Lessons Learned

lesson

I may be a bit excited about turning 50 this year. Honestly, I remember being in my 20’s and wondering if I would be young enough to still want to party on New Years in 1999 (I was pregnant with the Ozman and in bed by 10. I found it annoying as F! that Texans wanted to shoot off 30 minutes of fireworks when the clock turned to a new century. Didn’t they know I was sleeping???!!!) OH, also, this year we made it until 11 or so on New Year’s Eve. What I’ve learned is to be efficient when it comes to partying. Drink wine; get sleep. Done and done.

For some reason, 50 is special. Now, admittedly I have a couple of more months and shit could turn before then. If so, that sucks. But according to USAW, I’m a 50 so I get to behave as if I’m a 50. Suck it 40’s! So in the spirit of being a 50, here are some lessons learned in the last half century:

Learn: my Grandpa took painting lessons when he was long past retirement. I remember that being a cool thing. I have some of his paintings, they are treasured. Never stop learning. I know too many 30-somethings who think they have nothing to learn. They are among the stupidist people I know. I have worked among engineers long enough to know that they hate to admit when they don’t know something. In my opinion, it is their biggest weakness. Allowing yourself to learn is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. If you have a low enough self esteem where you believe admitting you don’t know something makes you look bad, well, too late. You already look bad. If only to yourself. Never stop learning. Learning is cool.

Live with passion: find what you want to be passionate about and hit it hard. This is between you and the universe. Your passion and you answer to no one. I believe this is the biggest stumbling block when people want to follow a passion, they are afraid of what those close to them will think. Look (shit get’s serious when you say, ‘look’), I just saw an episode of House Hunters where the husband had about 9 boxes of board games because he writes a board games blog and needed one whole room just for his games. I thought it was stupid. But this is his passion so F! me. You go guy! There is a club full of people here in town called the Milwookies. Needless to say, they are a bit crazy for Star Wars. I thought they were morons, even if they are actually quite smart in various fields. But the whole Star Wars thing was a bit much. Guess what? Who cares what I think! This is something that brought a very eclectic group of people together to form a very strong friendship. Good on them (but I was still relieved when I didn’t have to go to their parties anymore. It was too much for me and their parties always had the shittiest food possible which would send me on a fat girl bender for about 2 weeks.) Go after your passions, F! the detractors. And on that note…

Never allow others to disrespect what you’ve worked for. Ever. This one is personal. Years ago, when I decided to try to compete in weightlifting, I called it Olympic Weightlifting (now I say nothing unless asked what my next competition is. Just easier that way.) When my mom would ask what I’m doing and I would say, Olympic Weightlifting, she would snarkely (totally a word) say, “OH, are you going to the Olympics?” No, no I’m not. Ever. Unless it’s as a spectator. But guess what. There is a very large space of ‘watch what happens’ in between nothing and the Olympics. Maybe an America Master’s championship. Maybe a World Master’s silver medal.  Maybe just simply the respect of others in the field for working hard and being coach-able. Maybe training hard for a Master’s National Championship. If nothing else, I’ll step up on that platform. (There was a bit of fuel on the fire here for this one when both she and my dad would go on and on about how awesome my brother in law did in his softball beer league. They went to the games. Sometimes, even being a forgetful 50 doesn’t make you forget the hurtful stuff you’d like to;) Heh.

Be trustworthy: I have mentioned before and I guess I’ll say it again, when something is told to me in confidence, it goes to the grave. If someone else asks a direct question about it, I will look them directly in the eye and say I don’t know anything about it. Many things exist only between me and someone else. This makes it non-existent for others. You may call it a lie. Don’t care. I have been affected this year by people I trusted who shared personal information with others as gossip. I don’t know why. These were people I thought were safe. I was wrong. Lesson learned. It hurt a bit, but you know me, I bounce back.

