Monthly Archives: February 2014

Wordless Wednesday

K Aisle


The Rollercoaster Pt. 2

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So yeah, the only people below my name on the list are the people that didn’t show up to the competition.  I never once thought I was going to be the best, or even second best… but I didn’t think I would be the worst.  That’s were my problem started, when I said to myself I was the “worst” competitor in the 30 year old age bracket… in the country.

This is the first time I have talked about the results to anyone other than my wife.  Coming in third out of three was not embarrassing, but coming in dead last in the whole damn competition was very embarrassing.

I kept checking back to see if the guys that no-showed posted times and hoped they were worse than mine.  They never showed up.  Even though, less than 12 hours before, I had done some things that I never thought I would be able to do and I also, for the first time in years, felt like an athlete, my entire confidence was pretty shattered.

1013361_608358279230670_326377167_nThree things kept me from just beating myself up completely over this.  First, my wife was super supportive and told me that she saw someone competing that day that she hasn’t seen in awhile.  The second was the reason I started working out in the first place, which is so I can be a healthy dad for my kid.  And finally, I held VERY tight onto the results of the third workout which showed a massive improvement over what I did less than three months before at a different event.

So, you compete and don’t get the result you wanted, so you get passed up for the promotion or maybe the marriage/dating relationship didn’t work.  You have to find something positive to hold onto that keeps you above water.  Something as ridiculous as how I ranked in a small-time, unimportant competition had the power to almost derail my progress.

Take time right now if you are in the middle of some sort of hustle and remind yourself why you are doing it.  Write down some/any success you have seen to this day.  Remind yourself who your support group is.

I look back now and I remember being so down on myself because of this, but yet less than two weeks later I was telling my wife that she shouldn’t beat herself up for struggling with something… but I was still doing that to myself.

Recognize the issue, Acknowledge the issue, and forget the issue.  Move On. Hold onto the thing that keeps you moving.

Thoughts on Thursday

This is your life and it’s ending one minute at a time.

– Fight Club

The Rollercoaster Pt. 1


Third Place.

There I was standing on the podium getting my third place metal for a Crossfit competition.  Crossfit, a workout that I swore I would never do before I was introduced to it 7 or 8 months before the competition.  The picture hit Facebook, Instagram, and twitter… I posted it.  I was proud, I had gotten third place in a competition that forced me to do some things that I never thought I would be able to do… A PULL UP!

Here’s the truth:  There were three people in my division.  I knew that going in and I was OK with it. I told people that asked me about it that there were only three in the division, it wasn’t about that.  It was about being able to do three workouts without scaling ONE movement during the day.  If we were told to do pull-ups, I was doing full blown pull-ups.  If it asked for double-unders… GOT IT.  I was ready.

The emotions that went through my head that day, I think resemble the emotions everyone goes through during tough times or tough workouts.  The first being excitement.  I was excited when we were getting ready to start, and then once the timer started and I blasted through the first exercise in about 30 seconds and knocked out 12 straight pull-ups like someone who had been doing them since high school (I couldn’t do one 9 months ago)… I was on fire.  I was about to make this 12 minute workout look easy.

Back Story:  I knew going in that jumping rope was apart of the workout and it would be the part that would kill me.  I practiced everyday I went to the gym for 10 minutes before we would start.  I got better.  I did 37 double jumps in a row without screwing up…


Wasn’t laughing yet… probably cussing!

Back to the competition, time to jump rope… I am stud at these now, or so I thought. Started my first series of jumps and nailed 25 of the hundred I had to do.  Then everything came to a screeching halt.  One. Jump. At. A. Time. The second emotion popped up… Major Frustration.

Frustration followed by exasperation… It got comical.  After a few choice words that I won’t type on here, I finally just had to laugh.  After 5 minutes of trying to 100 double unders finished, my judge said I could move on.  So, back to the beginning.  Clear your mind, start at the beginning, second chance.  I told myself, out loud, and I am sure everyone heard it to MAN UP and get done.  Quick through the first exercise, fly through the pull-ups. Back to my friend the jumprope.  Same result.  Didn’t finish the workout, ran out of time.

Welcome anger to the emotions.  I walked out of the box pretty pissed off and not happy with myself.  My support group (wife, kid and father in law) came over and my father in laws first word were “DUDE, you murdered those pull-ups.  I am proud of you”.  That helped some.

All this was during the first hour. The first workout of the day, I had two more to go. 

I started this workout so excited and probably overly confident and that was shattered about one minute into the workout.  Where I went wrong was letting the emotion take me over and shut me down.  Once my head was gone, the workout was over.  Three steps to prevent this from happening again:

  1. Stop for a second, take a deep breathe and laugh.
  2. Think about why you are doing what you are doing, whether its a workout, extra shift at work, or anything that even remotely adds stress to your every day life.  My kid was right there on the ropes watching and even yelling GO GO GO as I worked.  I was too busy complaining in my head to look over and see the best cheerleader in the world yelling for her daddy.
  3. Cheesy as it is:  Go Finding Nemo on whatever it is and JUST KEEP SWIMMING.  Once you remember why you are doing what you are doing, keep your mind right and GO.

