Whats going on in my life?

March in Review

April 1, 2015

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Spiritual/Mental

Regardless of the things going on in my life reading for at least an hour every morning is the one thing that stays consistent. Everything else seems to fluctuate but my dedication to learning and my mindset never falters. For that reason the daily happenings are easier to deal with.

This month I got through 2 physical books and one audiobook.

–>The Success Principles - Jack Canfield
I literally couldn’t put this book down. I usually only read in the mornings but this one pulled me in at all times of the day throughout the month. Several people have recommended it to me over the past few years but I didn’t take a stab at it until after Sara read it and put it on my desk. She reads several books a week and gets the majority of them from the library. She actually bought this one which shows how valuable she felt it was.

67 principles in the book and I honestly believe that if you applied even one of them to your life it would be extremely worth it.
It’s the only book I’ve finished and immediately restarted again.
The first principle is the one which I feel is the most important which is: Take 100% responsibility for everything in your life. I wrote about this briefly in a previous post.

Bottom line – Highly recommended.

–>The Way of The Superior Man - David Deida
3rd time reading this one. I believe that every man can gain a lot of insight from this book. The video below gives a brief outline of the content. I’m trying to re-read this one every year to keep my sword sharp and the information fresh.

Everyone I have recommended this book to has come back saying things like ‘I felt like this book was about my life.’

Men often bury their feelings and are reluctant to talk about their struggles in life and relationships. This books exposes great concepts that can help us with those things and realize that we are all pretty much the same at our cores.

–>The Slight Edge – Audio Book - Jeff Olson

I read the physical book of this a long time ago and wanted to soak in the info a little more so I listened to this to and from work for the month. 20mins a day or so may not seem like much but time is valuable no matter how short it may seem.

This book revolves around that exact idea. Small steps taken consistently over time lead to great things. These things are easy to do, but are also easy to not do and thats the difference maker. If I choose to listen to 20mins of a book or read 10 pages today it does not really create too much difference in my life today or tomorrow or even next week. If I do that every day for a year however, the ball gains momentum and grows infinitely. Apply this to any area of your life – going to the gym, eating healthy, showing a loved one you care about them. Doing one thing today won’t make a difference, but over time it will.

Simple choices made consistently produce results.

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Physical
This month of training revolved around the CrossFit Opens. I’d been dealing with a lot of nagging injuries the past few months which sidelined me a lot but I started to gradually push things a little more each week this month and it felt great. I’m still being pretty cautious with volume but I’m very content at the moment.

UFC fighter Connor McGreggor is a huge inspiration to me for not only his dominating fighting style but his mental approach to training in general. He talks a lot about not constantly beating yourself down and spending time just working on movement. I unknowingly adopted this approach to my training over the past few months. I currently do 3 hard workouts a week – one heavy, one long more endurance based, and one classic CrossFit workout. The rest of the days I do a lot of moving and weird flow exercises that I make up on the fly. I try and do the majority of the warmups with the classes I teach also just to stay loose and it’s working really well.

As with anything I find beneficial I’ve started to incorporate that idea subtly with my clients. Get them moving in ways they are not used to and make it fun. Moving your body is fun and their is no limit to how you can constantly improve range of motion and have it translate to other areas.

I had no attachment to my scores in the Opens which was a huge relief for me considering I used to spend the entire year counting down the days.

15.1 – 5 Rounds +5 reps
15.1a – 295lbs
15.2 – 8 Overhead Squats into the 2nd round of 16
15.3 – 3 rounds + 16 Double Unders
15.4 –  7 HSPU into the set of 18
15.5 – 7:52

My overall placing in the region was . Pretty happy with this considering all the above.

BASE

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Celebrated my BASE Birthday on the 15th. Got 4 jumps in over the month which was a nice change of pace from last month. I posted a review of my year in a previous post with a video – scroll down to see it. Here’s a couple short vids I posted on Instagram. I love capturing things on photo and video. It’s impossible to harness the intensity, effort, and everything else involved in anything in life in a short clip or photo but I use them as memories to be relived over and over again.

