Category Archives: Hard Work

Life’s Mountains : Capitalizing on Achievements to Instill Life Habits

As parents all we want is for our kids to be successful, yet we often don’t spend enough time teaching them how  exactly to achieve this success. With our busy work schedules, dirty houses, crying babies, dirty laundry, and piles of bills to pay, it’s easy for us to miss out on several key opportunities to teach our kids some very important life lessons on how they can become successful.

Since time for parents is often limited, special emphasis should be placed on the quality of the time spent with our kids. Not only what we are physically doing during that time, but the lessons that we teach them during that time as well. One thing that I learned early on in life is that when the time is right, you strike without warning – trust your gut! This is the mentality that led me to marrying my wife of over 10 years! So, I’d like to share with you all an opportunity I capitalized on to teach my son about how to achieve continued success. Continue reading

Training Ferocity : Sunday fun with kicks, kettle bells, and waterfalls

We didn’t choose a name like The Warrior Family for nothing. Part of what makes us unique is that we all have a deep passion for fitness, fighting, and working hard to accomplish our goals. At one point in time, the both of my boys were involved in Mixed Martial Arts, and they would have three to four training sessions a week! Now, it’s my oldest son who has continued sharpening his skill in jiu-jitsu, and stand-up fighting, while my youngest son gives his best shot at Baseball.

On my free time, I enjoy spending hours conducting research, listening to podcasts, and watching videos that make me more knowledgeable in the strength and conditioning realm. One thing that I have learned from following amazing coaches like Zack Evan-Esh, is that the difference in performance from your young athlete comes from what happens after the game, and after those long practices.

In one of my previous posts, I mentioned that after each training session, my oldest son and I would discuss everything that happened on the mat. We would talk about what he did well, what he could have done better, and how his actions contributed to achieving his goals.

This was EXTREMELY helpful in developing my sons mental toughness, and made him more productive during his sparring sessions.

However, with both of my boys, there are two aspects that they are still lacking in their athletic ability – ferocity, and strength. Now, don’t get me wrong, this is absolutely normal, I mean…they’re kids, right? Maybe for normal kids, but not so much for mine.

Now that my boys are getting older, I am beginning to expose them to some of the harsh realities of life. One of those realities is that there are people in this world who will want to harm you, or the ones you love. Some will have material motives, some will be more complex; however, whatever the case may be, you should always be ready to take a stand, and protect what is yours. I owe them that type of honesty, they deserve it. It’s hard to explain to a kid why daddy got sent to war those three years, but if I can make them understand this, maybe they won’t hold it against me in the future.

 

I owe them that type of honesty, they deserve it

 

Our Sunday Fun-day

 

One of the reasons that I began following Strength and Conditioning Coach Zack Evan-Esh, is because he bases his training around a strong set of values – The Code. His belief is that in order to succeed, you have to work you a** off, and I completely agree. This past Sunday, my wife and I picked up a free-standing punching bag for our boys to get some additional training on. Now, I’m no Black Belt, but I know how to fight, and I know how to train. So, I decided to have some fun with the boys, test out our…I mean their new toy.

First and foremost, no shirts allowed…it was that kind of party. We each grabbed our gloves, kettle bells, laced up our shoes, and headed out back. Here’s the workout:

Using a timer app set to beep at every thirty seconds, the three of us would take turns either punching the bag, or conducting an exercise. We would do two complete rotations, adding up to three minutes of work (the typical length of a sparring match). In total, we did four sets, simulating four rounds of sparring, with a 60 second rest between each set. Here’s a breakdown of each round:

  1. Bag: Roundhouse Kick / Switch Kick (practicing both)
    Exercise: Standing Kettle Bell High Pull(10lbs/40lbs)
  2. Bag: Jab/Cross combination, side-step, repeat
    Exercise: Air Squat
  3. Bag: Push Kick (lead/trail leg alternating)
    Exercise: Jumping Jacks
  4. Bag: 2x Rapid Jab/Cross combination (1,2/1,2)
    Exercise: Burpees

When I offered them the opportunity to back down, the littlest one simply asked, “Which one is next, daddy”.

