Upcoming Event… THIS FRIDAY!!
It’s that time of the year again… My Birthday… My first day as a Bootcamp Trainer… and my conversion to Bootcamp Ceej-E-O… all took place on approximately the same date: April 8th.
It’s a special time of year for me because, in my mind, it marks the date that I found my true calling. As such, I’d like to invite you to celebrate with me as it provides a great excuse for the Bootcamp Family to go out and be social somewhere outside our familiar soccer field setting. Come out and have a few adult beverages with myself and your class mates.
We’ve had an absolute blast with this event and great turn outs in the past. So if this is your first year at Bootcamp, be sure to come out and make some new friends and some new memories.
What: Birth-Camp-Iversary Party!!
Where: Joey B’s (near Manchester and Baxter Rd)
When: Friday, April 6th
(No gifts, please… just come out and have some fun!) 🙂
BANG! BANG! BANG!
Three shots fired. Zero targets hit.
Tony was pinned down in a gun fight and taking cover behind a station wagon.
BANG! BANG! BANG!
Retaliation shots plinged their way into the metal panels of the station wagon. The last one felt eerily close to his temple.
Tony frantically reviewed the situation in his mind, “It was such a good plan… where did things go wrong?”
It didn’t matter now…
“We have you surrounded… Come out with your hands up!”
“Sure… and spend the rest of my life in the slammer… you’re not taking me alive Coppers!”
Tony peeks out and fires three more poorly aimed shots.
And then everything goes black.
When Tony opens his eyes again he’s sitting across from a man dressed in all white.
Tony is shocked and disoriented at first. Wasn’t he just in a gun fight??
All at once it washes over him…
He lost the gun fight.
The man in white addresses him, “Congratulations, you’ve made it! Everything you’ve ever wanted can now be yours.”
Tony’s confused… but the man in white continues.
“Visit our casino and you’ll roll sevens every time. Think about your favorite drink and it will be yours instantaneously. Ask… and it will be yours.”
Tony can’t believe it. It’s not the afterlife he was expecting. But he’s damn glad to be here! Maybe that nasty, old nun from his Catholic grade school put in a good word for him with the Big Man.
In any case, it’s everything the man in white promised.
Every bet he places is a win. Every desire he has is fulfilled. There’s no resistance. No rejection. No struggle. No losses. No difficulties of any kind whatsoever.
And Tony. Becomes. M-I-S-E-R-A-B-L-E.
A week passes, and Tony demands another meeting with the man in white.
“This place is terrible!” Tony exclaims. “I never lose at anything. There’s no suspense. There’s no chance. There’s no challenge. I hate it here! You call this place heaven??”
The man in white scoffs and looks him dead in the eye, “Who ever told you this was heaven?”
If this story sounds familiar, it’s loosely ripped from an old Twilight Zone episode.
But the moral of the story is clear…
We, as humans, crave struggle.
Without it, we live in our own personalized circle of hell.
In 21st century USA where most of our baser needs have been met, many will subconsciously create drama where none actually exists.
Here are some recent Tweets I looked up under the hashtag: #TheStruggleIsReal
While potentially amusing, this goes to show that even in the absence of REAL struggle, we’ll settle for some manufactured struggle.
The illusion is that we’d prefer to have no struggle at all.
Most people think they’d be happy taking a pill that instantly takes you to your ideal weight.
But what do you actually get out of that process?
Maybe some good selfies at the beach. But there’s no real sense of accomplishment there.
And without the struggle, the desired result rings hollow.
On the surface it sounds good to have your cake and eat it too… and get six-pack abs in the process… and never have to touch a dumbbell… and ride a unicorn to Disney World while your own personalized theme song plays in the background.
I can see why people THINK a magic weight loss pill that DOESN’T cause cancer or an@l leakage is THE DREAM.
But I can assure that ‘the dream’ is actually hell in disguise.
The struggle makes life worth living. The struggle is how we grow. The struggle is the very necessary cost of improvement. The struggle is what’s REAL.
To further illustrate this, let’s examine a real life story of fictional characters.
The Man of Steel, aka Superman, appeared in his first comic book in the 1930’s and became a quick hit.
He was the first of his kind. A super hero.
He could jump over buildings in a single bound. He could stop bullets. He had X-Ray vision… laser vision… and he could fly.
