Author Archive for john
Hawaii is pretty awesome. Very tropical feel to it, reminds me a lot of New Zealand. The first day was super shitty weather – pissing rain the whole time. We just drove all around the island (Oahu) which was a cool way to see everything . I say everything but it’s pretty much just beaches and mountains.
Heading to one of the smaller islands today for the day which will be cool.
This morning I went out early to get us coffee. I drove past a homeless guy on route to Starbucks. There is a pretty large homeless population here. I decided to buy the dude a sandwich at Starbucks and do a good deed for someone. On my way back from the store I thought about not even telling Sara about it so as to have it truly be a random act of kindness and not something I wanted to make myself feel good about.
I pull up next to the guy and roll down my window – “Hey man, you hungry?”
He takes a break from texting someone for half a second, looks up at me – “I’m good bro”
Then I notice he’s wearing a shirt from some landscape company. It then dawned on me that he was just chillin, most likely waiting for a ride to work.
I told Sara, and we shared the sandwich
Sitting in an airplane with the door open on the way up to altitude or looking out over the mountains as the sun rises from a hot air ballon is a sure way to bring you into the present moment. During those times It’s unusual for me to think about anything other than what exists right in that moment.
I’ve had moments in the gym where I was about to lift something heavy and everything melted away for those few moments and all that existed was what I was doing. I see people in this state with their kids and loved ones, while reading a book, sharing dinner with friends, or simply staring at the sky in wonder. People call this being ‘in the zone’ or ‘flow’ etc.
After I posted my Bullet Train video I had a lot of people show love and leave comments on the video. One of them was:
“You have found your escape, embrace it!”
That comment, while extremely well intended sent me into deep thought on the idea of ‘escaping’. I started to think on it as often times people look at activities outside of work as ‘escapes from reality’. One of the quotes I say to myself all the time is “Create a life you don’t need to escape from”. I have this tattooed on my arm as a constant reminder. The thought that I was ‘escaping’ bothered me a lot which is why I went so deep in thought on it and came up with the following question:
What if, in those moments, you were actually experiencing true reality instead of escaping it?
The thought hit me while I was driving so I scribbled it on my notepad which always sits on the passenger seat.
As I gave this idea more thought I started to acknowledge more and more that these ‘escapes’ are the times where I feel most relaxed, most authentic, most focussed, and most at peace with my surroundings. If thats what I, and everyone else is experiencing in their own moments doing whatever activity brings it out in them then how can we say that it’s escaping?
Just because something is common, doesn’t mean its normal – Elaborating on this – just because you spend most of your life working, and doing tasks that you don’t enjoy does not mean that it’s reality. This entire post could be viewed as just semantics but I think it’s something worth thinking about.
These are the moments that I strive to have in my life as often as I can. Can you imagine if your everyday existence could be one of pure presence? Never holding onto resentment about the past or worry about the future. How awesome would that be? Obviously a life lived purely this way would not be possible as you need to make money to facilitate survival and all that but don’t you think you can do that by focussing on things you get transported into presence doing vs the opposite?
Instead of striving for an entire life that way maybe you could start doing something daily, weekly, or even monthly in order to have a more fulfilling life?
Just my thoughts
I’ve noticed that over the past few days everyone around me has been much nicer to each other than normal. People are coming up to me as they leave the gym, shaking my hand, looking me in the eye and wishing me a Happy Thanksgiving.
This is totally common behavior around America during this time. As I become more and more conscious to people around me, their behaviors, as well as my own I can’t help but think what the world would be like if everyone was just a little nicer to each other more often.
This time of year is almost as big as xmas for reuniting families all over the country. I think this is what brings out the gratitude and thankfulness in everyone. This day is literally set up to acknowledge the things you are thankful for in your life. When I have visited Sara’s family in previous years there is a tradition where we go around the table and each give thanks for things in our lives.
I think this is awesome. Having said that I would LOVE if this kind of attitude was adopted more often the world over. Can you imagine what the world would be like if every evening we all got to sit down with loved ones and tell each of them what we were thankful for? I think this would breed a much more caring and understanding society. While it’s not realistic to try and do this every evening for most people, it is definitely something people can do more often.
Recently I have been trying to constantly remind myself to be grateful for everything that exists in my world. If I start to perceive something as negative I catch myself and immediately look for the positive and try to balance it out. I’m starting to get to the point of realizing and truly feeling that there is nothing in this world that is either bad or good. Those are just labels we attach to certain things. Understanding that there is always support with challenge, good with evil, nice with mean etc has been a tough mountain to climb but through coaching, studying, and looking at my life objectively it’s becoming clearer and clearer with each day that passes. The workings of Demartini have had very heavy influence on my new outlook but now I’m starting to branch out and explore more in the realm of philosophy and psychology.
