or anything really. The goal can be whatever you want it to be. Treat our fellow human beings with respect, positively affect the day of everyone we encounter, believe in ourselves; it doesn’t matter what the goal is as long as there is one. Just live it. You can’t give up, ever. That is all it is about. We need to be the light in the dark. We need to be the spark of positivity that sets a fire in the hearts of our friends, family, co-workers, and strangers, anybody we encounter. It isn’t about simply not giving up for you. It is about not giving up for each other. What I feel like many people fail to realize is we are all in this together, every single human being on this planet. We are 7 billion people sharing this one home on planet earth. How can we not be in this together? Whether or not people see it there is 1 team. Are you going to be one of those team members who let the team down or are you willing to hold yourself accountable and step your game up?
Leading by example is a trait in today’s world I feel is, sadly, undervalued and underutilized. There Is No Quit is about not giving up on each other, and not saying “fuck this,” “fuck that,” or “fuck that person,” for not seeing things the way you or I might see them. It is about doing the right thing and being good to people because it is the right thing to do. In my life I have seldom been more proud of myself than when I receive negativity from someone and I simply keep smiling and respond with positivity (or a question, sometimes people don’t even understand why they are negative until they hear themselves say it). What is a greater sign of personal strength, allowing yourself to be drawn into the negative mindset of another or to stand strong and hold firm to the belief that your steadfast positivity can change the world? Have you ever heard the phrase, “you can’t fight fire with fire?” I feel as though that is what many people are doing when they receive negativity and respond in kind. There Is No Quit is about believing in positivity so strongly that you rise above the negativity. It is about believing in the example you are setting for others to follow.
Make an effort to help people. Making an effort to help each other; that’s what this is about. This isn’t about you or me, this is about everyone. We need everyone to believe in their own potential to do amazing things and to be amazing people. We need everyone working together to stem the tide and the onslaught of bullshit and negativity many people are bombarded with each day. It will require us to love people, to be honest with them even if it is not what they want to hear; it is probably what they need to hear. There Is No Quit is about not compromising truth in favor of comfort. When we compromise truth we compromise ourselves, and our integrity. When we compromise ourselves, and our integrity we compromise the integrity of those around us. I do not feel as though lying to someone to make them comfortable actually benefits them or us in any way. If we are willing to lie to others, what’s to stop us from lying to ourselves?
We cannot give up on each other. We cannot give up ourselves. What happens when somebody sees us do that? They’re much more likely to give up on others. They will be much more likely to give up on themselves. I, for one, refuse to be a person that plays a part in somebody giving up. Will I be patient with people? Yes. Do I understand that things will not always be easy? Yes. But that is life, right? Everything is a learning experience. Every moment of every day is an opportunity to learn something we can use in a positive way. “Changing with change is the changeless state,” as Bruce Lee once said. “We must be like water,” and flow, adapt, shape to the change as it happens. Resisting change is an exercise in futility. Change is constant. Why wouldn’t you want to make a positive use of this amazing tool that is constantly presented to us? Why not be the catalyst for change in a positive way?
If giving up is easy, I believe that not giving up can be done with equal ease once it has become a habit. Know this, someone seeing you give up will be more likely to give up on themselves or others based on your example. However, I have found the opposite of this to be true as well. When somebody sees you not giving up when times get tough they will be more willing to keep pushing forward themselves. When somebody sees you helping others through challenging times then they are more likely to help others themselves. You can be that example of positivity for them to follow.
I believe every human being is capable of greatness. I suppose I define greatness somewhat differently than many people. I believe greatness to be a willingness to be honest when lying would be easier, to work hard when the only reward is more hard work, to sacrifice what we want in order to help others with what they need, to believe in ourselves when perhaps others to not, to believe in others when they may not believe in themselves, to love our fellow human beings and to open our hearts to them while knowing we may not receive the same in return. I believe everyone is capable of these things. I believe in an undying belief in people.
All we have in this world is each other and the experiences we share together. I believe if we choose to live our lives with open minds and open hearts then we can connect on another level. Instead of searching for ways to separate, or seeing what we allow to divide us, we can search for ways to connect and see what truly ties us all together.
If you believe in a positive cause enough than you need to step the fuck up and fight for it. You can’t make the mistake I have been making, which is to sit back and smile and nod while telling everybody how much you love them. That isn’t enough. I have not been doing enough. You need to stand up. You need to shout “THIS IS WHAT I AM DOING TO GENERATE POSITIVITY.” You need to let people know that you are not special for doing these things because EVERYONE IS CAPABLE OF CHOOSING POSITIVITY. It doesn’t make sense to stand on a soapbox and just talk. We need to extend our hands to our fellow man and say “ I WANT TO HELP YOU. I BELIEVE IN YOU. LETS DO THIS TOGETHER. ALL OF US, TOGETHER.”
I will never ever give up on people. Nothing will ever stop me from believing in people and their potential to be great. We all have one life to live (supposedly) and we all have a different journey to make before we all reach the same final destination. I believe in being positive. I believe in making the best out of any situation. I believe in people’s ability to positively impact the lives of those around them, all day everyday. I believe my heart is big enough and strong enough to show everyone how much I love them regardless of the risk. And I do not believe I am the only one. When it comes to my goal of helping people everyday There Is No Quit (as cheesy as that sounds). Lets step our fucking game up, as a team of people, and make an effort to make a positive impact on the world. I love you. Everybody love everybody. THERE IS NO QUIT.

