Today I drove to Manns Harbor to get some firewood. It was a 200-250 year old oak tree that fell recently in a storm. I saw the pictures of it, and never once did I think about asking anyone for help. It was just wood right?
Almost every day of the week I am lifting weights for own training or setting up training sessions for others. At 52 I can lift a fair amount of weight, it makes me feel strong but I have never really thought I was a very strong person. I don’t think I look like a strong person.
Today I was tested. I got all the way to Manns Harbor. Got out of my truck and thought to myself eh that doesn’t look to bad. They were very large chunks of wood. 18-20” tall and if they were whole probably 6 feet in diameter but they were cut in halves. I put my gloves on and went to work. I walked up the first piece and bent down to pick it up and it barely moved. I tried again grabbing with a different spot and first thing that came to mind was “what in the motherf***?” I thought about it for a minute and almost gave up on it but hell I drove all the way to Manns freaking Harbor for this shit and I am not leaving without it. Needless to say I got it done. 12 pieces of this tree!! Some pieces were larger than others but given that I am a pretty good judge at what something weighs, I would say the range was between 80 pounds to probably 175 to 200 for the larger ones. I was absolutely shocked at how heavy this wood was. The drive back was interesting to say the least I felt like my front tires were barely touching the ground.
I tell you this because we all face challenges every day. For some of us our biggest challenge is the workout we face early in the morning. I tell you this because I know for 200 Percent fact that if I didn’t train my body and my brain the way I do, I would have most certainly walked away from that challenge. I don’t think I am the best at motivating others to put 100% into the task but I can tell you that I would have certainly failed today if one shred of negative thoughts passed thru my head. For 1 fleeting second I thought there is no way I can do this and then I buckled down and picked that shit up and drove it home like a fucking champ. Once home I had to pick that shit up and move it again, I used a wheelbarrow for this but still had to pick it up to stack it. It was pretty much the death of my poor wheelbarrow.
I tell you this because no matter what your challenge is every day, face it head on and overcome. If you fail, own it and learn from it.
I tell you this because what we do everyday is important. We only have one body and we only get one chance at life. Train your body and your brain hard and it will not fail you when the time comes that you need it.
If you believe you can then you will!!
There is nothing more powerful than the organ that takes up the 5-inch space between your ears! Most of you out there have probably heard me say this or heard it somewhere - “as soon as something gets a little difficult or uncomfortable your brain tells you it’s time to stop, when in fact your body is capable of doing so much more than your brain tells you it can”
If you push past the initial request from your brain to stop and step outside your comfort zone you can take your training to another level. When you are outside your comfort zone it is so easy to listen to your brain. It’s so easy to quit because what you are doing is HARD!! When in fact if you ignore it and keep moving you will find that your brain is wrong! One more mile, one more step forward, one more rep, one more pull up. whatever it is just do one more, and then next time do one more, so on and so forth. Find your “WHY”, think about the reason you are putting yourself through this workout!! Think about the reason why you choose grilled chicken and broccoli for lunch or dinner 5 times a week instead of a cheeseburger and fries! The next thing you know you will have surpassed your goal and moved on to the next. Keeping a positive mindset, the warrior mindset toward everything in your life is key to making yourself reach goals you never expected. Be the one at work that takes charge of everything and goes above and beyond expectations. Be the one at work that doesn’t let your teammates fail and doesn’t allow them to be lazy either. Be the one at the gym that never quits on a workout because it’s too hard. Push your body daily to its limits and obtain maximum results from your work ethic.
