Average of Five

It was Jim Rohn who said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”. And who exactly is Jim Rohn? He was an American entrepreneur, author, and motivational speaker… and he was kind of a badass. He went from Idaho farm boy to self-made millionaire. Jim didn’t get to Beverly Hills by accidentally shooting up some black gold or hanging around folks who dragged him down (I refer to these individuals as emotional vampires). His philosophy on growth was simple, “Don’t join an easy crowd. You won’t grow. Go where the expectations and the demands to perform and achieve are high.”

I love this idea. It aligns with the famous Eleanor Roosevelt quote, “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people“.

So which is it that you and your top five discuss: ideas, events, or other people? Do the individuals you are closest to sit around and bak like a bunch of chickens about what so-and-so did or do you sit around discussing your dreams (Love) and how you will fulfill them? Does your top five lift you up or drag you down? Do you huddle around a T.V. together more concerned with those stories than your own?

We are only as good as the company we keep. If you want to be wealthy, you have to stop hanging around with people who possess a poor state of mind. If you want to be fit, you’ve got to surround yourself with folks who possess the physique or athletic prowess you desire. Want to be happy, remove all the shit talkers in your life and replace them with voices that are always expressing the good life has to offer.

One of the reasons we created our 8-week Simply Strong course was to create a community of individuals who were eager to create positive change in their lives.  Spending 40+ hours over the course of 8-weeks with individuals with the same passion inside to move past the stagnant state you’ve been stuck in will provide you the push you need to grow stronger and feel good about the direction your life is heading. Having a focused dream is an important piece of the change process, but your dream will always remain a dream if you continually surround yourself with folks who cling to their nightmares.

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It seems that every life form on this planet strives toward its maximum potential…except human beings. A tree does not grow to half its potential size and then say, “l guess that will do.” A tree will drive its roots as deep as possible. It will soak up as much nourishment as it can, stretch as high and as wide as nature will allow, and then look down as if to remind us of how much each of us could become if we would only do all that we can.”

~Jim Rohn

One Step Toward Better Health

What are you willing to do right now, today, that will change your life for the better?

Society has made “health” such a complicated, crazy thing. We have all sorts of negative beliefs about what we must give up in order to be healthy.

I’m not asking you what can you give up? I’m asking you what are you willing to add to your life or replace in your life that will change you for the better? One thing.

That one thing could be going to bed 30 minutes earlier, replacing your daily dessert with a whole piece of fruit, sitting outside on your lunch break, taking 5 minutes everyday to breathe and meditate, doing something creative, taking a walk one to three times a week (or why not everyday?). ANYTHING. Just pick one and do it and then pick another and do that and before you know it you’ve made 20 simple, easy, quick choices that have changed your life.

How does that quote go? “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” or something like that.

I am asking you right this moment, what is your one step?

Jules

PS if you want to look like our client in the picture sign up for our Simply Strong course and learn just how simple health can be.

Power Over Stress In 3 Simple Steps

Stress had become my “normal.” I lived and breathed stress. I had a stressful relationship, stressful workout routine, a stressful schedule, and anything that wasn’t stressful I quickly made stressful, otherwise it didn’t feel normal.

I’ve been contemplating how we can break the stress cycle in our lives. Stress has become, not only normal, but also a badge of honor. We often get together and express how stressed we are from working, kids, running errands, relationships, etc., etc., etc.!

Do we really enjoy stress that much? Or are we hiding from the greater responsibilities of being authentically happy?

Stress allows us to blame. We can blame our bodies, our job, our boss, our childhood, our partner, our kids and blah, blah, blah. All of this is simply a distraction from the true issue: being afraid to take full responsibility for our role in the creation of our lives.

Stress occurs when we silence the voice within, when we allow external factors to make a home in our internal environment, and when we fail to establish personal boundaries and/or core values for our own sense of well-being – in other words, we allow others to dictate our lives.

That was me to the “T.” I had terrible digestive issues that affected me every day, I was in an awful relationship, and I was running away from deep emotional issues from early childhood trauma. Stress was my distraction. Slowing down meant feeling things I didn’t want to feel. It seemed easier to be a victim of my circumstances than it was to be a powerful, conscious individual.

