80’s Night!

As promised, a little reminder for what 80’s night entails! At the very least, the entertainment value of these are worth it :). FYI the first minute on the first video are all pictures from Blacklight 5.0 Workout, then it’s all 80’s gear from there!

 

 

Can’t wait to see you all!

– Rebel8 

“I’m Worth It”

If you know David now, you know he doesn’t quite look like this fella here anymore…

This is the David I know now!

Like Lori De Marco, I interviewed our resident goofball David Moody a few weeks back and learned quite a bit about an individual who I already admired and revered where he came from, but was able to build on that. I was able to learn more about an already fascinating individual, and I felt (just like with Lori) it was too good to keep under wraps. So, I asked him if I could share the write up I made of this beast of a man and he gave me the green light! So, without further adieu… 

David Moody – I’m Worth It

Have you ever felt uncomfortable in your surroundings? Have you ever found yourself struggling to fit in only to succumb to the fact that this is how things always will be and you might as well get used to it? Have you ever experienced a struggle with food? Whether it’s not being able to put it down, not being able to pick it up without feeling guilty, or not being able to recognize the difference between friend and sustenance… odds are a great majority of you already relate in there somewhere…

Meet David Moody.

David Moody, like a lot of people, found out through logging a lot of data hours that kids are cruel. From a very young age, he had a tough time fitting in and didn’t really know why. He did everything he could, even trying out for his high school’s football team (he eventually got cut), yet nothing worked. David still felt the sting of all the haunting taunts and hateful names he got called on a daily basis no matter what line of defense he took. Until the 7th grade, when he gave food a shot…

After a particularly tough day, David found himself wandering to the cabinet almost instinctively;searching for something to soothe the anguish he couldn’t get rid of. This is where the fireworks went off. The brain band-aid was laid out and it clicked… Food was the ticket! Food wasn’t going to make fun of him. It wasn’t going to give him a hard time. It would always be there whenever he needed it. It would never let him down nor could HE let food down! Food somehow always managed to mask the anguish, anxiety, and pain of the day to day so David started to prescribe himself heavy doses of waaaaaaaaaaay to many calorie injections. Had a rough day? The cupboard always had something to take care of that… Feeling lonely? Bacon to the rescue! This coping mechanism worked great until he got caught… His parents reminded him that all the food he was inhaling was for family dinners. Money was really tight already, so to overdue eating like that at the sake of his family was enough to get him to stop.

At least, that’s what one would hope.

David became extremely good at hiding his eating habits. An expert at hiding the wrappers and getting rid of any incriminating evidence. He was pulling CSI maneuvers before there was a CSI. The reason I’m telling you all of this is because it further deepened his relationship with food. Made it almost like a secret lover… “Of COURSE the world is going to judge me no matter WHAT I do… but food will always be there! Don’t worry baby, it’ll be our little secret…” The secret was out though and David had no idea. He was in complete denial about the adverse affect all the food was having on his body and mind. He didn’t see all the weight he was gaining. The lethargy taking place. The lack of energy in NO WAY had anything to do with the fact that he had consumed candy like he was a dumpster at the Hershey factory. The skin issues he started to generate? The high blood pressure? Borderline onset diabetes? High cholesterol? kidney stones? Nothing baggy clothes, hanging out with people in similarly destitute situations, and becoming the definition of a homebody so you’d never have to put yourself out there couldn’t fix!

Then one day about 12 years ago, David was at work. At his desk, he had himself 3 monitors all set up in front of him; One in front of him and 2 to each side. He was about to leave work, and was shutting down all the monitors for the evening. David had just gotten done binge eating through his candy drawer, polishing off some chips, and ordering a pizza when he glanced over and caught his reflection in the computer monitor. “Oh my god… I’m fat…” hit him like a ton of bricks as he scanned and poured over this reflection that COULDN’T be his… Could it? The YEARS of denial and passing blame on to others had caught up with him in a big way. Suddenly, his brain quit denying the fact that he was a mess. Harder to cope with was the realization that he had put himself INTO that mess in the first place! Could you imagine that double whammy? 

This is the part of the story where I wish I could tell you that he turned his life around, made positive changes, and he’s spent the last 12 years inspiring others to do the same. I want to tell that to you so bad. However, that is not the case. For the next 11 years, he had lost the comfort of ignorance and now lived with the awful reality that he was broken and didn’t know how to fix his internal issues. On the outside everything appeared to be great, he had a successful job at Industrial Light and Magic, his job allowed for travel and a TON of life experiences! Everything could be looked at as fine on the outside!

