Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Freedom From Chaos

The power of rules and routine:

Freedom. Most people think freedom is 'doing whatever you want'.

I disagree. It is freedom FROM the nonsense that happens when you aren't being intentional about living.

Weeds show up on their own in the don't have to plant them, but you DO have to pull them, if you want growth from the seeds you've planted.

Distractions and the like pull attention away from the good, and thus, I call them evil.

It's been said "Through discipline lies freedom". I would agree. The power of the right routine can make  profound difference in your productivity, focus, and effectiveness.

Did I mention it's a happier place to be, too?

Some things that I recommend putting in your routine:

1) Daily exercise. Just get started. 4 minutes of deep breathing and stretching is fine, if that's where you are at. Better to start small, and grow over time, than to over-commit, and crash later.

2) Daily prayer and/or meditation. If you've never done it, you'd be surprised at the results

3) Daily gratitude or reflective journal. Keep track of what you are realizing, what works, and what doesn't work. Then, you have a record of your life, and can refer to instances where you succeeded/failed before.

4) "Power Hour(s)" Schedule your most important work, at your highest energy times of the day. This will be different for everyone, but to the best of your ability, carve out that time, and seek to get one really important task done during that time. This adds up big time.

Here's to living free,


Dealing With Sciatica

To those with hip/low back/buttocks/leg issues, from the sciatic nerve:

I'm not a doctor, but this is what I've seen work:

Depending on the severity of the pain, and the contributing factors, will determine the course of action and correction.

For starters, chances are you spend a lot of time sitting, and/or you walk with a knee-dominant locomotion, instead of the glute-hamstring-calf action that originates in the hips.

What do I mean? You never learned how to walk properly. You sit down too much. You might be overweight. You are probably not very flexible.

 That's okay, a lot of people fit into these categories.

Moving on: Massage would be a good place to start, as would seeing a legit chiropractor. You may have undue tightness in the piriformis, glutes, hamstrings, low back, and other areas, which cause your body to 'pull' unnecessarily, putting tension where it doesn't belong.

A stretching program is definitely in order. Start with the basics, be gentle, and do it regularly.

Learning to lift, walk, move, bend, sit, kneel, etc, by engaging your glutes and abs as the prime movers/stabilizers is also a necessity.

Check your diet. There's a good chance you've got some inflammation going on that is chronic, and not just localized.

There is always a solution, things can always be better, and you can do more with what you have, right now.

The work is definitely worth it.

There's a lot more to it, but that is enough for now. Dealing with sciatic pain probably doesn't require pain killers, shots, or medicine... At least not permanently.

Always focus on solving the problem, not on just masking the symptom.

For your best bet, see me in person:

All About Chiropractic
Madison, WI

To resolving your pain-in-the-butt,


Dealing With Shoulder Pain

To all those with shoulder-pain and shoulder immobility:

I feel your pain. Literally.

I've dealt with my own shoulder issues for the last few years.

In short: Flexibility is the key to air power (to borrow an Air Force saying).

You must stretch and strengthen the entire shoulder girdle, as well as the areas around the shoulder, such as the trap, neck, and thoracic spine regions.

Why? Because most pain stems from tightness, weakness, and/or things being out of place. These may be habitual, learned movement patterns, or, an acute condition because of an injury.

Either way, the approach to healing is similar.

I suggest seeing a chiropractor who knows his stuff, since shoulder function is directly linked to thoracic mobility.

If you aren't rolling out, start. It may be excruciatingly painful at first...that's usually a sign you are doing it right :)

Most people have forward head posture, which causes their shoulders to shrug up, making them chronically tight. Check your posture.

Stretch your lats, shoulders, neck, traps on a regular basis. Shoot for 3-5 minutes per hold, which will start the corrective stretch momentum.

Do it daily.

Start becoming mindful of your posture and bodily position.

It'll be easier to move around, and easier to maintain good posture whether you are laying, sitting, standing, walking, running, lifting, etc, when you are loose enough that your body isn't resisting itself.

Keep at it, and watch the progress unfold!

There is way more to talk about on this issue - but that's all for now.

Strength and Honor,


The Truth That Heals

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I was once again doing my morning cardio, a la the Rocky Balboa Soundtrack, when it hit me:

"Truth" is how things work - the reality of all creation (including yourself and your goals) as it is set up to work.

To abide in the Truth, is really your only option...I mean, why would you do what doesn't work for the better? I'm talking big picture, long term, here.

