Whats going on in my life?

Enjoy the process

April 17, 2015

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When you think you want something and then you finally get it what you’ll usually find is that the process of getting it is far more rewarding than it’s actual attainment. I’ve had this experience within relationships, finances, fitness, body transformation, and many other personal accomplishments.

Anytime I have attained anything I’ve found myself thinking ‘now what?’ – Sometimes I upgrade the goal and start working towards it right away, but sometimes, I move onto something entirely different. The mission may not be complete from other peoples views but you may simply be done with it or have found your limit and thats fine too. Judgements from others will come regardless of what you do but it’s important to always be true to yourself and not listen to the noise.

One thing that is consistent is that in order to get anything you must have dedicated focus in a particular area. For example; if you want to make a certain amount of money then you must provide enough value in order to receive it. The same can be said for making your body look a certain way, for people to perceive you in a certain light, learn a new language, or simply become competent in a new area. You must have and create value on all those things and it must come internally. No amount of external motivation or injections from other peoples values will get you there. At least this is what I’ve seen from personal experience.

Working in the fitness industry for almost a decade I’ve seen countless people who think they want to look and perform a certain way but when the work is laid out in front of them they realize it’s not as important to them as they initially thought. Now in the world of BASE I see similar patterns. People watch videos on the internet and think that they want to do it but when you’re standing on the edge getting ready to jump things can change very quickly. You might realize that you are ok carrying around a few extra pounds or maybe you want to just jump off objects that are ‘safer‘ – you decide what level of the game you want to play at and there is no right or wrong with those decisions.

Everyone has a limit and it’s important to try new things all the time in order to find where your limits are. You might think you want a six pack but are you willing to weigh and measure everything you eat for months on end in order to get it? You might think that you are brave enough to center all your emotions and jump off a cliff but are you really? – Maybe you are, maybe you’re not. You’ll never know unless you try but I promise you that it won’t give you what you think. Having experienced it personally as well as seen it with clients I can tell you with confidence that when you ‘arrive‘ you will be presented with the ‘what now‘ and it’s going to be on you to decide where to go from there.

Coming full circle the main message I want to get across is to enjoy the process. Leaning new things and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is where we experience the most growth and thats what life is all about.

If you are not growing, you’re dying. 

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Now

April 10, 2015

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The time to act is never right. You are always too young, too old, don’t have enough money, have an upcoming event you need to focus on, a difficult boss or employee to deal with, the kids are sick, your back hurts, your family disagrees, whatever. Things never ‘calm down‘ or ‘get easier‘ – there is always a storm on the horizon and you will never attain the things you want if you are waiting for the right time.

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” -Vivan Greene

Don’t sit around waiting for your turn to come as it will likely never happen. Pick yourself and get busy doing the things you want to do for yourself.

It’s supposed to be scary, it’s supposed to be hard, and it might not work. The time is going to pass anyways so isn’t it worth trying?

March in Review

April 1, 2015

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Spiritual/Mental

Regardless of the things going on in my life reading for at least an hour every morning is the one thing that stays consistent. Everything else seems to fluctuate but my dedication to learning and my mindset never falters. For that reason the daily happenings are easier to deal with.

This month I got through 2 physical books and one audiobook.

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–>The Success Principles - Jack Canfield
I literally couldn’t put this book down. I usually only read in the mornings but this one pulled me in at all times of the day throughout the month. Several people have recommended it to me over the past few years but I didn’t take a stab at it until after Sara read it and put it on my desk. She reads several books a week and gets the majority of them from the library. She actually bought this one which shows how valuable she felt it was.

67 principles in the book and I honestly believe that if you applied even one of them to your life it would be extremely worth it.
It’s the only book I’ve finished and immediately restarted again.
The first principle is the one which I feel is the most important which is: Take 100% responsibility for everything in your life. I wrote about this briefly in a previous post.

Bottom line – Highly recommended.

–>The Way of The Superior Man - David Deida
3rd time reading this one. I believe that every man can gain a lot of insight from this book. The video below gives a brief outline of the content. I’m trying to re-read this one every year to keep my sword sharp and the information fresh.

Everyone I have recommended this book to has come back saying things like ‘I felt like this book was about my life.’

Men often bury their feelings and are reluctant to talk about their struggles in life and relationships. This books exposes great concepts that can help us with those things and realize that we are all pretty much the same at our cores.

