From Nothing to Something: Going from Rock Bottom to Living Activated

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If we go back just ten years ago my life was very different from what it is now. Ten years ago I was hiding from the world around me. I literally was hiding from the law over a traffic violation that I failed to pay, which led to a warrant. I was young and afraid. The real world in front of me was a scary place and I had no clue how to deal with it and make it in a world of sharks and lions. I was terrified of trying and therefore, I hid. Unfortunately this did nothing good for my life and I ended up being homeless. At one point I delightfully gave up all of my possessions and moved forward with the clothes on my back and maybe ten other items.

Drifting through life with no plan was the order of the day and most of the time I was under the influence. Much of my time was spent like a hermit. I hardly went out, I had few friends, I didn’t care for my appearance or health, and I was broke. For awhile I was coasting through a shitty job as a lighting salesman slash stock boy slash driver slash cleaner. The job actually wasn’t shitty, but I would have rather been partying with my friends hiding from people. But I did what I had to do. Once I lost that job because of my lack of caring about anything, I was broke. I couldn’t afford food, I couldn’t afford car or health insurance, and I couldn’t afford a place to live. A few months was spent squatting in my Grandmother’s house that was for sale. I stayed until the last possible day. The heat was turned off and I slept on the hard floor with a sleeping bag I had from my days camping.

Once I was forced to leave because the sale of the home was finalized, I had nowhere to go. Twelve or so days was spent hanging out at my friend’s house on his recliner. His parents had no idea I was sleeping there. Once they found out, I was toast. A few nights were spent sleeping under a bridge and I came to a point of life or death. Do I march forward or quit like a whiny ass punk? Luckily I decided to move forward and caught a break when my Aunt allowed me to stay in her home.

Within a few days I got a job as a landscaper, doing mostly hardscaping work. Which for those who don’t know is the construction of paver patios, walkways, retaining walls, and such. It was hard work but looking back now, I miss it. Being outside in the hot sun working your ass off, sweating like a pig, lifting heavy objects for ten or twelve hours a day was brutal, but it built character and I never felt better. I was doing exactly what our biological DNA is built for. Working with your hands and heavy objects and the weather around you is good for the soul. Sure it sucked when it was a hundred degrees, but the ice cold beer and steak dinner afterwards always sat nice.

About a year of doing this while pretending I was a licensed driver, it was suspended because I failed to appear in court, it was time to face reality. I couldn’t keeping hiding and had to address the law. Thankfully, it was silly and the prosecutor actually laughed about it. My warrant was dismissed and I received a fifty or sixty dollar fine. That was a brutal lesson on why it’s important to get the job done right away and to face my unrealistic and blown out of proportion fears.

Once I got my license back and a car I started working for my mother. For quite awhile I enjoyed the air conditioning, the heat, the convenience of a kitchen and bathroom, and sitting by a computer. That quickly changed when I realized my primal nature was to be active and not sitting all day. I started to get a little stir crazy, even though I wouldn’t accept to believe it.

During my time as a medical biller I met my now wife and we quickly hit it off, got married, and bought a house. All while I wasn’t ready for any of it. Coming from what I went through in the previous years before meeting her, I wasn’t ready to be the man of the house, let alone have a house. But like the day I left my Grandmother’s house to become homeless, I rolled with it and went to work. As life as a new homeowner and married man unfolded I began to realize I wasn’t happy about my work. I didn’t want to be there but knew I had to be. I also knew there was more in store for me and more I can share with others, I had to figure it out.

So I spent most of the first year as a newly wed new homeowner working on becoming a personal trainer. I wanted to help people get in shape. For the past two years I was working out and lost about sixty pounds of fat. I thought I knew what I was doing and wanted a way out of the office and into a world of my “own thing” being my own boss.

Here’s the thing about training and having my own business… I knew nothing. I thought I knew everything but I quickly became aware of the fact that I was in for a big surprise. Through my focused efforts and intense studying I received my personal trainers certification and then promptly hid the fact, out of foolish fear, that I was a trainer. For several months I did nothing about. Finally after some pep talking from my wife, I decided to give it a go and offered my services as a personal trainer for free.