Work/Business
We hosted a competition this month and had 100 competitors. It was awesome. Really cool event. A lot of our clients volunteered to help us out during the day and as a result everything ran incredibly smooth. I was very grateful and appreciative seeing everything run so well.
It was also very strange to see so many people in the gym that I didn’t know. We had competitors come from all over the Northeast and I was blown away by some of the hidden talent that showed up.
The video below is one of the ones I made from the event.

We also had an awesome month with the Opens running every weekend. The month flew by which was a nice contrast to how long February dragged out for.

Running a business is full of ups and downs and this month was no different. While I believe that going after your dreams is the most important thing in life it comes with a tremendous amount of challenge and the higher you want to rise the more difficult the challenges become.
This month was a very challenging month and I made some very difficult decisions in relation to the Business. My second location has taken a lot longer to get off the ground than I initially expected. As a result of that I made the decision to reduce operating hours and lay off one of my guys. It was a very hard decision and as a result I lost a friend and a few clients as well.
Challenges give opportunities for growth and I’m learning to embrace these challenges more and more every year. As the leader of Craic I sometimes have to do things that I don’t like doing, but I embrace the consequences of my decisions and I will always continue to move forward.
I will be successful because I allow myself to fail over and over again. The only way to lose is to give up.

The difference between average people and achieving people is their perception of and response to failure.” – John C Maxwell

Travel
Nothing this month – I purposely didn’t plan any trips so I could be around the gym for the Opens and our Competition. 3 Trips planned for April though so I’ll more than make up for it.
One of the trips includes my first all expenses paid trip to go BASE jumping! I’ll write about this in more detail in a future post but just another example of how hustle and going after what you want gets you places.

Additional: “When change happens, you can either cooperate with it and learn how to benefit from it or you can resist it and get run over by it.”

Take Responsibility For Your Life

March 29, 2015

Taking responsibility for everything in your life is an extremely challenging habit to form. I’ve been working on this for years and it’s becoming more and more a part of me every day.

It all starts with the belief in yourself


Change your beliefs by educating yourself and saying empowering things to yourself over and over and over again. I use the affirmation ‘I am in control’ a lot. I use it before going into difficult business meetings, before workouts, before I jump, and in any area where I start to become scared. By repeating it over and over I start to believe it and what ever the result from whatever the situation I do my best to own it.

Changing your beliefs in relation to anything takes time and a lot of conscious effort but I think it’s better than blaming the world for your perceived short comings.

Mistakes, Failures, Misperceptions, Unattained goals – All my responsibility.

The world is always challenging me and every year the challenges seem to become bigger and harder to conquer but with each one that passes (they all pass) I become stronger.

Finding comfort in the uncomfortable is a never ending process.

1 Year of BASE

March 15, 2015

Today marks the anniversary of my first BASE jump. I made 82 jumps over the year. I would love to have broken 100 but at the same time its not about the numbers.

The experiences I’ve had, the places I’ve had the opportunity of visiting, and the people I’ve met over the last year have been life changing.

BASE has given me a true appreciation for life. I’m often asked why I choose to participate in an activity that is so dangerous and while I think it’s unexplainable in words, and that you have to experience it to fully understand it I want to make an attempt at doing so, and list some of my favorite things about it so here it goes.

1- It forces you to be present and confront yourself 
How often in life are you truly in a position knowing that there is a possibility you can die? Sure, any one of us could die in a car crash today but it’s something you don’t usually think about.
Any day that I know I might be jumping I walk around with butterflies in my stomach and I’m constantly fighting the ‘what if’ scenarios that my mind wants to create. When I’m on a jumping trip I don’t deal with it as much as when I’m at home because it almost seems like its not real. Jump, pack, repeat is the usual process when somewhere like Idaho. The world seems to be on pause and all that exists is whats right in front of you but at home I have my real world responsibilities to work into the mix as well.
On a day when I might be jumping I sometimes walk around thinking that it might be my last day alive and I focus on all the things in my life that I’m grateful for, knowing that it might be the end. I wrote about this in detail in a previous post that was published on Skydive Mag (read it for a little more perspective).

You really learn a lot about yourself and put your life in perspective when standing on an exit point or clinging to a ladder hundreds of feet in the air and I feel that I have learned more about myself in those moments in the past 12 months than any other period in my life to date.

It’s a very spiritual experience for me.

