Comeback Kid Character Profiles and Plot Synopsis

I would like to give a nice, detailed rundown on the basic plot of Comeback Kid and my motives for writing such a piece of work. Brock Patrick is very loosely based off of me and many of his experiences in the second half of the series are based off of my actual experiences to a certain extent, such as after his twenty-fifth birthday, everything written about him become hypothetical. The first part of the series is also hypothetical and it involves a situation of what may have happened had I never stumbled across the fitness lifestyle in the first place. I attest that none of the events in the first part of the book actually happened to me and I just wanted to paint a picture of someone who was never given a chance because he never gave himself a chance. Really remember that, as it’s a very important point and I cannot stress this enough.
As mentioned in a previous post, every single character created is either based off of people I know or in a broader sense an amalgam of two or three people I have met. Before heading into the actual synopsis I want to give a brief on some of the main characters you will see.
Brock Patrick: We already know him pretty well due to information given at the beginning of this article. A few more tidbits: Brock is of Spanish, British, and Irish descent (I’m personally not descended from any of these nationalities being Italian, Welsh, Scottish, German, with a hint of Native American). He wants big things in life and early on he has a sense of entitlement yet later on he develops a multitude of goals as well as a strong work ethic.
Jay Patrick: Brock’s strict yet deep down caring dad. He is a car salesman and he is really good at what he does. Jay sets high expectations for both of his sons.
Ana Patrick: Brock’s mother who typically is his voice of reason yet Brock refuses to actually admit this.
Jed Patrick: Brock’s brother who is five years younger than him. Jay is an exercise physiologist and rehab specialist. When he is older he is married and has two young kids.
Lenny Slayes: Lenny is Brock’s cousin who is in the same grade as Brock despite being five months younger and one of the youngest in the grade. Lenny excels at both academics and athletics. Lenny is also married and has two kids. He is also the CEO of an electronics company.
Obie: Obie is a supernatural figure who gives Brock a second chance at life after Brock is at his lowest of lows. Obie is based off of Ron Harris from A Bodybuilder is Born and when Brock, during his new life, faces difficulties and tribulations, Obie will appear and point him in the right direction. He doesn’t become very prominent until the second half of the series but is nonetheless worth the mention since he sets the story in motion.
Azula ‘Skye’ von Bek: Azula, better known by her nickname Skye or simply Zula, is a fitness trainer in Brock’s second life but also plays a part in the first half. In the first half, she is the girlfriend of a former high school classmate of Brock’s and is one of the only characters to show sympathy towards Brock in his first life. In the second half, she is Brock’s girlfriend. Skye is in great shape and is living the American Dream. She grew up in Switzerland. Fun fact: she is named after my first really nice car who I named Azula Skye. And for those who know me, she does take on the features of my celebrity crush….I can at least dream, right?!
Dale Detmer: Skye’s boyfriend in the first half of the book and former classmate of Brock’s. Detmer is a main salesperson of New Age, a small group and team training personal training service. Detmer is very cocky, arrogant, and is only dating Skye because she looks good at his side. He routinely disrespects her and her opinions on everything and cares only for himself.
Roberto Randle: One of Brock’s middle school and high school bullies in the first half of the book. Randle’s influence diminishes later on as he becomes more career oriented yet his actions early in the book really take a toll on Brock. He and his band of friends love tormenting Brock and killing his demeanor.
Okay, onto the actual plot synopsis. Brock Patrick is a down on his luck thirty-five year old who works a minimum wage, low skill job, drives a car that barely works, and lives in his parent’s basement. Meanwhile the former classmates and extended family of Brock, the latter of which Brock is forced to see on a rather regular basis, are succeeding in everything they had set out to do and are very happy and content with their lives.
Brock is a miserable individual yet at one time wanted success and big things to happen to him yet they never did. Brock expected great things to happen to him yet lacked the work ethic and drive that it took to make them happen. In other words, Brock wanted opportunity to be handed to him. As years passed, Brock bounced from being a cashier at a grocery store to working under his cousin Lenny, who he watched work his way up from regional manager to CEO of the company. The grand success of Lenny and everyone else close to Brock greatly angered him and he became the weak link of the entire family.
When Brock is at his lowest point, he meets a supernatural figure named Obie who gives Brock an offer he cannot refuse. Either continue living the way he has been living or go back and at least attempt to fix what Brock has broken. Brock chooses the latter and must now relive his life and attempt to correct the mistakes he made that led him to become nothing more than a family leech who lives in mom and dad’s basement.
My entire purpose for this writing is to show what can happen when one puts their mind to something. Something I have come to realize in my life is if one works hard enough and puts in the time required, they will not fail. They will eventually succeed one way or another. This is the beauty of life. If someone wants something badly enough, they will win in life. They can lose fifty times but it only takes one time to win if one can persevere and never give up. Winning will happen and it only needs to happen once. I can try and fail ninety-nine times but the one hundredth time may be the charm. This is the point I wish to get across to others.
We all know how hard it can be sometimes to achieve our own fitness goals. The work that is required, the time that is needed, and the mentality to keep going despite pitfalls, life getting in the way, and all the stress life can will bring. But we won’t fail if we can keep at it and stop worrying about the bad and focus on the good. It may take us five, ten, or twenty years to find what we are looking for but as long as we keep looking, we are going to get there. While I can’t guarantee an Obie will take you back to a time where you can fix things, the theme is that you can still fix things if you haven’t done so. Obie is here to help Brock, and sometimes that is exactly what we need: help! It’s okay to go out and seek out the aid of others in our quest to find happiness. It’s okay to be resourceful and it’s okay to seek direction in higher powers. Heck, if you can seek out a relationship from the cause behind our existence, it will very well work in your favor.