Make your word count: this goes a bit to the above. When I give my word, I mean it. Others around me know that. The more you water down your word with half truths; non-action, and failing to follow through with things you’ve said you would do, the less your word means to those around you. Do your co-workers see your word as solid but those at home don’t? If so, you’re missing the point. This is probably colored slightly by the hypocrisy of living in a Pastor’s home, but it’s a good policy to be the same person in every situation. Do what you say and say what you do. Sounds simple, eh?

If people are shitty, they won’t change: move on. Fast. Even if people aren’t shitty but bring stress or frustration to your life, move on. We’ve learned a lot about this in 2016, mostly due to things we were going through here. What are the situations that brings more stress than we had realized into our home? Ya, avoid those. Even if, at times, they are fun. It’s okay to love people from afar, wish good things for them but understand exactly what the relationship brings to you and knowing when it’s not awesome. NOTE: strive for awesome.

Take time to heal: mentally and physically. Look, we live in a fast world with so many distractions to keep us far from being grounded that to take time to heal is almost looked at negatively. What the actual fuck is wrong with healing? One thing social media does is give us a birds eye view of when someone is on the path to crash and burn. People may have even seen it in my training the last few years (thank a lot for saying something. Dicks.) We’re athletes who believe in pushing hard to meet goals and especially as Master’s athletes, we know the clock is ticking on what we’ll be able to do while watching that performance line start a steady line downwards. Sucks. But we must take time to heal. From injury; overtraining; illness; a season of competition; bad coaching, to name a few. And that’s just physically. If needed, we must take time to heal our mind. Negative self-talk; painful personal situations; betrayal. Whatever it is, stop using the world to avoid healing. Heal. And then move on. Live a beautiful life. Stop living in your pain. What a shitty way to go through life, refusing to step away from your pain. Heal. It is very likely that you are loved. Live loved.

Invest in your tribe: I’ve written about this a lot lately. I can do better at this. I have some ideas, time will tell if I’m successful. We have an amazing tribe and in many ways, Matt and I are still walking the earth together because of them. That’s how vital they are to our world. I worry sometimes that I don’t give back enough to what they give me. I hope I do. But I can improve. I’ll let you know at 60 if I’ve been successful. Heh.

Take care of your home and your car: seriously. Maybe it’s because being homeless as a child and with children was a very real possibility at times in my life and/or maybe because I’ve only had three cars in my lifetime (my 2005 Tahoe only has 210,000 miles on it which means I have another 2-3 years with her. Matt took her to get the oil changed about a month ago because it was past due. The oil changer guy came in and said the oil actually looked good and didn’t really need a change. Matt told him to change it, that the reason everything looks good is because of the care I give my car. True story.) I remember when I moved here, I was talking to Matt’s mom and whined a bit that not one piece of furniture made the move without a nick or an actual chunk taken out of it. Her reply? “That’s okay, it’s just stuff.” Uhhhhhhh, no. It’s not okay. It’s MY stuff and I take care of my things. I didn’t grow up in a world where stuff was just shit that could be replaced constantly. If I broke my doll, I now had a broken doll. There was no clergy money tree out front. So I took care of my stuff because I knew that it’s all I had. Same goes with my car. Now, it does have bumps and bruises and probably dog hair all over the back of it. But she’s loved and I’m thankful for her steady performance. I’m also thankful for an amazing mechanic up the block who helps me take care of her. I once read an article where a potential boss would ask to take an interviewee to lunch if things were going well and then make that person drive to see what kind of condition their car was in. I liked that. If you treat your car like a garbage can and your home is falling apart around you while you sit and watch 5 hours of television a night, it speaks volumes to what kind of person you are. Barf. Don’t be that kind of person.

