It's all about making that connection, whatever it takes.

Alright, I promise I'll be nice this time. Only if you think I've been mean the last couple of times. I know those post probably came across like I was pissed off, but I'm really not. I lived pissed off about it for a long time. That's why I finally found my peace with cutting it loose. There's a lot of strength found sometimes in the letting something go. I won't talk about those things again. I won't write about them again. I told my truth about about it all. It's over. I've moved on to some different shit now. I've filled the holes.

It's all about making a connection, whatever it takes.

I spent a lot of years being selfish with my time and feelings. I could have been a way better dad being honest with myself. I have always been there for my son, but I missed some things I can never have back. As I'm aging I'm trying to be more of a forward thinker. I don't want to dwell on the things I missed, but my heart scars are there. Being a divorced parent is essentially giving up 1/2 your time with your child, if not more in some cases. You don't really understand what that means until you go through it. When you can finally see past your selfish ways for once. That pain settles in nicely. It gets real comfortable, too comfortable. We pay for our selfish decisions. I've paid for mine deservedly. 

When I made the decision to start fighting for myself again on July 1, 2015. I also decided I was going to work on my relationship with my son Ethan Paul. We've never had a bad relationship, but I wanted more. He was 16 at the time and going through that most impressionable period of a young man's life. A time when you have to start making decisions on what kind of man you want to be. Are you going to follow or lead? I wanted to be there more than ever, but I was having a hard time finding my way in. I mean, most 16 year olds probably feel like their parents are lame. My ego has a hard time excepting lame for myself, but we play the hand we're dealt. E.P. and I were still talking but it was becoming less than I would have liked. I was literally worried about him all the time because I didn't know what was really going on in his world. There was a disconnect and I wanted to find the plug. 

Are you going to lead or follow? 

Instead of critiquing my sons life. I started taking an honest look at mine. Was I leading or just following myself? How can I expect him to make the right decisions without the right example from the male figure in his life? In making sure I'm answering that bell for him. I let that light a fire under me. He was going to be the reason I fought my way back to the top. That's where I'm headed in case y'all didn't get the memo. "Started from the bottom now we here." I believe we spend too much time as parents telling our kids what to do instead of just being the example. 

Once I started leading by example, more than anything I gained Ethan's respect back. I have no problem admitting it was work I needed to put in. He deserved to sit back and watch for awhile. I needed to show him who his dad really is, and ultimately who he can really be. He deserves to see the best version of me. I'm still digging every day to uncover that man for him. I'm not sure that work ever ends. I'm fine with that too. I'm addicted to the grind again. Nobody has ever saw the best of me. Not even me. 

We should be always looking for ways to connect with our kids. When they are young and we are essentially driving their lives it's easy. Put them in this sport or different activities until we find their strengths. Go to practice. Make the games. Everybody gets a trophy. It's not parenting rocket science. What happens when that's over? Well it's not always easy, but it's important to maintain that connection. I think a lot of parents fail during the teenage years because they forget how to connect or worse they don't even try. 

I'm a try'r. (It's my blog. I do what I want including make up my own words if necessary.)

So yea, one day when I was sweating it out I asked Ethan to send me some workout tunes. I knew he exclusively listened to a lot of the new Hip Hop music. I listened to the same stuff when I was his age. Beastie Boys, NWA, DJ Quik, The Doc, AMG, Snoop, Tupac, Big Poppa and more. I can still spit every word of "Freaks of the Industy" on point. I listened to all of that stuff when I was young and hard like Big E. I was not familiar with any of the new stuff. I had been living my life in a country song for 16 years. Working out to county sucks. You might as well eat the sleeve of Nutter Butters. It's almost more effective. 

Instead of being the dad that says, "Why are you listening to that shit." -My pops

I embraced it and now me and EP are essentially "Trap Gods." Look it up. :) Point being I found another way to connect with my son. I'm probably not the target demographic for the Atlanta Trap Scene, but I am the target dad for my son. I actually enjoy the music too. I can rip off 15000 meters on the rower with Gucci Mane on shuffle. "I'm Both!" Staying plugged in means fitting into your child's life by whatever means. I also found out that my son has lyrical flowing ability for a white boy. He literally doesn't miss. I'm not missing anymore either.

Ethan Paul, I'm so happy to have my best friend back. You are my fire inside of me to be great. I'm going to stay lit for you. I'm happy to share our love for music with one another. Even if I had to come over to your side a little. You get your love for music honestly. You can be anything. I promise. I'll stand beside you whatever that becomes. 

