Which Wolf Are You Feeding?

The Fight of Two Wolves Within You

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life:

“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

”It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil–he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”

He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you–and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

What wolf are you feeding?

Our thoughts can be our own worst enemy, or are biggest advocate.  How we channel our thoughts effects the trajectory of our lives.  It is inevitable that both “wolves” will always be a part of our journey, however, we have the power to choose which one wins minute by minute, day by day, one small victory at a time.

The evil wolf allows negative thoughts in that add up over time to where you no longer realize you are living in your own self-made world of pity, sorrow, skepticism.  You have fed into the negative talk for so long that it has now become a part of who you are and maybe even how you are perceived.  This wolf is the easiest to feed.  It’s easy to slip into negative self-talk.  It’s even easier to complain, gossip, brush-off, ignore, or give-up.  Even the negativity that you brush off as joking is feeding into the evil.

Negativity breeds negativity.

But the second wolf?  That second wolf is full of promise.  It’s also full of work.  And THAT my friends, is where the magic resides.   The second wolf requires patience, commitment, tenacity, grit, perseverance, trust.  It feeds on learning, sharing, praising and the forming of habits.

The second wolf brings forth a sense of accomplishment, pride… peace even.

What’s that cliche phrase?  Nothing worth having comes easy.  You could apply it to this evil versus good wolf scenario.   Take the road with the challenge for the end result is worth more than its weight.  Feed the good wolf.  Feed the wolf that reaps the most benefit.

Right?

But what if I told you to feed both.

If you read into the Cherokee story, the alternative resolution is “if you feed them both, they both win.”

Think on that for a moment.

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Both wolves have characteristics necessary to life.  The evil wolf provides fearlessness, courage and strong-will.   The good wolf provides reason, clarity, courage, longevity.  When paired together they are powerful.

It is up to us how we manage our thoughts and how we provide an avenue for both wolves to co-exist. Mental clarity, self-awareness and confidence resides in the mind over matter.

“How you choose to interact with the opposing forces within you will determine your life. Starve one or the other or guide them both.”

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End of A Fitness Instructing Chapter…

After a nearly ten year long chapter in my book of life, the time has come to say “see ya later” to teaching fitness classes.  I taught my very last class this morning at the Council Bluffs YMCA and I absolutely cannot think of a better gym to close out my fitness instructing tenure.  These people all showed up in my fave color of BLACK, with smiles on their faces, ready to get their butts handed to them as I dished out a mashup of all my FAVE moves.

Even the slackers killed it. ❤

 

I know for most, this isn’t much of a thing.  But this thing is HUGE for me and I am not sure I am emotionally QUITE ready for this chapter to end, however, professionally and personally it’s time.

With a career shift (I am still in higher education but have switched institutions and programming size), comes great opportunity, and I am eager to spend my time really digging deep into strengthening programs that cater to our under-served student population and bridging the gap between secondary and post-secondary education across the Metro area.

Some really exciting stuff, guys!

But, with that, comes sacrifice!

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My fitness instructing career began clear back in 2002 in my hometown fitness facility and after a brief hiatus in between my move to the City, I held positions with 24 Hour Fitness, Gold’s Gym, IWCC, and the Omaha Metro YMCA, specifically with the Council Bluffs branch.

I LOVE(D) it.

Teaching fitness classes in the city opened up the door to my stint as a national fitness trainer as a Master Trainer for BBLive, which provided an incredible opportunity to meet fitness minded folks from all across the U.S. and within my territory of Iowa and Nebraska.   (You can read more of my Master Trainer life here and here).

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I still to this day talk to Sarah (second from right) at minimum once per week.  The friendship built through MT’ing was a gift in and of itself.

And the HUNDREDS of people I had the great privilege of training over the course of two years was such an incredible journey.

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To close this chapter is pretty sentimental.  But, to close it with the YMCA folks who have been with me for nearly FIVE YEARS at the same time, same day, is something I will cherish to the end.

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The CB-YMCA is where the Slacker Corner was formed:

 

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And where I earned the OFFICIAL rights to be the Supervisor of them all:

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It’s where I learned time and time again that age is just a number and mental strength always perseveres.

