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Painful Transparency

I was inspired immeasurably by the videos of deceased mass monster bodybuilder Rich Piana a few years ago. One thing he stressed in his daily and weekly vlogs was complete transparency in all of the material he put out. If he was despondent and depressed, anxiously aggravated or enthusiastically elated, he allowed no filter to appear between himself and his audience, permitted no proxy to permeate his dedication to total honesty in his work. As a result, those videos became therapy for literally millions of gym rats and displaced athletes around the world. He became wildly, almost unbelievably successful, all because of his zealous adherence to being 100% real for followers.

This is an example that I decided to emulate from the dawning of my blog. All too often before its inception I would peruse the self-help and disgustingly unnecessary "inspirational" section of my local bookstores, seeking to be understood and find a type of kinship with the authors. Alas, all I ever encountered were vague, shallow platitudes.

Keep your head up, better days are coming!

You're perfect just the way you are!

There's always a light at the end of the tunnel!

Shut. The. Fuck. Up.

Better days are coming if you sack up and chase them, because tomorrow is promised to no one, regardless of Earthly station or importance. Permanence is a fragile artifice, ushered away by a stiff breeze from the unforgiving winds of reality. Live for today. Memento Mori.

You are not perfect the way you are presently. No one is. We are all flawed, incomplete, semi-empty beings, on the prowl perpetually for the answers that will finally assuage our existentialist crises, if only for a moment. To accept this inborn weakness is to submit to mediocrity, a fate befitting those destined for a life of wage slavery, pitiful physiques, and an illogical aversion to saying "Hello" to an attractive stranger. You must despise your negativity, and destroy any threat to your personal growth with a dreadfully thorough and impressively efficient scorched Earth policy thats horrific in its barbarity. Become the fabled Phoenix of lore and realize your potential.

There is always a light at the end of your tunnel, this is divinely ordained. That light is God, and He will never forsake you. No amount or nihilism or pessimistic complaint will shatter that Truth. But you are not riding first class on a comfortable train, lounging and enjoying a thick steak and aged bourbon as you recline, fat and content as you glide towards that glorious glimmer, marveling in wonder as it emerges ever brighter. No, you and I are Sisyphus, cursed to toil, sweat and bleed profusely as we fruitlessly shove and heave our respective burdens up the relentless incline of Life. As we conquer small goals daily, they become seeds planted, reaped and sown, eventually sprouting determinedly, blossoming into milestones achieved. And as the fire of the day ceases, chilling into the cold of night, we beam with pride and satisfaction as the enormity of what weve conquered settles in and thunders voluminously back down the mountain. We no longer ache torturously from the day's exertions, crippled and unable to move, let alone fight. Instead, our muscles have adapted and thrived under the strenuous effort, until it appears that a suit of gloriously battleworn armor has replaced them. A better life is awaiting us all. But it is not a cesspool of ambitionless losers arriving after a day at the spa. It is Valhalla, reserved only for the most courageous of Warriors. Raise your fists.

In the calm and still of the predawn hours, as the world at large slumbers and rests, I am training. Another book was devoured tonight, temporarily staying my ravenous literary appetite. It's subject, Sammy "The Bull" Gravano, former Underboss to John Gotti, the famed Teflon Dom of the late 80's, weaves the tale of his long life through the lexicon of Peter Maas, acting as scribe and storyteller. Towards the end of the work, he admonishes himself for his life of crime, admitting that he took the easy way out, neglecting the arduous monotony of studying at the altar of Academia in favor of the immediate gratification and excessive violence of the criminal lifestyle. As someone who writes primarily about crafting a life outside of traditional boundaries and social norms, this struck me as enlightening.

As Peter Maas extrapolated on in countless paragraphs, we all are entranced by the Dark Side. Work, with its senseless bureaucratic nonsense, pointlessly endless trainings, and suffocating insistence on enforcing draconian standards of political correctness, numbs the mind, deflates creativity and cripples the will. However, as my excursions into NLP and Stoicism have taught me, events are ultimately neutral, and the only meanings they carry are those we grant them. If I simply reframe these maladies, and tbrough the alchemy of perspective shift them from hindrances to be endured to challenges to be embraced, then how am I not the victor?

As always, I speak from experience. My seniority, increased rank and ascension up the qualification ladder shield me from much of the political idiocy in the office, and, as I gain in influence, I can begin to exterminate any and all signs of this permeating ignorance. Of course, complete financial independence and autonomy are the ultimate goals. I will continue to create, and strive to increase my passive income daily, in every form available. Still, there's no harm in upgrading your current situation. You're not betraying your dreams hypocritically by seeking comfort if said comfort is a direct result of your self-improvement.

Another set down, another session completed. My bodily awareness has progressed to the point where I can train twice a day, 7 days a week now. Of course, my goals are different than those of many others. I read an expose a few months back  focused on Marine Sergeant Enrique Trevino. SGT Trevino set a lofty, intimidating goal for himself back in 2012, by seeking to complete 1 Million pushups over the course of the year, taking bids and donations that would ultimately be given to military and Veteran charities. This worked out to 2740 pushups a day, minimum. Being a dedicated American Warrior, he of course completed this imposing task, only to turn around and, this time with friends, undertake the challenge of 1 Million squats. Hardly surprisingly, that number fell victim to his inhuman determination.

In my own camp, I've long written at length in the past about my vivacious pursuit of the Freestanding One Arm Handstand Pushup. However, as I became increasingly acquainted with the rigors of the Freestanding Diamond Handstand Pushup and once again began training for the Planche, I decided to divert my focus temporarily. The ultimate vision is to set up a prodigal strength endurance display in the vein of SGT Enrique Trevino, SOC David Goggins, AT1 Mike McCastle, and other similarly phenomenal athletes.

Preferably, I would attempt the incredibly esoteric record for "Most Freestanding Diamond Handstand Pushups Done In 24 Hours". Every repetition or minute that went by would mean more money acquired that was pledged before hand, with all the proceeds going to a charity that assists and benefits Veterans. Our Brothers and Sisters die in combat daily or survive, only to return maimed and brutalized by the unfortunate realities of war, along with the infamous and unfortunate 22 Veteran suicides a day statistic. If I could assist in any fashion possible, then I will consider my endeavor a success, outcome irrelevant. If it could be in the form of something I excel at, then all the better.

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