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Skedge 1/1/18 (2017 Year In Review…)

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

Happy New Year Friend!


First and foremost…

Thank you all so much for the holiday love!

I couldn’t believe how many gifts and gift cards I got this holiday season from my Bootcamp Fam.  You totally spoiled me!  I don’t think I’ll have to worry about groceries for the next couple of months!  Lol.  I am blessed beyond words.  Thank you so much for your love, your thoughtfulness, your patronage, your trust, and your ongoing support.


NEWS 4 Is Coming to Bootcamp!

>>>Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018 (5:30am Class)<<<

To kick off the new year at Bootcamp, I’ve got News 4 coming to class to investigate how we keep fitness fun.

Steve Harris will be LIVE broadcasting from our class.  So consider this your fair warning to wear whatever cute outfits (OR BOOTCAMP APPAREL) that you deem worthy of being on TV.

Note:  If you don’t want to be on TV, you can still come to class and we’ll work around it.  (Maybe they’ll do one of those blurry things over your face. Lol.)

Would love to get some great attendance for this first class of the new year so we can show St. Louis how we roll!


Holiday Hours:

New Year’s Day 1/1 (Monday):  NO CLASS!

All other days and class times are same as normal.  🙂


2017 Year in Review…

Lots of people think of New Year’s as a time to look ahead.

A fresh start…  A clean slate…  With endless possibilities…

Ironically, at least, according to Tony Robbins, most people overestimate what they can do in a year.  And vastly underestimate what they can do in a decade.  #ThinkLongTerm #Legacy #Patience

Tony Robbins Quotes at StatusMind.com - Page 5 ...

The proof is in the leftover figgy pudding…

We all know that resolutions abound in January. 

To be clear… I’m not dogging on resolutions, because I think they’re a sign of ambition…  An aspiration towards personal growth.  (And if you ain’t growing, you best stay the heck out of my way!)

What’s really worrisome to me is people who think they don’t need to change a thing and thus refuse to make any plans for the future at all (because, they argue, resolutions “ALWAYS” fail.)

I mean, good on you if you’re 100% happy and have accomplished everything you hope to accomplish in this lifetime.

But I’m compelled to warn against complacency.

Dig a little deeper and figure out how you can improve your situation and that of your family and community (both locally and globally).

That said, for those of us with a kajillion goals to totally transform ourselves in 2018, how do we sidestep the pitfalls that seem to claim the masses before January has reached its conclusion?

#1) Connect Your IDENTITY to Your Most Important Goals.

In the past I would passionately disagree with this advice.  Because if you identify yourself with a goal that you fail to reach… then by the transitive property, you identify yourself as “a failure.”

Dangerous proposition to be sure.

But consider this…

First… those who take shots are not failures.  It’s those who hide from their true potential that are truly failures.

Second… by refusing to identify with a goal, you’re hedging your bet.

In essence, your fear of failure results in your failure to commit… which is, ironically, FAILURE BY DEFAULT.  (Read that last sentence again if you need to… I did!)

Most people consider it good advice to ‘not put all your eggs in one basket.’

But if I’ve learned anything in my tenure as a chicken farmer… it’s that there will ALWAYS be more eggs… so you might as well get crackin!

Perhaps better advice than identifying with the goal itself, is to identify with the type of person you want to be…

“I am the type of person that ________________.” (fill in the blank).

I am the type of person that exercises 5 or more days per week… that doesn’t eat cupcakes just because they’re free or within arm’s reach… that writes every week even when I don’t feel like it… ESPECIALLY when I don’t feel like it.

I am the type of person that gets up early and seizes the day… that’s honest even when it’s to my disadvantage… that spends screen-free time with my friends and family… that doesn’t smoke cigarettes… that reads a book per week… that has a contagious smile that will boost other people’s day… that makes tough decisions… that takes action towards the changes I want to see in the world.

Change your IDENTITY… change yourself.

#2)  Celebrate your wins and review your progress.

