Archive for October, 2016

“It can’t Rain all the Time…”

Posted in Articles on October 31, 2016 by oldcountrystrong

Every year we remember my friends brother Officer Tim Brenton by performing a workout called “Lumpy” in his honor.

Matty Brenton and I have been finding ways the last couple years to make things more difficult each time we do this.

I recently lost my uncle and during the weeks following his loss I did just about every awful training piece I could. This included everything from 40+ minute workouts to Fran. Training has always been a outlet for me so it just made sense. So this morning I decided to start this special day by redoing Fran and getting a 8 second pr dropping my time down to 2:02. The pr itself wasn’t all that important, it was the meaning of the effort.

I figured since I did this as a way to remember and cope with the loss of Tom that I would get myself ready for tonight by doing this again. This kinda behavior may seem off to other people but I find it pretty damn therapeutic personally. And I always talk about the journey in physical culture and if you could take something and feel back in control of your life by making your body do something and reflect on those you care about I say fucking do it.

“It can’t rain all the time,” isn’t a simple quote from a movie to me. Sometimes when it’s actually raining I’ll just stop and tip my head back. I close my eyes and feel it on my face. It’s reminder that the bad times come and they go. But being able to sit there and not allow it to define you is powerful medicine.

Matty you are good man and friend. You Betsy and Derek mean the world to me. I am forever honored to be a part of this day with you. Can’t wait to see you tonight my friend. Once more into the fray, Pals.

Posted by: Z

Advertisements

“Being in the same room with people and creating something together is a good thing.”

Posted in Articles on October 27, 2016 by oldcountrystrong

Does anyone else every click on those “Blank years ago” tabs on Facebook? Honestly I never really use to until just recently. It’s kinda funny looking back at it all sometimes.

I’ll admit it, I’m horrible with remembering dates. I have my birthday memorized since that ones a given. But I usually mess up the number of years I’ve been coaching when giving my intro at seminars. And don’t ask me to remember anniversaries and other peoples birthdays… I’m the worst. And thats what calendar and post it notes are for. If you’ve ever been in my office its like a scene from Memento, remember this, don’t forget that.

And this is all funny cause I can recall some things at the drop of a hat. Examples being all my athletes pr lifts, I can also tell you exactly how to structure training cycles to a science and know more teaching progressions dealing with physical culture then I care to write down. It’s not that the other stuff doesn’t matter too me, it is, they just seem to be the things that slip my mind.

So yesterday I happen to click on one of those “Blank years ago” tabs and I was surprised what I saw. It had been 4 years since I struck out from the first gym I helped build on my own to start what would eventually be NorthWest Strength and Performance. There was an article that was being reshared that day that I had written on this blog. I reread it as I hadn’t personally revisited that piece in some time. It was a good refresher for me that things were going in the right direction.

When I left that first gym I had no idea what to expect. I just knew I was going to give everything I had to the idea I had written about in that article and give something back to my community. I mean after all one of the biggest reasons I love my job is the connection you get with people.

Well something awesome happened when I made that jump, things took off. The gym grew, I started traveling all over the world teaching courses and it became so very easy to focus on work. I mean work was always my main focus but much like this blog use to be it was something I enjoyed. And no I’m not saying I lost sight of my joy of coaching. But I did become very focused on the business. The goal became the dream and the dream was never just the goal of building my gym. It was about giving something back.

So when I say things came full circle it has nothing to do with the fact that I was able to provide a new facility for the people I train. It didn’t involve being able to outfit that facility with coaches I respect and trust. Those things are great but they aren’t what I’m talking about. No it has to do with something thats very important to me and has been a constant as of late in conversations and posts of mine.

LiveForward

As much as I live my life out in the open I am still very much a private person like many of us are. Being “open” can be vulnerable and thats just uncomfortable for a lot of people. I’ve never been one to shy away from being uncomfortable. I have hard conversations, asks questions when I maybe shouldn’t and have made choices that I wish I hadn’t. Life itself by nature is uncomfortable. But so is training and that is why I identify with my job so much. The struggle to get better, healthier or just plain fitter is a journey for everyone. I love being able to give what guidance I can for folks on that journey. And thats the thing about all this. The journey is yours, it’s yours and no one else can live it for you.

But to think your alone is just the opposite of being strong.

A “lone wolf” is a term people like to toss around. Sometimes someone getting that description is thought of as strong. And yes, yes they are. But to quote the jungle book, (yeah I watched it with my niece and nephew) “The strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.”