The issues that started since early childhood had only intensified however. The bigger the beast, the harder it was to control. The more stress and anxiety it created. He joined several different gyms and went at MOST twice to each one. He always managed to find excuses not to go and eventually even hated the fact he was making excuses in the first place! To let yourself down over and over again, KNOW you’re letting yourself down over and over again, and still not fix the problem is not only extremely hard to deal with, but is also indicative of needing to change your perspective. What’s the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again yet expecting different results. David hadn’t come to realize it was a complete lifestyle change. He hadn’t realized that it would take a fresh mind and a lot of hard work starting with his heart and brain first and foremost to undo the lifetime of habits he had grown accustomed to. Rome wasn’t built in a day, thus it is impossible to strip it all down in one day as well. That fact often gets lost when goal setting.

David had tried every crash diet imaginable. Atkins, South Beach, Hollywood… Nothin’. He gave a failed attempt at Weight Watchers but found that futile. Binge eating and purging were to no avail. Diet pills, acupuncture, psychiatrist… Nothing stuck. After years and years of this yo-yo routine, he found himself living literally right next door to a nautilus gym. He managed to continue going for a straight month! A WHOLE MONTH! David, however, still hadn’t realized he needed to fix how he viewed the journey. He found himself working out with the “I can’t wait to eat because I worked so hard and that makes it ok to eat whatever I want!” mentality. He viewed the light at the end of the tunnel being the only thing that’s important. He hadn’t realized that it’s the tunnel itself that is A) never ending, B) enjoyable, and C) where all the magic happens. So, after that successful month, he went right back to old habits.

Then, one day about a year ago, David came across some healthy lifestyle success stories while surfing the internet. After scouring over a few, he found himself ready to give taking care of himself properly another shot! He thought to himself “this can’t be it for me… not yet…” Full of new hope, he remembered there was a gym just a hop, skip, and a jump away from his house! He always drove by it, but never found a reason for it to stand out. Well, the success stories he read were about people taking charge of their own lives. He didn’t know it yet, but THAT was the difference. THAT moment, when his spark of inspiration came from people taking charge of their own health and destiny, was what his perspective needed. Like a defibrillator to his heart and soul, he found a reason for that little gym down the street from his house to stand out. The reason was him. 

Don’t get me wrong, that realization was very flighty in the beginning… but it was there. It had already planted its roots and by this point, there was nothing David could do to shake it. He got himself a trainer at the gym. He had worked with trainers before, but this guy was a bit different. He had similar life issues to his own, and was not only VERY open about them (because David wasn’t quite ready to reveal himself that much yet) but had conquered quite a bit of them as well! Slowly but surely, that confidence started to build… The “it” factor David couldn’t find… He found it. After about 20 pounds lost via healthy decisions his new trainer had helped him out with, he found himself getting ready to do the impossible. David had come to the point where he was ready to shatter every comfort zone he had ever known and put himself to the ultimate test.

He joined a boot camp program. With a spastic trainer who seemed extremely intimidating. With a LOT of people. Where they scream, chant, yell, have team songs, and nicknames. Yeah, his comfort zone was null and void. Come to find out though, that intimidating trainer happened to be a great friend and mentor of the trainer he’d been working with! More surprised yet, this athletic trainer had a weight loss/ life changing journey himself! New fears arose however… What if I look stupid yelling? What if I can’t keep up? What if everyone hates me because I hold them back? What if I quit and stop showing up the way I ALWAYS do? What if I let my trainer down? What if I let my wife down? What if people make fun of me because I look like a fool trying to learn all these things they already know? What if I’m the fat guy? What if I’m the shy guy? What if…

You get the picture.

Like I said though, David was ready… He took all these questions and applied his new found realization; The only way he was ever going to take charge of his own life like the success stories that inspired him in the first place was to battle a lot of the hard questions that he had shrugged off for years. “You get the results people don’t get by doing the work people don’t do” is a motto yelled out constantly by the trainer in the new boot camp he had just joined. He realized this didn’t apply purely to physical fitness… In fact, David realized this was only a FRACTION about physical fitness! Most people don’t find themselves worthy enough to fight for. All of a sudden, his eyes opened and he saw truth… He is MORE than worthy to fight for. In this new found group, David found he was FAR from the only one who had issues like his! All of his new found friends were looking for a group of people who thought just like they did. Who felt that health and happiness far outweighed stress and loathing. Who wanted to fight for THEMSELVES rather than submit to settling for misery. The wonderful part was that when he was having a bad day, this group of people who called themselves “Rebels” would lift him up in an instant. He also found the joy of being able to share HIS good days with those who weren’t have the brightest of ones. It was a checks and balance system for ALL aspects of fitness, and David hasn’t looked back since…

It was through these new experiences that David realized all along he was chasing the result and trying to cut corners to get there, not realizing there was a lot to work through that had nothing to do with how strict your eating is or how hard you worked out. He saw that until he was able to see the GOOD from taking care of himself, it’ll always be a chore and always be negative. Plant a positive seed, get a positive flower. Plant a negative seed…

