Reality

Feels like I have not written something for ages, so I am back.  I am not sure how well you will like what I have to say today, but I am going to simply put this out there for you to do with it what you will.

You want results?  You want to change something in your life?  You want to be stronger, faster, leaner, more mobile, something.  What is stopping you from getting there?  What is the reality behind why you are not progressing?

You like the idea of being faster, stronger, leaner, more mobile or whatever it is, but you are not willing to do what it takes to get there.

You are a kid that wants a puppy.  They are in love with the idea of a puppy, but they really don’t know the sacrifice that is necessary to own one.  They love the idea of throwing a frisbee…but don’t want to be in charge of feeding it daily.  They love the idea of walks, until they have to stop what they are doing and take the dog on one.

We all fall in love with the ideas of what we want, but seldom can accept what it takes to get there.  We make excuses or say that this program just isn’t working.  But are you really chasing the stronger, faster, leaner, healthier you…or just really like the idea of it?

I am a victim of this mentality as much as anyone else.  I want to be leaner, but I don’t like giving up tequila.  So I like the idea of leaning up…but don’t always succeed in putting it into practice.  There are other months where I can be strong as an oak tree…dig in and not touch the stuff and the results come.

But ultimately, I have to admit that the truth of the matter is that some times my reality does not line up with my wants.  I am in love with the idea of the puppy, but really do not want to go clean up after them.

The Squat

Kendrick-Farris-front-squat1

We all squat.  Most of us even love to squat.  We try to squat several times a week.  We goblet squat, back squat, front squat, speed squat, air squat.  We pause squat…ah…yes, we get in the hole and we sit there for a count.  We sit in the bottom of our squat for a 2, 3 or 5 count.  We hold the air squat for 20 seconds and then we rise out of the hole.

We squat, and add weight to the bar until we cannot rise again.  We put on one plate, then another and we find get in the hole, and rise out of it.  We celebrate the successful rise to a standing position.  On the way up, we occasionally let out a primal scream to remind ourselves that we will rise victorious.

The squat is basic to life, it is essential to moving well.  The squat is today, and tomorrow.  The squat is the test and reminder that we must always fight to stand.

We are reminded of all the weight that we carry on our shoulders and the burdens we bear.  Our struggle is not in loading the bar and standing tall with it.  It is getting into the struggle of life, finding the hole with all the weight and choosing to stand up again.  Life is not about getting in the hole, but fighting to get out of it.

How long can you fight against the weight wanting to keep you down?  How long can you push against the weight of your commitments and concerns and stand tall?  How much can you handle before the primal scream comes out of you and you stand tall.  Accepting the weight that is on your shoulders that you must squat?

And what if you fail?  What happens if you cannot stand?

Do you simply quit?  Give up?  Try again?  What happens when you cannot get out of the hole?

You re-rack the bar and slowly start putting the plates back on.  You load up the large one’s first.  Your priorities…like faith, family, work, then you add on the smaller one’s until you get to the point where you see you have a few things sitting on the floor that you just cannot carry right now.  You leave them there.  They are not going anywhere.  They will be there when you are stronger.  So you let them rest.  You learn over time what must be on the bar and what MUST be left on the floor so that you can squat again.

You learn what must be left behind so that when you are sitting in the hole, you fight, you stand and you conquer.

Then you look at those smaller weights…maybe once you are out of the hole and the bar feels a light, you can try adding it back on!

What are your biggest weights, smallest?  What do you need to leave on the floor so that you can rise out of the hole?

Sickness

I hate being sick.  I hate when my wife or kids are sick.  I hate it because the truth of the matter with sickness, or any other major disaster, the world does not stop.  When you are throwing up every twenty minutes, the phone still rings and your inbox still gets full.

I have been sick off and on for the last couple weeks.

I wanted the world to stop for me.  I wanted people to respect that I was sick and step up…but life doesn’t work that way.  If you are a leader, you will still be looked to even when you are throwing up.  You still have responsibilities.

You don’t have time for the pity party.  No one cares because it is your job.  It is not theirs.  You have to decide what you are going to do when you are sick and what can wait.  It is just the simple truth of the matter.

Embrace this position.  Embrace that people believe that you can keep going even when you feel like you cannot.  Or rather when you just really don’t want to.  You want to be sick, you want sympathy, and you want the world to stop for you.

But it doesn’t.  Sickness is just like a bad day at the gym.  You have to do what you can and simply accept it.  You have to be content with whatever you can get done and not feel the pressure to do more.  You cannot get upset (even though I like to) when someone calls on you when you are sick.  You just have to be honest and say I cannot do that, or you can.  Be honest with yourself and with others.

