Category Archives: IN MY HEAD
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FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
My 2013 literally ended with a “BANG“! On Friday December 13, 2013, I was standing in my office at Max fitness when I heard the most violent and sharp “POP”. I was a 12B (combat engineer) in the army, and immediately my training from Ft Leonardwood was recalled in the split seconds that followed the sound of an explosion. The room was instantly filled with powder residue and my ears were ringing as I walked around the small office disoriented and confused. I remember thinking that I must have set off a small device designed as a prank. A few seconds later, still confused, I realized if it were a prank, something had gone horribly wrong.
My legs were aching and bleeding badly, like someone took a baseball bat to my knees, yet still I stood. I never thought to call out for help, as I was still dazed in my office with the door shut and the light off. I’m not sure how long I would have stood there bleeding trying to make sense out of this if one of my employees hadn’t thought to check on me. He entered the office and immediately says “oh Steve, you’ve been shot”. As much as I was totally confused about having been shot when I was by myself in my office, I was relieved to know why I had holes in both legs.
He laid me down and we began working on getting the bleeding stopped, and my staff called paramedics for help. As I started making sense out of the gun shot, realizing it wasn’t a small bomb, I was able to calm my mind a little in the bloody smoke filled office. With the confusion subsiding, my legs began to start hurting. And hurt they did… The 40 caliber hollow point round had come from an adjacent office through my legs and continued into another office finally stopping in a metal cabinet. The powder residue that seemed like an explosion was merely the powder from the bullet going through drywall. With everything coming together in my head, this is the point where I was finally calming down, except for the pain… I picked up my phone and started taking “selfies”.
Having a degree in physical therapy I know the damage and destruction that an accident like this can have on arteries, bone and nerves. My legs felt paralyzed and I was bleeding from both thighs. At the time I was thinking the worse. Did it hit my femoral artery? My leg hurt with an intensity I’ve never felt. Surely both femurs were broken in pieces. Hitting nerves never entered my mind until the bleeding slowed. Oh, the relief that overwhelmed me as I sat up and could move both feet. Praise God! I’m not paralyzed, just wounded. The bleeding began to slow, which confirmed no arterial damage, and I was able to bare weight as the paramedics put me onto the gurney for transport.
Super long story short, I spent the rest of the night in the ER learning how blessed I truly was that both legs were just soft tissue damage. How could a 40 caliber hollowpoint round from about 5 feet away go through both legs and not cause any permanent damage? I will tell you how – but that’s another blog for another time.
I wanted to tell you this story for a few reasons. One, first and foremost, how can any of us ever deny that our maker is merciful and full of grace to watch over us, even in the times we let our guard down the most. Second, no matter what circumstances we deal with throughout our lives, we HAVE to believe we are allowed to endure them to make us stronger – emotionally, physically, mentally, and yes… spiritually! There is not one single thing you’ve ever experienced in your life that could not be used to make you a more loving husband, a better father, a better friend, or even a better athlete. Reebok has a slogan that me and other bloggers use when we use social media, and never has it meant more to me than these last 2 weeks. #LIVEWITHFIRE
This my friends, is my plea to you. LIVE WITH FIRE! In everything you do, resolve to yourself that everything you experience can make you better. Yes, even the messes we make ourselves. Those are especially the best in making us better. I no longer believe in coincidence, or luck (good or bad). I believe in “providence” that all things can work together for good. But that is completely up to us and what we believe about our situation!
NO whining, no unforgiveness. Be patient and think about your circumstances and how they can soon (not right now, but on the on the end of whatever it is) grow you into who you are supposed to become! Live with fire, take those lemons, and make lemonade!!!!
PS: A very special thanks to Reebok for the timely delivery of these super comfy shoes that I would highly recommend the next time you are shot in both legs and can’t put on regular shoes. lol These are the Reebok Crossfit Nanossage. They are designed to help you decompress post workout (or post shootout!). They are even machine washable, just in case you get
blood, I mean sweat, on them. 😉 They are so soft you will want to purrrrr.