I am by no means ‘there’ with my level of understanding. In fact one of my new affirmations is ‘I will never arrive’ meaning the journey will never end. My ultimate quest is total self mastery but I know I will never achieve it. Sometimes I succeed and move on and others I get stuck for a while. The more success you have, the more advanced your problems just seem to get. Dealing with my shoulder is a constant battle. Working out was my whole world. I purposely set up my entire life around being able to do it for a living and then the very thing that I loved so much and sacrificed everything for became what lead to my own downfall. Is that irony at its finest or what?
It would be easy for me to mope around complaining about how much I want to workout and think about all of the things I’m currently unable to do but what I’m learning is that it’s just as easy for me to think about all of the things that I currently AM able to do and simply focus on that. For those of you who read my thoughts regularly you will know that I’ve adopted that mindset since I found out about my injury couple of months ago. As I said above though, its a constant battle. The same as anything in life, you need reps, sets, and consistency in order to see results.
I am actually grateful for my injury. It’s allowed me to do so many other things! People are saying to me ‘well at least you have a good attitude about it’ – which is totally common, because to the masses it’s both accepted and expected to dwell on the negative instead of the positive. Over time I’m going to try and change that mindset. First in myself, second in those who are closest to me, third in those who read this blog, and then the world…. joking, kinda
As a starting point I encourage you all to give daily, weekly, and monthly thanks and gratitude to those who contribute to your life. Go give someone you love a hug, kiss, or caring word right now.
I finally got the official word that my labrum is torn and that I need surgery in order to repair it. Looking at approx 6-8months of recovery.
I’ve pretty much known this was the case for months but didn’t get official word until today. My body has been a mess recently. I have a laundry list of aches and pains. ankle, heel, knee, low back, and other shoulder are all bothering me for different reasons but what can ya do?
At the top of the list is my foot. I had double foot surgery during the summer and I really wasn’t happy with how one of them turned out. Long story short I’m having it redone on December 27th and will have a pin in one of my toes for 4 weeks afterwards. After that it’ll probably take another 4 weeks or so to be back to normal functioning so I’m likely looking at March or April before I get my shoulder done.
It’s pretty obvious that any athletic pursuit I have is now on the back burner for at least the next year or so which I’m totally fine with. Fortunately I don’t ever put all my focus in life into one area so when it gets taken away from me, or put on hiatus I’m able to adapt.
I’m opening a second gym in March and have plenty of trips and courses planned to keep myself busy in the meantime.
While I did not intend on having so many physical issues I can see how they have all benefitted me to some degree for shifting my focus into other areas. It’s given me more time to focus on my business and personal development which are very high values to me.
I’ve been working out a little bit here and there the past couple of weeks. Nothing ‘for time’ or max weight but I’ve been moving and doing some basic strength work every other day. For now my physical goals are just going to revolve around eating good food and doing what I can to stay lean.
This weekend I’m going to Coach B’s house in San Deigo for a trainer meeting. Next year I’m starting to lead some of the CrossFit Olympic Lifting Seminars which is an amazing opportunity. I’ve been working for Coach B for the past 3 years helping out at seminars so this will be a big move up the ladder. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss how we coach the information to the masses. I arrive in San D Friday morning so I’m hoping to get in some skydiving before the meeting.
Then Sunday morning I’ll be flying out to Hawaii to meet my beautiful wife for the week. I have plans on trying to do everything but I know it’s unrealistic. I’m definitely gonna hike a volcano, go snorkeling, watch the sunrise and sunset everyday, and of course skydive (what better way to see the islands than from 10,000ft!).
The photo below is from an illegal hike called The Stairway to Heaven. It was closed down a few years ago on account of people getting hurt. There are a lot of reviews on line of how people sneak into the entrance daily so thats what I’m planning on doing. This photo alone is enough for me to risk it.
So for those of you who were feeling sorry for me on account of my shoulder – save your pity. My life is amazing and I am truly grateful for everything in it, positive and negative. One never exists without the other.
“I acknowledge that there is a blessing in every crisis and I do not get upset about difficulties or elated about opportunities. I remain centered no matter what happens.”
This book was recommended by Tim Ferris a week or so ago so I immediately got it. Tim’s book The Four Hour Work week was a huge inspiration for me to get my life to the point its at now. His concepts on not killing yourself working at a desk till your 62 and hoarding all your money for a fantasy life that may never arrive really hit home for me.
