Monday, December 17, 2012

2012: My Year in Review

What a year it has been for all of us. I always say, if it hasn't been a crazy-enough year to look back on--then you didn't use it wisely. I like to think of my year as a tube of toothpaste. By the time December 31 rolls around it's going to look like a crinkled up, folded up, messy looking tube of paste that is empty. If your "tube" has still got some paste in it--chances are you didn't use it to your fullest advantage and you will need to  try harder in 2013. Hopefully, you did the best that you can with your year and great things came out of it.

Here is a synopsis of my 2012--both personally and professionally.

1.) In the year 2012, the best thing that had happened to me was become a father to not one...but two (twins) daughters.
In June, at the ripe age of 38, I had finally achieved what I felt like was my calling--becoming a father and taking on the massive responsibility of raising a family. Those same responsibilities that I witnessed my own father take on.
Holding 1 of my 2 baby girls.
There is no other challenge I can think of that is tougher, mentally taxing and stressful than raising two infants simultaneously. I laugh when I listen to other parents talk about how "tough" it is raising one baby. I believe that God recognized my wife and I as being very strong individuals and being one another's "rock"--that He made this blessing on us happen. And for that I am grateful and welcoming of the challenges that lie ahead.

2.) In the year 2012, I also saw my business continue to thrive. 
As I always state,  the majority of my business comes from one on one personal training. I still believe there is a NEED for one on one attention simply because society is changing. The overweight general population is feeling the pressure and needs guidance, empathy and direction. Some businesses do this through community-built socials disguised in bootcamp classes, while others like me remain old-school. I like the one on one sessions  It allows me to coach the way I want to coach. My bootcamp classes are still around, but the private client is the empty canvas that I like to mold or paint. 

3.) In the year 2012, I attended more conferences and seminars. Each year, I try to attend 3-4 seminars or workshops and 2012 was no different. 
In March, I attended a seminar on Brain Function and how it correlates with the decisions and actions we make. I wrote a summary on it and I was extremely intrigued. It was my first seminar outside of fitness and I took a real liking to it. In March, I also headed up to Boston for the 1 Day Learn By Doing seminar put on by Perform Better; and in May, I attended Tyler English's Elite Training Workshop in Canton, CT. It's great going to seminars and meeting new people and making connections with people that know me on Facebook or through this blog. It was a tough year to be away from my pregnant wife, but I am happy that I am married to someone that understands career growth and how it impacts all facets of my (our) life. 

4.) In the year 2012, I had invested over hundreds of dollars more into my facility. 
In order to diversify my training with the diverse incoming clients that I obtain, I've had to purchase more tools that help me accomplish their goals. It really takes a good year under your belt to realize what is useful in exercise programming and what is not. I've made some good purchases and some bad purchases. Luckily, I have been able to sell off what I didn't need or like in my business.

5.) In the year 2012, I suffered another major injury that required surgery.
In 1996, I tore my left pec (chest) muscle while bench pressing. I never got it repaired and simply lived with this strength deficit. Bench pressing was never a strong forte of mine, but I still maintained a pretty good bench press max (285). Not bad for a shredded muscle tendon dangling from the bone, eh? 2012, I tore my right side! Here I wife was giving birth in 4 weeks and I needed to repair this muscle tear. The surgeon told me I was looking at 4-6 months recovery, and I responded , "No way. I'm going to beat that time because I have 2 babies on the way!" Low and behold in May, I had surgery and he repaired the right side. 
About 1 week after surgery. I lived in the gym everyday rehabbing. 
Each follow-up visit,  the doctor was unbelievably surprised at the progress I was making. My Facebook friends were astonished and supportive throughout my rehabilitation that I felt compelled to document certain milestones:

Today, I am more than 7 months out and I am very happy that I got the surgery and the progress I have made. I am back to bench pressing--nothing crazy, but my understanding of my limits and capabilities has become more and more clearer.

6.) In the year 2012, I created more YouTube videos. 
As you can see above, I really made an effort to make more videos. I always ask myself, why would anyone want  watch one of my videos? I mean, you've got videos of Eric Cressey pulling 600 lbs... you got Ben Bruno pulling his bodyweight with an extra 200 got Dean Somerset contorting his huge body and hiding his camera remote from view (inside joke between me and Dean) and then you got me. What am I really going to demonstrate that you haven't already seen? Then I get an email from a viewer expressing his appreciation for my videos and letting me know how they've helped--and that makes it all worthwhile. I've gotten many of these messages throughout 2012 and I realized something. It's not the video content that they are appreciate of...but the way I convey my messages: trust-worthy, real, and full of substance. There are no gimmicks, cool graphics or hype around my videos...viewers just appreciate that they are created by a guy that they are certain is in the trenches. Check out my YouTube channel and subscribe!

7.) In the year 2012, I broke away from the Personal Training Development Center (PTDC). 
I thought it was a great idea at first, but slowly I began to "see" what the REAL intent of this fictional center was. After a few months, I realized the developer was "getting off track" with the intent of the website. I started to read between the lines and finally, I realized it was a vehicle for driving him to popularity. His popularity spawned books and website projects that I felt were not beneficial for the industry--but more to him. Let's face it...there is no "center". There is no building--unless you want consider mommy and daddy's house. There is nothing "developmental" about the PTDC. I noticed most of the articles were similar, copied, and some of the information was poached. When I stepped back and realized that the PTDC is simply a collection of blog posts contributed by other writers hoping they will become popular riding this parade float. My blog did and does the same...and the content is written through my experiences--objective and truthful. I broke away and again, felt stronger than ever doing things my way. At the end of the day, its not a popularity contest I am after--especially when you've been online since 2006. I highly respect the coaches that remain part of the PTDC, but I am here to educate and this is how I do it best:

8.) In the year 2012, I contributed to 2 new products. 
It's been a while since I created my own product. Time has simply been the factor preventing me from sitting down and designing an original product that is worth your hard-earned money. Of course, when you don't have the time to develop a sole product---you contribute a smaller one to a bigger project. In 2012, you saw me contribute to Rick Kaselj's Muscle Imbalances Revealed Assessment & Exercise.  My presentation centered around the use of assessments with personal trainers and their clients--mainly the general population. I detailed two original assessments that I have used in the past with my clients. The feedback has been awesome!

In another great product was Mike Westerdal's Fix My Shoulder Pain. My special report was titled
8 Weeks to Indestructible Shoulders and it was a doozy. It is a follow-up to my Stronger Shoulders DVD product from 2006, and contains a comprehensive 8-week program outlining exercises and drills for scapular stability, mobility and strength. 
The feedback I have received from my contributions to these two products has been great. I am happy to contribute and continue to educate people. I may not have the "star power" of most strength coaches and trainers, but I do have a great group of readers and friends that can something out of my work!

9.) In the year 2012, I interviewed more fitness professionals and coaches that I admire. When I conduct an interview with a strength coach or fitness professional, I'm a little selfish. I'm selfish because I want to interview them to pick at their brain for my sake--not necessarily for my readers. Sorry! This year I've interviewed some great coaches that I really look up to including James Smith, Dean Somerset, Rob King and Nick Tumminello. My aim with this blog is always to share information and educate. I do this from my experience and knowledge, but sometimes, I use others that may specialize in things more proficiently than me. 

This will probably be my last blog post for 2012. Caring for two infants has really been beating me up and taking alot of my free time away, so I am concentrating on putting together quality posts that will get shared by my readers and help as many people out as possible. I hope your 2012 was great and look forward to an even better 2013!


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