Archive for May 2013

Distractions

Distractions

Distractions

Distractions

I’m sure you are not like me.  I’m sure Distractions aren’t a major part of your life.  I’m sure you set out to do a task and never waver or get pulled in a different direction.  OK, I know that is a bit sarcastic and we all get distracted when going through our day to day activities.  One of my very favorite things when I think about distractions is the movie “UP”.  The scene where the dog, Doug, meets the main characters.  He has a collar on that allows him to speak.  So, he comes up to them and starts talking and in mid sentence, he yells “SQUIRREL” and looks off into the distance and a few seconds later, he comes back to his senses and basically starts over with what he was saying.  It’s hilarious.  My wife and I now talk about getting distracted as getting “Squirreled” because of that movie.  Just way too funny.  So, why are distractions such a big part of our lives?  I think it’s a combination of things but for me, it’s just life.  I know they are there and I have to deal with them or they consume my time and energy and make me go absolutely crazy.  Have you ever gone through the day and wondered what happened to the things you had in mind to accomplish?  I have and still do and I do my best to try to keep the distractions to a minimum.

Distractions – Where do they come from?

I think distractions come from the deep pits of hell.  Now, that is a bit sarcastic of course but a little true, right?  I mean, my kids keep getting me hung on stuff that I shouldn’t be hung up on.  For instance, I’m sitting here right now, knowing I have a life on Candy Crush on the app on my phone.  I mean, what in the world?  I also know I could be doing other things right now but I need to prioritize.  I need to get distracted from my distractions.  But, distractions can literally come from anywhere.  They can come from the kids beating on each other, the TV sitting there begging you to turn it on and watch it, the app on the phone, the cell phone dinging letting you know you have a new facebook message or a friend updated a status.  It could even be a friend that calls you wanting to talk about something and you answer the phone and an hour is gone talking about stupid stuff.

Sometimes, distractions are good in and of themselves, but when they pull you from your intended task, then that is when you have to take action and make sure you get rid of those distractions.  So, if you know what your weakness is, you can anticipate where the distractions are coming from and then put yourself into a room or an area or even a state of mine so that you can protect yourself from them.  So, figure out what your distractions are then you will know where they come from and you can help prevent yourself from those distractions.

Distractions – Dealing With Them

Maybe I’m not the best person to talk about dealing with distractions.  When writing this, I’ve been pulled in about 3 different directions already.  So, I’m looking at me and saying…yes, I deal with distractions all of the time too.  I can just sit alone and get distracted.  I have heard people talk about how they get distracted when praying.  They will go off alone to just pray and meditate and they start thinking about everything in the world except for what they should be doing.  With so many things going on in our busy lives that shouldn’t be a surprise.

So, like I said, when I want to do something or get something done, I have to realize where those distractions will be coming from and deal with them.  I’m not a really good list maker.  OK, that’s a lie.  I’m not a list maker.  But I’ve HEARD it can be a really good thing.  So, this is intended for me too.  I have a calendar on my phone that I put important things into so I won’t forget and our schedule in the evenings is driven by Martial Arts classes for me and the kids, sports, and things we do with our friends.  Throw in Church and Discipleship groups and all of a sudden our time is being monopolized by things that are important so it becomes even more important to not get distracted when dealing with the other things in life that need to be done.  So, plan for your distractions and get the important things done first.

I have to plan my time to workout.  When I started my fitness journey, I knew I had to get rid of distractions to get this thing done.  And that is exactly what I did.  I got up in the mornings at 5:00 AM and started my workouts with P90X by 5:30 AM.  I knew if I waited until later in the evenings to workout, the distractions would kill me and it wouldn’t get done.  I also knew my nutrition was important and if I got distracted and didn’t eat, I would be starving and eat crap so, Shakeology takes that one piece out of the equation.  As I said, figure out where your distractions will come from and avoid or deal with them.

So, as a parting shot…don’t get squirreled going through life.  Plan your day and then work your plan!!

