'I'm depressed' the western curse. 'I'm bored' is probably closer to the target. You are not depressed. You're bored, you've lost focus, maybe you've never had focus or direction or a goal. We are different to every specie on the planet. We've been gifted with this thing called a mind, it can either be our greatest asset or our greatest curse.
Now before you give me the 'but you don't know what its like' , I've been hurt, used, abused , all kinds of terrible shit. Did that make me depressed? No, at least not permanently. Even as a kid they were trying to label me it started as 'gifted' then as I squandered my slightly above average intelligence it became ADD, bipolar, manic. It was none of these things. I just had no direction.
So I went out into the world to be an 'adult'. Started with Mechanic, well at least that's what the piece of paper says, I still remember the sense of achievement of putting together an engine from scratch and then starting it (hopefully). And this is basically it , building , creating , repairing , a purpose, something to put your skills , mind and energy to.
Thats why they say once you retire you generally only live about 5 years. The soul knows there no reason to be around so the body, the mind they start to give up.
Many times in my life I remembered this soul crushing depression feeling, for no reason, the bills are paid (just), I had a job, maybe a partner, the sun is shining, but for some reason it just seemed hard to get out of bed, to think of reasons to keep on keeping on. In these periods in my life - the answer - taking massive action. Quit a job, move town, invested in something, signed up for some kind of fitness competition. SOMETHING that says this is what i'm gonna do , this is when I'm gonna do it and the how? Well that's the fun part. Figuring it out, finding away, making a way, creating, building (like I told you about the engine). Then before you know your so enthralled in the details of your latest adventure or en-devour, suddenly you're not depressed.
Does this make life any easier, hell no. I recall times how am I going to make x dollars to pay this, I need to leave the country in 3 days, I don't have the correct licence for this but its part of what I need to do... despite the stress and the challenge and none of it is life threatening (most of it) . You get that 'alive' feeling and the 'stress' of reaching achievement far out ways the 'pain' of sitting the couch on antidepressants and beer thinking 'whats it all for?'
Fitness, its the catalyst to change , a new life (see post 1)
Time to snap out of it.
-Side not, I am aware mental illness is a serious issue and people have chemical imbalances things like that. It's highly unlikely you are one of these people.
I heard a good quote the other day
'at the point of maximum danger is the point of minimum fear'
through my career (and my life) achievement, success, progression - all these things, they have mainly come from getting stronger, becoming smarter, gaining experience. But most importantly of all being able to face and overcome fear.
Fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of loss, fear of being in fear. To the average person I probably seem pretty wreckless, or kind of crazy (at times). Generally this is nothing more then me pushing the boundaries or my own 'fear'.
Starting martial arts, weightlifting, a business, travelling, video series. So many questions about 'why' and aren't I afraid of criticism or danger or loss - plus many other things. Although I am definitely not 'fearless', I have learned the difference between being to afraid to do something and my intuition telling me it's not a good idea (experience)
'Good decisions come from experience,
and experience comes from bad decisions' another good quote. Take it from some has made many mistakes in life, many. But still I can sit here and my biggest 'regrets' are the things I didn't do. Didn't quit a job sooner, didn't follow my heart, didn't tell more people to go fuck themselves. Regrets are a part of life, hopefully not too many. But the regrets that really get you are the ones that the only reason you didn't pull the trigger on them was because of fear (because of you)
So go make some mistakes. Fuck some shit up. Learn the hard way.
Let the chips fall where they may. Or my famous last words,
'fuck it whats the worst that can happen?'
Because if your head and your heart are in the right place , you work hard , follow your course - or at least think that's what your meant to do , everything has a way of working out.
I'm probably not known for being the most positive and enthusiastic person on the planet. They are qualities I strive for everyday though, I'm sure you can think of a couple of people off the top of your head that you just love being around, generally because they are just so full of energy and friendly to be around.
Quoting a friend of my who is now a self made millionaire 'if I could help 1000 people, but it would mean 1000 people would hate me, then I would still help the 1000 people'. Being in the helping people business is not always as fun as it seems. The amount of blame , complaints and general negativity the general public wants to put on people who 'put themselves out there to serve' comes in high volume.
I've shared pictures of clients before on a social media and received the occasional comment like 'steroids' or 'must have skipped training legs' - do these people not realize they are not talking about my business but another human being and their identity.
I've gone from working on cars, driving trucks, moving furniture, basically anything I could do to raise the capital to start my business and although I love what I do, a serious ,passionate, committed trainer (or anyone who loves their gig) its almost a full time commitment. To receive the occasional question from strangers 'if you love it so much why don't you do it for free'.
Then when it comes to the all mighty dollar - fitness, health, image, sports, supplements. It's all serious money making industry and when fortunes are made (or not) I've seen it strain friendships, ruin peoples morals, make myself question is all this positive and something I still want to be apart of?