Live with romance: this has been a big one for me lately. One of the hardest things for this former single mom is to quiet the masculine side of my personality. I had to be mom and dad for many years and many of those years were tough. I had no time for frivolities and I kind of forgot how to even want those. And now I’m a 50 and married to a wonderful man. So I not only WANT to girly up, but I need to. However, I need help with that. So I’ve asked for more romance from the Bigg guy and he’s working on it. But I don’t want other women to wait until they’re 50. More Nora Roberts, less Stephen King. Heh. Not really, but kinda. Feminists want women to believe that they can do everything a man can do and then some. Well, sure. Whatever (rolls eyes.) Somewhere along the last 40+ years, no one came back and said hey wait a minute, I like being a woman who is taken care of by a man. I like being the weaker sex (sure I’m weaker to Matt but not to many other 50’s chicks in the world. heeeheeee.) I want to be nurtured and treated as if I’m something special. Why is that bad?  Probably because the feminazi’s would come back with YOU TRAITOR, HOW DARE YOU LET A MAN OPEN YOUR DOOR! Matt and I were at his favorite beer bar one winter night a couple of years ago. A couple around our ages (I’m horrid at guessing peoples ages) came in and the man helped the woman get her coat off. Yes, he also helped her get it back on when they left (yes, we stayed there a while.) It was very sweet and something I haven’t seen in quite a while. And for those living without a partner right now? Romance yourself. No, pervs, I don’t mean that. If you don’t have anyone buying your flowers, go buy some yourself. I love flowers, especially bedside flowers. Lily’s and tiny roses and carnations in a pretty vase on my nightstand gives me joy and makes me feel girly all day long. Don’t let anyone tell you that wanting to feel pretty is a silly thing. Hell I tell my beautiful friend, Victoria, every time I see her that I’d dress so much prettier if we lived closer. But we don’t, so tank tops and leggings it is. But I’m working on it.

Be authentic: I’ve written enough about this. Do it or don’t, but believe me, you’ll like yourself a lot better if you live with your shortcomings out there in the open rather than live in a bubble of bullshit. ‘Nuff said.

Lastly, but certainly not least (and don’t call me Shirley)…

A good night’s sleep is everything. I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a good sleeper. Or at least, I wasn’t. 7-9 hours a night is standard for me now. Something I learned back in November when I backed way off of my training is that I was only sleeping about five hours a night but felt pretty refreshed. My body adjusted to a need for less sleep and I thought that was pretty cool. Once training started ramping back up, so did the need for more sleep. And I get it. Matt is looking into getting a sleep study done and hopefully finding more restful sleep. That would be good for him. Nothing good comes from being overtired. Nothing. Chronic fatigue poisons everything physically and mentally in your life. If you need a nap, go take a 10 minute nap (I adore 10 minute naps.) Value sleep. Give it the attention it needs. Your life will thank you.

OH! Here’s a few honorable mentions:

Eat right. If you don’t know what that means, find someone who does. Food is the biggest drug. It can kill you or it can cure you (to a point, obviously.) It can age you and it can help keep you “young.” It can make you feel like shit or like a Ferrari. Be a Ferrari.

Be loyal, but not to assholes. If you think your loyalty is wasted, take inventory on the situation. Could be that it is.

Let your children make mistakes. Being a bulldozer in front of them their whole childhood will make them fear life and will be your greatest failure. Trust your parenting. When they stumble, they may call for help. Help them without bailing them out (especially if they need bail.) Teach them how to walk the earth without you. And then be thankful when they can, but won’t want to.

Be proud of yourself. Yes, others being proud of you is good too. But others can feed you only so much. Feed yourself. Take pride in your life. If your life isn’t one to be proud of, fix it. Then be proud that you’ve adjusted.

Be nice. Even on the Facebook.

Try. You may fail, probably will along the way. That’s okay. Failing doesn’t mean you’re a failure. It just means you had the balls to try. Adjust, then try again.

There ya go. Words of a half centurion. They may mean something or may mean shit. But hey, I’m probably older than you so show tutu some respect! Heh.

I’m nearly 50. I’m past being photographed falling out of bars.

K.D. Lang

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Monday Bacon: 5 Ways to Kick Negativities Ass

I usually leave Monday’s to rants (again, don’t number my rants, you can’t count that high.) But I’m so sick and tired of the negativity on the interwebz that to add to it would make me sick of myself and that seems like a pretty self destructive start to the week. While I’m no Stuart Smalley, I would like to have something positive to say (and no, saying “I’m positive you’re a moron” isn’t what I’m looking for today. Even if it’s accurate.)