Inspired by the foam roller, this shoe is built on a natural last and features a 4mm drop with ultra soft cushioned foam. Dual web pull entry allows for easy on, easy off – thank goodness for me, they were indeed easy on, easy off! The perfect recovery shoe!!
Recently I’ve given much thought to Reebok’s campaign to #LIVEWITHFIRE. From time to time I get philosophical and sort of lost in abstract thought of the weirdest things. So this blog is me inviting you for a road trip with me and my brain. Turn the music up and take a look around my cerebral cortex as I ponder what it is to “Live With Fire“.
Living With Fire is NOT Complacent
First, I think about what it isn’t. Living with fire is not complacency. I think its important to be fulfilled, and even satisfied, about where you are going – but maybe not be overly satisfied with where you are. Content with your present, but pressing on to be all who you were called to be.
Living with fire is not living with rage, or resentment. That state of mind can drive us to overcome and accomplish a lot of things, but to what cost? In that frame of mind, we are rarely satisfied in accomplishing anything except vengeance, and still are never satisfied. No, friends, that is NOT living with fire.
Tenacity, perseverance, consistency, courage, willpower – THESE are a few defining characteristics of what it means to me to #LIVEWITHFIRE.
1. Living With Fire is: Tenacity
Tenacity is defined as the quality of being determined to do or achieve something. And I love the following definition: firmness of purpose.
2. Living With Fire is: Perseverance
Perseverance is next on my list of defining this Reebok Mantra. Perseverance is definitely a synonym for tenaciousness, but lets further define living with fire by defining perseverance with a definition from Webster: continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition. To me, living with fire comes alive in the second part of this definition; to continue DESPITE difficulty! I think I should end the blog now – but I wont.
3. Living With Fire is: Consistency
Consistency brings the “ing” to the phrase. See, to live with fire could be mistaken as a moment in time, but livING with fire gives the idea of continuing to strive for that “pressing forward” . To be consistent in our quest to live with joy and zeal for more in life. Consistency could have a couple of different meanings. Both of which I believe are applicable.
The first, is degree of firmness, density, viscosity, or resistance to movement or separation. Our ideals and level of effort should have a routine firmness. Not hot and cold, not soft and hard, but consistent effort in every attempt. Then, the more traditional thought for the way we describe consistency is the ability to be asserted together without contradiction. This would also be the idea to live beyond contradiction, above reproach. (We all fall short here, but when we get it right what victory we have.)
This brings us to courage on my synonym list of living with fire. Webster says courage is: mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. Interesting that courage is not the absence of fear, but for someone to withstand fear or difficulty.
In other words, to persevere even in the face of fear. OK, I hear! WHOA!
Lets finish our thoughts of Living With Fire by defining “WILL POWER”: The strength or will to carry out one’s decisions, wishes, or plans. This definition left no discussion for feeling or emotion. The idea is to DECIDE on what you want and SEE IT THROUGH – not allowing circumstance or excuses to compromise your decision!
What if we all “lived with fire”, in learning more, loving more, living more? I believe the key is in the desire. Decide what it is you really want. Dig deep to find a burning desire to accomplish or acquire it with a relentless, stubbornness that knows no quit. Never never never give up!
I believe this so much, I tattooed it on my body:
SEMPER PERSEVERA – Meaning, Never Give Up.
Here are some pictures of some amazing athletes who clearly Live With Fire and never gave up – even when they had some pretty awesome excuses. If this doesn’t inspire you, I don’t know what will.
FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I created this mantra, featured on DetourBar.com today, to remind people that all your workouts have a lot of benefits, outside of just appearance. Even though getting “picked first” is not the reason I train hard, training has affected my overall athletic performance – and it affects so many other areas of my life too.
When you are in the gym, training your guts out, don’t just focus on how your muscle looks or even how you feel in that moment. Think of all the opportunities your new fit body gives you – to be a better athlete, employee, spouse, parent and friend.
CLICK HERE to get the full-size mantra.
