Determined & Focused

Hi, everybody.

I wake up now and think about how I can get better.

No, not better at life. Better in the ring. Boxing. Some would say it is my life. I just don’t make money from it. Funny how making money from something can define what you “do”, right?

I’ve set a goal for 50 miles run in September. After two runs, I’m at seven miles. Sub 7-minute miles on a few of the splits! It’s getting better and better every day. So, why am I making this push?

I fight again this month on the 25th. After that, coach wants one more amateur fight. I’ve started to spar with two professional boxers, so I’m officially gearing up for my pro debut. Also, I’m comfortable sitting right around 165 now. I fluctuate between 166-171–perfect amount of weight to cut without drastically zapping my energy.

But it’s not all about the running. It’s about my focus, my determination, and the why. Why am I doing this? It’s a simple answer. Boxing pulled me out of drug addiction. Boxing created a whole community for me I never knew existed. Boxing is everything to me. In the long run I don’t give a shit if I win or lose, I just care that I give all I can to my passion. Does this mean quit my day job? Hell no. I don’t want to live in my boxing bag, that thing smells so, so bad. But I do want to give it my all in and out of the ring, when I can.

My focus. My determination. They will be unmatched each and every time I head into that ring. Will I be out-skilled? Possibly. Possibly. But I’m controlling what I can control. Let’s fucking go.

I wish you well. Try not to beat the shit out of yourself.

If You’re Like Me, Read This

Hi, everybody.

A friend who shares somewhat similar struggles as me recommended a book recently. Usually I say “OK, I’ll read it” and never follow through.

Well, it helps your recommendation to be read if I’m attracted to you. And that’s the case here. But boy, am I glad I listened to her and my attraction.

What’s this book? Published in 2007, The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael A. Singer, provides a gut punch to your inner self. The battle between outer vs. inner. You know, a lot of what this blog is about. At least that’s what I’ve read so far.

Pick the book up if you want to. I’m three chapters in and it’s already caught my eye. Enough so where I’m recommending it this early. Hell, the book could be absolutely terrible by the end of it all. But if you pick it up, at least read through chapter three.

I wish you well. Try not to beat the shit out of yourself.

Pool Chilling (My Day)

Hi, everybody.

I’m a freak about this streak now. I already posted today (check it out – really good quotes) but it didn’t give me the streak reward. So here I am.

I made today about me. I woke up, walked the dogs before it got too warm, and headed to the gym. Got in a few solid bag rounds and now I’m out by the pool. I was reading but this blog distracted me. You lot distracted me. I can blame you, right?

I do need to get back to reading.

But today is my day. I’ll do what I want. I plan to make NFTs later (yeah, I know, weird), followed by volleyball and USA soccer.

Today will be a good day. Nothing will stop that.

I wish you well. Try not to beat the shit out of yourself.

Marcus Aurelius Quotes

If you remove your judgement of anything that seems painful, you yourself stand quite immune to pain. ‘What self?’ Reason. ‘But I am not just reason.’ Granted. So let your reason cause itself no pain, and if some other part of you is in trouble, it can form its own judgment for itself.

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

My soul, will you ever be good, simple, individual, bare, brighter than the body that covers you? Will you ever be complete and free of need, missing nothing, desiring nothing live or lifeless for the enjoyment of pleasure?

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

We were born for cooperation, like feet, like hands, like eyelids, like the rows of upper and lower teeth. So to work in opposition to one another is against nature: and anger or rejection is opposition.

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

Life for each of us is a mere moment, and this life of yours is nearly over, while you still show yourself no honor, but you let your own welfare depend on other people’s souls.

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

I wish you well. Try not to beat the shit out of yourself.

Me

Last Day in My Twenties

Hi, everybody!

Yesterday was fantastic. The idea to have a “treat yo’self” dinner with a couple close friends for my birthday celebration was 100% the correct decision. Queen cut prime rib cooked a perfect medium rare, classic mashed potatoes, unique but delicious green beans, and a salad bar. I mean, I couldn’t ask for much else. Oh, also a nice bottle of Beaujolais, which happens to be my favorite red wine.

It really was perfect. We followed it up with a couple drinks at a bar right next door. The bartender there was… well, she was probably five shots deep by the time we entered the bar. It was an experience, that’s for sure.

Today is my last day in my twenties. Again, surreal. I’ve mentioned that plenty. But I’m excited for today. Why? It’s another day I’m here. Sounds corny but I’m fucking pumped I can say that nowadays. Look at this blog when it first started. I hated myself.

Now I’m starting to love myself again. And I’m heading into a whole new decade of learning, growth, etc., and I couldn’t be more excited about it.

I wish you well. Try not to beat the shit out of yourself.

