“Every morning I see another miracle. I can’t believe I’m living the impossible. We are the sign and we are the wonder. Another day of living the impossible.”
– Lacey Sturm, The Impossible
There is a saying in our lifting community, and that saying is this:
“Strength has a greater purpose.”
Over the past year I have spent a lot of time educating myself on the nature of strength, endurance, and what those two elements of our health journey truly mean in the face of life’s most unpredictable and terrifying obstacles. As a professional athlete and coach in the strength world, I have personally had to test my own limits in terms of hitting bigger personal records in my lifts, and I have had to spend a lot of time helping my own clients eat smart, train hard, and enjoy their lives through the use of whole food nutrition and kettlebell training just as well.
But. . .perhaps the biggest test for myself, and the biggest test now for those very same people I have worked with and those I have recently met lies in the matters of choosing a life of radiant health versus a life spent knocking on the door of death itself.
If you have just stumbled upon this blog and are curious as to who I am, what I do, and what my personal training background is, you may click a few links right here to get yourself caught up. Today, I want to talk more about a particular obstacle that resurfaced in the course of my own life, how I had to humble myself to face the unhealthy “demons” that kept me up at night, and how this reality check of mine placed me in the rooms of some of the strongest women I have ever met in my life. More so, I want to talk to YOU about finding the strength to pick up your head and place your foot forward in the direction of a much more healthy life no matter what sort of obstacle is standing in the way of the flourishing life you are called to live.
On August 17th, 2017, I was admitted to a drug and alcohol treatment facility called “White Deer Run” in Allenwood, PA. My decision to leave for a solid 28 days came about by taking the advice and professional recommendations of my own therapist, who has been working with me through the last lingering effects on my mind and body from my struggles with Post Traumatic Stress. Having overcome most of my mental set backs from the most unthinkable trauma of my lifetime, I was left to face the very last thing that had resurfaced from the murky waters of my own past. Relapse is unfortunately a part of my recovery journey, and if there is one thing that I wrestle with daily its’s the fact that I sank pretty damn low in my own habits from October 2015 up until recently (and I sank about 10,000x lower than I ever thought that I could). As strong as I am physically, I am no match for the devastating effects of trauma and substance abuse. Quite frankly, no one is strong enough to handle those things alone. No one. Nadie. Point blank period!
The good news? I’m home now, and I’m out of the worst of the worst of the physical ramifications from this set back. Now, I have nothing more to be thankful for but pressing on into this life I have one day at a time. I am still in intensive therapy, and I am now in the care of a number of meetings on a daily basis, but man am I glad I took the time that I needed to get well.
Sometimes, taking a step back to evaluate who you are, what you want, and where you want to go in life is all you need to do to truly start moving in the right direction for the sake of your own health.
While away, I spent a lot of time in the rooms with women on my treatment unit, the women who I now truly believe to be the strongest women I have ever met in my life. These women were the ones that had lost everything: their jobs, their careers, their houses and apartments, legal rights to their own children (you name it!) all for drug and alcohol related problems. These were the women that were in and out of county, state, and federal penitentiaries for drug and alcohol related crimes. These were the women that were victims and survivors of horrifying sexual assaults and unthinkable acts of domestic violence that in turn, triggered these women to self medicate themselves with illicit substances for immediate relief of their own traumas. They all had something in common. . .something in common with someone even like me. . .they had a deep seeded desire to change their lives, to be as healthy as they could be, and to overcome the frightening obstacle of addiction for the sake of their life, and the lives of their loved ones. I have the honor of calling a small handful of these women friends now, and you can be sure we keep holding each other accountable to each other’s health, chasing our health as quickly as we used to chase the things that once tried to kill us, cheering each other on along the way.
Addiction is the ultimate death race, the only event in a lifetime that will determine how you live and how you will die. You need a strong team to carry you through this obstacle course for the rest of your life, so reach out if you find that you too need the help. You’re worth it!
To return to the previous statement I started this blog post with, strength most certainly DOES have a greater purpose. While I have said this before in light of my favorite lift, the military press, the focus of my attention when it comes to my own fitness career is ever more centered on the principle of love, and truly lifting people up through the most devastating moments of their lives while teaching them the how to foster an inner level of strength to keep pressing on in life. I believe without a shadow of a doubt that the very purpose strength has, beyond lifting heavy things above our heads, is a purpose founded upon loving our neighbors as ourselves. I believe that the very great purpose strength has is love, the love of oneself and the outpouring of such radiant love unto others. The moment you decide to turn your will and your life over to the care of God (or a “Higher Power”) as you understand Him, you will be blessed with the time to develop your own character. Even more, you will find your inner strength to live life on life’s terms, and you will come to understand just how much you matter to all those sick and suffering around you.
Strength has a greater purpose, and that great purpose is to lift others up and over the obstacles of life with the power of love!
If you have come to this blog post and you’re looking for guidance on how to eat right for your body type and how to properly fuel your body with whole food nutrition, welcome aboard! You’re at the right place at the right time for the right reason!
If you’re reading this post and are looking to achieve some serious feats of strength, welcome to your kettlebell and body weight training home sweet home! You’re at the right place, at the right time, for the right reason!
If you happen to be one of those hybrid athletes in the obstacle racing world, all you spartans and Ninjas alike, get ready to learn everything you need to know about performing at your best level of strength and endurance with all the skills, principles and training drills I have mentioned above. You’re at the right place at the right time for the right reason!
And for all those ladies I was blessed to meet from the rooms in White Deer Run, thank you all for teaching what it means to be truly empowered by an inner, beautiful strength. Your stories, your experiences, your voices will not go unheard! Keep coming back! It works if you work it! Love and respect to you all!
Stay tuned world! I will be releasing new programs on our VIP training forum and am back on my facebook live casts TODAY! For questions regarding programming, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may register for my mailing list by entering your name and email here! Once more, should you need one on one guidance, click this link to request a consultation today!
Remember to eat smart, train hard and enjoy your life!
Let NOTHING stand in your way!