2- Problem Solving 
Every jump is totally different even if it’s off the same object, with the same gear, and with the same people. The wind is always a little different. The day or night leading up to it is always different. How you feel is always different. Because of this you have to access the situation differently and come up with strategies on how to safely pull off the jump. A ‘normal’ person wouldn’t believe how much planning goes into something that might last 20seconds from the moment you step off the edge to you getting your feet back off the ground. This planning and on the spot decision making is very fulfilling to me.

3- Travel
I love going to new places and exploring. I’ve been doing it my whole life. The way a new place looks, smells, and feels. I love it all. BASE is allowing me to travel to places that I wouldn’t have gone without it and it allows me to see things from a totally different perspective. Standing on a cliff and taking in the amazing views is one thing, but to do so then jump off, and hike out is something totally different and very special. This past year I was just jumping around the US but I have upcoming plans of going to Italy, and next year Norway and Malaysia to jump.

4- The People 
There is a very strong bond that forms when sharing intense moments with people. I’ve been doing this my whole life through various different sports and I’m truly addicted to it. I’ve experienced it through all sports but when you make eye contact with a fellow jumper in the moments leading up to a jump or give each other knuckles there is an unsaid understanding of the risk you are both about to take and you again share in each others elation on the other end of the jump.
Not to mention all the crazy shit that happens outside of jumping. The jokes, constant antics, and fucking with each other as much as possible is always really fun.
People who I didn’t even know a year ago I now consider family and that will continue to evolve over the years.

5- It’s fucking AWESOME
When that chute opens without any problems it’s like breathing for the first time. I look around as if I’ve been blind but can finally see. The world seems fresh, problems seem distant, and stress is completely gone.
There’s a moment when you step off the edge that seems to happen in slow motion and you remember so much detail about such a short period of time. This feeling is extremely addictive and must be controlled. Anything that seems to good to be true usually is.
I’ve thought about giving up everything in my life many times to pursue that moment more and more but I’m able to keep it at bay.

There life changing consequences from errors in judgement, impatience, and plain stupidity. I plan on doing this for a long time so taking a somewhat conservative progressive approach is what will lead to that.

Here’s to another year of Awesome.

Make Monday Your Bitch

March 2, 2015

February in Review

March 1, 2015

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 Spiritual/Mental 
Finished 4 books this month. 3 physical and 1 audio. I’m still going strong with my early rising and it’s probably my favorite part of the day right now. 
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—>The Power Of Now – Title seems somewhat cheesy and the book can be summarized in one sentence – Focus on being Present. Tolle’s book “A New Earth” was the one that was my main introduction into the world of spirituality and inspired my 2nd tattoo which simply reads ‘Presence’ – I remember reading that book while I was in Australia taking my CrossFit L1 in 2009 and I constantly refer back to it. 
The Power Of Now was one I avoided reading for quite a while cause I figured that I knew what the message was and how to apply it to my life already but it was a great read. In order to truly make any behavior or habit a part of who you are it requires constant practice so reading this was a helpful way to keep things fresh. Despite the simpleness of the title it’s actually quite a heavy book to read. It took me a while to get through it as it makes you think a lot and I would constantly have to put it down and reflect on stuff, sometimes not picking it back up again for several days. Highly recommended if you are caught in the trap of thinking that ‘things will be better when X happens’ 
or if you already apply this concept to your life and simply want to refine your habits. 
 
—>Trust Agents – This was published in 2009 but the information is still very relevant. It’s all about building Trust within Business by all the different avenues available. Physical Interaction with clients, Writing Articles/posts, Making Videos, Being active on Social Media, and a few more. 
Great read and it lead me to doing a little research on the authors and I’ve added some of their newer books to my ever growing wish-list on Amazon
 
—>Leap First – Godin’s work always seems to revolve around the same themes of going against the status quo, overcoming fear, and putting yourself out there – All things that are at my core. Nothing necessarily new in this audiobook but great to refresh those ideas and keep me inspired on my mission to master my life in every aspect. 
 
—>Learning to Fly – This book is a memoir by Steph Davis who is an icon in the worlds of Rock Climbing and BASE. The book documents her progression into the world of BASE and Wingsuit Flight and was extremely inspirational. I love reading stories about people overcoming struggles, shaping their lives exactly how they want, and not conforming to the common way of life. I’ve started reading more memoirs recently and I find them very inspirational. 
 