*This was inspired by my experiences with all of the amazing people I have been fortunate enough to encounter in my life. My family, my Ranger brethren, my friends, and my teammates. I wrote this because all of you have helped me to believe in myself. I simply desire to help others believe in themselves too.

The Airborne Ranger in the Sky, And the One that Wouldn’t Die

PREFACE

October 1st will mark 5 years since Robert Sanchez lost his life over seas, and Cory Remsburg was about as close to that as you can get. Both of these Airborne Rangers were/are friends of mine and I am honored to have served with them. I suppose I was compelled to write this piece to honor them both, and to share a large part of the story about how my mindset has developed to the state it is in today. Rob’s memory and Cory’s story are two things that have provided me with great inspiration and continue to drive me forward on a daily basis. I believe in sharing my story of how these great men have inspired me, it will help others find their inspiration. It doesn’t matter if it is through them. All that matters is that people find something positive to lift them up when they are feeling down. To move them forward when they want to step back. And to fill them with hope when it seems as though all is lost. We live in a modern society, which glorifies celebrities and fictitious heroes over the actions of people that have truly done great things. Man seldom knows the stories of those individuals, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be told. I am sharing this story in an effort to help people in a positive way every single day. In honor of the Airborne Ranger in the sky, and all of those who have worn the scroll, I submit these words to you.