 

Winning the Race

Winning the Race

Winning the Race

Winning the Race

The first question you have to ask when thinking about winning the race is what race do you want to win?  A lot of people are running hard.  They call it the rat race for a reason because even if you get to the end, you get a bit of cheese and then tomorrow, you have to do it again and then again the next day.  We never really get ahead, do we?  So, what race are you trying to win?  Also, who are you running with?  The race of life isn’t an easy one.  We typically don’t think of life as a race, but everything is when you think about it.  They are not all sprints.  In fact, most of them are more of a marathon, but they are all races.  We run a race to get a diploma, get married, have kids, or even stay healthy.  We race against others to win the starting position on a sports team or first chair in the band or even to get that table in the restaurant after church without waiting.  All of life is a race and most of it is against ourselves.  Are you running your race to win?  Winning the Race is important.  You have to be willing to stick to it to win though.  So, Quit Quitting!!

Winning the Race – Thoroughbred/Quarterhorse vs Old Mare

The reason for this topic came about because, as I thought about it while watching The Kentucky Derby a couple of weekends ago, I remembered what an old boss of mine said one time.  We had an office full of Engineers.  He asked me if I was a thoroughbred/quarterhorse or an old mare?  I remember looking at him and thinking, how do I answer that?  He then laughed and said, hopefully you’re a bit of both.  An old mare is going to have lasting power.  She isn’t going to win a lot of races, but she will have perseverance and eventually she will get you to the finish line.  She will be dependable and not cause you a lot of problems but won’t be the fastest thing in the world.  The thoroughbred/quarterhorse on the other hand, will win you a lot of races.  But, you are going to get kicked, bit, thrown and generally you’ll have to put up with a lot of crap handling them.  They also need special attention and constant training to perform at peak efficiency.  The other problem with them is their longevity on the track is relatively brief.  They run for a couple of years and then they go out to pasture and are used for breeding if they are lucky.  Otherwise, it’s off to the glue factory.  So, basically what he was telling me was, I need to be able to run hard and run fast while having the sticking power to never give up and get across the finish line, no matter what.

This kind of played out when Orb, the favorite for The Kentucky Derby, had a stall kicking incident prior to the race.  Orb was fine and went on to win, but, many other horses don’t fare as well.  The horses are wound so tight, they have to have an escort horse to get them into the starting gates to keep them calm and guide them in.  But when that gate flies open, they are running like the wind.  On the other side, if there was an old mare out there, she would not kick the stall or bite or need an escort and she will eventually get there.  Winning the Race may not be as important to the old mare, and she will finish the race, but she won’t finish first.  Her race is against herself.  It’s kind of like the tortoise and the hare story.

Winning the Race – Just Keep Running!!

As my old boss said, when you are running and thinking about Winning the Race, you want to be a little of the old mare and a little of the thoroughbred/quarterhorse.  Those horses that run the Kentucky Derby don’t go at an all out sprint the entire race.  It’s similar to a mile race for a human.  The Jockeys have to know their horse and how hard they can push them.  They have to know if they are a good finisher or a good starter.  Orb was out of the gate fast but the horses up front were setting a blistering pace and the Jockey held Orb back.  Winning the Race looked to be out of the picture as Orb was in the back of the pack on a muddy track until coming around the last turn.  That is when the Jockey started to urge Orb on.  Then, one by one, Orb started passing those horses until finally he stretched it out and won in a very dramatic race.  It was the first Kentucky Derby win for his trainer as well and he had been trying to win the Derby for YEARS.  Winning the Race became an obsession for the owner, the Jockey and the Trainer and they pulled it off.  So, from the back of the pack to the front and never giving up.  You have to keep running.  NEVER EVER give up.

So, what is your race?  Is it your career, school, fitness, nutrition, or just life?  You will win if you never give up.  The journey is as important, in many cases, as the win.  I heard someone not long ago say, “Strive to become a millionaire, not for the money, but because of what and who you will become as you strive to get there”.  If it looks like you’re losing, remember, the race isn’t over ’til it’s over, much like a baseball game.  In the game of life, Paul said it best:

2 Timothy 4:6-8

New International Version (NIV)

For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

Run your race with perseverance.  NEVER EVER give up!!!  Quit Quitting!!