It’s okay to be sick.  It’s okay to have to slow down.  It is also okay to recognize that life goes on and all of us just have to own that we will get through it and be just fine.

With all that said…I still hate being sick!

You Matter.

I really did not know what to say today.  I went for a walk.  I went for a drive and then came back to the office to get back to the grind.  I did a quick check of the news and really just felt an overwhelming sadness.

There is far too much hate out there today.  I hate you because of this.  I hate you because of that.  I like this group of people because they hate the same things I do.  I hate Republicans; I hate Democrats.  We really don’t even have to venture into the world of hate that exists around race, religion and any number of other fun topics.  Our world seems to be focusing more and more on hating people than it does on making it a better place.

I have two kids and might have more.  I do not like the state of things…so I have to do something.  I will start small.  I will start with them and with you.

I don’t hate you.

You matter!

Dealing with Frustration…

I talked about frustration and truthfully this week, it seems to be about all that I have been fighting.  Problems each and every day.  Every time I turn around something else is breaking, needing to be done, or not being done right.  It has been a constant fight.  From family and friends being sick, to the every bi-polar weather that we are having in Texas right now, everything is a burden and stressor leading to frustration!

So what helps with frustration, what helps me push through?

Giving!

Just give more of yourself.  I know that it sounds like the hardest thing in the world to do, but I have to do is learn to give more of myself.  I realize that the joy that giving produces its own rewards.  I can put those burdens and those stressors on a hook and pick them up later.

It’s that simple.  When I am frustrated, it usually means that I am questioning my own value.  I question whether the work that I am doing is valued or even witnessed.  The frustration comes from feeling that I am working my tail off and no one sees it.  And when I feel that, I need to throw all those feelings and weight out the window and just do what I do.  I just have to give all that I can to those people that walk into the front door wanting to train with me.  They trust me, they know me, and they push themselves for me.  Giving to them is its own reward.

So when I am frustrated, I give…and I give all that I can!

Frustration

We have all dealt with it.  We all know what it feels like and how it eats away at us.  We hate how we feel and we want it to change.

Frustration!

I have dealt with it on the lifting platform, hanging from the rings, in business, and in my house.  It is a reality that things are not always going to be perfect and that people are going to push your buttons.  What do you do?

Recognize that you are not them and they are not you.  We all react to life differently.  We all apply pressure to situations in a different way and we respond to challenges differently.  We all deal with the stress of life and frustrations differently.

For some of us, the pressure improves our performance.  The frustration of not hitting that lift and feeling so close, pushes us to focus just a little more, leading to success.  And for others, the frustration pulls us out of the zone and makes it harder to give our best.  For this latter group of people, it is better to accept the off day, accept the frustration and walk away until we can get back in the zone.

The truth about frustration is that no matter what, it is all on your shoulders to control your reaction.  It is all on your shoulders for you to recognize how you respond to it and how you are going to deal with it.  The sad truth of the matter is that most of the time, the people or things that are causing your frustration don’t care.

The barbell doesn’t care, your boss doesn’t care…they just want results and progress.

How do you deal with frustration?  How do you handle it?

Me response comes tomorrow….

Tarzan, Peanut Butter and a Bendy Straw

This past week was full of heartbreaking news around me.  I had friends lose their homes, lose their beloved pets and a couple families lost their babies due to complications.  There has been a flurry of bad news that makes you reflect on your life and what is truly important.  You take stock in where you are placing value.  You start to realize that life is less and less about bank accounts and stuff.  It is about moments in time and memories that you can create.  It is about a bedtime ritual that you hope your children pass along to their kids.

For me, it is about Tarzan, a Peanut Butter Sandwich and a Bendy Straw.

I have two daughters and an amazing wife.  They are what drive me and push me to be bigger than I think I can be.  But they do not want a whole lot.  It does not take the stars and mood to make them happy.  It takes some very simple things.

Over the past couple days one of my little girls has been battling a stomach bug, throwing up every couple of hours.  It tears a parents heart out to see them suffer and not completely grasp what illness is.  They just know that it sucks!

One night I was tucking her in for her afternoon nap.  I went to give her a drink and told her that the next time I went to the grocery store, I would get her a bendy straw for her drink.  Who knew how powerful a bendy straw would be.  For the next 24 hours, every so often, she would ask from laying down, “Have you gone to the store and gotten a bendy straw yet?”

