Sunday, April 29, 2012

Random thoughts with a glass of craft beer.

This past Tuesday my wife and I walked into Williamsburg AleWerks and signed up for a tour of the small local brewery.  We waited until one of the "investors" arrived and he walked us over to the garage where they made their beer.  As we walked inside the wonderful aroma of hops filled the air, seasoned with a splash of bleach and water, and I thought I arrived in heaven.  Williamsburg AleWerks only produces Ale beers, hence their name, and we had the opportunity to try several of them.  Since I could remember I was always a lager guy, sticking with the Corporate enterprises of Anheiser Busch-InBev and MillerCoors, but after this tour I felt an odd sense of awareness that I wasted more than a handful of my years drinking water downed "piss".  On occassions I would dabble into the likes of St. Pauli, Rolling Rock, Hoegaarden, and Sam Adams, but never did I truly understand the amazing taste beer can bring to your palate. So with that said my new beer of choice with always be a Pale Ale or a 60 minute IPA type beer, no longer will big Corporate companies swim in my money.  I will support the local brewery's, the DogFish Head's, the Flying Fish Companies and I will actually get to taste a variety of ingredients from all over the world.

For the past ten days my wife and I were on vacation in Williamsburg, Virginia with a stop in Delaware just inland from Rehoebeth Beach.  The time we had together was amazing and even the brief moments I had alone were refreshing on numerous levels. One, I did not touch a weight or a barbell in those ten days.  My body needed it.  I was beginning to get run down from the constant pressure of decently heavy weights, the conditioning I was doing, and the hectic schedule I commit to. I feel so much better now that I took a legitimate rest and my body is thanking me. Two, I got to read two books on vacation.  Sounds weird right?  Who reads a book on a vacation? My schedule should have been booked with exciting events and numerous stops at roadside attractions, we did that.  Whenever I had the chance to open the books I did and I am very thankful to Alwyn Cosgrove for his recommendations.  Reading these books and relaxing on a vacation in a way was quite eye opening.  So here my some of my random thoughts that came to me while I sat in my room, drove around Colonial Williamsburg or ate at some decent local dining holes.

- People are not as fat as media makes it seem.  Or at least I did not notice it.  Going to Busch Gardens, Colonial Williamsburg, and other attractions I took notice of my surroundings and the obese folks must have hid from my view, because not many did I see.  So what gives?  Why does media make it seem like we are all fat?  I believe this stems from Corporate money and advertisements.  It is not surprising that people are self conscious and most women think they are fat.  So media and companies pick up on this and sell, sell, sell, and sell some more quick fix diet pills or gimmicks.  The constant brigade of commercials and false advertisements, along with made up "breaking news" stories has us all feeling a little tight in the waist.  I previously wrote a blog post asking "Is fat the future?"  and I will update it and edit it based on my observations while adding a little bit of research into it.

- People are not happy.  I did not need a vacation to tell me this because I see or hear it everyday but I never truly grasped the idea that people really are not happy at all.  How can it be that the citizens of the greatest country in the world are not happy?  How can people with a house, a dog, a family, and a good steady job not be happy?  My instinct points to the media again.  We are a society that is wrapped around the media's finger and we have been snagged- hook, line, and sinker.  We want more.  We want to get everything we want and we want to get it NOW. We look at The Jones family next door and see something we do not have and we get jealous.  We want that, but not just that, we want the higher quality "that" so we look better.  Unfortunately most people are not in the position to acquire "that" and the sadness takes over. I do not see any fix for this situation besides turning the social media, the television, and the radio off.  Americans have embraced themselves in front of the screen to watch reality based shows starring women with big houses, fake breasts, and inflated lips and now everyone wants that.  My random thought- turn off that garbage and sit in a quite room and think.

- Craft Beer is the bee's knees, his arms and his legs.

