Is reflection a part of your life? Birthday’s in particular serve as a great mile marker for annual reflection. A few more examples include when my dad passed away, when I got married, and when my kids were born. Personal reflection is important to me. There’s maybe five to seven times per year that I pause to reflect on everything going on in my life.
Fitness is the only fountain of youth. Taking care of yourself and not eating like crap all the time is non-negotiable if you want to maintain your health. I may be guilty with overworking myself from time to time, but it’s also why my body looks the way it does at my age. I remember Frank Zane telling me at 70+ years of age: “Look, you're going to hurt when you're old, but do you want to be hurt from taking your groceries in or do you want to be strong and maybe have a few dings from lifting weights all these years? Either way, you’re going to hurt when you’re old."
Are we going to have some dings here and there or some shit that's fucking creaking? Yes, but can we look and hold an entirely different level of fitness as we get older? 100%
The Kid in Me
Take my quest with dunking a basketball. I really enjoy the process and practice of dunking because it brings out the kid in me. At my age, most people are hanging it up. If you’re 25 years old and you can see what’s possible at age 40, 45, and beyond, then things can get more exciting.
I think about my oldest son, who is a sophomore in high school. If my dad was able to dunk a basketball and/or lift weights with me, then our relationship would have been dramatically different. I’m grateful that I’m able to do these things with my kids.
I started my first business when I was 20 years old. I was in my studio painting the walls. The last 20 years have been a crazy ride, to say the least. To this day, I’m still knocking on doors. That’s why things are exciting, and it’s why we continue to get positive results.
The world “retirement” doesn’t really resonate with me. When I hear the word retirement, I think of someone just chilling and not doing much at all. It’s difficult for me to grasp that because I see people like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Louie Simmons producing content in their 70’s. These guys are legends, and people that I aspire to be like because they love what they do.
One constant in my life is my love of lifting weights. That has never changed since age 13. When I hit 15, I started to understand the value of helping people lift weights. That’s when my life began to take shape. Helping someone become a more confident person is highly fulfilling. Whether I'm teaching my kids, members on my site, or on social media… it’s all oxygen to continue on. That’s the sauce. Seeing the impact of my work helps to make me realize that I’m doing what I should be doing.
No Finish Line
Over the past 20 years I’ve been working towards creating a better balance with my family, work, and hobbies. It’s a struggle at times, but I know I’ve gotten better with it as I’ve gotten older. We’re all on a personal journey of getting more out of ourselves. That’s how it should be. There’s no finish line. There’s always the next “thing.” That’s how we grow.
It feels like my life has been split up into different phases. High school and the early struggle years feel like a different life. Building a personal training studio, struggling to pay my bills, struggling to find new clients, and struggling to compete.
MusclePharm is another chapter. Business, growth, and chaos. Blew up to 240, then went all the way back down to 165 lbs. I was able to meet and work alongside some high-level people, but I also experienced an unfortunate ending. Post-MusclePharm brought a clean slate. I was able to do what I love to do, I was able to leverage my time, and I was able to do more content. And now there’s Max Effort Muscle.
Are you happy with the way you look? Is your confidence where I want it to be? It doesn't matter what level you're at. Every year is some type of benchmark because so many things can change.