I began changing my life the day that I decided to take charge, take action, and keep taking action. I stopped telling myself stories like: the doctors screwed me up, my husband is an addict, and I’ve already tried everything. Of course, these were simply a reflection of my mindset that I allowed to become my reality and my excuse. I fully admitted that and I moved forward determined to create something much better for myself.

I’d love to say it was easy and that I walked right through a glistening door from one life to another and lived happily ever after. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. I cried more than once, I wanted to give up a day after I made that decision, and I realized facing my fears was really scary, uncomfortable, sucked a big fat one and it was no wonder I’d put this off for so long! But like any adventurous journey every bit of discomfort was entirely worth it.

So, how did I break the cycle of stress and discover a life of incredible joy? My call to action is this:

Hear ye, hear ye! All you great warriors in the realm of Stress Is Normal:

  1. Identify your biggest stress, the mother load, the “I get sick just thinking about it” issue, or the one thing that you wish was gone, because life would be so much better without it.
  2. Create a positive approach to reducing this stress following the simple abc’s.

A – Affirm: this is a positive mantra that will guide you through the thickest darkness. For example when healing my GI tract it was: “My body has the power to heal.”

B – Become: this is the no more bullshit principle, the I AM principle, the I don’t have to wait to be the powerful individual I am, because I AM. So stop kidding yourself and start acting like the individual you’ve always wanted to be! Vidya at the Chek Institute shared an amazing blog on feeling into your desires. She has a great activity that I highly recommend trying out. It’ll help you BECOME!

C – Create: Create an environment that supports your new way of being. Be willing to limit time with those who don’t support you, be willing to have the difficult talks with your significant others, make an actual plan for cultivating a happy, joyful, stress-free lifestyle. Take action and keep taking action. Be willing to try new things and be willing to look at the bright side, because there IS always a bright side.

I will leave you with the words of Jason Nesmith captain of the NSEA protector, “never give up. Never surrender.”

Or just love your way into happiness. ;-)

Jules

Sign up for our new 8-week Simply Strong course where we’ll walk you through creating FIT awesomeness in your life!

Simply Strong – Tap into your Superhuman strength

Clark Kent didn’t need tights and a cape to be Superman. To quote Lady Gaga, “Baby, he was born this way!” The same can be said for you and I. ALL of us posses superhuman abilities, we’ve just been (de)conditioned to believe other wise. So we live out our day-to-day human routines and in the process accpet pain, struggle, unhappiness, and possessing less than desirable bodies as a being part of the life.

But why?

Why do we restrict our desire to be superhuman to our dreams? Have we gotten so distracted that we have forgotten who we are and what we are capable of? Has marketing (AKA: Societal acceptance of false truths) really stripped us our self-confidence and convinced us that in order to be superhuman that we have to sacrifice A for B…. Why can’t we have BOTH?!

I believe that we can.

I believe if one is willing to get clear on their dream, develop dream supporting core values, focus their intentions, and put in the effort necessary to create change then they will transform from human to superhuman. That we can “have our cake and eat it too“. Although, once you start developing your superhuman abilities you will find that you will no longer need cake – funny how all of the things we couldn’t live without, like sweets, stimulants, and shitty relationships, suddenly go away once we get right with ourselves.

So the question then becomes HOW ??

The answer to that question is simple; GET STRONG from the inside out.

Having been an athlete my entire life I have met a lot of physically strong humans. I’ve stood in the presence of physical specimens that looked like they jumped straight off a page of a Marvel comic book. Driven warriors that tested the limits of the human body’s capabilities on a daily basis. Yet, the majority of these muscle bound monsters would crumble with just the slightest touch of an emotional nerve. Their strength was bound only to their physical abilities

To be fair I have to include myself as being one who was for many years all physical but seriously lacking in the spiritual and emotional department. This lead me to the teachings of great men like Eckhart Tolle, Bruce Lipton, Deeaok Chopra, and many more. While their teachings were exactly what I needed and greatly assisted me in healing myself of years of traumatic experience (a process I still devote daily time to), I struggled with their physical appearance. These men were all amazing spiritual gurus who looked they might not be able to carry their groceries to the car. I’m a fitness guy so if developing my spiritual and emotional strength meant compromising my body, no thanks.