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It’s where I got to know members on a deeper level and held the honor of celebrating their milestones and achievements in their health and wellness journey (here’s looking at YOU Randy in your incredible journey to doing a BURPEE in class with us)

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The folks at CB-YMCA learned to live with me through all my costume themed classes and endless photo opportunities:

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The CB-YMCA is where we celebrated members, turned family, and fought with them battles never before imagined:

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We celebrated BIRTHDAY’s and HOMECOMINGS in a BIG way:

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They chastised me with signs, questionable words under their breath and always with splashes of humor:

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And celebrated with me my LOVE of all things BLACK:

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We grew together as a family as we left the old for the new:

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And banded together to overcome not only the end of the workouts, but life’s ever waving highs and lows.

Class was more than class. It was (and will continue to be) a time of togetherness, camaraderie and love.

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In my reflection over the last several years, I see grit, tenacity, passion, exhaustion, fear, triumph and happiness.  I gave it my all and I sure hope every class, every trainee, every one-timer and every regular truly felt the love I had in teaching and took away something from their experiences.

Putting that mic on brings out a side of me that is a rarity.  Taking the microphone off for the very last time this morning has left a void, but I know, in my heart of hearts, I WILL be back again one day in front of the class.  Let’s just call it a cliff hanger with a sequel to be determined.  And I am sticking around on the sub list so I can get my “fix” on the occasion… 😉

Until then, I am going to continue my participation at a gym I attend as a participant (here’s looking at you, Edge Body Bootcamp) that challenges me physically and mentally every single day.  It’s my personal happy place.  Fitness is a LARGE part of who I am and what makes me happy.  It is not something I will ever let go.  I live for the challenge it places on me. It’s my own personal competition and I am my own opponent.  I friggin’ LIVE for it.

So, on that note…

Here is a CHEERS to my run in fitness instructing.  It’s been fun!

Until next time…

Why Blog?

In the world of social media, one could make the assumption that a blog is just another platform to overshare.  There are many reasons as to why people choose to blog whether personally, professionally, branding, memory preservation, or for collaborations across brands.

All blogs have their purpose for the identified author and audience.

 

When I first started my corner of the blogging world, I started out with sharing experience’s, places, networking and promoting brands and products with giveaways and challenges.  It has evolved into a place where I can share stories of what means the most to me as it relates to the people, events and experiences I surround myself with.

Mostly,

I blog for memory preservation and for story telling.

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I am not a big fan of documenting my every move and every photo on traditional social media platforms. My mind has shifted over the years to providing rich snapshots of my life versus a smattering of unrelatable photos and check-ins.  My blog provides me an outlet to share the what and the why’s behind my actions, my thinking and my surroundings.

 

  1. Places!  I love to share the places I have visited or roads I have traveled.  Reasons being are twofold: 1. It helps promote the business/location and I am all for giving someone a glowing recommendation when warranted (and also why you will see me hyperlink businesses) and 2. It gives readers ideas on where to travel or points of interest to visit on their next adventure.
  2. Friends!  My blog allows me a platform to brag on and show-off my friends.  I have a lot of fierce women surrounding me and I get the opportunity to show them off in the beautiful light I see them in and gives YOU, the reader, the opportunity to see their personalities and true beauty too!

     3. Personal!  It’s my place to share my beliefs, ideas, tips but also the highlight reel of my family life, married life, biker life and all the things in between that mean so much to me.

But, to dive a little deeper… I blog for memory preservation.  Alzheimer’s and memory loss are legitimate concerns for me.  I do a lot of reading on Alzheimer’s and memory preservation.  My memory fails me often the more I shove in my brain over the years.   I often joke that I have early onset, mostly because there are many events/moments that I simply do not remember that others do, but I also know that is partly because I wasn’t making a POINT to imbed some of those moments into my long-term memory.

At any rate, I want to be able to look back on the special moments in my life and read about those experiences long after the little details have left my mind.  I want documentation of my thoughts, my adventures and progression of my personal and professional development.

