National – To join the “on your own” version of the 20th Rebel challenge where you will receive custom rebel workouts e-mailed to you (complete with video walk through), RWR3 Fit Test instructions, custom Rebel T-shirt handmade for you, & instructions on how to participate in the “Rebel Trekkers” challenge all the while being warmly welcome into our private Rebel Facebook community support group… CLICK HERE!
Local (Santa Rosa, CA) – To join the “real thing” boot camp experience where you will meet twice a week in the Rebel room for original Rebel workouts with the goal of ending this holiday season healthier than you started it, receive your custom Rebel T-shirt in person, experience the sound off & Rebel chant firsthand, be held personally accountable for your RWR3 Fit Test, and participate in all the local community drives we will be doing this winter… CLICK HERE!
The assignment was to take a photo with the Rebel shirt I spray paint voodoo’d up for them… and that’s it! It could be whatever they wanted as long as the Rebel shirt is represented and it’s a photo that tells us who you are. The goal was to get all different kinds of photos from all walks of life and see multifaceted Rebel points of view, have a good time in the process, and share our fun at the end of it!
FRN2: Rebels in Wonderland
National – To join the “on your own” version of the 18th Rebel challenge where you will have custom rebel workouts e-mailed to you (among other things such as nutritional, stretching, and resistance training guidance), do the fit tests and weigh-ins on your own, receive a custom Rebel shirt, & participate in the “Rebel Trekkers” mini-challenge while being warmly welcome into our private Rebel Facebook community support group… CLICK HERE
Local (Santa Rosa, CA) – To join the “real thing” boot camp experience where you will receive your FRN starter packet/goodies at the orientation workout on July 11th (fit test/measurements July 6th-9th), meet twice a week in the Rebel room for original Rebel workouts led by yours truly (including themed workouts such as “black light” and “Dress like Josh,” “Decade Triple Trip” and more!), receive your custom Rebel shirt in person, experience the sound off & Rebel chant firsthand, be personally weighed, measured, and kept track of by me, and have a front row seat to the end of challenge wrap party, slideshow, and awards ceremony… CLICK HERE
With the holidays coming up I thought I’d put out there that there’s pretty much nothing cooler in the world than a customized Rebel shirt!
*Spoiler alert: I’m slightly biased*
All you’ve got to do is fill out the form below and I’ll get it out to you as soon as possible! $20 even per shirt takes care of everything including shipping. Orders placed BEFORE December 11th are guaranteed to be there in time for the holidays! You can dream up whatever color scheme, theme, or motif you’d like and I’ll get it done for you! From classic movies to sports… inspirational quotes to music… Any words, sentences, or names you want on can be done too! You think it, I can do it… With my own Rebellious twist ;).
Payment is easy! With the preferred e-mail provided below I will send you a direct link payable from wherever you are! Although I use Paypal you do not need a Paypal account to pay :).
Greetings Rebels! As most of you know myself and Justin Zuiderweg are headed out to Las Vegas to compete in the 2014 World’s Toughest Mudder! Along with Rebel Paul Trujillo and Jacqualyn Evans we will have our professional Rebel entourage of Cara “Unicorn” Jones (I love you babe!), Maggie “Too Tough” Schuck, Tami “2 Guns” Tuminello, and Sean “Big Boss” Barnett.
While I’m gone Rebel leaders Lori DeMarco and Megan Gill will be peer leading the total body mud circuit workout you see below. Y’all know the drill by now there ain’t nothing to it but to do it!
Michelle “Hulk” Huntley
Victoria “T-Bones” Nicolas
Megan “Ming” Gill
Alyx J. Livingston
Monday @ 7pm/Wednesday @ 6pm & Tuesday @ 7pm/Thursday @ 6pm
Oct. 27th/28th – START! New Fit Test (prepare for a workout!) followed by mini-orientation
Oct. 29th/30th – Legs… Halloween themed! Wear an awesome costume or come decked in orange and black… As long as you bring all the spirit you’ve got!
