Why I don’t Think Being Inspiring Is A Bad Thing.

 

 

For those that have followed my blogs, know that I embrace the term of adaptive athlete with open arms. Furthermore, the term adaptive athlete, didn’t exist ten years ago. Obviously, my father had a lot to do with getting me started on that journey with martial arts and weight lifting. But when I discovered CF, I do anyone knew what was about to happen. The moment I saw it, I wanted to try it, but I was hesitant in a few ways. One, I wasn’t sure how my body would respond to it and two, wasn’t sure how coaches would respond to someone like me. Would they baby me? Or would they simply send me away?

The moment I saw Steph Hammerman doing CF on YouTube, the green light in me switched on. I loved that coaches were so willing to adapt to the context that she was in. To me, it was far better than any amount of money spent on physical therapy at a hospital. Fast forward a few years and now there is competition specifically for us adaptive athletes. How I personally feel about some of them is a whole other blog entry. But the point of this particular entry is, people like myself frequent social media posts, largely because of the platform that I have to inspire others to get off the couch and start improving their lives one step at a time.

That doesn’t sound bad, right? In fact, it might seem motivating and inspiring, right? Well… Some people have a problem with the word inspiring or people telling them about how inspiring they are.

To a point I get it, we want to be treated like everybody else. I get it. But I will respectfully raise a few points of my own. One) You can’t keep others from being inspired by you, in fact the person that is inspired by you, will go to their friends and speak of how much they are inspired by you even though you may not want to hear it. Two) this is the platform we have, and it’s not going away anytime soon. This is not about any sort of special treatment, that’s not even what adaptations are about. But giving everyone an equal chance to perform at their best. Finally, I would respectfully suggest that inspiring others is what the fitness community is all about, for no man is an island to themselves. We can keep to ourselves and stay in our pride, but where is the joy and fun in that? Our community shines much brighter when we can encourage each other regardless of age or ability. Get used to people being inspired by people such as you and I, Because people are always watching us and as such that should be more than enough to be an agent for change.

21167829_10159332976665165_5055014423976292418_o

Advertisements
Why I don’t Think Being Inspiring Is A Bad Thing.

Rediscovering Discipline

For the past several weeks, I’ve been listening to a lot of Jocko Willink. He is a former Navy Seal and BJJ black belt under the legendary Dean Lister. I’ve found myself drawn to the fact that he talks so much about self-discipline, in fact, he says that discipline is freedom. I can remember being in college and getting up at 5 AM most every morning, usually because I was scared of waking up late and missing breakfast, class or whatever was on task for the day.

The fact that my father was in the military sure helped with this, and the fact that my mom, would have to get me up early to get ready for school only added to the fact that my body and mind would become accustomed to rising early and chipping away at the day. As a kid, I hated it, wanted to sleep in more and be a bit lazy. But eventually I got used to it. The early rise and grind is what would carry me through a huge majority of my life.

Because my parents disciplined me in such away, conditioned me to get the job done. Even when I didn’t want to. In college I would be done with assignments way before other people were. People would often tell me “I don’t know how you do it..” And at the time, the only answer I had was that God gave me parents to help train me to live in such a way. And that the Lord is faithful in waking me up each and everyday. Was I perfect at it, no way, in fact there were days when I would hit the snooze button once or twice.

Another way of saying it, was I went through the daily motions of life. I’ve always been taught that this was a bad thing, especially being a Christian. But Jocko says that you go through the motions and do it anyway.

Don’t feel like reading my bible? do it any way!

Don’t feel like praying? do it anyway!

Don’t feel like lifting heavy weight? do it anyway!

You’ll feel better having done it. Because the the things we don’t want to do, are the things we need to do the most. It’s how you get ahead in life and how you succeed. Living a life of discipline, I believe, is how we see a difference not only in ourselves. But others, meaning that we can greater help people wherever they are at in life. Living the disciplined life is how we combat our vices, the temptations, the addiction, the bad habits that only long to derail us.

Discipline wins the battle, discipline is wisdom. Discipline may very well be the voice of the grand commander and chief saying, “Hey, I love you, now get up, get on mission and get it done!

Discipline, from the Christian perspective, is not so much our own might. But His, but thats for another blog!images.duckduckgo

 

 

 

Rediscovering Discipline

Company and Hope

iEgxkvy

33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.” – 1 Corinthians 15:33 (CSB)

 

Lately I’ve been taking Uber to get to CrossFit once a week, and it’s been really fun, I’ve had the opportunity of chatting with some awesome people along the way. Normally before each ride, I say a little prayer, for safety and that God might allow me to have the words to inspire hope in some way and even talk about my faith and love for Jesus. As cliche as it sounds, I mean that in the least cliche way possible.

Yesterday though, when my first ride came and got me I didn’t pray. I got in the car, locked in my seat belt and quickly noticed the cigarettes and lighter near me. As soon as we pulled out of the drive way, this man, (whom we will call- Sam) starts talking to me about how it’s been a long day of driving, and that it would be an even longer night of baking. As that is his second job when he is not driving people around.

I asked him “do you ever have a day off?” He chuckled a bit and said “No, I can’t really have a day off, I work hard to support my daughter… But, my daughter ran away from home again, she’s been gone almost 2 weeks. She took off with some really horrible people. She was doing so well.” At this point, all I could do was say that I was sorry for his pain and listen to what he had to say.

I’m angry he said “And I can feel the depression coming back…. She was doing so well, but she ran off again with those idiots man! What don’t they understand about not coming on my damn property?”