–>The Slight Edge – Audio Book - Jeff Olson

I read the physical book of this a long time ago and wanted to soak in the info a little more so I listened to this to and from work for the month. 20mins a day or so may not seem like much but time is valuable no matter how short it may seem.

This book revolves around that exact idea. Small steps taken consistently over time lead to great things. These things are easy to do, but are also easy to not do and thats the difference maker. If I choose to listen to 20mins of a book or read 10 pages today it does not really create too much difference in my life today or tomorrow or even next week. If I do that every day for a year however, the ball gains momentum and grows infinitely. Apply this to any area of your life – going to the gym, eating healthy, showing a loved one you care about them. Doing one thing today won’t make a difference, but over time it will.

Simple choices made consistently produce results.

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Physical
This month of training revolved around the CrossFit Opens. I’d been dealing with a lot of nagging injuries the past few months which sidelined me a lot but I started to gradually push things a little more each week this month and it felt great. I’m still being pretty cautious with volume but I’m very content at the moment.

UFC fighter Connor McGreggor is a huge inspiration to me for not only his dominating fighting style but his mental approach to training in general. He talks a lot about not constantly beating yourself down and spending time just working on movement. I unknowingly adopted this approach to my training over the past few months. I currently do 3 hard workouts a week – one heavy, one long more endurance based, and one classic CrossFit workout. The rest of the days I do a lot of moving and weird flow exercises that I make up on the fly. I try and do the majority of the warmups with the classes I teach also just to stay loose and it’s working really well.

As with anything I find beneficial I’ve started to incorporate that idea subtly with my clients. Get them moving in ways they are not used to and make it fun. Moving your body is fun and there is no limit to how you can constantly improve range of motion and have it translate to other areas.

I had no attachment to my scores in the Opens which was a huge relief for me considering I used to spend the entire year counting down the days.

15.1 – 5 Rounds +5 reps
15.1a – 295lbs
15.2 – 8 Overhead Squats into the 2nd round of 16
15.3 – 3 rounds + 16 Double Unders
15.4 –  7 HSPU into the set of 18
15.5 – 7:52

My overall placing in the region was 522. Pretty happy with this considering all the above.

BASE

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Celebrated my BASE Birthday on the 15th. Got 4 jumps in over the month which was a nice change of pace from last month. I posted a review of my year in a previous post with a video – scroll down to see it. Here’s a couple short vids I posted on Instagram. I love capturing things on photo and video. It’s impossible to harness the intensity, effort, and everything else involved in anything in life in a short clip or photo but I use them as memories to be relived over and over again.

Work/Business
We hosted a competition this month and had 100 competitors. It was awesome. Really cool event. A lot of our clients volunteered to help us out during the day and as a result everything ran incredibly smooth. I was very grateful and appreciative seeing everything run so well.
It was also very strange to see so many people in the gym that I didn’t know. We had competitors come from all over the Northeast and I was blown away by some of the hidden talent that showed up.
The video below is one of the ones I made from the event.

We also had an awesome month with the Opens running every weekend. The month flew by which was a nice contrast to how long February dragged out for.

Running a business is full of ups and downs and this month was no different. While I believe that going after your dreams is the most important thing in life it comes with a tremendous amount of challenge and the higher you want to rise the more difficult the challenges become.
This month was a very challenging month and I made some very difficult decisions in relation to the Business. My second location has taken a lot longer to get off the ground than I initially expected. As a result of that I made the decision to reduce operating hours and lay off one of my guys. It was a very hard decision and as a result I lost a friend and a few clients as well.
Challenges give opportunities for growth and I’m learning to embrace these challenges more and more every year. As the leader of Craic I sometimes have to do things that I don’t like doing, but I embrace the consequences of my decisions and I will always continue to move forward.
I will be successful because I allow myself to fail over and over again. The only way to lose is to give up.

The difference between average people and achieving people is their perception of and response to failure.” – John C Maxwell

Travel
Nothing this month – I purposely didn’t plan any trips so I could be around the gym for the Opens and our Competition. 3 Trips planned for April though so I’ll more than make up for it.
One of the trips includes my first all expenses paid trip to go BASE jumping! I’ll write about this in more detail in a future post but just another example of how hustle and going after what you want gets you places.

Additional: “When change happens, you can either cooperate with it and learn how to benefit from it or you can resist it and get run over by it.”

Take Responsibility For Your Life

March 29, 2015

Taking responsibility for everything in your life is an extremely challenging habit to form. I’ve been working on this for years and it’s becoming more and more a part of me every day.