The first workout threw me off, the second workout wore me out, but the third workout lifted me up and made me feel like Thor again.  The last workout was one that I had done before and it literally left me on the floor in a pool of sweat and pain.  This time it killed me, but I killed it 45 seconds faster than I did last time.  I was back to that first emotion of excitement when I threw the bar down and yelled really loud.

I got my medal, I went to lunch with friends, and then I checked my world ranking to see where I ranked against all the other 30-40 males in the country… Tomorrow I will tell you about the emotions of realizing you were ranked DEAD LAST in the country.

The Bucket List

Over the last six months, I have been involved in a few different social experiments with author Jon Acuff.  The first was the Start Experiment, where for 30 days he challenged you to start pursuing whatever that dream you have been holding off on, then came Dreamers and Builders, which was the post-Dave Ramsey Era Start Experiment, and now I am in my second round of #30Days of Hustle.  Through these experiments I have gotten the opportunity to meet, chat and hopefully work with a ton of new people from all sorts of different walks and dreams.

One in particular posted a question on the #30Days site on day one and I saw 100’s and 100’s of response hit.  Ryan Eller, from, was talking about ‘what’s on your bucket list’ and his new #liveyourlist movement.  People were responding with travel to Italy, climb a mountain, produce a film worth seeing (that was me) and many others.  Ryan has already given the gift of crossing off a bucket list item to two different people and is working on more.

I thought about what was on my bucket list, or if I even had one for that matter and I realized I hadn’t ever written it out for someone to see.  I spent some time looking through Ryan’s site and found his post “Bucket List by Threes” and decided to post my list here for everyone to see and hold me accountable to.  I will add it as a tab at the top of this page and cross off things as I compete them, but will also continue to add things.



One of the best trips of my life.

  • Take my wife to Italy
  • Take Family to Disneyland
  • Baseball Tour with Dad and Brother (Fenway and Hall of Fame)
  • Chicago Baseball Tour with Dad and Brother
  • Visit my top 25 sports venues
  • Augusta on Championship Sunday with Dad


  • Ski/Snowboard a Double Diamond anywhere
  • Skydive


  • Learn to play the guitar
  • Certified in all Apple Editing Programs (FCPx, Motion, etc)
  • Master’s Degree in Communications
  • Cooking Classes


  • Coach K’s softball/soccer/basketball team
  • Run a 5k, 10k, half marathon with my wife


  • Shoot a documentary of a mission trip
  • Volunteer yearly during holidays with friends and family


  • Debt-Free
  • Kids Debt-Free in college
  • Buy a house that is perfect for family, church and friend get togethers
  • Own a motorcycle

Life Goals (need to work on these to make sure they are measurable and SMART)


  • 220 pound goal weight
  • 1000 pounds on Crossfit Total
  • Half Marathon in under 2:30 (I’m not a runner)



And these were FREE tickets.

  • Catch a foul ball at a baseball game
  • Sit Front Row, Courtside at a Dallas Mavericks Basketball game during the Dirk Era
  • Hang out with a Penguin.  A real live penguin.
  • Shake hands with Nolan Ryan
  • Hole in One
  • Make the Bells, Lights and Whistles go off on a huge slot machine in Vegas
  • Play in World Series of Poker


  • Eat dinner with Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul.
  • Take Batting Practice from a Major League Pitcher (Current or Former)
  • NBA Finals Game (Mavs Championship Run, Game 5)
  • World Series Game (Rangers First World Series)

Check out Ryan’s outline to building a list and DO IT!  Send me a link when you do and let me see it (Send it to Ryan also)


Character vs. Reputation

“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” -John Wooden


My wife is still out of town, my kid is tucked into her bed and thankfully my students who have been busting their butts for 5 days writing, shooting and editing a short film all go their submissions in before the deadline.  Granted one group got it in with 1 minute left on the clock but we made it.  Half the stress of the week is over, so I decided to watch some TV and landed on The Biggest Loser Finale.

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I have followed this show for the last 6 or 7 seasons.  My wife loves the show and she got me very interested while we were dating and I have just stuck with it since.  It resonates with me because of my new goal of being a healthy dad.  I enjoy the stories, I love the results, but every finale feels like a kick in junk.  A motivating kick in the junk, but still a kick in the junk.  I have been on this route to becoming healthy for a few years now and through major highs like competing in a Crossfit competition and the lowest of lows when our first pregnancy ended too early, I have made huge strides in becoming a better husband and father.

BUT, there’s always a but, I still find ways to sabotage myself.  Whether it’s grabbing five reese’s cups from one of the numerous candy jars in the office, or holding back in a workout for whatever reason or stopping my running training because they canceled the stupid half marathon I was going to participate in.  I started this whole thing pushing 280 pounds, I have lost close to 50 pounds in the last year or so, but I have been ‘stuck’ where I am for the last 4 months.