Summertime….Slack?!

We all love summer, especially if you live in the Ohio Valley. Our winters are roller coasters at best, with a few mild days here and there flanked by cooler days where the high temperature may hit thirty degrees. In other words, we like to take advantage of our warmer weather and from March to August, we are doing just that in a six month season that contains bonfires, concerts, the NBA and NHL playoffs, the NFL off-season (when much of the league’s drama takes place), and nights of endless partying. We work all fall and winter long from the months of September when the weather starts to get noticeably cooler, to February, when the weather kind of sort of gets warmer to build our bodies for that summertime look. It is for this reason when the time of year for tank tops, shorts, and skin for me to ask this one burning question: What the heck are we doing to ourselves? Why, when we work so hard to improve ourselves, do we slack in the summer? What are we doing? Is this fun, to go out and party hard in favor of bettering an already awesome physique? Seriously, I don’t find it fun or worthwhile because I’m not one to throw everything away during the time of year where I should be showing off the look!

Sure, if you’re one who is rather self conscious in your gym then by all means, take advantage of this. But if you’re a die hard, especially those of you who make a resolution come January, why are you taking the summer off? Or at the very least, why are you cutting your gym time in half? This makes no sense and no matter how you attempt to justify it, it makes no sense! Sure, you’re out having fun, I know (please note my sarcasm). You’re having a blast going out and DESTROYING everything you worked extra hard the previous six months to accomplish! Why are you throwing it away? There is no reason other than something I like to call the ‘heat of the moment.’ There are no excuses.

Okay, so what’s going to be the bright side? Because there is a a massive bright side to this and it lies in the realm of lifestyle change. Wow, isn’t that one of Todd’s specialties? Isn’t he a master at living a healthy lifestyle twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week? I have an idea so take my words of wisdom with this post. For starters, you can go beyond the gym in the spring, summer, and even the early fall. You have a local track, your neighborhood, your gym, the surrounding area of your gym, and heck, even your garage! The sweetest thing about warm weather is a gym can be placed anywhere. You only have to be creative.

The good news is you can still go to your bonfires, parties, etc, but you’re now living a healthy lifestyle and you need to exert discipline even around your friends. If this poses a problem to your friends and they start to treat you differently, they aren’t your friends so go out and find a group of people who will become your true friends. If they can’t accept you for your lifestyle that’s their problem, not yours, so don’t dwell on it. This is your life and you are in control. If you add a little bit of faith you are in even better control and that means you’re going to find a positive path while in between friends. But if your little clique you like to run around with are you true friends, they will accept you for living a healthy lifestyle. They might not agree with it and they may even find you to be insane or quite different but they are your friends if they accept it without judgement.

Now again you have to keep your lifestyle consistent. You need to keep up with your workout commitments and NO SKIPPING WORKOUTS! You have to keep your game up and remember how you accomplished your greatest physique ever. Another aspect to remember is you need to keep your nutrition up to par. No cheat meals unless your macro-nutrient intake is low that day. Remember, it’s not a cheat if you don’t go over your carbohydrate, fat, or protein intake. Remember that and if you are going to your favorite restaurant, you fit your meals into your macros.