With the excitement of having the new bag, and the intensity from the workout, we all had a blast. Helping the boys push through mentally, and watching them REFUSE to quit made this experience amazing. When I offered them the opportunity to back down, the littlest one simply asked, “Which one is next, daddy”.

Since the boys worked so hard, and they wanted to do more, I decided to make things a little more fun. We took our kettle bells to a field just outside my house, and ran our water hose over the fence. I set a marker for the boys about 25 meters away from where we started, 100 meters for me, and turned the water on. The goal was to pick up the weight, run around the marker, come back through thewaterfall”, and cool off with the water hose until it’s your turn again. We didn’t keep count, but I know we did at least five sprints to the marker, and back. The last two were done without the weight so that we can feel like The Flash, as my youngest would call it. It was awesome seeing my boys have so much fun spraying each other down, encouraging each other, and really trying their best. At the end of our session, we cooled off with the water for a while, and had our post training talk.

 

“Do you want to feel powerless, like you can do nothing, or do you want to feel confident in knowing that, if you had to, you could do whats necessary protect mommy and brother?”

 

I went on to ask the boys if they knew why we train so hard in this family. My oldest said, “To get strong, and help other people”, which is consistent with our family values – kudos to you, Caleb. The youngest didn’t have an answer, so I explained it to him that we don’t do it for ourselves. We train for our family, their future children, and my future grandchildren. In the past, I used the example of an intruder breaking into our house to explain something to the boys. I asked them, “Do you want to feel powerless, like you can do nothing, or do you want to feel confident in knowing that, if you had to, you could do whats necessary protect mommy and brother?”

When I told my wife about that discussion, she seemed unhappy at first, but we can’t escape reality. I can spend my “fun” time with the boys playing video games, or watching movies, which we do on occasion; or, I can use that time to develop them into healthy, thoughtful young men by training with intensity, bringing out that ferocity that will help them succeed in life – and ending the session by engaging in deep conversation about life, family, and what it takes to be a good man.

Yeah, it was a good Sunday.

Here are some photos of our post workout fun!

 

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Big brother is always watching

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The best type of motivation

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Mateo getting a good throw

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“Little brothers never quit!” – Mateo

Time, Influence, and Free Chicken

Where have  you been?

 

If you have been following our blog, you may have noticed that it has been quite some time since our last post. No, we haven’t given up in our quest to impact the lives of others; we just needed to take some time to enjoy a great gift we were recently given – time.

For the past two years, I have been serving as Drill Sergeant in Fort Benning, Georgia. My team and I would take large groups of recruits from every walk of life, and transform them into a new, hardened version of themselves. This assignment would prove to be very taxing on myself, and my family; however, on the day that I was able to retire my campaign hat, I knew that what I was able to accomplish here made everything worth the struggle.

This hat will continue to shake the nerves of men for many years to come.

This hat will continue to shake the nerves of men for many years to come.

Free Chicken

This was definitely one of my proudest moments, and it was time to give them men of my company my last little bit of what I call “Free Chicken”. I had always thought about what I would say on this day, and I boiled it down to three things…here is my best effort to recall what was said that day:

 

Men, I have put on a good front for you. As I stand here in front of you, you may think that I am a big, bad-A**-mother f*****, but I’m not. In fact, everything that is good about me, all of my best qualities, are standing right behind me  – where they have always been. If it weren’t for those two gentlemen there, and that fine-looking lady, I wouldn’t be half the man I am today. Take care of your families, men. They’ll be the one’s suffering while you’re downrange with your brothers doing what you signed up to do. They’ll be the ones staying up late at night, wondering where you are, or what you’re doing. Go out there and F*** Sh*t up so that when you return, and lay your head down on that bed, you can feel confident that you gave it 110% – that all of that time you spent away was worth it.

 

I love them, they are my rock.

I love them, they are my rock.

 

My wife and kids were standing behind me during my speech. It was amazing to see just how happy they were to have me back, and it was a blessing to able to share this moment with my brothers in the back of the photo; however, it was time to go, and catch up on all that time lost. So, I left the men with this:

 

Before I leave, men, I want to ask you…who wants some free chicken?

 

“I do, Drill Sergeant!”

The room erupted, and man…I still get chills thinking about it.