- Reading the books I did has opened my eyes to what it means to be a successful business.  Sure $100 million profits are nice, but I'd rather have my niche following spread around the state, the country, and continue doing business on a personal- face to face- level.  People do not want big time companies running their lives, they do, but we don't want it.  I believe most people rather not shop at Wal-Mart.  They'd rather shop at a local store that supports their community, but they don't, and they don't because the values are not there (in most places). Wal-Mart thrives, Home Depot thrives, and all of the fast food joints thrive because they are consistent with their products and services, it's convenient, and it's cheap.  The problem comes down to the personal- face to face- level.  There are times these big box stores do not give you the satisfaction of importance and every single person on this Earth wants their purchases felt on a personal level, they want to feel important.  We want to know that a business acknowledges us a person, with feelings, and there is nobody more important to them then us. When you purchase sessions from Activate Fitness, you purchase me.  Not some quickly packaged box, some program on paper, or a package of individual days used for training.  You buy me.  You buy my expertise, my motivational skills, my positive energy, my core values, and everything that makes me.  You go to the gym and pay $50 for a membership and you expect $50 worth of goods.  You get to walk in and out and the experience is provided by yourself.  You get what you pay for.

- There is nothing more important or no feeling more amazing than family.

- Money is abundant and not hard to get.  It is everywhere.  Everyone has it and everyone uses it. It is how and what you do that brings more or less.

- All white people in Virginia look the same. *No racist*

- I will be changing my 5/3/1 routine to a two day per week schedule and go without a deload for 6 weeks instead of 4.  I feel 3 or 4 days is too much at the moment to be consistently lifting heavier weights.  My body has been screaming at me to make the switch for months.  I finally made an agreement with my hip flexors.

- There are a few books that I will always give as gifts to the select few people I feel deserve the opportunity to read them.

- Quite a few of my blog posts have been a little too much as far talking about how people do XYZ and expect ZYX and this or that is bad or plain stupid.  I have spoken against Jazzercise, Zumba, and CrossFit to an extent that made them seem more of a viable option than what I offer Activate Fitness.  There will be no more making fun of cardio queens or telling people that doing Zumba is a waste of their time.  Let them make that decision and see the outcome of their choices.  I know truly what I bring my clients, I know what I do personally, and they work- let what comes come.

- There is no place for negative in my life anymore.  None.  I do not want to hear how hard your day was or how tired work made you feel.  I do not want to hear that you do not have enough money to buy something you want or pay a bill you owe on.  I do not want to hear that "God" is against you, or people hate you.  These are all excuses the mind makes up when you think negative thoughts.  I am not being mean or rude, or withholding compassionate feelings- I am being real and positive.

So while my vacation was fun, relaxing, and well deserved I feel it helped me move on into the next chapter of my life.  I learned quite a bit of information, some useful, some useless during the 10 days I was away and I am very confident the useful information will take me a long way. A restaurant we visited called Food For Thought was a very cool place, unlike any restaurant I ever ate at.  While the food was great, the staff was excellent.  Our waitress knew everything on the menu and had her own opinions on all the items, especially the craft brews they had on tap.  I tried the "Beer Flight" which was a sampling of 6 draft beers they had on tap from local breweries and even a Hawaiian Kona beer. The biggest draw from the restaurant was the environment, something you could tell the owner put a lot of passion, time, and pride into.  When you walked through the place there were quotes plastered all over the walls in an ornate way from some of the greatest minds in the history of humans.  Then below the quotes were various plaques of the same people whose quotes were etched in gold and silver paint across the walls.  After being seated you opened the menu and it made you feel like you were reading a book, from the preface to the back cover about the author.  On the table between my wife and I were cards from games like MindTrap and Food for Talk.  While you ate and drank you could read really positive and motivational quotes while invoking the inner mind through games that bring out the soul in you.  The place, and the vacation in whole, has made me feel much closer to my wife and more brilliant of a man. So now that I am back, work on Monday sounds great, hell I am actually excited to get back to work. I also found my new hobby.  You guessed right.  Homebrewing.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

North of Vag

"North of Vag—this is more than a style of lifting or training. It's a way of life. This has taken off and become a rallying cry for people frustrated with the emasculation of society. This emasculation has made its way into the lifting world, and I will fight like hell to get it out. There are now people writing, talking, teaching, instructing, and coaching strength that have none. There are people who have marginalized strength training, trivialized squatting and deadlifting, and somehow convinced others that strength isn't important. Why? Because they aren't strong. They don't have the desire to be strong. They don't have the discipline to put a heavy bar on their backs or the guts to pull something heavy. - Jim Wendler"

If you were to sum up my daily thoughts and label the direction my life was headed it would be quoted in the words "North of Vag".  I have recently adopted the saying as my motto and while I am not on the top of the N.O.V Hill by any means, actually far from it, I continually climb to new heights, day in, day out.  