I’ve never been a hoarder with my money, quite the opposite. Up until recently I’ve pretty much always done what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it. I never gave much thought other than the instant gratification of whatever I was desiring at that time. I’m gradually getting a little more selective on what I spend my money on but at the same time I never want to fall into the trap of:
“spending the best part of ones life earning money to enjoy a questionable liberty during the least valuable part of it”
There is a balance to be found and I will figure it out.
Granted my life is a little different from most in the sense that I don’t have a mortgage, college loans, or plan on having kids so I’ve always used that as a justification for my spending habits. At the same time even if I did have those things listed above I think I would still find a way to always do what I wanted to do.
You only get one shot at life and for me that means relentlessly pursuing anything that interests me and in turn helping others to do the same.
It’s a broken record at this point but you can really do whatever you want to do in life once you do 3 things.
1- Be honest with yourself and admit what you really want.
2- Figure out what you need to do to make it happen.
3- Start taking the necessary steps no matter how small.
I’ve gone through this process so many times myself in so many different areas that I truly believe that you can do whatever you want if you want it bad enough. Thats the key though – how bad do you want it? I’ve done it with making a certain amount of money, fitness, nutrition, my marriage, studying a particular topic, overcoming a fear – The list goes on.
I got a little off topic there but this book is all about treating travel as a part of life and not simply an escape from your reality. Traveling and seeing new places is one of my favorite things to do and it’s just part of my life now. I don’t get elated when I go away or depressed when I have to return because I know I’m going to do it again soon. I am not confined to the world of 5 weeks vacation a year because I have created the life I want for myself. I am EXTREMELY grateful that I am in the position where I can travel frequently both for business and pleasure and I will never take it for granted.
I got to where I am by following the 3 steps above and you can do the same.
Vagabonding has relit my desire to venture outside of the US a little more on my travels so I’m looking to do some of that next year. The past 3 years I’ve been going all over the US and still don’t even feel like I’ve put a dent in all the places and things I want to see.
Anyone thinking about an extended trip away from home I highly recommend this book. It’s filled with helpful tips and strategies on how to maximize your time in certain countries, traveling on a budget, and lots of do’s and dont’s. If you don’t have time to read then the audio book is great for when you are sitting in traffic, going to the store, or walking your dog.
I’m making some changes to the layout of this site (which will take a few weeks so it will likely change daily) and I came across this draft from a few months ago. I can’t recall if each sentence was taken from a book I was reading, if I was just jotting down thoughts but either way it’s worth sharing.
People who typically succeed are those who are required to take big actions
It’s impossible to take big actions if you don’t take big responsibility
It’s impossible to do something positive when you spend your time making excuses
Making excuses = Being negative
Success is not something that happens to you, it happens because of you, and because of the actions you took.
Anyone who uses blame as the reason something happened or did not happen will not accumulate real success in their life and only will further his or her status as a slave on planet earth.
Here’s my first official Skydiving Montage. I’ve been waiting to have enough footage for this for a very long time. It really is an artistic process and I love doing it. I feel very confident saying that this is the best video I’ve ever made and and even more confident saying that it’s only the beginning. In a few years I’ll have footage Wing Suiting in Europe, jumping off buildings and cliffs, and my editing skills with keep improving.
If you enjoy the vid feel free to drop a comment, share it, or just watch it over and over again
The feeling I get when jumping can never be captured in a video or photo but it can give you a little glimpse into the world of it.
Love this video – pretty much sums up my life
Cali was awesome as always. I got 14 jumps in including 2 from the Balloon. I got some great video that I’m putting together and will have it up when it’s done. I’ve actually been working on an edit for the past few months so I’m hoping to have it finished soon. Getting enough footage to make a 3min video is really challenging but extremely rewarding when you see it all come together. Patience is key!
- I was much more relaxed this time jumping from the Balloon. Since coming back from Demartini I’ve been using a lot more affirmations which have really helped me overcome some stuff. One of the things he hammers home is to never exaggerate someone (put them on a pedestal) by humbling yourself.
This goes along the lines of saying things like ‘I could never do that’ or ‘that person is so much better than me’. To some extent I’ve done this unconsciously throughout my life. When I’d be out with friends and we would be watching fighting on TV or skydiving or whatever and someone would say ‘Those people are crazy, I could never do that’ I’ve thought to myself ‘I could fuckin do that!’ and a lot of times I’ve gone down the path of learning what I needed in order to have the experience.