“If you aren’t willing to go within, you go without”
Paul Chek

I found myself taking on an either-or mindset. I started telling myself I had to choose between #BEASTMODE and being a spiritually sound weakling. That’s about the time the Universe brought me face to face with Paul Chek, literally. Over the course of about a ninety minute conversation Paul basically bitch slapped the either-or mindset out of me. Paul helped me to realize what I already knew, in order to be superhuman we have to develop every aspect of our being – Physical, Spiritual, Emotional. Focusing on one of these more than the other only leads to imbalance. Failure to create and maintain balance leads to unhappiness and DIS-ease.

So I heeded Paul’s advice and headed back to ALIGN determined to develop a program that would create harmonious change for myself and my students. After several months of devoting myself to the cause I’ve accomplished my mission. I’ve created an eight week program that assists individuals in learning how to tap into their superhuman abilities. The foundation of the program will be teaching you how to move effectively and create strength gains from the inside out, but will also require you to pull spiritual and emotional reps too. You think trying to hit your PR on a deadlift is hard, wait until you look into a mirror and take responsibility for everything in your life – the good and the bad. The toughest rep to pull will be owning YOUR shit.

Over the course of 8-weeks we will meet for roughly one hour a day five days a week. During this time we will alternate between “working-in” and “working-out”. Moving back and forth from the gym to classroom. Growing stronger by moving weight and releasing old patterns that no longer serve us. Learn how to establish balance and develop core values in all seven of the major health related areas – eating, thinking, sleeping, breathing, hydrating, moving, & wearing. Learn how to develop a program, a life, that revolves around YOU. We will assess your breathing, core function, and mobility. Like Paul Chek says, “If your not assessing your guessing“. You will be responsible for updating your exercise template after each session. Two sessions a week will be dedicated to developing your dream and the supporting core values – diet, quiet, happiness, movement –  that go along with your dream. We will teach you about the six zones of the body and how they are effecting your ability to achieve and maintain optimal health. All the information covered during the 8-week session will be kept in a binder that will be yours to keep and use for the rest of your life if you so chose.

Our goal is to assist you in learning how to develop a program, a life, that revolves around YOU. When we allow ourselves to trade dollars for hours and play the “workout then go home” game, no one wins. Not us. Not you. No one! It is time to step up and break the mold, time to invest in your health & happiness, and time to take charge of YOUR life.

IF you are ready to get superhuman strong, we are ready to guide you.

Choose one of two options:

SEMI-PRIVATE Session

Enjoy the comradery of working with a community of like minded individuals by joining  our Monday through Friday 6:00am or 5:45pm semi-private session.

Next session: February 2 – March 27
Enrollment: $1,000 by January 31
*Save $250 when you enroll by January 25th and invest only $750.
Enrollment fee may be paid in two payments of either $500 or $375  *To enroll fill out our contact form below

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PRIVATE Session

We offer our 8-week Simply Strong course as a Private session as well.  Enjoy the personal attention and focus of working one-on-one with a coach.

Next Session: Start Now!
Enrollment: $3,500
*Enroll by January 25th invest only $3,000
Enrollment fee may be paid in two payments of $1500 or $1750

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B is for Breathing – B.E.S.T. Approach part 4