Now this was about five years ago from today. When I first started Activate Fitness, I was scared shitless. I was afraid of the other trainers in town, I was afraid of internet trainers, I was afraid I didn’t have the skills and knowledge to get the job done right. I was afraid of gym owners in a twenty mile radius. I absolutely did not want to take action on my dream. I was frozen in place and had zero dollars to make something from nothing.

But I said FUCK THAT and ultimately took control of my life and destiny and decided to do it anyway. Starting out training others for free or for five dollars is how I had to get things going. It took years for me to finally be able to open my own gym and when I did, I was just as broke as I was when I started. My wife was pregnant and we had no money to lose but we took the risk and I threw myself in the middle of the street, ready to help people change their lives.

I stood there in the arena and took my bumps and my bruises and kept coming back fighting. I failed hundreds of times during my years of owning Activate Fitness. I worked through competition opening all over the place and kept my vision pointed straight ahead, success or die. There is no room for failure. It’s do it or lose it. Mornings came when I said Fuck it and wanted to quit. I waited patiently and silently begging for my wife to throw in the towel on my dream and bring me back to safety. I cried because of the stress of dealing with others. I cried because the numbers weren’t good. I cried because I missed precious time with my family and neglected them, especially my wife, for years.

They can stab me with their sword and dare to declare victory but with courage and hope I won’t stop. I choose to live my life activated. I choose to live awake and alive. I choose to be the one in control and refuse to let others control my life, my way of being, my destiny. I stand here today a man who has seen rock bottom but a man who also braved battle and decided winning was the only option. I refuse to lose. I will not lose.

You can choose to live life activated.

You can choose to take control of your life.

You can choose to chase your dreams and gear up for the war you’ll definitely face.

You can choose to wake up and live awake and alive.

Will you?

Join us here for support and accountability in your journey to living your best life: Your Life Activated

Handling The Truth

Just the other day I came across a new podcast, well new to me, called ReWild Yourself by Daniel Vitalis. I’ve only listened to two episodes, For Adults Only and The Well F**ked Woman, but it is already a new favorite. I assume the podcast is about “rewilding” ourselves through our human instinctual nature. The Well F**ked Woman episode with Kim Anami was mind expanding and a trigger to download other episodes.

However, this post has to do about the episode titled For Adults Only which I believe is number sixty six or so. The episode was about the children us adults really are. He discussed topics like diet and how we are childish in our thoughts about nutrition and more specifically defecation. The episodes went over eight of what he calls Taboos.Violence, Drugs, Being Naked, Sex, Money, Death and God.

One thing he didn’t touch on too much, I guess because it’s not really a taboo, is Truth and how we can’t tell it. How much longer are we going to fucking lie to ourselves? How many of you know people who avoid the truth? I do, and I do avoid the truth in certain areas because I am conditioned, like most of us, to avoid telling the truth and being “politically correct”.

I wrote a post a few months ago about not being able to tell the truth to even your best friend. The example I used is seen everywhere. Say you have a friend who is seventy or more pounds overweight. They excessively drink, hardly sleep, and eat like crap. The truth is, they’re purposefully and consciously killing themselves. As their friend, we accept this because we don’t want to cross enemy territory.

We watch our friend or friends slowly kill themselves through alcohol and food and we don’t say anything. We can’t handle the truth. We can’t handle telling others the truth. What’s the difference between an obese person having an excessive eating disorder thereby altering their consciousness and a drug addicted person altering their own consciousness through drugs? Nothing. But don’t say that because you might upset someone. Why? They can’t handle the truth.

Today as a society, we can’t handle learning, hearing, seeing, or believing the truth. Why are so many conspiracy theorists brushed off as whack jobs? They can be so out there but they also might be on to something, but the truth is something we consciously choose not to hear.

Christianity has buried the brutal truth of their history. Gay men and women hide in the closet because people closest to them can’t handle hearing news they don’t want to hear. An overweight person feels judged and put down when they read a diet or exercise advertisement because the truth they try to hide hurts so bad.

You want change in life?

Start by accepting the truth and do those around you a favor… don’t hide it.

When Will The Madness Stop?

Bruce Jenner was named the Woman of the Year from some magazine that got the world and it’s bored little minds and stanky panties in a twist. The filthy media that feeds on the mindlessness of society makes horseshit matters a big deal and the world screams as if they were saying “Stop the madness!’ and they are, but nobody cares. We want the craziness to stop. We protest for this or that and write endless tirades of why GMO is bad or why transgender people can’t be considered women or men or human. We post memes in the name of goodness but that feed on the negative energy of the world.

