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Category Archives: Motivation and Inspiration

What’s it take to reach your Goals? Do you have what it takes to make a successful transformation?

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It’s all too common to hear people who are frustrated with their inability to successfully reach their goals.  When it comes to a transformation that means: They aren’t losing the fat.  They aren’t gaining the muscle.  Or they aren’t getting any stronger.  I’ve been asked many times, “What’s it take to reach your goals”.  My answer usually starts with, “the right mindset”.  “You have to be able to take control of your own mind”.

Obviously, most people know that it comes down to proper nutrition and a consistent exercise program.  But where most people fail is not being able to follow through with one or both of these.  People will lie to themselves to make themselves feel better.  I’ve done it myself.  I’ve told myself that I was going to stick with a strict diet, which I did.  Or at least claimed I did.  I would just ignore the box of cookies that I stuffed in my face on a Saturday afternoon.  There isn’t really a problem if there is a cheat meal once a week or whatever.  The problem comes in when there are cheats that you are not self reporting.

There is also a difference in putting together what might be more of maintenance than anything.  Someone is setting high goals, but when they get to the gym they go through the motions.  If I’m not killing it in the gym, then I am not making the gains that I expect to make.  The way I see it, is that if I get through a workout and don’t feel muscle exhaustion and don’t feel like I just got my ass kicked, than I didn’t put the work in during my workout.

In my workout today we did a couple of circuits.  Each circuit had  5 rounds of 8 to 15 reps with 3 exercises.  We do increase the number of exercises based on workout.  Our rest period was 1 minute in between rounds.  The weights weren’t real heavy but our legs were on fire by the time we were done.  We finished up with HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) on a rowing machine.  We went hard for 15 seconds with 10 seconds of rest and repeated it over and over and over again.

If you aren’t stressing your body than your body isn’t going to change.  If you are just going through the motions don’t expect your muscles to be getting what they need in order to grow.  If you were to go hard for 3 weeks, your body will change in order to accommodate the workouts that you are putting it through.  At that point what was hard 3 weeks ago isn’t so hard anymore.  If someone is lifting for strength, it’s going to be a different workout with heavy weight.  However, they still have to stress their body, so that it reacts and they make their gains.

Stay after it.

 

 

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TEAMWORK: THE GREEN BERET CHALLENGE AND A LESSON IN LIFE

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Being a part of a team will definitely increase motivation and drive.  The problem is that if you are no longer participating in team sports, it is not so easy to find others to join you in your fitness or competitive endeavors.  It may give you a different perspective.  Certain challenges may be easier or harder for you than your teammates.  Maybe their input will be the difference in completing your challenge in a more effective manner.  There are some things that take a team.

Today I just competed in The Green Beret Challenge, in Farmington, MO.  I’ve done plenty of Obstacle Course Races and have done a number of them with friends.  Than again, I have done most of them by myself.  The Green Beret Challenge is a team event.  In order to compete you need 4 people, including yourself.  If you decide to do this challenge, take my word for it.  You will need 3 other people who will NEVER GIVE UP.   I picked my team several months prior to doing the event.  I never had a question that any of them would bail on me.  If one guy bailed that would have screwed all of us.

It’s not so easy to rely on others.  How many times have you heard someone say that they stopped going to the gym because their training partner stopped going?  I’ve had lots of training partners during my life and I’ve been motivated by all of them while we worked out.  However, things change.  You probably aren’t going to train with the same individual for your entire life.  No matter what, I have no intention of putting an end to training.  I do make changes to how I train and where I train, but I don’t rely on someone else to get me in the gym.

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At the end of the day, what is more important to you?  Not letting yourself down or not letting your teammates down.  This is a true life lesson.  I know 3 guys,  (Paul Rozek, Joe Larsen and Nick Martin) who will not let me down.  That’s the reason these guys are a part of my team.  They all showed up and they did their part.  The 4 of us maneuvered over 8 miles of rough terrain, dragging tires and sandbags.  Carrying sandbags, ammo crates.  Engineering an improvised device to carry a 55 gallon drum of water a mile.  The 4 of us lifted each other through out the course.  Times do get tough and having a team that works well together will get you through it.

When it comes to life think about the people that will do what they say.  Think about the people that will be there for you if you need them.  Think about the people that do what it takes to get the job done.  I know who my guys are.  I know who I can rely on.  I have been disappointed before, because of people who don’t follow through.  It’s one thing to try and fail and it’s another to not even try.  The guys I picked for The Green Beret Challenge not only showed up  but worked and finished as a team.