Stay you bih. ;) 

Dede or 44Savage 

#teamlitty  

 

"I want to take the time to apologize

To absolutely fucking nobody." - Conor McGregor

I've been removed from some people's lives I didn't expect because of my last blog, but I don't really give a bollocks. I only know because they are a couple of people I somewhat cared about and followed. I reciprocated their feelings. Wish you the best in your lives. You're dead to me now. I'll sleep well. I might even snore. We'll see...

The truth is hard to read sometimes. I understand. Too many people getting their feelings hurt lately. Tough times call for tough decisions sometimes. Educate yourselves to what's really going on. I used to listen to things from different resources and just accept the information. "The news said it, has to be true." I've learned to question everything. I read differences of opinion before I decide my belief systems. It's important to know what you're up in arms about before you start sharing information. It's also kinda dangerous if you're not educated or properly informed.

A perfect example my last blog. Well, perfect example might be stretching it. We'll call it the "New Truth." 

The New Truth is, I had thoughts of writing out those feelings years ago, but I didn't. I waited until I was certain of my feelings. I waited until I knew 100% I wanted no part of that world anymore. No more Greenfest. No more anything. I also want to make clear I didn't write that to hurt anyone in particular. I could have been way greasier and I was. My first draft was a full on uncut version. I read it and thought, "Damn you're a pit viper when you want to be Jon Paul." Well done JP. Tarantino would have blushed. So in retrospect I saved you. You're welcome. I can and will cut your ass though. It's a skill I possess. I've kept those things under my hat for a long time. I will continue to leave names out moving forward. I don't hate you for it. I just think you're a shitbag of a person. A fair assessment I might add. That's also plural person(s). Everyone that has asked me who these people are... you don't have to look very far. I'm not going to share though. I'm not a pile of shit like them. I'm just a little musty that's all.

I wrote that entry much like all of these entries, for me. It keeps me from eating a bullet. I wrote it to heal myself from leaving behind something that I loved very much at one time. It's like finally ending a bad marriage. Of course there are names with those incidents, but I didn't want to do things like that. Unless you're Jimmy Perkins. He's fair game. Even Ray Wylie knows he's an lying son of a bitch. I decided I would let the world handle the rest of them. It just became a bad relationship for me. I lost my trust in the people I believed in the most. That includes a couple of the folks who had been with me from early on. Instead of continuing to inflict my negative feelings on the folks who still care about it. I prayed on it and found my peace in detaching myself. I'm so noble. Like Tommy Fucking Nobel. Yea right. No way. Not eva.

I also got blocked by a DJ from a radio station I once supported. That's past tense if you didn't know. I think he's a yankee anyway so who gives a shit right? What could a yankee really know about Texas Music? Not enough I can assure you. I laugh because he's one of those guys who thinks he's really somebody in that scene because he's essentially nobody without it. God, how scary and unfortunate is that? I know a handful of people like that in the "scene." A bunch of nothing without it. I was never all that impressed anyway so the loss is bearable. I didn't even weep, not even a little. He's too blinded by the left to see what's right. Literally.

Again, no apology.

There is something liberating about pissing people off just enough they exclude you. It's like Colonel Travis drawing a line in the sand. I don't mind drawing those lines and watching who steps and who doesn't. I'm actually kind of enjoying it if you can't tell. I want to know the people I should never consider again. Like in this instance. They have no real personal reasons to not like me. I've never been anything but cool to them. Like I said, some people just don't have the stones for this world. The world is full of cowards. I'm going to say my shit. If you're too big of a bitch to handle it. Block away. I want to get rid of those types. This is my invitation to them. That's the thing I love about this blog. If you came here and read my thoughts and got butt hurt. Shame on you. Quit reading my stuff stalker. If you don't like me go away. I'm certainly never going to look your way again. Ever. If you're thirsty, swallow your spit and try not to choke. At least around me.

Please do me the same courtesy. Anything else is just weird on your behalf. I'm not upset about anything. It's just a fact 1/2 of everybody ain't going to work it out. It's science I believe. Let's just let science do its thing here. Please stand up, please stand up. I'm making a list, checking it twice over here. Hahaha

2017, let's burn some bridges this year. Haha

The thing about that is these aren't bridges. These aren't friendships. So nothing is burned here. This is relief. Like the Tai Massage I had today. Amazing.