I remember being a kid and having these insane crying fits (maybe even had a few of these as an adult). I am talking about real works of hysterical art. Big globs of snot ran down my face. My tears fell like escaping water from a bursting dam. I would hyperventilate to the point of the being breathless. The only thing that could calm me down was my breath. By regaining control of my breathing pattern I was able to reach a more rational state. Not always a state of understanding or knowing, but a more calm place where everything seemed to suddenly slow down. To create a point of reference we can think of this act as the Breathing Effect. The Breathing Effect is the calming response created when we are able to establish a cohesive relationship between our breath, thought, and heart rate; the breathing trifecta. This trifecta, in my opinion, is what super human power is all about. You have probably used this power at some point in your life and not even realized what you were doing. A good example of individuals who (un)knowingly tap into this ability would be runners. “Runners, take your marks.  Set. GO!” Think about the last time you ran to the point of feeling breathless, maybe it was a race, maybe it was to end of your driveway,  maybe it was just now reading that preparatory race command. Either way that feeling of breathlessness started physical but quickly became mental (non-physical). The more you focused on your breath the harder it became to take air in. This inability to get in air created panic. This panic created heavy legs. The feeling of fatigue in your legs, created more panic, which led to heavier breathing. Now you can’t breathe, your slowing down, and you’ve become quite aware of your physical limits. Everything feels out of control. (Recalling that feeling might even cause your heart rate to increase right now.) This loss of cohesion between your thought, breath, and heart rate during running is the Breathing Effect gone wrong. To correct this we must go back to the initial feeling of breathlessness. At this point we still have the ability to continue forward at our goal pace, but in order to do so we must shift our breath deeper, deep into our bellies past our chest. Shallow chest breathing will only send us into a stress response that will be tougher to overcome. Using a calming thought, we can kindly direct our lungs and diaphragm to slow down to a more efficient pace. Remember, if one of the elements of the breathing trifecta goes, they all go. Maybe this example doesn’t resonate with you because you hate running or you don’t run… or at least, you think you don’t run. As Westerners we are a part of culture that encourages running. We take great pride in our ability to completely destroy ourselves with the amount we get accomplished in twenty-four hours… one week… one year… one lifetime. We have a deep-rooted belief that our self-worth is somehow related to the amount we get done. We are convinced that the more we achieve, the more we will receive. So we run all day long, and for most late into the evening. We run until we can’t. As we fall to our knees gasping for air we wonder what happened, how did everything (life) get out of control. Then in that moment, like snotty nosed children calming themselves down, we take a few deep breaths. Suddenly, everything slows down. The feelings of being overwhelmed subside. We are over taken by a sense of feeling one with all that is around us. And all it took was slowing down long enough to allow a few deep belly breaths in. Most of us fail to realize the true power of our breath. We let hours, days, even years go by and never pay attention to it. We let in just enough air to keep us alive, to keep us running. If only we would dedicate a small portion of each day to getting still and connecting to our breath, we could move past living and start thriving. Awareness is the prerequisite for change. In order to get aware we have to get still and breath. So consider this an invitation to wipe that snot off your nose and regain control of your life through breathing. Start dedicating ten to twenty minutes a day to breathing exercises – be it meditation, prayer, or some other form of controlled, breathing specific exercise – and notice how quickly life begins to move at your pace. ~Happy Breathing B-Ray

Healthier Choices at the Flip of a Coin

The more that I learn about health the more I realize one thing: It all comes back to the thought. Any sickness, food choice, movement choice, physical pain, or emotional pain come down to one thing: a belief or habitual thought pattern.

Deepak Chopra said, “Worrying is a terrible use of our wonderful imagination.”

Believing that things will always go wrong typically results in things always going wrong. So what if we tried flipping that thought? How would things go if we starting saying: “Things always work out for me.”

If you really think about it…things have worked out for you. You’re alive! You’ve made it to this point in spite of, or because of, past experiences.

That’s all this exercise is: flipping your habit with the help of a physical prop: a coin.

When I learned this exercise in my Holistic Lifestyle Coaching course it was just used for thoughts. I’m taking it a step further and using it for habits. The coin exercise allows you to evaluate your habit, see it as it is, and consciously choose to make that habit better!

What you need:

– A coin

– An open mind

How you do it:

– Every time you notice a negative or destructive habit or thought pull out your coin. State the negative while looking at your coin

– Now flip the coin and state – out loud – the positive thought or action that will empower you to change for the better.

Here are my tips for “Healthier Choices at the Flip of a Coin:”

  1. Identify and throw out any thought patterns that don’t support healthy food choices. Thoughts like, “being healthy is so difficult” or “I always fail when it comes to food.”

Flip the coin!

Write down a simple affirmation that affirms your new choices: “when I plan ahead healthy food choices are     simple” or “Though I’ve had difficulty in the past, I am willing to try something new and even get assistance so that I guarantee my success.”

Now affirm your new thought out loud!

  1. Identify and throw out any packaged or premade food containing sugar (this includes refined/unrefined, organic, or sugar-substitutes).

Flip the coin!

“These packaged foods I habitually buy can be replaced with healthier options.”

“Instead of the packaged junk with additives and sugar, I now choose to make my own or find a healthier alternative.”

  1. Identify and throw out any product or meat containing GMOs

Flip the coin!

“I will replace this junk with organic, non-gmo food. I am able to purchase high quality meats from a grass-fed and pasture-raised source and I know I will feel better for it.”

