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.

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