I moved to England in 2005, at that time in my life I was on a quest!
My 18 year old brain wanted to play golf for a living and my whole being was driven towards making that happen. I was, and still am, very creative; I focused on Art in high school and in America, I love to write and take pictures, being creative for me is a massive outlet, something that keeps me sane.
Writing is something that I never actually thought I would share with anyone. In fact today I was clearing out a whole bunch of stuff from my room, old files, receipts and the usual crap that one accumulates over time and I found these…
Yes that’s right! Over a decade’s worth of notes, journalling, sketching and random brain farts that have crossed my mind. From Botswana to America and then to England, I have a log of interesting anecdotes and emotions in my life. I truly hope that no one ever reads them because I think that the most embarrassing entries were when I was stoned and trying to make sense of the world. Before you get too carried away, I wasn’t writing about cupcakes and pizza, or how colourful everything seemed. A lot of my writing in the time I got back to England from America was philosophical or that of a sense of frustration with the world and the way I saw it.
Finding these books got me thinking about the past, not in a bad way or a good way, but in an ‘AHA!’ Kind of way…
Somehow I have created a business for myself that I love, a business that involves fitness, helping people, writing and being creative with video content, an outlet or technique of expressing what I enjoy about the world. It’s like the different areas of my life fit together to form a picture of sorts. An example, whilst browsing my notes and entries in said journals, I came across some notes from a web-design course that I did in London many years ago through the Open University. At the time I remember doing the course and thinking, "I’m really unsure about how this benefits me right now.” To this day I still don’t know how much of that course I remembered when starting my blog in 2014 but somehow it helped me. The same way that, somehow, pouring thousands of pints of beer and cashing up countless tills then rushing to catch a bus will have taught me something for the future. If you couple that with the hours of writing, thinking and procrastinating about sharing my thoughts with the world, then you have essentially the blog.
Why is this relevant to a motivational Monday blog post?
We live in an age of instant gratification, an age where it seems that people can become what ever they want, or be who ever they want to be in no time at all… I see a lot of people ‘hustling’ and ‘grinding’ or ‘chasing dreams’ and sometimes despair because I too get caught in the hustle of life without stopping to see how far I have come and what has shaped my reality. It is important to notice growth in character and development or realisation of our dreams.
All growth is fundamentally something that happens; for it to happen two things are important.
In my head, looking at those two points from a lifestyle or fitness perspective - your 'technical ability’ is about learning how to change habits, and the plan that gets you to your goals. Getting out of your own way is about living your life, enjoying the plan you’ve set and being the best you that you can be. Some days will be easier than others, some days you’ll question how things may serve you but down the line you’ll learn to appreciate where you’ve come from.
If we are constantly looking forward to something it is easy to become demotivated by the current state of affairs. Think about this, Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel on and off for over 33 years, that is a long time to work at something, the result is an amazing building that inspires people every single day. I’m sure at the time he probably thought he would never create something to be so timeless, heck he probably had doubts that he would ever achieve half the things he achieved with his life.
When I first started my sketch book and journal in 2003 in Botswana I never knew it would contribute to today’s blog, but here it is, my blog is no Sistine Chapel but to me Raw Motion Fitness is my masterpiece that I’d like to watch grow and blossom.
I guess I’m trying to say that even though some days your goals and your aspirations in life might weigh you down, just remember that over the course of a year, two years or even two decades you can achieve so many awesome and inspiring things with your life.
That being said, giving up is now no longer an option because you’d only be getting in your own way. Be awesome, be epic, be everything you want to be!
Have a great Monday and remember to Stay Strong and Keep Moving!
(Reading time 10-15 minutes)
Wooohooo! That is the way I feel when I watch the Masters golf tournament every year and realise that Spring is here! Albeit in the UK it doesn’t quite feel like spring, it does feel as though the winter months have been very, very long.
I have to say that 2018 has been off to a flying start for me personally and professionally and the reasons for which I’ll share with you today. One of the biggest things that I have noticed is that I haven’t been so hard on myself for ‘letting other people down’. In other words I have been forcibly taking more time for myself and focusing on what serves me.