I can now say that David has lost over 30 pounds in the last ten months. He’s able to hold a plank for the length of an entire long song where before he wasn’t able to hold his breathe without fear of a heart attack. He is developing a healthy relationship with food and that completely coincides with his new found love of not only taking care of his body, but working out with others. He no longer shy’s away from being in public for fear of being judged. No longer does he reject his self worth. Sure, he has his good days and his bad, but David knows how to deal with the bad days now. For the things he DOESN’T know how to deal with, David has found a new support group with his Rebels. He’s able to talk about his issues now rather than bottling it up inside and trying to keep up a front of invincibility. 

The sunshine is brighter now. The laughs are heartier. The sleep is sounder. Life… is better. All it took was a lifetime to work out one simple fact to turn it all around…

“I’m worth it.”


Settin’ the Moody!!!

– Rebel8

Lori DeMarco – In Need of a New Garden

At Lori’s heaviest. I still don’t recognize this woman…

This is the day (if you read her story) Lori walked the half marathon with “Team in Training.”

 

I interviewed Lori DeMarco for the new fitness rebellion website to be launched very soon. She told me that she didn’t show it to anybody because I wrote it up, so it’s mine. I see where she was coming from, but when a filmmaker makes a documentary, it doesn’t mean it is his or her story… It just meant they felt the story was important enough to be put into a presentable format. Well, I’ve created a presentable format that has the positive approval from Lori herself so this is where I would like to share what I found out about Lori last Thursday….

In Need of a New Garden 

When I sat down with Lori DeMarco behind the gym in the back alley where the ghosts of lunges past roam the Earth, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. On the outside, Lori is a vivacious woman who wears her heart on her sleeve and is as kooky as the Caribbean sand is hot (in the most endearing way possible of course). I’ve come to get to know this 51 year old 5 feet 10 inches tall stick of dynamite quite well over the last 6 months, and was really looking forward to the story I was going to hear. 


As soon as Lori spoke I was hooked for the duration of the ride… “My mom was a model and my dad was a professional wrestler” she said nonchalantly. 

“Awesome! How’d that go?” I replied… and we were off!

Lori’s parents, who were both “beautiful people,” had instilled confidence in both of their daughters yet strayed from encouragement in the athletics department. Even though both Lori and her sister inherited the family height, the push to be active was reserved for the two brothers Lori also had. Luckily the aforementioned confidence her parents DID help her out with made being a tall, heavy set kid a little more bearable than those cards typical pan out to be. She wasn’t exactly running for school president, but bullying never really snaked its way into Lori’s childhood. This led me to ask “so being teased and bullied doesn’t seem to be a factor growing up… Were you aware you were a tall and heavy kid who wasn’t really that athletic?” Her answer was one that is sure to make a WHOLE LOT of you say “I hear that… I know how you feel!” creep into your brain…


“Oh boy was I aware… you remember those presidential fit tests you had to do in P.E.?” she asked.

“I sure do. The ones where you had to run a mile, do crunches, push ups, trunk stretches, and few other exercises right?” I affirmed. She went to tell me that it was right THEN, at around 9 years old, she was made very well aware she wasn’t physical able to do what most other kids were able to do. It’s hard not to come to that realization when you’re pitted against your peers in a spotlighted exhibition of a game called “who can do it and who can’t.” Even though Lori didn’t have to really deal with the plight of how cruel kids truly can be, from that day forward she was painfully aware she was “the fat kid.”

Lori did the standards of covering herself up ALWAYS with big and baggy clothes. Never really revealing herself. If they were doing something challenging in P.E. (gymnastics for instance) then Lori would inadvertently get singled out. “Don’t worry Lori, you can be the spotter” isn’t as comforting to a child in their formative years when the subtext reads “You clearly can’t do this because of your size, so rather than seeing you struggle to do something that obviously isn’t going to happen, you can be the eyesore who only moves to help the more able bodied kids.”

As many of you know, your own mind has a tendency to be your best friend, most dependable pilot, and quickest computer you’ve got. It can also be the meanest, most disparaging, cruel and ruthless entity you’ve ever come in contact with. In Lori’s case, she did her own bullying. She had all the outer confidence you would expect someone with a model mom and professional wrestling Dad to have with all the turmoil you’d expect of someone going through so much inner hurt with no outlet to release it would be going through.

After High School, Lori met somebody with a similar mindset. A heavy set individual who had similar limitations due to his size. Misery loves company, right? Let’s see, we’ve got one cliche… All we need is one more stereotypical ingredient to make this truly combustible… Oh, I’ve got it! Ignorance is bliss! You take a pinch of “misery loves company” and add a dash of “ignorance is bliss” and the final product is a big one!

