I believe all of us have passions deep within our heart. Deep within our soul. I believe too often in life, we either neglect our passions by ignoring them, or we simply allow the business of life to drown them out. I personally have done both. But as I grow older, experience life more, and continue to mature as a young man, all I really want to do is follow and live out my passions. Is there more to life than this? If something excites you, challenges you, fires you up, is that not good? Is that not what life is about? Inside of me, the passions that are burning are training and youth. I love to train. I love to push myself, test myself, and do what others won’t. Physical training has been such an integral part of my life for so long, it is who I am and what I love. The physical training in my life has taken on many forms over the years. I have even stopped physical training for a four year period, but I always find myself back in the training game eventually. I have trained for sport, powerlifting, bodybuilding, distance running, and for life. At times, my training has been weights dominant. At other times, there have been little to no weights. Again, when I have set aside the weight training, I always find myself coming back to it. There is something about the iron game that is woven deep into my DNA. Youth. The next generation. There are so many youth in our world, in our country, who are hurting. Struggling. Desperate for help, encouragement, and love. As an educator, I see first hand how messed up our youth are, how messed up their families are, and how easily they are influenced by the world’s negativity. Our youth are the next leaders. The next CEO’s, doctors, nurses, business men and women, teachers, coaches, military personnel, firefighters, police officers, and entrepreneurs. Our youth are in trouble. They are being led astray. They need positive role models. They need real leaders, real examples, real men and women to show them the way. They need discipline and accountability. My heart yearns to help. My heart burns to be a part of raising up the next generation. Training and youth. Training has changed my life. Youth have changed my life. I want to give back. I must give back. I want to use training to teach youth. To show them the way. It won’t be for everyone. I get that. I’ve seen and experienced that within my own life. But it can definitely be for some. And it can definitely alter the destiny of those who buy in. I am waiting. Waiting for the door to be opened. The passion is there. The fire is burning intensely. Patience is the answer. Patience is the process. It will happen. The door will open. Lives will be changed. I can’t wait.
Be true to yourself. Be true to who you are, who you have become, who you want to be. Be true to your goals, your dreams, and your passions. In this social media age, it is far too easy to lose sight of yourself. We see hundreds, if not thousands of images, videos, and posts each and every day of people’s highlights. We see all of the good, great, and awesome of who people are and what they are doing. With all of these highlights, we can easily feel like we are nothing. Our goals, our dreams, our interests are inferior. This is not the case. Remember, no matter who you are, you have issues, I have issues, we ALL have issues, we all have struggles, we all go through difficult times. Social media is a small glimpse into people’s lives, a lot of the time, this glimpse is fake, or at the minimum, at least altered in some way. Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in someone else’s life, how great they are, how great their feats are, so on and so forth. Focus on you. Block out all the nonsense, all the noise. Focus on what you need to do today to improve, to get better, to become the best version of yourself. The world needs your individuality. The world needs your passion. Live your life. Live your goals, dreams, and passions. Fully. Boldly. Aggressively. Be you. Be a leader. An example. Be someone to follow, today and always. Be true to yourself. Be true to the man you were created to be. Stand strong, and always remember, pride goes before the fall.
The more you give up, the more you put on the line, the more you pursue the uncomfortable, the more you sacrifice, the more passion you will find within your life. Passion comes through sacrifice. Passion come through pain, suffering, difficulty, and hardship. The fire burns strongest, when an abundance of fuel exists. The fire burns brightest, when the darkness closes in. If you want passion, if you want the fire within to burn intensely, then you must be willing to live a life of sacrifice.
You never know. You never know how you may impact someone’s life. You never know how your words may uplift a hurting soul. You never know how your example may challenge someone else to be more. You never know how the life you live, may change the course of someone else’s life. We are surrounded by people. People see, people hear, people observe. People follow. The way in which we choose to live our life, matters. It’s not just about us. It’s not about us doing whatever we want with the life we have been given. We have a responsibility. A responsibility to those around us. A responsibility to live a life that reaches out and touches the life of another. A responsibility to be the best version of our self, that we might encourage others to do the same. Life is too short. Too short to be caught up in yourself. Too short to live selfishly. Too short live negatively. Life is a gift. Life is an opportunity. A gift that has been given to give. An opportunity to help, teach, encourage, challenge, and love others. Your life matters. My life matters. Our lives, matter. There is a reason for our existence. There is a purpose for our being. There is a life before us to live. We must live this life fully. We need to look up. Look out. Look around. We are surrounded by beauty. We are surrounded by beautiful faces. We are surrounded by opportunities. You never know…….
