Let America Be America Again — via EverythingShaquana.com

This is powerful and moving. Check out the poem and let it sink in. For a reading of the poem check out this video.

In honor of this past Sunday (2/1), being Langston Hughes’ 113th birthday, I would like to first say Happy Belated Birthday Uncle Langston!! The most influential poet I’ve ever known, I am so honored to have been raised on his deep words and powerful insight. For this 1st Friday of the month, where we feature […]

via (ReBlog) Let America Be America Again — EverythingShaquana.com

How to Avoid the Validation Trap

This is a good read. Validation seeking is similar to fitting in – very detrimental to being vulnerable enough to be creative and true to yourself.

MakeItUltra™ Founder: Eric C., MA., PhD Candidate (USA) Website: MotivateInspireUplift.com “You need to love yourself and be yourself one hundred percent before you can actually love someone …

Source: How to Avoid the Validation Trap

So very sleepy…


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I would like to blame today’s workout on Jess @PT Contender and FitnessGrad. I don’t suggest you copy this but maybe you can find some ideas for your own workout. Remember, you do you, know what you can do, what your limits are, and be safe out there. Also, regardless of where you are in your fitness journey, put your blankety blank blank weights away when you are done with them.

I missed the gym the last two days so it was kind of a catch up day. Plus it’s a good way to diffuse the stress of the week and be ready for tomorrow which will be super busy. So this was my workout.

  • Spin 50 min
  • 500 squats (25 sets of 20 spread out through workout; I alternate between one squat set then another exercise and two squat sets then another exercise)
  • Planks for 45s and Shoulder tap planks for 10 reps – I did this combination about six times throughout the workout)
  • Shoulder raises- side 20 reps x 2 each
  • Shoulder raises- rear 20 reps x 2
  • Dumbell Rows 20 x 2
  • Bench press 20 x 2
  • Shoulder press 15 x 1, 10 x 1
  • Cable crossover 20 x 2
  • Pull ups 8 x 2
  • Dips 10 x 2

I came home to avocado roll because my wife loves me. Now I am so very sleepy.


It Just Makes Sense


I’m not a mob boss who wants to rule the city or an evil genius out to destroy the world. I have no sense of what it takes to destroy your enemies or lead by instilling fear in those around you.

Still, and I don’t want to come across as judgmental, if I was an evil bad guy and I got the upper hand on the hero who has been single-handedly destroying my empire, I think I would get rid of him or her right then. I wouldn’t take him somewhere more safe and wait for him to wake up so I could tell him about the revenge I was going to exact on him and those he loves.


He’s hurt, barely conscious, unarmed. Done. If I need to process how I’m feeling, I would blog about it later.

It just makes sense.

Kitchen Made Abs


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It’s the start of the year and you might want to get into fitness so I’m sharing what I normally do as part of telling my recovery story and maybe that will be helpful to you. If you missed the first parts, you can check them out: The CyclistYK2HRSwim, Bike, Run, Nap, and Typical Workout. I shared a bit about this part of my journey but there’s a little more to the story.

About a year into my recovery journey, I found that even though I was exercising regularly I wasn’t making a lot of progress losing all the extra weight I had gained over the years. I lost some weight and then.. stuck. I was holding steady around 235lbs and feeling a little frustrated.  Something needed to change.

Abs are made in the kitchen. That’s it.

After several experiments, I found that cardio is not made in the kitchen. Neither is the ability to swim stronger or bike up hills faster.  Sexiness may or may not be made in the kitchen; it depends on the day.

After checking around for tools, I got into MyFitnessPal and started tracking what I eat. I wasn’t being obsessive about food or starving myself, I just didn’t have a clue how much I was ingesting. Slowly I adjusted my total calories and began to be mindful of my diet. Instead of eating for the moment, I began to eat for the journey.

As an Albertan (that’s in Canada), I was a meat and potatoes kind of guy.  I began to learn more about eating healthy – not with some weird diet but just a more balanced diet. I started to cut back on the amount of meat I was eating. The I watched the documentary Vegucated. By the end of that documentary, I gave up meat for good. I’ve never felt better.

I think the reason this big change has made such a difference in my life is because I wasn’t just after a short term gain. I needed a new way of life. I did drop weight while also getting stronger, faster, fitter – down to 198lbs – but the best part is I now have a greater sense of integrity. I consider myself a man of compassion and conviction and switching to a plant-based diet is more in harmony with who I am as a person.

A bonus change has been that my enjoyment of food has opened way up. Food I would have never had before, just on principle, I now  have part of my life. Except brussel sprouts because they’re from Satan. At the same time, my cravings for treats has dropped way off. I’m a new person!

In an upcoming post, I’ll share some what works for me when it comes to food. Meanwhile, here are some good resources I have found helpful in making this lifestyle change.

Forks Over Knives – Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times called this doc “ a film that can save your life.”

Vegucated – This documentary follows three meat-and-dairy-loving New Yorkers as they try to stick to a vegan diet for six weeks.

Hungry for Change – The film also de-bunks diet and weight loss myths, as well as explains ways to stop bad habits and get healthy.

Food, Inc. – A look at the practices of global food production that puts profit before your well-being.

Listen to Your Body 


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My plan for this morning was a 5km treadmill run followed by a short core workout and then a 1-1.5km swim. But I haven’t been sleeping well lately so when my alarm went off at 5am, I listened to my body.

My back said, “You can lay in any position you want but I just won’t be comfortable.”

My chest and arms said, “We’re still sore from Monday.”

My stomach said, “I want a donut with chocolate on top.” My face replied, “If you do that, I’ll make you pay for it.”

My bladder said, “I may not need to be emptied right now, but if you try to go back to sleep I will make it feel like I need to be.”

Another part of me began waving and shouting, “It’s been almost two weeks! It’s been almost two weeks!”

Then my legs said, “Since we’re all sharing, can I talk about those 260 squats from yesterday and what they did to me?” My hips to my toes all had something to say about that.

And finally my brain said, “I can’t shut off with all this noise so I might as well get to work.”

I’m not sure I will listen to my body any more.