 

I know sir, I said,  “she hangs out with bad company and it corrupts her” it was at this point that I remembered the verse above and wondered if Sam knew he was paraphrasing the bible. Before we reached my stop, I said “sir, if I have learned anything in my short life and all my training in psychology, it’s that there is always hope. Even in the darkest of times.”

Sam looked at me and said “Did they teach you that in school?”

“No” I said in response, “that’s what I believe about life.” He looked at me and said “well, sometimes people need to know what it’s like to be down, down, down and have no hope first.”  I thought to myself “but I have.”  I  want you to take away a few things from this:

  1. It matters who we let into our lives, regardless of age. The more we are around a person or a group of people. The more they influence us, for better or for worse. That being said, be selective of who you let in (and out) of your life, know what your boundaries are and if people don’t respect them. Get rid of them. Lastly, listen to the wisdom of those you trust. If someone close to you says that they are not sure about someone or group of people, listen to that. It’ll save you from a lot of heart ache.

Remember that how dark things get in life, it can always get better.

-Brandon

 

 

 

Company and Hope

Thoughts on Sports Anxiety

A few years ago I started competing in Brazilian Jiujitsu, even in spite of the challenges with having cerebral palsy. All of my competition has been abled-bodied, okay, not all I have competed against other adaptive grapplers. And I’m not sure which one fits me better.

Regardless,   the point of this entry, is to explain a revelation that has dawned on me. I have competition anxiety. Many, many athletes struggle in this way regardless of what sport they play. They might do well in practice, but they choke under the pressure of competition, they freeze and forget the training that has led to this moment.

Yep, that’s me.

I want to go out on the mats and win, I don’t know anyone that enjoys losing. But the reality is that I have far more losses than I do victories. And that often weighs me down, because when I see so many team mates winning and bringing home medals and then there’s me, the guy that keeps on loosing. Who’s to blame for that? Nobody else but me.

Though I do know another adaptive grappler that has lost  damn near ninety times, and only won one match. That we cripple most (yes, I used the C word) but for this guy, he just kept going out there and competing, loss after loss. Until finally, he scored a W for the win column. This has been my deepest motivation, this is allowing me to have further courage to face my fears.

Fear of defeat yet again, fear of not making my instructors and team mates down… Fear… Fear… Fear. But like I said, that’s why I keep facing this thing. That’s why I let my chest tighten and heart thumb like a dub step song. I know my mind won’t stop racing anytime soon, so why stop competing? God only knows what could happen any given moment. It’s my way of telling the fear and anxiety to @@@@ off, it doesn’t own my life.

Most people wouldn’t have the courage to go out there and loose over and over. I do, for the simple reason that my losses have taught me far more. Don’t get me wrong though, that taste of victory is so amazingly sweet.  But soon, everyone is brought back to the reality of being humbled to their knees. And for me, many lessons have come from there and I’m okay.

Embrace the paralyzing anxiety. Embrace the fear and looping thoughts in your head, they’ll always be there (though probably not as bad) compete anyway, fight anyway. You’ll be better because of it.

10604721_10203653591915071_9046302357763789528_o

Thoughts on Sports Anxiety

Remember Hope is Greater Than Evil

Over the past month, maybe more, I’ve been working a night job at a non profit called Project Harmony. This particular non profit deals with helping guide children who have been abused (either by violence or sexual abuse). Project Harmony also aids in helping parents heal through the process as well. It’s a great place to work, our building has everything under one roof: Police, nurses, a nice unit to stay in should a child or family need a place to stay temporarily

To get the job I worked with another non profit called Vocational Rehab, they helped prepare for the job interview process and so on. It’s honestly amazing how God works for our good. Project Harmony is right across the street from Vocational Rehab. On a morning that I was scheduled for an appointment there, my Dad and I had gotten lost. As a result we pulled into the parking lot of Project Harmony and without thinking I said to my Dad “wouldn’t it be cool if I got a job here?”

Well, looked what happened? A few weeks later, after a few weeks later and a background check (and a job interview-can’t forget that!) I got the job! My job mainly consists of working after hours, buzzing in clients, making sure kids have snacks, water and are enjoying themselves before they go and meet with either the police or therapist. Simple right? It may look simple, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t leave work with a deep anger at the evil and injustice that these kids have had to endure. Emails that come in on different people just turn my stomach inside out.

And I honestly don’t see the full brunt of what the therapists and police have to deal with on a daily basis. To which I have a profound respect for every individual that has to see the much darker side of our work. Alas, in the midsts of see such darkness on the days that I do work. I LOVE my job. My prayer is that God works through me in the small things, brightening the child’s day, smiling at a parent and offering a small bit of encouragement where I can.  Trying to help the police and therapists where I can.

There has only been a struggle inside me, as it relates to the evil that is seen in any capacity where I work. And rightly so, if I wasn’t angry at this evil I would naturally wonder if there was something wrong or off in my soul. At least I hope. As I spend personal time in quiet reflection, I yet again come to the understand that hope and love are bigger than evil. And while evil to an extent calls for a bit of holy anger, it is vastly more important to remember hope.

Remember hope, dwell in hope, live in hope and be hope. Do not become blind or naive to the forces of evil in this world, for doing so creates a unhealthy delusion of granger. But as we have learned in mindfulness therapy, let us learn to be present to the hope that we have and give it as a candle gives light to a dark room.

-Brandon

 

.   cropped-light-of-hope-in-a-dark-world-e1453140251421

Remember Hope is Greater Than Evil