You want the madness to stop? It’s simple really but it will turn your world around and leave you uncomfortable without shoes. You want the madness to stop? Ask yourself if you’re willing to walk away from the simplicity of the bullshit we’re fed each day. Well, are you? Can you do your part in the game of life?

There is a complicated but straightforward way we can stop the madness.

How?

Speak with your wallet silly mongols.

We cry for the animals slaughtered by the millions and caged and injected with nastiness and tied to posts unable to move, but then we shop at the local grocery and eat their meat. Laughing and singing and sharing stories of life while we’re hypocritical of our beliefs. Why do we act so stupid?

We rail against GMO and Trump and then we vote with our wallets as we buy genetically modified foods and don’t show up on voting day. We’re tired of the corporations controlling America and the media and yet we shop through those corporations like drones, zombies, children unable to logically think.

When will the madness stop?

It’ll stop when we vote with our dollars and stop supporting the human industrial madness we sheepishly bought into. It’ll stop when we go back to the drawing board for a more simplistic lifestyle and let our ego desire for materialism subside into the darkness that pollutes our beautiful country.

The problem is, you won’t do your part. I don’t do my part. Why should we? It’s easy to act in line with the rest of the crowd. It’s easy to fill our bellies with bullshit. It’s easy to put on the mask of the sheep and not the mask of our authentic being.

It’s hard to actually stop the madness once it’s injected straight into the veins of the ego. Like the strongest dose of pure Afghan heroin it fills your blood with convenience and laziness and a lack of critical thinking. The addiction is born and it’s running wild like boxcar hobos. The pure ecstasy of turning a blind eye on the truth is powerful. It’s strong enough to run the machine into the ground and leave nothing behind.

When will the madness stop?

It’ll stop when we realize how insane we really are.

The Monkey on Your Back

I have a blood sucking vampie  turd nugget of a monkey on my back. He’s bringing back past emotions and feelings in a situation I dealt with and he’s crushing everything about me. Some days I can’t think straight. Other days I don’t want to work, workout, eat, be with my family, and I had enough. I wrote about destroying the monkey on your back in my facebook group Your Life Activated  this morning and thought I’d share some of it here.

The monkey on my back is suffocating my happiness and fighting to steal my attention and crush my spirits. It’s been a few months of back and forth battles for attention and the monkey was winning. Today, I woke up and decided to grab that little fucker by the throat and chuck him across the room. He’s taken up too much real estate and too much of my valuable time that I can’t let him fuck with me anymore. This morning, I launched the monkey on back straight into the wall and felt a relief. I decided to not let those emotions and feelings affect me anymore.

It wasn’t long until he came back. He jumped right up and impregnated my mind with past events that I can’t control or change and tried to mess me up again. I can tell it’s going to be a mission to remove the monkey from my life for good, but at least I’m conscious of this and working to move on.

The monkey on your back is a problem you can’t get over, a burden you carry around with you, or emotions and feelings that occupy your attention. The thought of whatever the issue is can easily control your life if you allow it and I have been falling into that trap. The only way to move beyond this is by recognizing it and destroying the monkey on your back. Forgive yourself for anything related to the issue. If others are involved, forgive them as well. See the thoughts and feelings as a physical monkey on your back and choke that bastard and toss him across the room. Claim your power and let it know it won’t control your life any longer. Easier said than done but each time you experience those thoughts or feelings, repeat the step until you’ve conditioned yourself of not allowing it to capture your attention.

If you’re interested in joining in the conversation in our Facebook group, go here Your Life Activated

Expressing Emotions to Avoid Negative Build Up

Expressing our emotions isn’t seen as something we should freely do. Often we’re told “don’t talk like that” or “stay positive and never say that”. If a man or woman cuts us off in traffic and we ignite in a rage and release hateful words, our passengers think we’re weak and don’t have control of our lives. In the face of tragedy we keep most of our emotions in, men especially. Men crying is not something you see every day. This is wrong and it’s bad for our health and it’s slowly killing us.

