I was bumped up on the therapy wait list. I head in Friday morning instead of two weeks from now, and that’s exciting. I embrace talking about my experience. It helps me fit things in and take things out.

I (re) learned a lot last night:

Great friends are always thinking about you and will always have your back.

I had to reschedule my session last night with my two best pals. They sent me this in lieu:

They are both doing so well and even when their coach isn’t there, they still push it. Champions are doing the work when no one is watching. These two are champs. Thanks guys.

Music is powerful.

I don’t know where to start.

Jess and Robb, thank you. Music and Motion was a compete hit tonight and you guys were great. I can’t wait to get some pictures up from the House. For now –

@jessandrobbmusic

These two beauties came with me to the Ronald McDonald House and played an awesome set of music for the kids and their parents while the kids basically used me as a jungle gym. It was awesome. The families loved it, mom and dad got to relax, and that’s why I do this.

Then the show, K.Flay and Sir Sly both just killed it. The amazing thing about both of these artists is the poetic complexities. I’d strongly encourage you to take a listen to the hardships and the battles and the adversity in the art.

This is where the title comes from today. Borrowed and paraphrased K.Flay’s sign off before the last song she performed…”Remember, right now isn’t forever.”

That stuck.

placeholder://placeholder://

And leads me to wonder if the human condition has room to be fully complete…? or if the lifestyle choices and the drug use and addition and anxiety all lends itself to some higher form of the craft. Like seriously, what would we sing about? How would we relate to our audience if the new rock star lifestyle was about gluten free bread, hemp seeds and kombucha. Like how hard of a life is that?

Food for thought…

Children have so much to teach us, but we adults have a hard time with humility.

How come my nephew can squat, jump, balance and do bear crawls but my 20 something clients can’t?

Just an example…

Last night I was a human jungle gym for 6 kids 5-9 years old and feed a straight diet of sugar. And we got them all under control and relaxed. They respond well when you ask them to perform a task. They do not respond well when you tell them what not to do…

Thanks Mark England.

Child whisperer. That’s my alias.

Again, we await RMH photos for evidence.

We busy ourselves with what’s important. We prioritize our needs.

Or at least we should. Don’t take it personally, but do take it as a sign that the effort isn’t mutual and there’s a disconnect if you feel that you’re reaching and grabbing and the reciprocation is just not there.

Carry on.

Thank you for checking this out. Again, moral of the story is whatever you’re going through, highs and lows, it’s temporary. Nothing is a forever and you will be better off because of all the experiences you go through. Learn to embrace it and the journey is wicked fun.

Thanks for listening!

Til next time,

Stay sweet!

Advertisements

As I stand here, warming up in the bomby -2.5C Calgarian November morning, I look around to see nothing but open park, glorious cityscape and a few tourists over the stairs at Crescent Heights. The same stairs that the team and I meet every Sunday, at 11:07.

Not this Sunday though. I was the lone wolf.

I heard lots of inquiries, lots of interest, some were unfortunately sick and others had previous engagements and that’s all fine. I’m okay if you don’t show up. I have zero influence on what people prioritize until they see what health and wellness will do for them.

Ironic because most of the excuses I hear revolve around “I’m tired, I’m gonna sleep in, I’ve been working nights, I’m getting sick, I have no time for that…” which all stem from the root of why you should be joining me every Sunday at 11:07!

I don’t do this because I like it all the time. I do it because I know the alternative of depression, anxiety, poor conditioning, sickness, lethargy, zero motivation, ambition and the feeling of insecurity far outweighs the shitty 35:07 of a little hard breathing, muscle soreness and pounding heart. Yeah. I show up.

I’d encourage you to do the same the next time you say you will. Physically and mentally. At the end of the day, you’re only letting yourself down.

I did my reps.

My head’s not like my bed

Empty for a while

No it’s filled up with wanderlust,

Made a trip to the northern Isles

Hearts will break, when you give a shake

To the madness that it is

Some just stay a long for the ride

Gettin’ cut’s just part of the biz

It was signed, Denny Morrison.

Canadian legend of an Olympic Athlete. In a sport I was a former competitor in, no where near the level of expertise as Morrison, but still… I did that. So his words were impactful.

I’ve actually always be called a “dreamer”, and as I quickly approach my 30’s this Thursday, I embrace those words now. I used to be resentful and abrasive citing “whatever, I am not…” Like a child…

Well, one of those things remain the same. I am a child. Children love the playground. I’ve since learned through all the hardships my 20’s threw at me from moving around for school, getting injured and having to come home from university due to lack of funds, to finishing school after a rough breakup with the girl I thought I was going to marry, to a really quick rebound-relationship and even quicker engagement and eventually marriage that only lasted 3 years, having that huge surprise and pending friends circle completely collapse…  three career switches, lots of new, lots of crazy… three dogs, three universities, half a dozen bands, a book, two startups, over dozen homes and I feel like there’s not too much I haven’t seen. And that was only one decade. We greatly underestimate what we can do in ten years…

So here’s my thing. Dream big. Always dream. Don’t listen to the “realists”. They’re generally just folks that are comfortable in what they know. Security. That’s fine, but if you’re inspired by change and inspired to move others beyond their greatest fears, and to really give back and at the same time give in to what you really want… you need to get out of your own way and really invest in dreaming big. You can and you will find a way!

