It’s time for “Guest Post Friday!” On Fridays, I feature tips and insight from individuals who have helpful input about the mental side of fitness, training or life. All of the other posts on this site are written about me, so I like to share different perspectives (especially so that you don’t get too tired of my ramblings). I select witty and honest pieces, that give practical advice.
Enjoy the post below from Black Wolf CrossFit’s owner Ben Jocz. It was originally posted here.
I Am Unstoppable
“This started as just a writing exercise but I think it maybe could be useful to someone. I’ve been in a funk lately. My schedule has taken on a bit of social activity and it has thrown me off. I have found myself scrambling on more than one occasion or in a funk at times. This got me thinking, what am I doing when I am crushing life?
When I quit drinking it was revealed to me that we are in charge of our well being. Maybe this is obvious but I bet it might not be. I lived life being pushed around by the consequences of my choices. And yes, I made some poor choices that most of y’all have not/would not have made, but it was even the “normal” choices that dictated my mediocre life.
To understand my mindset (as much as you can in a few sentences), I believe mediocrity is a plague that creeps into lives and ties us down to an unhappy existence. And I believe that no one is responsible for that feeling but us. At some point it’s no longer our parents fault, and our significant other aren’t the reason either. Neither is our boss or our job. A meaningless existence is on us. So change. Conquer the world.
I am unstoppable when….
I have my coffee
Lots and lots of coffee. But I have to have a bottle of water (reusable, obvi) after every two cups (which are probably equivalent to 2 cups each so maybe this means 4 cups) and I have to eat every 3-4 hours on a heavy coffee day or I basically fry my brain with caffeine. The right mix of water and light meals puts me in the most creative, productive zone that i’ve been able to find. With the right mix I will save all of the puppies, end obesity and PR my Fran time in the same 4 hour period.
I get outside
Just the act of going for a walk outside has jumpstarted or reenergized a day. I live where I work so escape becomes very very necessary and I am not always great at it. But when my brain begins to close up shop early (sometimes at 9am even), I get outside, usually with the dog and walk half a mile to a mile. Of course the weather being amazing certainly helps as it fosters positivity which is necessary, in my opinion, for productive creativity. Cold and wet has only given ideas on how to be unproductive or perhaps even accomplish evil things.
I get 7 or more hours of sleep
The real answer is 8 hours but the reality is I will take 7 hours of sleep these days. Sleep is so incredibly important and it is certainly taken for granted by nearly everyone. The health benefits are numerous and, obviously, sleep’s direct relationship with our energy levels should be enough to get us in bed sooner and for longer. But sleep is easy to put off. The consequences of sleep deprivation are somewhat subtle. We become accustomed to our subpar lives and subpar energy levels and we simply accept them as normal. I lived 6 years on an average of 4-5 hours of sleep most nights. It wasn’t until I cleaned things up that I realized how incredibly valuable sleep was and how amazing I could feel. Don’t wait for your breakdown (physical or mental) before you sort your sleep out. Oh, and if you sleep more you…
I punch my stressors in their stupid fat mouthes
Life is too short to be passive and this is a very touch lesson for me to learn. I have spent a number of years rationalizing unhealthy situations and relationships and ignoring the actions that needed to be taken. Take on whatever it is that is hanging over your head. Often times handling it not only takes less effort than you expect but it is therapeutic. And if it is something you don’t need to deal with (ever) then remember that you were put on this earth to be awesome and move on. Yes, you may burn some bridges and you may ruffle some feathers but 1) if you aren’t upsetting people then you aren’t handling your business properly and 2) life is a two way street and if your side is clean then you’ve done your job.
I eat clean and well
Like sleep, the incredibly benefits of nutrition are not fully understood by any of us. We take our food choices for granted in a number of ways. Whether it be the quality we have available to us, the choices we have or the quantities that we buy, we are simply missing the boat when we choose to make poor decisions regarding our food. If I eat well I
- Sleep Better- Without a doubt when I am avoiding processed foods I am able to sleep like a log with little to no interruptions.
- Look Better- Cut the crap and suddenly someone mistakes me for looking good with my shirt off. Im not complaining about that, that’s for sure.
- Move Better- Yes, I had crap food one night and came in and happened to crush a workout once or twice. Back in college I could have sworn I worked out better when I was hungover. But the fact of the matter is that when I am eating well, my performance in every area improves.
- Do Not Get Sick- Im not a doctor but I don’t get sick. There are absolutely, certainly more factors than just food, but before getting my food right I was sick every two to three months (sniffles and/or a cold count here) like everyone else. These days the sniffles are few and far between. I get a little crud when the weather changes and I had strep two years ago, but thats about it.
- Save Money- If my food choices are my priority then I do not go out to eat as much (no matter how expensive my groceries are, the restaurant is more expensive). I also don’t make compulsive decisions at restaurants (appetizers and desserts or large servings for the main course).
- Inspire Others- I am pretty convinced that a ton of people, even those who talk down to those who change their food choices, are wanting to make a similar change but they may truly not believe it is possible. If people see me eating a salad or notice that I don’t add sweetener to my tea or that I order something “healthy” at the restaurant then its an opportunity for them to see that eating well is simply a series of small daily choices. This doesn’t mean I think I inspire the world. it just means that I know people watch other people. Someone has watched you in the past and formed an opinion. If that’s the case then maybe I want to live right.
I see that my work/effort is making an impact somehow/someway
This is where I must state that I am fully aware of how blessed I am to be in the position that I find myself. My work does impact lives. And that goes as shallow or as deep as your mind is willing to take it. We have helped people stop taking medications. We have helped people become more attractive for their potential special someones. We have changed the way people see life. We have instilled confidence in people. The work done here is personal in nature because it quite simply requires a change and commitment from those who pay us. We are an outlet to some. We are therapy to others. And we are just a gym to a few.
When I create something or I see a coach create something, the impact is seen firsthand. This is so incredibly valuable to thriving in life. The grind is hard and I cannot count how many times I have sat in my “room” and wondered how in the hell I was ever going to get above water. The darkness has crept in far too many times. But then I am able to step outside and into the gym and see the impact of our work first hand. I see the weight being lost, the strength increasing, the confidence brimming, the smiles emerging. The impact is tangible and for that I am grateful.
There are certainly other factors to consider. Always make a to do list. Only surround yourself with productive people who are on a similar journey and on a similar intellectual (or higher) level than you. Try not to complain as much (this is certainly a new one and a struggle for me).
The point is simple, do not accept a subpar, meaningless existence. You are here to thrive. To make an impact. To help others. To be better. To inspire. It absolutely does not matter who you are or where you have been. The future is in front of you and you have the choice of what to do no matter what you have been telling yourself. Be better!”
Make your list of what helps you feel unstoppable. Post it where you’ll see it and remind yourself of what’s most important for you to do.
About The Author: Ben Jocz owns Black Wolf CrossFit in Houston’s Lindale Park neighborhood. Ben has been in the CrossFit industry since 2009 when he first walked through the doors of CrossFit San Antonio as a client. Since then, he has spent 4 years managing and owning 2 different affiliates in the Houston area. You can connect with him and Black Wolf on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
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