“I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” II Cor 12:10
Another Dreaded Leg Day
I’m not preaching, so hear me out. Today is another dreaded leg day. You see, five weeks ago I tore my medial meniscus and my MCL in my left knee. (That’s me with Dr. Stepanek of Total Health using Cold Laser Therapy on my knee – just one of my many steps to my rehabilitation). I was 2 weeks away from my first submission wrestling and jujitsu tournament since high school. Within seconds, I went immediately from being on top of the world and in the best shape physically and emotionally I’ve ever been in, to complete devastation. So now you understand how today, leg day, brings me to a place where I must dig deep to continue dredging through this grind of a workout.
I want so bad to load up the leg press and get this done, but here I sit with no weight and limited range of motion, and hurt. Amazing how a person can sweat just from the anticipation of something hurting. Next, I stare at the leg extension like an ex girlfriend that cheated on me with my best friend. Slowly we catch eyes. Then the nausea sets in. As I get close she welcomes me to sit down. Cordial at first, then she cracks a smile, and brings the pain train – but no way will she beat me. I will endure, I will break through. Whatever the cost, the patience, the ability to endure. I will sit here till I learn this lesson.
If I can grind this out today, if I can work through this, if I can make this knee stronger… Imagine what I will do when I am 100% again. During weakness, through insults, enduring hardships, experiencing persecution or difficulties, let it DRIVE you. Search for modifications, instead of excuses. What you will find is MORE drive, MORE will, MORE guts, and MORE heart than you have ever experienced! You may just become your strongest in those weakest moments.
My Leg Workout
Note: I split my workouts up, but you can do them all at once. I use a variety of free weights, Hammer Strength Equipment, Body Master Equipment and Life Fitness cardio. train at Max Fitness. Click on the links below to watch video demonstration from FitStudio by Sears.
leg press (Can substitute for squats) 5 sets 25 reps – 1: warm-up, 2: 90lbs 3: 180lbs 4: 270lbs 5: 270lbs
single leg extensions 5 sets 20 reps (partial ROM on left) 80lbs
Single leg Leg press (can substitute for one-leg squat) 4 sets 20 reps (partial ROM on left) 80lbs
4 sets each leg Seated Hamstring curl (On HammerStrength Weight Equipment)
(left) 10 pounds 30 pulse reps, (right) 60 pounds 15 reps sets
4 sets Laying Hamstring Curl
(left) 20 pounds 15 reps, (right) 45 pounds 15 reps
4 sets Straight leg dead lifts 135 pounds 15 reps
ROM = Range of Motion
When I think of factors that motivate me to work out, I think of so many different things. There is that hot body I want to resemble, the one song that makes me want to push through the pain, the euphoria I feel when the carnage of training is over, but there is also the GEAR.
I don’t care if you are boxing with new gloves or teeing off with new clubs, we just have more confidence when we are training with new sick gear. Well my “boxing ring and fairway” is 10,000 square feet of iron weights and treadmills. My gear is fresh new Reebok threads and kicks that move me to push harder, motivate me to dig deeper, scream at me not to quit.
Silly? Well, maybe. But even as a kid, when I had a new pair of shoes, I could barely sleep with the thought of wearing them to school for the first time. It gave me such confidence. If the shoes didn’t make me run faster or make me cuter, or even smarter, I guarantee the confidence I had from wearing them gave me all the super powers I needed to become a cross between Usain Bolt, Brad Pit, and Albert Einstein.
All kidding aside, next time you find yourself in a rut or lacking motivation, make a new play list of some kick butt grooves, and jump on Reebok.com and get you some fresh gear. Sometimes, you have to motivate yourself to GET AFTER IT!
Never Give Up!!!!!!
FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Have you ever felt like this? As I sit here, I am looking my circumstances square in the face. My body aches from training hard, I’m hungry and weak from cutting weight, business is slow and all the stress that comes with that, mostly, I’m just beat down and feeling sorry for myself. It seems the harder I try, the more defeated I feel. The harder I fight, the more overwhelming my circumstances become. I want to just pull the covers up over my face until it all goes away.