You might ask what caused this shift? Well, it is a long story, last year I probably bit off more than I could chew - I started We Move Fitness, an online fitness solution with someone and tried to jump away from the health club scene and become a freelance trainer. The freelance trainer plan sort of fell apart in the July of last year and We Move Fitness, for reasons I can’t go into, limped along until December last year. The online fitness solution has become something that I merged with Raw Motion Fitness and now have full control over.
That doesn’t sound like too much of a big deal, but it was, and led to a big change in strategy for my career at the end of the summer last year. August to December was possibly one of the toughest times for me in terms of knuckling down and getting to work on building relationships and building up my client base, all the while really struggling with my confidence in myself. I remember one day I had to just stop, I had to stop everything I was doing and just sit and think, I thought about life, I thought about who I am as a person, my values and if I actually was a good person. I thought about what I was trying to achieve and I thought about where I wanted to go, then I thought about nothing, turned off my phone and went to sleep, this cycle repeated for several days.
Later in the week I was writing out my ideas, my solutions to my problems, trying to calculate what I would need to do to make enough money to get through to the next month and keep the spark and finances alive. My friend Gaz came over to help me out, we talked about the exact numbers of people that I would need to sign up to ‘get by’ until the end of the year. He saw me panicked and furiously writing numbers down, and he grabbed a piece of paper and wrote this down.
That has been stuck in my head ever since; I have it pinned in my room and look at it from time to time. Back then, I looked at it every day. With that said, I achieved what I set out on the papers that day because I harnessed some inner strength, said to myself that, 'I have the power to do this for me,’ and managed to embrace the friendships and love that was around me at the time.
We Move Fitness has officially dissolved as a business and the content and video platform has continued as a part of Raw Motion Fitness - this was a hard decision to make and leading up to Christmas I found myself to be very stressed over the whole thing. The idea for the business was pure, bringing people a platform for health and fitness that was accessible and inspiring.
The momentum that we had was great, however the universe has a weird way of throwing curve balls at relationships and friendships. The decision to split from a business, even as young as We Move Fitness was, is no picnic. I have learned a lot about business and relationships off the back of it.
The integration of the video coaching under the Raw Motion Fitness Umbrella will give rise to something that I am really excited about in the coming months, there is a plan a foot, so if you stay tuned then you’ll get some awesomeness coming your way.
I’m always one for learning from things that happen in life, and if I can explain why I’m sharing this with you today; it is because what ever your goal, what ever your plan for things in your life is, you’ll always have people and things that inadvertently get in the way. You’ll have obstacles and battles to fight, even when you get to your goal there is to be no let up. You just have to take some time to congratulate, acknowledge your success and look for other ways to keep moving with things. The reason I say this is because the world doesn’t stop for anyone - things are constantly changing and moving. There is never a right time to start something new, there is never a perfect day to start your diet, start a course, do a degree and ultimately be the best version of yourself, you just have to start.
What is funny is that I actually wrote this piece about 2 weeks ago, I wrote it before I went on holiday to Cornwall and thought I’d post it then, but I didn’t, I left it. Then a few days back from holiday my cousin shared a video on Facebook - it is 4 minutes long and underlines what I have written in this post.
I like the way that things come together when you don’t rush them, the way things come together when you put the right focus and energy into them. If you feel like you are struggling with things at the moment, struggling with the way in which your life is headed, then maybe take some time to stop. It can be 5 minutes or 5 hours, but just stop and let your mind catch up with itself.
Last year felt like everything was a rush for me, which is probably why things ended up being the way they were in the middle of the year. With change comes reflection and reflection is hard to do without time away from the routine that you are in…
Energy is an infectious thing - it moves from a high concentration to a low concentration, #science, if you are full of awesome bubbly energy then you’ll infect those around you. If you’re full of nothing, then maybe those around you are infecting you. Either way you have the chance to change that energy each and every single moment because life is full of choice.
Maybe today is the day when you choose to change? Maybe today is the day that you decide to think differently about your life, fitness and vitality? Maybe today you start to feel awesome because you choose to live for you and embrace the love and friendships around you?