I made a commitment to myself to tighten my circle this year. Eliminate distractions. Invest my energy into dual sided relationships. Leave anything less than that behind for good. I learned I had a lot more "friends of the week" than any one man can take. In doing that my friendship lines got real blurry. I don't want to take anything away from the real people in my life for a bunch of one sided relationships. The few people that have my back deserve my full attention. I like making investments in people. My picker has just been broke for many years. It's a behavior I can't or won't let continue. I learned a few things about making changes and meeting goals last year. This is me taking those sometimes difficult steps to get that done in these areas of my life. You gotta flush it down. I hope one day I will remember the good things about all of this. I believe I will. It won't make me want it back. It will just be reconciliation and peace for myself. I can't worry about feelings here. Mine were never considered in many instances. It's kind of like that old relationship that ended horrible. As time goes on you start to remember the good things and not so much the bad. That's is my hope with all this eventually. It may be a pipe dream at this point, but I am hopeful to remember the good at some point. You have to have some kind of positive hope always. I believe I will eventually find that space.

So, if I apologize to anyone it's myself for opening myself up too much. None of those people deserved me. It's my truth and I won't be swayed otherwise. I'm going to do better research moving forward. Caution is the word I need to exercise that I historically struggle with. A man has to have conviction. Even if the price is uncomfortable. My tone is not to be confused with hatred. I've eliminated so many feelings of hate within the past couple of years. I'm making sure as I get older that I keep the hate and haters far from my squad. I'm doing this so I won't hate you. Like I said, I'm not calling names out. They know who they are. They know of their crimes. So, it's not hatred I feel. You have to give a shit to love or hate something. I would rather swallow my spit than invest in either emotion.

To my friends thanks for reading. Love to you and yours. Shoot me a message sometime. I'd love to hear how you're doing. 

If you're mad, remember this "Nobody cares." Especially me. I care the least of all. I'm stone cold.  

You don't even know. 

Jon Paul

 

 

Why I walked 1000 miles away from the "Texas Music" scene.

Hope it's far enough.

When I realized that the artist who spoke to me the most had turned their back on me for a set of pretty eyes. I knew I was done for good. It took me awhile to accept it, but I have come to terms with it all. When their words are hollow and don't mean anything to you anymore what's left to support? When you realize your heros are not who you think they are it stings. I believe it to be permanent. My 16 years supporting Texas Music ended just like a good country song, and I'm at peace with it all. I won't miss a thing about any of it.

Looking back, I should have walked away when Jimmy Perkins told me he was going to essentially steal my idea and charge people for it. As a charged up fan for the music and the movement I ignored the warning signs. I didn't understand the business side of things. I know a little bit more now, but have always tried to navigate around that piece of the puzzle. Despite having my reservations. I dove right in as I always have. When I'm passionate about something, one should buckle up. I go in.

We put on 16 festivals in the name of one guy who showed up to one of them in all those years. You can't help but question, "What the fuck am I supporting here?" 

I could have walked around year 7 after I went into management business with a couple of liars. I still have an email to this day that reads, "Let's just lie to Jon Paul and tell him..."

I crap you negative. Talk about a shit storm. I quit a 50,000 a year job at that point to chase my dream. This incident happened 2 months into the new adventure. Be careful who you accidentally forward an email to. You never know who's reading. I can't remember a time I ever felt more deceived. How was something I loved so much, hurting so badly? I had to walk from that deal and we had one of my "heroes" on the roster. It didn't make sense, but I still had fire in my belly for the music. As frustrated as I was about these things I felt like I had a family within Galleywinter. I was going to scale back my involvement on all things business relating to music. Focus on Greenfest. Stay in my lane. Get back to the reasons I fell in love with the scene and the music. Get back to the music family I had broken apart because of my decisions in my personal life. Try as I may, I was never able to get Humpty Dumpty back together again. In 16 years I never really considered myself all that much of an insider to the scene. There is an "in-crowd" in Texas Music/Red Dirt and let me tell you. There are a lot of fucking snakes in the den. I'm talking "friend of the week" people. You too can be "in" as long as you're doing shit for them. I'm nobody's bitch in this deal. I don't try to take money from people by lying about my level of passion for their art. I either believe in it or I don't. I never tried to pad my pockets for someone else's hustle and hard work. I never took on a project or put my creativity into anything for fiscal reasons. I did it because I believed in that someone. As a fan, I wanted to help. I wanted to be part of their success. 

I'm not saying it was all bad. I mean, Leroy Powell and the Messengers fucking rocked. Seriously, I have some real people in my life from it. I got to run around with Lincoln Durham and Uncle Lucius. LD, taught me a lot in our year together. He showed me what going in every night looks like. He showed me what being passionate was again. I got to see things I otherwise might have not. I'm so appreciative. I drove his bride crazy, so we had to separate, but I have nothing but love there. He's the most talented guy to cross my path in all my years. It's not even close. Same thing for my brothers in Uncle Lucius. Those guys always kept it 100 with me. They treated me like a brother and made me feel part of them. I wish them all nothing but the best. They are the best rock band to play a "Texas Music" stage. That's my opinion and I will go to the grave with it. 

