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Ramblings, Thoughts, and Mind Chatter

I decided to do a blog because so many thoughts go through my head on a daily basis about everything from politics to fitness, to spirituality, sports etc. I will do my best to keep people in the loop of all the strange things that run through my head as well as give my life perspective into certain situations. I guess I should start out by telling a little bit about myself. I was born in Detroit, Michigan to parents who immigrated to the USA. My father was born in Greenock, Scotland and my mother was born in Toronto, Ontario Canada. My mom’s parents were both from Northern Ireland. So you can see, I am a screwed up Celt. Its interesting having that background because my parents never let us be soft. They both endured many hardships in their lifetime and they made sure that my sister and I understood that life isn’t easy. Just recently, my mother passed away from lung cancer after fighting a very courageous 3 year battle. Having lost my father almost 17 years to the month from that same vile disease helped prepare me for this, but I was my moms son, a momma’s boy if you will. She and I had an unspoken bond that surpassed words. In almost everything I do in life, I remember the life lessons I was taught. My Nana told me when I was 7-8 years old that the best way for me to stay out of trouble was “to keep my hands in my pocket and my pecker in my pants.” I wasn’t sure if it was age appropriate, but I obviously remembered it this long. It was sage advice seeing as 90% of my life issues arose from those two things. Sometimes in life, you need to humble up and listen to your elders. When we are young we carry a certain cocksure arrogance that we are the smartest people in the room. As you get older, your arrogance gets tempered by the reality that life kicks your ass quite a bit. One of the greatest lines I have ever heard in a movie was from Rocky Balboa. His son was kind of whining about his lot in life and Rocky gave him hell. Then the time came for you to be your own man and take on the world, and you did. But somewhere along the line, you changed. You stopped being you. You let people stick a finger in your face and tell you you’re no good. And when things got hard, you started looking for something to blame, like a big shadow. Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now if you know what you’re worth then go out and get what you’re worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain’t you! You’re better than that!” That quote still gives me shivers. It is life in a microcosm. Sure there are people who walk through life like the sun always sets on them, but that isn’t the norm. Most people endure many hardships and failures before they succeed in their given endeavors. So why do we continue in the face of adversity? Why not just quit and join the status quo? That to me is worse than dying. I would rather be dead than be average. Why would you want to be in the center of the herd when you can either lead it or leave the safety of the herd to move in your own direction, to blaze your own trail in life.I am surprised how many people are either too lazy or scared to really go after something you want. If you see a woman you really want to get to know, but never risk talking to her, what is the good in that? If you are unhappy in your life circumstances, change them. If you have a goal you want to achieve, get after it! Screw all the negative people who tell you “It’s stupid!” or “Why do you want to do that?” Personally, I love proving people wrong. When I was 10 years old, I remember telling my step father that I was going to win Golden Gloves one day. We were at our cottage in Elk Rapids that weekend and I remember his exact reply “Small white kids from Troy don’t win the Golden Gloves. Black kids from the inner city do.” I thought to my self “what makes black kids from the inner city different than me?” They are human, they hurt, and they bleed just like me. Okay, I had more creature comforts in life, but that didn’t define who I was or the spirit to compete that was in my heart. I am about the most competitive person alive. I like vanquishing challenges through sheer will, not skill. I don’t know where that drive comes from, I am guessing my mother instilled it in me. When I turned 16 and was allowed to fight in the Golden Gloves, I went out and won. I brought home the trophy and plopped it down on my step fathers workbench. I said ” I was 10 yrs old and you said I would never win this. Well, there you are.” He said nothing at all. That brings to mind my  favorite quote that I believe I came up with originally which is “Extraordinary results are never borne of ordinary efforts!” What it means is if you desire to be exceptional, put in the damn work! I used to do 500 sit- ups and 500 push ups per night as well as run miles upon miles and hit bags outside of the gym for hours honing my skills. I often did this at the expense of going out and having fun. Sometimes I would run 3 miles to a party and then run home after watching people get drunk. I pushed myself to greater heights because I hate losing more than I like winning by a long way. I felt if I wanted something, I needed to earn it. Frankly, I get so sick of this attitude of entitlement that has crept into the American psyche. We became the most dominant country on earth through sheer will power and hard work. Once we got on top, we started to rest on our laurels.  Like Marvelous Marvin Hagler said “It’s hard to get out of bed in the morning to go run when you’re sleeping in silk sheets.” That is such a great statement. Very often, the driving force to do  most achievement comes from discomfort or necessity. Wouldn’t it be a great world to live in if everyone decided to be exceptional? Living life to it’s fullest is exhilarating. It gives you a sense of accomplishment no matter how small the task. I implore you to go out and choose one thing and do it to the fullest ability you have. I guarantee you, at the end of the day, you will thank yourself. To quote Robin William’s character in Dead Poets Society “Carpe Diem!”(seize the day). Until next time.