So, here are my today’s 5 ways to kick ass on the negative attitudes of social media:

AFGHANISTAN MARINES

Write a letter.

I am lucky enough to have a friend or two who still love to write letters. One showed up the other day and it absolutely made my day. Personally, I love to write letters. No one ever needs to stress about finding me a prize, just give me stationery or cute notes I can mail (or steak. Either one.) My friend, Victoria, even makes her own notes. She’s on a higher level than me. True story.

Just putting a letter in the mail, knowing someone will be getting something different amidst the bills and junk mail is fun for me. It’s little, I know. But it’s fun. I’ve even sent a post-it note in the mail, then I forgot I did it so when I heard from the person that they received it, it made me giggle all over again. Being elderly and forgetful has it’s fun.

They have 99 cent cards at the Walgreen’s, come on! For the same price as a really crappy cup of coffee (for those of you who don’t already know, my beloved Bigg guy will pretty much drink coffee anywhere. Even on an airplane. He will then go on to tell me what a crappy cup of coffee it was. While I admire his optimistic attitude that it would be anything other than crappy, I still must shake my head at the idea that it wouldn’t be) you could send a fun card. Maybe one with a sloth on it. If it has a sloth, send it to Jasmine. She loves sloths.

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Clean a closet.

While I have about 1/8th of the amount of clothes in the picture above, my closet can still get a bit messy. Even worse are hall closets. Hall closets become the hideaway of everything hide-able when company comes. No one is upstairs digging through my hall closet (we also don’t have a medicine cabinet in our downstairs bathroom so snoops will have no fun in my house.)

30 minutes and a garbage bag are all you need to feel good about a junk space that you once avoided but now open every time you pass by just to admire your work. Seriously though, ever wonder why moving is so torturous? It’s because of all the crap we accumulate and never dump but then have to face. Take the step to dump now and you’ll be amazed at how it inspires you to keep it going around the house.

I guess if I were to be trendy, I would say “de-clutter.” But I’m not. Just throw shit away and organize a bit. 30 minutes. The same time as it takes to watch the useless 5 o’clock news (I really tried to watch the local news once but in the first 5 minutes they had a story of Brittney Spears. Brittney Spears. Not even that she was in Milwaukee, but she did something stupid. Dudes, if I want to hear about the stupidity of celebrities, I’ll watch TMZ. But I don’t, so don’t put it on the local news.)

Just grab a gin and tonic (it’s medicinal) and head upstairs and clean a closet. Or a drawer. Or your briefcase. Anything that you can look at and say to yourself, “self, look what we did today! Aren’t we grand!!”

Yesterday was get rid of any remnants of Christmas day around here. Honestly, I really hated to see our tree go. It actually still had a pine scent to it and looked beautiful. Oh sure, it kept wanting to fall down which really kept us on our toes but it was probably my most favorite Christmas tree and had enough green in it that I seriously considered giving it one more week. But then I went to take an ornament off and the brittle needles almost cut me. Uh oh, time to go. So we got everything put away that made sense (we still keep out some winter decorations until spring) and got ready for Valentine’s day decorating (YEAH!) That was my version of cleaning a closet; however; the upstairs hall closet is on my radar and is on this week’s agenda.

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Make a stranger smile.

Honestly, it’s not hard. In the Midwest, a “how are you doing?” is a standard greeting. Like “Howzit” in Hawaii. Now, the nice thing about Hawaii is that no one expects you to answer How ‘zit’ actually is. Just smile and say ‘howzit’ back and we’ve just recognized that there is another human on our planet. But in the Midwest, you are expected to answer with a “Doin’ great, how are you?” I don’t care if you aren’t doing great. I don’t care if you don’t care how the other person is. Just say it and move on.