It’s hard to know where you’re headed if you don’t know where you’re coming from.

Where did YOU make progress in 2017? 

Here’s some of my notes:

Flexibility:  I bought an online gymnastics stretching course and committed to greater flexibility and mobility.  Progress has been slow… but movements that L-I-T-E-R-A-L-L-Y induced tears the first time I tried them have become increasingly easier.  I’m a long ways from my full front split, middle split, or manna (see pic below)… but I can now practice them without weeping and look forward to continued progress.

Improve Mobility To Increase Strength and Prevent Injuries

Jean-Claude Van Damme - Master of Movie Splits / Film ...

Handstand Hold:  I figured out how to walk on my hands a couple of years ago but couldn’t stay in any one spot.  After much research, tutorials, and practice… I can now hold a handstand for 30-60 seconds… given a couple tries…  Lol.  Ultimately, I hope to be able to do more tricks from the handstand and potentially work towards a one-armed handstand.

Elisabeth Carpenter - Stunts / Talent / Acting - Gallery

Closed St. Peters Bootcamp:  It was the end of an era and certainly a disappointment for our St. Peters bootcampers.  While downsizing my business was not in the plan for 2017, the silver lining is that Derek will be available to substitute train for me which opens up more possibilities for my personal life and potential vacations in 2018.

Fun with Bootcamp:  We celebrated my birthday, had a couple of happy hours, and a rip-roaring end of the year extravaganza at Helen Fitzgerald’s.  (Who knew pushups, squats, and crab toe touches qualified as dance moves?  Lol.)  It was a blessing to spend time with people that have become like family to me outside of our usual field turf setting.

Fun with family:  I’m blessed to have stayed close with my family making time for bi-weekly dinners and fun excursions like Oktoberfest on the Mississippi River and biking to wineries on the Katy Trail.

Books read:  I think I read 40+ books this year…  It’s hard to remember where the cut off was between 2016 and 2017… but I’d like to crank up that pace and get at least 52 books read next year.  A book per week keeps me learning… keeps me sharp… keeps me questioning… keeps adding to my vocabulary… helps widen my perspective… and helps me rise to the top of the pack in the fields of my choosing.

Podcasts listened to:  1378 hours according to Stitcher.  Not all of that is this year.  But I gotta figure at least 1,000 of it is. Again, hearing from experts and being exposed to guest speakers you’d never think to look up on your own has really opened my eyes in terms of how much I don’t know.  While that may sound disempowering… for me, ignorance is a heck of a lot scarier.

1-Armed Pullups:  ZERO to date.  But 1,000 attempts and assisted pullup variations towards that end.  Will it happen on attempt 2,000… 10,000… 50,000???  Some goals are harder to reach than others.  A marathon can suck, but it’s doable because you at least know that the finish line ain’t going nowhere.  It’s set at 26.2 miles on the dot.  And with every step… you get closer.  For most of our goals, it can be monumentally frustrating due to the ambiguity.  We don’t know where that finish line is.  Are we half way… three quarters of the way… or still closer to the starting line than the finish line?  But similar to a marathon, if we keep taking steps… we inevitably creep closer.  Sometimes all you can do is put in your time, get your practice, and believe in the process.

NASM Certification:  I got my nationally recognized training certification this year.  The NASM text book counted as one of my books read since I consumed it cover to cover.  (Although at 700 pages it should count as three books…) Lessons learned.  Confidence increased.  Legitimacy established.

1st Trail Run:  This one was not what I expected.  A half marathon with nary a step of sure footing in the entire twisting, turning, uphill, downhill, maze of forest with fallen trees to jump, creeks to traverse, and endless rocks to not twist my ankle upon… It was brutal and aptly named “The Quivering Quads”.  It pushed me waaaaaaaaay out of my comfort zone which was exactly what made it so memorable and awesome.

[Much happier PRE-race photo. lol.]