So what else is there to remember about your resolution? You need to not stay up all night like you probably did every single weekend last year. You have to keep your body properly rested in order to have effective workouts and although it’s a night on the town you need to give yourself a curfew and stick to it. You can still go out and have fun and once in a blue moon stay out until two in the morning but just put a cap on the amount of times you do this. Not only that, if you aren’t properly rested, you body is going to deal with a lot more than just bad workouts. Your sleep pattern will be off, your ability to think will be off, your ability to burn fat will be off, and you are also more likely to overeat with the wrong foods the following day or the time you return home, which will blow your diet. Not only that you will feel sluggish and potentially sick the following day.

So again, why is it that we would work so hard only to defeat our purpose? You can’t be doing this to yourself just because the crowd is out there or just because your friends are somewhere. You still need to exercise the same discipline your implemented in January. You need to remember the ‘why.’ You need to remember what motivated you to begin and why you wanted to make a change in the first place. So keep that resolution clicking.

 

Music For Motivation

We all have motivation that lies from within. We all have a reason (or reasons) to go to the gym and hit up an awesome workout that will leave us feeling on top of the world. But how many of us will say we hate every single minute of training and at times decide to only go half to three quarters of our potential on any given day? That will leave us feeling less like we rule the planet and more like we should have done better during our time in the gym that day. The funny thing about fitness is that it is the ultimate two way street. One way, the high intensity, hard working way, leads to great things while the lower intensity, glass half empty way leads to nothing  but regret after we exit the gym parking lot.

How can we fix this? There are a few ways, and one such way is to consistently put into your mind what motivates you to even come into the gym. Is your motivation for working out something aesthetic based? Or is it a strength goal? Some of you are athletes and you wish to get better at your respective sport. Whatever the reason, sometimes we completely forget the ‘why’ when we step into the gym.

My favorite remedy is to always have my gym music on hand. Many of my songs are played on my phone solely to motivate me. What is it that makes me consistently think about my goals? This is the question you need to ask yourself. What is it that strengthens you from within? Many of us may be religious and gospel music may be the way to go while others get wound up from  mainstream music or something fast paced.

I tend to lay in the fast paced realm of things but I’m not exactly mainstream. In fact, I’m a huge fan of music that makes me picture my final aesthetic goal. Something that really gets that picture of my final product into my mind. Something epic, heroic, and is seen in many of your epic action flicks or video games such as 300 or even something like Elder Scrolls. To me, putting myself in that kind of world while going at it hard in the gym provides me extensive motivation. To put that kind of epic picture in my mind is really something that keeps me going each and every day. Below is a playlist of my favorite songs and artists that you may want to try to listen to during your next workout.

DragonForce: Valley of the Damned, Cry Thunder, Prepare For War, Seasons, Operation Ground and Pound, Soldiers of the Wasteland

Nightwish: Elvenpath, Sacrament of the Wilderness, The Kinslayer, Ever Dream, Dark Chest of Wonders, Ghost Love Score, Amaranth, Last of the Wilds, Last Ride of the Day, Storytime, Shudder Before the Beautiful, The Greatest Show on Earth

Dark Moor: Any and every song from The Hall of Olden Dreams and the Gates of Oblivion.

Xandria: The Prophecy of Worlds to Fall, Euphoria, Blood on my Hands, Soulcrusher, the Lost Elysion, Call of the Wind, A Thousand Letters, Sacrificium, Nightfall, Stardust, Dreamkeeper

Kamelot: Forever, Center of the Universe, Karma, Wings of Despair, Descent of the Archangel, Across the Highlands

Two Steps from Hell: Not necessarily songs but more orchestra based. Still worth the look though. Master of Shadows, Armada, Jump, Skyworld, Winterspell, El Dorado, A Hero’s Return, Fire Nation

Other bands and groups worth checking out: Falconer, HammerFall, Delain, Sonata Arctica, The Birthday Massacre, Within Temptation, and Ancient Bards.

The Dream Is Still Alive

Today I want to talk about setbacks. Setbacks are a part of life and this is something we must understand. They are going to happen to all of us at one point or another. Sometimes a setback occurs alone, other times, they come in packs. Setbacks may present themselves without warning and other times, they may be foreshadowing, just waiting for the right time to strike. Setbacks can and probably will affect your life and the level of stress they may unleash is unpredictable. The problem with setbacks is that they are prone to set us back a specific amount of time. They may set us back a few days, weeks, months, or in some cases, years. In short, a setback can be a zero or it can be a ten.