Physical – My elbow injury simply wont go away no matter how much I lay off it. I haven’t done Pull-ups in almost 3 months now. I was using the time to get really good at squatting but even going heavy twice a week I started getting pretty bad knee pain which is another first for me. 
I’ve settled into a flow of doing 3-4 workouts a week and having them be focussed more on muscular endurance type stuff revolving around things which I’m comfortable with for now. I wanted to drop some weight to be a little more agile for Jumping so I’ve been weighing and measuring everything in order to help with that. I’m currently down 9lbs and it feels great. I have weeks where I’m extremely strict and then others where I kinda go by feel and it’s working out really well. I didn’t have a timeline with getting my weight down so taking a slow and steady approach is working for right now and will be more maintainable long term.
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The CrossFit Opens started this past week. I decided to register even though I haven’t been training at all for it. It’s a good weekly test for me to go hard and to be involved with the gym at a core level. On the first workout I really surprised myself finishing the 5th round and then Clean + Jerking 295lbs. While I’m quite pleased with this it’s funny cause I’m in CrossFit shape at the moment. I put in A LOT of work over my first 3 years in CF and it’s nice to know that I can still hold onto some of it and tap in when I need to.
I’m going into all the workouts with no expectation and I’m only going to do each one once.

 BASE/Skydiving – I made it out to San Diego for 4 days at the beginning of the month and got 8 skydives in. This included my 200th which is a big milestone. Unfortunately no BASE jumps which is becoming ever frustrating. I started Skydiving and BASE because I actually want to pursue them as sports and living somewhere where the weather is extremely inconsistent for both is not good enough for me.

Its great to be able to travel and get a lot of jumps in over a few days but I would prefer to be able to get a couple in a week and just have it be a part of my existence vs something I have to constantly leave for. At the moment it is what it is and I just have to deal with it.

Work/Business – February has been the worst month for business year after year. This year even more so. We’ve been getting pounded with snow storms, it’s dark when you wake up and go to bed, people who work in trades and first responders are forced to work more hours … The list goes on. What it results in is that people are more tired than normal, uninspired to come in and workout, and as a result they quit the gym.
This year I was prepared for it but it didn’t help the sting anymore than previous years. I took the opportunity to start new programs, make more content, run a nutrition challenge, and have more of a presence within both gyms than usual but it didn’t make any difference as we ended up having one of the worst months ever since being open. 
 
The never ending roller coaster of owning a business has extremely low points but it’s contrasted with highs that you cannot experience otherwise. I accept both and as they say ‘the day is darkest before the dawn’ I know I will come out on top with time. 
 
Travel – 2 weekends away this month. San Diego as mentioned above and I took Sara to Miami for her birthday as well. The business being where it is definitely took up a lot of my mental energy while away but thats the balance. 
While at home I work 12-14 hours a day on average so getting away and as a result of the internet not working in our hotel I was forced to ease up on it. I didn’t plan on working much while away anyway but this added to the list of reasons to take a little break. 
The weekend was great – spent some time on the beach, ate a lot of great food, and had a lot of quality time with wifey. Sara has been my sounding board for all my desires and fears over the years and as time goes on I open up more and more to her. I am truly grateful to have someone in my life that is so accepting of me the way I am.
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We also were able to meet up with Nick (my business partner) for dinner as he was out here to see his family for a couple days. He took us to this fancy restaurant that was designed by a French artist, the wait staff pulled out your chair for you when sitting down and put your napkin across your lap for you. Treatment I am really not used but it was cool to experience that side of things. 
 
Additional – It’s obviously easier to keep your mind in a good place when things are working out the way you want them to but the challenge and growth in life comes from being able to turn your shit around when things are not going your way. For this reason this month was very beneficial to me personally. My clients going through periods of un-inspiration and the business not doing well resulted in me doing a lot of mental work and balancing out my own perceptions. My Life Coach once told me “You can only help others to the degree you can help yourself” and that was definitely the theme of this month. Realizing and applying the concept of there being an upside to every situation no matter how it is first perceived takes a lot of work by asking questions and keeping your mind open and I’m grateful for that. 

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