It’s ok if they don’t understand. It’s understandable. Understandable that they don’t get it. They don’t grasp it. They can’t wrap their mind around it. You are walking down a different path. You are walking down the less-traveled path. The difficult path. You have been created and called to live a different life. You have chosen to live this life. Each day, you continue to choose this life. This is who you are. This is who you want to be. You can walk away from this life at any time. You can quit. You can choose to live another life, someone else’s life. You can choose another path. But you know deep within your soul, you can’t, you won’t, and you honestly don’t want to. This less-traveled path you are walking down, the difficult path you have chosen to take, it drives you. It burns within you. It separates you. It gives you meaning. Purpose. Focus. Although at times this life is lonely, and at times exhausting, it is worth it. It will be worth it. Eventually, people will see. People will be encouraged. People will follow. Eventually, your time will come to an end. You will pass the baton to another. The example you have set, will continue. Today, you continue on. Quietly, humbly, aggressively. Your light is shining brightly.
The axe is clean. The axe has been sharpened. It is ready for use. I take my axe, and set out to find the largest tree. No one is around. The sky is clear, pure blue. The sun shines brightly, the heat is intense. I stand shirtless, axe in hand, focused on the task before me. It is time. I begin to chop. One chop at a time. This will be a very long process. Once chop at a time. One chop at a time. I get into a rhythm. One chop at a time. One chop at a time. Eventually, my axe will prevail. I will prevail. Patience, endurance, and strength are of utmost. Keep chopping. Keep chopping. The tree will fall. Keep chopping.
A little over two years ago, I was discharged from the Navy. At that time, I came out of boot camp fat, and out of shape. I very rarely find myself in this type of physical state. I hate it. It’s not me, who I am, or who I want to be. Before I shipped off to boot camp, I had competed in my first bodybuilding show and had been training like a mad man. After my discharge, I found myself in Urbandale, IA, living with my sister to help care for her ailing Father. Once I got my bearings back, it was time to get back on track physically. Enter rebuild #1. I had to rebuild myself from the bottom. Within a short time-frame, I lost close to 30 lbs. and regained my desired physical state. Fast-forward to the present. I moved to Colorado Springs in the summer of 2017, and have mostly been focusing on endurance type training. I find myself now, in another rebuild. Rebuild #2. The endurance training has led me down a path of overtraining, undereating, and with over-use injuries. I have neglected strength training and am once again, physically speaking, in a place I do not want to be in. I am not healthy. I cannot continue in this direction. I am shifting. I have already made the shift. I am going back to my first love, the weights. I am rebuilding my physique. Rebuilding my training, nutrition, and mindset. It’s not about being hardcore. It’s not about being crazy. It’s not about ego or pride. It’s not about “look at me.” It’s about health, vitality, longevity, and above all else, being a healthy example to the next generation. A healthy leader. Someone to follow. I want to be the best I can be. I want to be the best example, leader, and man that I can be. I want to lead by action, not by word. I want to be a physical example. Looking the part. Living the part. I want to continue to learn, grow, and teach. Rebuild #2 has begun. I have to change, if I want to see others change. I have to be open, and willing myself, first, and always. This rebuild is about endurance. The long-game. Taking one step in the right direction, one day at a time. I am committed. Committed to this marathon. Committed to the micro, rather than the macro. Committed to training, eating, and living differently. I am excited. I am expectant. Rebuild #2 will be the beginning of, is the beginning of, something new, fresh, and BIG. Rebuild #2 is a re-birth. A re-alignment. An absolutely necessary life adjustment. I am coming back. Back to the basics. Back to simplicity. Back to what I know, who I am, and who I want to become. I am coming back to the first love. I am all in. It is time. It is mine for the taking. I WILL TAKE IT.