These emotions in which we fail to release can manifest as disease inside of our body. We can begin to experience mental illness, fatigue, lack of attention, depression, cancer, heart disease, kidney stones, and more. I admit I am bad at releasing my emotions. As an introvert and a leader, a strength coach and business owner, it’s hard for me to accept that I can break down and cry, get angry, say violent or hateful things and then move on while my emotions have been released. I believe much of the tension in my neck, back, and hips is the result of built up emotions.

When I go to float, I spasm uncontrollably on occasions and feel much of my tension being released. My body doesn’t naturally want to store the negative energy that’s built up, but when we don’t consciously act on releasing it, build up occurs. Many people who have experienced healing “miracles” are said to have changed their thoughts and released emotions that have been inside for long amounts of time.

I think it’s important for everyone to find away to let go of those emotions. Sometimes it’s as simple as feeling that emotion, accepting it, and then letting it go out the mind. Other times we need therapy. Anger-Release Therapy, Float Therapy, Acupuncture, Exercise, and more. One thing I’ve done several times before is to scream at the top of my lungs for a few minutes, like the animal we are, with a loud and deep roar. It’s amazing how well you feel after spending time on focusing to release these emotions. Lately, this topic of discussion has fascinated me and you will see more as I continue to do the work on my self.

The Realization of Happiness

I was searching for answers from every corner of the globe, every corner of the library, the furthest depths of the internet, and through hundreds of books. I wanted to know how to live my best life. How can I be happy for once in my life? I’ve never really experienced a lasting and deep happiness until a few months ago. Most recently I’ve found a greater peacefulness and happiness and my life has dramatically changed.

While I was searching for answers from the outstretches of the universe, the truth was in front of my face the entire time. It circulated through my blood, my body, my mind, and was there the whole time. The happiness I was looking for was never going to find me if I kept looking outside of myself. The truth is, my happiness is within. Our happiness is within.

Every book I bought, every seminar I attended, every youtube video I watched, and every podcast I listened to couldn’t bring me happiness. Not until the day I woke up and found it stirring inside. I rolled over in bed and saw my beautiful wife’s face. My daughter still sleeping in her pink and green room and my son cuddled with my wife in a cozy dream state. As I laid there watching my wife breathe peacefully and knowing my children were safe, I had an awakening. This simple little thing, my family here by my side, was enough to show me that I was happy. The whole time I spent wasting energy trying to become happy, I was already there.

For too long my mindset was perched in the abyss of destruction. My attitude was not always positive and my desires for external circumstances controlled my inner self. My ego inflated and demanded more and more. My sense of lack created cravings for money, beer, junk food, and fights with my family. I was preaching to help but not practicing the truth of my words. The tides have changed and I’m back to where my goodness comes from. Where my love and kindness for all things emits vibrations of joy and happiness. The journey is never a straight path and the obstacles are there, they will always be there, and they will test you. The best thing to do is remain strong and keep trying. The answers always come in the strangest ways.

A Quick History of Choices

It was nine years ago, in a small New Jersey town located fairly in the center of the state that my life would change forever. Somerset County to be exact. A Polish town called Manville. For most of my life, around 20 years, Manville was home. I moved into town the summer I started fourth grade. I was a nerdy kid. Glasses, braces, a pony tail, and I was like three feet tall, weighed maybe 60 pounds. I had some cousins who grew up in town and went to the same schools. I was picked on because I was the new kid and the cousin.

For the most part my life was pretty normal. I played sports like baseball and soccer and had several good friends. We were active kids too. Always riding bikes, building forts, playing pick up games of football and baseball. Our favorite was the home run derby we would play on our dead end road. The power lines that connected the house to the grid was used as the home run fence. The neighbors backyard was a football field in the summer and a hockey rink in the winter.

Somewhere along the line of growing up and graduating into the real world of life outside of Manville, my world drastically changed. My fears would ultimately control my life and ruin a great part of the “college years” of my life. I went for a semester to a local community college and decided it wasn’t for me. The professors weren’t open minded and creative thinkers. They were puppets to the man working off a curriculum and following orders. As sort of a free spirited person, I had no respect for them and knew I wouldn’t last in the walls of propaganda.

