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.
Remove yourself from your feelings and emotions. Step outside of yourself in order to think, see, and hear clearly. Too often, we are lost in ourselves. Lost in our feelings, emotions, anxieties, fears, and sorrows. Too often, we can’t get past the inner self, in order to accomplish the tasks to reach our full potential. We need to detach. We need to learn to detach. We need to learn to let go. We need to understand that mistakes, mishaps, and failure are all a part of the life process. Never to be avoided, but mistakes, mishaps, and failure should be expected, accepted, and learned from. You are not perfect. You will never be perfect in this life. Perfection and the pursuit of, is myth. Unattainable. Do not strive for perfection. Rather, strive for growth. Strive for maturity. Strive to become a better you, TODAY!
There are a lot of fake people in this world. Fake in what they say, fake in what they do, and fake in how they portray themselves. It’s pathetic. People are trying to be something or someone in order to gain some kind of recognition. In order to gain some sort of financial backing. In order to gain some passing glory. People mask themselves behind whatever they think may provide the gain that they are looking for. People will do whatever it takes in order to elevate themselves above everyone else, even if it means they have to become fake to do so. The gain in this life is all temporal. Remember that. Whatever gain you accrue in this life, eventually, it will all be left behind. Our time on this earth is but for a short period. Are you really going to spend your time being fake, in order to gain that which is temporary? Are you really going to waste your energy, efforts, and gifts on being fake? People need to wake up. People need to realize they can get away with being fake for a time, but in the end, when you live a lie, the truth emerges. Quit being fake. Quit trying to put on a front. Quit wasting time. Quit wasting your life. Quit following the crowd. Get over yourself. Step out from behind the mask. Step out from the shadows. Step into the light. Be the individual you know you should be. Be the man. Be the woman. Be the person that is about others, and not yourself. Be real. Be genuine. Be strong. Be bold. Live your life, not someone else’s.
One of the most difficult endeavors in life is change. Naturally, none of us likes change. Our mind wants to live life on auto-pilot. Our mind will fight to keep us on cruise-control. Doing the same things, the same way, over and over again, day in and day out. Our mind will fight for routine, ritual, and the known. But, if you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always got. We have to change. We must change. We must learn the necessity for change within our lives. Although most of us hate change, and we have a mind that will fight to keep us from change, we must fight to allow change to unfold in our lives. If we neglect change, we neglect growth. If we neglect growth, we are choosing to live a life of waste. A life of wasted opportunity, potential, and reward. Change is a catalyst for growth. We need to grow. We need to learn, apply, and grow. We must continue onward, forward, upward. We have been given so much. We must fulfill our destiny. We must be good stewards of that which has been entrusted to us. Do not fear change. Do not allow change to distract you, frustrate you, or fluster you. Allow change to challenge you, motivate you, and transform you. Change WILL occur in life. Accept it. Be open to it. Embrace it.
I will not be held back. I will not be held back. I will not be held back. I will not be held back. I will not be held back by my fear. I will not be held back by the fear of what other’s may think about me. I will not be held back by the fear of the opinions of others. I will not be held back by the fear of what others may say or are saying about me. I will not be held back by the fear of others, AT ALL. I will not be held back by the fear of another individual. EVER. We are ALL equal. We are ALL human. We are All flawed. We All have struggles. We All make mistakes, daily. We All fall short. I will run my race. I will run my race focused on the course before me. I will run my race the best way I know how. Relentlessly. Patiently. Consistently. Humbly. No other person is going to effect my race. I will not allow myself to lose focus. I will not allow myself to become distracted. I will not allow others to distract me. I will run my race with everything I have. I will grab those along the way who have stumbled, fallen, and are hurt. I will bring them along. I will run fearlessly. I don’t care. I will not be held back. I will not quit. I will destroy my fear. I will lead others from the bondage of fear. I control my thoughts. I control my actions. My life, is my choice. Fear will not win.
You don’t know, if you don’t try. You will never know, if you never attempt. Allow yourself to try. Allow yourself to attempt. Allow yourself to fail. Allow yourself to succeed. Allow yourself to learn. Allow yourself to grow, mature, and become better. Allow yourself to be vulnerable. Real. Raw. Authentic. What burns inside of you? What excites you? What consumes your thoughts? I challenge you, I encourage you, to run toward your fire. To run toward your passion. You and I, we literally have nothing to lose, even if we have everything to lose. Life is all temporary. We get one shot. One opportunity. That’s it. Why not live this opportunity fully? Fearlessly? Boldly? Aggressively? Live the life that is burning inside of you!