Uplift Your Fellow Human (Instead of Judging)

Good morning, Friends! Call it a comeback. I haven’t been here for months. Consider this a gritty reboot (sarcasm intended) of Jet Noir Weekly. Thank you for your patience. Going forward, blogs will be posted on the 7s of the month. They will be no longer than 750 words. (I stopped writing for a while because I was convinced that no one reads anymore. People only forward/share blogs to prove/argue a point.) Many of the posts will be old blogs re-imagined until I can get back into the habit of writing fresh material. I once wrote a blog about how “everyone has their January” as in everyone starts somewhere. January in the fitness industry is overflowing with newbies. I chose to write a piece reminding the experienced people to be kind to the inexperienced and to help them out. You know, because they were once newbies and needed help. As I reimagine that message, I want to write this reminder to everyone that judgment of another person is toxic behavior. It’s human nature to be critical of the traits we see in others that we dislike about ourselves. So, while we are our own toughest critics, we tend to criticize others based on our own self-doubt. This is why body shaming has little to do with the recipient. The person that talks the shit sees the shit when they look in the mirror. The same can be said for abilities. Laughing at someone for their inability to do a push-up? There’s a good chance that your push-up form is shit. (There’s also a chance that you’re just an asshole.)

Here’s what I propose, the next time you catch yourself critiquing someone’s ability, question your right to criticize. Are you flawless in that maneuver? If not, shut it down! If yes, then perhaps you could offer some help. Unsolicited advice is a dangerous thing to offer because you may receive an adverse response. However, if you approach with kindness, humility, and await excited consent to deliver the advice, you may just help someone out and create the foundation of a friendship.

There’s a trend I’ve noticed among women who have suffered through partners/lovers that were inept kissers. I hear the complaints about the bad kisser and I ask, “Did you tell them?” Often, the response is something of the “it’s not my job to teach them how to kiss” variety. Well, whose job is it? What if it wasn’t a job/chore/task of yours? Instead, what if it was as simple as you being empowered to ask for what you wanted? Society (I’m including myself in that group) has done a stellar job of socializing women to not ask for what they want. It may be due to the fear of male fragility and a violent response. It may be because of years of being talked over by people in positions of privilege. It can be a number of things. But, what would kisses feel like if you (anyone, not just women) asked for what you wanted? Let’s help each other out.

I love baseball. When I was in high school, there were Baseball tryouts. I went to the coach, before the tryouts, and asked him, “what if I’m not sure if I can play, I’ve never played.” He just laughed at me and walked away. I never went to those tryouts. Not because I was afraid, because I didn’t want him as my coach. In a lot of environments (not just fitness), there will be a lot of people trying out for the team. Many of them are not sure what to do or how to play. Imagine a world wherein we all made an effort to express compassion and patience with those who needed help. Who knows, we might find an all-star in the crowd. As a fitness coach, I’ll never laugh at someone that wants to try out. I’m happy to support the person working hardest to bring up the rear. Let’s all agree to help each other out.

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In Celebration Of You

This is the month of LGBTQ Pride and I’ve heard many people refer to it as a celebration of love or a celebration of freedom. While those things aren’t necessarily untrue, it’s important to know the history of LGBTQ Pride and the significance of June 28th, 1969. In my understanding of LGBTQ culture, I’ve learned that being (unapologetically) yourself is important. That’s a lesson that I’ve had to re-learn over the past decade.

It’s Worth Mentioning… When I use words like unapologetically, that is not the same as a self-issued license to be rude. You know that person that pre-empts their “feedback” by announcing that they’re direct so that they can say rude/horrible things under the guise of constructive criticism? Yeah, that’s just a shitty human being. I’m talking about something very different. I’m talking about that feeling you had of being the weird one in grade/high school being gone. No more weird feeling because you’ve decided to love who you are and others will either love who you are or leave you alone. Be. Unapologetically. Yourself.

It’s (Also) Worth Mentioning… There are a lot of humans in the closet and afraid of persecution were they to come out to friends and family. Some can’t be themselves out of (a well justified) fear. You can help to create a safe space by being an Allie for those that may need someone they can trust. Show the world that you love everyone, even the marginalized humans. You might find that someone trusts you enough to be themselves with/around you.