Instead I went to work and hid from the world. Inside I was dying of fear and outside I was pretending the world was great. I had no idea what I wanted to do in life. I knew I had to work but doing what and going where, no idea. People freaked me out, the rich were looked at as selfish and sinister, and I just wanted to hide away. In those six years of hiding and working minimum wage jobs, I became homeless and lost everything.

Nine years ago, I started life over, with nothing. I had no money, no car, no clothes, and no job. The path before me looked insane and filled with terror. Giving up often looked like the best option, but I’m still here and how times have changed. Today, kids across the state are graduating high school and walking into the real world. The comfort of being protected by the routine of family and high school is over and it’s time to stand tall and walk forward. Many will fail. Many will ruin their lives as I did, and others will succeed. The game is played however you choose though. You can try to succeed in school and create a successful life, or you run and hide from reality like I chose.

I started over when I was fed up with the decisions I was making. I started over with nothing, but I made it my goal to create a successful life. No matter what. The world is impartial to who we are, but the choices we make create the reality we live. One moment can turn everything around.

Releasing Built Up Energy For A Happier Life

As an introvert, I get drained from being around many people. It’s nothing bad or something I should be ashamed of, it just is. During my grand opening event this past weekend I had the opportunity to surround myself with great people and great events. The day was a success and we had a lot of fun. By one o’clock in the afternoon I was home and my day was over. There was nothing left inside of me to give to anyone else and all I wanted to do was curl up on the couch and lose myself in a book. This happens quite often and it’s a normal characteristic of introverted people. However, even though my physical energy is drained and my mental energy close by with a quarter tank left, my emotional energy is full and in need of a serious release. Sometimes I can empty that emotional energy when I’m alone, but it’s tough to be alone when you have two kids and a wife. Other times this energy is released through hard workouts or writing creatively. But, there are definitely many days when this energy builds up and releases negative emotions. Hurtful words, angry outbursts, depressed feelings, lazy legs, and more.

How do you release this built up energy in a positive way? Simple. Let your animal out. Sounds crazy and if you watch someone do it you’d think they’re crazy but the truth is, we have to release our energy in ways that make us look like savages. After all we are animals, barbarians, and savages when it comes down to our evolutionary DNA.

Here are a few ways I let go of my maniac inside:

1. Jam to heavy and hard, loud, music.

Turn it up all the way and freak out.

2. Grab a Bat and Hit Things.

Not a person or material things you don’t want broken.. but one of the best ways we can release these built up emotional energies is by hitting something with a bat or a racket, or something similar. Grab a few pillows and pile them up on your bed. Take the racket or bat and beat those pillows up while pulling your rage and energy from below the belly button up into your upper body and scream while hulk smashing your comfortable pillows.

3. Jump Up and Down

Do this while grunting or screaming and let go of all restrictions you have place to hold your emotional energies in. Jam out while doing this as well. Pull the dark energies inside that you are hiding and express them to the universe as you savagely release your animal self.

These negative energies are killing us and they will manifest as disease, pain, or other issues in your body and life. Find them and let them loose. When we ignore the truth of these energies we can experience depression, creative blocks, laziness, and no motivation. Embrace this part of who you are and escape the prison you’ve created inside that hold your darkness in.

The Limits and Fears We Settle For

This morning on my drive into the office I was listening to a Louise Hay audiobook. The totality of possibilities. She spoke of the many limitations we place on our own lives. The voices we hear that tell us we can’t do something and how silly it is to listen. Thinking back on life, I see all of the limitations I put on my shoulders and actions and realize they were placed there out of fear. Fear of success. Fear of failure. Fear of criticism. Fear of the unknown. Fear of death.

When my wife and I decided it was time to try and have a baby and add to our family I was afraid. For the previous twenty something years of my life before that moment, I swore I’d never have kids. Growing up and living, I saw how children, babies, acted. Needing to be fed, changed, burped, and more. It was insane to think I could ever do that. Insane to think I’d ever want to do that. I thought it was impossible for me to be a good father, able to care for an infant.

Before we decided to have a baby I was working on becoming a fitness trainer. When I began my studies on the human body and movement and fitness, I was afraid. Inside I thought I was stupid. Too dumb to ever read a book, remember what was taught, and not good enough to pass a test. The days leading up to the test were some of the most stressful moments of my life. It’s not like the bar exam or a becoming a doctor, it’s just a CPT test, but the fear of failing was killing me. I passed with a near perfect mark. Certified trainer. Now, it was time to get to work.