Do What You Want

Hi, everybody!

I think I’ve mentioned this in recent posts but if you haven’t read those (shame on you), understand I turn 30 on Monday. I told everyone for the past year this didn’t bother me whatsoever. I thought I was telling the truth. But turning 30 is surreal to me. I know it sounds cliché but I thought I’d be dead by now.

I’m happy I’m not dead. I’m happy I’m turning 30. So I guess it doesn’t “bother” me, it just freaks me out. Doesn’t seem real. Feels like I’m living on borrowed time–but I’ll take it.

Now you may be asking yourself, “Why is this titled Do What You Want if he hasn’t even mentioned it yet. I mean, he’s three line breaks in already. Is he ever going to get to the point?”

I tell you lot all the time: I just sit down and type. I originally wanted to tell you not to freak out about big birthday celebrations due to societal norms, but my mind went other ways. I will get to that point now, though. Umm… don’t freak out about big birthday celebrations due to societal norms. I freaked out for a bit then realized I would rather spend my time with a couple really good friends at a nice steakhouse. So that’s what I’m doing.

Do what you want. Always do what you want… well, unless it’s hurting others. If it isn’t, go for it.

I wish you well. Try not to beat the shit out of yourself.

Pushing On

Hi, everybody!

Hope your morning is off to a great start. Mine is, now I await my 9 AM “Boot Camp” for my new job. Not pumped. It’s very repetitive.

I did have a slight meltdown yesterday. I had some issues with my mental health provider and their front desk. No, I wasn’t being a Karen, I promise. But I wasn’t happy. I almost fired my Psych & Therapist, but luckily they somewhat talked me out of it.

But this goes to show you that no matter how great you’re feeling, that lil’ bastard in the shape of depression, anxiety, or both can appear any time they feel it’s necessary.

Yes, I know we do have control. But I don’t believe we do all the time.

I fought through. Talked to the right people in my support system. Made sure to take care of myself through the sport of Boxing. Hell, I even got headshots done in the evening.

I pushed on, through, whatever you want to call it. I was aware and not at ease — now I’m aware and at ease. It’s a nice feeling. But more growth is necessary. And inevitable.

Push on, people.

I wish you well. Try not to beat the shit out of yourself.

Half Day By Surprise

Hi, everybody!

I woke up this morning with three extremely painful fingers, a weak right wrist, lower back pain, and immense shoulder tightness. Wasn’t thrilled. Age is a factor when it comes to training, also my recovery sessions aren’t nearly good enough.

Well, I’ve told you lot before sometimes things just happen for us. I thought today I would have to sit in front of this computer and just sit in this slightly uncomfortable pain all day, but my boss messaged me early this morning.

“Have a good weekend?”

Easily, yes. I did have a great weekend. Not even a question.

He followed with, “Boot camp starts tomorrow, how about you take a half day today?”

Easily, yes. My body thanks you.

Now I get it, this is pure coincidence. “This won’t happen for me.” I can hear you yelling back at me already.

But I bet it does happen for you. Maybe not in this exact way, but the world isn’t out to get you. You might be out to get yourself, but no, the world isn’t out to get you. People might be, but you have the power to change who you surround yourself with, what you surround yourself with, and putting yourself in the right circumstances for good things to happen for you.

That’s what I’ve spent the last six months doing. Putting myself in better places, better circumstances so good things do happen. I couldn’t keep getting stepped on. I couldn’t get kicked anymore. I had to fight back and I had to make changes. I’m happy I did. I’m happy I realized I do have enough strength to beat my depression and anxiety, even if it’s just for a few moments a day.

I wish you well. Try not to beat the shit out of yourself.

Lessons Learned in Florida

Hi, everybody.

In about 45 minutes I hop on a plane back to the Midwest. I was supposed to be out here till tomorrow, but I decided it was best for me to head back a tad bit early. Need to recalibrate.

While I was here, I learned more about my mind. Well, my mind learned more about itself. Now I’m just confusing myself. Let’s move on.

So what did I learn? Let’s start with the negatives, and I only call them negatives because I’m too tired to think of a better way to describe them.

I am too dependent on cannabis for my anxiety and sleep. I need to take initiative there and slow down, but it’s another internal struggle for me. I’ve never been told to limit my medications or to drop dosages on the anti-depressant and anxiety medication. The back of my mind asks, “What if this is the best medication for you?”.