About 100 pounds bigger.

Lori had managed to slowly but surely rack up over 100 pounds over the course of 20 years. Lori had managed to “pretend” being active for so long that she didn’t realize it was becoming harder and harder to “pretend” as she went along. She had convinced herself that as long as she was active and busy, helping out with kids, running errands, keeping up with hobbies and a plethora of other “I’m all over the place!!” activities, she’d be ok. She even joined Team in Training, a group dedicated to training for all different sorts of marathons! How’d her experience go with that? She trained rigorously for 10 months culminating in walking a half marathon… Without getting rid of one bad habit or shedding a single pound. None of this could cover up anymore the fact that Lori actually had a REAL problem on her hands…


That problem was that she now weighed 327 pounds and whenever she got on the scale, it read “ERR” which stands for “error.”

“There is nothing more degrading then stepping on a scale and being called an ‘error.’ AN ‘ERROR?!?!’ I’ve been called a lot of things in my life, but nothing has ever stung as much as being call an error!!”

Unfortunately, Lori’s sister was gaining weight at the same rapid pace. It took Lori’s sister wanting to lose HER weight for the competitive “I’m not gonna let her be the skinny one!” sisterly mentality to kick in to shed light on the truth of the situation… This was more than just a competitive sisterly debacle… This was real life. Real life had Lori pegged as an “error.” Her sister was also experiencing the abbreviation “ERR” whenever she stepped on the scale and decided Gastric Bypass surgery was her ticket out. Lori said “if she’s gonna do it, I’m gonna do it!”


So, 5 years ago Lori ended up going under the knife and getting her stomach shrunk. They bothered Lori with a bunch of hullabaloo about how the weight was going to melt right off but she had to be sure to follow the careful instructions that involved proper resistance training, integrating more foods into your diet at a certain point, and going through the necessary therapies and nutritional steps to not only make the weight loss a success, but the overall health and well being of her body and mind better as well.

Lori stopped listening after “the weight is going to melt right off of you.”

The weight sure did melt off. 50% to be exact. Lori lost exactly half of herself, slimming down to a mere 163 pounds. On paper, this seems like the ultimate success… but need I remind you how tall Lori is? at 5’10” and coming from a genetically thick structure, this weight not only made her look like she was battling a life threatening illness, but made her FEEL that way too! She had done none of the proper steps her doctors mentioned because “the weight will melt off” were the only words she saw in her mind’s marquee. Now, she was faced with an anxiety pumping question; “What do I DO?” She had become scared. All her life she was one person, but now she didn’t even know how to shop anymore! When you’re big, it’s easy! The stretchiest and most comfortable. When you’re smaller however, you have all sorts of different decisions to make! Boot cut, low rise, straight leg, stone washed, loose fit, cuts with flare… AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! I likened this to being the prisoner who gets released from prison yet upon coming into contact with the free world, realizes they have more in common with prison life than free life. She enthusiastically agreed. Like a breathe of fresh air came the answer out of the blue…

Alcohol. An immediate answer with immediate success. Why think about it? Lori found she was able to put herself in an alcohol filled haze and lift any worry about the weight she was at and how bad she felt. She could drink it whenever, for however long, however much she liked. It was like self prescription only way easier than going to any Doctor! It seemed like whenever Lori had a problem in life, the answer wasn’t too far behind. Only problem was, Lori didn’t always choose the right answers…

Then, all of a sudden, within one moment…. alcohol was no longer an option. Lori had found herself medicating herself a little too much one day before an important family event. Sparing details, it left her facing an incident that upon coming down from her haze she had a difficult decision to make; Is this really the person I want to be or am I capable of better? With the thought of embarrassing herself further through a dependency on spirits that took its namesake from her being expelled as an option, Lori took action.


She found herself joining a gym as the next answer about a year and a half ago from now. She knew she needed to take charge of her health and did what few who gain a lot of weight and lose too much weight know how to do… She realized she needed to gain weight back. The right way. The healthy way. She looked back on her weight loss journey and realized that at some point in the 163 lbs she lost that she was at her perfect weight. She remembered feeling her absolute best at 200 pounds… so 40 pounds to gain seemed to be the right number! So at this gym she found herself a new found member of, she enrolled in a kick boxing boot camp.

This boot camp kicked her butt. It gave her something to focus on as she integrated better eating in her diet and slowly started to gain her weight back. No longer looking like skeletor and feeling pretty good about herself, Lori hopped on the scale to see how she was fairing. As it turned out, she fared a little too well; Lori had overshot her goal by about 25 pounds.