When I was young, I tried to be the person that everyone liked. I tried to accommodate for this person, make that person feel comfortable, help that third person, and I got beat up for it. All of this happened before I heard the old advice that you can’t please everybody. I learned that lesson the hard way, I stopped trying to please everybody. Eventually, I stopped being afraid of bullies and I decided that anyone not in my corner or “on my team” could fuck right off. I decided to celebrate being myself. I just decided to stop apologizing to the world for existing.

As a Fitness Instructor, I’ve been trying to make everyone happy and many people still take issue with my (no excuses) style of coaching. The conundrum is that my “no excuses” approach is what they praise about me that makes me a good coach. On the flip, some claim that my no excuses approach leaves them feeling judged. That’s called projection people! Own your shit and stop trying to blame others for the feelings which you carry around on your sleeve. One day, I watched a flamboyantly wonderful man teach a group exercise class. He was as sassy as they come, lip smacking and all! My take away from watching him perform (group exercise instruction is a performance, don’t let anyone tell you differently) was that he was being himself and using his truth as the foundation for a high energy class.

My truth is a call back to the days of growing up in Detroit with a big brother that was fresh off the plane from a tour of duty in Desert Storm. He was my first coach. There were no excuses. You either completed the challenge or you kept trying until you completed the challenge. I began teaching my classes that way, I make sure to keep every body moving and I won’t allow anyone to call themselves weak or to say the other four-letter word, can’t. This is what it means to be myself. I’m not trying to be an asshole. I want to be nice to people. If people can’t figure out that I’m being kind and attempting to help then oh well.

Now, it’s your turn. Before you can be yourself, it’s important to take time and consider who you are and how you want the world to remember you. Everything you do, say, and write will be remembered long after you’ve forgotten it. Know yourself first and then go out and show the world your best self!

Attitude = Vitality Level: Energy For A Busy Life, Part 6/7

Hello, Friends! As promised (weeks ago) here is part 6 in the 7 part series about keeping up a high level of energy to keep up with a busy/full life. When was the last time you put your attitude in check? Well, I try to do it on a weekly basis.

Before I type any further, I want to send respect, compassion, and love to those humans out there battling depression. For those that face depression daily, they are often told to “stay positive”, “cheer up”, or to change their attitude. Suffice it to say, it’s just not that simple when someone is depressed.

In my daily efforts, I try to be the person that I needed when I was a kid. As a young un’, I watched so many of the 80’s movies about the coach/teacher/janitor that inspired random kids to win big games and whoop the asses of bullies that I thought that person was real. I believed that one of my teachers/coaches was going to inspire me to great heights. But, that shit never happened. When I was in high school, there were Baseball tryouts. I went to the coach, before the tryouts, and asked him, “what if I’m not sure if I can play, I’ve never played.” He just laughed at me and walked away. I never went to those tryouts. Not because I was afraid to try, I didn’t go because I didn’t want that asshat as my coach. Over the years, I’ve accepted the fact that such a teacher/coach/janitor is a myth (or at least a rare occurrence). So, I decided to become the coach that inspires. In my efforts to boost people up, my attitude must sing in the key of positivity. I’ve found that doing so keeps my energy levels up. Because I’m human and my attitude isn’t always positive, I’m able to feel the significant difference when I have a bad attitude. I’ve spent enough time in Anger Management to know when I’m swimming in a bad attitude and splashing that gasoline on the humans around me.

So, how is your attitude affecting your energy levels from day-to-day? I could write about it or you could read about what’s been written about 100 times over. Read here about the science of happiness.

Tune in next week when WhoTF knows what I’ll post about! Just know that part 7 in the series is coming sooner than later. (Spoiler: It’s about goal setting.)