For six months after I passed my test I sat in a pile of fear and limitations of impossibilities. Fear and my limiting beliefs told me I wasn’t good enough and didn’t deserve the opportunity to help someone get into shape. I sat quietly and dreamed of being a trainer. Applications after applications were sent in to local fitness facilities and they all requested interviews with me. Some called back every single day eager to meet me. Instead, I told myself that I wouldn’t get the job and other trainers already working there would laugh at me. A few months later and I was a business owner with my own training company.

Why do we listen to the powerful and restrictive voice within? We settle for less. Our capabilities are limitless and we stand still and watch the moments of life pass us by. We drink fear for breakfast and become intoxicated by our visions of failure or ridicule. We unconsciously choose to not try and settle for whatever we’re dealt by the mighty rivers of life. Powerful thoughts, negative in nature, cripple our dreams and suffocate our true beliefs. It’s hard to speak the truth. Even today as I write this practice session, I’m afraid of speaking the reality of my thoughts. You’ll judge me. You’ll leave my gym and walk elsewhere because “I weirded you out.” We call esoteric beliefs and possibilities “woo-woo” garbage because we’re afraid of looking within for the truth. The immense power of nature and the universe is so strong we’d rather ignore it and settle for the impossible.

Why do we listen?

Why not stand up and push back and tell the truth?

What do we have to lose?

We’re all in this together.

We’re all going to the grave.

Fitness Classes, Home in Bed, and Other Random Thoughts

After classes this morning at the gym I came home and was able to spend some time in bed with the whole family. My son, six months and a tank, was bouncing back and forth in excitement to see our sleepy, but smiling faces. My daughter, still getting over a nasty cold that crushed our sleep time over the weekend, was kind of happy. The boogers and cough have got her upset. She’ll be fine. My wife, gorgeous as ever, took the day to take care of our daughter’s cold. She’s an amazing person. Great mother, great wife, and awesome therapist. It’s perfect to be able to come home and have that moment before our day gets crazy. Even if it was only for five minutes, it felt like forever and I could hold it until the end of time.

Recently at the gym we’ve been having a fat loss challenge. Thirty days. Winner takes all. The person who loses the highest percentage of their starting weight will take the prize. I’m in this challenge as well. It’s a beat the trainer event and if I lose, fifty dollars is coming out of my pocket. The other challengers, they put in twenty and I couldn’t be more proud of the effort they’ve been making. Watching men and women both work hard at achieving success, to possibly get a hold of the fat cash jackpot, fills me with gratitude, happiness, and appreciation.

After another morning class I stopped to pick up my buddy, Cooper, from my brother’s apartment and headed into the office. The ride over was nothing fancy. A quick trip through farm country and the quiet America that still exists if you look for it. There was a farm with several horses outside eating the grass. They each had on one of those blankets that keep their backs and most of the torso warm. A calming sight as I sped into work.

Cooper is a fine young man of a black lab. He’s mixed with something. “Whatever jumped over the fence that day” said the man at the farm where we adopted him. He’s four now, going on five and has started to get more white on his chin, just below his mouth. He comes to the office almost everyday, with either my brother or myself. He’s like our mascot. During the day while we work away on our computer machines, he sits on a chair and dreams about dog world and chasing deer.

As I sit here and write, I’m listening to some Tibetan bowl meditation music that is keeping my mind centered. Normally I’d be distracted within the first paragraph and stop to think about baseball or rap music or the growth of my gym business. When the music centers me, I feel more in flow with my creative nature and I keep the cursor moving. Practice filling up the screen with stories and let the truth be set free.

Don’t judge the work while the fingers are moving. You have plenty of time afterwards to stop and check for mistakes or to be critical of the words coming from within. Normally, I write with a timer. Ten minutes and then post it up. I don’t care about mistakes. What people say is what they’ll say. I have no control over it and maybe nobody will even read it, but here it is.

The other day I decided to let go of the thought about what others think and I began a novel. I hand wrote in a notebook three pages. The story begins. I’m not in a rush to get it done either. This will be good and will have the finest quality of my writing and may take years. Through that time I’m sure I’ll learn a few things or maybe many. For sure this will influence the outcome. At least it’s started now.