Posts Tagged ‘Motivation’

Over the last few days, a 14-year old baseball player is making headlines across the country. His name is Luke Terry, and he’s good! The reason people are talking about him, though, is because Luke only has one arm. When he was 19 months old he contracted E. Coli and had his right arm amputated. Does it look like it’s slowed him down much? I don’t think so.

When stories like this hit the mainstream, I usually get a little frustrated. The kid has one arm. Yes, that’s definitely newsworthy. But he is also an incredible athlete! There are stories of athletes all over the world who are labeled “physically disabled” or “physically challenged.” As I watched a show on ESPN, one of the anchors referred to Luke as “differently abled,” and I thought that was better. This isn’t an inspiring moment of the team equipment manager who gets to come out and shoot an easy layup as his team is up by 30 points in the 4th quarter. Those stories are incredible in their own right (and typically make my eyes well up,) but Luke Terry… this kid has a cannon.

Watch the video below and tell me whether you think this is a “cute and heartwarming” story of some kid being given a chance to play a sport with his friends. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that he won that spot fair and square by being the best player on the team. He bats third in the line-up, folks! That’s not a favor the coach is giving him because he “has a disability.” Luke Terry lost his arm when he was 19 months old. All he’s known is life with one arm. And he still learned to play the game better than I ever could! So while you may see an athlete with one arm, I see an extremely talented ball player.

Is he “differently abled?” Sure! He can throw you out trying to steal second OR be different and pick you off on your way to third base. Get it, Luke. You’re an awesome, and I’m stoked to see you continue to succeed!

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The sentence “Practice makes perfect” is a lie. Yet, humans say it all the time, and usually to children. It’s simply not a fact. There are a number of things I could practice on a daily basis and see only marginal improvements over a long period of time. Today, we’re going to talk about practice.

Practice2

Let’s start by discussing just two of the many factors that could impede reaching perfection. Age can play a role in one’s ability to find success in a particular area. While I’m not saying it’s impossible, I do feel confident saying that very few humans in their 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s could train and compete at an Olympic level in most sports. No matter how often grandpa hits the track, I don’t see him beating Usain Bolt in the 100m Sprint, I’m sorry. Genetics can also play a major role in one’s athletic development and potential. If a person isn’t over six feet tall or incredibly explosive, the odds of being able to dunk a basketball on a full-sized hoop are not very good. (I still think that’s a bucket list goal of mine, by the way!)

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Actual footage of me currently trying to dunk

Aside from age, genetics, and a long list of other things, that logic doesn’t even address what “perfection” even means. In nearly every discipline, sport, task, or skill, perfection is often a subjective term. What looks, sounds, or tastes perfect to you, may taste far from it to me. So why work to attain this a title or status they may very well be simply unreachable?

Instead, let’s change that first sentence (Practice makes perfect) just a little bit. What if it read, “Effective practice will almost always help you improve at a given task.” In that case, I think a lot more of us would nod our heads in agreement. While we typically associate the word practicing with activities and skills like sports, music, and languages, there are so many other things in our lives that can also be improved through dedicated time and focus.

Want to be a better weightlifter? Find a decent coach and get on a proven strength program. Then lift. Often. Want to feel and show more gratitude? Start each morning and end each night by writing a list of three things you’re grateful for in your life. Keep that journal close-by to remind yourself on days where you struggle. Want to read more? Instead of surfing on your phone before you go to bed, read 10 pages. Not only is it better for your eyes and your brain (to actually allow them to wind down after the day), but after only a few weeks, it will become part of your routine. You will likely get better at whatever activity you chose because you devoted time to practicing in order to get better at it.

I’ve been trying to read more, and even with the book on my nightstand, it hasn’t become high enough of a priority for me. That’s one thing I’m going to practice more! To help yourself be more accountable, what’s one thing you want to practice more often? Let’s continue to hold each other accountable and support one another in our quest to be better than we were yesterday!

When I saw the video below, it really made me stop and think. We’re each already REALLY GOOD at certain things. Choosing to practice and develop those things that make us happy drastically increases our chances of becoming really good at being happy. Similarly, choosing to practice things that make us sad, angry, or resentful, will likely make us really good at being sad, angry, or resentful. It’s so powerful to realize that it’s fully in our control to intentionally choose what we nurture in and for ourselves. Think about that for a second… Practice doesn’t make perfect. But devoting practice towards things that improve our lives can make a profound impact on who we are as people!

Arthur Boorman’s story is incredible. I first saw the video below years ago, and just had to write about it on my blog. Arthur was a disabled veteran of the Gulf War for 15 years. Through years of being a paratrooper, his knees and back slowly started to deteriorate. After gaining a lot of weight, he was no longer able to walk without assistance. Doctors told him he would never walk without support again.

