We are all connected, now lets make a movement
Barbells, Bolts and Bourbon is a Podcast/Blog on manifesting what it means to live a lifestyle by YOUR design; in optimal health and balance of giving and receiving. Our mission is to connect people of influence who love to teach others about their craft to the world, so that we all may learn from their principles. Each tab above will link you to blog over each subtopic.
It all started when…
I began power lifting in order to gain weight to play rugby, and get better at playing rugby. Over 3 months, gained 33 lbs, got ridiculously strong, but incredibly out of shape. My training consisted of focusing on 3 big lifts every week with very little conditioning. I consumed JUNK FOOD; hot wings, McDonald's, burgers, fries, basically anything to get calories in...oh, and I drank like a fish (and no I don't mean water). I was the most unhealthy I’d ever been in my entire life.
In my mind, I thought I was getting into the best shape of my life because I was getting strong AF. I very quickly discovered that the mass I put on did not make me a better rugby player nor did it increase my quality of life. By 24 I had fluctuated between 215-230 at 15-20% body fat (think pudgy linebacker), my doctor informed me that I had high blood pressure, sleep apnea, arthritis, and hemorrhoids (shhhhh...don’t tell). I wasn't sleeping well, didn't feel confident without a shirt on, and I just didn't feel like myself.
Even knowing this information about the health risk I was becoming, I was in complete denial, “I’m big to play rubgy” and even still there were guys more monstrous than myself, so in my mind, there was never truly big enough. I just kept at it, kept eating and training in this fashion, ultimately feeling like dog shit but had this skewed perception and delusion that "big = good rugby" (said in caveman voice).
Because of my hard work and determination, I made the USA South rugby team! And it was amazing and fulfilling, I felt like I was finally on the right track for a professional career in this sport which I knew was meant to be my life.
But...in the first match I dislocated my shoulder which then lead to chronic shoulder dislocations. I built my whole identity around being a high performing rugby player and rugby coach; then all of a sudden, my dreams of becoming a professional-high profiled rugby athlete were effectuated. Being the stubborn ass that I am, I continued to play up until the surgery because hey, I wasn’t going to do anymore damage; however, I was just pressing forward without the regard for longevity.
Within 2 months of my injury, I had the surgery. The recovery process forced me to take monstrous steps backwards and begrudgingly, I slowed down. Dad always said that he was “the ghost of christmas future”, because his first big injury caused him to gain 40 lbs- which has lead my father to a very unhealthy, overweight, inactive, painful lifestyle….aka I DID NOT want that life for myself.
During this time in college I was taking an exercise psychology class. In one particular lesson, we were challenged to make a behavioral change. So, I adopted this new-aged lifestyle known as “clean eating” or the act of eating clean (it's like jogging, but with a 'y').
Being the extremest man that I am, it seemed only fitting to eat only foods that were not processed, organic, and came from God's great earth (may sound paleo-tastic, before that was a thing). I ended up losing 40-50 lbs, and sat at a healthy 180 lbs, after surgery. Due to my exercise limitations, I was unable to workout to the degree that I really desired; however, I did what I could, walked, physical therapy, coached, and ate in this new “clean eating” way.
In retrospect, my shoulder injury could have actually saved my life. I was forced into a state of redefining who I was as a person, what made me whole, taking myself out of the game, and gaining a much larger picture of what my life was to become had I not been injured. Sure, I may have gotten a couple good years of rugby in me, but the "live in the moment" and "not giving 2-eff's about my future" was no way to live at all. Being in the state of reflection allowed me to see my life for the first time in regards to cause and effect.
Ie: why did I break? Uhhhh duh Joe, massive degradation within nutrition, a constant imbalance within … “deposits and withdrawals” I was NEVER depositing energy/health back into my fitness/sports, I was constantly withdrawing. I never took a step back and valued my health, my body, my flexibility, my nutrition, my mindset, or my breathing. It was all about the now with no regard for the tomorrow.
Now that I have made this massive mindset shift in putting my health, body, and mind first, I have made it my mission to help others do the same. I am not the only one who has completely revolved his life around an identity, only to have it seized away from me. You're body is a direct reflection of who are and what you want to attract. It is the one thing you have the most control over. How do you want to leave your mark?