Stay Strong and Keep Moving.
This time last week I was walking home in the ice and cold after another break down in the mighty Fiat Punto. I normally settle in to write blogs on a Sunday night and publish them before heading to sleep, but last week I felt super depressed and unwilling to focus. On the Monday I managed to get the car to a mechanic and for the second time in a month she was under the knife and getting ready to be road worthy again. I don’t think that cars were ever designed to be stress free.
Tuesday I was lent a car to drive for a couple of days and it really woke me up to the world a little bit, simply because it was a little bit like driving a tractor. It made me realise that I had a car that, despite breaking down, actually does a great job. Still feeling slightly down on the world I had to regain focus and move my week forward. Wednesday saw the return of the mighty Fiat Punto and on Thursday I spent the morning bathing her, washing her and treating her as if she were a brand new car. As the week progressed I moved into a new training phase for my fitness and Friday saw the most productive day of training I have had all year. I felt great, and feel like the direction of my training is finally where it needs to be heading.
Today, Sunday, I woke up and looked at myself in 3 different mirrors without a shirt on and hated what I saw. I was staying at my sister’s house for the night and felt a bit better about seeing myself in a different mirror to the ones at home. Despite feeling slightly better for a different mirror I still hated looking at my body.
I’ll be honest because that is what I like to bring to this blog, and I think that honesty is more identifiable than me saying that everything is hunky dory now that I have lost weight. Mirror gauging is a bit of an obsession, the first thing that I look for is the curve in my spine which, this is mostly a genetic hyper-kyphosis, but I hate my back because it earned my the nickname of “Quasimodo” back in high school. So I’ll spend a few minutes a day trying to pin my shoulders back and think about the positioning that makes me look less like a Disney character ringing a bell in Notre Dame.
The second place I go to is my belly and 'love handles,' I know they are there and I can feel them all the time. I’m still unsure if it is loose skin or residual fat and skin from weight loss or just fat. It feels different from day to day, if I’m having a good day then it is skin, if I’m having a bad day then it is fat and some days it’ll start as fat and end as skin depending on my mood or in particular what food I have eaten. If I know that I have had a good clean eating day then I’ll go to bed feeling lean and accomplished. If I know that I have over indulged, even when I know that my body is more than capable of dealing with the extra calories, I feel fat and horrible.
These aren’t thoughts that I write about easily, they are simple insecurities that are always on my mind, especially when presenting myself as a personal trainer in an industry that is hell bent on appearance and the ‘perfect physique’.
After deciding that today was a ‘fat’ day I put my clothes on and ventured down for breakfast and shelved the insecure thoughts in the back of my mind until my next passing of a mirror. After breakfast I went out to my sister’s garage where I had been keeping some suitcases and things from when I moved house 2 years ago. I said I would go through them and take what was there. I opened the first bag and the very first thing I found was a blue zipped hoodie that I last wore in 2013. For a bit of a laugh I put it on and then suddenly realised that maybe my recent condemnation of my body wasn’t something that I should be thinking about. Take a look.
Looking at the picture one could just focus on the weight loss and size difference, I jokingly mentioned the hairline that has receded even more since the first picture on the left. Truth be told the real value in the picture is not that I am so much smaller and fitter now, it is that I am alive to tell the tale and not dead at 27 because of a heart attack or heading in and out of hospital for chest infections, shingles and surgery.
The blue hoodie made me think that it is easy to get carried away with our imperfections no matter what stage of fitness and life we are at, it seems a lot harder these days to stop and appreciate what we have.
Is it healthy for me to be thinking about my appearance so much? No, I don’t believe so. Am I working on improving that aspect of my life each day? Yes. Is it safe to say that we could all appreciate our lives more and appreciate what we have, regardless of our current situation? HELL YES!
The blue hoodie and the really dodgy car that was lent to me last week made me realise that sometimes looking too far forward, comparing yourself to others and entirely dwelling on what you want rather than what is, can blur the mind and cause imbalance. I thank the blue hoodie and the dodgy car for showing up and reminding me that life is meant for living in the moment, that is why it is great.