Motivation for my workouts comes from our military men and women. I usually listen to a book while I am working out. I have listened to so many incredibly stories. Like the one about Chris Kyle, the American Sniper. I read this book from cover to cover a few years ago on a flight from Maine to SC. What these average human beings endure during training to become the most elite warriors known to man is mind blowing. This drives me every day to push the limits! Knowing that there are men like this out there making the ultimate sacrifice for me and our way of life motivates me to push myself to the breaking point during my workouts. Adam Brown – Fearless! This man was shot, blown up and overcame a drug addiction before and during his time in the Navy! Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins is another great read. David and his mother were beaten by his dad practically every day. Always being told how much of a loser he and his brother were and would never amount to anything. He lost 100 lbs in 3 months to be able to get into the BUDS program. He then went on to become a Chief Petty officer when he retired and one of the most elite ultra-athletes in the world. “Be uncommon amongst the uncommon”- David Goggins! Marcus Luttrell, the Lone Survivor. His two books The Lone Survivor and Service were both incredible stories. To me their feats of physical and mental strength are inhuman. These guys put it all out there every day and because of this I feel like every day I must give all of myself to my training and to my clients being the best for them I can be.
I follow many social media fitness pages that are run by Navy, Army and Marine Corps veterans. As I stated, I have read tons of books about these amazing human beings and the obstacles they over come to get where they are and to do what they do every day to protect our freedoms. Understanding that the average human will never be tested even a 10th of 1 percent in life the same way all our service men and women are tested every day during deployments or training up for deployment. Things that I have learned from all the books and audio books is that no matter the physical condition of these men, they would never be successful without the mindset it takes to work through the pain of training to finish the job.
These stories of courage, Honor, Integrity and the pure will to live or die saving teammates motivate me! I envy these men. I should have been a man like this. I should have had the opportunity to die for my country but because of my stupidity and arrogance, I did not. I believe that if I can give one thing back to someone. Pay something forward I can hopefully make up for not doing my duty in the military by giving my all to be the best serviceman I could be. So, for me to feel like I have done something important and useful with the life I have been given, I give myself completely to the service of helping others. I am a trainer, a friend, a confidant, a therapist for some. Whatever I have to do to help others achieve greatness that’s what I will do.
Being a Navy Veteran I am very pro-military. As much as I wanted to follow in the steps of my grandfather going in the military, fighting for my country, possibly dying for my country. I failed to see the longevity of being told what to do on a daily basis by people that weren’t much older than me. I failed to see the importance of what we were doing to protect our way of life. I lacked the obedience and had no structure. I failed at most everything I did back then. I failed at every relationship, every marriage, being responsible for my extreme self-incurred debt. I was an immature arrogant self-absorbed prick! I wanted everything to be handed to me. I wanted to be one of the elites in the military, an Army Ranger or a Navy Seal. (maybe if all goes well you will read about this in my book one day) I never had the chance. I wish I had a chance to say I tried even if I failed. I never had the chance because I failed both my hearing and sight test, however I did pass all my physical tests at the time. I wanted to be tested. I still want to be tested! At 52 years old I feel like I am in better shape than I have ever been and want to be tested. As hard as I train myself or have been trained by others, I can’t remember a time when I have been at a point of exhaustion that I couldn’t keep going if I needed too. However, a mile of burpees on the pavement and 94 degrees out or the 1000 rep workout with a 60# sandbag came pretty fucking close. 😊
As I matured in life, I realized very quickly that I had it made in the NAVY and was a complete fucking idiot for not staying in and doing my best. Life is hard, anyone that isn’t a trust fund baby will agree with me. However even trust fund babies will think life is hard when their internet isn’t working! Life is hard when you don’t really have a plan. When I quit college because of the car accident I was in I should have realized then that the plan I had would never come to fruition. Joining the military was my way out of the Podunk town I lived in and make a better life for myself and have a career in something that mattered. Yes, I fucked that up too.
I use the hashtag #behardtokill often in my Instagram posts. Being Hard to Kill is a state of mind. This phrase is one used by my friends in the fitness community that are either active duty or retired military special forces. What this means to me is not about being a bad ass tough motherfucker. It’s about making yourself hard. Make your body hard. Making your mind hard. Callousing your brain against weakness. This means to me that you have no boundaries. You quit when you are done not when you get tired. #behardtokill is about having the mental capacity to overcome any obstacle in life no matter what it is. To take on extra duties at whatever your job is, to take on challenges headfirst and work at them till it’s finished. Become driven at whatever it is in life you do and do it.
