Just Hold On – Gaining Strength When It Hurts

I love to work with kettlebells.  I love the simplicity of the swing and how this simple tool can break you down when you press them overhead.  They show you weakness at times, others they exploit that weakness. At times, the biggest challenge is just to hold on.

You swing, and your arms are not dead, your hips are not sore, your legs can still drive, but your grip begs for you to stop.  You pick them up for a farmer’s carry and your shoulders start to talk to you, but your fingers demand release.

You shout internally to yourself, just a few more steps…just a few more swings.  And so you hold on.

You hold on, and you get stronger.  You hold on and you realize that the pain subsides, and you can pick it up again.  You swing again, you walk again, you hurt again.

Your grow.  You learn.

You let go when you have to.

In everything we do and face, there are moments where we have to choose to hold on just a little bit longer…or let go.

That one-star review or critical response helps you know who your target audience really is.  You hold on to the dream of creating something new for the world.  Keep writing, keep developing, keep building your gym or your business. (Hat tip to Seth Godin for this method of thinking.)

The judge who says the words no-rep when you think you are going to cross the finish line is helping you see that standards matter more than being first.  Hold on, redo the rep and keep your head held high.

That job offer that was too low and you turned down helps you see your true value and worth.  Hold on just a little longer, the right offer will come and you are worth it.

Every failed adventure and dark place that you have had to shine a light in makes you stronger; makes you unstoppable.

Every time you let someone else get in your head and try to convince you to let go; says more about them than you.  Don’t carry their baggage, their failure or their burdens.

When you feel yourself doing that…that is the time to put the weight down.  Stop swinging, stop carrying the things that were never meant for you.

Hold on to you…let go of anything that isn’t.


This one is for me and anyone else that lets others get in their head and shake them.  I have lived a lot of my life trying to please others and be what others wanted me to be.  And at what expense?  I let go and put down the weight that I needed to be carrying and swinging and picked up theirs.  I did it backward.  I stopped writing when I loved it.  I quit caring because I cared about the wrong people.  Don’t make those mistakes.

You might have to walk away from something you love, but you make that choice.  Don’t stop swinging because of someone else.  Hold on…until you need the rest.

When You Have Nothing Left…

I committed to writing something every day until the end of the month.

But I have nothing…

I have no great wisdom or no great story to share.  But I love writing and the feel of pen on paper.  I love the sound of the keys as emotion and life, leaves the head and heart and hits the page.

So tonight, I am simply going to say the things that I needed to hear when no one else knew what to say:

  • Don’t stop, you are better than you think!
  • I believe in you!
  • Get up, you still have work to accomplish!
  • Pick up the bar!
  • Put down the bar!
  • Get up on that bar!
  • Breathe!
  • Rest!
  • You have no idea the impact of the ripples you send out!
  • F them!
  • You’re being an idiot!  Stop feeling sorry for yourself!
  • I’m sorry.
  • I’ll see you tomorrow.

That’s it.  That’s a lot of exclamation mark.

Stop Writing Letters to the Younger You

I am feeling a bit snarky today…so consider that your pre-warning…

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If you have ever been anywhere near a self-help book or had to do any exercise in learning about yourself, you have probably at least been asked to write a letter to your younger self.  What would you tell yourself?  What advice would you give?

Why write that letter at all?

It might be therapeutic in some sense.  I am not even going to say that I have not written one, but I sit here today asking why am I looking back and trying to deal with a ghost.

It doesn’t do anything to change who I am…in this moment.

I’m sending back lessons that I learned and mistakes I discovered in life.

But they made you who you are today.  They built you into the person that you are.  They made you stronger or maybe they crushed you.

About the only thing that letter to your younger you needs to say

“You will survive.”

That’s it.  If you want to change yourself, write a letter to the person you are becoming.  Write a letter to the person you want to be.

If you want to be a business owner, write a letter to the you that owns that business.  If you want to stop writing blogs and be an author, write to that person.

Write to the person that still has lessons to learn and goals to accomplish.  Write a letter that inspires you to take action on something…anything!

Stop wasting your time, telling your younger self about all the mistakes you made in life, take the time to write a letter to the person who has a ton of mistakes to make on their way to becoming a success.  Write a letter to the person that needs to kick an addiction, or take a leap of faith and try a new job.

Write a letter to the person that is not afraid of life anymore.

Write to yourself with passion.  Write to yourself as you see yourself as changing the world or being the world to just one person.