My thoughts for you this week are to realise what you have and give thanks for having it. Whether you thank god, the universe, your parents or your pet fish, just appreciate the people around you and the life that you have to live. Then use that fuel of appreciation to take you places in the future, with good intentions and an unbreakable attitude.
Your week and your life will have ups and downs, a little appreciation or gratitude and you can feel right and ready to take on the rest of the world!
Have an awesome week, Stay Strong and Keep Moving!
There is a movie I watched in my teens called the Girl Next Door.
The basic premise of the movie is that this guy, finishing high school, falls in love with the girl next door and blah blah... They all lived happily ever after.
The most important note about the movie was a speech that he gives at his graduation ceremony. The speech is on Moral Fibre, when he wrote his speech it was before falling in love with the girl next door, whilst giving the speech he breaks away from what he has written and talks about falling in love. It is all a bit Hollywood but one line stands out, "in your heart you'll know that the juice is worth the squeeze."
If we take that sentence literally then you might ask yourself two questions:
1. Why would I squeeze fresh orange juice when I can just buy fresh orange juice?
2. What has juice got to do with motivating me?
To answer number 1, fresh orange juice is always going to taste awesome, it is just a bit harder to create.
To answer number 2 then ask yourself the question relating to your vitality and wellbeing. An example... Is your goal of change for yourself worth the input of time to achieve said goal?
Take a moment right now to close your eyes and imagine the feeling of reaching your goal, be it fitness, fat loss, dress size, money, happiness level or all of the above. Just close your eyes and imagine what that feels like. With that in mind hold onto the emotional sensation that occurs, the smile that might come across your face and then ask yourself, is the juice worth the squeeze?
If you answer honestly you'll find that it will be a yes.
The truth is that you are the only person that can change you, people can guide you but ultimately you are the one that has to realise the freshly squeezed orange juice is way better than the cheap store bought rubbish.
Go now and be awesome, go now and buy some oranges!
Have a great week, Stay Strong and Keep Moving.
The weeks are flying by now and it feels like summer is approaching fast in the UK. Despite the snow last week of course. We are in the weirdest month of the year in my eyes, mainly because there is a hiatus before holidays start happening. Christmas isn’t too much of a distant memory but a lot of people might be starting to 'fall off the wagon’ regarding their New Year promises to themselves.
This is the time of year where people start to question their healthy choices and gym members find that there is more space to breathe because the crowded gyms of January are starting to ease.
So why is this? Why do people start something and never finish? Are they getting injured? Bored? Sick? Maybe… I believe that it is because we are super hard on ourselves when setting out on any fitness journey, a lot of people want to see instant results but forget that physical change is best measured as a trend over time.
Sure, there are a lot of things at play when we talk about individuals and their success when altering body composition, and ladies have the hormonal factor to think about. The trend that I see is people getting frustrated because results fluctuate or are slow, there is nothing wrong with progress being slow because even slow progress will gain momentum over time.
I plateaued twice when I lost my weight and bear in mind I spent a year and a half really pushing myself, not just a few months. The plateaus were tough because it meant that I had to dig deep, trust the process and stay committed to my goals that I had set for myself. If I encountered a plateau or stopping point (I did actually get injured) I figured a way around it and re-adjusted my sights.
It worked for me and works well for my clients when they hit a sticking point. I’ll give you an example, Steve has been working hard each week with me in Ankorr sessions for over 6 months now. About 8 weeks ago he got sick, like proper man flu sick, he came back to training after a week or two off but it completely changed the intensity of our sessions. Targets I had set he couldn’t hit, his strength fluctuated and we had to re-adjust the plans. We have made an epic breakthrough in the last two weeks as his energies have returned to normal and he is able to push himself harder.
My point is that progress is never a straight line, there is always a bend in the road, you have to focus, not on the day, but on how far you have come and intend to go. Here is a video covering my thoughts below and just remember the quote in the picture of this post.
Keep leaping towards your dreams and don’t let drama and insecurity hold you back because you are way too awesome for that!