At the end of the day, I wanted community and to throw a badass party (Greenfest) every year with my friends. I don't even know who those folks are anymore, so I've moved on. I found other things for myself. If I had all the time back I spent investing in the other artist. I would have put it into myself a little more. I'm about to be 44 years old. The past 16 years has been a rollercoaster. A lot of it because the choices I've made. I'm certainly not blameless for some of my reactions to the actions of others. The things I cared for the most are no longer real to me. A lot of the artist I believed in showed me who they really are as people. I'm no longer interested. The relationships have proved to be more hurtful than fruitful.

You're welcome for the free website by the way. You remember the one. Bunch of fucking takers.

These are just some of the things that ended this run for me ultimately. I just can't see myself spending anymore time promoting "The Scene." 3/4 of the music coming out isn't all that great anyway. A lot of the women are putting out the best stuff honestly. I spent a lot of years trying to find the next "big thing." It's just not going to come out of the "Texas/Red Dirt scene in my opinion. Artists like Sturgill and Stapleton are making sure of that. My advice to the young guy or gal is don't try and find your way into the Texas/Red Dirt scene. Find your own way. Don't do what's already been done. We've all heard that shit before. Don't lock yourself into playing the same bogus festivals, venues, and opening for the these bands. When you can guess the headliners year after year after fucking year. Guess what? You're part of a scene that's stuck in a loop. Where's our Sturgill Simpson? Where's our Chris Stapleton? He or she doesn't exist in this scene. Those guys don't belong to us. We talk about them, but they don't belong to this scene. We borrow them so we don't have to talk about the same damn bands all the time. Be you, keep it real, be original.

I wish the other guys who helped me with GW nothing but the best moving forward. I just lost my belief in it all. I'm not going to be part of something I feel so negatively about now. That's not fair to anybody. When you feel like a negative cog in the wheel. You need to see yourself out. That's exactly what I did. 

For everyone who appreciated my efforts over the years, thank you so much. It was all real. I wasn't trying to get in your pockets. If I spoke of you and your talent I meant it. If you're glad to see me gone that is all good too. I give no shits about you and you're probably shittier than this scene has made you. Step out of this comfort zone and you're probably a shadow of yourself in front of someone who is really listening.  

Last thing about "Texas Music Scene." I want to make sure I tuck everyone in properly with this one. One of the major business players in your scene is a confirmed panty drawer sniffing stalker. I know a gal who stepped out of her shower, wrapped in a towel. This creepy bastard had let himself into her home and was standing in her bedroom. He wasn't invited. Good luck with your business adventures and sleeping tonight. 

What will I do to support my love for music? I've already figured that out. I've invested that passion into my sons favorite music. Our connection through music is real and something I know will never be broken. I've had to open my mind to a few new genres, but I'm good with it. It's actually fun again. My dad was always saying, "Why are you listening to that bullshit?" I don't want to be that dad. I want to try and understand. I want to try and find my way into his world instead of forcing him into mine. Looking at going to my first Hip Hop festival with him. I'm actually excited. Hip Hop music got my ass in shape.

I'm not bitter. I'm not mad. I just finally don't care to be part of that world anymore. Most insincere friendships I've ever had. Won't be available for another blindside.

Not Still Here,

Like me, Love me, Hate me, 

Jon Paul

 

What is #ovp?

What exactly is #ovp? A question I get asked a lot. It's funny, because what it means now has significantly evolved from my initial intentions. The idea was originally a play off my sense of humor. I needed to lose some weight. I wanted full clearance when I gazed down upon my cash and prizes. I didn't want to see just the tip anymore. I wanted my jewels on full display. No longer did I want to "short change" myself. If you catch what I'm saying here. If not, we will probably never be friends. You should move on now. It's me, not you.

Going into the idea of shedding some pounds and getting my heart healthy. I knew enough about myself that I was going to have to find some levity with my situation. I had to give this journey a name. It needed to sound military in nature. A mission to find your pecker again is a big deal. That's better than a little deal if you follow me. If not, there's a comment section. A mission to find yourself takes on a whole new meaning. It took some digging and tearing away at some old layers of myself to recognize this. I knew I had a better chance of succeeding my fitness goals if I found a way to keep me inspired. I've used humor to mask tragedy my whole life. It's a coping mechanism without a doubt. I used to sit in my therapist office and laugh while telling otherwise horrifying stories about my childhood. She would say, "Why do you laugh why telling those horrifying stories?" The answer is because I've cried all I can. I have no emotions left to give to those things otherwise.