Take five or ten minutes, decide who you want to be and write to them…stop worrying about who you used to be…you are changing, growing, learning.  Write to the person you are becoming, not who you once were.

May the Fourth Be With You – Yoda and Becoming a Jedi

Yesterday I started a new training cycle.  I am going to be hitting some bodyweight basics over the next 8 weeks.  I will have a cycle built around getting better body control and better movement.  I need to move fluidly without load and start adding in some more speed work.

My squat cycle was a success.  I added 30 pounds to my 3 rep max and need to start taxing the CNS a little bit a focus on moving both well and fast.  I will be adopting a weekly schedule that looks something like the following:

  • Day 1: Bodyweight – Gymnastics
  • Day 2: Metcon – Kettlebell work, light barbell + Bodyweight
  • Day 3: Heavy Lift – Cannot abandon moving heavy things
  • Day 4: Rest and Recover
  • Day 5: Metcon – Kettlebell work, light barbell + Bodyweight
  • Day 6: Bodyweight – Gymnastics
  • Day 7: Rest

The other thing that I will do is listen to my body. So what does this have to do with Yoda?  I hear you…it is May Fourth and everyone wants some knowledge bombs.  So here we go:

We all know that Yoda has the famous line about trying.  There is no try.  That is true about our training and anything that we want to accomplish in life.  It is true about getting better.  There is no try.  We either do it or we don’t.

We either believe in our success or we don’t.  We either are going to work on our weaknesses or we are going to ignore them.  We are either going to be a quality, well-rounded, athlete or we are just going to do what we want to do.

We are going to receive coaching or we won’t.

But bigger than all of that is whether or not we are going to believe in what we are capable of.  When Yoda utters this line, Luke does not believe that he can accomplish something.  He does not believe that he has the tools, knowledge and capability to accomplish the task presented to him.  Stacking stones is one thing, but lifting his X-wing…that’s impossible.

One of the biggest diseases in the world today is that of self-doubt.  We stop ourselves because we are afraid of our own success.  As I have said before, it is not failure; we accept failure is a very real and viable option.  And it is the acceptance of failure that keeps us from seeing our potential for greatness.  We are not paralyzed by fear, but rather we don’t do because we are afraid of what success might look like.

Success is the unknown.  Success leads to more questions.  Failure leads to the same old thing we have always done.  Failure, in many respects, is safe.  Failure is moving stones with your mind, the same old party tricks.  Success is knowing that you can lift the X-wing and it is no different.  You must unlearn what you know and believe to be true.

Success for yourself in someone else’s business and success for yourself in your own business is as Yoda would say…no different…only different in your mind.

So what do you want to do or do not?


Faith Workout – What Does It Mean To Be A Christian?

There has been a lot going on recently in the United States that has left me pondering and pontificating on the very question proposed:

What does it mean to be a Christian?

I find myself scouring the passages of Scripture, praying in my alone moments and wondering what should a Christian look like to their family, friends, and Christ Himself?  And is that what the church currently looks like?

Do we have the correct posture in the world today?  Do we reflect Christ to the world or do we reflect a society hell bent on being right?

If we take the words and life of Christ as seriously as we say we do, are we a reflection of His light or are we collectively adding to the darkness that is being displayed?

Are we Christ, loving the women caught in adultery (while asking her to sin no more), or are we the mob, holding stones to be thrown?

Are we Christ, loving the lost, sick, needy, and clinging to faith that He will be enough to cure our ailments, or are we the Pharisees, demonstrating all that we know while missing the Savior standing before us?

I cannot answer these questions, as I watch and hear everyone shout loudly about standing up for our Christian beliefs, and I do not see people living out anything that I can call genuinely of Christ.

As a believer, we are called to hold our brothers and sisters in Christ to the standards that Christ has demonstrated.  We are to resist sin, be in the world but not of it, love our neighbor, and put nothing ahead of Christ.

But I missed the part where Christ talked about the world bending and bowing to our wants.  I missed where Christ said that we were going to be a political party and that our ways would be the world’s ways.

So as we debate whether or not to shop at Target, judge the choices and lifestyles of others, I ponder the question again:

What does it mean to be a Christian?

Is there a way for us, as the Church, to love our brothers and sisters even when we don’t agree with their choices and lifestyles?

Is there a way to break away from the methods and madness of the world and start from a position of compassion for the afflicted and desperate?

Can the love of Christ bring healing through us or is the noise we are making with our mouths just too much for the whisper of Christ in our hearts?