Have a great week, Stay Strong and Keep Moving!
I promised you a video last week, it is here! Below I talk about the pillars of health and some issues within the health and fitness industry that might be holding us back from thriving.
The time stamp reading 12 minutes and I would say this, if you believe that your health and your life is worth investing in then time is the greatest gift to give yourself. Set aside 15 minutes to watch this video and ask yourself some questions today. Be honest with yourself and you might just find out that balance is the key that has been missing in unlocking your true potential as a human on this wonderful planet.
Have a great week - Stay Strong and Keep Moving!
Last week I went on a bit of a rant about childhood obesity and the fact that we have a problem with what is going into the diets of kids these days. If you missed it then click the link here : SUNDAY DRIVING : and it’ll take you to the post and then you can come back here and continue reading.
So, GOALS hey? That word that bangs around in the fitness industry like the noisy zip on your clothes in the washing machine. There are goals upon goals being set each day and in fact sometimes the word goals can send a shiver down your spine. In fact, I’ve written over 73 different blog posts, all with the word GOALS in it, that is a lot of writing about goals and if you count this post then it will be 74.
All in all it is a pretty good thing to have something in your sights that you would like to achieve when it comes to life, fitness and all things to do with your progression as a human being. When I sit with people to talk about Personal Training my first ice breaker is always about their motivation for wanting to change things up; invariably the conversation turns to achieving something that they used to have, have never had or what they think they want at the time in their life. 9 times out of 10 people are sitting in front of me trying to find the fastest way to be healthier and better.
This often leads us down a path that highlights a lack of balance, in fact, we all at some point in our lives will experience a lack of balance in the juggling act of living.
Today I thought it best to cover balance based on a series of coaching videos that I have studied through the CHEK institute. Life balance, yours and mine, can be broken up into 4 sections or 4 quadrants or 4 pillars, this is possibly the best way to ask and answer the right questions for longevity and health. I’ll create a video on this for next week’s post because I think that this is fundamental to life, vitality and us living as balanced as we can. For now the basics are as follows…
The four pillars to our health:
If we focus too much on one particular area then we run the risk of developing an imbalance in our health and vitality.
Let’s take me as the example 4 years ago - my diet was horrible, my movement was poor, I kept myself pretty busy and I was really unhappy because I hated my job. The sensation was my unhappiness and my intuition told me there was more to life than clocking in and clocking out of a job that I disliked. I felt very frustrated and that led me to think of ways to cope, i.e. eating lots and lots of comfort food.
Let’s face it, I didn’t get fat over night, I practiced quite a lot to get there, so we are talking years of neglect that led to the pillars crumbling away from my life. The rebuilding process is the toughest thing to start but the most amazing to watch grow.
I'm not suggesting you need or have to re-build your entire existence - what I am asking you to take from this today is that problems are easy to diagnose if you ask the right questions. If you are struggling to reach your goals there might be a slight imbalance in your life that you can work on.
What you can do this week then, is sit down with this blog post in front of you and ask yourself the questions in RED for each Doctor. If your answers are YES then that is awesome, if you are unsure or have a few NO responses then there is work to be done.
Next week’s video and blog I will spend more time discussing this model by Paul Chek, but in the mean time I will leave you with a couple of things.
I’ll leave you with a final quote from Paul Chek which is his definition of health, “Health is an honest willingness to engage your body-mind such that you engage body-mind challenges as an integral process of creating and living your dreams, and accomplish stated goals/ objectives.”
Ultimately your health is the most important thing that you can control, start your week well and complete the questions above, once you know where you stand you are in a great position to move forward.
Have a great week and I’ll see you in my video next week.
Stay Strong and Keep Moving!
Today’s blog is a little different to most. Don’t worry it will still have a motivational theme…
I saw something yesterday that threw me… My girlfriend and I took a leisurely Sunday drive to the Clent Hills outside Birmingham, we walked around the hills for a couple of hours and then decided to head back home for lunch. On the way back we decided to stop off at a monster Sainsbury’s shop, we got a roast chicken and some salad bits to create an epic Sunday lunch. Much needed after our walking.