Let me help you understand where I am coming from when you talk to me about the “challenges,” and the “problems,” in your life. I think this piece will help put a few things into perspective for you. Now, I am not special in any way, nor am I a great man by any stretch of the word. However, there was a time in my life, which I earned the right to walk amongst giants. I was surrounded by human beings that did not believe in the word “quit,” or the phrases “I give up,” and “this is too hard.” All they knew was there was a task to be completed. They knew the conditions under which the given task was to be performed, and they knew the standard it was to be performed to. That was all of the information they needed. They had sworn an oath to their Ranger brethren to carry on with the mission though they be the lone survivor. This meant that no matter what the odds were against them, or how bleak the outlook may have appeared, they were never going to give up until the task was accomplished to the desired standard. They had an unflinching faith in their iron-forged hearts and their innate ability to move mountains with every beat. These human beings are living proof that every single person on this planet is capable of more. Proof that human potential knows no bounds.
When I moved back to California after leaving 1st Ranger Battalion I had a difficult time adapting to civilian life, as many veterans do. I would get frustrated and angry with ease as I watched those who have never served live their lives in a manor bordering disdain for integrity. I had yet to develop any sort of patience at that point in my life. I was surrounding myself with people seemingly only invested in their own personal gain. When I reference personal gain I am not specifically speaking about the acquisition of financial wealth. I am commenting on their willingness, or lack there of, to do whatever it took to help lift the spirits of a friend in need. It would cost too much of the time and energy they had in reserve for partying or lethargy. I was used to a different world and found myself struggling to cope with a society quickly sinking into a quicksand of selfishness and an acceptance of mediocrity. It seemed as though many people were/are willing to watch their friends fall by the way side as they skated through life never having faced what I considered to be “real challenges.”
I let the negativity build for a long time and started to slip into the behavioral patterns I had once grown to loathe. The fucked up part is, I knew it too, but felt as though I was unable to grab a hold of anything as I continued to slip further into the darkness I had left behind when I enlisted. My depression hit a new low in October of 2009 when I found out about my friend, a great man, Robert Sanchez losing his life in Afghanistan. In the same incident another Ranger buddy of mine, Cory Remsburg, was blasted into a coma by the same IED. I was racked with guilt over not being there, even just the fact that I wasn’t in Battalion anymore played a huge part in that. My heart was crushed, as I had never lost anyone close to me before. I hurt for my Ranger brethren, I hurt for their families, and I especially hurt for my own family. Rob was my brother’s best friend, Mike had to see this happen, and I hated that he was hurting so much. I knew my “friends,” at the time could see me in pain. They could see me breaking down, as I became a slave to my negative thoughts and negative emotions. I allowed my mind to become a cesspool of anger, frustration, sorrow, and guilt. I felt like I needed help and when I turned to my friends their solution was always a drink or a joint. You see, many members of modern society seem ill equipped, or unwilling to step up and truly help their friends when they are in need. I needed to be smacked in the face and told to unfuck myself, like my Ranger buddies would have done for me. I was losing my shit, but nobody would be honest enough with me to help me out of it. Perhaps I was too prideful, and afraid at the time to truly admit to anyone I needed help. In the pit of self-absorbed behavior, materialism, and greed our society seems to have dug for itself nobody can escape if we are all too busy trying to crawl over our fellow man to get out. Fortunately for me I had known better men than myself.
Cory Remsburg was in a coma for 3 months. He was never supposed to wake up, but he did. The Ranger spirit was still strong inside of him. I heard about this and it gave me hope. Cory was told he would never talk again, walk again, and pretty much never live a “normal” life again. Now, Cory would be the first to tell you he isn’t anything special. He would tell you he is simply another Airborne Ranger working until the task is completed, under difficult conditions, to the desired standard. Life presented him with a huge challenge and placed many obstacles in his path. There were many people that did not believe Cory would overcome these, apparently, insurmountable odds. None of those people mattered. Cory knew the reality in which he wanted to live. It was the reality in which he could talk, walk on his own, and live life with as little help as possible. He knew his goal and has been willing to put in whatever work it takes to achieve it.
Cory set an example. At a time in my life when I had no inspiration, he provided me with some. I know it was not his intention, but that didn’t matter. I reminded myself about his struggles, and about Rob’s sacrifice to help me put things into perspective. I slowly started to make head way in the battle against the person I never wanted to become.
In January 2012 I was able to hang out with Cory for the first time since he was wounded. He had been rehabbing for 2 years by this point, every single day. When I saw him that day I lit up with happiness. This man that was supposed to be incapable of anything, was talking to me and had gained the ability to move one of his arms quite well. He talked slowly, and I could tell it was a struggle, but it was evident that Cory’s personality was as alive as ever. He had undergone over a dozen surgeries by this point and was confined to a wheel chair. Not surprisingly, he still had a smile on his face. Even though he had that smile it was apparent he was not satisfied with his state at the time. As my brother and I drove Cory to the restaurant for lunch he asked Mike about what happened in Afghanistan. He asked “why me?” It was difficult for me to hear, and even more so for my brother. My brother, our parents, and myself had dinner with Cory that night and enjoyed our time quite a bit. It was obvious he wasn’t done moving forward.