Nov. 3rd/4th – Upper Body!
Nov. 5th/6th – Core! Also… SHIRT DAY! Be prepared to earn your custom made superhero uniform made just for you with a scream circle at the end of this core shred-fest!
Nov. 10th/11th – Red, White, and BOSU! In honor of Veteran’s day come in your best red, white, and blue attire as we work our way through an official BOSU balance class! This workout will also kick start the beginning of our food drive! Partnering with the Redwood Empire Food Bank we as a group we are going to collect as much food stuffs as possible until the November 21st where we conclude with a Turkey Boot Camp! Details below…
Nov. 12th – 18th – WORLD’S TOUGHEST MUDDER! Rebel hero Justin Zuiderweg and myself will be traveling with our better halves Maggie Schuck and Cara Unicorn Jones to Las Vegas for World’s Toughest Mudder, a 24 hour obstacle run full of fire, ice, and electricity. To accommodate travel and prep time needed for this hellacious adventure there will be no scheduled Rebel boot camps during these dates BUT you will still be receiving a brand new On Your Own (OYO) workout along with a “fitness scavenger hunt” you will be expected to complete instead! You’re a Rebel… Workout like it!
Nov. 19th/20th – Legs! Also The Unicorn and I’s 3 year anniversary is the 19th so if the mood strikes… feel free to come in your best Hulk and Unicorn gear! Happy grilled cheesing!
Nov. 21st (Saturday) @ 11AM – Turkey Boot Camp! The premise is simple… the cost of the boot camp is a turkey! That’s it! Bring as many as you want! The goal: 500 lbs of turkey for the community. AhhhOOO!!!!
Nov. 24th/25th – HIIT Test! The 1st half will be an authentic HIIT-X class followed by a round of exercises from the fit test… Bring your shovel!
Nov. 26th/27th – NO BOOT CAMP. Happy Thanksgiving!
Nov. 27th (Thanksgiving) @ 9AM – 3rd Annual Turkey Reb-Bowl! There’s nothing quite like football on Thanksgiving morning… especially when it’s with a bunch of great people keeping it fun and positive! Bring the whole family over to Sonoma Academy field (2500 Farmers Ln, down Kiwana Springs Rd) to this 2 hand touch football tradition. Can’t wait to see you there, Rebels!
Nov. 28th (Friday) @ 10AM – Black Friday Boot Camp! Shake off the Thanksgiving haze with a total body blast of a butt kicking boot camp! Everyone is welcome! There will be no Mud Circuit class this day but will return to the regular schedule the following Friday.
Dec. 1st/2nd – Core!
Dec. 3rd/4th – Upper Body!
Dec. 8th/9th – Legs… and Black Light 13.0! Come in your best whites and fluorescents as we light up the aerobic room a little bit differently than normal…
Dec. 10th/11th – Core!
Dec. 15th/16th – Upper Body!
Dec. 17th/18th – Legs!
Dec. 22nd/23rd – Total Body… and Tropical Holiday themed! Take the words “tropical holiday” and devise whatever crazy outfit you like! Feel free to add some Unicorn attire since December 22nd also happens to be Cara’s birthday!
Dec. 24th/25th – No Boot Camp. Merry Christmas!
Dec. 29th/30th – End Fit Tests!
Dec. 31st/January 1st – New Year Sparkle Workout! You are either going to be the last Rebel boot camp of 2014 or the 1st Rebel boot camp of 2015 so be prepared to bring it in with gusto! This is your chance to set the tone for the way you want the next year to go so take command of yourself and get after what you deserve! Let’s do it with as much sparkle, pizazz, panache, fabulosity, and sass as possible so come dressed in your flashiest duds and be ready to party!