Men, when you all leave outta here, know that though we may have made you feel otherwise, you, men, have a lot of power… more power than you may think. You have power in two big ways, men,  and I’ll share them with you today.

First, you all have the power of Influence.You are always influencing those around you – you do not have a choice. However, how you influence is where you get to make a choice. Choose wisely!

Second, you all have a great gift to give people, and that is the gift of time. Giving someone your time is one of the most sincere things you can do because it is something that you will never get back. So, when you leave here, make sure that you are giving your time to the right people, and that you don’t waste it on the phone, or playing video games. Bottom line, men, is don’t be a dirt bag.

 

And that was it. That was the last that they heard from me…they said goodbye to Drill Sergeant Airborne, and so did I.

The next month was spent getting used to being at home, taking the boys to their practices, and snuggling with my wife on the couch, giving them all what I couldn’t give them the past two years – my time. That, my friends, is what my focus will be until our next challenge, which I’m sure you all will hear about soon.

 

Quit Stalling! : Re-define success and regain your momentum

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb

When we were growing up, we were always asked “What do you wanna be when you’re an adult?” A fireman, an astronaut, the President, an Army guy…we would come up with the most amazing dreams. We could easily visualize ourselves achieving these great feats when we were children. So, let me ask you, what are you now?

If your answer is different from what you remember dreaming about as a kid, this could be due to several reasons:

  1. Your interests have changed
  2. You don’t believe you can do it
  3. You let others talk you out of it
  4. You are no longer your priority
  5. You gave up

Yeah, I know that sounds rough, but it’s ok. I wanted to share these thoughts because, for a while, I felt the same way too. However, from spending so much time helping others grow, I realized that I needed to take a step back and give myself a hard look. I had to ask myself again, “What do I want to be when I grow up?” When I realized that I was no longer moving toward any of my previous goals, or toward any goal for that matter, I had to ask myself, why? After some hard self assessment, these are some of the answers I came up with, and at first glance, it seems I have failed to reach any level of success – but I was wrong.

Friends, for quite some time I have spent hours studying, analyzing, and discussing with others, what exactly qualifies as success? How do we get there? Here are some things that I have learned that have fired me up, and have put me back on the right path.

First, no great person achieved anything by merely thinking about it. Nor, is there such a thing as an overnight success. As with everything great in life, hard work is the answer. I remember telling my son that we should never be hungry for immediate gratification for what we do. The greatest achievements in life are earned through years of dedication, and devotion to ones passion. I used the example given by Thomas A. Edison when discussing the amount of time it took him to invent the light bulb. He stated,

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Would we say that he was unsuccessful?

Author, and former power lifter Chris Moore uses music to further explain this. In one of his podcast’s (check out the Barbell Buddha Podcast), he mentions that we often spend too much time focusing on the ending, the point of gratification. This would be the same as attending a concert, or listening to a song, just to hear the ending – it makes no sense! It is the sweet melodies, the notes, the rises and falls that make music beautiful, and exciting. Why would we not look at life this way? My interpretation of success made it easy for me so feel as if I had failed, when in fact, I had only scratched the surface. When I would see this failure, the desire to quit entirely would often become overwhelming, and I know this is the case for many others.

So, why do we fail to reach success?

One of the main reasons we fail to reach success is because, as I stated before, we treat it as an ending, instead of a process. Just because I’m not the President of my company today, doesn’t mean I won’t be there eventually. As long as I live each individual day to the fullest, keep the end in mind, but work and live in the present, I have succeeded that day! This, my friends, is progress.

Like I mentioned in our last post, you climb a mountain one step at a time. If you try to look up at the tippy-top the entire time, you can grow dizzy, and faint; but if you focus, and take one hard step at a time, you will eventually get to the top. Times will get hard, and you may lose ground from time to time, this is OK. Remember,

“Yesterday ended last night” – John C. Maxwell

When you get a chance at a new day, tackle it with more intensity, and focus – that will make it a successful day. In the future, those days will be viewed by others as your lifetime, so treat each one as if it were special.