It all starts with the belief in yourself


Change your beliefs by educating yourself and saying empowering things to yourself over and over and over again. I use the affirmation ‘I am in control’ a lot. I use it before going into difficult business meetings, before workouts, before I jump, and in any area where I start to become scared. By repeating it over and over I start to believe it and what ever the result from whatever the situation I do my best to own it.

Changing your beliefs in relation to anything takes time and a lot of conscious effort but I think it’s better than blaming the world for your perceived short comings.

Mistakes, Failures, Misperceptions, Unattained goals – All my responsibility.

The world is always challenging me and every year the challenges seem to become bigger and harder to conquer but with each one that passes (they all pass) I become stronger.

Finding comfort in the uncomfortable is a never ending process.

1 Year of BASE

March 15, 2015

Today marks the anniversary of my first BASE jump. I made 82 jumps over the year. I would love to have broken 100 but at the same time its not about the numbers.

The experiences I’ve had, the places I’ve had the opportunity of visiting, and the people I’ve met over the last year have been life changing.

BASE has given me a true appreciation for life. I’m often asked why I choose to participate in an activity that is so dangerous and while I think it’s unexplainable in words, and that you have to experience it to fully understand it I want to make an attempt at doing so, and list some of my favorite things about it so here it goes.

1- It forces you to be present and confront yourself 
How often in life are you truly in a position knowing that there is a possibility you can die? Sure, any one of us could die in a car crash today but it’s something you don’t usually think about.
Any day that I know I might be jumping I walk around with butterflies in my stomach and I’m constantly fighting the ‘what if’ scenarios that my mind wants to create. When I’m on a jumping trip I don’t deal with it as much as when I’m at home because it almost seems like its not real. Jump, pack, repeat is the usual process when somewhere like Idaho. The world seems to be on pause and all that exists is whats right in front of you but at home I have my real world responsibilities to work into the mix as well.
On a day when I might be jumping I sometimes walk around thinking that it might be my last day alive and I focus on all the things in my life that I’m grateful for, knowing that it might be the end. I wrote about this in detail in a previous post that was published on Skydive Mag (read it for a little more perspective).

You really learn a lot about yourself and put your life in perspective when standing on an exit point or clinging to a ladder hundreds of feet in the air and I feel that I have learned more about myself in those moments in the past 12 months than any other period in my life to date.

It’s a very spiritual experience for me.

2- Problem Solving 
Every jump is totally different even if it’s off the same object, with the same gear, and with the same people. The wind is always a little different. The day or night leading up to it is always different. How you feel is always different. Because of this you have to access the situation differently and come up with strategies on how to safely pull off the jump. A ‘normal’ person wouldn’t believe how much planning goes into something that might last 20seconds from the moment you step off the edge to you getting your feet back off the ground. This planning and on the spot decision making is very fulfilling to me.

3- Travel
I love going to new places and exploring. I’ve been doing it my whole life. The way a new place looks, smells, and feels. I love it all. BASE is allowing me to travel to places that I wouldn’t have gone without it and it allows me to see things from a totally different perspective. Standing on a cliff and taking in the amazing views is one thing, but to do so then jump off, and hike out is something totally different and very special. This past year I was just jumping around the US but I have upcoming plans of going to Italy, and next year Norway and Malaysia to jump.

4- The People 
There is a very strong bond that forms when sharing intense moments with people. I’ve been doing this my whole life through various different sports and I’m truly addicted to it. I’ve experienced it through all sports but when you make eye contact with a fellow jumper in the moments leading up to a jump or give each other knuckles there is an unsaid understanding of the risk you are both about to take and you again share in each others elation on the other end of the jump.
Not to mention all the crazy shit that happens outside of jumping. The jokes, constant antics, and fucking with each other as much as possible is always really fun.
People who I didn’t even know a year ago I now consider family and that will continue to evolve over the years.

5- It’s fucking AWESOME
When that chute opens without any problems it’s like breathing for the first time. I look around as if I’ve been blind but can finally see. The world seems fresh, problems seem distant, and stress is completely gone.
There’s a moment when you step off the edge that seems to happen in slow motion and you remember so much detail about such a short period of time. This feeling is extremely addictive and must be controlled. Anything that seems to good to be true usually is.
I’ve thought about giving up everything in my life many times to pursue that moment more and more but I’m able to keep it at bay.

There life changing consequences from errors in judgement, impatience, and plain stupidity. I plan on doing this for a long time so taking a somewhat conservative progressive approach is what will lead to that.

Here’s to another year of Awesome.

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