 

 

A Problem With The Fitness Industry

Greetings! Last week, I promised part two of the seven part series on how I keep my energy levels up. That will show up next week. First, something significant happened on Monday and I needed to write about it before my trip this weekend. I wanted to write about a problem shared by most trainers and most gym members. A problem that many of them share is their attitude towards appearance. In their desire to make good soldiers, the US Government has been suggesting that we move our bodies and stay active for at least 20 minutes a day since the 1940s. It wasn’t until a capitalist figured out a way to monetize this suggestion by opening a gym that the current culture of fitness was born. [An early public gymnasium started in Paris in 1847. However, the history of health clubs for the general public can be traced back to Santa Monica, California in 1947.] They’ve been called fitness clubs, health clubs, gyms, etc. [IWM… “Fitness” and “Health” are not interchangeable words. One can be fit with high cholesterol. One can be healthy and unable to do basic exercises.]

During this week’s post, I’ll be using words like “obese”, “fat”, and “overweight” (these words are not interchangeable either.) These words have very different meanings and I’ll try to respect those meanings in the context of my message. I’m mentioning the use of these words in case they may be a trigger for any of you reading this post. I understand that many people have experienced trauma with these words being used as weapons from parents and peers.

Trainers and Fitness Professionals, when a new client shows up for their first session and complains of knee pain, listen to their request and make sure they feel heard. Please don’t overlook their pain and see that person as overweight. Further, don’t look at their body fat as a problem that is your duty to fix. That client came to you to get stronger and live a pain-free life. “Well, if they lost some weight, their knee wouldn’t hurt so much. Bones weren’t meant to carry that much weight!” While there may be some validity to that statement, the client came to you with a knee problem, they didn’t ask you to fix their weight. Let them be fat and encourage them that they’re fine with the body they have. Find ways to help them love a fit lifestyle. Find ways that they enjoy moving their body. (Just because you like Burpees doesn’t mean they will/should.) If you can show them exercises to strengthen the muscles around their knees to relieve pain, teach them how to maintain good posture, and build core strength while connecting with the human in front of you, they won’t be seen as a fat problem that needs to be fixed. Leave the Savior complex in your locker and train with compassion.

Fitness clubs, Health clubs, Gyms, and other such places, what if your business model was NOT based on ridding the world of obesity? What if you did NOT encourage people to workout just to lose weight? What if you encouraged people to play because it improved quality of life? [Encouraging all bodies to play is why I’m a fan of the Athletic Playground in Emeryville.] What if there were no scales or body fat calipers in the entire building? In this Netflix and Chill society, I’d love to see a gym that D(idn’t)GAF about any body’s weight. I only care that you move your body and have fun doing so. A former gym regular sent me a flyer for a new gym opening here in the Bay Area. She was suggesting that I apply to work there, so I went to their website to see what they’re all about. I found the following on their About Us page: “A heart pumping, calorie burning full-body workout layering intense plyometric movements with strengthening isometric holds to build lean muscle and sweat away excess fluff.” Sweat away excess fluff!? WTF!? Are they marketing to humans or cappuccinos!? With that statement as part of their manifesto, I decided that I didn’t want to find out more about this place. I don’t want to train people in the name of de-fluffing them. I’m proud to say that I work in a gym that focuses more on movement than fat burn. We’ve never held any contest to see who can lose the most body weight or reduce the most body fat percentage in an arbitrary time period. We’re not perfect. But, in general, our approach is about creating a lifestyle around fitness and physicality for all bodies. (This post isn’t a Valentine to my employer, so you can do your own digging to find the name of my gym.)

“Do you know the best way to lose six pounds in 3 weeks?” That question was asked of me by a 13 year-old figure skater! I wish I were making this up. I was astounded! I knew that any answer could create a trajectory for the rest of her life, but I was also so caught off guard by such a question from such a lean and muscular young woman that I fumbled the answer. I told her that it was a big question and I encouraged her to seek out scientific approaches and to avoid any diets. (My hope was that she would not find any scientific approach to weight loss for someone with such a low body fat percentage.) I went home and drank some whiskey that night. I seriously considered quitting my job and hanging up my coach’s whistle indefinitely. I was reminded a few days later, as I told the story to the club owner, that such an occurrence was precisely why I shouldn’t quit, people like that need coaches that will point them in the right direction. Even days later, I don’t know if I could ever be ready for such a question. She’s 13 fucking years old!

