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!

Respect and Shout-Outs!

One of the things that I think tends to get lost in the shuffle in this modern day and age is taking the time to acknowledge the people that helped us or inspired us.  They pushed us to be better or forced us to step out of our comfort zones so that we could find out more about ourselves.  They are the people that we admired and looked up to as we go on our journey through life.  Some of them are close friends and family.  Others are the people within our field of business or study that we read and said…I want to do that!  They inspire us.  This is the beginning on my list…hopefully I will keep it up as I find more and more people that not only help me dive deeper and deeper into my passions, but they challenge me to think big.



Wife and Kids – This is a gimme.  They push me through the hard times and celebrate the good times with me.  No matter if I succeed or fail, they come running to meet me when I get home at the end of the day!

The members and other coaches at my home gym – After my own family, they are the one’s the help me keep pushing through.  There are days, you want to throw in the towel and wonder if what you are doing is worth it.  These people (all of them, even the “troublemakers”) get me out of bed in the morning…sometimes a lot earlier than I want to get going.

Barbell Shrugged and Barbell Business – These guys have set the bar high.  I have to give a unique pat on the back to Chris Moore (aka the Barbell Buddha) as being someone that motivated me to put more time and energy into blogging and podcasting.  These guys as a collective though are a great resource for anyone to listen to.  They are moving in the right direction and setting the bar higher and higher each day.  They teach you the importance of giving information away and growing your value in the market.  Thanks for the inspiration!

Lisbeth Darsh – If you don’t know this lady, you need to.  She captures so many emotions that we all through in her writing.  She doesn’t pull any punches and that is good.  She is also the first person, outside my family that I have been able to communicate with to get inspiration.  She started the week-long blogging challenge that I recently completed and it just makes each writer more away of how much they love their craft.

Seth Godin – Just go to his blog and sign up to get his daily posts.  They are short and they are changing the way that we market.  Once you have read his blogs for a while, go get a book or five from him.  You will not be disappointed.  Start with Tribes if you want to look at leadership from a different perspective.

Gary Vaynerchuk – Super energetic guy that likes to talk about wine and social media.  Has some powerful stuff on the “Thank You Economy” that I wish more people understood.  This book actually reinforced a lot of what I believed about business and marketing, so it was a nice to hear that I am not all alone.

Zach Even-Esh – This man is all about the hard work and putting in the work.  I love reading his emails and they get me fired up.  If you are not ready to hustle and work, don’t waste your time.  But if you are ready to work and put in the time, then this guy can help keep you on the right path.

That is a pretty good start.  Get caught up on these guys and then go out there and crush it!  Follow them on twitter, like them on Facebook…whatever it takes so that you start learning from them.

Follow me on twitter (@barbellpoet) and like me on Facebook too…


Who Am I?

I am not better than anyone.

I am not worse than anyone.

I am me.  I am a husband that loves his wife.  She deserves the sun, stars and moon.

I am a father who demands the best for his little girls.  That means I expect a lot of them and those that will enter into their lives.  Just know that up front.

I will go through hell for the one’s that I love…and hell will kick me out.

Yes, I can help you with your business.  Yes, I am a loyal employee and loyal person.  Hurt me, and I take it.  No one will break me!  I can take the fact that you need to feel superior.  That’s ok, I will help you anyway.

Yes, I can teach you about the clean and jerk, snatch, deadlift and how to get stronger.  I can get you stronger and teach you how to walk on your hands, double under and have the prettiest toes-to-bar.

I also can help you with whatever you are dealing with.  I care enough to make sure you are ok, and tell you to put just a little bit of that burden on my shoulders.  I will carry it for a while, until you are ready to take it back.  Or when you figure out you don’t need it anymore…I will bury it.

Or maybe I will make you face it.  I will make you stare down your weaknesses and tackle them.  That is who I am.  It is not my job, it is my nature.  It is me.

There is not another me and there never will be.  I embrace my strengths and acknowledge my weaknesses.

I am not better than anyone.

I am not worse than anyone.