One day, he came across an article that talked about famous professional wrestler, Diamond Dallas Page, and how he had been practicing Yoga. The article inspired Arthur to give it a shot. As you can imagine, the road was a rough one. Progress started slow and he fell often. But he never gave up. DDP took interest in his story, and began communicating with, encouraging, and supporting Arthur through his journey. He ended up losing 140lbs in 10 months, and just a little bit more physical independence!

Watch the awesome video below, share it with someone you know who might need a little pick-me-up, and remember… through consistency, discipline, a strong support network, and a well-thought-out training program, so much is possible!

I swear every time I watch this. Every time! I’m not crying, YOU’RE crying!

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(picture from techbeasts.com)

HAPPY FREAKING NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!!!

I can’t believe we’re already into 2014, but I will tell you what, I’m stoked for what I’m confident will be one of the best years. Ever.

As many people come out swinging with their New Year’s Resolutions, I’m sure that will mean a new wave of athletes walking into CrossFit gyms all over the country for the first time. Now unlike some, I try not to “hate” on people who are making a positive change in their lives. So if your goal is to lose weight, get in shape, or Clean and Jerk 300lbs, more power to you. If CrossFit is something you’re giving a shot for the first time, welcome to the family! For those of use who are already in the CrossFit world, let’s gear up for another awesome year in the gym!

Now one of the things I love sharing on my blog are articles out there related to CrossFit in general. “Why it’s so dangerous”, “How to deal with your changing body”, “How to eat like a champion”, etc, it’s all fun for me to read and share. And knowing how many people read this blog who are all at different stages in the CrossFit “career”, I figure at least one person out there will be able to relate to at least one of the posts that I share. And if it helps even ONE person, it’s worth it for me to put it on my blog. Even if it’s not the most relevant topic for you, you probably know at least a few people who are starting CrossFit, and can benefit from the “10 Things to Know Before Starting CrossFit” type articles.

So, without further ado, the first “Link Drop” of CrossFit-related articles of 2014. Like em? Share em! Which ones do you like the most and why? Excited for the feedback from you guys and gals.

Article 1-
Is CrossFit ‘Destroying the World?’ 10 Tips to Make Sure It Doesn’t

Good reference for the new CrossFitter, with some things to look for when trying to pick your gym.

Article 2-
Finding Success in 2014

Great post, for athletes of all ability levels, with 5 key pieces of advice on how to reach your goals this year: Direction, Motivation, Dedication, Believe, and Enjoy. The last two alone make this post worth reading.

Article 3-
Crossfitters: You may be in Danger!

A more satirical post from yet another person who was frustrated at all the articles being released telling us how DANGEROUS CrossFit is for people. The findings are accurate, but it’s a light read. Check it out.

What do you think, friends?

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

I am a sucker for motivational movies/quotes, etc.

The scene below is a video I’ve seen on YouTube many times, and is from the movie Coach Carter.

The quote featured, (which is part of a real speech given by Marianne Williamson) is one that I come back to often. I use the words to remind myself why I, personally, have likely never taken that FULL DEVOTION to certain things in my life, and instead chose to create excuses as to why I “couldn’t” achieve a task.

Please read this transcript often.
Print it out and look at it every day.
Remind yourself of your TRUE goals when you hit a bump in the road and want to stop moving forwards.

Is it because we’re afraid to fail? Or… is it because we are so scared at just how successful we might become?

I’m still working through that one, myself 🙂

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Carry on…

“So sick. SO. SICK. WOW! That was awesome!”

Those are the words I just said out loud… to myself… by myself, in my apartment. It’s not sick as in gross. I’m “that guy” who uses words like sick and epic to describe things he thinks are cool. Think that’s annoying? Deal with it, I’m not ashamed.

Alright, gut check time. I have said a few times over the past few months that I am going to start being more real and more raw on this blog. It all started from a conversation with Alon, in which he commented on a video I made and said, “Tom… how did that topic REALLY make you feel?” As in, “you gave us SOME of the real you, but not all of it. We came to YOUR blog to hear YOUR thoughts. Give it to us, straight.”

So I’m trying.

This commercial that I’m pasting below basically embodies who I THINK I am as a coach, and I freaking LOVE feeling like that! Feeling that I can look at any athlete, regardless of their experience level, ability levels, or confidence level, and TRULY think to myself… Let’s do this. You CAN do anything.

Most (all?) of you who have trained with me know that I hate (yep, hate) phrases like “I can’t.” Instead, I prefer conversations like one that I had with the amazing Casey Polk once:

Casey- “I SUCK at running!”
Me- *Disappointed stare*
Casey- “UGH! I mean… I am excited to have the opportunity to improve my running today.”
Casey- *Sly smile because she realized how much better it felt to say it that way.*

Even typing that has me smiling like a goon over here.