So what does "North of Vag" or "N.O.V." even mean?  Well for starters you can read the above quote that was taken from Jim Wendler's 5/3/1 for Powerlifting book and come to a brilliant conclusion as to what it stands for.  (By the way, if you lift and don't know Jim Wendler or his work, Google is your friend.. Now. He also popularized the saying.)  But to me the meaning of what North of Vag stands for is much more then the above paragraph.  Yes it involves lifting, yes it involves life.. but what truly is an image of "North of Vag"?

If I were to write out a list of my values, values that really meant a lot to me, values that I swear by and forever will stand by, the top of the list would look like this:

North of Vag:

1. Blah Blah.. etc...

What that shows, in my opinion, is that North of Vag is a term that defines my core values, defines my beliefs, and sums up every aspect of my life that makes me the man I am today.  It is the header to my life's letter. Sure lifting 800 pounds off the ground is known to be "N.O.V." just like how dedicating 4 days to a program with 2 or more of those including conditioning has also been called "being N.O.V.", but it goes a lot further than that.  

"North of Vag" extends way beyond the limits of the strength and fitness world's walls.  North of Vag can't be North of Vag unless every aspect of your life abides by the meaning.  You can kick ass with motivation and dedication inside the gym that makes you reek of the N.O.V label, but if your home life is sour and that same motivation and dedication causes problems or neglect, or compromise.. how can you say you're N.O.V.?  If you "tuck your tail" and go against your values to make something easier, less dramatic, or to simply avoid it- how is that N.O.V.? If you fail to vote and then bitch about the elected candidate, you are not in holy land, you're far from it.  

A person who is absolutely North of Vag has patience, discipline, motivation, knowledge (and continues to increase it), power, desire, commitment, real fucking values, and their head is constantly steered straight.  They know where they are going and a map is not needed. When I first heard the term I figured it was just about lifting weights in the 5/3/1 fashion and being consistent with it.  I quickly understood it went further than that and now means a hell of a lot more to me.

"Rely on your own strength of body and soul. Take for your star self-reliance, faith, honesty and industry. Don't take too much advice — keep at the helm and steer your own ship, and remember that the great art of commanding is to take a fair share of the work. Fire above the mark you intend to hit. Energy, invincible determination with the right motive, are the levers that move the world.
Noah Porter"

Leadership is an unwritten quality of a man or woman holding their head high above Vag.  To be North of Vag you need to be a leader.  A leader of your life, your pursuit, your dreams and goals and do so with the confidence of becoming great and achieving any goal the mind decides to set out for.  Without leadership leaves a person weak and in seek of guidance, always hiding South with failure after failure of climbing North.  Leaders understand how to chip away at the ever forming obstacles and understand things take time- this is patience.  

Many younger lifters who have embraced the work of Mr. Wendler feel being North of Vag is just about lifting heavy weights.  "With great "power" comes great responsibility" and when the lifts get heavier the responsibilities broaden and those who seek the land of the North know that more is not always better and proper planning is required to continue on the path.  Aches and pains occur and in the words of my mother "Put your purse down" and do it right, with patience. "Measure twice and cut once", never be afraid to take two steps back and more importantly understand there is more to life than just lifting.  North of Vag lifters do not let their jobs or relationships become affected with their lifting.  They don't set alarm clocks on when to eat or "major in the minors".  Things just are and they go smoothly, because they stick to the basics and their values.

Gone are the days I let any of the world's problems affect my moods or beliefs.  Gone are the days where I bitch and moan about work, both professionally and personally.  My house needs maintenance and I'll do it.  My wife needs me, my attention, my affection, and that she'll have.  My work needs my knowledge and I give it.  I do not care about current events creating problems because those problems do not affect me- I won't let it.  I do not sit and bitch about money.  I create more ways to invite money to come to me.  No more "I wish" "I can't" "What if" "How come".. etc.. now, it's just "I will".. why?  Because I live the values defined as "North of Vag".

