Tuesday, December 27, 2011


(Warning, this isn’t a fitness post!)

Christmas day, my oldest - but not old! - sister, Brooke, and I were rolling the dough to make Grandma Shealy’s infamous monkey bread. Usually Eryn, my other sister, and Brooke do this while my brother-in-law and I gorge ourselves on his’s mom’s cheese ball. Eryn, sadly, couldn’t make it out for Christmas this year, so I stepped up and channeled my former baker to complete the task, which basically consisted of Brooke and me snickering over rolling dough balls…haha…balls. Yes, that Bevis and Butthead-esque back and forth went on for about an hour.

“So what’s your power word for 2012?” Brooke asked. I obviously had been playing too much Elder Scrolls: Skyrim recently, because that’s where I immediately went when I heard that question. “Your one word motto. What is it?”

In 2011, my word was “Proactive,” and that I was. At the end of 2010, I was frustrated with where my life was. I love Richmond, but I had stagnated, I had stopped developing as a person. I came across the DCGFFL, and signed up – making that commitment to come up to DC every weekend in order to meet and develop friendships with other masculine, athletic gay men (and ended up meeting some pretty awesome straights and lesbians, too!). About half way through the season, I decided that DC was where I needed to be. I became proactive about finding a job up here, and ended up doing so. Everything fell into place because I actively sought out the things I wanted and went after them. Some of them I got, others I didn’t, but the important thing is that I tried for them and if I hadn’t I would have always wondered.

After some thought – and a few more obvious “balls” comments – “Passion” came out. This coming year, I’m going to follow my passions. I’ll be growing this blog to a more developed site, I’ll expanding my physical repertoire to include running the Marine Corps Marathon in October (more on this later), learn to be a better cook, a better writer, a more versatile football player. I’m going to train harder & teach others to do the same. I’m going to be more involved with LBGT activism and with volunteering and fundraising for cancer research. For me, my passion is making myself the best person that I can, whether that be setting new personal records in the gym or positively affecting someone else’s life.

Following your passion makes you a happier person.

So what are your passions and what are you doing to pursue them? Take some time while things are slow at work this week (because let’s face it, nothing’s getting done until after New Year's) and figure out what you enjoy doing, what makes you happy.

Follow your passion.

Monday, December 19, 2011


“I’m too tired”

“I don’t have the time”

“I’m too sore from yesterday”

Here, let me get you your passy and blankey.

Rationalizations and excuses are extremely powerful. It’s all too easy to make ourselves believe that we can’t do something, especially when we don’t necessarily want to. Any kind of body transformation requires a steadfast will – almost unbreakable – in order to be completely successful. It’ll require the strength to not give in to our innate ability to go the easy route and lay on our couch and completely veg out.

“I’m too tired”:

“A body at in motion will remain in motion unless an outside force acts upon it.” Thank you, Sir Isaac Newton. Who knew the 18th century physicist would be so spot on when it comes to the gym? The more consistently active you are, the more energy you’ll have in order to remain being active. The First Law of Motion also works in the other direction. “A body at rest will remain at rest…” The more you sit around and do nothing, the harder it is to actually get started. That outside force: your Drive. How much you want to achieve your goal. Is your Drive strong enough to get you off your couch after work? To get you out of bed an hour earlier? (Let’s be honest, me getting out of bed earlier will not be happening. If you know me, you know that there is an ongoing war between me and my alarm clock)

“I don’t have the time”:

You know that hour where you were catching up on the latest housewives? What about that 2 you spent playing video games? There ya go. Very few people are so pressed for time to not get outside and go for a run or hit the gym for some weight training. If you look hard enough and want it bad enough, you’ll find the time. Throw in the fact that you’ll extend your life expectancy by years by getting in shape; you really don’t have the time NOT to!

“I’m too sore from yesterday”:

If it’s not an actual injury and it’s just normal “I lifted hard and can feel it” soreness, then man – or woman - up. You shouldn’t be working that muscle group anyway the next day, that leaves a whole slew of other muscles to work that aren’t sore (that’s what she said). Stop your whining and get to it.

The next time you catch yourself trying to talk yourself out of going to work out or to allow yourself something you know is unhealthy take a step back and call yourself out on it. Refocus your Drive, steel your will, and stay true to the path.

Either that or I’ll make sure your bottle’s the right temperature.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


There are only two things that you have 100% control over: what you choose eat and what you decide to do with your time. Everything else relies, to some degree, on someone else.

For the majority of my life, even my time was spoken for. Whether it be by school, work, the administration or even family, I had very little free time. I chose to spend it playing video games, watching movies, and otherwise being lazy.

I had been raised to value chivalry, say “please” and “thank you,” and to always do what I was told. The first two, I’m extremely thankful for, as they – for the most part – are a lost art. The last helped me while I was at VMI – or so I thought.

While I was in college, every. single. decision. was being made for me. Where to be and when, what to wear, even my grooming habits. In hindsight, I appreciate the structure. At the time, I grew more and more agitated by it. So I rebelled the only way I knew how; with the one thing I had complete control over.

And so I ate.

Everything I was told not to growing up, I ate in obscene quantities. Not quite the most active way to rebel. It’s not like I’d go and intentionally break rules or bring someone home to meet mom that I know she’d disapprove of, but it’s what I did, and for me, it served its purpose.

I grew, not surprisingly, and as I did, I felt less and less in control. The one thing I did to demonstrate some sort of control in turn made me feel less in control. By my peak, I had just accepted that was who I was supposed to be. At graduation, I got pissed. I caught fire. I took control.

I changed what I ate from pizza and ice cream to chicken and veggies. I chose to go to the gym instead of playing video games. To go for a run instead of watching that 30 minutes of TV. I took back control of my life from the person I grew to despise - the (now) old me.

We always have the control to choose to live our lives healthier. To decide the better options for ourselves.

We are the results of our decisions.

Take control.