All I think about when I am in the midst of battle with some crazy shit 2-hour long workout I came up with is “I’m not done yet; I am NOT done yet!!”. There are men and women out there making the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. I think about them every day and knowing they put themselves on the line I put myself on the line for them. Everything I do to myself is for them and for all my folks that train with me. Accountability and leadership for me is about being right in the trenches with your people. A leader is out front helping pull the weight not standing over them barking out orders. Willingly I put myself in the trench every day and can’t wait to do it again today!! There is a difference between having an ego and being confident in your abilities.
Having a positive mindset to be successful in any venue of life is the key. Being a fitness professional, it plays a part in my day, every day. Being the focus of other people’s fitness, I always have to be upbeat, in a good mood, always have to have a smile on my face, always have to console others and make sure they know they are doing a good job. But also, at the same time be rigid and not let them be lazy. If I came to work in a shitty mood or not have a positive attitude it wouldn’t be a good atmosphere for my clients. People feed off your energy and if I am in a bad mood or not feeling positive the energy of the workout is not positive. Most people use a trainer for motivation, accountability and to teach them how to work out effectively. Most people will never push themselves as hard as a trainer will. Most people will work inside their comfort zone and wonder why nothing ever changes. “Don’t blame me for the results you didn’t get for the work you didn’t do!”
In the last 7 years I have worked with some amazing people and still do. Some of them have been with me for almost the entire time. Many come and go as they always do but no matter what, they have always given me their best every time. No matter how much I stress about being self-employed I never let it show. I stress about paying my bills every month no different than most. I hate it when folks don’t show up for class and always wonder if it’s because of me. Something I did or something I said? I often wonder when is it all going to end? When will they all just stop showing up? I am not the most tolerant person when every day I show up for something you paid me for, and you don’t. I know shit happens, the alarm forgets to go off, you hit the off button instead of snooze. I get it, I often want to do the same thing, but I am accountable to you and what kind of coach would I be if I just said “fuck it” they will be ok without me? So, when times get tough Y’all, be tougher!! Grab the challenge by the balls and squeeze the shit out of it and get the fuck after it!!
I am flawed. I am 52 years old now and I have thought about this post for a long time and considering what I do for a living I feel like it makes sense to write this. As most of you know I was obese for a great part of my life. Mostly as a kid and young adult and a few times as a not so young adult. My stupid scale still tells me that I am obese. We parted ways! I have worked hard on myself for probably two decades now to get in shape, get in better shape and stay in shape, and I still think I could be better. I am still flawed! I do it because I want to live a long time and not be burdened by bags of medication to control HBP or diabetes. I do it because it makes me feel accomplished when I finish a two-hour long workout. At my lowest weight I had lost a total of 106 pounds and hover just under that now. I am strong as fuck and I can do cardio for days. However, when I look in the mirror I still see “fat boy” Todd!! That’s what I was called pretty much from the day I started school until I graduated. I don’t know why I do this but for the life of me I can’t shake it. I train people for a living! I set up meal plans for weight loss clients and I don’t like the way I look in the mirror. It makes me feel like I am being fraudulent at times. At 52 years old I have lost weight and gained weight and lost more weight. I am sure this creates issues with skin elasticity, therefore the reason I still see flabby ass flab around my belly. As much as I do and can do, I swear it drives me fucking crazy. I subconsciously compare myself to other people I see working out that do about half as much as I do and look like they are in such better shape that I am.
There is a thing called BDD or Body Dysmorphic Disorder that I can relate too. However, I don’t spend hours looking at myself in the mirror and obsessing over myself or any of that other shit they talk about. But every time I walk by a mirror at the gym, yep you got it, I say to myself “you need to lose weight, you fat motherfucker!!”. Most of you that I work with have known me for a long time and I will bet money that you have never seen me with my shirt off! If you have the number of times is less than half the fingers on one hand. I don’t put myself in places where I may have to take my shirt off in front of others. This has been a thing for me since childhood. I remember as a kid I never took my shirt off when I went swimming. I never played sports like basketball where I may end up on the skins team. Fuck that, and here I am today doing the same thing! My insecurities are the same as your insecurities. I body shame myself the same way you body shame yourself.