After I saw Cory that day in January it strengthened my resolve to stop feeling sorry for myself. I began my quest to become the person I wanted to be instead of telling myself I was stuck being who I was. Every moment of life was an opportunity to change for the better. I saw Cory again in July of 2012. It blew my mind how far he had come in only 6 short months. He was speaking with greater ease, moved better, and seemed like he was in a much better place mentally. I think he was starting to see his hard work paying off even faster than before. He stayed motivated and continued to drive on towards his goal. This motivated me as well, but there were still times I would slip up and get down on myself. I still held onto guilt over not being on that deployment. I still felt like I had let everyone down when my Ranger career, and my dream was cut short by an extreme heat stroke in 2006, which led to me getting out in early 2007. I didn’t know it at the time, but I could not truly progress until I let go of that guilt.
November of 2012 my brother and I drove to Arizona to participate in a charity event for Cory at Crossfit 480 (owned by a fellow Ranger). Cory had continued to make progress and able to stand up at this point. It was a beautiful sight to see. Prior to seeing Cory that day I had hit what I considered to be my breaking point in August. An event took place in which I allowed myself to lose total control over my feelings towards myself and I blew up on one of my friends over something incredibly stupid. I apologized, but that simply wasn’t enough for me. I decided then that I needed to truly confront my demons in order to vanquish them and become the person I wanted to be. After all, if I, as a business owner/trainer/coach was going to truly help people to better their lives, I had to learn how to help myself first. As a Ranger you were supposed to lead by example. It is something Cory was doing, and it was something my brother always did, but I was not doing.
A few months before I had hit that “breaking point,” a psychiatrist I trained had suggested I write a letter to my mother because she felt I harbored much negativity towards her, and those feelings held me back. I didn’t have to mail it, just write it and read it out loud to myself. I hadn’t spoken to my mother since 2002 (still don’t) and no interest in doing so. I decided to ignore my client’s advice for a bit. Once I hit that “breaking point” I was willing to give writing that letter a shot. The moment I put pen to paper and wrote Dear Mom, I was hit with a flood of emotions I had never felt before. The tears immediately began to flow. I have never been someone that cries easily, but in that moment I lost my shit, in a good way. I wrote the most honest words I had ever written in my life. Turned out the reasons I “hated” her so much were all of the same things I “hated” about myself. The lying, the half-truths I would tell, hiding in a glass of alcohol. All the reasons I cut her out of my life, the things that led to her alienating her two sons were all things I was doing. I realized then, in order to move forward I had to forgive her for her mistakes in order to truly forgive myself for mine. It felt so good to be 100% honest after all of that pain; I know it was what I needed.
This is when I knew I had to learn more about how the human mind worked and find ways to navigate through all of the lies and bullshit we all tell ourselves occasionally in order to move through life. When we do this we compromise ourselves and those around us. I was no longer willing to compromise myself or the people I cared about. Most of us are not always comfortable with the real truth, but just because comfort is what we want it doesn’t mean it is what we need.
Once I began to be 100% honest with myself about why I thought what I thought, why I felt what I felt, and why I did what I did, I became much better at being 100% honest with others. I created good habits, after fighting to destroy my old negative ones. I could connect with other people better; therefore I could do a better job of helping them to overcome many of the obstacles I had placed before myself in the past. Cory had become another example, in a world full of them, of how immeasurable the power of the human mind is. We have the ability to change the world within ourselves, and therefore we can change the world around us. My father told me when I was a teenager (and a dipshit) that “your inner world determines your outer world.” At that point in time I was incapable of comprehending how true those words really were.
I believe Cory will tell you, I will tell you, Rob would tell you, my brother, all good Rangers, and anyone who has truly overcome challenges would tell you, they overcame these challenges because they decided to do what it took to do so. Not because they are special. Not because it was the easiest thing to do. Human beings overcome challenges because they make up their mind and let nothing stop them until they have achieved success. These people experience “failure” but instead of getting discouraged and giving up, they learn, they grow stronger, they strengthen their resolve, and they rise up again and again and again.
In 2013 Cory began walking on his own again. According to many, that was impossible. As long as he had a beat in his heart and a goal in his mind he was going to do whatever it took until that impossible idea became a physical reality. That is an example of the power of the human mind. Every single person on this planet has the ability to overcome any obstacle placed in his or her paths. Will everyone make the choice? No, sadly, the vast majority of people will make excuses, place blame on others, and search for reasons why they don’t deserve, and/or can’t have or accomplish their goals. Little do these people know, they are fully capable of achieving anything when they choose to create that reality and put in the work to achieve it.
So, I apologize if I do not accept your excuses. I am sorry if I call you out when I see you giving less than you are capable of. I’ll tell you what I am not sorry for….My belief in you. I will not stop making an effort to help you realize that you have limitless potential. You are a human being. The most powerful creature on the planet. Your mind will be as strong as you are willing to make it, and that strength is unlimited. Cory is proof, my brother is proof, Rob is proof, and everyone that has ever stepped up in the face of a challenge and conquered it is proof of that.
I love you. I believe in you and your potential. I will never give up on you. I need you to believe in you like I believe in you. I need you to see yourself the way I see you. I need you to never give up on yourself. More importantly, you need to believe in you. You need to love yourself, and be honest with yourself and those around you. Above all else, you need to make your life worth living. Appreciate the opportunities you have every single day. And never ever, ever give up.