So, in understanding how things work, you are able to put order where there is currently chaos in your life.
To heal, is to make whole and right. Fixing the broken parts, lubricating the friction, re-aligning the disorder, so that the best case scenario unfolds, one baby step at a time.

The key is to be inspired in the micro millimeters, knowing you are heading in the right direction. More on that in another post.

I have come to realize in recent times, that it is possible to survive without structure and routine...but it is IMPOSSIBLE to thrive, abound, and be effective. The former requires basic instinct and scrounging to be efficient; the latter requires intentionality and trust in the growth process.

So then, in all your striving and ambition in a days time, take stock of your beliefs, habits, thoughts, and activities that you choose to engage or fail to engage, and what the collective net sum is doing to your life.

Where will 'that' take you in 10 years? 30 years? Is it the legacy you want? If not, and you realize you've been doing it wrong for the last 10 years...I don't suggest another 10 ;)

There is always a better way. Always. That is not meant to discourage, it is meant to encourage you in that you are never done - but why not see how far you can go?

Live sustainably and effectively, and keep pointed in the right direction.

You always have choice, whether you feel like it or not. And, if you have a hard time being consistent with choosing the right thing- get help. Get a trainer, get a coach, see a counselor or pastor, and see what happens.

Keep looking for the better way, remember that ideal is a direction - not an immediate expectation, and do what you can with what you have, today.


Strength and Honor,


Saturday, January 3, 2015

The Thing You Want

Hey there health warriors,

Quick one today: I was doing my morning cardio with the Rocky The Musical/Rocky 4 soundtrack prodding me on, when I realized a few things:

1) The thing you pursue, is usually not what you actually want.

Example: You want to 'lose weight'. But you don't want the unhealthy tag-a-longs that come with a 'weight loss only' mindset. You'll end up compromising your health and developing an unsustainable lifestyle in order to achieve this one thing...and then you'll lose it (no pun intended), and it won't be worth it.

A better way: Pursue a worthy goal, which is a lifestyle that INCLUDES the thing you want. If you pursue health and wellness for the sake of more energy and productivity, you'll end up burning fat, building muscle, becoming more flexible, and having more mental and physical stamina throughout the day.

Health and wellness is the key to bodybuilding. So, as you build your body, remember: Your health habits should drive and support your lifestyle and life purpose, NOT make your every thought to revolve around what you eat or how/when to train, etc.

If you aren't at your best, you cannot give your best. Living healthfully, You'll end up being more valuable to the world because you developed yourself to a  higher ideal, and received the benefit of a more complete lifestyle.

 Translating to your job, you'll probably end up getting paid more in the long run, as a more proactive, sick-less-often, higher energy and creative employee/business person.

The bonus was weight loss.

2) Affirmations can remind you to act, but they do not in and of themselves change your beliefs or actions. What you truly believe becomes evident in what you actually do, so it is in the doing where you beliefs and emotions change.

Hence, where affirmation comes in: It reminds you of the things you want most, and puts in on the forefront of your consciousness, making you more likely to make choices aligned with that reality, causing it to manifest gradually.

Key point: Make sure what you affirm is actually true and wise.

That's all for today. I'm off to hang out with family and continue to re-charge over this New Year's holiday.

Strength and Honor,


Friday, January 2, 2015

Why "Resolutions" are a bad idea


Making a list of your "Big 5" is a much better idea. More on that later.

In my last post, I talked about achieving resolutions, and alluded to why many people fail, especially in regards to fitness.

As an in-the-trenches trainer and wellness coach, I see the common misconceptions that people carry around, and the ones that are advocated by supposed 'experts':

The idea that you can 'set some resolutions' and 'make a fresh start' for 2015 is only partly true. You MUST keep in mind that there are both tangible, and intangible resources required to accomplish ANYTHING.

You need internal reserves like faith in the possibilities, inspiration telling you it's worth it, focus to hone what you do have, and physical vitality to give you the stamina and attractiveness to the people around you.

You need external resources like time in your schedule, space in your relationships and commitments, and adequate and continuous finances to take on any new endeavors.

You need supportive people around you. No one makes it alone

You need sage counsel - people who have 'been there, done that' that make their experience available to you.

You need integrity of character.  Try to cut corners, 'speed up the process', or being shady, no matter what the reason may be, never ends well.

 The only shortcut is to do it right the first time. Be efficient? yes. Simplify? Yes. Will it be easy? No so much.

That's a pretty intensive list, but the good news: Once you start developing a lifestyle that supports and engages these ideas, subsequent goals come faster.

Think of it like the athlete who is simply changing sports...they already have an athletic foundation of strength, speed, balance, flexibility, and now just have to learn the technical specifics of the new goal.