No body is going to come save you. Nobody is going to train your body for you, eat good for you, fix your financial and business woes, and take care of your family just because you are struggling…
Probably, like you, I have some amazing people I can ask for help. But, if anything is going to get better, it will require me getting out of this funk and taking action. I am not defeated. No different than sparing, when you get knocked down… you get up again!!!! and maybe again, and again…
Put your circumstances in perspective. The end of the world is coming but it isn’t here right this second, so take a breath and write down your problems. As we take a step back, what was once overwhelming and so close to our face it was all we could see, is now getting smaller and smaller.
Plan of action:
For each concern, go ahead “face on” write down worst case scenario. Look the worst that could happen straight in the face, but realize there are always more options with a higher likelihood of occurring than the worst case scenario. List your options for dealing with the worst.
Now list some options with better outcomes and a plan of action to direct this train wreck in that direction. “When we are amongst dark heavy circumstances, just because you can’t stop them dead in their tracks doesn’t mean you can’t steer them in a better direction until they slow on their own”
Your plan of action should consider realistic action and outcome. By making this list, it will inspire hope and perspective. Hard work and consistency, with a positive attitude, will always win out over circumstances. Circumstances can’t always be controlled, and they also are always temporary, your attitude can be controlled and should be a constant regardless of our circumstance.
We should all agree this planet, along with all we see, came from somewhere at some point. I know its hard to wrap your head around it, but thinking all of this came from nothing is an even harder task. So, I would employ you to ask the maker of all of this to give you peace and direction. The God who made this place is big enough to help you through this carnage – but it will come after you are ready to pull the covers off of your hidden face, put all of this in perspective, and execute your plan of action.
NEVER, NEVER, NEVER GIVE UP
The temporary pleasure of sin will never out weigh the devastating long term consequences, as the temporary pain of training will never out weigh the amazing long term consequences!
Bonnie and I were both brought up in the south, and for many of us that means that we were in church everytime the doors were open. One of the phrases you hear a lot in the church is “we really hate SIN”. Don’t tune me out, I’m about to make a point. As much as church, Bon and I in our adult lives spent a lot of time in the gym as well. One of the phrases we hear all of time at the gym is “I love my workout”. So “we hate sin and love our workouts” hmmm
Hate Sin? Not at all.
We love sin, its exciting, feels good, it’s attractive, it taste good, it’s a total rush… No we don’t hate sin. What we hate is the consequences of our sin. Sin can lead to drug addiction. divorce, obesity, disease, or even death – not to mention total seperation from the Dude who created you. (another blog, another time). But to say we hate sin, well, that just isn’t true – but to truly hate the devastating affects of sin is such a huge reality it isn’t a lie to say “I hate sin”. Hold on, here it comes…
Love your workout? Not truly…
Right now I am doing 315 pound shruggs. I think I just popped every vertebrae in my back, just ripped a callous, my legs are trembling and I have sweat in my eye and a charlie horse in my calf. Love my workout? …not so much.
HOWEVER, I absolutely love the consequences that I experience from working out. Health, aesthetics, energy, increased self esteem, confidence, the ablility to defend myself and my family against danger, and vitality are all considered bliss – directly related to the suffering and drudgery of the afformentioned workout. Knowing the amazing results of hard training, I can honestly say, “I love my workouts”!
The same way a person who has been caught up in SIN becomes so hurt and disgusted with that lifestyle, another can honestly say they love working out becuase of the amazing results and positive influence, that it can acutally be said, “I love my workout”
In short...The temporary pleasure of sin will never out weigh the devastating long term consequences, as the temporary pain of training will never out weigh the amazing long term consequences!
How do we change our belief system to be able to honestly say… “I love training”?
2. Visualize the prize (end game) seeing the goal as if its complete.
3. Make a plan that is realistic and effective to meet your goal.
4. Grow a pair. Dont be afraid to “gut it out”. Know it will be worth it.
5. Start over a million times – but dont quit, not even once!