Of course the problem comes when the other person actually starts telling how they really are. Gawds, srsly. However, how hard is it to listen in the time it takes them to ring up your groceries to how they really are and give a thumbs up or a “I hope the day goes better for you” before you leave? Not very.

Years ago, I was going through something with my daughter. It was a tough morning and I stopped for coffee in a town I’d never been in before and had clearly been crying. In fact, I tried to hold it together long enough just to TeeTee and get my coffee and it took everything I had to get through it. The overly caffeinated young man at the register gave me a “HEY GOOD MORNING ISN’T IT A GREAT DAY? HOW ARE YOU DOING TODAY!!” that nearly put me over the edge. Luckily for me, an attentive manager next to him jumped in front of the register and quietly asked me what she could get for me. When she handed me the coffee, she simply said, hang in there. Tell ya what, when you’re ready to crash and burn, a simple hang in there can get you through a bad moment and that may be enough to get you to the next five minutes. Well done coffee lady, well done. I also imagine she had a talk with over caffeinated dude in learning to read people.

And that’s really what we can take 8 seconds to do in order to put a smile on a stranger’s face. Just read people. You don’t have to get all up in their grill to make yourself feel better but if given the opportunity, get someone to the next five minutes. You have no idea how important that can be.

When I was in high school, I was a hostess at a Perkins. Hostess at a Perkins, I found, is one of the most thankless jobs a high schooler can hold. Waitresses are always pissed off at you for not seating people in their section or seating too many at once. Customers are always pissed off at you because they want their omelette or mile high chocolate cake right fuckin’ now! I hated it. One slow, winter evening a woman came in the door shaking off her scarf just as I was about to seat another table. I quickly looked at her and told her I’ll be with her in a moment. Very standard. Didn’t even think about it. I came back, walked her to her two person booth and gave her a menu. She stopped me by holding my arm and said, ‘thank you so much for your smile when I walked in the door. I really needed that smile tonight.’ Of course I was a stupid high school kid so had no idea how to respond so probably mumbled something stupid, turned red, and walked away. But I guess maybe I got her to the next five minutes.

You never know. So try.

Give a compliment.

I couldn’t find a meme for that one. Sorry.

This one isn’t hard. At all. There are hundreds of ways to compliment a person, whether you know them or not. I would need more than my two hands to list the ways my husband compliments me each day. He’s far better at it than I am. I’m a little better at complimenting others while we’re out and about or with friends but it’s something that’s clearly important to both of us.

We had the awesome opportunity to spend New Years weekend with friends in Arizona. It was one of our favorite weekends of the year (both ’16 AND ’17) that included tons of fun; laughter; wine; connecting; weightlifting, and even a Highland Games (by the way, I’ve spent 8 days already as the number one ranked woman on NASGA. Suck it Elites! I have about five days I think to start sinking down the ranks but you bet your ass I’ll boast about being the first 49 year old ranked number one on NASGA. heeeeeheeeeee!)

Our friends, Max and Yvonne, have a desert oasis in Scottsdale which is absolutely gorgeous. Yvonne’s mom is there with her pups so we got puppy time and her niece and nephew were also visiting from Louisiana. They added a lot of fun and a nice youthful quality to the weekend. On Monday evening, we went out to dinner and Auntie Yvonne fixed Kyla’s hair before we left. I was in the kitchen when Kyla walked in and she lit up the room. I told her how pretty she looked and she was happy enough to give me a quick hug. It was very sweet.

And that’s how easy it is to make someone feel good. Give a compliment. Get out of yourself and compliment someone. Whether in person or even on-line. No, a “like” isn’t a compliment. Stop it. I’ve unfriended many people who seem to want a relationship of “likes.” Grow up, we’re not 13. To have a real relationship takes work, not a click. There are hundreds of qualities others possess that I don’t that I admire. How hard is it to tell them so?

Not hard (thatswhatshesaid)

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Get outside. Without your phone.