It's not all doom and gloom though. Some of the best relationships I have are through meeting people in gyms, there's some people I look forward to seeing everyday in my career, I have been invited to weddings - 30th's - all kinds of special occasions and have been mentioned in peoples speeches - simply from being their trainer. Not to mention I'm told regularly in person and online how much of a positive impact I've made to someones life - I say that as modestly as possible it still blows me away today.
So what I'm getting at is - if you're going to stand out, make a difference, be successful or at the very least try and do something good. Your going to get hit with the occasional 'hater' or cheap shot or what ever nasty or negative thing that may arise that you can't understand the motive behind it.
Doesn't matter , you don't need to , to paraphrase from the start if your going to help 1000, you'll get the hate of 1000.
I can tell you from experience, although it might seem like the hard road sometimes, choosing the positive and peaceful way, is always the better way.
I've been in the fitness game for sometime now, well, I've been apart of life for a sometime now. If you're living, if you're interacting with people on the daily, if you're doing anything in life. You are in the sales and customer service business in one way or another. I never liked the term 'selling myself' or 'serving' others, but they are two of the most rewarding things you can do.
When I first started out, I had no idea what I was doing. Don't get me wrong I was a good trainer, but I didn't know how to sell what I did, or even talk to people when I wasn't training them. I started to get great at sales and over polite customer service. Having been taught I guess 'immoral sales tactics' (this person buys a gym membership or they don't leave etc) and being a 'yes man' to peoples complaints and life problems. I found I wasn't being true to myself.
What I found I was doing because of this was not living up to my full potential, knowing that I wasn't doing the right thing for customers and myself (some of the time) this led to a lack in confidence, a less then desirable income and some questionable actions outside the gym.
Long story short I started being the real me, talking how I talk, acting how I act. Teaching people positive and productive lessons from my not so productive past. While some people didn't like this 'unfiltered' me, that didn't matter. Because my real relationships with people improved ten fold , my business took off and I believed in myself and others I felt I and my clients could do just about anything.
Its crazy in a world where we are told to be ourselves, and then judged for it?
I found just being me whether people like it or not, was the best thing I ever did. Now when I say me , the loud mouth , swearing , heavily tattood weight lifter, thats just part of me. If that's part of you , then cool - we will probably get along. But if its not, that's cool to. I won't judge you for it.
In fact I encourage you to do, be and say who you are.
'The iron never lies', a cliche saying you may or may not heard of. Basically what it means and what I love about 'fitness' is you can't fake it, at least not for too long anyway. Now i'm not suggesting that I am the perfect role model. It is honestly what I do love about this , especially doing it for a living. The accountability on yourself and your actions. With most goals and dreams people have you can silently sit on the side line until your end of days and the only person that will know whether you achieved what you set out to do , is you, which is actually one of the worst regrets you live with - well at least until your time is up.
That aside, 'fitness' your health, to stand out, to do something great. Its a 24 hour commitment. Alot of people talk, or even post on social media these days about how they are 'all about this life' , but the results speak for themselves. The way you actually appear in real life, whether you're in 'off season' 11 months of the year or you have clearly trained for a decade but your telling others how they can get the same results in weeks with the new 'x product'. The reason i'm , I guess defensive of the integrity of the industry and the lifestyle is like I mentioned in my first blog, it literally saved my life.
This was a combination of bodybuilding, muaythai, mindset training and some cool ass people. Now that people are catching on there is money to be made (hey, clients pay my bills, but I believe in what I do), it can bring out the best and worst in people. Theres such a mess out there now about which product to buy, which trainer to use, do I need a brand name pair of shoes to get results?
In all honesty , you could buy a 20 dollar pair of dumbbells and get a great workout out at home, but where do you get the workout routine, google?
An this is where it starts, misinformation , someone jumping on the opportunity 'oh hey you just started training, you need this 'supplement x' for sure'. Like anything , you'll have good and bad experiences with everything, you'll get burnt, make friends, learn new things, become a stronger version of yourself (while crying in the shower). Its all part of the process.
Everything I've learned from this, not just the physical exercise, the psychology of working with people, getting burned by gyms, yelled at by clients and making life long friends along the way. It really is a lifestyle. The best advice I can give if your just starting out 'The iron never lies' - A few tips, does your trainer or gym staff look like they actually train? Can you hold a conversation with these people longer then 10 minutes? because you'll more then likely be spending alot of time with them. Avoid anyone trying to sell you quick fixes, detoxs, magic potions and crossfit. And lastly just have fun, you want to work hard, you want to build great friendships, and most importantly be the strongest version of yourself.
Be real, and you'll attract like minded people.
Everything in my life fitness has giving me, it hasn't always been a smooth ride.
But I've traveled, learned , made life long friends and I look pretty damn good to.
I wish you the best in your journey.