  1. Identify and throw out the Four White Devils [1]: sugar, table salt, pasteurized dairy, and refined flour.

Flip the coin!

“I choose to nourish my body with delicious whole foods like raw, unfiltered honey, unprocessed salt, raw and pasture-raised dairy, and whole grains.”

Happy flipping!

Jules

[1] Paul Chek “How to Eat, Move, and Be Healthy”

The Four Considerations – The B.E.S.T. Approach Part 3

Success is not random.

The individuals who you admire, be it athletically, professionally, or spiritually, most likely didn’t get there by accident. They intended to be there. They developed a goal (dream), created a personal constitution (core values) that was goal supportive, focused and acted daily until their goal was realized. They did not stand down range from a set of random goals and toss darts until one hit. That’s not the way this game we call life works.

There is a chance that you could just start blindly slinging darts at targets and one of them might stick but it is highly unlikely.

If dart slinging, or some other random approach, has been the  way you have gone about attempting to accomplish your goals, then I think you will find the next few weeks of these B.E.S.T. approach blogs to helpful.

The B.E.S.T. approach is a simple method you can follow that slows downs and simplifies the often over complicated process of connecting to ourselves. If applied correctly, the B.E.S.T. approach may not only lead you to the physique you have always been dreaming of, but also provide you an opportunity to live a happy and fulfilling life. It is important now that I declare that is NOT a “work out” plan as much as it is a “work in” plan. Aesthetic goals are fine if that is your deal, but in my opinion, our physical goals should primarily focus on how we feel. Believe me, it is possible to have the body of a Greek statue and still feel totally miserable inside. Trust me. Been there, done that.

Even though I fully understand the importance of having a sound methodology in place to succeed, I also understand the importance of flexibility. Let’s be honest, there are some days when the plan calls for us to operate at a high intensity and be super functioning, and we just don’t go it in us. It’s OK. This is when we listen to and trust the signals our body is sending us. Being a life time “forcer”, I have broken more than one thing by not paying attention to the signs. So think of the B.E.S.T. approach as more of a non-plan.

My goal over the next few weeks is to introduce you to the four considerations you should ponder before committing to any program. As I have previously stated, no one can tell you what is right for you, but that does not mean that there are not specific considerations you should spend some time with before you commit yourself and your support system (we all need to surround ourselves with individuals who believe in us – our dream team) to a self-growth, fitness, or health program.

The four considerations of the B.E.S.T. approach are as follows:

Breathing. Everything we do is directed linked to our ability to breath. Just because you are sitting here involuntary breathing doesn’t mean you know how to breath or that you are a good breather.

Energy. All we are is big bundles of energy. We create energy, we burn energy, we repeat. Food is energy. Movement is energy. Thinking is energy.

Self. What else is there? Without you there is no experience, right? Yet, too many allow their experience to revolve around others. At some point we have to realize taking care of ourselves has to be our first priority. That’s what Self is all about, creating and living YOUR life.

Trust. Most of us struggle with this one and probably don’t even realize it. We are all a part of a over stimulated and distracted culture that teaches us to not trust anything or anyone, including our Selves (you know that inner voice you are always shushing). If you are really going to have the body you want or the life you’ve been dreaming of, it’s going to require  A LOT of trust.

I’m a guy with a long history of doing things the hard way the first several times I attempt anything. Had I not started actually following the B.E.S.T. approach, my headstone would have probably read, “Leave me alone… I got this”.  Famous last words…So spare your self wasted time and energy and keep following along. The B.E.S.T. approach was born of my personal & professional trials and tribulations. Literally years of learning and un-learning lead me to sharing my insights with you. Starting with my next post, B is for Breathing, I will begin breaking down the four considerations so you can start applying this approach to your daily life.

Much Love.

Filling In the Blanks

After a conversation I had with a client yesterday, I decided I wanted to detour from writing about the “B.E.S.T. Approach” today and highlight that conversation, as I feel it is worthy of our attention.

Over the holiday I acquired a new online client who I will be E-coaching over the next year. For me this is awesome for two reasons. First, I have been working hard to start doing more online coaching. So to have this opportunity to begin this switch in coaching modalities is exciting. Secondly, any time an individual is willing to make a year long commitment up-front it means they are serious about changing and this almost guarantees their results. Anyone who has ever committed to making a serious change can testify that it takes about a year to really feel all the positive repercussions.