What’s not to like?
In the years that followed, Superman became even more super.
His powers expanded to include awesome feats like moving planets and flying so fast that he could turn back time.
He was, essentially, a god…
And comic book sales PLUMMETED.
Why?… Because that shitake is boring!
A super hero boy scout who has every imaginable power, always does the right thing, and possesses zero weaknesses??… Wake me when it’s over!
As Superman fell out of favor, Batman’s popularity sky-rocketed.
This was a hero people could relate to. A man who had no super powers. A man who had lost his parents in a tragic act of violence. A man who was filled with darkness. A man who had to work hard and call upon all his resources to protect his home city of Gotham.
This was not a god. This was a man. He was one of us.
A man with inner conflict, turmoil, and demons. A man who fought for justice, but couldn’t call upon supernatural powers to level the playing field.
A man named, Bruce Wayne. Not a perfect, untouchable alien from Krypton, but a flawed and tortured human from Earth.
A man with a worthy goal to battle corruption.
A man with a haunted history that would follow him like a shadow.
A dark knight.
A lifetime member of Team Struggle.
That’s the kind of hero I can get behind.
That’s the kind of hero we can all relate to.
Ghandi. Martin Luther King. Jackie Robinson. George Washington.
Each of them heroes in their own right.
<img data-cke-saved-src=”https://images.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=http%3A%2F%2Fgivemelibertyorgivemedeath-ar.weebly.com%2Fuploads%2F1%2F4%2F5%2F3%2F14538672%2F3350817_orig.jpg&f=1″ src=”https://images.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=http%3A%2F%2Fgivemelibertyorgivemedeath-ar.weebly.com%2Fuploads%2F1%2F4%2F5%2F3%2F14538672%2F3350817_orig.jpg&f=1″ alt=”George Washington – American Revolution – ” give=”” me=”” liberty=”” …”=”” data-icontact-width-flexible=”640″ style=”margin: 0px; border: 0px solid rgb(0, 0, 0); width: 338px; height: 190px;” data-icontact-resized-width=”338″>
Our fascination with these historical figures has nothing to do with how perfect their lives were. On the contrary, it has everything to do with the struggles they overcame.
That’s why we continue to read their books and tell their stories.
So you have to ask yourself, “What kind of story am I writing?”
If you’re looking for perfection, you can head over to Instagram where the lighting is always eye-popping, the filters remove every flaw, and the duck faces are always… well, weird… (I don’t get the duck face… why do we think this is cute???)
Believe me, nobody wants to hear about your perfect life. Nobody’s picking up your comic book without the conflict, without the heartache, without the struggle.
Once the filters are off, the duck lips are un-ducked, and your photo-shopped puppy ears have been amputated… there’s just you. The raw, real you.
And frankly, that you is a lot more interesting.
No… you don’t have to save Gotham from the criminal underworld. And you don’t have to found a new nation by declaring liberty from the British.
But you do have to struggle.
You do have to get out of bed (even when it’s raining).
You do have to work out (even when you don’t feel like it).
You do have to say no to cheesecake (at least once in a while).
Because, deep down, you WANT to do those things.
You WANT what those things do for you. You WANT the growth and the sense of accomplishment and the results that come as by-products.
If you’re able to re-frame this in your mind, you will lay claim to your own true-to-life super power.
The sooner you recognize that you can dance with the struggle, rather than resisting it at every turn, the sooner you write a story that’s actually worth reading.
So stop wishing it (the struggle) away!
Because A.) Wishing is worthless.
And B.) You’d miss it if it were gone.
Perhaps Bruce Lee said it best:
“Do not pray for an easy life. Pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.”
Have a great day… and embrace your struggles this week. That’s the good stuff! 😉
P.S.—If you’re wondering how Superman survived the test of time, he only regained popularity after writers added struggle to his universe in an effort to level the playing field. They introduced kryptonite. They even killed him at one point. To prove that even the seemingly invincible can fall.
The struggle IS real my friend… and the struggle is SUPER!
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. 😉
CJ’s Book of the Week:
“Principles” by Ray Dalio
“Skedge” for 4/2/18-4/7/18
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)
Owner, Operator, & “CeejEO”
St. Louis Fitness Bootcamp