January 3rd (Saturday) @ 11AM – GIANT GROUP WINTER WORKOUT AT THE PARK!! With some surprises in store for this boot camp there’s no better way to cap off a challenge and bring in the next 365 days than sweating together and working hard with phenomenal people. The goal: bring as many people as possible. The highest single Rebel workout attendance has been 75 people and it’s time to beat that. Let’s set a Rebel record with a bonfire of energy. A personalized gift and potential special guest appearance is going to make this one hell of kickstart to 2015 that you’re not gonna want to miss…
Address: 2379 Cedar Rock Ln Santa Rosa, CA 95404 (look for the field)
This will be a rain or shine workout so be prepared for whatever elements may be present. The workout will be safe for all ages and abilities in whatever weather we come across this day. Expect a mixture of fun group warm-ups, team oriented exercises, HIIT, and classic Rebel mainstays. Anticipate blocking out 90 minutes total for the full boot camp experience.
The Fitness Rebellion is home to every sort of character you can think of. If we were a co-ed boy band (which we kind of are… Click here… you know you want to…) we would have every spectrum covered. For those of you that know Justin Zuiderweg you know he fits the “loveable bad boy with a heart of gold” persona… only replace the brooding demeanor, disheveled hair, and sexy dance moves with super goofism, tough mudder headbands, and hashtags. Throw in a splash of sailor mouth and you’ve just baked yourself the ultimate beef flavored Justin cake (get it…. beef cake… TAAAAAHHHH!!!!).
If you don’t know Justin but have been keeping up with my Rebel Ramblings on the mind numbing task of getting prepared for World’s Toughest Mudder then you’ve heard about him plenty. He’s not only my partner in crime in the endeavor but the one I’m counting on to drag my scrappy ass across the finish line (don’t tell him that though… as of now he thinks he’s just training hard to get himself across the finish line… foolish man…).
A great friend, training partner, Rebel cohort, and all around amazing soul Justin embodies the Fitness Rebellion at its core in my eyes. With a story I knew about as well as a half crafted quilt I was eager to put the rest of the picture together and learn more about the man that has shed blood, sweat, and tears with and within the Rebellion the last couple of years. The opportunity arose the weekend of September 7th, 2014 as we drove back from our 3rd (and most brutal by far) World’s Toughest Beach Workout. As we settled into our 40 minute car ride I took out my “Hulk” journal, purple Anytime Fitness pen, and started our recollection the same way I start every interview;
He paused only briefly as I had asked him the same questions before we started our workout so he had 2 hours to think about it.
“Things weren’t crazy at all really growing up…” he started.
“I was born in San Francisco, raised in Santa Rosa off West 3rd until my parents sold their house and built a home in Spring Valley up in Lake County. It was the typical set up, you know? Into sports, church, family get-togethers… Average American family type stuff. Nothing glamorous or anything like that.”
He squinted as he drove along.
“For me though, I was a trouble maker… I was always getting into some sort of mischief and was a stereotypical problem kid. Not really sure why, I just had a habit of mouthing off to everyone. I didn’t really have respect for anybody and ended up getting suspended a lot… all stupid stuff really, nothing worth it. I was almost expelled in 8th grade.”
“From what?” I asked.
“Just getting suspended too many times. Like I said, stupid shit. Nothing big… I just had a problem with everybody. If I hadn’t gotten home schooled for 8th grade I wouldn’t have graduated Junior High. It wasn’t long after that I started getting into drugs which only made things worse as I’m sure you can imagine.”
“How old were you?” I asked with my head bent as I battled the bumps in the road to get it all down.
“15. That was when I started smoking pot at least. Weed for me was definitely my gateway. My attitude just got worse as high school went on. By 17 I was getting heavy into drinking. I’d steal my Dad’s booze from the cabinet and one day he comes up to me and asked ‘You been taking alcohol from the cabinet?‘” He smiled as he reminisced.
“‘No… why?‘ I said even though I was lying my ass off. ‘Because see that line on the back of the bottle I drew? Good job filling it back up with water but you filled it up too much dummy.”