I hear shit like “man I wish I could run like you” or “damn dude, you been at this for how long?”. I don’t think very highly of myself. I think I am just an average guy and an average athlete. I have no ego; I don’t think I am better than anyone. However, I am very confident in my abilities. I don’t know how I do it other than the fact that I know I am not going to die and refuse to quit until I have finished what I start. Recently completing a 67 day training task that I set for myself. This was just for me to see what I can do and for how long. I did some pretty crazy hard workouts over the span just ask Buddy! The worst of all of them was the mile of burpees. It took just over 1.5 hours to cover one mile doing a burpee with a long jump, I lost count due to delirium at about 850 burpees. This I felt was the closest to death I have ever been. Over the 67 days I ran a total of 450 + miles. I tell you all this because a lot of you think very highly of me and I appreciate that. I love doing what I do, and I love that at 52 I am still able to do what I do everyday with a group of people that I love to work with. I tell you all this because none of us are perfect, we are all flawed, but we can work every day to be the best version of ourselves we can be and look as good and feel as good as our body will allow us too. I will never be the “ripped” celebrity trainer like whatever their names are, but I can promise you this, I will always bring to the table everything I can offer and the best I have to offer every single time. I celebrate your successes as I do my own.
Day 2 done !!Get up every morning and EARN YOUR SUNRISE!! We all get up everyday and lace up for different reasons. Why are you here? It’s about family and friends. It’s about the encouragement of a great group of people that no matter what your reasons for getting up are, we show up to support each other. We show up to push each other to be the best we can be. YOU belong here! Fat or skinny doesn’t exist here. Its about changing your quality of life and to live like we’re living not like we’re dying (thanks Re ). If you or someone you know needs this class in their life we are always looking for new friends. Call/text me or message me for details 252.599.0056 (the audio from the video isn’t great because of the wind but you all know what you said )
Have you ever looked a photo of yourself and thought I wish I was fat as I thought I was then? Let me guess, back then you thought you were carrying a few extra pounds but you didn't do anything about it, so the few turned to 10 to maybe 50 or 100? I understand, it happened to me.
Shortly after moving to the OBX and found myself still topping the scale at 200. (photo on the left) In that moment I wished to be as fat as I thought I was at 180! I knew I needed to make a change, I had to take a good long hard look at who I was and what I was doing to my body. I knew losing more weight would be hard but as you know being fat is hard too! I had a choose, Fat Hard or Healthy Hard, I am so grateful I chose my health. Did you ever consider what your weight is costing you? The truth is you are paying a big price for your weight, not only in currency, but with your heart, your joints, your sleep, your overall health! Did you know for every extra pound of weight you carry you are putting 4 lbs of pressure on your knees alone? So, for every 10 pounds that is 40 pounds of unneeded pressure!!! Yes, extra weight will make working out hard and yes you will be sore, but as the weight lessens so will the soreness. I have shared my story with many people over the years, and I felt it was time that I share it with my community. I want you all to know, I was not a one and done. I had to pick myself up and dust off my running shoes more than once before it truly stuck.
I am now very proud of the weight loss I have accomplished and the fitness goals I have been able to reach and maintain, I am still a work in progress! I share this from my heart, not my ego, because I want you to know when you come to me for guidance with your fitness that I know the struggle of food addiction, the hurdles that you are facing, and the steps it will take to obtain success. The first step in the journey of weight loss is accepting where you are in this moment of your life and own it. The second is deciding that now is the time for change, it is time to turn the page and start a new chapter. The next steps will be to set small realistic goals and you will find that every time you crush one of these goals the drive in you to succeed increases exponentially. If you are ready to write your new chapter, I will help you turn the page!! Let's work on creating the steps to your own success. Don't look at a photo next year and wish you had started then! Call me and set up an appointment 252.599.0056
Thank you all for entertaining me this morning and keeping me company on a miserable 3 mile beach run pulling those logs and all the other fun shit we did this morning. Day 1 is done!!
