“It’s supposed to be fun…”

2014-07-15 12.47.14“It’s supposed to be fun”

As kids, during sporting events, we can all recall hearing this. Remember? After losses, coaches and parents would always remind us this: “it’s just a game, it’s supposed to be fun!”

The sad reality is, I look around at the kids now and it doesn’t look like one OUNCE of fun. I see 7, 8, and 9 year olds having the pressures of grown men bestowed upon their small-framed shoulders. Their underdeveloped bodies and minds are just learning of this world and already it’s forcefully instilled in them, it’s PRESSURE and losing is UNACCEPTABLE. If your not the best or do not win, you are insignificant here on planet earth….

Parents and coaches seem to lose sight of the sole purpose of athletics; learning teamwork and building a strong work ethic.

From what I can see from 5 years of being a speed and strength trainer is this:

*Parents MAKING their kids play.

*Athletics being more important to the parent than the kid.

*Parents spending unreasonable amounts of money for the best training, the best gear, and the most elite tournaments, not to mention travel costs (gas, food, hotel, etc) to give their kid exposure. (Exposure? They just learned to tie their damn shoes!)

*Kids trying to have fun but being robbed of that by people who probably didn’t amount to what THEY wanted to athletically. Yeah, you got that right…..Vicariously living through children. Pathetic. Inexcusable.

It makes me want to grab these parents up by their shirt collars and teach them a lesson. But that wouldn’t teach them or the kids ANYTHING. So, I refrain. I watch. I try to be the calm, peaceful force amongst poor mannered, temperamental, and embarrassing grown men and women that put so much energy and stock into their child’s athletic “career.”

Let’s get rigorously honest. How many professional athletes are there? 18,000 in the USA is the approximation. That seems like a lot. It’s not. At all. It’s estimated that there are 4 million athletes JUST in the USA. 18,000 out of 4 million. So, even if you want it REAL bad for your kid, the chances and percentages that stare you in the face don’t lie.

Would I ever discourage a kid from pushing himself and putting everything he has into becoming the best he can be? Absolutely not. Athletics teach individuals how much they can endure, how hard work does pay off, and how being a teammate sometimes means not being the shining star. Do I agree every kid deserves a trophy every single time? No. Learning how to lose is vital to human development.

Life lessons. Yes. Many, many invaluable life lessons can be learned from athletics.

But the one gleaming reality I see is that kids are no longer allowed to be kids. What happened to capture the flag? Catching fireflies?  Racing homemade boats in the creek? Freeze tag? Pick up wiffle ball, backyard football, and playground basketball? Why is it all so SERIOUS?  Why is so much emphasis placed on forcing these boys and girls to be men and women far before they’re ready?

I ask you to please, let your kid be a kid. Life is short and time really does fly. Pressure and obligation is waiting for all of us but for 10 years of life, it should be carefree and FUN.

“It’s supposed to be fun!” Adults, coaches, parents, this message is to YOU. I hope this hits a direct shot to the CENTER OF YOUR HEART. I hope you consider that every person only gets ONE childhood. HOW DARE YOU TAKE THAT AWAY……#BzBe13

Strength and blessings.

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Loser.

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‘LOSER.’

You hear that word thrown around as loosely as the word ‘Hello.’ It is commonly supplemented with statements like, ‘Kill yourself’, ‘You’re pathetic’, ‘You’re lame’, ‘You’re an embarrassment’, ‘You’re a joke’, and the list unfortunately and brutally goes on…….

I have heard each of these comments, plus many more. This isn’t about me, though. It’s directed at anyone reading this to possibly fill that aching in their heart and HOPEFULLY make the aggressors out there think twice before spilling violent criticism. And for those who have experienced this to feel strength that I have overcome… and……SO. WILL. YOU.

Can you find it in your hearts to look deeper at each individual instead of lashing out due to preconceived notions and stereotypes?