“Whatever, I was young, dumb, and stubborn… I was gonna do what I wanted.” Justin stated.
Which is what led to him moving out on his own at 18 to Santa Rosa, CA. Not too far from his parent’s home… but far enough. Justin has an almost mythical work ethic which assured him not running into the typical financial problems a lot of us face when we first venture out. After all he’d been holding down at minimum 2 jobs since 15 years old so finding work wouldn’t be an issue. No… The issue, although he didn’t know it, would be the people met along the way and the spiral affect they’d have on Justin’s soon-to-be kamikaze mindset.
With new found freedom combined with an 18 year old rebellious attitude it wasn’t long before he started going off the rails. Er… ather, doing rails… Cocaine and speed became routine leaving Justin swimming constantly in between seas of highs and lows. He took trying to “even things out” to the extreme. Too high strung? That’s what weed and alcohol is for! Need a pick-me-up? That’s what coke and speed is for! Never quite knowing how to just sit still and deal, his brain was constantly racing from one thing to the next in an attempt to take his mind off reality even though it led to a daily destruction derby and treating his body like a dumpster.
“I had a lot of shit swirling around in my head that I wasn’t mature enough face head on and figure out. I didn’t care about myself at all and finding an escape became a constant theme for me and stayed that way for a lot of years… Most of my life.”
By the age of 19 Justin found himself riding his youthful invincibility straight into marriage. Young love and the desire to be a little more responsible did little to shed light on his self destructive ways and the demons he was battling however. A licensed big rig driver and closet tech junkie meant that along with the overflow of nonstop bills and spousal duties Justin constantly had his hands full, which only exacerbated his lack of getting a handle on himself. Throw in the drinking, drugs, and hard living and you’ve got yourself the perfect recipe for disaster if I’ve ever seen one (and trust me, I’ve cooked up my fair share of disasters). Justin was sadly too clouded to ever begin the self reflective process long enough to figure out what was truly wrong with him and why he cared so little about himself.
What made this all the more ironic is Justin is the type of guy that would give you the shirt off his back if you needed one then go home and bring you a few more so you have extra for next time. His dirty sailor mouth is matched only by his heart of gold and pension for taking care of all of those around him, so why not himself? I know a lot of people who relate to that one…
As time went on and Justin got older he seemingly got a handle on things.
“I dabbled in ‘substances’ when I needed to ‘disappear‘ but had work to worry about too. I was always worried about something, bro.”
It was at the age of 27 on October 13th, 2005 that Justin’s entire world changed. It was this day that Trent, whom Justin affectionately refers to as “Spongebob,” was born. A new focus. A new heart to cherish. A new love.
It would be neat if that meant that everything became crystal clear as rays of sunshiney realization burst through the haze and infiltrated Justin’s brain like a less intense version of the movie “Alien” but… no. A major turning point in one direction usually causes a swing in another, such was the case with his marriage… After 10 years of making it work their relationship had run its course and at 29 Justin found himself freshly divorced.
This was the domino that sent all the others toppling down.
“I couldn’t handle the heartbreak and stress of it all and got on the fast track to seriously killing myself. I didn’t know it then, but that’s what I was doing…”
The scary part is that you never would have known. Good job? Check. Beautiful healthy son? Check. Friends? Check… even though a few of them needed to get kicked to the curb… Nonetheless a dark spiral turned darker daily as he succumbed to any and every drug he could get his hands on. He’d play the role of dutiful father, good friend, and diligent employee when needed but once he was alone he’d chip away at himself drink by drink, pill by pill, pipe by pipe… and with vigor. An enthusiasm for misery. A thirst for behavior so toxic he could drown in it.
It’s in these darkest of moments when even the tiniest bit of light can shatter the blackness and refurbish your will. For Justin, his light came from the strike of a lighter on a crack pipe.