Fear

Fear

Fear

Fear

We love fear don’t we?  No?  Well, then, explain this to me.  Action and Adventure movies gross the most money.  Next is Romantic Comedies followed closely by Horror Movies.  When I say followed closely, I mean it’s a statistical dead heat according to Statistic Brain.  We love Haunted Houses at Halloween.  We love the suspense of a good horror movie.  We’ve been that way throughout our existence.  The fight or flight syndrome is very very real.  Fear gets the blood pumping and adrenaline flowing.  When the initial shock of fear hits, a lot of things happen in the body.  All kinds of endorphins and chemicals flood the body.  It’s a natural response.  But a lot of people have unnatural fears.  They fear things that are engrained from a time that they either couldn’t control or things that really don’t matter.  Some people fear success, some people fear failure and frankly, some people fear both.

There are a couple of great movie quotes about fear.  One of course is Yoda who said this:  “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”  I know it’s a little green character in a Sci-Fi movie, but how true that is.  If you can conquer your fear, you can prevent much of the suffering you bring on yourself in life.  The other quote is for a movie that hasn’t yet been released but I can’t wait to see.  It’s from the movie After Earth where the character says “Fear is not real. It is a product of thoughts you create. Do not misunderstand me. Danger is very real. But Fear is a choice.”  The thing with fear is, if you don’t conquer it and you live with it year after year, it will age you and cause serious medical problems.

What do you Fear?

Cottonmouth

Cottonmouth

There are a lot of good reasons to fear things.  Fear, when used in a proper sense, keeps us safe.  For instance, one day my brother and I were walking toward a river near our house to go fishing.  He came running by me screaming a foreign language I couldn’t understand.  I took 2 more steps toward the river to see what had scared him and in front of me about 10 feet away was a big cottonmouth snake.  This thing was big and was poised to strike and I could see his white mouth and fangs.  I froze.  I knew I was out of reach of a strike where I was, but, I knew if it uncoiled and started toward me I had to run, but I was ok as long as I could see it.  My brother on the other hand, was in the truck with the doors locked ready to go home.  I watched the snake for a couple of minutes and it calmed down, lowered it’s head and crawled off in the opposite direction.  I tried to get my brother out of the truck but our fishing day was over.  Fear had gripped him so hard, he was going nowhere but home.  That is a REAL danger, but his fear made him have a completely different reaction than me, just like the quote above said.  To be fair, he was probably 15 at the time and I was 25, so, that was likely the reason for our different reactions.  We still laugh about that.

So, danger is real but fear is your emotional response to it.  We become afraid walking through a haunted house even though we know we are perfectly safe.  Some people are deathly afraid of roller coasters or have an unnatural fear of spiders and snakes.  I have a tenant who comes by to pay rent and he won’t get out of his car to pay his rent if my little Chihuahua/Jack Russell mix is in the yard.  He is afraid of dogs big time.  Being afraid of things that can do you harm is a healthy fear.  Children learning to crawl will not crawl off a ledge.  They know instinctively about gravity and that falling will harm them.  That is why amusement park rides are so much fun.  They evoke that fear of falling in a controlled way.  Adrenaline junkies take it to the extreme with rock climbing, rappelling and sky diving.

Fear – Is it controlling your life?

Fear

Fear

I don’t like getting stung by bees.  But, I have decided to get some bee hives and we currently have 5 in our back yard and are looking to get more.  I’ve been stung 3 times in the last week and a half and I hate it, but that’s a fear that I had to conquer if I want the reward, which is the honey.  If you are going to have new life, you are going to have to experience some labor pains.  Growing through a fear and conquering it takes effort and a willingness to get the reward on the other side.  For instance, some people who have been overweight their whole lives are afraid of working out and eating right because they’ve failed so many times at diets and losing weight and getting in shape.  So, they let that fear of failure hold them back.  Sometimes, people are afraid to step out and get involved in a business that can change their lives because they are afraid of failure or success.  Sometimes people are afraid to get involved in something that is new or uncomfortable because they are afraid of the time it will take to become the best they can be at it so they settle for a life of mediocrity where there is never any sunshine or rain.  You should not have a fear of failure because that is how you gain experience, as long as you get back up.  And likewise, a fear of success has to be conquered if you want the reward at the other end and to be able to help others achieve the same type of success.  Or, you can be normal and stay in your rut.  You have a choice.  Choose wisely.