Go get it.

Here’s my talk on just that.

Enjoy and please share with someone you know that is stuck on the edge and just needs that little kick to jump.

OK, so you’re probably wondering “what is this coffee bit all about?”

So…… I guess I should probably tell you.

Find out what people like in their coffee. Write it down.  They don’t drink coffee? Cool – find out what they drink instead – write that down! That shit comes back tenfold.

Here’s how:

It all started when I was back at Goodlife Fitness in 2011. I was the Western Canadian Personal Training Recruiter, I hired trainers all over the country. It was sweet. I got to see people on their absolute best (and surprisingly worst) behaviour. I was still pretty fresh on the job, so there were tons of things I was struggling with. The biggest was probably how to have a crucial conversation – you know, when you and a friend have an argument and you have to go in to lay down the law. Yeah, that conversation. I am just a happy dude and not into reprimanding people, I always feel terrible. But my role had that element. when other hiring managers weren’t following protocol.

I forget who told me at the time, probably my team lead, April but they recommended this coffee trick as part of my relationship building with key stakeholders. Saved me hundreds of hours and millions of tears, I’m sure. First off, the whole idea is to calm the person with a simple, yet authentic act of service or kindness. With my job particularly I was dealing with stressed out, behind budget middle level managers in an industry that’s notorious for high turnover. I need to calm people down if I was going to have any influence over their decision making and get them focused on getting the right people on their team again. I was responsible for half of the hiring of all the personal trainers for every single club in Western Canada. I was only half of the equation though. The hiring manager of the department of personal training in each club was equally responsible for the hiring of those trainers and their success at the job.

As you can imagine, differences in preference as to what candidates were selected came up, and this some times lead to tension between myself (home office) and the manager (club). Sometimes, the hiring manager and I did not see eye to eye, but it was very important we made the right decision for the prospective employee, the club, and the company. I learned quickly that you didn’t have to get along, you just had to work together!

The trick April taught me about coffee, isn’t about coffee at all. I could’ve brought these people socks… the effect would’ve been the same. The whole point of knowing what somebody takes in their coffee is something for you to carry forward with all of the relationships you have. It’s the fact that you listened that matters, not the fact that they drink coffee or not or what they drink in it if they do. When I had to sit down and have a hard conversation with another hiring manager about why I didn’t feel that that employee was a good fit it made everything less dramatic if we could just talk over a coffee. Remove “work” from it for a moment and just be reasonable people. When I showed up with their coffee in hand (they could never believe I remembered…), it immediately set a tone that I was here and ready to fight for them. We were on the same team.

You’ve gotta be authentic or else others will see right through your shit… so go out and learn about people. Find out what they dig and treat them well. Business is about relationships and in my experience, the longer lasting ones are the best for both sides.

So, how do you take your coffee?

Have you ever come across someone that just doesn’t get it? Someone who feels as if they lose an argument or fail to prove a point they run the risk of looking powerless in front of their peers? Have you ever had a disagreement with someone so insecure that they stormed off from the room because they simply couldn’t hear someone tell them to consider another view, another perspective or someone else’s feelings but their own?

I have. It was one of the most emotionally draining last 6 weeks of my life. Why am I ranting about this now? Well, I hope to give you some foresight when you consider who you’re hanging out with. I have come to the conclusion this at one-time friend of mine just didn’t respect herself. And while we don’t need to discuss the details, half because it’s not-relevant, half because it’s really depressing to think that they’re people out there that think this kind of behaviour is okay… just know that ignorant, malicious and absolutely tactless actions do not sit well with me. No, no – I have a moral compass that’s on track and I do not associate with those that aren’t on the same path as me. Not from an elitist standpoint or anything, just because I don’t want that kind of negative energy around me, my dog and my flow… you know?