We got back into my car to head home and as I turned the key the engine decided to remain quiet. There we were, alone in the car park with a chicken and little idea of how to get the car sorted. I called for breakdown to come as I figured that would be the best. As we waited for our hero to appear in his magical van and restart my car I decided to head to the cafe and get a hot drink.
I was in the queue for a while, and I studied the food menu in horror. Not because of the prices but because of the picture below. Have a look at it and see what stands out...
I’m not shocked at the choice of foods if I’m being honest, most kid’s menus are full of horrendous choices anyway. What I was and am still shocked about is the calorie count next to each meal, especially as the menu states that this is ideal for children aged 5-10 years old.
What the hell is wrong with the world? Calorie counting for children between the ages of 5 and 10 is something that has truly shocked me. Upon doing some research into this today, it seems that there is only some suggestion from government that this is a good idea, mostly they don’t seem to care. This is based on research that states that we are, as a nation, actually asking for this to be done to make healthier choices! (1) At the same time another study has indicated that only 15% of people actually used the calorie count to restrict their meals when eating out at restaurants by only 106 calories! (2) Now, looking at that menu again, it is like choosing the lesser of many evils because none of those foods are particularly healthy, and if you are telling little Timmy that the less number he eats the better, well then we are in a world of trouble.
Choosing something low in calories does not make it a healthy or unhealthy food. It just indicates the level of energy contained in said food. It is the macronutrient and micronutrient make up of the food that will determine the level of ‘health’ involved.
Regardless of the calories, macros and other labels that we seem to want plastered everywhere, and I use 'we' as a collective human race, governments, food companies and all. Why are we even having to justify the 'health levels' of any food that goes down children’s throats? Is it purely so that companies are covered legally when little Timmy dies from high cholesterol and a heart attack after eating his ‘daily allowance’ of cream pies from the local shop? - "But we warned you of the calorie count..." -
Childhood obesity is at an all time high, just with statistics in the UK alone: a quarter of 2-10 year olds are obese. One third of 11-15 year olds are overweight and obese. Chicken nuggets and pasta bake have been around longer than the idea of telling people how many calories they contain on a kids menu. When are we going to realise that the calorie count isn’t the problem and the actual processed rubbish is?
Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not sitting here writing this intent on making parents feel guilty for the choices they make when feeding their kids, although there is place for a serious re-think of what parents do give their kids everyday. In my view stress is the number one contributing factor in poor decision making, having a full time job, managing money and a household as well as providing good nutritious food for everyone can be a stressful task. We talk with our wallets and within surveys, if we are being asked if caloric information would help make an informed decision and we say 'yes' then companies will act on it. What you can’t bet on is the chefs that decide to give you a menu full of crappy options for you to feed little Timmy with.
I can also guarantee you that taking little Timmy to the emergency rooms 15 times a year because he can’t keep fighting infections and colds or has heart problems because he is obese will cause more stress than teaching him the value of good food. In fact if you read a book called Spark by John J Rately you’ll understand how promoting healthy eating and exercise in children can actually change their behaviour and improve interactions with others as young humans.
We are only as good as the information we look into, investigate and act upon, right now that menu is telling me that we have kids that are going to be growing up worrying about calories and not thinking about the rich abundant food that lies in the fruit and vegetable aisles of the supermarkets.
This obesity crisis in children and in general is not here because we lack information on diet, exercise and wellbeing. We are more able to read blogs, follow nutritional gurus and connect with people like myself who have lost weight many times over. The crisis is down to choice, we have the beautiful, wonderful, most awesome ability of free will - we need to harness that for the good of everyone.
We don’t need a menu to tell us what numbers add up, we need to wake up and realise that all these choices on that menu suck!
I chose to eat 20 cheeseburgers one evening when I was big, McDonalds didn’t have to tell me the calories of 20 burgers for me to know that I’d made a bad decision to order them. I knew it was but I was lazy, hungry and didn't really think of the consequences.