For more information of Jim Wendler and his 5/3/1 books go to

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Just Believe

"Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve" Napoleon Hill

Believe in yourself right now.

I could end this blog post and leave my message as clear as day with the above sentence and my point will get across to nearly everyone.  We need to start believing in ourselves and realize how awesome we are.  How incredible our lives can be when we focus our energy on the positive nature around us.  Too many people hang their heads in defeat before they even try, and think they failed before even thinking they CAN.  

It is no surprise that the world is changing and a lot of people are left in the dust.  Companies in the USA are outsourcing to other countries, technology is replacing human labor, and jobs of the past are nowhere to be seen.  Unemployment has risen to levels not seen in 80 years and now, we are running out of belief, desire, drive, and motivation. This is right where "the man" wants the people.  People's mind frame is now "How am I going to find a job in this economy? There are no jobs anywhere."  These people have already failed and have given in to the defeat of not being able to find a job.  They didn't even try yet. They did not even think "Now I go find my dream job." or "Time to go after my passion."  Instead the focus is on negative feelings about the situation and we have continued on as puppets to society and absorbed the status quo that circulates around like the town whore.

We are too wrapped up in all the negative aspects of life.  We watch the news, read the paper, and catch a glimpse of an article on-line and everything about those stories featured are negative.  We follow it, we embrace it, we NEED it, and then- we get stuck in the emotions it brings out that we forget that everything around us is fucking awesome. Some folks say they do not watch the news because "all news is bad news", and the media outlets reap the benefits of this- why?  Because that is what the majority of people want.  They want to see death tolls, murders, controversies, and conspiracy stories.  People want to see how bad someone else has it or how bad conditions are where they are not and afterwards they feel better momentarily. Family gatherings and friendly conversations quickly include unemployment, taxes, war, crime, and politics.  All of this is negative BS that we do NOT NEED. Our focus should be on making the positive the center of attention, instead we forget that anything at all is good.

This type of thought occurs in gyms across the country.  The first thing people think when they want to get in shape is, "How do I lose weight?" Not, "Time to shred this flab and get super sexy fit, I'm going to figure this out." Or, after the positive thought of going after their goals and not succeeding quick enough they ask "Why can't I lose weight?" or "I'll never get in shape because I can't do the eating thing properly."  Where the hell is the good in any of this? These people are not believing in themselves and setting up their failure, most of the time, before they even start..

It is time to throw out the negative bullshit thoughts about everything and anything in your life and start believing that you CAN and WILL be awesome and accomplish whatever it is that YOU WANT. Stop setting up failure and see that success is easy to reach.  Feel inside of your mind and body that you WILL lose weight, you WILL find a job, or whatever you want to WILL.  You are capable and powerful.  Realize it.  Believe it.

"Capability means imagination..."

And I'm sure you can use yours...

Monday, April 2, 2012

You get out, what you put in...

"The day doesn't end at 3:30 just because that's your scheduled time to leave."

My mother was the person who said the quote above and only, until quite recently, I had no idea it was probably one of the most important things I would ever hear in my life.  Little did I know, at the time of her dropping the line, that later in my life it would really grab a hold of my balls and rattle me to the core.

There are quite a lot of "problems" that people in the United States feel they have.  Lately this has been coined "first world problems" or "white people problems".  Anywhere you go, on any given day you hear someone say how expensive gas is, how boring their life is, or how food costs too much money to eat healthy.  People complain that their property taxes or payroll taxes are astronomical and it's "theft" or the politicians fault.


It's nobody's fault but your own.  Seriously.  If you're broke, it's your fault. The day doesn't end at 3:30 just because that's your scheduled time to leave.  Look at any successful and wealthy person, besides a lottery winner, and the one thing you'll notice is they never stop.  They do not work 9 to 5 and go home and play around on a computer or sit in front of the television.  No, they aspire to learn, to find opportunities, and to create their own wealth- not putting it in the hands of policy makers.