Now I’ve been looking at some of my mentors in business and started equalizing them in relation to myself. I used to look up to these people and minimize myself in comparison to them but now I’m thinking things like: ‘If that person can be a millionaire then so can I.’ By not exaggerating someone it allows you to play at the same level, realize that you have the same traits they do inside you. Believing in yourself is half the battle. I’m getting further and further down the path of figuring myself out.
In relation to skydiving anytime I get nervous I’ve been saying ‘I am a master and I am in control’ – This has been especially helpful when jumping with people a lot more experienced than me.
Following all that I almost had my first cut away which was a great learning experience. When I was almost done packing my chute I noticed that I had forgotten to do something. The general rule of thumb is that if you make a mistake you go right back to the beginning and start over. I choose to simply try and fix the mistake and it almost became very expensive. I know that the majority of people who read this are not skydivers so I’m not going to use any technical terms.
I basically put my chute in backwards and when it opened this is what I saw.
It opened up kicked out of the twists straight away but my risers were twisted around each other. I was extremely lucky that it was steerable and that I was able to fly it without issue. This was a really good lesson to me to not rush your pack job, and if you make a mistake, just go back and do it over. Anyone looking at the bottom pic that doesn’t jump won’t be able to tell the difference but trust me when I say I was lucky.
The scenery in Southern California is amazing everywhere. I did my best not to take it for granted and to soak in every bit of it. I am extremely grateful that I am able to take trips like these on a regular basis.
I’m home for the next three weeks then off to hawaii with Sara for a week From all the video and pictures I’ve seen from other people I can only imagine what its going to be like.
I actually worked out today for the first time in a while. I’m scared to say that my shoulder actually feels a lot better. I have another appointment to get it looked at again on the 25th so sitting tight till then. I’m going to get back into a somewhat regular routine until then and do just enough upper body so that I don’t A. hurt myself and B. waste away
A1. 5 Front Squats – 135-185-205
A2. 15 Ring Rows
A3. 15 Pushsups
B1. 15 Curls @35
B2. 15 Skull Crushers@15
x3 – kept all these very light
C1. 20 GHD situps
C2. 20 Back Extensions
Felt good to be back moving but it was a gut check getting out of breath on the pushups. Fingers crossed that I don’t deal with a lot of pain later.
I started this blog 4 years ago. My first post was to record my Thailand Training Journal. I had it all written down in a little notebook and because I wanted to always remember that experience. I put it online so I would have access to it from where ever I was.
After that I made the decision to start recording my workouts. Up until that point I had scribbles of paper and started and stopped programs a lot so I thought it would be a good way to keep me accountable. It was also the beginning of my official CrossFit career. Below was my opening post.
“Starting Monday I will begin keeping daily logs of my workouts + anything I happen to come across of interest in relation to Nutrition or exercise. I will be posting both my own opinions on topics a long with others and I am completely open to discussion on everything. I welcome argument, I actually love nothing more than discussing different methods of training with people. At the end of the day we are all climbing the same mountain and there are many different ways to get to the top.
Let the journey begin!”
Over the past 4 years my thoughts have continuously evolved on all things physical and there is no sign of that slowing any time soon. I have attended countless courses, seminar, workshops, talks etc. What started as simply a way for me to hold myself accountable to working out has evolved to a never ending documentation of my journey. This blog is filled with my successes, failures, good days, bad days, goals which I achieved and those which I didn’t and many things in between.
Up until a couple months ago I would religiously update it every night but recently things have slowed. My injury has lead me to not working out as much and updating the site has not been of priority to me. At the moment I’ve averaging about a post a week.
This past weekend I went to a seminar at Poliquin Headquarters in RI – If you don’t know who Charles Poliquin is and you work in the fitness industry shame on you. Great weekend filled with valuable information and I got a couple things that I can implement immediately into my clients programs which is exactly why I go to these things. One of my current affirmations is:
“I lean what I can and I share what I know”
I’m still relentlessly studying everything I can on human behavior and applying it to my days. I’m spending a minimum of two hours every morning studying.
Update on my shoulder is that the doctor ordered the wrong test for me a couple weeks ago so I’ve got to wait another couple weeks for the new one. At this point I don’t have any emotion surrounding it. I’ve accepted the fact that I’m on the shelf for a while and I’ve shifted my focus towards my continued education and I’m totally at peace with it.
When I talk about the evolution of this blog and how values shift around I honestly feel like no matter what happens to me in life I can handle it. I used to have an immense amount of attachment to the things that were most important to me but now I realize that when one thing disappears it just re-appears somewhere else in a different form. This shift in mindset can be credited to my coaches (physical and mental) as well as Demartini’s work.
I’m off to Cali this weekend for some jumps and hopefully hit the Ballon a few times as well. Gonna be fun