 

Blogging provides a different platform to share.  It’s my platform and little corner of the world, and for those of you who continue to follow along, I thank you.  Thank you for taking time out of your life to read about what is going on in mine.  You have taken a deeper love and interest in me and what I find important and valuable.  Thank you.

I only hope I provide you the same respect, love and admiration.

 

Cheers to living, breathing and loving this life we have.

5 Habits That Block Happiness | Stop Them Today

We all have those days.

Days where we wake up feeling great, a smile on our face and ready to conquer the world.   Then we arrive at work and an email takes that happiness and flushes it right down the toilet.  Or we open up our plethora of social media accounts and someone else’s post or photo leaves a bad taste in our mouth.

There are many reasons as to why we may, or may not, be happy at any given moment.  Sometimes we can control our happiness.  Sometimes we cannot.   Identifying the happiness blocking habits that we can control and removing them from our mind will lead to a happier day.

 A happier life.

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5 Happiness Blocking Habits to Drop

1. SEARCHING FOR GREENER GRASS

Everyday we see friends and acquaintances receive work promotions, buy homes, purchase new vehicles, have a baby, become engaged, move to a different city.   Naturally, we find ourselves wanting the same.   Perhaps not exactly the same, but we want to feel what they are feeling at that moment.  True happiness.

But, happiness comes from an appreciation of what we have and who we are.  Being envious of what other people have is a sign we aren’t happy or appreciative of the life we have now.  We have forgotten how to live in a place of gratitude.  When we set our sights and create goals based on a life that someone else is living, we aren’t actually following our own path to happiness.   The foundation of the goal is to actually negate the other person’s achievements.    To be happy, we should be living our own life, our own way, but in support of others and their accomplishments.

So, the grass looks greener on the other side?  Please remember that the yard you are looking at is a result of someone else’s hard work.

Create your OWN greener grass.   Find passion in everything you do.  Find meaning in every event of your own life.  Appreciate the life you have and all of a sudden your side of the lawn will start looking greener by the day.

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2. GETTING CAUGHT UP IN THE DRAMA

Many times we find ourselves getting involved in a situation that centers around drama.   We see it, hear it, fall into it and sometimes even create it.  It’s almost as if we are addicted to the shaming, the chaos, the victimizing, the “look at me” syndrome.   Learn to stay out of the drama.  Learn to stop creating the drama.  Learn to know when to walk away from a conversation.  Know when you are creating the situation.   Understand that feeding into others drama is causing drama.   Be neutral.  See all sides.  Learn to be comfortable in the quiet, uneventful times of our lives and leave other people’s drama to them.

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3. FORGETTING TO MAKE TIME FOR EXERCISE AND SLEEP

Make time for exercise and sleep?  Yes, you read that correctly.   We tend to forego exercise due to lack of time.  We tend to forego adequate sleep due to other pressing activities.   Laundry, dinner, dishes, tv shows.   Besides the benefits of exercise on our overall health and well-being, exercise releases endorphin’s in our body and endorphin’s make us feel good.  Who ever left the gym or a sweat session with the feeling that it was a total waste of time?   I think you’d be hard pressed to find someone.   Exercise leaves you with a feeling of accomplishment.

What about sleep?   Sleep gives our body a chance to rest and rejuvenate, our muscles to repair, our minds to calm.  Sleep gives our bodies reason to shut down and start over fresh.   A happier outlook on life is just a good nights rest and an exercise session away, literally.

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4. COMPLAINING WITHOUT ACTION

Venting or complaining?   Your actions tell the difference.

Challenging situations and circumstances that cause frustration will always be a part of our lives.    An occasional venting session is healthy.  Constant complaining is negative.   What we need to focus on are the opportunities that arise from challenges.  Change the complaint into an action item and move forward, even if it means to merely acknowledge that nothing can be done.   The action step is what creates balance and provides vision and clarity.    Constant complaining shows a lack in ability to move forward.

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5. BEING CONSUMED BY WORRY AND STRESS

Worrying changes nothing.  The only thing worrying is good for is taking away today’s peace and happiness.   Let go.  Let it be.

