Transitioning focus

HAPPY NEW YEAR

resolution

As of March, I hope to be a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. In October I decided to get committed and cross something off my bucket list. After all, I’ve been out of college for a full year and I wanted another shot at education before really committing to graduate school.

With that being said, I’ve transitioned my focus a bit from writing to videography. For Christmas I was blessed with a $300 cube that takes high quality photos and videos and can be used pretty much anywhere — also known as a GoPro. The convenience of it allows me to bring it anywhere and use it for any event, even a pub crawl. Since I bought it I’ve started recording my workouts and motivational rants. They’re published on my YouTube channel.

This isn’t goodbye to my writing side, but I feel like there’s an audience out there I’ve yet to explore. Even as a writer I don’t want to take the time to read articles and I know a lot of people out there don’t want to either. We’re an impatient society hungry for 30 seconds or less information bites. However, there’s still a time and place for lengthy, emotional blog posts because I am not a five-star public speaker by any means. It’s just another advantage to my hour-long commutes to work.

The funny part is is that I made a Facebook page for being a journalist and now I want to have it for my personal training. I just can’t seem to create a profile picture depicting a writer and chick who works out… Writing in my journalist notebook in the squat rack? I’ll have to experiment…

WHILE I’M HERE I might as well touch on resolutions just a few days into 2017. It’s something I reflect on every year in some way. I came across an old Facebook post (when I was too immature to have Facebook) from 2012 about how everyone should look at everyday like they look at the new year. I was obviously bitter that I thought I had nothing to work on in the new year.

Nonetheless, a wimpy upper body workout before the new year inspired me. It made me realize that I need to work on loving the things I hate. That’s something all adults tell you when you’re growing up and you don’t want a certain classmate in your class or personal space, sports team, etc.

“Hunny, everyone has to do things they don’t want to in life.”

Well, my hatred will only get worse if I push things to the back burner. For my athlete side, I want to get better at upper body workouts and being more discipline in my diet. For my writer side, I’m always striving to be better and I want to be more mature about situations I’m put in. I tend to act like a little girl when I don’t get my way, in the field and out… Being an overall better person in life is also on that list. That’s something I say I want to do all the time, but never put it to practice.

How do I follow through with “loving the things I hate?”

With intentions. In the car I say “I will be the best person I can be. I have control over my diet and exercise. I will make the best decision when confronted with difficult choices.” I’ve realized all this time that saying things in my head don’t make goals real enough. I also don’t write goals down. There will be a notebook dedicated to the new year.

By setting intentions, similar to how you would at the beginning of a yoga workout, you’re able to take every day in stride instead of the whole year all at once.

So, everyone whose complains about people with resolutions, stop being bitter and set your own intentions to be a better person every day, because I’m trying!

Interested in following my fitness journey? Follow my YouTube channel, like and subscribe for weekly updates! Also, daily updates can be found on Instagram @flexinkayyoutube-cover.

A message to my soldier in the sky

Robert McGeeney in training at Camp Lejuene, N.C. in 1966.

Robert McGeeney in training at Camp Lejuene, N.C. in 1966.

I spent days trying to figure out how to start this. Explain the dream I had about you? Or, elaborate on your existence?

Once a person becomes a soldier, that’s what they are for the rest of their lives. Not only do the baby boomers have this characteristic of a one track path, but one who served in the military is either doomed or lucky.

Last week I interviewed two type of veterans for my job.

One was a World War II Veteran who captured the first POW on Iwo Jima. He also witnessed both flags being raised. The ones you talked about and the one you had a statue of that I probably broke a piece off of at one point.

In short, he returned to the U.S., continued on to get his Bachelors and Masters and started a steel business. I’d say he ended up well off – married his childhood sweet heart and had a kid. They were together for 69 years.

The other source was an Iraq veteran. He joined as soon as he turned 18 to fight the people who attacked our country on 9/11. Remember? You were getting me off to school the morning a bunch of planes were on the television. The impact of that never went away. We’re still at war.