“Just my friggin’ luck!” she thought as she now started to re-evaluate her decisions and what was going on. First, she realized that she took the “eating for weight gain” a little bit too far and that was the first thing to be reigned in. Next, she evaluated her boot camp… After being honest with herself, she realized she wasn’t getting that much out of it anymore. The class structure hadn’t changed too much and it lost the motivation of being shiny and new. She now felt more like a sheep walking into a barn. No one talked with one another, everyone went to the same spot every time, no one encouraged one another, and when class was over everyone went their separate ways. It was like they were actively trying NOT to come into contact with one another.

So, Lori decided to shake up her environment and join a NEW gym! There was a tiny gym near her house that she’d always been curious about… What better time than now? So, she brought herself on over to this little gym down the street, and found herself signing up for a trial membership. While there, she happened to be walking by this gym’s aerobic room as a boot camp was about to start. “Rebels” they called themselves. The enthusiastic trainer who happened to be buzzing about and greeting people before class caught her lingering for a moment and stopped abruptly. “Wanna join?” he asked. “Um, I’m just checking the place out, thank you though!” Lori said (she later admitted she was freaked she wouldn’t be able to hang and was prepared to give ANY excuse as long as she could walk away). “Well, what else are you doing?” he queried with a sly smile. “Damnit, I don’t really have an answer to that…” Lori thought as she scanned the room for any excuse to get out of it. Then, she saw a gentlemen who looked to be in the same age bracket as she was. Faced with a circus-like trainer who wouldn’t take no for an answer with no good excuse to give as it was, she decided that if this guy who looks to be her age can do it, then so can she!

At this point in the interview I said “Who was it that you saw?” to which she dryly responded “Art.”

By now, if you haven’t figured it out, I’m the enthusiastic trainer she saw. A little back story on Art… When I met Art he was barely able to hold a 10 second plank without trembling like a paint shaking machine, he was about 50 lbs over weight, and had the blood pressure of a power lifter on the Atkins diet (meaning BAD… REAL BAD). At the point where Lori had seen him however, he had shed 50 lbs, regulated his blood pressure, and held the record for longest plank at 12 minutes for the 10 week string of boot camps she was witnessing. Art is a machine. He spawned one of my favorite phrases to rile my Rebels up with “HEART LIKE ART!” He realized he was his own last line of defense and he took charge of his life like a newborn mother lifting a car off her own child. He was notorious for wiping the floor with the most fit participants through sheer heart and willpower alone. While everyone would be dying in between exercises, he would force himself to do a wall sit. He is the first one to encourage you and the last one to leaving you hanging when you look like you need a hug. Whenever we’d have 10 seconds remaining during a particularly tough exercise, his cry of “YOU CAN DO ANYTHING FOR 10 SECONDS!!!” became legendary. THIS is the man she saw that day that made her think “if he can do it, so can I!”

Thank our lucky stars this turn of events happened, because without it we wouldn’t have “float like a butterfly, sting like LORI!” We wouldn’t have one of the most iconic images I’ve ever seen of someone pushing through every adversity via a one arm plank photo. We wouldn’t have Lori’s encouraging voice ring through every boot camp “COME ON REBELS, WE’VE GOT THIS!” when it gets tough. We simply wouldn’t have Lori!

Well, Lori joined boot camp that day, and it all finally clicked. Lori had grown accustomed to being three different individuals, and she had finally landed on the perfect one for her… She had lived the life of the miserable wife by topping out at 327 lbs. She had lost exactly HALF her body weight only to find that there IS such a thing as too skinny… Well now, after overshooting her goal weight of 200 lbs by a not-so-meager 25 big ones, she is now at her goal weight. She is happily married with a wonderfully supportive husband. She has a band of Rebels she can proudly say she knows all the names of when she goes to boot camp. No longer in her own bubble being made to keep to herself, she is thriving in a group of people who wants what she wants… To be happier. To live healthier. To embrace the journey rather than condemning it. She is strong. She has a handle on the scale and realizes there IS such a thing as “too skinny” when you feel your only validation as a person is how many pounds that scale says you’ve dropped. She’s realized that running away from problems in a haze only causes those very problems to balloon to suffocating proportions. Lori doesn’t do it for the scale or validation of others anymore. She doesn’t “pretend” to be active… She is. She doesn’t live in a haze anymore, she sees things crystal clear now. She’s run (RUN) a 3k and a 5k. Next up… a 10k. She is doing exercises with her own body weight! If she had to do that Presidential fitness test all over again, she’d be a top ranker. The air is easier to breathe and the sun couldn’t shine brighter…

As the sun begins to set, Lori and I realize that 2 hours have passed and it’s about time to mosey on over to our homes for a little late dinner. As we get up and stretch our legs, I reflect on the alley we did the interview in. The one with the “Ghosts of lunges past” roaming the Earth. It was here where Lori said it all came together… On her first “official” boot camp, I had her whole team of Rebels lunge down the alley and back 3 times, which is equivalent to about 250 yards. She said she was positive she was going to be broken that day. When she not only survived, but had people encourage her BY NAME on her first boot camp, even coming up behind her and finishing her laps of lunges out with her, she knew… She knew that if you plant a positive seed, you get a positive flower.