One thing I noticed right away about our neighborhood is how many people walk. They walk alone or with kids or with dogs or with their pet snake (yup, that happened.) Coming from ‘record heat’ Texas, it was refreshing. No one walked there. It was too hot. Here? Everyone walks, still. We’ve had a cold snap here, right now it’s a balmy 27 which is 20 degrees warmer than last week. It’s supposed to be 38 on Wednesday, shorts weather. Yet even with the cold, people are still walking. Dogs have their sweaters and booties on and their people are bundled up, but they’re still walking. I’m uber impressed. At 27 degrees, the pups and I can walk up and down the street but that’s it for now. Our old girl is 9 1/2 and her little feetsies get too cold right now if we go further. But we can get outside for 5 minutes.

Without the phone. I admit; while it has to affect on me whatsoever; it annoys the ever livin’ out of me when I see moms with a kid in a buggy; dog on a leash, and is still connected to her phone. Can you NOT for 10 minutes?

But you can. Ten minutes away from your phone. You can do it. Breath in the fresh air, even if it makes your nose hairs freeze. They’ll thaw. And you get to enjoy 10 minutes of peace.

Doesn’t that sound better than fighting about politics on the Facebook?

The bad news is that time flies. The good news is that you’re the pilot.

Michael Altshuler

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In A Scramble

resolu

Remember, hitting just a few of your goals is success. Be proud of yourself. Also, where’s the gym that serves up Martini’s? I want that gym.

Have you ever noticed ranting trends on the Facebook? Bitching about 2016? Wouldn’t have existed without the FB! The most recent trend is bitching about people who are bitching about people who make resolutions and then not keep them. I haven’t seen it and admittedly, I’m kind of surprised. I have a lot of fitness professionals along with strength and conditioning folks who are never afraid to be asshole on social media so I figured if this was really as widespread as people made it to be I’d see at least one resolution shaming post.

Nope. Nada. I’m not saying they don’t exist, I’m just admiring the trend to shame people for shaming other people. But that’s not the point of today.

Our household has some New Years Resolutions. Some we’ve already found success in; some we’ve already failed at. It’s January 5th, we’ve got time to do plenty more of both (hopefully) in the upcoming year. Our main goal for the year is to invest in friendships. Connect. Both with friends we share love with, and each other. To be honest, this is tougher the older we get. Schedules are busy enough without the added stress of trying to get together with friends, and yes, at times it’s stressful to find an open date to get together with friends.

Here’s where we’re parting ways on that front. I fully believe there are ebb and flows of friendship. We have some friends for a very long time and some that seem to burn hot for shorter amounts of time. I value both. People who have invested some of their time to enrich ours, that’s special. While we can be disappointed about not finding as much time as we previously made for each other, that’s okay. Lives twist and turn and paths sometimes don’t cross as much as they once did. No worries.

But when trying to get together turns into a fury of texts that last over days or weeks, well, no. Look, everyone is busy with what they choose to be busy with. We’re all adults here. If trying to get together brings out the “Oh my gods we’re so busy and I can’t even believe how busy we are with A, B, and C plus X, Y, and Z” well, forget it. It brings out childhood memories of listening to my parents find so much value in being overextended. I can still hear Pastor John standing up in the middle of the room at Zac and Zandra’s birthday parties announcing that “We have to go, we’re in a scramble for church on Sunday” where I guess everyone is supposed to be amazed at how busy they are. Barf. (By the way, my dad was always “in a scramble.” My thinking was that he should take some form of time management skills course to avoid the scramble but I really believe he loved being in a scramble.) Some people equate self worth with how busy they are, even if they really aren’t. Not me.

If schedules are such that getting together isn’t feasible for a while, okay. No worries. I don’t love you less, I just am not going to jump through hoops to find a time to connect. That’s not fun for me. And Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.

I’ve looked at whether or not Matt and I are doing everything we can for a more fulfilled life, i.e. be more busy. Nope. We seem to get a lot done and still have time for Top Chef on Thursdays. We’re tightening the purse strings a bit due to some upcoming travel and have looked for ways to still make an hour or two special each week without spending over $20. I guess if we have time to find some cheap fun, we have time to meet a friend for a coffee or a wine. Even if it’s impromptu. And we look for others who are comfortable enough to do the same.