6 months after his divorce Justin was sitting on couch in his apartment by himself. He’d been drinking heavily, throwing pain pills back like candy, doing blow, and smoking weed all day because… what else was there to do? The only thing missing in this fiesta was something Justin had only recently decided to add to his depression weapons… Crack. Even though he had plenty of friends who raved about it Justin never wanted to be “that guy.” No one ever gets up in the morning and says “I think I’m going to make the transition into crackhead today!”
Yet here he was.
“I could see the big deal about it” he said. “It hits you like a rush but that didn’t last long for me… I had a breakdown instead.”
Justin went on to describe the reality of the situation hitting him like a tornado full of bricks and twice as heavy. Somewhere within the murk of the drinking and drug cloud he was swimming in came clarity… Trent. Shining like a lighthouse his self abuse illuminated his relationship with his little boy and everything it should have been… but wasn’t. He wasn’t being the father he should or could be and was knocking on hell’s door like a cop with a warrant in the process. He was literally destroying himself when he was alone but somehow couldn’t find a care about it until now… A tidal wave of awareness brought with it streams of tears as Justin had hit his rock bottom and knew it.
I asked him what he thought made that day different.
“I guess it was just time for the light to turn on.”
When Justin puts his mind to something… it gets DONE. It only took a drug induced slap in the face for him to realize that caring about himself IS caring for those he loves most. It’s impossible to love others properly without loving yourself and with this newfound epiphany Justin sought after becoming a better father, son, brother, friend, and overall person like a pitbull on a pork-chop. He got rid of all the “bad friend” contacts that weren’t serving him. At the urging and support of his sister and brother-in-law he joined a gym and got into running! Cutting out all substance abuse and keeping to drinking socially Justin steadily started taking control and gaining confidence… Something he hadn’t experienced in quite some time.
I asked him what made this different than past futile attempts at taking his mind and body back;
“This was something I’d never done before. I’d never taken care of my demons and faced them head on, I’d only ever run from them and used them as crutches. I wasn’t used to it… but once I started getting used to it and cut out all the bad shit I knew this was the path I was supposed to be on. Working on yourself takes time but it’s worth it.”
Coincidentally enough it was at the gym in 2011 where Justin met Maggie. He was already on a treadmill when Maggie hopped on one right next to him. Describing the moment he met her as “the longest I’ve ever been on a treadmill in my life” the two hit it off big time.
Also in a moment of complete serendipity Maggie was the one to introduce Justin to the Fitness Rebellion. Maggie has been a part of Hulk/Rebel since the very beginning and we were stoked to meet the new fella! Boy… he sure didn’t disappoint! Between Trent, Maggie (and her wonderful little ones Lily and Lucas), his career, healthy friendships, and the Fitness Rebellion Justin has been kept grounded, blessed, and humble.
“I’m pushing GOOD limits now which is something I’m still getting used to. 5 years ago if you had told me I’d be doing the stuff I’m doing with the people I’m doing it with now I’d have laughed in your face and called you crazy.”
In the last couple years Justin has run 11 Tough Mudders, 3 Spartan Races, countless “fun runs,” The T25 and “Insanity” programs, 3 Rebel challenges, and inspired countless people in the process with his endearing passion for social media. His love for baseball has been passed down to Trent whom he’s now coaching when he’s not driving freight or training for World’s Toughest Mudder. Recently he got to combine the two:
As we pulled up to my house. I asked Justin if he had anything he wanted to add and he says “yeah, I want to add something for anybody thinking about joining Rebel or anything else that might be the change they need.”
I couldn’t wait to hear what he had to say. He did not disappoint.
“If you’re trying to talk yourself into doing something hard, outside your comfort zone… then do it. Sure something like a 60 minute workout sounds impossible when it’s not a regular part of your life but you need to give yourself a chance! Sometimes that’s all you need… just one chance… That chance can be where you find yourself. In the end it’s always worth it.”
Amen, my man…