I am just me!

Pick that [email protected]# Up!

Sorry about the wingdings in the title, but there are moments in life when we need to get out of our own way.  There are times when saying, pick it up, just doesn’t work to convey the struggle that you are about to embark on.  The fight is real.  We are getting better.  We are past the fear, and have dug our heels into the ground.  We are set and ready for the fight that is about to come.  Enough playing around, it is time to do the work!

It is time to do just that.  It is time for us to pick up the bar and get it moving.  The struggle is in the start, then the struggle becomes momentum.  We accelerate until we are passed the point of stopping and onto the task of committing.  We are chasing our best.  We are in the moment and fighting to feel each and every piece of the lift.  We are in the fight of our lives to be the best business owner, the best parent, spouse, son or daughter.  We are struggling to just set the bar higher for ourselves and stand out in the crowd of those that would settle for mediocrity.

It is one lift; it is one shot in life, and we are going to take it.

This is the fight to see if all the preparation and work up to this point is worth it.  The hours of training and supplemental work.  The mobility drills and the hours of embracing the suck.  It is the moment where all the market research and all the planning is done.  It is every planned out meal that you ate so that you could put getting to the next level in your crosshairs.  It is YOUR MOMENT and it is YOUR stage!

So pick that bar up and own it.  Fight with everything you got.

You will feel the muscles fire as you get it off the ground.  You will feel the transition as you explode to send the bar into the air and you will feel that fraction of a second when you know, you have got to move or you will miss the lift.  You have got a small window that will determine victory or defeat.  You have a fraction of a second to react and choose your own fate.

Will you take your chances and move or will you fight to stay in your comfort zone?  Will you remain content with where you are at, or will you let the path of your future change by committing to your own success?  Will you risk failure to catch that bar in the bottom of the squat or will you let the little voice in your head, remind you how heavy the load will be and quit.  Which road will you take?

Accept the load as it comes down.  Brace yourself and stand up…successful!  A stronger, more accomplished you.  It’s your bar…it’s your battle…it’s your victory!

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Let the Writing and Changes Commence

I took the leap and started writing a book.  A book for all of us that are doing the best that we can with what we have been given and in the process hopefully change a few lives for the better.  This book (which may never be finished) is being written for the business owner who just needs to know they are not alone in the struggle.  It is for me to get some ideas out and give something back.

It might be my wrapping up a chapter of my life and preparing for the next big thing that will come in life.  I cannot say for sure what the future holds, but fear is not going to hold me back any longer.  It is not going to leave me sitting on the edge guessing about whether or not I should or should not do something.  I will take that risk and put myself out there.

The worst that can happen is someone says they don’t like it.  They are just words.  They are in no way a reflection of my character or who I am.  I define that.  I get to write that story.

And the same is true for you!  You get to write your own story.  Who cares what the critics say about you!  Be great.  Find something that you excel at and throw yourself into it.  Find something that brings you joy and challenges you and go for it.  If you fail, you fail!  Get up and try something else.  Remember you write your story and you determine who you are…and no one can take away who you are.

Take that leap that is the biggest thing you want to accomplish in life and start working towards it.  It takes a whole lot of baby steps to accomplish anything great.  And the first step is always the most important.  It is the one that takes you from inactive to active.  It determines your momentum.  It takes you from a static to active.  It takes you from being on the sidelines to in the game.

It takes you from talker to doer!  It’s time to start making those changes.  Take action…and do what others only talk about doing!  Risk failure…and succeed!

The World Needs You!

Time to get in the game and get our minds right once again.  When it comes to being successful, a lot of it comes down to what is motivating us.  A lot of our success is built around why we do the things that we do.  If we were faced in a life or death situation, how would we approach it?

What would we sacrifice for our spouses or kids?

We react to the world based on how it affects us and those things that we view as important.  But here is the truth for many people, we do not see ourselves as valuable.  We see ourselves as protectors or caregivers to someone else and that can be true and often is, but we all have value independent of any role we or someone else places upon us.

The world needs you!