When to Workout

When to Workout

When to Workout

When to Workout

When I’ve started to talk to people about helping them get things in order and figuring out how to help them get in shape, many, many times I hear people ask the question “When should I workout?”  My answer to when to workout is “now”.  I even had someone a couple of years ago ask me to ask Tony Horton when I went to Coach Summit what he thought about it.  So, When is the best time to workout?  Now.

When I was in College, we would sometimes get up in the mornings and go for a run.  Most often, as I’ve said before, we would go for a run at night.  We never had the time to go workout in the gym or in the weight room except in the afternoons.  So, we basically had to fit it in whenever we had a chance.  This is intended for those who just want to workout, lose weight and get in shape.  If you are looking to be a body builder, or if you are an Olympic athlete, you can stop reading this now.  You are going to need SPECIALIZED treatment from someone who is a professional.  If you are like me, though, and you are just looking to get in shape and be the best you can be, then, keep reading.  This is coming from someone who will never be an underwear model, but someone who used to weigh nearly 300 lbs and is just trying to be the best he can be while battling no willpower.  So, maybe I can help you figure out when to workout!

When to Workout – Why I workout in the Mornings

So…When to Workout.  Mornings are mine.  I tell people, I’m not doing anything in the mornings but sleeping.  One thing is for sure though.  With 4 kids, and an active lifestyle and family, I never know what is going to happen in the afternoons or evenings.  If I put off working out until afternoons or late evenings, I never know what is going to happen.  Another thing is, I personally sweat a LOT when I workout.  In fact, I can think about working out and break out into a flop sweat.  My adrenaline levels increase big time and my body temperature get elevated and it takes me quite awhile to calm down and relax after I workout.  So, those are the reasons I workout in the morning.  If you go read the muscle and fitness blogs, you may find them saying things about the optimum time of endorphin and testosterone elevations and liver enzymes and your biorhythms and all that crap.  They will tell you ways to know when to workout.  They think they have it down.  The bottom line, for the average person who isn’t training for a major athletic event is right now is the best time to workout.  If you have 15 minutes, just go workout.  For me, I have to get up in the mornings and workout before anyone else is up.  When I first got started, knowing I had to workout for at least an hour to an hour and a half, that meant I had to get up at 5:15 and start working out by 5:30 AM.  If I waited until later, it was a crap shoot and I also know me.  I knew that I would make an excuse to not workout and any excuse was good enough.  BUT, as I have told many of my friends, the only thing I’m doing at 5:30 AM is sleeping so, I might as well get a workout in.  I’ve even started as early as 4 AM on some mornings when I had to leave the house at 5:30.  It’s just a matter of getting it done.

When to Workout – Just get it DONE!!

Assuming you have come to the conclusion that you need to workout and you’ve committed to doing it, the main thing to do is do it.  I never finished my story about what Tony Horton told me about when to workout.  He told me to tell my friend, whenever they can get it in is the perfect time to workout.  He has a very demanding schedule and sometimes he doesn’t feel like working out in the mornings, but he schedules it in the afternoon and he doesn’t have a family and children to worry about that will get in the way with martial arts classes, baseball games or other school or church type activities.  So, if you have the flexibility to schedule it in the afternoons and you won’t let anything interfere and that’s your best time to workout, then that is the best time for you.  For me, the best time is the mornings for a lot of different reasons.  But, just to be blunt, the best time to workout is NOW.  So, don’t wait to get started.  When to workout is NOW and when to start your fitness journey is NOW.  The other thing is, we have programs like Ten Minute Trainer that you can literally get in a 10 minute workout in your living room and this summer we are coming out with T25 and it will be an intense Insanity type workout in just 25 minutes.  So, no more excuses!!