So that’s why I started this blog. I started it to share, and communicate, and interact, and help, and offer resources to you guys. My “readers”, the athletes that I am lucky enough to train, my friends. And to hopefully bring a smile to your face that comes close to matching the ones that you all give me every day.

So here’s to hoping that we can continue to grow these relationships together. Because even though the main goal of this blog is to try and help you, it sure as hell helps me a lot, too! Keeping this a two-way street will make this a lot more fun for all of us. (Otherwise, I’ll just keep posting more Parkour and Snowboarding videos, since that’s what I like!…. and you’ll still get those things, I’d just like to post things YOU want to see/learn/talk about, too!)

You guys are amazing. And like I said above, I really do think you can do anything you put your minds to and believe in. Sometimes I’ll just believe in it a little more at first!

Boom.

Short and sweet today. Read this quote, please, and tell me one SIMPLE way you can make a positive change in the world today.

Mine, I will smile and say hello to three strangers today. I usually do that, but I’ll tell you what… a smile and eye contact from a stranger can really brighten someone’s day. I know, because it’s happened to me before.

Your turn.

Smashby Training, CrossFit, Positive Change, Motivation

This is a pretty simple, yet POWERFUL message.

Today’s installment of “CrossFit Blog Central” isn’t actually from an actual CrossFit blog. It is, however, an article written for “The Human Factor” column of CNN.com’s website. “The Human Factor” is described as “profil(ing) survivors who have overcome the odds. Confronting a life obstacle – injury, illness or other hardship – they tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn’t know they possessed.”

Yeah, I know you thought I’d like it, too! Stories, and people, like this are the motivation and inspiration behind a lot of what keeps me going. The author of this particular piece is none other than Kyle Maynard. Kyle is, in my mind, a CrossFit Celebrity because he has been featured all over the CrossFit website over the 3+ years I’ve been following the program. He is one of those athletes that if I were to see him at an event, I’d get nervous and want a picture with him. Yep. I’m that guy. There’s another obvious reason why Kyle is so inspiring in what he does. The CNN article introduced him like this: “Despite being born without arms or legs, Maynard has played football, wrestled, and he’s hoping to hike Mount Kilimanjaro.” Yep.

When I came across this article that was posted by CrossFit, I knew the next hour or so was going to be spent “Maynarding”. Just watching videos and reading articles about this amazing man!

Ok, so enough about how I feel about him, let’s share the good stuff with you! I’m going to share a few of my favorite quotes from the article, and then obviously let you click on a link to read the full piece yourselves!

One of the reasons we require so much motivation to start on the path to improving our health is that we build up a huge lie in our minds of how improbable or even impossible reaching our goals will be. We think about how hard it’s going to be to resist dessert or how much time exercising is going to take away from our lives.

I try to talk to my athletes about this all the time. Instead of setting this HUGE milestone that will take months/years to accomplish, I prefer to set mini-milestones along the way so we give ourselves REASON to celebrate! Positive reinforcement from YOURSELF is so key to help you stay motivated and “on the path”.

It’s always going to be the same in your life too. We’ll never be where we want to be until we learn to slow down and enjoy our individual journey. As long as you are doing something to move towards the direction you want to go in your life and your health, you cannot fail.

Read those last three words. If we get to the place in life where we can ENJOY THE JOURNEY… where we embrace the process and enjoy the steps we’re taking to improve ourselves (in ANY venture), you cannot fail.

There you have it, folks. This is hands down one of my favorite posts I’ve written, and it’s all because of Kyle Maynard and his positive impact on EVERYONE! To us his line, his motto… his mantra that he’s had for his whole life… No Excuses. You’re the man, Kyle!

Click here to read the full article!

For more info on Kyle, here’s and AWESOME video from when he was featured on Oprah. Please take 13 minutes and watch it so you can learn more about why and HOW Kyle got to be where he is today. So. Cool.

Finally, as a CrossFitter, Kyle also owns a gym. No Excuses CrossFit. The video below is a Testimonial from some of his athletes talking about how (not only Kyle, but) CrossFit training can help change lives in a variety of ways.

I’m inspired today! I hope you are, too!

Read this, then read it again. Then… read it again. Please.

“When you don’t give up… You cannot fail.”

I won’t lie. This definitely made me tear up. Amazing story, and stupid Josh Groban (and his voice) doesn’t help, either. Now, go read the quote above one more time.

Those are your “Words of Wisdom” for the day.

(Thanks to the Progenex crew for sharing the video.)

I have always loved uplifting stories about “Ordinary People” who do extraordinary things.

This video shows the story of a man, who with a little ingenuity, has been able to literally brighten lives of people in his village.

If you know about stories like this, please email them to me. I would love to continue posting amazing stories like this!

Do you guys like seeing things like this?