I promised transparency with this thing when I started it.  I need to figure out how to avoid the temptations and keep on track.  It’s so damn frustrating.

What are your obstacles that pop up?  How do you go after them and knock them down?

Step Back.

As a high school video production teacher, my students are always working on projects in groups.  Within those groups you have the same dynamic as you did back when I was in school. The cast of characters hasn’t changed:  The kid that doesn’t do anything, the kid who does everything, the helpless helpers, and the one that wants all the credit.

Sometimes in relationships, the guy like the be the one that looks like the champion.  The guys make the money, build stuff, fix stuff, decide stuff… The guy is in the spotlight more often than not.  I think deep down I enjoy having the spotlight on me.  We have a cute kid, that I personally think looks just like her momma, but 99% of the rest of the world’s population think that she is a duplicate version of mini-Justin.  I know it drives my wife nuts, but I feel good about it.  Granted I don’t go around talking or bragging about it, but I secretly enjoy that the girl who is “so sticking cute” looks like me.

All that being said as men, we need to step back and let the ladies shine.  This week is an opportunity for me to step back and let my wife shine.  February and March are by far the most ridiculous months of the year for me at my job.  We compete almost weekly in competitions and it requires late nights, long trips away from home and stress… lots of stress.  Last year was tough on my wife because I did all this only a month or so after K was born.  She had to pull her weight and then some very frequently last year during this time.  Well, that time is back.  I am at the school until late every night working with kids, and my wife left town for 4 days yesterday.  She has the opportunity to sit down and work with one of the top wedding photographers in the industry this week.  She has been busting her butt to build a photography company, and this will just be the next launching pad for her.  So I will assume the responsibility of taking care of 60+ high school kids, taking care of a 1 year old, eating (hopefully) and just all the everyday things we usually split in order for her to have her time to shine.

I am so proud of her, and I know she will take this opportunity and use it.

How can you step back this week and let your significant other shine this week?

What is your Super Bowl Ad?

The Super Bowl is, as much if not more, about marketing and branding than it is about football.  Dober-HuaHua, Doritos Time Machines, #BestBud from Budweiser and all the other advertisements either went for the funny or went for the heartstrings.  These brands spent a ton of money to get their names on the biggest stage.  It got me thinking about how I “market” myself and my family, and how people in general market themselves on their platforms whether it is everyday at work, on Facebook, in the gym or anywhere for that matter.

Everyone knows the guy at work that the first thing out of their mouth when asked how they are doing is “I’m exhausted”, “I’m barely making it” or the ever positive “wish I was somewhere else”.  I was that guy.  The tiredness was brought on by late night Call of Duty marathons before I was married and later was caused by sleepless nights with a newborn.  Also, I am known to have a bit of a dirty mouth when I get fired up or tired.  I hate it, but years of not caring what came out of my mouth has made it a tough habit to change.  Soon enough, even though I am trying, I know my kid is going to repeat something and I will feel like a huge idiot. What does it tell everyone around you if your go-to response to anything is immediate negativity or just simple profanity?

Going around the office, or looking through Facebook/Twitter, I have started to really notice a trend in how people are marketing themselves to the masses.  I can guarantee that I will see an anti-religion post, hard core republican post and posts about what food I shouldn’t touch on my Facebook daily.  Somethings I enjoy keeping to myself than trying to incite an argument with my “digital friends” that I haven’t talked to since 2006.  My wife has a a ‘friend’ on a social site that she graduated with and, as bad as it is, we have made a game out of reading their profile to see what insane thing they will say that day.  The topics range from wild stories about drinking, smoking and fighting to full blown racist tirades.  I have never met the guy but I am pretty sure I know who he does and doesn’t like in our country from a few simple posts on Facebook.

fitness-meme-crossfitSo, if I am going to talk about what everyone else is posting, I need to examine my billboard.  I could/have been labeled a Crossfit Addict, Advocare peddlin’ (that’s the nice version of that label) guy that takes too many pictures of his kid.  People have criticized me numerous times for posting about CF on my Twitter and Facebook, and I get it.  That’s a huge knock on people in that community is we like to talk about it.


One time I saw a movie, and I liked it a lot… but I didn’t tell anyone.

People talk about things they like/love.  Some people talk about it too much.  I may be one of those people, I can admit that.   When you find something, even as simple as new flavor of coffee, it is human nature to talk about it.

All I would say to anyone who see this is stop down for a few and look at your conversations, look at your online billboard and look at yourself and see what you are telling everyone about who you are?

The one thing you can label me as on any social site and I will never change, is the guy that likes taking pics of his kid and wife.  That is something I am proud to be.  If someone is annoyed by my kid’s goofy moment of the day, I gladly invite them to click the ignore button.  /soapbox