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Skedge 12/18/17 (Learning From ‘Insanity!’…)

By CEEJ | In St. Louis Fitness Bootcamp | on January 4, 2018

Happy Holidays Friend!


First and foremost…


Our Adopt-A-Family campaign exceeded all expectations this year!

Typically, I drop off a car full of gifts to the Salvation Army.  This year, Derek and I loaded TWO cars to the brim and dropped off SEVEN overflowing shopping carts of Christmas Joy to our adopted family of eight.  The reaction at the Salvation Army is always the same… “Is this all for ONE family?!”

You got that straight! 

Our Bootcamp family knows no bounds to its generosity.  And I still had people asking me last week if we’d covered everything on the list and if there was any more they could do.  Rest assured, we have sufficiently spoiled our family this year and while we won’t get to see their reactions, I can only imagine how blessed they’ll be at the kindness of strangers.  

Thank you for making this another successful project!  I’m constantly humbled and amazed by the love this crew continues to share.  

You all rock!  🙂


Learning From ‘Insanity!’…

I am NOT.  Playin.  With you.  Today.” – Shaun T


While I haven’t popped an Insanity DVD into my player in a couple years, I can still hear the stern words of Shaun T. pushing me to my physical limits in his breakout workout series, Insanity… and his follow up Insanity:  Asylum.

Xtreme Fitness For Life!: Body Beast, Asylum Vol. 1+2 Hybrid!

Shaun T. didn’t introduce me to fitness, but he did play a large part in igniting my passion in this field. 

In the era following my “prolific” high school football and wrestling career, I went through many phases in my relationship with fitness and physical prowess.

In college it was about burning enough calories to counteract my Keystone Light intake.  My physical motives were primarily bent towards attracting the ladies.

Post-college it was about stress release to keep me from wanting to cut myself during the ‘grueling’ 8-hour work day at my job as a mortgage closer.

…And yea, I still wanted to look good for the ladies. 

In the years that followed, my mom started to pique my interest in the realm of nutrition.

Tony Horton got me through some tough times with P90-X.

How To P90X Your Job Search | A Sales Guy Recruiting

I continued to research Crossfit, Men’s Health Magazine, and online forums as a hobby to distract me from long days organizing short sale deals as a real estate agent and entrepreneur.

But it was Shaun T. who totally changed the game for me, forcing me to leave literal puddles of sweat in my basement with every workout.

Even though I cringed at the thought of pressing play, I was determined that I wouldn’t miss a single day on the program.

19 best images about Shaun T on Pinterest | Keep calm ...

Shaun T. kicked my @SS!

But he had a subtle way of throwing in a joke or a smile or a sadistic laugh at all the right moments to keep me pushing just a little bit longer even when I thought I had nothing left to give.

At the end of 30 days, I swore I was in the best shape of my life. 

‘High school wrestler C.J.’ wants to protest this claim, but I had never felt better, springier, or lighter of foot when out in the real world.

I raved about the program to my friends, told them how great I felt.  Most of them put up with me, but told me I should become a trainer if I was so into this fitness stuff.  Didn’t they know I was an up and coming real estate mogul?

Call it serendipity or direction by God, but I found Johnny King’s ad for a Bootcamp instructor at just the right time (saving me from potentially accepting an overnight position as a UPS Box boy!  Not kidding…)

I didn’t have a degree in exercise or physiology or kinesiology.

I didn’t have any training experience.

I didn’t have any certifications.

My ONLY qualifications to be a trainer were my passion for the topic, a newly discovered six-pack, and my major claim to fame as a graduate of Shaun T.’s Insanity programs. 

I laughed out loud as I hit ‘Send’ on that email.  I remember thinking that there was no way in the world I would get a reply from this Johnny King dude.

But as you know… the rest is history.

I was reminded of this story while listening to my main man, Shaun T., bare his soul on a recent episode of The Model Health Show hosted by Shawn Stevenson.


It was like reuniting with an old friend, but discovering stories and a background that I’d never thought possible of such a high-flying influencer.

Shaun relates stories about a childhood riddled with sexual abuse, losing his grandmother during the shooting of the first Insanity series, and his own transformation from being 50 pounds overweight.

His turning point was losing the first 6 pounds of that 50.  He loved the process so much that he knew he had to be involved with it as a career.

I’ve talked about this in many blog posts before…

Falling in love with the PROCESS.  Not the destination.

And this theme continues to emerge.

Gary V. wants to buy the Jets.  But he’s less interested in the day of that accomplishment than all the days that include pursuing that milestone.

Gary Vaynerchuk and the New York Jets - YouTube

Tom Bilyeu wants to build a studio that rivals Steven Spielberg and a theme park that rivals Disney World.  Some pretty lofty aspirations… but it’s not the end goals that drives him as much as the burning desire to figure out how many people he can positively influence and save from “The Matrix” in that process.

How This Entrepreneur Grew His Company 57,000 Percent in 3 ...

Conversely, Nastia Leukin reached her goal and won gold at the Olympics.  But after the camera bulbs stopped flashing and the Wheaties boxes portrayed a new phenom… she was a retired 19 year old gymnast with no direction and started compulsively eating to fill the void as she fell into depression.