I went Monday morning.  I spent 1.99 on a pack of straws and brought them home.  Her face lit up and she was on cloud 9.  She was beaming when she realized that I had gotten the straw.  It was just a straw, but it wasn’t to her.  It was something more.

Lunch rolled around and my other daughter saw me eating a sandwich…she wanted one.  I made her one and she got so excited to be having it.  She practically danced with joy right out of her chair.  I wish I could describe her face and excitement about getting that sandwich.  All I can say was that before she started to eat it with reckless abandon, she acted like she was holding a gold brick.  A delicious gold brick.  Her world was made.

And then there is Tarzan.  The movie that gets both of my kids going crazy when they realize that they are about to watch it.  They dance to the music, they mimic the gorillas and know it from the first note of the opening credits.  It has been there movie of choice for the past couple of weeks.  It makes their day!

So there you have it, Tarzan, a sandwich and a bendy straw.  It does not take much to make someone’s day. It does not take a lot of work to change someone from feeling down to feeling like they are the most important person in your world.

But many of us only know how to think bigger and better.  We think about the next big thing that we want to do for someone.  We focus on the project or the plan to make that happen and we put what we can do in the here and now on the back-burner.

Life is not built around the big moments. It is built around the small consistent moments that are filled with love and compassion.  We all want to do big things for others, but we all have to remember that caring, has more value than anything we could by.  It is a little moment here or there where we reveal to someone that we see their pain and want to enter into it with them.

It’s time that we all start paying attention a little more to what people really want and need from us.  We all might be surprised at how easily we can change a life…all it takes is a movie, a sandwich and a bendy straw!

Less Attitude, More Gratitude

I am not afraid to speak my mind, or write my mind.  And there is a lot that needs to change in this day and time of #firstWorldProblems (yes, I used a hashtag).  I look around the world and I just see that everyone has something to complain about.  And honestly a lot of it, provides absolutely no value to anything whatsoever.

I am sorry, but we are far too selfish.  We complain because something inconveniences us, and bigger than that, we demand that our needs take precedence.  We want our voice to be heard, but only if others are going to see thing our way.

I am kind of tired of it.  I am tired of people losing sight of genuinely caring about other people and how we can actually help them.  I am tired of people not being grateful for the things that they have in the here and now.  It is frustrating to walk around and miss seeing all the good we can and should be doing in the world because we are so focused on the little petty things that keep us from getting what we want or think we deserve.

I believe in giving until it hurts almost.  I believe that we are called to help our fellow man, woman, and child if we are able to.  AND we need to take a long hard look at how much we really are able to do.  Can we give up Starbucks for a week, a month, a year to help someone else out?  Can we get up a little earlier to help our spouse out?  Can we stop focusing on ourselves long enough to actually care about someone else and really see their needs as opposed to seeing them as an inconvenience or burden?

If this mentality was a crime, I would be guilty.  I get mad, frustrated, and irritated when something keeps me from getting where I feel I need to be.  But do I need to react this way?  Do I need to get angry?  Do I need to react…most times, nope!  Most of the time, I am just a selfish person that wants what I want and think everyone else should fall in line.

I do not want to call that human nature, but I cannot think of a different term.  I want to leave my office at the time I choose so that I can get to the gym and you better not stop me.  I do not care if you have a “serious problem”…I want to leave and you SHOULD KNOW this already.  Yes, I just rolled my eyes at you because you are keeping ME from where I want to BE.

You want to talk about the weather…sorry I want to go and lift heavy things and throw a 20 pound ball at a 10 foot target 150 freaking times.  Get out of my way.

And I hate myself for having this attitude.  I hate myself for not being able to put myself on the back burner.  So I work on it.  So I challenge myself to not react and when I do, evaluate it.  If I snap at my kids and they did not do anything…I apologize to them.  If I do not focus and listen when a co-worker is talking to me, I try to go back and apologize for not showing them the respect that I expect them to show me.

I fail.  I learn.  I try again.  I will fail again!

But we all need to have a little less attitude and a little more gratitude.  We need to be thankful for the gifts that we have been given, this includes our job, even on the bad days.  We need to be thankful for the friends we have and the family that we deal with.  We need to show a little more gratitude for the freedoms that we have here and a little less attitude when the dominoes don’t quite fall the way that we want them to.

We need to be thankful for the situations that we are faced with because there is a lesson for us to learn.  There is a challenge for us to overcome…even if it is simply telling that little voice in our head that gives us permission to react…to shut up!

So as we enter this new week, I offer you a different hashtag #lessAttitudeMoreGratitude