What is scary about a setback is what they can potentially do to one’s peace of mind. Some will approach them head on and knock down any obstacle that gets in their way. Others, not so much, and this is what must be addressed. Some will see their potential setback as an opportunity and do all they can in their power to break down the barrier. And unfortunately, others completely throw in the towel on their goals and we all know those who have done just that. We know of those who will ramble on and on about their past and how they were once this or once that at one time or another, only to succumb to something that blocked them from capturing their ambitions.

Today, we need to identify when a setback occurs and what we can do in order to conquer any kind of obstacle that gets in the way of our goals. Setbacks occur for a variety of reasons and their causes are infinite. Some will say their setback is simply ‘life getting in the way’ while others allow one event to completely reroute their entire future. Imagine that, one thing being the cause of a bleaker future after one may have worked tooth and nail to get to where they were before that setback occurred. My first bit of advice is that we should never, ever allow one thing to redefine us no matter what it is. We can bounce back from anything no matter what and that must be understood. As long as we are still living, we have that potential in us.

So allow me to be hypothetical: someone is working hard toward a fitness goal and is suddenly sidetracked. Let’s say this person is married with two kids and finds out they are laid off from work. That is going to change things but only for a certain amount of time. If this person is halfway to their goal and this occurs, why are they going to just throw in the towel? Look, this setback may be an opportunity for something better, something great. It may simply be a blessing in disguise. Let’s say this individual was really into the gym and had been going at it for a year after taking twenty years off from any kind of fitness regimen and say this man’s wife joined him in his workouts two months ago. What can be done? Remember, he just got laid off.

Okay, so he obviously developed (or rediscovered) his passion for fitness. Maybe his old job was full of people who lived rather unhealthy lifestyles. Maybe they were sedentary outside the job, ate poorly, drank regularly, and partied hard on weekends. In no way, shape, or form did his former co-workers live the man’s lifestyle. Worse yet, maybe they poked fun at him for bettering himself, making positive changes, and becoming a better role model for his kids. Seriously, this is America in 2016, people will make fun of and hate on the success of others if they don’t  see themselves as being capable of achieving such milestones.

Even if this job was a good paying job, it was a blessing in disguise that was simply helping the man get out of this situation. But now he has no source of income other than his wife’s $40,000 salary. If the man made $80,000 per year and is now making nothing, the family’s income is drastically cut. He now has to begin budgeting and he fears the gym may be part of budget cuts.

Let’s stop right there and ask why that may be so. He worked so hard the past year to get to where he was and he was positive enough for his wife to join as well. That’s huge, because for the past eight weeks he now had a training partner, the best training partner one can ask for and yes, I apologize if my Mr. Conservative side is showing right now. They both love the gym and now it might have to go because they have to pay for bills, expenses, finances, and for their two kids who are both involved in numerous activities. Yet the gym, something they found success in, must go?

It’s like Coach Lee Corso likes to say, “Not so fast, my friend.” This newly unemployed man has an opportunity, not a setback, and this is what my article is going to say. Remember when I said we need to identify setbacks. Setbacks don’t exist, opportunity exists. Blessings in disguise exists. The old theory of everything happening for a reason, and good reason, is hard at work. Setbacks don’t exist, opportunity exists.

The man has an opportunity, and the opportunity is right in front of him and yet he doesn’t quite see it because he’s so clouded in negativity and in the negativity of others (America in 2016, people) that he can’t see the opportunity right in front of him. He has many opportunities. For one, if the man oversaw a good deal of people, he has management experience. He has sound work experience, and up to this point he has been very successful in his endeavors. And he found a passion in fitness. This man can get certified to be a personal trainer, he would probably get hired tomorrow if a gym needed a sales manager, and in some cases, he could do both. In addition, if he and his wife have bright minds they could start their own training business and do what they love. This isn’t the end, this is a new beginning and that’s what setbacks are, they are new beginnings.

As the old saying goes, “When one door closes another one opens.” This is true, very true, and what’s even better is that the dream doesn’t have to end. I could lose my job tomorrow and is the dream over? Of course not! Sure, a chapter in my life would have ended but I only have to turn the page to see what’s next and chances are, something bigger and better is right around the curb. You need to turn your page in the story of your life if you want to see what’s next and you won’t be disappointed.

