We are a nation bound by the game. With nearly 7 Million dollars raised for the community of Humboldt at the time of me writing this, not even a week after the tragic events that took the life of 15 members of the Humboldt Broncos from their loved ones, we are given a light that brightens that awful darkness.

Support. Care. Understanding. Love.

We all feel something special because of a emotional connection. It’s hard to explain…

I can’t speak for everyone, but it’s the haunting reality of the events that as a hockey player growing up in small town southern Alberta, happens to draw me into this mix. My youth was sprinkled with close calls on icey highways, narrow backroads and the ability to name towns like Gleichen, Stettler, Wetaskawin, Leduc, Indus… etc. I can only imagine the living nightmare that must be going on inside the minds of those affected directly by the loss of one of their own.

“Big League” is an anthem to cherish memories of the lives that were lost and give hope to those that are in recovery. This will take years if not a lifetime to heal, but the outreach of support from complete strangers just like you’d expect from family is truly amazing. It embodies the sense of the hockey community. Of being Canadian. Of being human.

For me, “Pricklies” is an anthem that already meant the world to me. (If you ask my mom and dad they’ll tell you that I sang the chorus to Tom Cochrane & Red Riders hit “Big League” mistaking the words for “play in the pricklies”. I was 8. I didn’t know any better. I just loved the song.) I just loved waking up Saturday morning to drive to places like Indus, Gleichen, Hussar, Beiseker you name it… there’s not a barn I haven’t seen in Alberta… but more than the game, I loved to have time with my dad on the road. Listening to his (generally) sound advice on my positional play and overall thoughts on the game as we cruised from places like High River and Hanna left me with memories ever etched in my mind and associated with Tom Cochrane and the freedom you had as a kid growing up playing hockey for your hometown.

What I have learned from this horrific event, is that no matter where you’re at in life… the ones you love will come around. They may be mad. They may not even speak to you. But you’re still “gonna play in the Big League”. Life is way too short and whatever they’re doing, whether you get it or not is to help you and support you. Even though I didn’t know any of the players or family personally, I feel like experiences through hockey are shared universally. Humboldt represents a community inseparable by the bond of love for the game. I want to lend my hands and my heart to support the community of Humboldt in any way I can.

I don’t have much money to give, but I would be honoured to give my time and capture the stories of each Bronco involved in the crash to let the rest of the world know what the number on the back meant to the Bronco on the front. In due time I will see if this is something the community would like from an anonymous voice. It’s about Humboldt.

We are all in this one together. The hockey community, what it means to be Canadian and it goes to show how important life really is. Hug you kids, hug your parents, hug your brothers and sisters. Keep your stick on the ice and drive to hard to the net – you never know what will happen when you just put the puck on net. Make things happen.

Thank you for listening. Keep a stick out for Humboldt.

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I’ve been asked countless times, “Mike, I’m eating well, I just can’t seem to lose the weight… what am I doing wrong?”

I’m usually quick to ask “What’s eating well look like to you?” As part of my coaching, I like to believe the best in everyone, but honestly, seeing is believing so I generally follow that question up with “Can you show me what each meal has been exactly in the past three days?”

Most often, that person cannot.

More often they say something to the effect of

“Well, it’s just really tough when the boys want to go out for wings and beer after the game… when my wife wants to do pizza and wine night on Friday and the kids are always on the go for band recital, soccer practice and other extra curricular events… I just don’t wanna be that guy, you know?”

I do. However, own it. You get to make that choice to get wings and beer, enjoy the pizza or choose to eat fast food from the drive thru en route to the kids practice… only you get that choice. And to piggyback on this, it’s not only to do with nutrition. If you find yourself in any less than ideal situation, maybe you just lost your job, maybe you’re considering starting your own business, maybe you want to pursue a passion – whatever it is, if you don’t have the social support, the likelihood of you achieving that dream significantly decreases.

It’s amazing how much we are influenced by the social circles that we are in. I found a very interesting article that explain the power of social support very clearly, from my friends and fellow coaches at Precision Nutrition. Take a read if you think you might know someone that’s got the right intentions but the wrong friends. Might be time to cut the line…. [Read the full article here]

Ciao, babes!

Xo

M

 

Featured Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

This thought brought to you by nearly 12 years of hardship, trials and tribulations and a ton of goofing up along the way and figuring shit out the hard way. Think about this one for a hot minute. Our social support system is critical to determining whether or not we keep on pushing through with goals and aspirations or if we give up. Do you really want it? Do you like the idea of wanting it? I’ll use my experience as an example, please let me know if you can relate…

I have spent so much time in my own space, developing my craft, fighting to be heard, struggling – really struggling. Some people, often closest to me have told me to give up. Others call me stubborn, or even just plain stupid. It’s not like that to me. It’s not a choice. I would rather wonder where my paycheque was and continue to make positive impact in the lives of others than go work for some company and build their dream. I truly don’t know what I’d be doing if I was not a catalyst for lifestyle change in others’ lives.

I’ve had a lot of time to think about the next thing, the next way to inspire to the masses, another promotional strategy to communicate my message …the list goes on and on… it’s really quite a thing for me. My overactive mind still sometimes gets the best of me and I find myself reeling these extravagant thoughts and dreams of creativity and purpose in so that it’s fuel to the fire. But at times, it goes unnoticed. Actually, I feel like most often it goes unnoticed. That’s okay though, except for when it crosses a certain line. I am human and emotions do play a role.