As John Maxwell puts it: "If you reach for a goal, you might grow in the process. If you engage intentional growth, you'll be able to achieve your goals".

I think of it like the child reaching for the cookie jar, sliding the chair, reaching across the corner, and risking peril for a cookie....and they might get it. Or, they could fall really hard.

But, if they grow - they will be able to reach the cookie jar, AND anything else that happens to be 'at that level'.

Now, the "Big 5":

This is the list of 5 things you want to do or work towards in 2015. This is the list that "if nothing else happens, I want to be closer to these 5 things"

It doesn't mean you 'have to achieve it, no matter what, by Dec 31st, 2015". It means, you begin to align your life, so that these 5 things are increasingly manifesting in your life, until the day they actually come into existence.

Common "Big 5"s

-Health goal
-Relationship Goal
-Financial/career/business goal
-Personal 'bucket list' item
-Spiritual growth/passion/purpose discovery goals

Once you have the 'Big 5" identified, start thinking about what they look like. Then, start reverse engineering the steps that will be required  to get there...then, establish what you have to do daily/weekly in order to move forward.

If you don't work well under pressure, don't set deadlines per se - just have 'check points' in mind, so you know if you are on the right track (or not).

This is about 'life alignment', organic progress, and sustainability, not so much the "hurry up and achieve" mindset.

Once your intention is set, keep it set, start moving - but don't force it. Do a self-check once a week, and remember, you reap what you sow.

So, the question is not 'if' you are getting better, it is WHERE are you improving? Are you becoming a world-class complainer? Are you getting better at playing video games while your relationship suffers? Are you getting better at mismanaging your finances while your dream vacation slips further away? Are you enhancing your ability to live listlessly, while depression and lethargy take on greater gravity in your life? Are you getting better at drinking beer and watching TV, while your health runs away from you?

WHERE are you putting your time, energy, talent, resources? Drastic change doesn't happen overnight, but it can BEGIN overnight.

To an abundant future,


How to Keep New Year's Resolutions

Hey there everyone,

Hopefully you are settling into 2015, and have not lost the excitement the New Year brings.

I wanted to post this on New Years Eve -but alas, I was in disposed enjoying my time with friends and family.

Lets talk resolve:

Unless you have a TON of time, energy, space, and resources at your disposal, AND  you have done lifestyle modification with success in the past, I suggest you pick ONE very important resolution (and only one) for 2015. This will more than keep your hands full the entire year.

What do I mean?

The nature of a 'resolution', is the willingness to 'cut out' other things, in order to maintain a resolved mindset to accomplish whatever the resolution happens to be.

 It is a "No matter what" kind of attitude. It involves sacrifice of anything that gets in the way, to include non-essential drains on your time, energy and finances - no matter how minor they seem.

This kind of sacrifice FORCES you to get clear on your goals, life-purpose, and passions.

Think about it - if it isn't what you are built to do, that kind of sacrifice will hardly be worth it!

You can't pour activity onto an already busy schedule, and expect significant results. That would be like pouring a bunch of water into a container that has holes in just won't hold anything, and your efforts will be in vain, leading to serious disappointment.

A better way: Start building up your internal reservoirs of health and energy, BEFORE you try to expend energy trying to accomplish something.


You want to 'get in shape', or 'lose weight' this year? Good. Now, check your sleep. Is it restful? Is it enough? If not, start there. It doesn't do much good to commit to an exercise program that you have to engage consistently when you are ALREADY tired!

Next up: Nutrition. Focus on increasing veggies and lean protein, and let those be the basis of your meals. Add healthy fat and natural, fibrous carbohydrates as activity dictates.

Don't focus on what you 'can't/shouldn't' do, but instead, focus on what you can do, now, with what you do have (motivation, finances, etc.). In time, these will displace the things that don't belong.

TRUST the process, and stay focused on what you want to accomplish, and what helps you do that.

In time, it will become clear as to what really prevents you from being and doing what you want...and then it will be a lot easier to remove it from your life, and replace it with something (or someone...?) supportive.

Why this order?

Sleep is more important than food, and food is more important than exercise. Remember that. The only shortcut is to do it right the first time.

Think of your goals as direction-finders, and not "must accomplish or else" deadlines. The former is a sustainable, gradual, sure approach - the latter is a likely path to failure.

After all, who cares if it takes 17 months instead of 12 to reach your'll still be making progress all year long,  be headed in the right direction, and it will be a sustainable, organic form of achievement!

Strength and honor in 2015,