1st Bootcamp Mud Runs:  We took on the Crusher and the Battlegrounds this year.  While both were amazing experiences, the Battlegrounds was so well organized that it was an automatic repeat for next year.  Life is messy… but it’s cool to experience that mess in a more visceral sense.  We can escape what we perceive to be “the real world” and get back to the ancient world of mud and dirt and water that pre-dates our paved roads and office buildings.  Your DNA craves this! (And there’s nothing wrong with a “real world” beer at the finish line.)  😉

New Chickens:  We added eight chickens to our flock this year!  It was an intense Chicken Draft to whittle down the top 8 names, but we wound up with the following Buff Orpingtons and Black Austrolorps who make their home in our back yard:  WikiBeaks, Arnold SchwarzHenEgger, Mary PoopHens, Tony LaRoosta, Katniss Featherdeen, Hen Greenfield, Chipotlay, and Tyrannosaurus Pex (who was lovingly cared for and nursed back to health from a near death experience by Derek who re-named her “Duck” for her swimming prowess in our bathtub).

Having back yard chickens is more than a great conversation starter for me… They’re part of my larger vision to get back to nature, become self-suffient, and produce REAL food.

Paid Off Student Loans:  This was a big win for me.  Having graduated college in 2005, it was a considerable haul to get this monkey off my back.  And the savings this has provided is being re-allocated towards my mortgage debt in an effort to be totally debt free ASAP.

4th Annual Adopt a Family:  This was a smash success thanks entirely to the unimaginable giving nature of our Bootcamp crew.  We not only spoiled our adopted family with 7 grocery carts overflowing with gifts, but proved once again, the abundance and love that exists in our special group.  I’m like a proud papa beaming with gratitude for this crew and what they’re able to accomplish.

Contribution:  Made my donations for the year to some of my favorites… Charity Water, Pencils of Promise, St. Jude’s.

Savings:  It’s embarrassing to say this because my parents taught me the right principles growing up.  But somewhere along the line I stopped saving a percentage of my paycheck when times got tight.  It was a reminder from Tony Robbin’s book, Money:  Master the Game, that made me realize I’ve been neglecting one of the number one rules of the wealthy… PAY YOURSELF FIRST!  I’ve since committed to putting 10% of each paycheck into savings with an eye on increasing this percentage in 2018.  (Note:  It NEVER feels like you’ve got room in the budget.  But if there was a new tax, you’d whine, you’d cry, you’d scream, but you’d wind up paying it.  Start valuing yourself more than your government.  Start with a smaller percentage if you need to, and work your way up.)

Worked With Kids:  I got a chance to interact one-on-many with some youngsters at Vetta this year.  We held some mini Bootcamps together which is directly in line with my desire to affect the mindset towards health and nutrition from an early age, so as adults, we wouldn’t have to spend so much time un-learning common myths, and start healthier habits from an earlier age.

Plus… I feel important signing autographs for the munchkins!  😉

Social Media:  I had a goal of boosting my social media presence.  I’ve gotten into a habit of posting daily workout previews on Facebook and semi-regular “Would You Eat It Wednesdays”.  I started an Instagram account.  And I’ve added some content on my YouTube page.  Good progress… but definitely need to up my game in the new year…

#3  Write Down Your Action Plan for the New Year…

I’m working on mine at present.  Work on yours this week too and we can compare notes next Sunday!  🙂

Much love,



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:  “Movement Matters” by Katy Bowman


“Skedge” for 1/1/18-1/6/18

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

Monday:  NO CLASS! (Happy New Year!)

Tuesday:  Lower (CJ)  (News Channel 4 at 5:30am Class!!!)
Wednesday:  Upper  (CJ)

Thursday:   Core (CJ)

Friday:   Lower (CJ)

Saturday: Upper  (CJ)


CJ Thomas

Owner, Operator, & “CeejEO”

St. Louis Fitness Bootcamp

ph:  314-266-9729

email:  CJ@STLFitnessBootcamp.com


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