End The Pain

We can’t talk about your pain if I don’t share some of mine first.

Growing up, once I realized a professional baseball career wasn’t in the cards, I was pretty sure the thing I wanted to do most in life was to be a dad. Not for the ties on Father’s Day or the incipient ability to tell really bad jokes, but because I felt like I had a particular kind of love in my heart that I wanted to give to my children.

And all these years later, it has borne out. Almost all of the moments in life where I’ve felt like I am truly inhabiting myself fully have been with my family.

The flip side of that realization is that the lowest lows come when I feel like I’m not the dad I want to be for my sons–whether it’s absence, distraction, impatience, or getting lost in my own head. This isn’t about being perfect. This is about stretches of time where I’ve found myself wanting, where I’ve felt like I was simply not being who I was meant to be. And this is about how much that hurts.

Several years ago, I made the decision to seek out mentorship for my gym from a company called Two-Brain Business, in large part because I felt like my head was on a swivel–I said yes to mostly everything, didn’t say no to the things I should’ve, and couldn’t put my phone down or turn my computer off at night. I needed help being better. This wasn’t about executive functioning, putting things into silos, or increasing bandwidth. None of that. No jargon. This was about getting better as a person, one day at a time.

I remember my intro call with Coop at Two-Brain. As fate had it, I was talking to him while standing outside my younger son’s school waiting for their Halloween parade–all the kids walk around in costumes at the end of the school day, which is pretty awesome.

Coop and I connected and as he reminds me to this day, I ended the call by telling him that I was going to go home today and tell my sons they were going to start getting more of me. I put my phone away and exhaled for what felt like the first time in months.

The pain wasn’t the elephant in my room anymore. I’d taken action.

And in a very real way, that solidified my purpose at work as well. Everyone’s heart is different, I know. But everyone has ways they want to be in the world–physically and emotionally. And what we’ve seen over and over again is that the physical feeds the mental.

When you don’t have energy at the end of the day, it hurts and you suffer.
When you feel like you can’t do the things you did three or four years ago, it hurts and you worry.
When you’re worried about what the next three or four years are going to look like, it hurts and you’re scared.

Getting stronger helps. Moving more helps. Having fun while you work out helps.

The pain doesn’t go away overnight, You have to work at it. But what happens is that one day you look up and your hands are on the steering wheel again.

And that, being who you want to be and going where you want to go, well, that means everything.

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