“Worrying is like a rocking chair.  It gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you any where” 

Give your mind and body something positive and constructive to do.   Take action.  Is there something you can do to help alleviate the cause of worry and stress?   Create an action plan and get to work.   Focus the energy on the positive action and you will begin to see your happiness come back.   Worrying won’t change the outcome.  Action will.

TAOLife-24

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Stay true to you, live your life, surround yourself with good people

…there is much happiness to be celebrated.

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Can I Really Handle Insanity?

I think it’s safe to say the majority of people have heard of the Insanity workout thanks to the popular DVD program that hit America by storm a few years ago.  Luckily for those folks who enjoy working out with a group of people, rather than by themselves at home, Insanity Live was formed and became available in group exercise classes.   Insanity is one of the most challenging workouts I have offered in my fitness career, but in return, the most rewarding.

Insanity Logo

 

So, what is INSANITY?

It is a total-body conditioning program based on the principles of MAX Interval Training.  The  workout itself is based off blocks.   Each block consists of four moves, each move is performed for 30 seconds creating a 2 minute solid workout, followed by 30 seconds of rest.   Each block is repeated for a total of 3 times with the very last round followed by a 60 second power move.  To break it down it looks like this:

Block 1

  • Move 1 – 30 seconds
  • Move 2 – 30 seconds
  • Move 3 – 30 seconds
  • Move 4 – 30 seconds
  • Rest – 30 seconds
  • Repeat 2 times with the third round ending in a 60 second power move.

 

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Insanity at 24 Hour Fitness – Omaha

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How intense is it, really?

With MAX interval training workouts, intensity is critical and every interval must be performed with 100% effort.

Now, this is where I throw in my disclaimer.

100% effort.  This is 100% YOUR workout, so when I say 100% effort, it is YOURS to define.   It is not defined by the person standing next to you.  Not the instructor.  Not the person across the room from you.  You choose your level of exertion.  You choose your level of modification.

I give you the options, you choose the option that challenges you.

We are all at different levels of physical ability and fitness.   All I want to see is you working at YOUR 100%.  If I feel you aren’t going at your 100% I will move towards you and encourage you to keep pushing… 10 seconds left… now how many reps can you give me before that 5 seconds is up… ONE MORE REP!!!

 { Fist bump.  You did it. }

As long as you are working to your potential and pushing yourself just a little harder each time, then we are golden.  You are doing your job and I am doing mine.

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Can I handle it… honestly?

The BIGGEST misconception is that you have to be super fit to take an Insanity class.  No, my friends.  You don’t have to be!   Insanity allows for beginners and athletes to workout together thanks to advanced moves and accompanying modifications.  No matter what level you choose, INSANITY is suitable for ALL fitness levels.  Like I mentioned before, the key is to work to your personal maximum capacity.   You will reap the same benefits as the person next to you no matter what level you choose.

100% is 100%   

Do what YOU can do and improve as you go.

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Benefits of INSANITY:

  • Calorie & fat burning up to 16-24 hours post workout (EPOC – which I will explain another day)
  • Building lean, toned muscle
  • Healthy, happy heart ❤
  • Improved VO2 Max
  • Rocking metabolism
  • Results
  • Endorphins – the good stuff
  • New friends – because a bond is formed when anyone works out this hard together.

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INSANITY is one of the top-selling fitness programs of all time. With nearly 2 million DVDs sold there has NEVER been a better time to get involved in INSANITY LIVE.

Join me:

Council Bluffs, IA YMCA

  • Tuesday | 5:30 – 6:00am
  • Tuesday | 4:45-5:15pm
  • Thursday | 5:30-6:00am
  • Thursday | 5:20-6:10pm

 

24 Hour Fitness – Cass Street – Omaha, NE

  • Saturday | 8:15am-8:50am
    • followed by 30 minutes of Abs and Toning class (also instructed by me)

 

IWCC – Staff and Employees Only

  • Wednesday – 4:45-5:35pm

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Unable to Join My Classes?

Join me virtually!  I will help hold you accountable, give you motivation and provide the support you need!   Let’s chat about Insanity or Insanity Max:30.  (<- LIVE links)

 

Email: jordan.pirtle@yahoo.com

Facebook: Jordan Pirtle

 

Cheers!

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