“My boyfriend said he wouldn’t marry me unless I lost weight.” Those were the words of a victim of societal conditioning. She relayed the message through a friend and wanted to hire me as her trainer. I refused. Someone will take her money. I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if I did.  I cared more about whether or not she was able to see the life of abuse she was about to embrace. That was about two years ago. I don’t know whatever happened with her, but I hope that she woke up and left that person for a life of self-love and a partner that likes her just the way she is today.

Once and Future Clients, please cancel your magazine subscriptions. Please be honest with your parents and tell them that their lack of acceptance (as they criticized your weight and food choices) hurt you. Please find and nurture a supportive group of friends that accept and celebrate your body just the way it is and above all else… Love yourself before you begin any fitness program. An exercise that I give to most of my clients is to stand naked in the mirror, armed with a dry erase marker. Write (a minimum of) ten things you love about your body on that mirror. Use that self-love to fuel your motivation to improve your quality of life. “But, Jet, if I love my body, I won’t want to workout and change it.” Right, you won’t want to change it, the hope is that you’ll be motivated to make it stronger and more capable. To put it bluntly, *presses caps loCK* DON’T WORKOUT TO LOSE WEIGHT! Exercise to improve your quality of life. Improve your blood volume and blood flow, decrease aches and pains, improve balance and reduce fall hazards, increase bone density, improve mental acuity, and just be ready for life. Losing weight should not be your only goal for embracing a fit lifestyle. Think long-term as in LIFE style, not just about the wedding dress. “Jet, please! My Gram-gram lived until she was 97 and she was still walking and talking shit! She was strong and she didn’t exercise!” Well, I bet she didn’t sit at a desk and fuck around on Tumblr all day when she was in her 20s, either. The point that I hope you takeaway from this post is that fat is not a problem to be fixed. No one gives a fuck if you’re fat or fluffy or whatever TF pop culture is calling it these days. No one can body shame you without both your permission and acceptance of such shame. I’m grateful for being teased and bullied as a child. By my peers (read: black people) I was told that I was too dark, my nose was too big, and blah blah blah. What was I to do? My own friends, my own “people” ridiculed me for the way I looked. I made no efforts, nor had any desire to lighten my skin or change my nose. I adopted a simple manifesto for friendship. “Either they’re in my corner or fuck ’em!” I will always be comfortable in my own skin. I will always love myself, despite the fact that I’ll never meet the societal standard of beauty.

For the people in your world that don’t accept you, for the magazines, or gyms that are over concerned with your fluff when you’re trying to make strength gains and move beyond pain, fuck ’em. For all of the significant others that have ever told their partner to lose weight… Fuck you! For all of the coaches that have told 13 year-old girls to lose weight… Fuck you! For all sports/activities (looking at Ballet and Football with equal ire) that condition children to have anxiety-ridden relationships with food (so that they may lose or gain weight to make the cut)… Fuck you!

Why do I sound so angry? Wouldn’t you be? I became a trainer 11 years ago, because I wanted to help people move their bodies efficiently. I want to help people get stronger while staying injury-free. I DGAF about anyone getting a six pack and I think that’s a dumb goal to have. I just want people to have a better life through fitness and healthier habits. But, all I get are men that want to gain weight and get “swole” and women that want to lose weight because society has convinced them that something is wrong with their bodies. Yes, I’m angry. Yes, this is a problem with my industry. We (fitness professionals) can fix this problem as soon as we stop trying to fix people. Let’s help the people. Let’s teach the people how to workout instead of just taking them through a workout. Let’s explain the benefits of those compound movements. Let’s coach the humans instead of training the dollar signs.