Due to coach-client confidentiality I won’t use any names or specifics, as you will see, there really is no need.

A couple of days a go I emailed a client all of the forms that she needed to complete so that I could begin creating her program. By program I am not only referring to the movement/exercise routine I will create for her based off of her current physiological load, but also to all of the other pieces that go into aligning an individual in such a way that their entire lifestyle is dream supportive. This includes breaking old thought patterns, developing a relationship with food, getting in tune with natural circadian cycles (especially the 24-cycle), learning to listen to and trust her inner voice, and much more.

In order to do all those things some intimate and potentially challenging questions have to be asked. I like to refer to this process as peeling the onion.

Yesterday, as I sat down to work, my phone’s text alert went off. It happened to be my newest client with a question, “Do I have to fill in the blanks on all of these forms?” She then went on  to explain to me that some of the information needed to complete the forms was too sensitive to bring up with ANYBODY, including herself, and would it be OK to leave it blank until she was ready to fill it in.

First and foremost, her willingness to eventually fill in the blanks made me smile. She didn’t say, “Hey I’m not going to answer some of these, so don’t ask me.” She simple requested holding off until she felt ready to deal. This excited me. More proof that she is indeed ready to heal.

I responded by encouraging her to fill out the paperwork for me as fully as she felt comfortable even if it meant leaving blanks, BUT to also fill out all of the paperwork by writing the answers in a separate journal or on a duplicate copy of the paperwork that was for her eyes only. Even if we don’t get into discussing any of these sensitive topics over the next year, the techniques I’ll be teaching will enable her to address these things on her own.

I still don’t know what she chose to do. I don’t need to. Time will reveal her decision by way of her ability to align with herself fully or not. Her willingness to admit that there was some painful stuff she didn’t  really want to look at meant she was looking at it. That is the first step to healing: awareness.

In order to ‘fill in the blanks’ we have to be willing to acknowledge our shadow sides. The less-light half of our being is not bad, so there is no need to ignore it. Far too often we suppress or hide this part of ourselves, our experience, because our upbringing – family, schooling, religions – has taught us we have to be all good, all the time. We fall victim to other peoples’ belief that anytime we make ‘bad’ decisions, or ‘bad’ things happen to us, we are ‘wrong’. That could not be further from the truth.

I have had a lot of ‘bad’ things happen to me during my thirty-six years of experiencing this planet. I am the son of parents who have gone through a total of nine marriages. I have lived in seven states and countless number of residences, including the backseat of my car. I spent time in drug rehab at the age of thirteen. I have been physically and sexually assaulted.  And on and on… you can read all about it when I finish my book (a 2015 intention).

The point is, none of it was ‘bad’. For years I believed I was ‘bad’ for choices I made, for allowing people to do things to me, and for things I did to people. I mentally, emotionally, and physically beat the shit out of myself over and over again hoping the ‘bad’ stuff would stay down or would go away. It didn’t. I just got tired.

It was at the point of exhaustion I had my most profound realizations. In my darkest hour I came to understand I would have to “fill in the blanks” if I were to ever grow into the man I desired to be. So that is what I did. I wrote affirmations. I stood naked in front of the mirror reciting those affirmations. I wrote journals. I fought with myself. I cried, A LOT. And on and on and on… But here I am feeling balanced and excited about the future I am creating.

As I move into 2015, I will continue to ‘fill in the blanks’ to all the tough questions I spent years avoiding. I hope you do too.

Much Love.

Are YOU Ready? – B.E.S.T. Approach Part 2

Happy New Year’s Eve!

For many the new year represents hope. An opportunity to finally accomplish all of those things that have yet to be completed. No where is this more true than in the health and wellness industry.  Facebook and other social media platforms are already full of  “new year, new you challenges” that are supposedly going to help you lose weight, feel great, and step into the body you have been dreaming of but have yet to achieve.

But 2015 is the year!!!

Or is it?

While you are sitting down writing out your new years resolutions and/or signing up at your local corporate gym or ‘Crossfit box’ I would invite you to ask yourself why the “old you” has yet to accomplish the health goal(s) you have set for your Self.