There’s our resolution. So bring on the shaming of people trying to make resolutions and then I’ll shame you back for trying to shame me and then you can shame me for my hypocrisy of shaming others. That’ll get us to tomorrow where we can find something else to bitch about.

Time management is an oxymoron. Time is beyond our control, and the clock keeps ticking regardless of how we lead our lives. Priority management is the answer to maximizing the time we have.

John C. Maxwell

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Authentic in Just 12 Weeks!

newyear

It’s official! I’ve seen my first “HAVE THE BODY YOU’VE ALWAYS WANTED IN JUST 12 WEEKS!” commercial. Ok, I want a body like Ingrid Marcum. Here’s my money but I better be snatching in the 80’s while sitting around 75kg by my March meet or I want my money back. FoReals.

But we all know that this isn’t how it works. At this point, the commercials and promises by fitness studios and globo-gyms are speaking to the 80% of Americans who don’t know that this isn’t how it works. Oh sure, it’s never worked before but that’s not their fault. Right?! It would work if you were more dedicated or self-controlled or whatever else they tell people why they’ve failed. It’s never the fault of the gym or “personal trainer” (by the way, don’t ever call me a personal trainer. It’s insulting. Also, don’t ever call a personal trainer a “strength coach.” It’s insulting. We saw a post recently by one personal trainer dressing up like a strength coach that said her lifter just hit a 300# PR on his squat. Uhhhhhhh, so his squat was 0 and then he came in that day and hit 300 pounds? JHMFC, if you’re going to pretend to be a strength coach, at least understand how that works.)

Anyways.

A new body in 12 weeks isn’t “typical.” Oh sure, a few out of one hundred may hit their goal by the end of March and maybe out of those 3-5, one will be able to keep the changes they’ve worked for. One. Because we all know that drastic changes don’t last. Not only do they not last for three months, they probably won’t last 3 days. You may find drastic dieters last three weeks but that’s about the time where their 5-7 pounds a week weight loss have completely stalled out with their 750 calorie a day diet and they feel like death. So just a burger here and a piece of pie there and within a week, they’re back to being a fat. No worries, at least the person who prescribed the diet has their money.

At the end of the day, that’s all that matters. That you pay your money and are handed your cookie cutter program and diet and whether or not it works will be up to you. What is the slogan? It only works as well as you work it. Hmmmmm. FYI, drastic never works. Never. Oh sure, you can fake it for a while but that’s all you’re doing. Faking it.

How about a program that promises something different? LEARN TO BE AUTHENTIC IN 12 WEEKS OR LESS!! Careful, there will be the not so fine print in the corner that will state, must be able to take truth and tough love. Shoot, I just lost all potential customers. Again.

Quite honestly, I cannot imagine the personal prison people live in who fail to live an authentic life. Who go through their days faking it. Now, I’m not talking about the “fake it ’til you make it” mask we all sometimes put on when we’re in nervous situations. If you’ve ever been in a warm-up room, you’ll understand that. I’m talking about the chronic fear of either hiding who you really are or just the overall ability to not care that you’re a different person in front of different people. Both suck. Both are untrustworthy. Both are to be distanced from real people.

I once knew a young man who would adopt personalities of whomever his current boss was. Weird. I’d see it a lot too when I was doing certs/seminars with Rip’s crew. Young men would instantly try to adopt Rip’s persona, especially new coaching staff. It was complete barf. In fact, it just occurs to me right now that the few people I stay in contact with from those days are the ones that own their personalities. That believe in the systems but do it in their own ways. I like that. I’m awfully proud of them. Winnipeg in winter has nothing on that Texas crew environment, especially once they turn on you. Anyways.