I’ll say it one more time, No More Excuses.  Just get it done.  Contact me and let’s talk about getting you moving on your journey.

My Kids Workout

My Kids Workout

My Kids Workout

My Kids Workout

If you ask most people what example they are setting for their children and what they are teaching them, they likely won’t say “My Kids Workout“.  Now, truly there are a lot of things our kids model from what we do and there are a lot of things I want them to grow up with.  I need to be a man of peace and a Godly man so they can model that and learn how to treat other people and live in this world with others.  Back before I found P90X, the only thing I was modeling for them with my physical body was how to lay on the couch and watch TV and how to eat…a LOT!  So, when I found P90X, I had no idea of the effect it was going to have on my kids.  They were roughly 12, 10, and 5 years old and the youngest was not yet born.  My oldest three can remember me weighing about 300 lbs and they all helped keep my nutrition in check during that time.  I remember going to a birthday party and standing looking at the cookie plate and my daughter saying “Daddy, you can’t have any of those”.  I just stuck out my lip and said I know.  Then she hugged me and told me how proud she was of me.  It was absolutely amazing.

When I first started working out, I didn’t tell them they had to do anything.  But, I would find them working out with me, especially on the programs that didn’t require any weights or bands, like plyometrics, yoga and kenpo.  They would even ask if they could workout on their own when I wasn’t there to workout with them.  My 17 year old has done 2 rounds of P90X now and a round of Body Beast.  My 15 year old is doing Body Beast Build Back and Biceps as I sit here and type this.  My 5 year old will come in the room and say “I want to play P90X”.  Then, I ask him which one.  He will tell me Plyometrics or Shoulders and Arms or Cardio X or Core Synergistics.  He is amazing and has been doing that since he was about 3 years old.  He thinks it’s fun so, when I say my kids workout, I really do mean, My Kids Workout!!

My Kids Workout – Building a Cultural Mindset

If you ask most people if their kids workout, they will tell you no.  Kids normally want to workout.  I asked a question a little while back in fact.  The question was what do most kids do every day that most adults never do?  The answer is, of course, run.  Kids naturally want to play and run.  They are all over playground equipment if it’s available and can go and go and go without stopping.  They naturally want to workout and play.  But, the amazing thing to me was watching them decide one day to pop in one of the Beachbody DVDs and workout intentionally instead of playing or just doing it with me.  I love that My Kids Workout.  It is a culture that we’ve built in to our family.  A lot of people are overweight and their kids are overweight because that’s what they’ve modeled.  It’s even worse if they are obese.  We have several friends who are truly obese and their kids are overweight also.  It’s from a simple culture of not working out and overeating all the time.  The kids don’t know any better.  They’ve just been doing what they were taught.  I remember growing up and seeing a commercial where a little boy was watching his father smoking after he had been imitating everything his Dad did.  The tagline was “Like Father Like Son”.

My Kids Workout – And They Will For Life

As I already said, we are building a culture of working out in our family.  It’s not unusual for the DVD player to go through several programs a day with me, Carson, Grant and Melanie all working out.  We have minimal equipment, but we do have an EZ Curl Bar, Selecttech adjustable Dumbbells, Resistance Bands, a Pullup Bar and a Stability Ball.  Some programs like Insanity require no equipment and some like Body Beast require a bit more.  It just depends on what you’re doing.  You’ve heard me say before that when you start on your fitness journey, you just need to do SOMETHING. It may be a brisk walk a few times a week but you need to get moving.  I love that Melanie is nearly 50 and I’m not far behind at 47 and we have no problem keeping up with any of our kids and their activities.  In fact, I take Jujitsu with my boys and I’m the oldest person in my class.  I love that I can keep up with them doing falls, rolls and throws and love it.  It’s just amazing.  So, the fact that my kids workout makes me smile because I know that is something they will pass on to their families as they get older and have kids of their own.

As a side note, we have a couple of programs developed especially for kids they are:

Tony and the Kids and Shaun Ts Fit Kids Club

Let me know if you want more information about all of the products we have, including Shakeology which is also good for kids.