So I’ve created a quick checklist that now in hindsight, I will use when considering if this human being is worthy of my time, energy and general care. Yes, I am encouraging you to be picky with who you are around. Why? So you don’t get used, abused and thrown to the wolves. I’m going to give you a two-steps ahead approach to identifying a human being that doesn’t respect themselves…

  1. Can They Live? – When considering  human beings you want to be around make sure you can have a sober conversation with them. And that you can get along with them when they’re sober. Do this before you put yourself into situations such as I did. Like living with them. Or you’ll find that when they’re not high or drunk, their socially awkward tendencies show full-bore. It’s not pretty. And it’ll make you depressed.
  2. Watch How They Interact With Others – Early on when you’re getting to know a particular human being you may want to hang out with more often, pay attention to how they react to people in need, eccentric/socially awkward people, persons with handicaps or hell even visible minorities. You won’t even have to have a conversation about it which will make things really easy on you. Would you hang out with a human being that publicly makes fun and tries to draw more attention to someone that”doesn’t fit in” with the trendy clothes or is a little hard up for money? Do you stand up or down to bullies? Because that’s all this insecure piece of work is…
  3. Listen To How They Describe Things (Especially Their Accomplishments) – Do they say “we”, “our” and “us” or does it sound a little more like “I”, “me” and “everyone else”. The human being that repeatedly uses the latter is kind of like a rabid, cornered wild dog. You may upset this dog with words and phrases such as “cooperation”, “teamwork” and “division of labour” (or just “labour” in most cases). The human being that takes credit where credit isn’t due or doesn’t give credit where credit is due is the same person that just doesn’t get it. Doesn’t understand the all for one, one for all approach that has proven t’s worth time and time again in any relationship. Please remove yourself from association with these types of human beings. They will never have your back.
  4. Do They Love Themselves? – Well now you’re going to be all like “Mike, WTF?” I mean it, you want a human being that genuinely loves themselves. Why? Well, until they love themselves they’ll struggle to love another person. So unless you plan on being trampled and used for years on years (like I did in a few other relationships that are now fortunately cut forever…) I’d suggest you identify things like their lifestyle patterns (like nutrition, exercise, meditation/self-work), they’re stance on volunteering, faith and charity, and if whether or not they are a Blue Jays fan. These things are all roots (Okay, maybe not the Jays…) that are engrained into how they’ll carry out actions down the road. If you don’t line up in the root of the problem, you’ll continually have disagreements on silly things. Well, they’re not silly – but they’re symptoms of the deeper issue. (ex. Human being doesn’t recycle old boxes, used cans or bottles or donate unwanted, used clothes… would rather just throw it out and be done with the hassle. Human being doesn’t just hate the environment and have no sympathy for the less fortunate, no no… this human being is just plain ungrateful. Likely because this person has rarely had to earn anything if their life. It’s worth noting that this person is also probably NOT a Jay’s fan.)

I think these are 4 pretty solid determining factors of whether or not you should carry on with a relationship of any sort with the human being in subject. I truly believe that a person that fails this type of general assessment really just doesn’t respect themselves. And I’ll be the first to say that if that person doesn’t respect themselves, they’ll likely care less about all other the other people around them. Especially when those people no longer serve them any good…. If  you care to add some insight, please do! I’m interested to hear what others think about finding people around them and choosing the right people to surround themselves with.

Remember, you don’t have to be a rock star to start, but you have to start in order to become a rock star. Stay sweet, kids.

Coach

So I guess I have a bit of a series going on here about booze and its (possibly negative) effects on lifestyle. This week I have heard one recurring statement from numerous people close to me in my life. “I’m just going to relax with [insert name and quantity of choice alcohol] and stay in tonight/watch TV/forget about the day. But how much of that statement is truth? I am going to put forth a question to all of you readers out there tonight. What is the deal with our societal acceptance that alcohol will help us to relax?

Fact: Alcohol has both stimulant and sedative properties. However, it can be argued that the aggression, increased heart rate, motor slowing and cognitive impairment are all tied to the stimulant side of things¹. So if the science shows us that the alcohol is stimulating, why do we still “relax with a bottle of wine?” A million people can’t all be wrong, right?There must be some truth to this and I’m going to argue that the sedative effects of alcohol are a more of a subjective finding, in that – we have “feelings” and “emotions” tied to our use of booze. Before all you haters jump me in the alley for saying you’re crazy for thinking that booze is making you relax, I am certainly not taking away from the legitimacy of subjective perspectives. Hell, as some of you may recall, I’m in the middle of conducting a research project that is actually studying the subjective worth of exercise. (Check that out here!)

I do see the value in how our thoughts shape our actions in the simple fact that what we think can become our reality.. however, we also need to recognize that the science doesn’t lie. That stuff isn’t subjective. It’s a cold hard fact that alcohols stimulant properties will actually increase your heart rate and causes vasoconstriction, the narrowing of blood vessels. So no, you’re not relaxing because you are physically putting your body under stress. Stress is something that will keep you up and not let you sleep. or relax. End of story.

But alas, society will continue to unwind with booze. Maybe the mind is more powerful than we let ourselves believe..? Until the next episode… have a cup of herbal tea to relax. That shit is science. Make it hibiscus and grape so you get the wine feel… you know, cause it’s the grapes that are good for your heart anyways. 😉

 

¹http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21560041