If you participated in a “challenge” last year, and weren’t as successful (especially long term) as you would have liked to of been, then maybe it’s not a “challenge” that you need.  Maybe the solution to getting healthy and staying healthy isn’t about “working out” (or dieting).

At some point , most folks end up playing victim to this outdated belief, which was created by marketers, that getting in shape  and staying in shape takes hard work. This idea is even built into calling the practice of getting physically fit; “WORKING OUT”. Sounds terrible. Even Pavel Tsatouline, Russian kettlebell master and all around badass, says, “in the Russian language there is no word for ‘workout’… the implied meaning of a workout means let me just go and see how much I can reduce myself to a pile of shivering J-ello as quickly as possible.”

Again, that sounds terrible.

Health does not come from getting up and beating the shit out of your body everyday. A healthy body is derived from understanding what your body needs, then making it a daily priority to provide your body with said need.  It is understanding that those needs change on a daily basis.  This requires you to have  a relationship with food, thought, sleep, movement, and spirit. (Yup, I said spirit too. You don’t really think you are just a body do you?)

The hardest truth for almost everyone that I have ever worked with to grasp is that being healthy does not require hard work at all, it only requires conviction: a firmly held belief. When you are convicted to getting healthy or to a way of living it is no longer a hassle or hard work, it’s a lifestyle.

Make no mistake about it, there will definitely be some effort involved in getting healthy. BUT if you are really ready to dive down the rabbit hole of health, the intense effort you will have to produce IS NOT going to come from physically destroying yourself. No, the toughest weight you are going to have to lift, will be figuring out what you really want and why. The toughest rep you are going to pull is owning your shit.

For over a dozen years, I have watched some of my clients accomplish their goals and some of them fall short. This inconsistency could have been enough to make me pull my hair out. (Luckily, I don’t grow much hair these days.) With each client’s result, optimal or sub-obptimal, I am always left asking myself, What did I do well? What could I have done better?

Then a few years ago it occurred to me it wasn’t about a right or wrong course of action or flaw in my program design.  The difference between the client who accomplished their goal(s) and the one who didn’t was due to a state of mind. EVERY individual I have ever worked with that achieved what they set out for (and more) had an unwavering belief that they would. They were done with their “old self”. They had enough of the perpetual bullshit and falling short cycles. Their dream was finally BIGGER than their crisis.  After years of frustration, observation, and consideration I have arrived at a definite conclusion; to come into being the greatest version of your Self one must be ready.

"When you have a BIG enough dream, you don't needs a crisis."  ~Jerry Wesch 

Being ready is not about having a membership to one of the trendy new gyms or ‘boxes’ that are popping up around you, owning stylish gym clothes, or the latest fad in foot apparel. Ready is not an instantaneous emotional decision to commit to a “challenge” because your piers decided they were all going to do it. Being ready does not come from deciding to prove some one else wrong or right. Ready is not powered by anger, fear, or ego. Ready is not going out and beating yourself into ‘a pile of shivering J-ello‘.

Ready is when you are no longer OK with the individual who is staring back at you in the mirror.

Ready is the realization that you love yourself so fucking much you absolutely refuse to continue living life in such a way that causes unwanted and unneeded pain and suffering.

Ready comes when you decide to flip over that iceberg and start revealing the true Self you’ve been hiding, regardless of what repercussions may come.

Ready is when you realize this relationship, job, or body no longer fits you so you kindly remove yourself (or shall I say, your Self).

Ready is you when realize there are no safety nets and you jump anyway.

Your coach, teacher, Sifu, mentor, instructor, best friend, spouse, parent, or anyone else cannot decide when you are ready. Only you can.

The reality is some of you reading this are not ready. That is OK.

I know I’ve forced ‘ready’ when I wasn’t, many times. I have watched clients’ motivation fade because they started working with me when they weren’t ready, when their goals weren’t their own, and when their crisis was still bigger and more important than their dream. As much as I tried to inspire them or adjust their program so that it better fit their lives, it didn’t matter because they were not in a state of readiness.

But when  you are ready, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY READY… health & fitness will no longer be an enslaving act of self-torture. Instead getting healthy will become a catalyst that will empower you to become your greatest Self. The Self you know deep down inside you are capable of being.

It’s in there.

Are you ready to let it out?

May 2015 be the year you start living YOUR life.

Billy TGU

Much Love, Billy

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