I can’t even stomach the thought of saying any of these things ABOUT anyone, much less to their face. Everyone is born with a chance. Most people live in hope that they will obtain significance, importance, and purpose of some kind on their journey through life. These insults wear down even the STRONGEST person. These remarks can push a healthy person to SICKNESS and a sick person to their GRAVE. My question is, how can you not see each person as someone who is a beloved son, daughter, mother, father, brother, sister, cousin, aunt, uncle, grandchild, etc? Someone who is loved and loves in return? Why can’t it be known that this kind of treatment is morally UNACCEPTABLE. I may never find these answers….. but that won’t stop me from laying the question and truth in front of your face right now.

I read something where a man was trying to exercise to save his life. He was critically out of shape. The doctors strongly suggested he work out or plan for death. This gut wrenching story stayed with me for an entire day, bringing me extreme sadness. The man was determined to live! He was on a strict diet and workout regimen and sticking to it! He lost 90 lbs!! AWESOME!

Then,  he received an anonymous letter in his mailbox that told him to ‘stop jogging his fat all over the neighborhood. My kids don’t need to see that.’

REALLY? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? How DARE that person who wrote those cruel words. I hope they understand the capacity of which they injured this person. I hope they realize that that man may now cry himself to sleep and rather DIE than risk any more embarrassment. He may indeed, never exercise again….

What I’m saying is, there are no losers. There are people who work long, grueling hours for low wages. There are people who work 2, 3, even 4 jobs just to pay bills. Those are not losers. Those people are in fact fighters…. survivors. Those people STILL, in the face of exhaustion and pain, forge on with that one final spec of hope inside their hearts that maybe, just maybe, one day, they will be rewarded. It will pay off…

On the contrary, there are people that have laid all their chips on the table so many times that they have no chips left to stack. There are people who have given up and accepted their fate. There are people that received enough of those insults for a period of time that they have been stripped of any confidence that was once available. Was your comment the one that made them throw in the towel? Was your insensitivity enough to make them lose all desire to live? Yes, we each have THAT kind of power.

So, who are you?  Are you someone who’s killing people or are you someone who’s breathing life and hope into others? I have cried, put holes in walls, and felt so embarrassed that I wanted my life to be over immediately. I have been up against walls my whole life and criticized for my passion and purpose. Did that stop me? You’re reading this so you know the answer. NO, it didn’t. Am I stronger than others to be able to withstand extreme negativity and ridicule? NO. I simply made the decision to make people feel the opposite of what those insults made me feel like. I’ve set out on a journey to not only better my life but to empower others. I’d be lying if I said some of the comments didn’t almost kill me. I thought about ending it…seriously. That would take the gripping pain away. THAT.. would silence the hate…That is the answer…

I was a man who had so much self hatred that I broke countless mirrors at the sight of my face. When interacting with others, I expected to be laughed at. I looked down when I talked to people. I absolutely felt inferior to everyone, at one time. Well, NOT ANYMORE…

You may not agree with everyone’s behaviors or views but that leaves you no right to mutter the words ‘loser’ about anyone. They have every right to a good life as you do. They know something you don’t and if you stand over them in judgement and superiority, you’ll never learn something that might be life changing that they could have possibly passed onto YOU.

In conclusion, Words can kill. I’ve seen it many times. It almost happened to me. You almost never read this post. It’s that serious…..” #BzBe13

Strength and blessings.

Purpose (-less or -ful) ???