Crazy way to deal with things, but necessary to my survival. Point being, my health and weight had reached tragedy status in my eyes. I needed a mission bigger than losing weight. I needed to find a me that I never wanted to excusably find ways to laugh at, or destructively turn my back on again. I lost my confidence several years ago. I was a weak man looking back. Pathetic is the word that comes to mind. I hid behind an alter ego for years because I actually believed he was more likeable than the real Jon Paul. For years people have looked at me as a guy that leads, but honestly I was really just following along.

OVP started as something funny to keep me motivated. "Operation Visible Pecker." I still laugh every time I say it. I know it's crazy, but that's what feels normal to me. I originally wanted to shed some pounds, see my pecker in all its glory again, basic shit right? I found a lot more on this journey than my pecker. I found my "Man" again. I found a Jon Paul I love again. He's a badass dude and tougher than you can even fathom. This dude goes rounds daily to stay ahead of himself at all times. Like King Mac says, "I stay ready, so I don't have to get ready." I keep that on my wall so it's the first thing I read daily.  I found how to grind again. I found a never satisfied mentality. I found how to be a better dad. How to connect with my son by being part of his world instead of forcing him into mine. I found a greater relationship with my savior. I found a me that will never go back to that old me. That's a guarantee.

O V Mother Fucking P.

Until next time bih.

Jon Paul  

or 44Savage whichever you prefer.

Love you Big E. 

PS: Don't really miss Facebook. I miss people, but... 

The Deke

This morning I am in Odessa, Texas via Austin. I'm here to celebrate the life of David Stice Sr. aka "The Deke" aka Big Stice. I probably spent more time at this man's house than my own as a kid. Going through the challenges of growing up in my own home. The Stice family always welcomed and treated me as one of their own. There was something about hanging out at the Stice household that made my home life seem normal, maybe even boring at times. Way less excitement for sure. The cornerstone in that family was Big Stice. He was high energy. He was enthusiastic. He was a hard sell and a hard seller. He had quick hands. He was a fighter. A golden gloves champion. He was the dad that would roll around on the ground with you outside in a dress slacks, shirt and tie. David was the father of three children. Lynn, Bobby and David Jr. All of who I built a close relationship over the years. His son Little and I were best friends growing up. We would stay the night together so many nights consecutively we would eventually fight, take a couple days rest and start all over again. We used to prank Big David all the time. 

David would lay on Little's bed and watch T.V. eating snacks leaving crumbs behind. Little would get so upset about it. One night Big Stice all camped out in Little's room asked us to make him a sandwich. We obliged. Little and I went downstairs and made the best looking sandwich known to man, at least on the outside edges. The middle of the sandwhich was everything horrible we could find. I think we even had some sardines in the middle. We dressed the plate all up with chips to garnish our presentation. Little also had the idea to put hot almost boiling water in a thermos cup so "The Deke" could wash it all down. We delivered that sandwhich and Mr. Stice couldn't have been more appreciative. That was until he took that first bite into our masterpiece. We were sandwhich artist long before Subway. I'm pretty sure they stole that from us. Then came the drink to wash that nasty taste out of his mouth. He yelled and whooped and hollered. "Little, my mouth is burning. My mouth is burning. He ended up getting out of Little's room that night. 

Point being, Mr Stice, was a one of a kind in all that he did. He was that fun and crazy dad that gave kids like me an escape from my own home life. I knew I could go over to the Stice house and there wasn't anything I was going to do that was going to shock them or make them disapprove or judge me. I always admired how he wanted to do his own thing. He wanted to push and sell his ideas. He was a dreamer. He was a hustler. 

More than anything he taught me the importance of having the Lord in your life. When I was a kid I didn't want to listen as much, but his words always stuck with me. When I would stay the night with Little on Saturday nights, David would wake us up by saying, "Wake up guys, it's the Lords Day."  

Mr Stice, you're right sir. Today is the Lord's day. I love you man.

21,097 meters

On Sunday, I completed my first half-marathon. I didn't tell anyone I was going to do it. I committed to a full marathon without having a half-marathon under my belt. This mindset totally sounds like something I would do. Make the idea crazy or shelve it all together. My brother Brian mentioned it might be a good idea to do a half before I commit to a full. He's my devil's advocate by the way. He was right this time and a couple of other occasions, but enough about that. It was a very good idea to see where I'm at and where I need to get to tackle the big one. 

I honestly decided I was going to do it Saturday night while laying in bed. Off the cuff, just like I like it. No time to over-think anything, just do it. That's how I've handled all of my training. I just get after it. It's worked for me up until this point, so why change anything? Just do the work.

