Thank you so much for your comments. I read each and every one of them and am honored that you take the time to give your input. I understand how hectic life is and how there never seems to be enough time to get everything accomplished in a 24 hour period, so a true heartfelt thanks to each of you for taking the time out of your busy day to send your opinion, both good and bad, as I learn from both and try to become a better person from accomplishments as well as shortcomings. I would say the goal in life is not to never make a mistake, but rather to identify one's mistakes and proceed in life without repeating them.
On that subject, get ready for the next episode ... not my finest hour by any means. We all had a wonderful time on the retreat, but the last evening I had too much fun, which isn't wrong, it just wasn't the time or place for it ... I will explain more on that evening after the airing, so until then, have a laugh at my expense as I just saw the footage and laughed at myself as well. Since the last blog, there have been a lot of questions so I would like to answer the ones that seem to come up a lot. To make it easier on the reader, I have numbered the questions and you can scroll down to find the corresponding number that answers the question.
Here are the questions: (1) Are you on HGTV's Designed to Sell show? (2) Go into detail about your cover shoot with Erika and how you train for a cover shoot. (3) Your views on Peeler's dismissal? (4) Steroid use / workout tips you use? (5) Tell us more about your Pit Bull dogs you rescued.
(1) I am a featured carpenter on HGTV's Designed to Sell. There are three design/carpenter teams on the show. One team, the team I am on, from Los Angeles, a Chicago based team, and a Washington D.C. based team. The airing rotates through each team, so I am only on every third night, but they have a lot of repeats that re-air a lot. I filmed 21 episodes over the course of 9 months and left the show to join the cast of Work Out for Season 3. I feel extremely blessed to have had the opportunity to be a part of such a successful and fun-filled program and miss my fellow cast and crew members tremendously. I am a carpenter by trait, a hobby that grew into somewhat of a career as I bought and fixed up homes during my time in the military before selling them prior to changing duty stations. I owe much of my knowledge of carpentry to my father who included me in many home projects growing up at an early age and demanded I do the job correctly so that I only have to do it once and never have to go back to redo a project. As for my real love, woodworking has always been a means of relaxation for me I will often fix my eyes on a piece of furniture in a store or at a friend's home and want to recreate it. I would take dimensions and draw up blueprints of the piece and over the course of free time in my garage where I have my shop, I would begin to turn blueprints on a piece of paper into a reality and a piece of furniture for my home or for friends and family. My love for woodworking or construction is that time kind of stands still for a minute and you are able through working on a project, work through some problems that might be going on in your head, in other theaters of life. It's funny how the progress in the construction or woodworking has a parallel effect on progress in whatever has been hanging over your head in other areas of your life. I guess sometimes you have to step away from one's problems to really understand them and in order to be able to see the problem so you can apply a means to fix them. I call woodworking and construction sawdust therapy.
(2) The cover shoot with Erika was a real high for me, not because of the exposure of doing a cover (which is wonderful, make no mistakes about it) but for me, this cover was extra special because I was able to do it with a good friend where I got to see her come into her own. I haven't known Erika very long, but in the short period of time, I have noticed that her confidence in herself isn't as healthy as it should be. I think Erika is beautiful and has so much to offer the world and to see the transformation of her being worried about the shoot and preparing for the shoot to her confidence growing during the shoot and afterwards seeing a glow in her made me want to get up and cheer for her from the roof tops. To see one grow in strength, mental strength, in themselves, and confidence is such an amazing sight. The cover shoot will forever be stored in my thoughts as one of my favorite shoots for she humbled me and taught me so many valuable lessons of life that I don't think she even knows about. Thank you, Erika for a memory that I will forever look back on in my memories with a huge smile and warm heart. You have so much to be grateful for as you are truly blessed and a wonderful person and I am honored to call you my friend!