Screenshot_2014-07-01-11-27-35“When we wake up, IMMEDIATELY an attitude is born. For example, when I woke up, I was slightly overwhelmed and irritated with my monotonous agenda and realizing that all the changes I desire require tedious attention and action to be brought to life. The word PURPOSE came to mind. I admitted to myself that while driving many mornings to work, I feel purpose-LESS. I’m sure many of you experience that sick feeling when your alarm goes off, knowing that you have to spend another day acting as though the monotony of your job, your relationship, and your life is everything you ever dreamed of. Then, FLASHES of past decisions that led you to the present moment flicker from your subconscious to your conscious brain and bounce like 1,000 rubber balls from left to right, up and down…. everywhere. Soon after that, REGRET sets in. Instead of acknowledging YOUR part in why you’re in your current situation, your brain uses a defense mechanism that switches the regret and pressure (you briefly put on yourself) to finding SOMEONE or SOMETHING to blame. “Hell yeah, now the ball is rolling. Wonderful. Damn it. Not again….” Discomfort shifts to memories which drops to regret and ends up funneling down to the (seemingly) most painless of all the storms; RESENTMENT. Just another day in paradise, right? This morning at 5:45am, I was playing the blame game. I was deep in that terrible pattern of thinking, quickly approaching complete defeat. I got in my car and everything seemed pointless. As I started to drive, I glared through the windshield like a viking going out into the battlefield for nothing short of a violent vengeance. I drove past a person walking. I recognized this person. I’ve seen him walking before, many times. He lived near me and we’ve shared a few conversations in the past, in crossing, at the gas station. WHAM!…..I had a shot of compassion shoot through the self-defeating war and furocious disposition that I caused by letting MY brain take over. I sped past him(because I would be late for work if I let my heart get involved) but before I knew it, I’m pulled off the side of the road. As I watch him approach in my rear view mirror, I see he is dressed professionally and seemed to be on a mission to better his life. I ask him where he’s headed. He said,”a job interview.” I offered him a ride and he smiled and accepted. It turns out, it was only a couple minutes out of my way and it was THAT unexpected conversation that I needed at that moment to open my vision back up. We talked a lot about anger and the area we live and the opportunity… or lack there of. He explained his aggression towards people and I admitted to my faults but then abruptly flipped it into a POSITIVE by telling him that we can’t let negative emotion drive us because it’s not hurting anyone but OURSELVES. He thanked me and I wished him luck. We went our separate ways. Although I don’t know him well, I really hope he gets that job………

So, wow. That was my first reaction as I drove off. That quick interaction changed my whole attitude and day. What I’m saying is, I stepped outside of my own misery and discomfort to help someone else and that made the purposeless feeling do a 180 turn to PURPOSEFUL. Let your heart get in the way. LISTEN to it. If you follow your brain all the time, you will become a bitter, self-serving robot existing to either beat up others’ characters but, most commonly, you’ll just destroy your own. The brain wants GREED, OBSESSION over things, misery, addiction, and self-destruction. What the heart wants is SIMPLE. The heart craves love, peace, PURPOSE, and meaning. I will hold onto that moment for the rest of the day and beyond. That moment gracefully broke the avalanche of regret and resentment. Today, do ONE kind gesture for someone else. Expect NOTHING in return. See how it makes you feel. I am confident you’ll see that, after that moment, you felt great purpose on this earth and your own personal problems faded into the background for a moment, maybe even longer……… Have a great day and remember, your day can change as fast as you can erase the end of the word purposeless and replace it with purposeful. Strength and blessings.” #BzBe13