I've been indoor rowing weekly for a few months now. Someday's I will warm up with a 2,000-meter row, and if it feels right, I will make it 5000-meters. It just depends on the day. It's like anything else you do physically. Just listen to your body. It will tell you what's going on with you. I've completed some 10,000 - 15,000-meter rows and even a 17,400-meter row. Recently, I was going for 20,000 and the darn program restarted on me. I let that keep me from finishing that day. Then when I got home, I was so pissed at myself for stopping 2600 meters out because of a program glitch. I let that push me to right that wrong on Sunday. I'm not just settling for failure anymore. I honestly can't believe I ever did, even once. It's not easy to reprogram yourself, but I believe it's possible now. It's funny how some of those self-defeating habits can hang around. They are like Mexican fighters; you can't knock them out, and they never quit punching. I'm punching back now, in a big way. I am Arturo Gatti. I have the rounds in me. I can take a whooping, and I'm a little crazy. All things you need to rip that cord 3,434 times in 2:07:48. I wasn't trying to break any records my first time. I'm just getting into the habit of finishing things. I see a wall; I climb it mentality. If I can't climb it, I push through it.

Sunday morning I walked into the gym and told the trainer at the front desk. "I am going to be rowing a half-marathon over there today after I stretch. Please keep an eye on me." He said, "That's awesome, will do." After stretching, I said a little prayer and strapped in. In my experience with rowing, which is limited the first 5000-meters is always the hardest. It has been for me on any distance row I have worked to accomplish. I refer to it as the getting comfortable phase which depending on what you have going on isn't always that easy. There is something about getting that first 5000-meters behind you. 

The next 5,000 to 10,000-meters you're getting into the tunes. (Drake - "If you are reading this it's too late.") My body is starting to get loose. My stroke is good. My rhythm is like a dance. My breathing is totally under control. I have my heart rate locked in at 135-140 beats per minute. I'm sweating real good. I'm entirely in the race now. Everything feels great. Row, Row, Row your boat in the same place.

When I got to 10,000, I said another prayer and asked good Lord for 11,097 more. Mentally, I started telling myself I was half way there. Now, that can be taken as a positive or a negative. Since it's not easy to row 10,000-meters thinking you have 10,000 more can seem pretty daunting. I chose to go with, "Heck yeah, with every stroke I am closer to 21,097 than I am zero." It may sound stupid, but it's that kind of thinking that either keeps you going or makes you quit. I did pretty well getting to 15,000-meters. It wasn't easy, but it wasn't the other times I got there either. My biggest problem at this point was I was out of the water and being honest failed in hydration. At 16,400-meters I decided to hop off and refill my much-needed water. I also thought I needed an attire adjustment in certain areas. It was like I had jumped in a pool. Not a dry spot to be found. I was literally off the equipment for less than two minutes.

When I returned the program that restarted on me a few weeks ago, reset on me again. The timer was still going, but the meters read zeros. No shits were given on my behalf. Sure, it was a little like damn, but I simply did the math and realized I had another 4,697-meters to go. Since I was a little pissed, I finished strong with another 6,110-meters to make sure I locked it in. Somehow I believe that extra 1,413 meter is going to serve me well moving forward. 

So, there you have it. I didn't need anybody at the finish line waiting for me. Just me and Jesus are knocking out a half-marathon one time. Thank you by the way. :)

When we do the full marathon on October 15th, I will have support and someone to refill my water. I will do all the legs, body, arms, arms, body, legs work. 

Twenty-One Thousand and Ninety Seven Meters Out-

#OVP

Jon Paul

 

HATE

What is hate?

To feel intense or passionate dislike for someone. That's how the dictionary defines it. It's way uglier than any definition or group of words.

Freud defined hate as an ego state that wishes to destroy the source of its unhappiness.

I believe that means hatred breeds from feelings of superiority from individuals or groups who are unwilling to accept equality despite differences. Sounds like a bunch of assholes right? How's your ego by the way?

I hate this. I hate that. We have all used the word before. It even bites coming off the tongue. You even feel a certain kind of ugly when you say it. Even saying the word is planting a seed. It's like step one in the how to be a hater bible. What kind of garden are you growing? You know if you water the weeds they will grow too. They will take over. 

When are we going to realize and accept that no two people are the same? What an amazing and incredible gift we've all been given. It would be so lame if we were all the same. This idea reaches way past color of skin or any other defining physical or emotional characteristic of a person. Our uniqueness is what makes us all so special in our own way. Think about that... What is an individual? 

A single human being as distinct from a group, class, or family.

That's everyone us. Nobody is exempt from being an individual. At our base level we are all born into this world as such. Nobody is you, and you are nobody but you. I believe that is such a gift. A gift that deserves our energy and focus.