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Mental Coaching: 3 tips to help your child work through those tough training days

A common theme amongst American families is the years of peewee football, wrestling, soccer, and baseball that we expose our children to. A parent wants nothing more than for their children to find exactly what makes them happy, so that they can have hobbies to break the monotony of school, chores, and homework. However, often times the young athletes get very passionate about their sport, and tend to feel pressured to perform well for themselves, or their parents. Continue reading

Break the Silence! : A simple way close the communication gap!

Before I begin, I’d like to thank all of you who have been viewing our posts! It inspires us each day when we see our page views grow, and grow. In fact, we are already at 2,000 views! 

Keep sharing our content, and pass it on to your friends. You never know who could use the advice. Pretty much everything that we share with you are things that have worked for us personally, or that have been passed down to us by a friend.

Also, Make sure you sign up for our mailing list by entering your email address using the web view (this may not be available in the mobile view). Once again friends, Thank You! – The Warrior Family

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The cold shoulder

One of the hardest things to maintain, and usually one of the first things that falls apart in a relationship is communication. Whenever we get upset with someone, we are often quick to give the cold shoulder, and bed down next to each other without saying our routine “goodnight”, or the “I love you” – but why? Not speaking to the person we care about most is the exact opposite of what we should do when times are rough. However, if you’re like me, this can sometimes feel like one of the hardest things you could possibly do.

The TDY Backburner


In the military community, having to go on temporary duty status (TDY) usually causes several mixed emotions in the household. Much of this is because of how easy it is to lose focus when you are removed from what’s most important to you, and are required to perform exceptionally well for a school, job, or any other task that you can think of. Going on TDY usually involves you having to go out of town, staying for a period of a few days to a few weeks, and typically requires more than one person – so naturally, once the job is done, people are going to want to hang out, and talk about their experiences.
My most recent experience with going on TDY was attending the United States Army Drill Sergeant School, and I’ll be honest, I wasn’t on my best behavior. After class was over, I’d study, do some exercise, and then go out to have dinner with my friends. Initially this was ok, until the dinner bill started stacking up; the phone calls home were less frequent; and what should have been my main priory (my wife and kids) had been placed on the TDY back burner. This, my friends, was no Bueno!
The end result was a very cold atmosphere to say the least. Conversations were awkward, car rides were often too quiet, and I had a hard time enjoying my family, mainly because I felt like such a dirt-bag for treating them this way.  This was especially true when I could see just how much my boys had missed me, THEY WERE ALL OVER ME! My wife, however, was not the happiest.

Why she is better than me


The awkwardness continued for a few more days, and we eventually hit somewhat of a breaking point. That is when my wife did something that probably saved our relationship, and showed me exactly how dedicated she was to me as a wife.
In the past, we have been blessed with the opportunity to attend many marriage seminars at the expense of the military. My wife and I would volunteer to go to these as often as we could – we both seemed to understand the importance of educating yourself of how to keep a marriage strong. One of the tools that we picked up at these seminars was shared to us by another couple. Whenever these two would have problems communicating, they would buy a card at the store, and write a message to their spouse stating why they loved them that day. When they were done, they would hide the card somewhere creative so that at some point throughout the day, the other person would find it, and be reminded of how the other felt about them. This would do several things:

  • It opened lines of communication between the couple
  • It would brighten up the persons day
  • It shows that the person leaving the message is actually WILLING to put forth some effort toward strengthening the relationship

 

Often times, that little bit of extra effort is all that your relationship needs!


“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.”- unknown

We actually kept this card to use as a reminder of how bad things can get, and that with dedication, even the TOUGHESTof times can be worked through! (We’ll post an update with a photo for you in the future)

Try it! 

So, if you’re in a similar situation, and want to open lines of communication again, give this a try! The initial message can state how the card is supposed to work, followed by your first entry – why you love your spouse that day. BE CREATIVE! Hide the card in their gym bag, their favorite book, underwear drawer, or sneak out and tape it to their steering wheel. Remember, in the end, it’s the effort the two of you put into fixing the communication issue that will make your relationship stronger than it was before. I know in my case, when we see things getting unnecessarily awkward, we are much quicker to talk things out than we were before. Plus, sometimes, it’s just something nice to do for the one that matters most to you.
Make the effort, do your part, fight to make your family better.
This is what we’re all about. 

Fight on friends! – The Warrior Family
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