I wonder that quite a bit. The benefits I receive from cannabis are extremely helpful. Yes, in an ideal world for myself, no substance would be needed. But I’m not at that point yet. And from what I’ve learned/further reinforced from this trip is I do need to admit to some dependency with the substance. I’m a former addict. If anyone knows dependency, it’s this guy. I don’t plan on quitting, but it’s never good to travel and realize how important it is for your sleep and well-being. And it shouldn’t be. The first night I slept in Florida, I woke up 4-5 times in a heap of sweat, battling nightmares, ugly things from my childhood. It wasn’t fun and I’m quite honestly exhausted due to my poor sleep over the past few days.

But here’s the positive. I’ve established I struggle the first couple of days when I’m without cannabis. That’s something I’m now aware of and something I can work on. That’s a positive. And a challenge.

My tension with my parents is still at an all-time high, which bothers me more than you would think. I kick myself daily for the first way I treat my parents at times, but it’s pointless to kick myself. Being aware of this and keeping it present in my mind is what I need to do moving forward if I want to enable change within myself. Understanding that is a positive. Also another challenge.

I’ve further reinforced my need for communication. Silence isn’t my friend right now. A goal of mine now? Embrace the silence. Understanding silence can be a positive. Also another challenge.

So here I am in concourse D, writing to you lot. Making sure I put this down in writing so the challenges are real, so they aren’t forgotten. That’s a positive. Writing makes things real for me.

But I’ve been through plenty of challenges in my life and I’ve kept growing as a person. Yeah, sure, I lack in a lot of basics like finance and handyman work, but I make up for it with my understanding of myself and understanding of others. There’s different types of smart. Using what you’re best at can be so very important for your life and those you surround yourself with.

I wasn’t adding anything positive to my family’s trip, so I took the initiative to leave early. Do I feel a bit of regret? Yeah, of course. Am I happy I had the guts to do it? Yeah, because it was not only beneficial for me, but for my loving and understanding family. My darkness shouldn’t impact their time away.

I love my mother and father very much. I teared up a bit typing that. I hope they know I’m truly attempting to become a better person, a better son each and every day. Sometimes it’s evident, sometimes it looks as if I’m moving backwards.

But I’m not. All of this is part of my growth. Any hardships you’re facing, whether internal or external, should be considered a part of your growth. Letting them become obstacles can be detrimental to your mental health. Look at them as challenges. Look at them the way I am right now: This is part of learning about myself, which will be an ever-present process in my life. And it will be for you, too.

I’m happy to head home. However, I’m even more excited for my next trip because I’ve increased what I know about myself. I’ve understood what I need to do to help myself (and in turn, help those around me) in the situations I mentioned above. I’m happy with myself. I hope you’re happy with yourself today. You should be.

I wish you well. Try not to beat the shit out of yourself.

So, How Did The Tough Conversations Go?

Hi, everyone!

Hope you like the style change on the blog. I didn’t like the other one. Too sloppy. I like it clean, y’know?

OK, so yesterday I wrote about tough conversations and boy, did I get some unexpected… well, let’s just get into it.

First of all, I mentioned talking to one of my boxers about the possibility of her not being able to fight because she doesn’t have that “killer mentality” or that “fighter” in her. The jury is still out on that, but we did end up naturally breaking down a wall or two yesterday. After some very light sparring, my boxer broke down. She could see she couldn’t pull the trigger and ACTUALLY hit me in the face. Can I put her in sparring knowing that? No. It’s dangerous for her. But we did discuss her mentals, what’s holding her back, the what-if’s, and much more.

That tough conversation created growth. And guess what? It happened naturally. Stay tuned.

Now for the boss conversation, well that was supposed to happen next Monday. Turns out you can’t always have what you want. To refresh your mind (how dare you not read my last post), I took a job at a new company. Planned on putting my two weeks in at my current company next week. Everything happened in such a funny way, though. Let me explain.

We had a team meeting. My boss manages four states/territories. Turns out he put in his two weeks! CONGRATS to him! Moving on to bigger and better things. However, he did ask me to stay behind in the meeting to talk with me.

“—-, are you leaving such and such company?” My boss asked, already knowing the answer.

“—–! What makes you say that?” I said, with a laugh and a definitive shit-eating grin.

Turns out telling one of my best friends at the company was a bad idea. They couldn’t keep their mouth shut. However, it all worked out into perfect hilarity. My boss’ situation with leaving the company meant he didn’t really care I was leaving because it wasn’t impacting him. You know what he told me?

“How about we forget we talked about this and just have the same conversation on Monday?” James said, smiling.

Guess who isn’t going to go a full month without a paycheck now? This guy.

It pays to be a good person to others. It pays to be a hard worker. It pays to be open with others. It pays to be vulnerable. Everything we’re scared of, everything we fear, helps us grow if we can conquer that son of a bitch.

Make those tough conversations happen, people. Trust me on this one.

I wish you well. Try not to beat the shit out of yourself.