Energy For A Busy Life, Part 1: My Recent Workout (Seven Part Series)

The most common question I hear (about my energy level) is, “how do you do it?” For those of you that are thinking about switching the channel for fear of me selling you some self-help program, relax. There may be some directive undertones, but that’s just from my habit of speaking like a coach. I’m here to tell you what works for me. I’ll type that again for dramatic effect. What you’re about to read works for Jet. You may takeaway some tools that work for your life. But, this is what has worked for me. I often tell people that (fill in the blank) works for me and they should find what works for them. Then they come back later on and say, “you told me to…” Nah ah aaaahhh! Let’s review: Directive undertones because I’m a coach, check. What works for ME, check. Do what works for YOUR body, check. Jet is not telling you specifically what to do because there’s a chance he’s never met you, check. Now, to answer that FAQ: *insert Montell Jordan imitation* “This is how I dooooo it!” The broad stroke response is that I have energy to do as much as I do because I workout, eat what I need, take naps, and I have a healthy sex life. Those are just a few reasons. Allow me to expand on all of that over the next seven weeks.

Workout = Energy
At the beginning of the year, my workout plan begins with me doing nothing. The first week of the year is often a week of no (personal) workouts for me. I use that time to figure out my schedule and to iron out when I’ll be able to work out in the coming weeks. I then spend six consecutive weeks doing the same (minor tweaks for intensity) workout every week. This has been my workout plan for the past six weeks.

Monday [Chest & Triceps]
Upper Body Warmup + 2:00 Min Jump Rope
3 Rounds (12 Reps)
1. Chained Bench Press 130 pounds
(weighted chains hang from bar to modify distribution and work stabilizers during lift)
2. Bench Dips
3. Elephant Push-ups 6 reps p/Arm
4. Rope Cable Pulldowns 37 pounds
5. Push-ups
6. Dumbbell Decline Bench Press 40 pounds each
7. Decline Crunches 24 reps
8. TRX Push-ups
Interactive Coaching: Indoor Cycling 1 Hour
(Ride with class for every drill and coach from the stage)

Tuesday Run 5K

Wednesday [Legs & Shoulders]
Lower Body Warmup + Rotator Cuff Warmup + 2:00 Min Jump Rope
3 Rounds (12 Reps)
1. Chained Back Squats 130 pounds
(weighted chains hang from bar to modify distribution and work stabilizers during lift)
2. Bench Pistol Squats 8 reps p/Leg
3. American Kettlebell Swings 28kg
4.Kettlebell Sumo Squats 40kg
3 Rounds (12 Reps)
1. Chained Military Press 90 pounds
(weighted chains hang from bar to modify distribution and work stabilizers during lift)
2. Lateral Dumbbell Deltoid Raise 15 pounds each
3. Dumbbell Arnold Press 15 pounds each
4. Front Dumbbell Deltoid Raise 15 pounds each
5. Battle Rope Dual Waves 50 reps
Interactive Coaching (Two classes on Wednesdays):
Indoor Cycling 1 Hour and again in the evening for 45 Minutes

(Ride with class for every drill and coach from the stage)

Thursday Run 5K

Friday [Back & Biceps]
Upper Body Warmup + 2:00 Min Jump Rope
3 Rounds (12 Reps)
1. Sumo Deadlift & Curl 74 pounds
2. Cross Grip Deadlifts 134 pounds
3. Pull-ups
4. Dual Dumbbell Row 35 pounds each
5. Seated Dumbbell ISO Curls 8 reps p/Arm @ 30 pounds
6. Superman 24 reps
7. Cable Lat Pulldowns 43 pounds
Interactive Coaching: Indoor Cycling 1 Hour
(Ride with class for every drill and coach from the stage)

Saturday [Rest Day, nothing active above walking.]

Sunday [Rest Day, nothing active above walking.]

I know, I know. You’re wondering why I’m not doing something different every time I workout. What about “muscle confusion”? Switching things up all of the time is a common fitness mistake. I often see people come to the gym every day for three years and their body still looks the same as day one. Why is that? Well, they’re often doing group classes (which are often different from one workout to the next) and their body never learns to lift smarter through repetition. When measuring strength gains, studies have found evidence that the brain plays a big part in conditioning the muscles. Repetition is the mother of all skill because our brain needs to tell which muscles to fire in which order to lift smarter, more efficiently. If you’re doing a different workout every time you come to the gym, you’re not allowing your brain to learn movement patterns. You’re not allowing your skills to improve. You’re preventing your body from achieving specific (measurable) strength gains. Sure, you’ve gotten stronger. But, without consistency (the missing ingredient from most workout plans) you’ll find a greater challenge reaching your specific goals. So, for the entire year, I rest one week and workout for six. After this week off, my workout will be very different from the one noted above. I’ll do the new one for six weeks, rinse, and repeat.