I guess with all of this I am simply making an effort to help people. My definite chief aim in life is to help as many people as possible in a positive way everyday of my life. I feel like I see people getting caught up in so many things that are doing them more harm than good. I worry that people don’t even see themselves slipping. I do not want people to go through the same kind of pain I did. I want people to learn from my mistakes and understand how incredible they all are. When you love people, you want to protect them from pain, and sharing this story with anyone willing to read it is an attempt to help them learn how to protect themselves against negativity, disappointment, and a whole lot of unnecessary frustration. Changing bad habits into good habits is not easy, and it takes a lot of time, practice, and patience. Sometimes it will be easier than others. Just know when those tough times come, if you keep your chin up and keep moving forward, you will succeed in the end. If we all start working together to lift up the world, how can we possibly fail? THERE IS NO QUIT. EVERYBODY LOVE EVERYBODY. LET THERE BE LIFT. RLTW. SUA SPONTE. NIL SATIS NISI OPTIMUM

GOT FEAR?

For the last several weeks I have had the desire to write a blog about living in a society that seems to be controlled by fear and how I want to help change that. The thing is, every time that I would sit in front of my computer to start writing this blog words wouldn’t come out. There were so many thoughts going through my brain about the topic that I had no idea where to begin. When I would feel as though I had the perfect introduction in mind it would strike me when I would place my head upon my pillow to go to sleep at night. It was literally the last thing I would think about at night. I would tell myself, “Self, you better remember to write this tomorrow morning.” Obviously I did not do that. I would wake up around 4:15am for work, and I would have this idea in my mind and then I would hold onto it my entire drive to the gym. I would play my part in coaching the 5am and 6am classes and then my break from 7am-930am would begin. At this point over the last few weeks a few different things would happen. 1) I would be extremely tired and decide to take a nap, 2) I would choose to use that time to lift, or 3) I would sit in front of my laptop with the intent to write and all of the thoughts I had in my head the night before seemed unreachable. It was kind of frustrating at times, but I told myself if it didn’t feel right when I sat down to write, it would be better if I chose to write nothing at all. I thought I was simply doing the right thing, but sitting here today I realize I was simply making the mistake many people make in their everyday lives. I was allowing fear to hold me back from doing something I wanted to do. I wanted to write a blog that would help inspire people to look fear in the eyes and tell it to Fuck Off. I want to share my life experiences and my thoughts and feelings because I believe they can help others. The thing I realize today is that I was afraid of writing the article wrong. I was afraid that I would get to wordy, which I tend to do, or I would go off on too many tangents because there are an infinite number of references that can be made when it comes to this topic. I simply realized my fear of writing an imperfect piece was holding me back from writing what will inevitably be an imperfect piece. I also have a belief that each moment of each day is perfect if you are willing to give it 100% of your focus. You will be able to see through the bullshit, let go of your fears that have been generated by the past that lead you to hold yourself back in the future, you will learn infinitely more by giving everything to what is happening right NOW no matter what the situation is. Realize that you will learn from it, acquire knowledge from it, and move forward. This blog is about fear and how I want to do my part to help save a world that is ripping itself apart with fear, anger, and hatred instead of coming together with COURAGE, COMPASSION, PATIENCE, AND LOVE. So, with that knowledge, I will write this imperfect blog based on my thoughts and feelings in a never-ending flow of perfect moments.

FEAR. FEAR is defined in Webster’s Dictionary as an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger. FEARLESS is described as free from fear. LOVE is defined as warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion. I understand that it may seem like I am giving you an English lesson at this point, but I promise that I will explain why I have brought these words up.

I think I should explain how I see fear. I see fear as something that holds people back from doing something or making a choice that they are 100% capable of making. They end up choosing to not make a choice or to make a choice, which they know in their heart they are not 100% behind because they are afraid of something. Fear is usually generated by past experiences, things they have heard from other people, or a fear of an unknown outcome if they make the choice their heart truly desires. When you make a decision to turn away from fear, in many cases, it leads to a less than stellar outcome. I have seen people stay in relationships and sacrifice their own happiness simply because they do not want to hurt someone’s feelings. I have seen people stay in jobs they loathe because they are too afraid to take the steps required to do something they actually enjoy each day. The things that really flash before my eyes each day and cause this topic to pop into my head so often are events that take place in my gym, and in many gyms each and everyday.

I see people that are so afraid to make mistakes they do not relax enough to learn the proper way to do things. I see people so afraid to push themselves beyond their version of their “physical ability,” I can literally see them stop because they are petrified by the burning sensation in their muscles, or a fear of their own strength. Worst of all, in my mind, I see people in my gym, in other gyms, and on social media talk about how afraid they are of certain exercises. Usually when I see something like this I ask the person, “why are you afraid of that?” The usual response is, “because I’m not good at it,” or “because it’s challenging.” Now I don’t know about you, but I do not know if I am totally comfortable living in a society that conditions people to fear challenges, and to fear working to get better at things they might not immediately have a talent for. I personally feel as though the way someone responds to instructions, mistakes, and challenges during a lift or during conditioning usually lets me know how they respond to similar things that happen outside of the gym. They have been conditioned through their life experiences to back down in the face of a challenge, in the face of fear, or run away instead of pushing forward to do something that will benefit them mentally and physically just because it isn’t as easy as they would like it to be. FEAR IS THE KILLER OF SUCCESS IN ALL FACETS OF LIFE. IF YOU ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE CONTROLLED BY FEAR YOU WILL NEVER REALIZE YOUR POTENTIAL. IF YOU ARE NOT HONEST WITH YOURSELF AND OTHERS BECAUSE YOU ARE AFRAID OF THE TRUTH, YOU WILL MAKE YOUR GROWTH AS A HUMAN BEING INFINITELY MORE DIFFICULT.