I never heard someone with "money" or someone "successful" ever bitch about how gas is too expensive, that is because they are too busy making even more money that it doesn't even affect them. Take "Joe" on the other hand, he's a 9 to 5er making a decent American salary of $50,000 a year.  He wants to continue living in his house, continue feeding his family, continue to drive his car, and still be able to booze it up on the weekend.  Everyday "Joe" bitches to the world about how everything costs too damn much.  When he leaves work at 5, he gets home at 6 and lays around until it's time to get sleep.  Waking up and doing it all over the next morning.

Where does "Joe" make an effort to increase his wages so he can continue to live his lifestyle and be more "comfortable" with his finances?  Does he just expect it to happen?  If he works hard enough at his current place of employment, maybe he'll get a raise or a promotion- going from 50k to, what-  70k tops before he is found to be "replaceable"?

This light bulb has recently gone off in my head and there will no longer be any easy days for me.  My day doesn't end.  I live in a world and a lifetime of one giant continuous day that I plan to make the most out of and get the most out of.  While the majority of Americans enjoy their weekends off, I'll be busting my ass to make my life better- for my wife and the future of our family.  I no longer place blame on anyone for anything regarding costs or time- this comes from within.  If that Jeep Wrangler I want is too expensive- you bet your ass I'm working overtime every week and cutting my sleep from 7-8 hours to 5 or 6.  You'll get out of this life what you put into it.  There is no such thing as a weak economy, only an economy weaken by the laziness of it's society and the manipulations of the powerful.  

 "and straight Through your radio waves it plays and plays, 'till it stays stuck in your head for days and Days" Eminem

The media and the government aim to keep us puppets to society who walk around aimlessly searching for the American Dream.  The problem is the brainwashing is too powerful for most and the American Dream seems all but a figment of their imagination.  I'm fighting this one day at a time.  One penny earned at a time.

Fuck yes my property taxes are sky high and gas is killing me- but it doesn't just stop there in a puddle of mediocrity. I Want to make that easier on myself, I will do something about, and I will earn as much as possible while working as smart and hard as possible.  Hard work always pays off and sitting on your ass doesn't. If you want to play the poverty game and collect Medicaid go for it.  If you want to stay mediocre and enjoy a lifetime of redundancy then please shoot for the stars. If you want to be "different" and get on top of this world do it while kicking ass. 

Where you go and what you get... is up to you.

***Update*** Not really an update because, while I wrote this a long time ago, I never published it. I felt the world wasn't ready for this or I felt that people would not understand this and be offended by it- possibly ruining my image, my business's image, and the image of my beliefs.  But lately there have been some interesting turn of events in my life and now I am releasing this.  People need to read this whether they like what they read or not, and if you feel I am "a dick", an "idiot", or just "a coward"... continue basking in the series of unfortunate events in your life while I continue to rise above it all..

“You've done it before and you can do it now. See the positive possibilities. Redirect the substantial energy of your frustration and turn it into positive, effective, unstoppable determination.”
 Ralph Marston 

I am tired of every negative emotion, thought, feeling..whatever you want to call.. that occurs in my life daily from various different sources, not in my mind, but in what I see, hear, and feel from other people.

I have gone into my facebook, my twitter (LOL Mr. B they said Twitter...), and other social aspects and removed quite a few people.  There are too many people who do not give a fuck, who are weak, who have way too many negative emotions, and too many people who suck the life right out of me.  I will no longer fall a victim to the bullshit I read, I will not entertain their thoughts and react to them nor will I care what happens to them.  

There is good in my life and I always, subconsciously, knew it.  For a long time I did not react positively to it because I was so enthroned by other people's misery that it went on the "backburner".   I enjoyed watching other people walk around their lives hating the world, hating everything about stupid shit that does not even matter to them, and I was blind to the good I had.. I am going to be very successful in my life, more successful than any person in my entire blood and extended family has ever been and left in the dust are all of the people who can not vibe with where I stand, whether or not you are family.  You can be my best friend, but if you react negatively, feel negative about things in your life, and do not ask/seek/try to better understand what the "problem" is- you are gone.  I give my love, my dedication, and my will to help people to whomever asks for it and whomever deserves it.  There is no more wasting energy on people who suck the good out of this world and view everything as Bullshit..  

In no way am I, have I ever, or will I ever be perfect but I understand one thing:

Your problems ARE NOT EVEN PROBLEMS.. - Randy Pausch