I remember a powerlifting meet a few years ago where I had to get stern with a lifter. Like, fucking stern. Her squat warm-ups were a mess. Every rep was high and she had a deer in the headlights look about her. I couldn’t reach her. She snapped at me constantly that she was hitting depth, in spite of the red lights on her first and second attempts. And then I snapped, “Look, you can argue with me but you’re about to fucking bomb out of this meet because you refuse to be coached. Now get out there and fucking sink your squat.” Only I yelled it. In front of everyone around us. And guess what, she sank her squat and salvaged the meet. (In general, I hate talking to people like that in competition. If it’s what you need in order to perform, I’m probably not the best coach for you. I prefer quiet confidence. Cues. Do them and succeed. If I need to bring Harsh Juli to the meet, we shouldn’t hang.)

Afterwards, while she was chilling out with a group who came to cheer her on, we “laughed” about having to yell and swear at her to perform. One of her clients (she’s a fitness instructor) said, “Wow, that sounds familiar” and I quizzically looked at her. She mentioned that she may channel “her Juli” when coaching these days. Uhhhhhh, that was hint one that this girl was a bit unhinged. Why do you have to channel me? Just be yourself, isn’t that why people come to you?

Yes, I know. Being “yourself” is tough some days. People won’t understand why you’re this or that or not walking the earth to please others. You may believe that friends won’t accept you and ya know what? You may be right. But then they’re not really friends, are they? If you’re actually a malicious, self-absorbed piece of shit and you’re able to fake it to certain people, just know this; you won’t be able to fake it to everyone. And those you fool will find that out someday. HEY! I KNOW! How about just be a decent person? I’ve actually had people, who have behaved incredibly poorly, say that they care about how other people view them and want to change. Awwww, you go girl! But then they don’t. In fact, they behave even worse and offend an entire new group of people. Uhhhhh, you go girl. Good luck with that.

At the end of the day, all I can think of is what a complete crap way to walk through life. How exhausting it must be to be so fake. To live in constant fear that those around you will figure out that you’re not who you say you are. It must be horrible and I can actually have a lot of empathy for you. But ya know what? It doesn’t have to be this way. Cuz I have a program where, in just 12 weeks, you can be an authentic person living an authentic life. Even better? You don’t even have to pay me. Just do this…

…tell the truth. Nothing drastic, just tell one truth where you’re usually telling the lie. Be honest where you usually aren’t. I tell ya what, my life changed when I started to say, “I don’t know.” I was in my 20’s and a single mother of baby twins, living on $220 per week and oh by the way, daycare got half of that. There were many times I’d have to say, “I don’t know.” And guess what, I was ALWAYS rewarded in some way for asking for help and admitting I didn’t know how to do something. WIC; the food shelf; emergency utilities help, I quickly learned to humble myself and say, “I don’t know how to do this.” Now, I WAS determined to keep working and move my way up in a very successful technology company and I’m awfully proud of that but there were many days where I didn’t have time to be fake. I needed help and I needed it fast and bullshitting my way through this thing wasn’t going to work. I tell you what, being asked, “what do you need” goes a long way to someone struggling and will enable you to forget about the bullshit way YOU go through life. Authentically.

It’s freeing. It’s not easy, but you can look yourself in the mirror night after night; day after day and give yourself a little ‘atta girl’ for another day well done. Doesn’t that sound nice? A whole day of not hiding from who you really are? And you don’t have to go to fake gyms (truthful disclosure here, I go to a fake gym to get my cardio and sauna on. But come on, SAUNA!) to achieve these results. You just wake up and start being honest, if only a little at a time while you gain comfort with it. And suddenly it will be March and you’ll realize that you’re leading an authentic life.

It’ll change your world. If you have the courage to do it. I hope for you that you do. As for me? I’m over here realizing that an Ingrid Marcum body with an 80kg snatch isn’t up for sale so I’m gonna have to work to hitting 90kg in weight with a 70kg (plus, hopefully) snatch before that March meet. Oh well, not everything is able to be bought I guess. Such is life.

Heroes are never perfect, but they’re brave, they’re authentic, they’re courageous, determined, discreet, and they’ve got grit.

Wade Davis

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