Lori had carried this positive seed around her entire life, she just needed the right garden to plant it in. Well, she found her garden. Can you dig it? 

THIS is the Lori I recognize!

Thank you for everything Lori…

– Rebel8

I wish that I was strong enough to lift not one, but both of us

The song you hopefully are listening to above is a song that is currently crawling it’s way to the radio. It’s a song that comes off “Strange Clouds” by B.O.B. that I’m absolutely in love with. This is one of those songs that I really like, but not as much as many others (“Just a sign,” “Chandelier,” and “Bombs Away” to name a few). That is, until I realized what the song was REALLY about…

From the moment I heard the song I always just kind of pictured the song being about a family member, a friend, or significant other of some sort. Well, I was doing my morning meditation on the elliptical when this song came on shuffle. For some reason, the instant the guitar started in the beginning, I realized “this song isn’t about a family member, friend, or significant other at all… It’s about the person in the mirror!” It was at THAT moment I visualized being bent over my bathroom sink in exhaustion, looking up with tired pupils as I lock eyes with my reflection and ask the question we all end up getting to at one point or another… “What the hell am I doing and can I keep this up?” I had this visual because it’s a reality that has happened on several occasions (don’t worry, the answer I always come to is yes, I can keep this up).

The song reminded me of all the times I felt like I wasn’t strong enough to take care of myself. Even if those moments are fleeting, they still can wear down your armor. I tell people all the time that my boot camps (and I hope people realize this is a metaphor for life at this point) aren’t designed to be done perfectly, but designed to challenge you to be better when everything in you says “I Can’t.” When you’re surrounded by 25 of the greatest people you’ve ever met all locked in to a boot camp where everyone has the same goal and not an ounce of negative is brought to the equation it’s easy to be motivated… but what about those times when you’re by yourself?

When you’re looking in the mirror, wondering if you have the strength to go on? I’ve found myself looking in the mirror MORE than a time or two saying “I wish that I was strong enough to carry both of us.” That reflection is symbolic. That reflection, more importantly, is reality. Your opportunity to see yourself from the outside while still looking within.

I’ve got great news… You are strong enough.

There is something I do when I’m working out either on my own or in a group setting. I will find a mirror and lock eyes with myself when things get really difficult. I’ve had people notice and ask about it, and people aren’t quite sure if I’m joking or serious when I say “I’m daring myself to quit on myself.” That’s EXACTLY what I’m doing. I’m not joking. I’m holding myself accountable. When you let yourself down, it’s often accompanied by turning your head down and ignoring the painfully obvious… You quit on yourself. It’s a whole new ball game when you hold YOURSELF accountable. You get the results people don’t get by doing the work people don’t do is MUCH more than just physical. By now, many of you know that. What I hope you get from this post is that your reflection is powerful. You ARE the results! You ARE the work! Holding YOURSELF accountable is exactly what people don’t do. YOU’RE YOUR LAST LINE OF DEFENSE!!!

So, in conclusion, I just wanted to share a song that really struck a nerve with me when I realized what it was about. It’s about the person in the mirror. That reflection that stares back at you, begging for help but not knowing how to get it. I recommend you all listen to the song from start to finish and listen with the mentality I just talked about. For some of you, it will floor you. For others, you’ll be done saying “Neat song!” or “I hate Taylor Swift!” However, if ONE person gets even the slightest impact that I got from the song, then this post was a success…

 

AhhhhhOOOOOO!!!!

 

– Rebel8

 

To be loved, we must first learn to love.

Now that I’ve got your attention… READ THE INFO BELOW!

Please read! I think I want to try to put one of these up in Santa Rosa!

So a semi-spur of the moment via tradition you’ll have to ask the Unicorn about in person (if you don’t know me personally, then I’m just going to leave that beginning as is so it keeps with the mythical element of this intro) caused us to take off to Reno for a quick 24 hour getaway. Something about the draw of crossing into a different state for a day sounded really refreshing, so we dove at the chance! Among the many adventures we so graciously got to enjoy, we stumbled upon something that really resonated. Thus, I wanted to share!

The description of the “Before I Die” board does not do actually seeing it in person any justice. It is huge!

Every line is crammed with the dreams of the world

Going through each line was awe-inspiring and really a great reflection of what TRULY makes the world happy. Of course there were the obligatory “I want to be famous!” or “Party with Kanye West!” but the great majority were much more pure of heart…

For instance, Cara wants to live happily ever after, in proper conjunction with her mystical nature.
…right after having Channing Tatum’s baby of course.