Mark Ballas the founder of The Green Beret Challenge (And a Green Beret) and all of the guys (also Special Forces) who work with him did an awesome job at putting together a challenging course.  Everything that they do is based on some of the things that they went through during their military training.  Obviously, the military is the ultimate example of teamwork.  I’m just happy that they are putting these kinds of events together, in order to give others the opportunity to challenge themselves and be a part of a team, even if it is only for a day.

This honestly was the greatest and toughest event that I have participated in when it comes to challenges.  

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Live Life To The Fullest

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If you truly want to live then you have to make time for the things that you enjoy and the people that you love and care about.  My parents sold there house last year and moved into a retirement community.  It was because my father has dementia and is also undergoing dialysis 3 times a week.  At 84 my mom is in great shape and continues to swim.  She even competed in the Senior Olympics 2 years ago.  No matter what kind of shape she is in and how strong she is mentally and physically there is a lot that she has to deal with while taking care of my dad.  The move provides her with more support if needed and less to deal with relating to taking care of an entire house.  She often tells me that she is fortunate because there are a lot of people who deal with much more being a caregiver then she has to deal with but I can see how things are much more difficult for the caregiver then the person that they are caring for.  Honestly, my dad really couldn’t remember if he had a good day or a bad day.  My mom has to watch someone that she loves and has spent most of her life with deteriorate.  I can’t even image what she deals with on a daily basis because I have never had to take care of him even for a day.  Up until a couple years ago they were both very active and traveled quite a bit.  I remember growing up that the two of them traveled all over the world for my dads work and vacations.  As a family we (my parents and my two brothers) had trips every year up until I was about 14.  We would go skiing, camping and to a cabin in Vermont.  We actually took one last trip as a family when I graduated college, when we went skiing in Austria.  Because of my dads situation they had to stop traveling.  I know that my mom missed our annual trips to Vermont which they started back up around 15 years ago.  I joined them on about half of the Vermont trips.  I realized that one of the biggest things that my mom really missed was traveling.  Several months ago, I was talking about a cabin that I rented in the woods in Tennessee and my mom told me that she really missed going to Vermont.  At that point I realized what I would give her for her birthday.  A trip somewhere.  So on her birthday this last August, I told her that her present was a trip with me.

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I decided on Puerto Rico for several reasons.  1 – She is still very active and a big outdoors person and she loves nature.  Puerto Rico has several national parks including an amazing rainforest and a bioluminescent bay (she had been to PR but never to the rainforest or bay) 2 – It wasn’t too far away  3 – It wasn’t too expensive.

I looked at the trip several different ways.  If you don’t take or create the opportunity you may lose it.  I had never taken my mother on a trip before and now that I live 12 hours away from her, I really don’t get to spend very much time with her.  This would be a great opportunity to spend some quality time with her.  The other thing was that the amount of stress that she must deal with while caring for my father is really unimaginable.  When you spend all of your time taking care of someone else, it is difficult to spend time on yourself.  The stress can take a toll on you.  This trip would give her a nice break from it and give her a chance to relax and cut down on her stress.  I’m very grateful that one of my brothers was willing to stay with my dad while my mom was with me.  My other brother filled in for him for a day.  I couldn’t have taken her on this trip without their help.  My Aunt (her sister) also joined us on the trip.

I did this trip for her benefit, but I got a lot out of it as well.  The time we spent together has provided me with memories that I will never forget.  And at the age of 84 (her sister is 86), both of them were able to keep up.  We didn’t just go and sit on the beach.  We went kayaking in the bay and in the ocean on a rough day.  We hiked in the rainforest which had some pretty steep trails.  And we also sat on the beach.  But both her and her sister swam in the ocean quite a bit.

Live life to it’s fullest.  Whether you are 20 or 84.  Don’t take your parents for granted and appreciate everything that they have done for you.  Let them know you love them and show them that you appreciate them with a memorable experience.

Love you Mom.

I want to QUIT!!!

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You’re going to reach a point on the way to a goal, when you’re going to wonder if it’s really worth it. It’s going to happen because you have other things on your mind. It’s going to happen, because it’s too hard. It’s going to happen because you’re in pain. It’s going to happen because someone says, “YOU CAN”T”. It’s going to happen because in some way you believe them.

It’s not going to happen because you’ve come too far. It’s not going to happen because you’re not a quitter. It’s not going to happen because you’ve been here before.  It’s not going to happen because you want it bad enough.

It’s up to you. The choice is yours.

You’re going to continue because your goal is a PROMISE that you made to yourself and you will not break your PROMISE.

Sticking To Your Promises

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Everyone has a day when they just don’t feel like following through with something. Sometimes I get into the gym and am dreading part of my workout. I just feel out of it. Usually, I get into my workout and by the time I get to what’s been traumatizing my day, I feel so energized that I just get it done. Even if I’m not into it yet, my training partner will be and I will have to do it. Just so that I don’t hear him run his mouth. Actually, I would feel like I let him and myself down.

