You Gotta Fight, For Your Right To…

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You Gotta Fight, For Your Right To…



Last week I was given the opportunity to speak at a local High School in Ponte Vedra Beach.  The first question that came to mind was, how can I relate to high school kids of this day and age? After all its been 22 years since I last sat in a High School classroom!  Things are incredibly different now, then they were way back then.  I knew the only way to relate to these kids and motivate them, would be to take myself back to the future.  In 1996 I was a senior in high school.  I didn’t get the best grades, make the best decisions, or listen much to the advice of my parents or teachers. One thing was for certain though, my time in high school was about to end and I hated change.  I didn’t realize it then, but when I began strength training, that began to shape my life.  In addition to losing fat, building muscle, and feeling good about myself, there were so many life lessons fitness has taught me.  These life lessons were exactly would I had to share with these kids.  I also wanted to let them know that they will have to FIGHT, FOR THEIR RIGHT TO SUCCEED!   Here were the 5 lessons I shared, in hopes that I could ignite a fire inside of them as they move forward into adulthood.


Lesson number one.  Turn your biggest weakness and into your greatest strength.  We all have weaknesses, whether its our fitness, nutrition, a school subject, communication, or maybe a bad habit that we need to break.  I had many weak areas in high school, from hating change, fear of public speaking, and I was not able to do one single chin up.   After years of being passionate about working on those things, I feel as though they are now some of my greatest attributes.   The bottom line is, we ALL have things that hold us back from being the best version of ourselves.  Most of us shy away from the things we are not very good at, it’s in our nature.   I know from experience that this is not the best practice. The only way to become great at anything in life is to spend a lot of time on it.  If we were to identity our weaknesses and consistently work on them, those areas would eventually become our greatest strengths.


Lesson number two.  You must BELIEVE in yourself.  You must believe that what you set out to do, can be achieved through hard work, determination, and perseverance.  All too often we doubt ourselves and our capabilities because someone else said we cannot do it.  It’s okay to take “NO’s from other people, just don’t take a “NO” from yourself.  Don’t let the start of something stop you from doing it.  Believe in yourself first, put in the work, and ignore all the critics that told you it cannot be done.  Some of the most successful people in the world were told they could never achieve their dreams.  This just in; those people that became successful didn’t listen.  I remember being told countless times that opening a fitness business would be a failure.  They said there were too many gyms, one on every corner, you will have a hard time succeeding.   Let’s just say I am so thankful I believed in myself and didn’t listen!


Lesson number three.  Surround yourself with those on the same mission as you.  There are two types of people in this world, ones who build you up and ones that bring you down.  The people we choose to surround ourselves with will have a lot to do with how far we will go in life.  By choosing people who are positive and look out for our best interest will set us up for success.  If you are with people who don’t have the same vision as you or support your vision, then that may hold you back from achieving your goals.

Lesson number four.  Make physical fitness a big part of your life.  Physical training not only develops your body but strengthens your mind too.  Fitness teaches discipline, will power, work ethic, and improves mental fortitude.  All these attributes will help improve your confidence, and self-esteem. When we feel good about ourselves we will inevitably have more for everyone else and accomplish so much more in other areas of our lives.  Simply put if you TRAIN MORE you will FEAR LESS.


Lesson number five.  Eat WAY less sugar.  Cancer, diabetes, and obesity are at all time highs in our country.  Sugar has been linked to every one of those diseases, and it’s in almost everything we eat or drink.  We know more now, then ever before yet nothing is preventing those numbers from climbing even higher.  The average teenager consumes over 30 teaspoons of sugar per day.  That is over 20 teaspoons higher than what it should be!  That sugar comes mostly in the forms of processed foods and soft drinks.  Bottom line is if we all eat more fruits, vegetables, whole foods and drink more water we will all change those statistics and live longer healthier lives.


There is no doubt that times have changed between 1996 and 2018.  In 1996 the internet was just born, social media didn’t exist, and our culture wasn’t saturated with negativity.  We also didn’t have cell phones, and text messages further distracting us from being PRESENT.  School now is so much more competitive from sports, to academics to extracurricular activities, not to mention just trying to fit it and be a high school student.   This all adds up to an insurmountable amount of stress put on the shoulders of our future generation.  Despite the adversity many of these kids face, I still BELIEVE they all have the capability to be achieve their dreams and be successful.  They just really have to FIGHT FOR IT!!


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