One of my goals in the new year is to not beat myself up or be too hard on myself.  I promised my wife that I would try.  It is not that I do not believe in myself, but rather, I don’t always see myself as unique or special.  She tells me I am full of it.

And she is right.  The world needs me and it needs you.  It needs you to be bulletproof on a regular basis so that you can take chances and make changes.  It needs you to be confident in your decisions so that you can follow through on them and not just let them settle to the bottom of your to-do list.

The world needs you to be daring and chase the things that you are good at and things that fulfill you.   The world needs you to know that you matter and are worth making the changes necessary for so that you can be the best version of yourself.

AND you don’t have to do that for anyone but yourself.  If you are willing to step up to the plate for yourself all the other things that you have to take care of will fall into place and take care of themselves.  You will be a better spouse, a better parent, a better employee because you are starting to work for yourself and not feeling like all these other things are holding you back from your happiness.

Your perspective can and will change if you allow yourself the simple pleasure of saying “I’m good at this” or “I did this well” or even “I had a good day”.  We live far too often on a quest for the gloomy day and feel guilty when something good happens.  I give you permission to stop that now and accept that we all deserve some good things and we all deserve to be happy about those things.

And from those things, you grow and you become who the world need you to be.

Blog Changes Coming

Hopefully this week, I will be able to make some changes that makes finding posts that you want to read easier.  Like training everything is a process and a journey.  I am learning and growing in that just as you are hopefully growing in health.

One of the primary things that I will be doing is changing the menu to reflect the categories that I typically try to write in.  I will break them down into the following areas – mindset, training philosophy, and business practices to start (with a possibility of daily training).  If more categories are needed then I will take the steps to get those out there to you.  I welcome your feedback on what you need to better yourself and your business.

I want you to get the information that you need to take the next steps in your life and your journey.  So as always…keep pushing and if you need anything please contact me.

Work Hard…You Have a Right To Succeed

A little more fired up this morning.  Got some good sleep last night, some coffee in the tank and am getting things done this morning.  Got back into the gym early today and that is always nice!  So here we go…

You have a right to succeed.  Soak that in.  Read it slowly…


You do.  Don’t listen to all the noise that is out there in the world today about everyone deserving everything.  The world has gotten soft and entitled.  You have a right to succeed and be successful, but that is not a guarantee by any measure.  But you are entitled to your success if you put in the WORK!

If you don’t work, you are not entitled to anything.  If you do not try, you have a right to fail and no one should be expected to tell you “good job” or “maybe next time”.  If you do not do anything, then the reward is nothing.  But work, put in consistent effort to get from point A to point B and you will get something.  You will learn, you will grow and you might end up making a name for yourself.

You might make some money, you might find your passion and find your calling in life, but you will succeed somehow.

I get frustrated with society these days.  I was raised on hard work, setting out to do something and working until it was done.  I would stay up late to get things done.  I got up early to get things done and I took responsibility when I failed to get it done.  I hate excuses.

But I also hate seeing someone feel guilty because they are successful.  I hate seeing people feel like they made a mistake by getting somewhere in this world or in this life.  STOP!  If you worked hard, put in the time and effort and didn’t just ride the coattails of someone else, then you have a right to your success.  Don’t feel guilty about getting ahead.

If the people around you make you feel guilty for getting somewhere in life, surround yourself with different people who want to see you get bigger and better.  Surround yourself with people who help you realize that there is no mountaintop of success, just a longer journey to continue to grow!  Leave nothing in the tank.  Bust your butt day in and day out to be your own version of successful.

And OWN that!  Be proud of it!

Take some sort of action and own it.  Be willing to take the wrong action, but do not remain silent and cower in the corner afraid to try something.  Some things will fail…deal with it!  Some things will succeed…deal with it!  Stand up and take that first step and start working.

Want to clean up your diet, get in the pantry and throw out the things that you know shouldn’t be there.  Have a bonfire and burn those calories.  Feel the burn!