He told me that World War I was the war to end all wars and that the government should have never had you go to Vietnam, just like they had their intentions wrong for Iraq soldiers. He said they lied to him. He saw a lot in combat, just like you. He was homeless for many years and can barely be around crowds, reminds me of you.

Two years later he’s back in the states with minor injuries and a permanent case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with Depression. We’ve all heard of PTSD but some may have never experienced it like I had with you.

I never caught on to why you jumped when I came in the room and you didn’t hear me. I never even knew what shrapnel was, but you said you had it in your neck. I never knew you received a purple heart until it was inscribed on your grave.

Robert McGeeney serving as a Marine Corp, potentially in Vietnam between 1966 and 1969.

Robert McGeeney serving as a Marine Corp, potentially in Vietnam between 1966 and 1969.

The Iraq veteran didn’t get a purple heart. He didn’t qualify. He also isn’t getting the treatment he needs. My heart went out to him, while trying to remain unbiased. However, I asked him why he thought his life turned out differently than the WWII vet.

He didn’t really know how to respond.

“Maybe it was the different time period. Vets didn’t really talk about what they saw in the war back then.”

Maybe if you could talk about it more, in detail, you would have gotten better. Maybe if the VA took care of you better, you wouldn’t have damaged your health otherwise. Maybe if you had a better support system, you would have thrived.

I’m sorry your upbringing could have contributed to so many things and the environment in your adult life didn’t make it better. Now, I understand why you drank. I remember all the times I asked you to stop for me, like I was going to make you stop. It was a force greater than me.

It didn’t matter what was put in front of you, because you couldn’t let go of the past.

This Veterans Day, and every other day, listen to a vet, and if they don’t talk, give them a hug and be there for them, because they even if they’re there physically, their mind is elsewhere.

My fifth birthday at school.

My fifth birthday at school.

A cluster of thoughts on the meaning of life

“The human race is a monotonous affair. Most people spend the greatest part of their time working in order to live, and what little freedom remains so fills them with fear that they seek out any and every means to be rid of it.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther

Everyone else has the answers to our questions. With (man made) time we’ll eventually be able to tell.

My friend sounded like he was questioning his existence, but he was attempting to figure out the meaning of life – if there’s something more. It’s sounded a bit like being scared about dying, but what he was really looking for was the truth.

I just accept the fake lies society lives in.

There’s other planets out there, we know that. But he said “What if we didn’t know there weren’t any planets out there?”

How did we get here?

life

All thoughts aside from religion. Except, religion distracts the human from being scared of it all. It gives a reason to believe.

We’re born, we learn through love what our soul is, we practice and achieve a few things, or not, and then die. Even though the death bed last words might be about regrets, there will always be something unfinished.

I listened to a podcast the other day that featured a hospice chaplain, someone who spends time with people in the last days of their life. She said some people have the epic last words of wisdom and some don’t. Her advice: If you have to wait until your death bed to say something you’ve always wanted to, do it now so you have the chance to fully engage with the encounter.

I used to have a lot of trouble accepting things as is, and I’m sure people who aren’t as caught up in life as the next guy find themselves sounding ridiculous: “Like, how did we even get here? When will the world die?”

A lot of it has to do with time. It’s hard not to think about it. It shapes our entire lives in so many ways. Day-to-day, month long waits, coupled years labeled as successful stories. It never ends.

.galaxy

With time comes waiting. We wait for retirement to do nothing so that we don’t have to think about time. That’s the ultimate goal. However, it depends on the generation you live in and what you were taught growing up. My friend and I wondered why our parents are so complacent. We wish they would do more, something they’ve always wanted to do. We want to share our ambition with them. It’s more complicated than that because that’s not the society they grew up in. 

We’re never going to figure it out, but in the mean time, please find something to believe in. It makes this life living that much worth it. Value amplifies meaning and your physical purpose. It’s the mind and space that we don’t understand that functions in the meaning.