A lot of times in life there are things outside of our control. This can be work, family or any other number of things that fall into what some people misleading say are “just life.”

Well I’m here to tell you that just doesn’t have to be true.

LiveForward is a project I have undertaken with a number of people I really admire. They aren’t afraid to be uncomfortable either. And they do it through their honesty. And I guess thats something I need to work on myself. Being strong isn’t being alone or internalizing all the time. It not always tackling issues on your own. It’s not turning a blind eye to something wrong. It’s being able to be unashamed that there are problem that may not be fixed with hard headedness, being stubborn or just buckling down as a workhorse to distract yourself.

No, sometimes being really strong is allowing yourself to actually lean on other people. I’ve spent the better part of my adult life building my gym and my business. I love what I do and wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. But when I say four years has past and things are coming full circle its because I have finally been able to find another way to give back. And even though it’s uncomfortable for myself to tackle these issues there is just to many people out there with out a support group to lean on.

These people may not be lone wolves. They may just be going through hard times with loved ones, lost them or just have their own personal issue and need support.

And thats the root of LiveForward. I have been lucky enough to find myself connected in a network of people who not only care but want to help. So to put a basic label of LiveForward its a peer support group. But if you find yourself alone or needing someone to to talk to its not that basic.

Your not alone.

We will be holding monthly support groups at our gyms in SODO. If you’ve lost a love one to suicide or a lost someone at all and find yourself weighted by it we’re here. If your feeling alone, we’re here. If you feel that you may be alone in dealing with your own personal mental health or being the support for someone else we’re here.

If this article makes you uncomfortable maybe stop and think if your like me and thought strength was the only answer. Training is an outlet, a healthy one. I tell folks all the time “Build strong habits.” These habits can come from training but don’t be to proud to be the one to see that it may not only end at a barbell or lifting a pair of bells.

Four years ago I set out to build my dream. Along the way I created a gym that I am very proud of. A community I’m proud of and friends that I am proud to stand by. Now four years after closing the door of the first gym I helped build I feel that circle closing and I am able to offer something to anyone who needs it.

There is no shame in needing help. Be Unashamed if your in need of support, your not alone, and LiveFoward will continue to offer it’s support to anyone who needs it.

I’m proud to be a LiveForward supporter. You don’t have to be alone in this, there is support, the first steps the hardest but there are people to take it with you.

Posted by: Z

“Courage is Found in Unlikely Places”

Posted in Uncategorized on October 6, 2016 by oldcountrystrong

Well I had a good talk with a friend of mine last night. Among the regular bullshit friends talk about and plan when having such conversations I received a interesting question.

“Why don’t you write anymore?”

It was a legit question that I had a number of excuses for but nothing that could back why I had stopped. Words have always been a outlet for me. I’ve always found my footing and grounded myself in using my words and vocalizing them. And when a friend told me last night that things I had wrote about didn’t only ground me but other folks that read them too I had to stop and look back at how much words meant to me. And in that conversation I realized how important writing was too me.

“Courage is found in unlikely places…”

Tolkien said that, he is far and away my favorite writer. Everyone has a favorite writer, you can honestly not read that much and still find yourself drawn to someones words, thats the beauty in them. When I was younger I was fearless with my words. Therapy to some people is talking with someone. To me it’s always been words. Written or spoken its how I’ve felt I could be the most authentic and honest with myself.

My brother and I use to write on this blog three times a week. It all started as that place to be honest and authentic. We wrote about about training, movies and hardships in life.

But the more I wrote, the more people started reading. And honestly it became hard for me to be honest. A small blog about life, training and movies was easy when it was a small blog about life, training and movies. And then like that I lost grasp on why I was writing and at certain point it started to feel like a job. And that’s when it became easy to lose focus on what was important and just see the job. That’s when I stopped writing.

I didn’t enjoy it anymore. 

I lost focus on what made me happy and made what I needed to get done my only goal. And to get back to being honest, that isn’t anyway to live life. Your goals need to be your goals and your life needs to be your life. And you need to live it. And if words help you express yourself in that journey then should just fucking use them (good to get back to swearing in my writing too, sorry Ma).

In a era of vapid social media its easy to not want to not write these. But as I was told if three people find what you write to be meaning then you should write it. So I’m going to do it. After years of writing three times a week to taking years off I can finally requote one of my favorite movies.

“Believe me… Nothing is trivial…”

 

Thanks Joe. (No proof reading as you requested, wouldn’t be me if I did)

Posted by: Z