We need to start thinking positive and when I mean start thinking that way I mean doing so all the time. I’m a fan of the Cleveland Browns and they have been terrible since 1999 but all of these setbacks have been opportunities. There has always been hope in Cleveland no matter how bad the situation gets. Look at 2016 and a man named Robert Griffin III. He flamed out in Washington and they released him after the 2015 season. Now he has a new hope, a new opportunity, in Cleveland. He didn’t experience a setback, he experienced an opportunity where he can lead one of the NFL’s most doormat franchises back to the glory they saw back in the 1960’s. Robert Griffin III has an OPPORTUNITY to do something neither Bernie Kosar, Brian Sipe, Tim Couch, Brady Quinn, or Johnny Manziel have been able to do. Griffin’s past three years haven’t been of futility, they have simply set the stage for him to possibly do something great, and so does every single so-called setback.

Comeback Kid Acknowledgements

As I mentioned a few days ago, I decided to create an actual story about a guy who fails at everything (including his non-existent fitness life) and as a result he is very unhappy and just plain angry at his situation. He receives a chance to actually relive his life where his failures really began to pile up. In short, he gets a chance to change his life and become successful. Of course, this story is entirely fantasy and fictional but there are a lot, and I mean a lot, of references to my own life so I did draw a lot of this from personal inspiration. Now did I ever have a living situation such as my main character? Not in my adult life, but let me tell you, when I was younger I could have very easily went in that direction. This story is actually about what would have happened had I continued to lack a work ethic and live to play video games only. Ah, the good old days of grade school and middle school!

So what really caused me to write a story in which the first two portions contained exactly seventeen pages on Microsoft Word? In all honesty, a really diverse crowd of life experiences and works of others played very influential roles in this piece of work.

My first inspiration is made up of several lessons I learned in my own life about what it means to be successful in your line of work. You want to go out and get what you want. Nothing is ever handed to you and those who are the most successful in their respective fields are the hardest workers. They want it more than the other guy and they will do anything and everything to get what they desire. They will stay up for days looking to build their empire. So my first inspiration: Never hate on those who are successful.

My extended family and old classmates were also larger than life inspirations. Many of the characters in Comeback Kid are based off of them and I had a lot of fun creating these memorable souls in my work. Now of course, not a single one of them actually mirrors their real life counterparts but I did borrow many qualities and characteristics from these people and for that, they have all been unforgettable influences in my life.

Wow, I would have been burning some serious bridges had I not written my acknowledgements before sharing this series. I want all of those who may see themselves as a character in this work to know that I had a ton of fun with creating (and exaggerating) their looks and character personalities to the maximum. It really was a blast and in all honesty, without these people in my life at one point or another this work would have never been possible. I’m definitely offering some peace here!

I once came across a series called A Bodybuilder Is Born by a bodybuilder and writer named Ron Harris. It is a series I have read many, many times and every time I read it I get inspired. I will be sharing Comeback Kid in a very similar fashion as A Bodybuilder Is Born. I will only share a chapter or two at any given time and there will be some cliffhangers at times, just like in A Bodybuilder Is Born. If Ron Harris ever comes across my blog or even my project, I hope he knows just how much inspiration and motivation his works provided.

Of course, my current gym (and current place of work), Anytime Fitness is mentioned many times in many different areas in the work as well, posing as 24/7 Fitness. They deserve sound recognition because without them offering a once upon a time twenty-one year old fledgling personal trainer with no experience outside working with fit college students, I never would have been able to write this. Many of those who have come to Anytime Fitness have become not only friends, but best and lifelong friends. I don’t care if I move to Fort City (Charleston, South Carolina), Steel City (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), Lake City (Cleveland, Ohio), or who knows where, if it weren’t for you all, I would never be able to eventually expand my craft one day.

 

 

 

 

 

Conquer Your Stress

Many of us lead interesting lives but what really is it about our lives that are of interest to us? Sure, many of us should have a job and we go to that daily, or at least most days out of the week. Many of us love to go out, watch a sporting event, gamble, go to bars, or wherever else the day (or night) will bring. So what does this have to do with my own, and your, fitness life? It actually has everything to do with it.