When the wall got to big to write on, I started to scour the perimeter. Sure enough, people went beyond the edges and into the “real world.” The very first thing I saw when looking for “outside the box” thinking was this:

Looks like we’re on the right track… I wrote underneath in purple and green writing “Timetorebel.com” with the hopes they will find us!

Another favorite of mine was the big and bold “To See Evil Men Destroyed” written across a whole section. At first I said to myself “that’s kind of a jerk thing to do…” until I found a new perspective. Instead of it overlapping, I saw it as being an important part of the background. Behind every great wish is the basis of evil being conquered. 

I love searching for new ones by scouring!

One of the coolest realizations about the whole thing was we were having a great time finding awesome little nuggets of amazing all around downtown Reno, and it was THIS picture that led us to the slightly “off the beaten path” downtown area where the “before I die…” board was located!

It was the rainbow clouds that led us to the board. I couldn’t make this up…

After taking photos of the whole thing and enjoying how awesome this whole experience was with Cara, it sparked something… I want one of these. Somewhere in Santa Rosa. I don’t know how it’s going to happen, but I am going to figure this out… Sharing humanity creates humanity. 

With a blood curdling yell to rival Braveheart, a shovel in my hands, and my heart on my sleeve.

So I leave you with hopefully the same tranquil inspiration that I had after coming across something so simple yet so meaningful. If you know of a spot in Santa Rosa that would be a perfect fit for one of these beauties, feel free to e-mail me at AllLevelsTraining@gmail.com. Inspiration spurs inspiration, so let’s inspire Rebels!

Love,

I’m yours 🙂

If in need of a little inspiration…

Uhhhhhh!!!!

I felt that some of you partaking in this current challenge who are new to the Rebellion don’t quite know what drives him. Well, I just so happen to have a few videos that share his story in a nutshell, so when you hear his screams ring out in that aerobic room, you know this is where it comes from… The first video was made by a professional filmmaker friend of Tye’s to help tell his story to Anytime Fitness and more so, whoever would be inspired by it. 

The second video is a slideshow I made to “Fix You” by Javier Colon for Tye and his amazing/gorgeous wife Bobbi to commemorate how far they’ve come when Tye became a certified personal trainer through the NASM.

Also, in honor of the most amazing midpoint measurement day I’ve ever experienced, I wanted to reshare a video that never gets old. A reminder about the scale that we were ALL reminded of today…

Lastly, I also wanted to share the slideshow I made of our last Tough Mudder experience in Temecula this last February. I cannot WAIT for September. It truly is a once in a lifetime experience… I can’t wait to earn another headband but more importantly… go through another turbulent journey and become bonded with my closest friends all over again :).

 

– Rebel8

Measurements!

Get a positive flower!

Hey everybody!

I just wanted to throw out a quick reminder that this Friday and Saturday, boot camps are replaced with circumference measurements! This means we are almost at the official halfway point!

I will be measuring your neck, chest,waist, belly button, hips, arm, and thigh as well as doing your halfway point weigh-in and testing your body fat percentage. That’s it! No photo, no fit test, no forms… Just those 3 things. Once you’re done, you can leave! Now, let me tell you why I love the midway measurements so much…

For those of you where the scale hasn’t dropped the massive lbs you’ve been looking for it to drop, it provides a MUCH better perspective. Your body is changing! I can’t tell you how many times someone comes up to me and says “I didn’t lose any weight this week… I’m so pissed… I mean, my clothes ARE fitting better but when’s the scale going to match?!”

If your clothes are fitting better, and your weight doesn’t put you into a health crisis, and you’re not a horse jockey who needs to make weight in order to have a legitimate chance at winning the triple crown, then why does the scale have to match? If your energy is up, you’re taking care of yourself, exercising consistently and with a purpose, eating better, clothes are  fitting better… Yet the scale isn’t telling you what you want to hear… Then isn’t the scale the LEAST important factor in all of this? 

The answer is yes.

Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean that the scale NEVER needs to move. That doesn’t mean weight loss is meaningless and doesn’t need to happen. It means that the toughest thing to do in a fitness journey is to actually enjoy the journey. Becoming too fixated on something that is meant to be a LIFETIME HABIT is a quick train to frustratedburg (located just outside Peoria, Illinois).

The point I’m getting at is measurement day showcases a lot of things the scale can’t. For some it will be a defibrillator to your drive. For others, a reminder to step it up. For many, another mile marker on an incredible journey.

Lastly, I have a boot camp going on Saturday, June 9th at 1pm. It will be outdoors so dress accordingly! Claritin and sunblock and whatnot… The cost is $10 and the duration will be about an hour and fifteen minutes. We are meeting at the gym and taking off from there!