A week ago we decided that we needed to bring conditioning back into our workouts. We have been doing very little of it for a few months and it’s becoming very noticeable. So we said that we would do it 3 or 4 days a week. Our conditioning can last for 10 minutes and it can last for an entire workout. It might not last long but if you aren’t in shape it sucks. We can get more out of 10 or 15 minutes of conditioning than if we ran for 45 minutes.

I got in today and we got our workout done and I wanted no part of conditioning today. Something I woke up thinking about. If you are hitting it hard, you will feel like you are drowning because you are so out of breath. I say to my training partner, “Lets get our conditioning done.” He says, “No, I don’t have time today.” Now all of the sudden I really want to do it, so I start talking crap to him. After calling him out, I say, “Hey, we made a commitment to do it 3 or 4 times a week. And it will only take 12 minutes. You don’t have 12 minutes? Today will be day 2 and we will still have 1 or 2 more days left. Are you going to break your PROMISE?”. He gets this look on his face like he is going to start calling me a couple of choice names.
We got it done in 12 minutes. It was not fun but both of us were happy that we followed through with our PROMISE. #PromiseToFinishWhatYouStarted

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask

_GBP1518 If you want something bad enough than you have to do everything that you can do to get it.  No matter what it is up to you.  You have to first make up your mind up to do it and then you have to take action.  There will always be people who will tell you that you can’t do something.  You will have to ignore them or better yet use what they say as gasoline for you fire.  There are usually people who are willing to help.  They might not be easy to find but you’re going to have to ask.  There are obviously always people who you can pay for advice or help but that can get costly.  Sometimes it is the best option.  But there are plenty of other people with experience that are willing to help.  You will come across a few that don’t have time for you.  I love it when someone asks me how to do something or wants me to recommend something while I’m at the gym.  (As long as they don’t do it in the middle of a set or circuit).  I love seeing other people make gains and even more like to see them change their life.

When we (Me and my partner Chase Reynolds) decided that we wanted to start The Promise∞Line™ (A motivational brand that encourages people not only set promises (Promises are what we call Goals), but go after them no matter who or what stands in their way.)  We knew very little about what it would take to develop an apparel line along with it.  However, we did have several connections who were more than happy to help.  There were two other apparel companies who have been very successful who we had some loose connections with.  One day I decided that maybe it would be worth calling a founder from each one of them and seeing if they would talk with me and give me some advice.  What’s the worse that can happen?  They tell me to go screw and hang up?  Surprisingly or maybe not surprisingly both of them were more than happy to help.  They answered every question that I asked.  One of them told me that 25 years from now, when some guy calls me and tells me that he has a start-up brand that he is developing, I better take some time and help him out.  I definitely believe in paying it forward.  The other guy that I spoke with has been someone who we speak with every couple of weeks.  He has helped us make a lot of decisions and probably saved us from a number of mistakes.  I can’t say enough how much I respect this individual and his company.   I sent him a couple of shirts the other day and he emailed me that they looked great and was excited to wear them.

We have taken a lot of pride in developing a brand that means something to us.  It means a lot to us to hear from people that we are motivated them and accomplishing what we set out to do.  And the feeling of having a mentor who praises your brand is incredible.  I find that ever since I turned my life around and started living a healthy lifestyle that tend to stick with a lot of similar people.  These similar people have a positive outlook on life and that includes positively effecting and helping others.  You never know until you ask.

Finding Your Passion and Helping Others Find Theirs

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I’m not saying that the only thing that I like to do is going to the gym and train, but almost everything that I consider my passion has to do with living a healthy lifestyle.  And the fact is it’s not just about me, because most of the people who I spend most of my time with do pretty much the same thing.  Part of it is helping other people live the same lifestyle or at least the lifestyle that they want.  They have their own ideas of where they want to be.  And maybe it isn’t a lifestyle but someone who is trying to reach a goal.  It’s nice having a positive effect on someone else that is trying to better their life.

I talk with people every day and when I listen to them, they will tell me what they want.  You can hear it in their voice when they are talking about how they can see themselves getting closer to that goal.  You can also hear it when they feel like they are failing.  A word of encouragement or some advice could actually go a long way for them.  In the end it is up to them, but the more information that they have or positive reenforcement that they have the more that they can believe in themselves.  So when I think about it, the way that I live doesn’t just affect me.  I know that I’m not the only one who changed their life and is helping other people do the same thing.  Once you believe in yourself others will believe in you and it really could start a domino effect.  Once someone figures out that they want it bad enough, they can do anything.

 

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