Chris Powell: My Training Inspiration

822xImage: ABC

Chris Powell is known around the world as a weight loss guru, transforming not only body image, but the way people feel about themselves as well. Every summer, ABC’s hit show Extreme Weight Loss comes back, and I find myself inspired, not that I could lose more weight or eat healthier, but that I could help others, and even if I was half as good as Powell, lives would be changed for the better.

I’ve talked about my inspiration before, needing to get fit for races, preparation for miles that I haven’t even thought of in six or seven months, but when it comes to Chris Powell, the inspiration comes from a different place.

487679_1878758013948_1758919062_n

I know that the picture is blurry, but that is an 11 or 12 year old version of me, at a solid 150 lbs, give or take. At my heaviest I weighed in right around the 180-190 range, and stood a whopping 5’2″, and that is why I find comfort in watching Chris Powell, knowing that he is able to help those people that continually live in the discomfort and agony that I at one time knew.

In relation to the show, I’d sit, summer after summer, telling my family that I could do that if I just had the education for it, but Public Relations isn’t a job at a gym. After putting in so much time to get an education that you think you need, or want, it’s easy to trap yourself into the mentality of searching for the perfect job at the perfect startup or firm, but every time you see your source of inspiration, you think about how you could be doing that if you hadn’t invested so much into your formal education.

But that’s when Paige came through for me again, deciding to invest in me and pushing me to further myself.

One day on a Randall’s Island run, what we consider our long runs mainly because they’re outside, she turned to me and told me to take some of our leftover wedding money, find the right certification process and get personal trainer certified.

Because of how fast I can write, she wasn’t concerned about me picking up freelance writing jobs, but knows that I exceed when it comes to working hands-on and with other people; for me to work at a desk all day would wear on me, and she recognizes that. Instead of letting another year go by, full of me saying what I could probably do, she’s called me on it, telling me to go for it, and instead of talking about it, to prove that I can make it happen.

IMG_1958

So that’s what I’m doing. Thanks to Chris Powell’s inspiration, and a firm push from Paige, I am now plowing through functional anatomy and biomechanics in pursuit of becoming a certified personal trainer.

Using Equinox as my gauge, I came across the National Council on Strength & Fitness, NCSF, and ordered my study materials to knock it out.

As I said at the beginning, Chris Powell is an inspiration to people around the globe to pursue a healthier version of themselves, and maybe it’s the combination of Paige’s encouragement and my inner fat kid, but I’m taking his attitude to heart and making this happen.

Whether it’s “thinspiration” or “body confidence” there’s no excuse to not be healthy, and there’s no excuse to not be better. For that, I’ll thank Chris Powell for encouraging so many to be better versions of themselves.

College: Is It Worth It?

It’s been a well established factor of every American’s life since the late 90s that a college degree is required for a halfway decent future.

But is that really the case?

tumblr_muumxk9HyX1spokgpo1_250Gif via Chekovy.tumblr.com

As startups and 20-somethings launch their ways through the fog of the saturated job market, it’s left some people wondering if traditional colleges are actually providing an ROI that balances rising tuition costs.

Thanks to The Daily Beast, a list of the 20 colleges with the worst return on investment has been put into pictures. Feel free to peruse the list, and with a list of only 20 it will be easy to think that you’re in the clear.

If you are, that’s great, but more than likely, your next job application is still going to say that you’re not qualified, regardless of whether or not your school was fortunate enough to not make the list.

404926_10150554709260854_1570218678_n

I’ll offer my experience as an example.

The image above would be the essence of why we have to question the ROI of college. As tuition costs rose at the university I went to, though not on the list, the school still managed to find the extra money in couch cushions to get signs made that were totally misspelled.

So, as I look for my next job, lucky to be in New York, I too am wondering just how far a four-year education from a school that couldn’t spell university right is going to get me.

347_1053085692656_6951_nOur first picture together, circa 2008

I can gladly say that I met my wife in college, and some of the closest friends I have today I met in college, so I can’t say don’t go.

But when it comes down to dollars and cents, with high school grads developing the next great app and fast-growing businesses, I must encourage everyone to at least consider their options. Weigh the consequences for yourself, and most definitely don’t go longer than you need to.

If you’ve already graduated, struggled finding a job, and you’re considering grad school; reconsider those student loans and figure out if it’s really worth your time, effort, and money.

I Read A Manga… And I Liked It?

IMG_1692

As many of you know, the honeymoon is coming a couple of days after the wedding, and Japan is going to be new for both of us. The resounding question though has been:

Why Japan?!

For me, it’s simple. Tons of history, a rich culture full of varying levels of quietly understood respect, and awesome food. A honeymoon should be a trip of a lifetime, something you may never get to do again so you make it as memorable as possible.

Paige on the other hand, though food also sits high her list of reasons to go, has what some may call “closeted” emotional attachment to the trip. No, it’s not where her parents met, or the fact that the Japanese seem to consistently sit near the top of healthiest populations despite their misfortune with mercury issues. No, instead her reasons come from a cultural background that I would have made fun of in high school… Manga.

4f64892812b211e3801622000a1fb91e_7

Yes, it can be strange, and when we first got together her collection was a bit overwhelming, but after considering my closet full of war documentaries and fact books about WWII, I realized we all have our quirks.

So in an attempt to better understand why Japan was our destination, and to grasp at what my soon-to-be wife had loved for so long, I agreed to read a book.

IMG_1693

She dug through her closet, and pulled out the first four books of the Neon Genesis Evangelion series. From what I’ve grasped, and may catch flak for, the primary character is an angsty teenager that is estranged from his dad, is necessary to the whole process of protecting earth with robots called “Angels” and allows his self-pity to block out the awesome things in his life like the beautiful women that continuously stream into the picture.

The series was picked because it’s one of Paige’s favorites, and it was supposed to be a fast read.

I’d like to point out here that I’ve tried to read a comic once before, the closest thing I had come to a graphic novel, and because I couldn’t wrap my head around why someone would put the pictures and tiny inklings of conversations together, I gave up and threw the comic away.

This time, however, Paige won. The first book was, in fact, a quick read that left me at least wondering how stupid the angsty teen could be, and before I new it I was into the fourth book of the series.

Ultimately, I guess what I’m trying to say is that I tried a Manga, and I think I liked it. I should probably also explain for everyone that Manga, as I understand it, is basically like anime but as a book. If it’s written down/static it’s manga, if it moves (like it’s animated) then it’s anime.

The lesson from all of this, try something new. Even if you made an attempt once before, give everything a second chance, because you never know when the things you find stupid one day will begin to fascinate you.