Like I’ve mentioned my specialty in this field is lifestyle change, so when I’m honing my craft, I’m researching various parts for the role just like a Hollywood actor would. So a few years ago I did just that. I went to a few bars and attended a few parties. Were they fun? Yeah, they weren’t too bad. Were they worthwhile? No, not at all. In fact, after I woke up at home the next day, sleeping until about noon, and dehydrated from the night before, I felt nothing  but regret. What did this have to do with any goal of mine? What kind of benefit did this serve? How did this help me with my purpose in life? The answer to all of these questions was simple: doing this had nothing to do with any of my goals, it served no benefits, and in all honesty, it set me back from any kind of purpose I had in my life.

What it did do was tell me what I already knew: this lifestyle had in no way, shape, or form any kind of benefit. It served me nothing and in all honesty, it only created setbacks. But just like God did roughly 2,000 years ago in experiencing what it was like being a human in the flesh, I had to see what it was like to live what many would call a “mainstream lifestyle.” This is why I’m such a big fan of that Fit to Fat, Fat to Fit series, because sometimes we as trainers need to see what certain situations are like before we can fully wrap our minds around them. We need to see where the vast majority of people are coming from and why they do what they do.

Why do people live this way? Why do some of the best people we know go to bars, drink, gamble, watch endless sports, and do whatever else they decide to do that serves absolutely no purpose to themselves and others? In all honesty, we all need stress relief and that is exactly what this is for many, if not all of them. It’s their way to escape from all of the stresses in life that may include work, family, relationship, financial, medical, and any other type of related issue. This is their way to chill and relax. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way.

Am I weird when I say I actually welcome and enjoy having a little bit of stress in my life? Because I really don’t find this so strange. I see something many others may fail to see and acknowledge, and that is the fact that anything, even something negative such as stress does not have to be a bad thing. In fact, it can be a motivator. Think about it for a second. What if everything in life is going wrong? Picture this situation: your sales at your job are way down this month and your boss is putting massive amounts of pressure on you. One parent is sick at the moment and the other one is having surgery the next day. You just broke off a two year relationship and you’re currently living paycheck to paycheck because the bills and various payments have been piling up.

Certainly a situation like this would create a massive amount of stress for anyone and I wouldn’t want to imagine anyone going through anything like this because the above scenario may be among the absolute worst. A person like this can easily find the party hard life on the weekends to be a distraction to say the least. But like I said, if I were in a situation such as the one listed above, why not take this stress and use it as a motivating tool for yourself? Why not take a bad situation and turn it into a good one? The interesting thing about life is that it is a two way street and you can go one way or the other. You can take your situation and feel sorry for yourself while at the same time you can take your situation and use it as a motivator to  make things better for yourself and realize you are worth more than what you are. Way more. Really.

What I’m saying is that stress can be a good thing, a really good thing. Why not change the way you live your life? Why not change your coping mechanisms? Why do you have to do what everyone else is doing to relieve their own stress and follow them like sheep in a field? Why not be a leader? Why not be the one who says they do not choose to go there but they choose to go elsewhere? Why not cope with stress in a way that is beneficial? Why not take a stand and do something good for yourself for a change.

The very first book I ever read was a book called “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” by Dr. Seuss. I was three years old and it was the very first accomplishment of my still young life. It’s also one of my favorite books to this day and it’s a book I’ll still read to this day. What is the overall theme of the book? It’s about life and it’s challenges and that you will have your ups and downs. Sometimes you’ll be flying high and other times you’ll find yourself in a slump. Then you’ll take a route and you might end up at a place called The Waiting Place, where the vast majority of us will find ourselves at one point or another. But we’re better than that and we’ll be taking our shots in  life, sometimes with others but other times alone. What’s even better though is that if we use our obstacles as motivation, we’ll face our fears move mountains. We will end up on different streets, avenues, and anywhere and everywhere in between, but we have to keep moving forward and never end up at The Waiting Place.

So how do we take whatever hand we are given and turn it into a winner? Change your ways. Do things that are going to benefit you both in the short and long term. Don’t be one of those people who are constantly stranded in The Waiting Place. We’re all better than that. God chose us to live this life simply because He’s seeing something in us we are not always seeing, but we’re all here for a reason and for a good reason. Do things that are going to make you feel good about yourself and that will make you a better person inside and out. This is why I love the gym. I love to workout daily because it always gives me a sense of accomplishment. I like to read, write, and learn new things and I’m always looking for ways to become a better trainer. I like to keep my ego grounded these days and always remain a student and learn from others. I like to teach others but I also like to learn as well and continue to learn. I am a fitness professional who is not only certified; I will also have a degree in the field come October. Will I be an expert? Yes and no. I’ll be an expert in my specialty but I’ll remain a student in everything else. That is the inter-dependency I would like to bring to the table.