Top Sports Players: Nastia Liukin Profile - Nastia Liukin ...

You see movie stars and rock icons fall into depression and commit suicide routinely because they accomplished all their “goals” and found out it was empty at that the top.

Which is why I constantly try to caution clients against statements like, “I’ll be happy WHEN I lose this 30 pounds.”

Happy is not a future destination.

Sure, it’s fun to win the game.  But a week after winning the World Series, everybody’s talking about who will win the next one.

People like Shaun T. serve as a reminder that fitness can be fun for its own sake… Not just for the weight markers and rippling muscles (that the ladies still don’t really care about!)

Mike Rowe, host of Dirty Jobs, has famously displayed how people with some of the grossest, feces-covered, stench-infested jobs in the world… are also some of the happiest.  There’s no FitBit to calculate the number of dung piles collected in a day… there’s satisfaction and internal bliss generated from making a difference in their own life and in the lives of others.

Goals are great.  But they cease to be great when their attainment blinds you from the road that connects your present point A to future goal B.

I have a goal to do a 1-armed pullup.  Most days it feels impossible.  But I’m fascinated with the process of reaching a point where I can pull my bodyweight over a bar with only 1 hand.  And at the rate things are going, it may not happen in 2018… or 2019… but I’ve seen it done by others and I know that through perseverance, I can crack this nut.  What one man can do, another can do.

When it happens though, there will be no parade in my honor… (although there will probably be some not-so-humble bragging on Facebook and Instagram.  Booya!  Lol.)

But after some brief celebration, then it will be on to the next goal to see what else my body is capable of.  A new PROCESS to embrace and evolve through…

And so it goes with every facet of life… What else is my business capable of?  How can I strengthen my relationships?  How can I build new ones?  What kind of impact can I make in the world?

Shaun T. looks back at some of the horrific moments in his past.  Events he wouldn’t wish upon his worst enemy.  But he realizes it was all part of the process of getting him to the present where he is thriving and making a difference in the lives of people all over the world… including mine.

Your past traumas can become your present strengths!

Shaun shows no signs of slowing down either.  He’s got the money.  He’s got the fame.  He could retire at the ripe old age of 39 if he wanted to.

But he’s smarter than that. 

He’s embracing the journey.  He’s writing books.  He’s on the podcast circuit.  He’s venturing unchartered territory and widening the breadth of his potential impact on this world… touching lives in the physcial realm… helping people overcome obstacles in their mental world… and providing new purpose and possibility for a lost real estate agent who didn’t know he had a calling as a personal trainer and wellness enthusiast.

I look forward to thanking him in person some day.

This is only the beginning!

I’d like to thank all of you, once again, for all the impact you made in our Adopt-A-Family project.  This year was by and far the biggest haul of gifts.  We actually spilled over into a second car full and unloaded SEVEN heaping shopping carts full of gifts for our family of eight with some sizable gift card values to boot!

Your generosity can’t be overstated.   I had a lot of people thanking me in the past weeks for putting this together, but all I really did was put out an email and let our amazing team of big-hearted Bootcampers do the rest.

So thank YOU for making this possible!

Have an amazing pre-Christmas week!

God bless!


P.S.– Shaun T. now has a new book out that I intend to add to my collection soon:

T is for Transformation Excerpt | Rodale Wellness

Or if you’d like to hear his value packed interview on the Model Health Show with Shaun Stevenson, check it out here:  https://youtu.be/5LrhdF5-epg


Sign Up | The Battlegrounds Mud Run

Mark your calendars for 5/19/2018!!

That’s right!… We’re going back to the Battlegrounds!

Our crew had such a blast in the last one, that there was no hesitation in signing up for the next one.  

You gotta get in on this! 

AND… If you register early, you get a discount!  (Discount code:  LETSBATTLE)

Don’t miss out!

Here’s what to do (step-by-step instructions):

Go here:  http://thebattlegrounds.com/events/

Click Sign Up Now!

Click Sign Up Online Now

Click Register Now

Choose Afternoon Waves 12-3pm

Fill out the form… (CHOOSE Distance:  5k) (CHOOSE Team:  Battle-Tested Bootcampers)

Before you finish checking out, use DISCOUNT CODE:  LETSBATTLE to get $10 OFF!

Hoping to get a big team together for this one, dominate the course, create some new stories, and party like a rockstar at the finish line!

Discount code may only be good through the end of October… so don’t wait… sign up now and schedule your life around this event.  😉

Image may contain: 10 people, people smiling, people standing, sky, outdoor and nature





CJ’s Book of the Week:  “Irresistable” by Adam Alter


“Skedge” for 12/18/17-12/23/17

Manchester (Class Times:  Mon-Fri @ 5:30/7:00/8:30am & Satuday @ 7am)

Monday:  Lower (CJ)

Tuesday:  Upper (CJ)
Wednesday:  Core  (CJ)

Thursday:   Lower (CJ)

Friday:   Upper (CJ)

Saturday: Core  (CJ)


CJ Thomas

Owner, Operator, & “CeejEO”

St. Louis Fitness Bootcamp

ph:  314-266-9729

email:  CJ@STLFitnessBootcamp.com


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