The choice is yours today to make your day healthier and happier. I can’t make you do it, I just write blogs and hope that they resonate with every reader; maybe enough to plant a seed so that some day things for you change. The same way I can’t make my clients lose weight or eat better, I can simply provide as much support and information as I can.
Last week I added a new video category to the We Move Fitness package on this website - this category is called “Family Workouts” and there is a video in there ready and waiting for families to enjoy - this is the first phase of introducing health, not only to individuals who need guidance, but to families looking to make a healthy change in their lives too. If you are interested in this then there is a 30 day trial running on the We Move Fitness Package at the moment and you can try it out absolutely free by clicking here.
As I said before, I don’t intend to make parents feel guilty with this post, I’m simply here saying that I know stress and ease can create choices and habits that negatively affect our health. We talk with our wallets and food companies listen. If we buy the good foods then the bad foods will become less on the shelves, at the same time our short term sacrifice of an extra 15 minutes to prepare a healthy nutritious meal for little Timmy can save us years down the line. Trust me, I’ve been in hospital and wasted my time and the time and resources of a very strained NHS, all because I was making poor choices.
Let’s start today to make good ones for our future.
Stay Strong and Keep Moving
When I was 16 years old I lived in Botswana and I had a car accident. I was pulling into my friend's house, possibly a little too quickly, I hit some sand and skidded into his wall. (I got my license in Zimbabwe at 16 so I was driving legally.)
It was quite a shock because everything went in slow motion from the moment I tapped on the breaks until I got out the car and screamed, “F#*K!” At the top of my lungs. The car wasn’t a write off, but the front left headlight was smashed and the bumper and bonnet needed replacing for sure. For a few moments after the accident, what seemed like eternity to me, I was absolutely crapping my panties trying to figure out the best way to explain to my parents what I had done. My friend and his sister were in just about the same amount of shock that I was in, although I’m sure they probably found it slightly more amusing. It’s not every day that your friend comes round and crashes into your house.
I managed to traverse the scolding from both my parents and drove the car home in convoy with my mum; much to my embarrassment a friend flagged us down on the way home to find out what had happened. I got through the next few weeks without being locked in a prison but the immediate accountability of the situation was a hard one to admit to. A few weeks down the line, I was still grounded and I knew that any stepping out of line would mean more punishment and probably even more disappointment on my parents part. In my weeks of being grounded I was still allowed to drive to school and to play some golf, but any other activities were strictly prohibited. It is funny that the anger parents exude from seeing you mess something up like crashing a car is far surpassed by the disappointment that they feel… The, “where did we go wrong” vibes were very strong.
During my grounded phase a family friend had gone out of town and an agreement was struck up that I would house sit for them, a fail safe to ensure that I behaved…
Once I was settled in the house for the first night and I had eaten some dinner I decided to call my friends and find out what time they were all meeting up at the Bull and Bush, our favourite bar. (Just ignore the fact that I was 16…)
I decided to seize the moment and stock up on some beer, load my family friend’s cooler box into my car and zip off into town to meet my friends. We’d often have drinks outside the Bull and Bush to save money the cooler full of booze would come in handy, along with the epic sound system in my car to provide an hour of entertainment before heading inside and meeting up with everyone else.
Later on in the evening I went back out to the car to get some more to drink, only to find glass all over the floor and in the car and the cooler box gone. The thieves had ignored the sound system and decided to steal the booze. I cleaned up the glass and then headed back to the house I was looking after, drank a little more then passed out. I woke up a few hours later with a stinking hangover and the anxiety of having to explain the broken window, and the missing cooler box.
I wished and wished the situation to go away, along with the hangover and I was really nervous and scared about the truth coming out. My parents were not happy, they extended the feelings of disappointment and frustration with my poor choices.
In the end, despite my antics and several hours left in paralysing torment about the consequences of my actions it was all done. I was just being a scaredy cat, sure I knew I would need to make amends for the wrong I had done, but it wasn't going to kill me to own up for my mistakes.