I am going to use this post as a way to set the stage for future posts. I think anyone who subscribes to me is going to really, really enjoy these next few months because I am going to tell a story about two distinct lives of the same person. This person is going to serve as a protagonist on what happens when one takes stress and turns it into a negative situation and leads a negative life. Luckily for him, this is a work of fiction so he receives a little bit of supernatural help when he is at his lowest point in life and receives an opportunity to relive his life and do it over again. He then learns to take his negatives and use them as motivation and turn them into positives. This story is why I had taken such a very long hiatus from this site and it’s a project I have been working on for quite some time. And I have had a blast writing it!

Make Cardio Interesting

The dreaded cardio stations. Nothing speaks volume of never ending boredom than a treadmill with a ten inch TV attached to it. The ellipticals only offer repetitive motion and the bikes take forever to burn off that lunch outing. If there is ever a common pet peeve in the gym, it’s the cardio equipment. Add in the forty year old soccer moms burning three hundred calories an hour (never fails to impress me) while walking slower than they would had they just taken a casual stroll outside in the vast wilderness. Does this sound familiar? Yeah, I know.

Luckily cardio does not have to be so boring. In fact, it can be fun. Very fun. Fun as in the resistance training portion of your workout will be the boring part. Okay, so maybe not that fun, but at least you can do more than just steady state on a machine while trying to zone out to the latest episode of Dr. Phil or that Seinfeld episode you saw for the four hundred and sixty second time since 1998. Actually, I was only seven in 1998 so my only cardio at the time was first grade recess unless you count baseball season but I grew up playing right field. Ah, if only I knew then what I know now: I was meant to be an MVP in the gym. Alright, not the MVP, but the most popular guy in the place.

So how do you make cardio a blast that everyone can have fun doing while seeing the results they want? It’s easy. You need to mix it up and mix it up often. Does your gym have tractor tires? Why not try a tire workout? Do tire flips, take a sledge hammer and beat the brains out of that tire as if it were your boss from work. Yeah, working out gives us the utmost satisfaction. Do you have a rower machine at your gym? What about a stairmaster or Jacob’s Ladder? You can do literally hundreds of different workouts. Here are a few of my favorite and yes, I name my workouts. When you name them people remember them.

A Prophecy of Worlds to Fall

3 minutes for round one, 2 minutes for round two, and 1 minute for round three. Go as fast as possible at each station and your only break is when you are switching stations.

In a circuit, do these exercises: Jacob’s Ladder, Stairmaster, Rowing Machine, Run, Jump Rope around the building (way better than treadmill).

 

Sacrificium

This workout consists of three rounds of two minutes at each station. There are more stations and Sacrificium is longer than Prophecy.

Here is the circuit: Jacob’s Ladder, Stairmaster, Rowing Machine, Run, Battle Ropes, Jump Rope, Sledge Hammer on Tire (you can substitute a Med Ball and do slams with it instead), and finish with 20 Kettlebell Swings.

 

Ghost Love Score

You start with eight movements. After the first circuit, kick out the eighth movement. Do the circuit again minus the eighth movement and after the second circuit, kick out the seventh movement. Keep this up until you have subtracted every movement. Each movement should take 30 seconds to complete with the only rest being switching to the next movement. Here is my favorite circuit:

Push-ups; Goblet Squat; Bodyweight Row; Kettlebell Swing, Mountain Climber, Burpee, Get-up Sit-up (look this movement up, it’s brutal), Sit-out.

 

Two For Tragedy

You are going to do five rounds of each super-set:

150 Jump Ropes; 50 Jumping Jacks

100 Battle Ropes; 25-50 Push-ups

10 Burpees; 25 Mountain Climbers per leg

 

These are merely a few workouts I have cooked up. My cardio workouts tend to be just as fun as my weight training routine. Do you know what this article is saying? Get creative with your workouts! Repetition will always get boring after a few weeks of doing the same thing. Why not try something new for a change and keep things interesting? You don’t need to wait for a cardio machine the next time every single homemaker in your community is walking their two o’clock hour watching Jerry Springer or whatever kind of daytime television is on at that hour. Keep it interesting and turn some heads in the gym in both the weight room and cardio section. See ya later!