I've spent the last year learning to love myself again. Sometimes that alone is hard enough to do. I'm such a project myself. I don't have time to hate. I don't make time for it. I don't allow it in. I would be a hypocrite if I held any judgements. I need all the grace I can get. I'm learning to pull those weeds before they even break ground. There are better investments I can be making with that time and effort. Investments of love and compassion fulfill while hate is nothing more than the big empty.

Nobody is you so stop expecting others to share all of your views. It's never going to happen. It's not part of the design. We are all of free mind, body, spirit and will. Free from everything and everyone. Quit looking for something or someone to hate in life.

I don't hate anyone. I don't want to hurt anyone. I choose to feel and act this way in my daily walk. If that makes me vulnerable to hate against me. That's a risk I'm willing to take. Make the choice. Love first. It is a choice. 

A Voice.

A year ago I made a decision. 

A decision that finally ran out of excuses. I’ve had a calling going on inside of me. A clear voice from within was telling me, sometimes even yelling at me. "Jon Paul, you need to do this for yourself. You need to do this for the people who love you. It's time. It’s past time." This decision is your now or never moment. My health can't wait for another day or even another second. This voice wouldn't leave me alone. It was something stronger than I was going to be able to ignore. I believe I am sitting here right now because of this voice.

As I've always done, I tried to ignore the voice. I had been ignoring it for months or in reality years before surrendering to the decision. Embarrassingly, I continued to gain weight over that time. I wasn’t looking at a scale, but you know when you are doing lard ass things. Looking back, I believe subconsciously I knew the decision was coming. I was going to have to answer the bell soon. The voice was about to kick the stool out from under me. I think knowing that my response was near. I treated those days like they were my last. While looking back over the course of my journey, I might not have been that far off.

Every meal was a cheat meal. I was pretty much mainlining sugar and anything else I could do that was less than unhealthy. Sure I'll have another beer. Let's smoke another cigarette. I could use a large chocolate shake from Whataburger at 2:00 am. I think I will get out of bed and get one. A beacon of healthy living, let me tell you. All the while ignoring the voice. Typical of myself, usually ignoring that inner voice that cared about Jon Paul. A voice that only wanted to show me a Jon Paul that I never even knew.

On July 1, 2015, I woke up and stepped on a scale. I had been avoiding scales, but I thought, "What the hell, I'll take a look." 279 was starring me in the face. I stood disgustingly naked looking in the mirror and said, “Ok voice, I’m ready to listen.” It was like suddenly all the reasoning that had been going through my mind was about to show face. I looked in that mirror, and I remember thinking… Jon Paul, it’s your time. This decision is your now or never moment. You’re 42 years old. If not now, when? What are you waiting for? Love yourself enough to take this journey. Embrace this change, stay the course, and work with feverish determination. It was as though the voice had already been planting seeds. I knew what I needed to do. I wasn’t completely sure how, but we were going to figure it out. I was ready to listen. I had absolutely no idea what I was about to find out about Jon Paul.

I already had a gym membership that I had been paying for well over a year. Black Card Member. Here’s a genius tip for you, “Gym memberships only work if you show up.” You gotta let me know. I missed the memo. So here I am, in all my fitness attire. An XXL concert shirt, some hideous basketball shorts and my checkered slip on vans. Looking for a fitness sponsorship no doubt. I remember Kelly staring at me saying, “Where are you going?” haha I was headed to the gym. When you haven’t been to the gym in a while, there is a bit of Gymtimidation that goes on. At least that was the case for me. I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. I remember thinking. What can I do? Well, I know I can walk. I stepped on the treadmill and thought, now what?” How much time do I need? I looked down at my gut hanging over my waistline and said, “I need at least an hour here.” Operation Visible Pecker (#OVP) was born.

Every good journey needs a name. Operation Visible Pecker became my mission on this day. By giving my mission, a name it helped me design my program in a sense. I know that is funny, but it gave it purpose in my crazy mind and made it fun. During that first walk on that treadmill, I had a real conversation with the voice. We needed some goals here. I needed a plan. I have always heard 21 days makes a habit. I have made bad habits in way less time over the years. It was a start. I committed that day that I was going to show up for myself 21 days in a row. I was going to walk and hopefully eventually run on this treadmill every day for 21 days and see what my results were. I like to make a game out of things so; I also committed to doing whatever necessary to make it a little further every day than I did the day before. I followed that plan for 21 days and on the final day, I almost ran the whole hour. My body hurt every day for that 21 days. I didn’t know if it was normal soreness or I was injured. I didn’t give a shit. I wasn’t going to quit. That 21 days turned into 28 workouts that first month. I made it every day but three days. I lost 18 lbs that month. Moreover, I had set the tone for my journey. I had also started to develop a mental toughness I didn’t even know I had. I didn’t even know I was growing it. At that time it never even crossed my mind. My whole reasoning for doing this in my mind was purely physical.