How does all of this create energy? I sleep like a stone after one of the days listed above. My basal metabolic rate is burning pretty hot throughout the day which causes my body to process things efficiently. Please note the importance of designated rest days. I do nothing on Sat/Sun and allow my bodymind to recover before starting up on Monday. It’s how I stay injury-free. You’ll also notice lots of interval (cycling classes) cardio work mixed with steady state (running) cardio in addition to intense weight circuits. All of those activities combined build up the endurance of my heart, lungs, and mind. This is where I get my energy.

Tune in next week when I cover consumption and how what/when I eat has helped me to maintain consistent energy levels.

Develop My Mind And Share My Knowledge

In the basement of my parent’s house, in what used to be my old room, my brother hung a list of commitments. They read like a creed for self-improvement and all four-bullet points have always resonated with me. Over the next few weeks I’d like to share with you why those commitments were important enough for me to tattoo them on my forearm and the significance of the Brown Recluse.

My creed flows through my veins and follows those lines in a tattoo.

My creed flows through my veins and follows those lines in a tattoo.

Hanging from the bottom of a shelf in the room we once shared is the following:

Develop my mind and share my knowledge.
Face my fears and conquer them.
Extend my hand in friendship and fairness.
Master my body and control my actions.

The aforementioned challenges are listed, inexplicably without so much as a title or by line, almost like a dare to those of us that lament the descent of humanity. “Want the world to be better? Start with yourself, Sucka!” After all, we define ourselves by our choices. I later found out that these four commitments weren’t even in my brother’s handwriting. He told me that a friend of his had written those after she learned them in a Martial Arts course. I suppose that makes it fitting that I added the Brown Recluse next to the words. To me, the Brown Recluse is a reminder of my father’s advice. The BR is a very deadly, yet unaggressive spider. My father’s advice has always been “don’t start none, won’t be none.” The BR only attacks after others have started what’s perceived as a fight.

My mother’s advice has always been to “just be nice to people”. I often just want to help people. There are times when I have to be careful about how I present my help so as to not come off as arrogant or some sort of stereotypical male problem fixer. When I consider the first commitment*, I consider the story I’ve told before about the high school baseball coach that laughed at me instead of helping. I’m excited to help anyone that comes to me for help. The fact that the person was strong enough to ask for help is an indicator of their future success in the endeavor. I can’t see the future of anyone’s life or potential, but asking for help is a great start. In my vague life goal of helping those who are willing to help themselves, it’s important that I develop my mind in order to be able to share my knowledge.

*It’s worth mentioning… I’m unaware of a specified order to these commitments, but the order in which they were written has always seemed to have an ideal chronology in my opinion.

I’m on a perpetual path to development of the mind. I’m a lifelong student. Whether the identity as student is defined by tuition and textbooks or being attentive/present in my everyday experiences, I am a lifelong student. I’m a few months away from completing the course requirements for my BS in Kinesiology. In January, I’ll begin my pre-requisites for Occupational Therapy school that will begin in Fall 2017. It’s a three year program, which means I’ll be “finished” in 2020.

Rant Tangent: Whenever I mention that I’m a student, the question that follows as a sort of sympathetic nervous system punch reflex is… “How long do you have left?” or “How much more school do you have?” or “How long until you’re done?” or something like that. I’m sure that all students can relate. I swear on Baby Jesus’ poopy diaper, I wish I knew why in the fuck everyone feels the need to ask that question. I’ve heard it so much over the past three years that I considered making a t-shirt that read: “Yes, I’m in school. Don’t ask me how much time I have left!” Could you imagine if we asked people that question about their jobs or their romantic relationships!? “You work for Verizon? How long do you have left?” or “You’re dating Felicia!? How much longer until you’re done?” It’s a pointless fucking question! If I tell you three years or nine years, do you know of a way to decrease my sentence in the American system of higher learning? You don’t?! Weird. Back to my point…