See you soon Rebels…

– Rebel8

PS Outdoor boot camps are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday as well so be prepared! The week after that… Blacklight 6.0… 😉

PPS I don’t have time to do makeup measurements for any times other than the times for boot camp. Thanks for the understanding 🙂

We Called!

So today, a few of us happened to make a video to “Call Me Maybe.” Thanks to all the rebels who showed up and took part in one of the most fun times I’ve ever had doing something ridiculous.

Lord knows I’ve done a lot of ridiculous things…

AhhhOOOOO!!!!

– Rebel8

Let It Burn!

The video below makes a TON more sense if you read the explanation below THEN view. Not only that, but I guarantee you don’t have to have participated in the exercise to have it resonate with you. More people than just the 75 or so that went through this exercise need to have this kind of liberation.

Welcome to the Rebellion.

 

On May 29th, May 30th, and May 31st, I had a special exercise I did with every team that’s a part of Rebel X. Team Ignition (VROOM VROOM!), Team Beast, and Team Ballistic all took part in this activity where upon arrival everyone was asked to write down 2 things; The thing they hate about themselves the most on the pink card and a compliment that would make your absolute day if someone were to approach you and give it to you.

I then had everyone place their card on the wall. All the cards were anonymous, and I shoveled the cards so no one knew whose was whose. Everyone then proceeded to squat down and HOLD the squat position in front of whatever card they had in front of them. After holding the squat sit for 10 seconds, absorbing the card and everything it says, I had everyone step directly over to the next card and hold the squat sit again for 10 seconds. Again, all the while the focus being not only on the burning in your legs but the card in your face.

We did this until all the cards had been read and absorbed by every single person.

At the end, I made the very clear point that each card represented one of the MANY negative thoughts swirling around in every single persons had that was in that aerobic room. When I asked how many people related to more than 2 cards, every hand went up. When I  asked how many people related to more than 5 of the cards, every hand went up. When I asked how many people related to more than HALF the cards, every single hand went up…

At this point I’d like to remind you that every age, gender, occupation, athletic ability, mind set, and every other variable you can think of was represented in this room. This was NOT a room full of strictly athletes, nor was it a room full of strictly first time “weight losers.” I repeat… EVERY SINGLE HUMAN DEMOGRAPHIC WAS REPRESENTED IN THIS EXERCISE

Once everyone’s hand had gone up after asking how many people felt connected to more than HALF the cards, I asked the all important question…

“How many of you feel the way you read on those cards towards ANYONE ELSE HERE other than yourself?”

Eyes averted downward. Crickets all of a sudden became an explosion of noise. Most evident however was the lack of a single hand being raised.

The point was this… All those horrendously negative things swirling around your head are created BY you FOR you. You think anyone else is pointing the finger at you CONVINCED your belly fat is awful, you’re weak and lazy, you have terrible skin, you’re self conscious, you have a problem with eating too much, you constantly assure yourself you’re a failure, and you’ll never amount to anything? NO! THEY ARE TOO BUSY THINKING THESE THINGS ABOUT THEMSELVES!!!

So, I decided to burn all the negativity away. Get rid of it. Gone. Finite. Chapter closed. I hope you understand the video above, to many people, is more than just words on paper being burned on a pot. It is a mindset that is put out in the open so it can FULLY be let go of. Kind of like how on any supernatural “ghost” show or movie 9 times out of 10 the reason the “ghost is still in the living realm” is because it hasn’t lived out it’s purpose. Well, your negative degradation has served its purpose, and now it’s time to get laid off. It’s expired. The purpose to show you pain so you can know happiness.

How long are you going to drag out the pain? When no one feels that way about you but YOU, when are YOU going to forgive yourself and move on? No better time like the present…

As for what I did with the compliment cards… I turned the lights out, had everybody hold a wall sit, and read off every single compliment. This was the light and fun portion (before we went out into the back alley and did lunges until our legs didn’t feel feelings anymore) but also the most important. This was the portion where all the things people DO notice about you but perhaps don’t say as often came out to the open. This was the point of the day where all the nice things you need to hear more than you realize get told to you. Not because it’s nice… but because it’s true. 

Seriously, you don’t look that old at ALL. I see how hard you work, it’s definitely paying off! You look like you’ve lost some weight! I love your arms! Nice ass! You’re a WONDERFUL mother! You’re gonna be an AMAZING Auntie! You seem so happy! I’ve never met anybody as strong as you! You’re so inspiring! You truly look spectacular, you have a glow about you! I love being around you! You make me laugh! You make me happy!

Plant a positive seed, you get a positive flower.

AhhhhhOOOOOOOO!!!!

– Rebel8