Welcome to my Official Blog Web Site! #BzBe13

IMG_20140527_000426  First off, Hello! I hope all of you that have been following and supporting my posts had an easy time getting to this page. I have, after long consideration on how to make a deeper, wider impact on individuals, decided to create a page/website. A page away from facebook. See it as a daily vacation. I figured, instead of continuing to get mixed among the social media roller coaster of negativity, hate, and arguing, I’d speak to you all directly, here. Comments are always welcome but PLEASE use your heart when writing a post because there are many sensitive, broken souls going through Hell that need uplifting, not bashing. Thanks. So, I imagine if you have found your way to this page, you’re wondering,”What is he up to now?” Well, first off, let me explain the name of this website because, in my obsessively creative brain, I tormented myself with many different ideas for the better part of 4 hours. Finally, one word hit me, blocking out the sounds and sights of the earth for a brief moment; Valiance. Yes, VALIANCE. So you ask yourself,”Where exactly is he going with this and what the Hell does that mean?” Okay, stay with me, my friends. By definition, Valiance means having a valiant nature or quality; valor; bravery; courage. It all made sense when that ONE powerful word instantaneously electrified my brain and my heart. Everyone I speak to on a daily basis are courageous, brave, and contain a level of valor. Yes, every one of you! Everyone that reads, comments, and supports me have a resilient nature of being and, in most times, have experienced adversity to some degree. Right there in my mother’s swimming pool at about 5:00 pm on sunday, the idea was born. The Daily Valiance. It sent warm, positive chills down my spine. Now, I have to give life to it because an idea can not run on its own. An idea needs an engine. An idea needs a set of strong, passionate legs. I will be the engine. I am honored to be the messenger and work horse. My hopes are that you all will be some engines and work horses, as well. I’m not here to feed bull shit. This is all real life. I genuinely care about others. If you are reading this right now, there’s a reason for that. Find out that reason…… That, my friends, is how a thought becomes an idea and, hopefully in time, becomes a tool to help individuals everywhere because I deeply and truly believe that every single one of you are worth it. You are all deserving of all the beautiful things, available to all of us, in this life. And, in my opinion, we are ALL striving daily for peace and no money in the world can buy that. Self knowledge, self love, awareness, compassion, honesty, perseverance, are just some of the ( off the top of my head) necessary characteristics required to obtain and achieve peace and happiness. Without even one of those, the structure crumbles, to the ground, appearing irreparable,  You are NEVER irreparable, though. You just have to find what materials were missing to construct that building better the next time. Your walls might collapse one thousand times in your lifetime. Build the damn thing 1,001 times. One more time, one more day, one more dream, one more healing from a heartbreak, one more recovery, one more…….. You are always capable of ONE more! If you don’t know me, let me introduce myself. I’m Shawn. This site is not ‘all about ME’. Yes, I will be sharing very personal experiences with brutal honesty and depth that I’ve become notorious for, with truth that I have become loved and hated for. But most importantly, with a compassion and empathy that people can respect me for. Let’s get to it….and as I always say and MEAN, Strength and Blessings to each and every one of you on this day and night. Can you read between the black and white lines? Can you see the blood? The pain? The years and years of disappointment, ridicule, and tragedy? The hope, the faith, the driven purpose? If you answer no, this page may not be for you but I strongly suggest and, with open arms, welcome you to continue reading anyways because you might know someone that it could benefit. Please let them know. For those of you who answered yes, I am prepared to take you through a self-exploratory and, at times, gut-wrenching and difficult journey that will possibly help you identify with the person you see in the mirror every morning. I will not focus on the negativity that I have personally been subjected to through opening up my book of life to the world. That all comes with the territory of acknowledging a spiritual responsibility to others. I will continue on the path that I’ve been walking and writing from my heart and soul. STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING PLEASE. Ask yourself, right now. If you were presented with the option to either earn 1 million dollars or the opportunity to touch 1 million lives, what would you choose? The answer to that question  is personal to you and if you want to share, feel free to comment. If not, internalize and reflect on it because I feel strongly that this is a question that, if answered honestly, can explain who you are and what your driving force in life is. This very answer can be the key to unlock doors you have neglected for far too long. Tonight, think about that, DEEPLY.   As I conclude my day, I am excited to share this brand new page with all of my friends, supporters, and strangers. I’ve found, strangers can, over time, become friends and even the loves of your life. I will not be posting to facebook as much but I encourage all of you to share this website and become a follower of it. Join me on this journey, I’d love to hear from each and every one of you at some point. Mondays, disappointment, addiction, death and rejection are awful but together, we can support each other through life’s beautiful, terrifying, and definitely fulfilling journey. Love……And one more time….Welcome to The Daily Valiance! #BzBe13