Want to get in shape.  Don’t buy a treadmill, get a friend and make a date with them to go run everyday or show up at a gym and learn to lift (better yet…do both!).  Get outside, get accountable and get moving.  Put in the work!  Start and then just keep moving.

Want to start a business, then start learning how to go about that.  Don’t wait for everything to be perfect before you start…find out what you need to get started and get there.  It will never be perfect; there will always be one more thing that you need to do.  So get to the edge of that cliff and jump…trust your wings and fly.  And keep doing that every day and embrace the challenges and the journey that you are now on!

You have a right to the hard work and the success that comes with it!

New Year…Goals for 2015

Here it is, the first post of the new year.  There are a lot of new things to come out this year that I hope will help everyone out as they tackle the new year.  I hope to get a little more personal here in this space.  I might upset some people with what I have to say, and I am good with that.  I hope to inspire people to take action.  To tackle challenges and to push their limits and that includes what they accept.  This world is a scary place at times, and a beautiful place at others.  Time to get real, so here are my challenges for the upcoming year.

Be more Confident! – Pretty simple.  Stop worrying about what everyone will think of my ideas or if they are good or not.  I have been around the block a time or two, so it is time to trust in the lessons I have learned.  Which leads to the second challenge of the year..

Take Action! – I won’t wait for someone else to prove that my idea is good or bad.  If I want to tackle a project, I will.  Go ahead and try and stop me.  I am not here to waste away.  The people that I admire most in the world speak of taken action and accepting that challenges in front of you.  I will write more, and start up the podcast…so get ready for more regular updates.  It’s gonna happen!

Enough IS Enough! – That is to say, that I do not want to always be on a quest for more.  I do not need more.  I have everything that I need.  Enough really IS enough.  I can stop chasing more and and embrace all that I have already.

Enjoy my Training! – I am going to enjoy my training.  I will be taking on some obstacle course races this year, but the focus of my training will be on encouraging other to get out there and train with me.  It doesn’t have to be a crazy workout and I do not have the be the biggest guy in my gym.  I just want to get back to the basics and love what I do.

Embrace the BASICS – I am going to get back to the basics and some solid movement.  Yes, I call myself the barbell poet, but it all starts with good body mechanics and gymnastic movements.  I am going to get back to that this year.  And I am dragging people with me!  Perfect movement is that poetry in motion!  Don’t worry I am not leaving the barbell behind…just going to move better with it.

And Finally…

Focus on Others!  – It really is what drives me.  I just want to give back.  Helping others see the value of quality training and nutrition drives me and are the lessons that I want to pass along to my daughters.  So I will refocus on others.  It will be a year about what I can give and what needs to be given up so that everyone gets my best!

What are you shooting for in the new year?

What Will It Take?

What will it take for you to make the change in your lifestyle to be healthy?  What will it take?

Take 10 minutes, 15 minutes, however long you need and answer that question.  This blog post is not for the person that already hits the gym 5 times a week and eats right with the occasional vice day.  This is for the person that knows that a change in necessary in their life, but isn’t taking the steps to get there.

So what will it take?  A heart attack, that terrible visit to the doctor’s office, the loss of a friend with the same problem?

As I sit here and look around the world, you have to make this decision on your own.  The government is not going to mandate how you eat and they are not going to make you get exercise.  Sorry, but look at where school lunches and activity programs are going.

There is nothing that is going to make this happen for you.  You have to make the hard decision to change your lifestyle.  You are in the state that you are in because you have made decisions in our life to put you there.  You have to look in the mirror and say it is time for a change and make that change.

Tonight after dinner, my wife made a statement to me…she said, this is the life that we have chosen and she could not be more right.  We have chosen to live this way.  We have chosen to have clean food in the house and eat that way 80% of the time.  We do have days where we indulge but that is far from the norm.

We have made these decisions for ourselves and hopefully for our family.  But I cannot make that decision for you, you have to make that decision for you.  I can help you, or any fitness professional can help you.   If you are willing to take that first step then you can find the results that you want.

But what will it take to make that first step?  You have a new life, a better life waiting for you…go get it!