I’m developing my mind with each new course. The second step of the first commitment, the action initiative, is challenging because it’s important to share knowledge respectfully lest we come across as condescending or pedantic to others. Have you ever learned something new in a course that you’ve taken and then took it upon yourself to “educate” people as if the thing they’re doing (and you were just doing a week ago) is the dumbest thing ever to be done? While I’ve certainly been guilty of that in the past, I don’t want to be that guy. I work in a gym and in order to avoid coming across as a mansplainer, I’m very hesitant to approach a female and correct her form unless she is in my class or one of my clients. I make an exception if she’s about to hurt herself. In any case, I make sure that I have her permission to offer a suggestion before I attempt to share my knowledge. I’m hesitant to approach a male and correct his form for very different reasons. I’m not worried about coming off as a mansplainer with him. Instead, I’m avoiding the uphill climb of the male ego to get him to hear me.

In general, I’m willing to share with those that ask. Unsolicited advice isn’t solicited for a reason. As a future Occupational Therapist, I’ve been asked with which specific population I’d like to work. The answer happens to be the same for the clients that I’m eager to help as a Fitness Coach. As vague as it may sound, I only want to help those that are willing to help themselves. If a person isn’t willing to develop (and change) their mind it will be a challenge to change their body. Changing your body (gaining muscle, losing fat, increasing speed, decreasing stress, or improving hydration to name a few examples) may mean that multiple aspects of the way you think must change. If someone is unwilling to do something new, they won’t accomplish new goals. So, which population do I want to work with as an OT? The humble. If you have a sense of entitlement as if the world owes you strength, I may not be the therapist for you. If you acknowledge that strength is a choice and you’ve decided to step up and commit on an emotional level, we can accomplish something stellar together. If you’re only interest is the fastest way to get stronger and get back to what you love doing, I may not be the therapist for you. If you’re willing to be patient, put in the necessary work, and celebrate small victories on the journey of healing, we can accomplish something brilliant together. If you think that a few hours a week with me heals all and you’re not willing to do homework to facilitate healing, I may not be the therapist for you. If you understand that everything you do with and to your body (including sleeping habits) will have an affect on your healing, we can accomplish something spectacular together. If your mental cup is full of unverified information from pop culture magazines and you want to debate a science-based approach, I may not be the therapist for you. If you’re willing to approach with a clean slate (open mind), ask questions, listen, and read references to verify what we’ve discussed, we can reach your goals with conviction instead of hubris.

In order to become the best therapist that I can be, I am in need of a mentor. Regarding my motivation, someone once asked me, “how long have you been like this?” Before telling her the story of the Baseball Coach (see above) I told her, “When I was young I searched for inspiration in other people. When I found it in myself, I decided to be the inspiration for myself and others that have the fire. Anyone can burn hot, burn brightly and endure. Giddyup!” That’s my intention as a coach. Now, I’m seeking inspiration again in the form of a mentor. If you’re reading this and you know an Occupational Therapist that lives in the Bay Area (or is easily accessible by phone/email in another area of the world) and is willing to mentor me with guidance, tutelage, and possibly volunteer hours in their office, please put us in contact. I’m trying to accomplish something which I’ve never accomplished before and I’m seeking help to make it happen. I am willing to help myself and step outside of my comfort zone in order to make this life change happen. I need an Occupational Therapy mentor and I hope that someone reading this can help guide me to such an apprenticeship. I’m hoping to find someone that has developed their mind and is now willing to share their knowledge.

If a friend forwarded this to you, be sure to visit the site, scroll to the bottom and subscribe. Next week, I’ll share my interpretation of the second commitment: Face my fears and conquer them.


Spotify has made some changes that mean I was able to create an account without having a goddamned Facebook account. So, I’m back on Spotify so that I can share some music with you all.

Spotify Playlists for the upcoming Studio Road Ride Classes
Look me up under the username JetNoirMuse to follow my playlists/posts.

Monday, 9/14

Wednesday, 9/16