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Skedge 4/11 (What Makes Me Cry…)

By CEEJ | In St. Louis Fitness Bootcamp | on April 10, 2016

Good Morning Sunshine!

As many of you know by now, it was my birthday this week.  The big 3-3.

Let me start by saying a massive thank you to all of you who reached out to me to wish me a good one.  Also, those who went out to celebrate with me on Thursday for our little happy hour, those who wanted to be there, those who were there in spirit… I had an absolute blast!

Yes, the trainer drinks beer.

Yes, the trainer did a shot of tequila.

Yes, he even shot-gunned a piece of cheesecake like it was a race against time.

In my first year as a trainer, I wanted to hide this kind of stuff.

I knew people were looking to me to be an example.  So, I thought I had to be perfect.


If I was eating something less than healthy, I’d demand that the evidence be burned.

If I wanted ice cream, I felt like I had to wear a trench coat, top hat, and sunglasses to conceal my identity while I snuck into the frozen foods section.

But I’ve since come to change my understanding of what it means to lead by example. 

It’s not about being perfect.

In fact, setting an image of perfection is the least inspiring thing anybody can do.

If I paint myself as some kind of untouchable, flawless, Greek god, it sets the bar too high to resonate with anybody.  (Not to mention, it’s a lie.)

If however, I display the chinks in my armor, then my hope is that rather than judge me, people will see that I’m real.  I’m human.  I get hurt.  I crave.  I cave.  I fall short of the mark.  I’m human.

And that’s ok… what else can I be?

To be human is, by definition, to be imperfect.

Which is quite the conundrum for myself and my fellow perfectionists out there.  😉

We dislike imperfection.  We abhor our flaws.  We struggle with our shortcomings.

Because on a deeper level, we feel that these shortcomings represent weakness to the rest of our human tribe.

And from an evolutionary perspective, weakness can equate to death.

Pretty serious stuff.

But real weakness isn’t about making a conscious decision to indulge a little on your birthday (or extended birthday weekend).

Real weakness is about trying to conceal it… trying to pretend you’re something you’re not.

When you make a decision, own it.

When you a mistake, learn from it.

When you start to cry on camera, be grateful for it.


Once upon a time, I got it in my head, that men… REAL MEN… don’t cry.

I believed that crying showed weakness, and I didn’t want to be weak.

So I suppressed it.

Much healthier, right?

For a while I think I even lost the capacity to cry. 

I’d get sad, frustrated, angry… but no tears would or could be shed.

I was hollow.  More of a machine than a man.

Machines run on programs.

You do X.  The machine does Y.

But input is required from an outside source.

The machine is merely reactive.

It doesn’t feel.  It doesn’t think for itself.  It doesn’t have passion, or love, or emotion.  And it certainly doesn’t cry.

Humans cry… at least some of them.

Crying comes from such a flood of emotion that you literally overflow from your eye sockets.

Tears of sadness… tears of pain… and tears of joy…

When I shot that video, my intent was just to say thank you to my incredible Bootcamp family.  Members (both past and present), family, and friends who have supported me and made my current life possible.

But as I got all nostalgic…  As I started recalling the specifics… As I reflected on that journey from past to present… I got hit with a tidal wave of emotions.  Make no mistake… those are tears of joy.

I had to turn off the video at that point because I couldn’t even speak.  I had to stop and just be in that moment.  I cried when I got in my car.  I cried when I uploaded the video.  I’m tearing up again now as I write this email.

The old me would have been embarrassed. 

But 33-year old me is completely and utterly blessed.

To care about something and a whole lot of someones, so much, that it transforms a tough-guy trainer into a weepy, speechless mess… I now recognize how special that is.

You made that possible.  You’ve given me something I wanted, but never really got in my decade of flipping houses.  You gave me fulfillment.  You gave me a true sense of purpose.  I guess you could say that…

You complete me!

I can’t express enough how grateful I am for you and for my new found mission in life.  I’ve got big plans for my 33rd year on this planet.  And I intend to cherish every day along the way.

I think a lot of people come to Bootcamp looking for transformation.  But ironically, I think it’s those same members who have influenced the most profound transformation in me.  Thank you so much for being an integral part of my new found path and zest for life.

I love you dearly.




CJ’s Book of the Week:  “The Promise of a Pencil” by Adam Braun


“Skedge” for 4/11/16-4/16/16

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

Monday:  Upper (CJ)

Tuesday:  Core  (CJ)
Wednesday:  Lower  (CJ)

Thursday:  Upper (CJ)

Friday:  Core (CJ)

Saturday:  Lower (CJ)

St. Peters (Class Times:  Mon-Fri @ 5:30am ONLY & Satuday @ 8am)

Monday:  Upper (Derek)

Tuesday:  Core  (Derek)
Wednesday:  Lower  (Derek)

Thursday:  Upper (Derek)

Friday:  Core (Derek)

Saturday:  Lower (Derek)


1-on-1 Personal Training Available…

Derek is taking 1-on-1 clients.

Need some extra attention to form?

Or a little extra kick in the butt??

Let Derek show you the ropes at Kor Fitness in St Charles.

Contact Derek for pricing and details and to schedule your 1-on-1 session.  (Discounts may apply for active Bootcampers and groups of 2 or more)thomas.derek.r@gmail.com



CJ Thomas

Owner, Operator, & “CeejEO”

St. Louis Fitness Bootcamp

ph:  314-266-9729

email:  CJ@STLFitnessBootcamp.com

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