Aggressivley Humble…


That was now, this is then…

My life is on a good path these days.  My business is in a good place.  I have earned my fitness back, and have lots of freedom in my schedule to play and be active.  My expectations of humanity are lower than ever, while my desire to contribute is at an all time high. 

There are times when I truly stop and ask myself,

“Is my life really this good…?”

Why yes, yes it is this good.

I guess that’s a good reason to flaunt it, yes…?   

Let’s face it, I’ve been anything but humble lately. 

Who’s that guy in the pink tank top with the ponytail, the bracelets, the ripped shoulders, and the George Hamilton tan…?  

Meet the new Jhciacb, same as the old Jhciacb…?

Lesson plans…

Life is a series of lessons to be learned, or to be ignored.  Though I have learned many lessons through my life, I have forgotten many, and have ignored a great many more.  I can’t quantify the net-loss of lessons I have learned vs. those I have ignored, but I suspect that number is a substantial negative.

As the complexity of my life has increased, I feel that the disparity between lessons learned and lessons ignored has begun to slow.  This isn’t to suggest I’m headed into the black with all kinds of wisdom, and maturity.   As I contemplate new lessons learned, I’m finding that one of the larger lessons life has had in store for me has eluded me until now; the lesson of humility.    

Changes in platitudes…

I told someone recently that the circumstances of my life have changed more in the past 6 months, than they have in the past 10 years.  A quick inventory of these changes: 

  • I have made writing an increased priority.  Each morning I wake at 4:30 and write for up to 2 hours.  The therapeutic value of spending this time writing has been more cleansing and transformative than exercise has ever been.  Before my day begins, I’m able to shed many thoughts and feelings.  This process has better enable me to receive each day, and has caused me to think more humbly.
  • Nine months ago I began working as a fitness trainer for Joel.  Joel is 22 years old.  He has TV shows and movies memorized by the dozens.  Joel is an artist, a motivational speaker, and an athlete.  Despite being 22, Joel needs to get dropped off and picked up at my studio by his mother.  He will never drive, nor live an absolutely independent life.  Joel is autistic.  The experience of working with Joel, and the relationship fostered in the process has been very grounding.  When I see weekly, all the Joel accomplishes, it’s a reminder that I should be as grateful for my potential, and my opportunities, as Joel is for his, and to humbly embrace them.

(Joel demonstrating exceptional form on the chest press)

  • My daughter is now a college graduate.  The largest emotion I felt on the heels of this event is the feeling that the 22 years of parenting I have done thus far, haven’t really mattered.  I think it’s the next 22 that will define my legacy as a father.  She has accomplished more at 22, than I will in my next six lives.  I am humbled by her achievements.
  • I have seen a couple of good friends pass away young and unexpectedly in recent months, while a couple of others have been diagnosed with life-threatening diseases.  The passing of these friends sent shockwaves through complacency.  It’s cliché I know, but these events have been a good reminder that each day is a gift.  I strive each day to acknowledge and accept that gift – humbly.
  • In recent months I have changed the location, the name, and the direction of my business.  The fitness industry has evolved to a point where I scarcely recognize it any longer.   The sum of conflicting values, and conflicting data in the fitness industry, as well as the loud voices of the zealots espousing it all, have grown tiresome.  I have become content to sit comfortably in my little niche and tune most of the noise from the chaotic fitness community out.  Humbly, I contemplate what truly matters; the fitness of giving.
  • I have taken ownership of my physicality once again.  I have entered several running events strung out through 2013, as well as a bodybuilding competition to take place this September.  Just days after the attack at the Boston Marathon, I participated in a 2-day running event, The Ragnar Relay.  I could not have been more humbled when my team leader presented our team with our shirts.  The back of each shirt commemorated the tragedy in Boston just days earlier.  Humbled.

    As far as the bodybuilding goes, the past 5 months have been the best and longest a streak of quality workouts I have experienced since beginning this ridiculous endeavor in 1978.  Each workout in recent months has exceeded the previous.   Then, one month ago I fell while running, and suffered a fracture in my right hand.  My streak of fruitful workouts ended immediately.  It would be 2 weeks before I could do any upper body training, and that is still limited.  However, and in the context of the paragraphs above, a fractured hand, and diminished workouts are insignificant.  I humbly accept my injury. 

    photo(31)

    Hard not to be humbled running with this on my back…

These circumstances, collectively, are where my recent contemplations on humility have begun to take shape, though it’s hard to say where they may actually take me. 

I really don’t know if, or how all of this will change me.  I do know this; I’m paying closer attention these days – to humility.   Who knows, I may even cut my hair and start wearing shirts with sleeves again. 

Psyche!

Pretty in pink, yes...?

Pretty in pink, yes…?

 

Seriously, what’s the point of being humble if you can’t show it off…?    Meet the new JHCIACB, same as the old JHCIACB.   Be well.  rc
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Please check back in two weeks to see what happens when I push the “stop” button on the blender in my head.  Oh, and there’s this from The Chesterfield Kings.   Enjoy…


23 responses

  1. Hmmm, Shoeshine Boy? Not to be confused with “Go get your shoeshine box,” from Good Fellas. Or is it kinda the same? I guess it’s meant to humble you in a tongue-in-cheek kind of way. Or is it to goad you? These are some of the maddening questions that come from reading this mindful blog, Roy.

    Seriously, it’s a really good topic. Looking forward to the rest of the series.

  2. The quote is from an old cartoon, Under Dog. Under Dog was a humble and lovable shoeshine boy by day and a strong and tough righter of wrongs and helper to underdogs the world over.

  3. Peace flowed from this post. :) Humility isn’t about hiding, so feel free to ‘show off’. Actually, I have a sense you don’t care whether people notice; you notice and that is what matters. When the inside changes the outside changes matter less and less. :)

    A man who can wear pink…awesome!

  4. Thanks Donloree. Becoming more ok with wearing it on the outside, if not just throwing it all out there, though I do spend a great deal of time contemplating how much is too much. More on this in a week or two :-)

  5. Pingback: An Open Letter To Leaders In The Fitness Community…. | Contemplative Fitness

  6. Well to me Martial Arts means respect and discipline. I have trained in different Martial arts now for much more than 21 years.
    I have seen much people appear and disappear
    but one thing that I have noticed will be
    the respect and discipline having changed those peoples
    perception of life.
    Little ones that have started that might be on the wrong side of the tracks, always in trouble and no idea
    how to respect other kids. Put them in a controlled environment with discipline and fighting and they soon start to understand.

    Martial arts is one method for infants and adults to get rid of their aggression without hurting or bullying anyone.

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