More often than not, I’m the butt of most insensitive jokes. What’s batshit crazy about that, is that the jokes come from people you wouldn’t expect. Just little shots from those on the sidelines, not really sure what I’m doing behind the scenes and clearly not in tune with how the words they speak may affect others around them.

“Will you pay me in exposure.”

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This is a real example from a real person in my life. A person I would have in the past called a friend. Harmless or not, the demeaning nature of this comment temporarily derailed my train from the tracks of my greater purpose. It was like a callous shot in the arm. A sting from a wasp. Albeit temporary, I’m not going to die (thank the heavens I learned this past summer that I’m not allergic to stings!) it still hurts like hell.

Why?

Because it’s from the perspective of an individual closer to me (although now that could be argued) than a random person. A person that knows (some of) my story and has seen my growth, seen my shortcomings and been there on the path for some of it. They were not alongside me shoulder to shoulder, but ironically enough I met this person and had a positive impact on their lifestyle. Typical me, years ago we met and  I provided my professional services to incorporate wellness into a lifestyle darkened by poor nutrition, alcoholism and inactivity, stress and so on and so forth…. So the comment itself bamboozles me. And feel free to use that word when given the opportunity this week. It’s under-utilized. Anyway, I know my value and was miffed by the lack of discretion. I felt like calling them out with something like:

“Hello, we got on so well because we learned from each other in times of critical need. Now you want to dismiss the work that I do because of whatever insecurities or predisposed commentary you have about my business practices…”

I did throw fire back, unapologetically – as this wasn’t the first time this individual made the exact same discerning comment. I laughed it off the first time, something like 6 months ago… but once the knife is in and turned a couple times around it’s hard to not take things personally… you know?

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However, today as I look back on it, I have let that shit go. It was not a personal attack against me. Who knows what the people around us are going through. They could be just reacting and projecting a story they have in their head about you. And that brings me finally, to my main point. Ta da! See? Full circle…

The people we hold closest to us in our personal lives have a story they’ve built up about us. So no matter what you accomplish professionally, no matter how much experience you gain in your field, you’ll always be “sonny”, “baby brother” or “one of the boys”, “daddy’s girl” the “party girl” or “wild child” or whoever you were to them when they met you.

You’ll only become a prophet once you leave your hometown.

 


 

Now, for those of you wondering what the heck I was getting flack on Facebook about anyway, I actually made a calling for an IT/Web design tech savvy person to bounce some ideas and see what they would recommend for a project I’ve been working at for a while; my new online store. I am prepared to hire the right person as web design, though I can do it – is not a great use of my time. I’d prefer to have someone much more in love with it and proficient to get it done right and with the same kind of passion as I bring to my clients.

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This is what the comment above was in response to… the backstory is that in our industry trades of services and “promises of fame” often act in lieu of monetary compensation. So I felt that comment delegitimized my credibility and assumes I wouldn’t flat out hire someone to do the job. Not the case at all. Se la vie… 

Turns out for the time being anyway I don’t need to hire anyone on. I was able to figure things out and get the coding done DIY style so now all of you can check out the products and services I offer to musicians, via remote coaching, webinars and soon to be released, E-Programs.

That’s right, I’ve got a few introductory exercise workout programs and stretch techniques that I’ve built and can’t wait to release to help people conveniently take care of themselves at home with proper instruction!

For now, online coaching services and free weekly webinars – if you’re interested in checking it out, please head to the MusicFit Collective New Online Store at

—–> musicfit.yondo.com

The first webinar is set to help explain what kind of exercises are best for you in The Musician’s Guide To Working Out and I’d love to see you there.

Until next time,

Namaste sweet!

M

 

Featured image by Joshua Alfaro on Unsplash

Again.

Today was a lot better. It’s a constant battle however, to delay the emotional suffering until you are in a safe place. You fight through. You kick. You almost have to wear it on your back instead of power it through your feet.

But that’s only sustainable for short amounts of time. The healing needs to take place and Flo says it best, “it’s always darkest before the dawn.”

Keep chipping away and things will turn up. Keep chipping away and do things day by day. They will be better. It’s just around the corner, I promise. When it rains it pours, and things are going to get real good, real soon. Just chip away.

I’ll wear the Albatross for one more day.

 

I’m participating in Movember to help support men in the music industry that battle the depression, anxiety and mental illnesses like I have – feel free to check out our team page here – https://mobro.co/coachschwartzy?mc=1

Thanks for listening,

Ciao

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There no secret. Alliterations aside, my friends are few, fucking and fantastic.

When you have a crew that’s got your back, a crew that invites you inside their world, inside their dreams… you just feel safe.

I owe a lot to my friends. “A lot” in the sense of the man I’ve become. Without the love, support and patience, especially the patience – I would be lost in the woods.

And oftentimes I feel that I still am.

But you know what, it’s a helluva lot more fun to get lost together.

Thanks for reading,

When you’re going through any sort of dilemma or drama in your life, often just the ears and hospitality can flip the switch. Thank you. You don’t even know. The parallels are uncanny and as a good friend told me tonight, everything worth it is worth the time. Same applies to relationships. Invest, share, empower, support and your return will increase tenfold.
They might even make you schnitzel or teach you how to make a bed proper.