(3) Peeler's dismissal from the show might have been brewing for three years through trial and error between Jackie and Brian and I am not here to cast an opinion on whether his departure was warranted or not. All I want to do is take a snapshot of the incident and compliment Brian Peeler on being a man of character. I am not talking about the particular incident -- I have my own reserved feelings towards that -- but I want to talk about a more general situation that Brian found himself in and applaud that way he reacted. I am a man of honor and integrity and try to always do what is right, whether it is in my best interest or not. Brian was in a situation that caused him to come to the crossroads in life where he had to make a decision between his personal career and the honor of his friend/client. What impressed me so much about Brian is that he put defending the honor of his friend above his own personal agenda and gain which is the character that leaders should be made of. Far too often, people come to the crossroads and choose a path based on popularity, personal gain, or degree of less difficulty. Brian came to the path and choose a path of integrity, honor, and character that will ultimately lead to the building blocks that makes for a leader of higher ground. Brian, it was a breath of fresh air to see the strength of your character in a questionable time rise to a level few ever do. I thank you for being a role model for all of us as you taught us the meaning of true friendship. Please stay the course as friendship will make you wealthier then any monetary value can.
(4) I would say that the only real tip is that nothing in life worthwhile will ever come easy ... you have to work for everything that is respected in life ... being in shape is no different. It takes dedication, sacrifice, work ethic, and time ... you have to be patient. My philosophy is to fall in love with the workout and not the results of the workout. When you work out, your body releases all kinds of endorphins and it gives you a natural high that cannot be compared to any supplemental drug that others might use. Overcoming your past levels of fitness, whether it be in your run time going down or your strength improving in lifting, all are powerful results that grows your confidence and gets your hungry to come back to the gym. There are no shortcuts ... easy come, easy go. People ask if I have ever used steroids and many don't believe me when I say "No "and honestly I am not here to prove myself to strangers, but for anyone who knows steroids will look at my body and know that I have never used them due to my development. Being in the in military where you are drug tested constantly for steroids and other drugs, the option was never available, but beyond that, the reason I have never gone there is that working out in the gym isn't as much a transformation of your physical body as it is a transformation of your mental confidence. Transforming your physical body from A to B is great to look at in the mirror, but the real reward is the mental confidence that you know you have what it takes (dedication, work ethic, sacrifice, etc) to see a goal through and finish what you started. That toughness is learned in the theater of the gym but is the fundamental element that all champions have in all theaters of life (corporate America, doctors, lawyers, law enforcement, etc) where they start at a certain place and through hard work they work their way to the top. You cannot cheat the process of mailroom to CEO, so why do it in the gym? Your mind is the strongest and most valuable muscle you can grow in the gym, make no mistakes about it. You fall in love with the sweat equity of life and then it's not a matter of "if" just "when" the results and fruits of your labor come to life.
A few "rules" I live by is that I try to go to bed on an empty stomach so my body is breaking down fat throughout the night. I drink tons of water and stay away from sugar; I eat low-carb and high-protein diet; I don't eat anything four hours before I go to bed; I do cardio in the morning and lift in the evening before going to bed; I eat two large meals a day (sometimes only one), and above all I check my pride at the gym door everyday. I don't go after lifting a certain amount of weight. I go after the pump which is achieved quicker with lighter weight and proper form as opposed to your ego getting involved and causing you to lift a load too heavy for you that causes you to get out of form and possibly injured. Also, on eating, I eat to fuel my body ... not to satisfy an appetite. The hell with what it taste like -- it's about feeding your body what it needs, not your taste buds. Now, some will read what I say and call BS to my routine, which is fine. This is what works for me, maybe it works for you, maybe not ... we all are different, but what one cannot say is that it hasn't worked for me as I have more covers than anyone else in the world in the last two years and recently named the number one male fitness model in America by Iron Man Magazine and just this month, named one of the "25 fittest Americans" by Men's Fitness ... hard to argue with success.
(5) The two Pit Bulls I have a picture of are Quest and Chance. Quest was a rescue red-nosed Pit from Brooklyn NY when I was living in Manhattan. Quest has been such an amazing addition to my life and fills me with more joy then I can describe even after all the crewing and destruction she did as a young puppy. She is three years old. Chance was a rescue here in Los Angeles and I was simply a foster home for Chance until a permanent home was found for her. He is currently with an amazing family and living a great life and I miss him tons. I am currently looking to rescue another Pit puppy so if anyone out there knows of one, please keep me posted!
OK -- I guess that is enough for now. Thanks for the comments! Catch up with you next week!