I too succumb to fear at times. I am a person and I make mistakes. The skill I have developed through patience and practice is a willingness to acknowledge to myself, and others when I am afraid of something. I used to have a fear of being honest about my fears. I was afraid of appearing to be weak in one way or another. The thing is, when you fear something and you hold onto it, it usually manifests itself in the physical world or in your subconscious. The more I feared appearing to be weak, the weaker I probably appeared to be. One day I realized, through my life experiences, by acknowledging my weaknesses I could turn them into strengths.

At this point there are several different paths I can travel when explaining fear, how I have experienced it, how I have seen others experience it, and so on and so forth. I am choosing right now, in this moment, to write about none of those paths. I believe that I mentioned the most important thing when it comes to dealing with fear. Being honest with yourself, and those around you. Once you decide to be totally honest with yourself about what you fear in life and why you fear it you will create the opportunity for yourself to move past it.

Imagine you are asleep and dreaming. In this dream you see yourself standing outside of a building. You are aware you are dreaming and you are in total control of what actions this dream version of yourself will take. There are no consequences in this dream. The building in this dream has no windows and you can see only one entrance. The door says “FEARS.” You decide to open the door and the room is massive, almost completely dark. You physically feel fear taking a hold of you. There is a faint lighted sign and a door on the far side of the room, off in the distance. It simply says “SUCCESS.” You close the door, step back and look for a way to go around the building so that you can circumvent these fears and get to the other side where SUCCESS is waiting for you. Alas, the building extends infinitely to your right and left. It reaches so high vertically that you have no hope of seeing the top. You can’t go around your fears to get to SUCCESS, you can’t go up and over or under them. To reach SUCCESS you will have to find it in you to go directly through everything that you fear. You have no idea how long it will take you to get there. Knowing you have no consequences in this dream, what choice will you make? Will you see SUCCESS in the distance, but close the door to it because you know you will have to go through some things that you are afraid of? Or will you dig deep to find the courage to move forward and reach that SUCCESS no matter how long it takes and no matter what fears you must face?

I am guessing the majority of you reading this, knowing it is just a dream scenario with no consequences would choose to go through to SUCCESS. Now please take a moment to ask yourself why you make the choice to back down when fear presents itself in this world. Do you like the answer you just gave yourself? If not, are you willing to do what it takes to change your mindset in order to achieve your definition of SUCCESS? Are you comfortable living in a world consumed by fear? If not, what are you doing to change it?

The practice of pushing through your fears is something that will help you in every aspect of life. I view it as my job, as my duty, and as my passion to help people in the gym understand that. I have a goal of helping to change to world for the better. Every moment of my life is a chance to make something positive happen. I believe that when someone comes to my gym that I can help them to condition themselves physically to push through challenges. By mastering that skill, I believe, that they will also learn to push through events in life that challenge them emotionally, and mentally as well. It is the practice of focusing on the moment, understanding how you feel, how you think, and why you think and feel that way about the events that are taking place. When someone makes the choice to push through their fears without me having to push them, that is when I feel as though I have made a difference. In the end, all that I can do is show someone a door at the end of a path that I have walked down myself, it is up to them to make the decision to walk through that door. I love helping people more than anything in the world. I made the choice to stop being afraid of opening up about everything thing I think and feel because I believe that the more honest I am with someone, the more honest they will be with me and themselves. That is how we can change the world. As much as human beings are different, we are all inherently the same. We enjoy life more when we are happy. Secrets do not make you happy. Lies do not make you happy. Being negative towards ourselves and others does not make us happy. Make the choice to open your heart. Make the choice to open your mind. We are all in this world together, so lets help each other to make it the best world that we can. I LOVE YOU.

EVERYBODYLOVEEVERYBODY. FREEYOURMIND. THEREISNOQUIT. MINDSET. ALWAYSLEARNING. ITALLSTARTSWITHYOU. LOVE>FEAR

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.