So how does this relate to you and your move to being the better you? Well, you can live your whole life worried about the chocolate you just ate or the bad weekend of boozing and never get anywhere wracked with guilt. (Me crashing the car and getting the window smashed in,) You can also spend your whole life worrying about the impending increase in waist size from said chocolate and alcohol. (Also me wondering what punishment I would endure.) When, actually then best thing is to get rid of the worry, accept the fact that it wasn’t a good choice and move on in the present to make better choices.
“If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.” Lao Tzu
Go out there today and get stuck in, make good choices for your health and your mindset and revel in the moment as much as you can!
If you have any questions or would like to join my awesome team of people working to be fitter and stronger each day then pop me a message or check out the services page!
Have a great week ahead :-)
Stay Strong and Keep Moving
Something that I have found quite useful recently is a mantra that I can repeat each day that gets my thoughts aligned.
You might think the word mantra is a bit spiritual or weird for me to talk about in a motivational and fitness blog, but hear me out. Or rather read me out...
A mantra, according to the english Oxford dictionary, is as below:
Yes, it can be spiritual, but it can also just be something that is said repeatedly. The reason I have been thinking of mantras is because I have found them a great way to start achieving some of the business goals I have set for the year. This hits on my personal goals too as my business influences my lifestyle.
I recently thought how this would have come in handy when I first moved to the UK in 2005.
When I came over to this country I had about £700 to my name and a fairly simple plan. Play as much golf as possible for a whole year. That seemed like a reasonable thing to want to do and it sure made me feel good. The only thing that I hadn’t bet on was, how to buy a car, register the car, pay for petrol, pay rent, buy food, pay golf membership… The list was endless, I was willing to get stuck in to get things done. The only problem was getting started.
I remember moving into a bedsit in Southampton, the room was cold, bare, and stunk of boiled meat. I could cook, open my fridge and lie down at the same time. There was no internet, there was only my first generation iPod and some tunes that reminded me of home. After the first couple of days things were looking a little bleak. I was walking everywhere because busses just didn’t make sense to me. On my way back from a trial shift at a new job (selling double glazing) I cried my heart out. I was down to a couple hundred pounds in my pocket and had spent the afternoon amongst a team of men who walked around neighbourhoods and got people very angry by knocking on their doors trying to sell windows.
It was all very bizarre to me as I was pretty sure that they had windows in their homes in the first place, I also had no idea when fascia boards were, in fact I still don’t know what they are. All I know is that I got a free lunch from the head honcho who I walked around with. He earned over £1000 per week and seemed to be able to sell just about anything.
It was an experience I would quite happily never experience again (I did however in London another time with Sky TV but that is another story).
Anyways, I walked home, jobless and with the idea that I could potentially never find a job other than walking around knocking on people’s doors and selling something that I had no idea about. Lying in bed crying myself to sleep I could have used a mantra, I could have done with having faith that there is always a way forward. Months later with the help of family, new friends and my own work ethic I had a job in a golf course and was doing something cool. The dream of professional golf was very far away. Each month I would suffer a crisis moment and I would go and sit by a river near a church in Andover and try to figure out a way forward, this often ended with the mindset of just muddling through.
I reckon if I had a mantra, or a few mantras back then I would have been able to get through everything with a bit more confidence in myself.
Of late they have proved their worth by helping out of some sticky spots, so here is a recipe for you to cook up your own.
It is a simple recipe and it aligns with spending positive time with yourself, this is something I covered in last week’s Personal Growth video in the member zone. In the last blog post I mentioned about how reading and listening to books has helped me grow. I one book I’ve recently listened to the author explains that what we think about the most we create more of. I feel like we live in a world where people are thinking about how stressed they are each day, how worried that makes them and how insecure they are because they don’t look or feel the way they think they should.
If you can add a mantra into your mind each time a bit of worry kicks in, or a bit of stress peeks around the corner then you’ll be filling your mind with positive affirmations that align with your goals. That doesn’t mean to say you’ll never had a bad day, or a moment of anger, it just means you’ll be able to recover from it better.
See how you get on with that recipe and let me know your results with injecting a mantra into your life, you might be surprised.
Have a great week.
Stay strong and keep moving.
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Brendan is the owner and head trainer at Raw Motion Fitness.