I love my job!!
I love what I do! I love working with so many awesome people! In my whole life I would have never thought I would be doing what I do today and for 6 years now. I love the stories I get to hear and talking to people if nothing else just about how their day was. Laughing with my clients because they think they must look funny doing some of the things I ask of them. Being a personal trainer, health coach, group fitness instructor is a very rewarding job. I love seeing all the goals being met whether its losing weight or being able to jump over a 4 foot wall for a spartan race or bench pressing more than your body weight. Today was an awesome day one of my clients pushed 75 pounds over her head 10 times for three sets, bench pressed 95 pounds with a little help 5 times also deadlifted 135lbs. She started strength training with me a few months ago. When she started she had trouble getting the 15lb dumbbells up over her head.
It’s a very hard and stressful job as well especially when its your only source of income. Most don’t think about this aspect of my job. Constantly marketing yourself, spending money on advertising hoping that it pays off. Always on the search for new clients because you never know when someone is going to drop off for whatever reason. I am grateful for all my people that come to train with me 2 times, 3 times and some of them 5 times week. Its very humbling. Thank you all for being part of my life and for all that you do for me.
First of let me start by saying you won't see my changes by just looking at me. Quite frankly some of you may look at me and think well if that isn't the biggest waste of time and effort and you know what... That's ok. I am 46 years old and I am just not going to be of the super model variety or even remotely skinny.. again.. That's ok.
Four and a half years ago I lost myself, part of my heart was buried and I just lost every part of me that made me me. I went from bootcamping and running every day to nothing. Everything in me was just numb. I gradually got back to things, I ran a few more half marathons and actually completed 2 full marathons but there was no spark. A bad decision here a bad decision there landed me in a place I didn't want to be, shoveling food in as fast as I could. I tipped my scale at the highest weight I had ever been.
Then I came home.
Within a week or so of coming back I started working out with Todd one on one. It was not easy as starting over most of the time isn't, but I went. Then I got a partner, she has worked so hard and stuck right by me through cussing and crying and sweating an injury here or there but together we are.
I can remember back to that first week of training and realizing how weak I was, not only physically but emotionally as well, it was truly heartbreaking. The truth was I wasn't there to become some knock out rocking body lifter, I was there just to survive. I don't think I even knew that myself at the time, but he did. I made a promise those first days, that when it got bad, and it did, that I would come to the gym, that on the days that felt like tomorrow wasn't worth it, come train anyway. I have walked through those doors with swollen eyes from tears and just worked. No words needed to be said just hard work put in. So the question of the day.. did it work? Well I am writing this aren't I?
This last year I didn't meet my fitness goals due to some issues that has pretty much knocked running out of my routine, but I never stopped going to training. I am still not super model material because quite frankly I like to enjoy food and wine too much but that is ok because while I am out here enjoying food and wine... I am also enjoying the gift of life that training with Todd has afforded me.
My point in writing this, while we are all in this for a better physical being, yes I am stronger physically than I was, take a moment and think about all of the other positive ways training with the right person can help you. On the fence? Give it a month... you will find the change.
While you may not see a physical change in me... take a second and look a little deeper... you are certain to see a spark.-amh
If you’re like me, you wake up every Monday morning telling yourself this week will be different. I will eat better. I will commit to my workouts. I will work hard to achieve my goals. This week will be different.
I started training with Todd over a year ago and I had this epiphany today. If he has faith in me, why can’t I find it within myself?
Todd can only give me guidance with my workouts and meal plans. The rest is up to me. I also realized today I can’t be in this journey alone. None of us can. We all need support and praise. It’s time to stop the self-sabotage and get honest. It’s time to listen and share.
Today I will begin the process of believing in myself. It won’t be easy. Self doubt will creep in, but when it does, I have an amazing support group I can count on to help me out. I will dig deep. I will be honest with myself. I will work hard. I will stop the self-sabotage.-mb