I have made a huge push to bring more balance into my life and get more rest, knowing that it will help me in all areas of my life. Sometimes I and you too probably forget what is truly important. Too many times I am concerned about how my business is doing, how my athletes are doing, learning new things and so on. While these are all great, they could never compare to the love that I have for my wife Devon.
Dev has been my number one supporter for Newell Strength, often sacrificing our time together to help me reach my dream. Devon had her tonsils out a week and a half ago. I thought everything was going ok, spitting up some blood here and there. Well, this past Wednesday (December 21), I got a call from Fire Marshal Dave, a member at Newell Strength. He asked me what my house number was so I told him. After confirming, he told me that he had intercepted a call that my wife was vomitting blood. I immediately called me sister in law because I knew her and Dev had plans to bake cookies that day. She had just arrived and was actually the one that called 911. All the bleeding Devon had been doing was actually dripping down into her stomach, literally poisoning her.
She puked a ton of coagulated blood and a bunch of fresh blood. They rushed her to the ER. I left work in a rush and got there shortly after she did. They did an emergency procedure to cauterize the two bleeding vessels. The surgery was a success, but we found out a few hours later that they would have to do a blood transfusion because her hemoglobin levels were down to a 7.3, nearly half of where it should be.
At this point, it really hit me. I am a big tough guy, but I got choked up. I didn’t let Dev see because I always try to stay strong for her in times when I know she might be scared. I slept there in a chair next to her as she received blood for the next 6 hours. Her family and mine came together and the love was unbelievable. It is now the day after Christmas and she is doing much better. Her color is back, her healing is progressing and her energy is returning to normal.
It was a great wake up call that yes, what I do is important and meaningful, but it would be empty without her to share it with. Seeing her laying there so scared really shook me and it is something I won’t forget. I consider this a Christmas miracle because yes, it would have been great to have never have this happened, much bonding and growth will come out of it. What or who are you grateful for today? Don’t take that person for granted, go give them a hug and enjoy your time together. Time together is the most precious gift on the earth. Happy holidays-Kyle
Many of you were probably not aware of me 3 or 4 years ago. So for a few of my posts this week, I will be bringing back some old writings of the meathead of yesteryear. Enjoy….
First off, most of us work out to change our bodies for the better. I noticed at the gym this morning that one of they guys was doing an abdominal exercise on a machine in which he was literally moving about four inches. I am sure that he had the best of intentions, but that got me to thinking about what many people do while working out. I have said this in the past, but we want to focus on bigger, compound exercises for the most part. If you still want to isolate your smaller muscle groups such as biceps and obliques, put them at the end of a biplex, triplex or quadplex. The reason that we want to focus on those big exercises is because of the metabolic cost which comes from the fact that almost all muscles have to fire to complete the movement. I am not saying that you have to use a lot of weight, but even something like lateral jumping will really get that engine going. Think of the little isolation movements as a match and the big, compound movements as TNT. Next thing, we don’t always know what is possible when it comes to the human body. A recent study showed that people that were on an 800 calorie per day were able to increase their muscle cross sectional area, which translates to they were able to gain muscle while extreme dieting. Does this mean that something like this would be good long term? Most likely not, but the body can do things that science says aren’t possible, so do we really know what is possible? Lastly for the training part, functional and balance exercises are great, but they should be used as a means for increasing neural stimulation of muscles, not to change the body directly. Do not try to use a lot of weight when doing a single leg, balance or unstable exercise. The core does not fire properly when there in an unstable base of support. Think of walking on ice or doing something on gravel, no significant force can be applied because there is not a good support system. Newton’s 3rd law says that an applied force will be met with and equal reactive force. What this means for training is no more catching 20 pound medicine balls while standing on the BOSU ball, or anything like it. Also, in between sets, instead of sitting around, you can perform something like a plank or balance movement on one leg or an unstable surface. This way, you are still keeping the nervous system firing, but you are resting your muscles and cardio respiratory system going. Keep that noodle warm!
Think of the last puzzle you put together or saw. It was made up of many different pieces and you didn’t always know what it was supposed to turn out to be until it was all put together. If there was any one piece that was lost or misplaced, the puzzle could not be complete. Now, think of your life, make it your masterpiece of a puzzle. Don’t leave out any of the part- the physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. Work on those missing pieces everyday, even if only for a few minutes. Change comes from within. Happiness is not a place, it is a way. You have access to it right now. Did you ever wonder why some celebrities acquire their fame and fortune and fall into the trap of drugs? They reached a point of fortune and fame they thought would make them happy and lo and behold, they got there are still were unfulfilled. They then think they ‘need’ something else to make them happy and they turn to drugs. There are great examples of celebrities that went the opposite way and their fame and fortune were just effects of their happiness. Examples would include Oprah and Bono. “When we change the way we look at things, things will change the way they look to us”.
I often explain and teach my athletes why it is important that we have balance with different strength ratios such as pushing and pulling. If there is no balance, an injury will eventually happen and performance will suffer. Well, I guess the mastermind meeting served its purpose for me on Saturday. My life has been extremely out of balance as of late as I am going 100 mph towards the top of the mountain to become the best strength coach in the world. Yes, you read that right, that is what I believe in my mind, but to achieve something of that level, balance is often lost.
The thing is, I will be a much more effective Coach when I restore that balance. I have not read a spiritual book in quite some time, seems everything that flys off my shelf lately is training or business related, which is great, but it is not balance. Balance is the key to life, I even have an ambigram of BALANCE tattooed on my wrist. It is my weakness, but one that I will correct. I am going to bring a few spiritual books as well as fun novels on my upcoming honeymoon. I will make it a daily point to now either meditate or day dream much like I used to. It is time to bring the joy back to being a strength coach. I must enjoy the process, otherwise the trip to the top will not be worth it. Keep me in check!