Over the course of that month, I did a lot of observing others in the gym. I took notice of the people who were in shape, and I picked up things from their routines. I started to see the people who were showing up daily. I wanted to meet them. I wanted to stay close to like-minded people. I knew that would ultimately help me stay accountable. I had some early success, but it was true grit that had gotten me this far. I was so pissed at myself that anger fueled my July. I understood I was still vulnerable to take the ball and run straight for the other goal post again. I started to meet some people at the gym. A small group of young adults welcomed me into their group. I met a guy named Edgar, who had lost 120 pounds on his journey. It took him showing me a picture for me to believe him. We are still friends. He’s a daily like myself now. 

As much as Edgar had not only inspired and helped me with questions about nutrition or correct form while doing an exercise. A little old man named Tom became my source for daily inspiration. I honestly believe the voice put him in my life. Tom, a little old man in his late 70’s who had suffered a massive heart attack, and I believe a stroke became my Arnold Schwarzenegger. Every day when I thought I had an excuse to not to show up, I figured… Tom is showing up. What is wrong with me today that I can’t get it done? Thinking about Tom and what he was doing daily to maintain the quality of his life instantly gave me no excuse. I had nothing.

The reason I know the voice put Tom in my life is this. Before Tom and I was officially introduced. I was sharing some photos of him on Facebook and Instagram getting it done. I didn’t know his name. I just knew I was building an enormous amount of respect for him. I figured when the time was right I would introduce myself to the little old man who wore Khakis to workout. Tom is making “Leg Day” his bitch while rocking the business casual. Not knowing his name yet I thought, he needs a name with all my post, so I chose “Tom.” A few weeks later I walked over to him and said, “Slow down man. You’re wearing that treadmill out.” He laughed. I said, “Sir, I see you here daily, and it’s inspiring to me.” “I’m Jon Paul.” “Nice to meet you, Jon Paul, I’m Tom.” I'm pretty sure my mouth fell open. I never told Tom I guessed his name before we even met. I knew right then I had connected with Tom for a reason. It was one of those moments.

Tom and I became pretty good buddies during my time at Planet Fitness. He loved to come to me and say stuff like, “5 more Jon Paul” or my favorite, “Faster, Faster, Faster…” haha

Tom will never really know the impact he had on me all those months together. I worked harder every day because of him. Working through so many bumps, bruises, and legitimate injuries during my first nine months of training. Shoulder pain, pulled a groin, elbow pain, plantar fasciitis in both feet, raw taint, name it. I’ve been diagnosed with Scoliosis since I was in middle school, so that is something I have always dealt with in my life. A certain level of being uncomfortable comes with the territory depending on the curvature you're dealing with in your diagnosis. Now that I am building me a cobra back it’s taking care of itself. I am more aligned than I’ve been, maybe ever. I worked through these things because I had no excuses thanks to Tom. He pushed me and had no idea he was doing it. Out of all the people, we could have latched on for inspiration. We picked Tom. Thank you, voice. I miss you Tom.

During my first nine months, I learned so much. I took an interest in fitness-related stuff. I started to educate myself more and more. I wanted to learn more exercises and start to tackle my nutrition. You can't out work a shitty diet. It's just not possible. Trust me, I tried. I wanted to try different things. When I finally walked and ran myself into submission with plantar fasciitis in both feet as mentioned before. I could barely walk, but I knew if I took off the amount of time it was going to take to heal properly. I was running the risk of falling backward. Again, I know me, and I have always got to stay aware of who I can be if I’m not careful. So, for one solid month, I limped every day to the gym. During this time I found the exercise bike. I rode the shit out of that bike daily for an hour. It's all I felt like I could do, but I was doing it. I used the same strategy as I used on the treadmill when I started. How far can I get in an hour? 23.44 miles is my best to date. It’s a hell of a ride. You should try it someday soon. Again, I was building mental toughness that I was not completely aware of at the time. It was during the 20-mile rides that I started developing an interest in endurance related activities. I started wanting to find out how far I could push myself. 

The first part of April, about nine months into my journey. I was riding the bike one morning when my heart rate went from my exercise peak to through the floor in a matter of seconds. My vision went blurry, and I almost passed out. I ended up transported to the ER and eventually was kept overnight for further evaluation. Upon that assessment, I learned that I have an enlarged heart. The doctor said I could have been born with it or developed it over time due to untreated high blood pressure and not taking very good care of myself. I’m honestly leaning toward option B. My cardiologist told me that had I not taken the steps that I had been the past year we could have been talking about a less desirable outcome. She put me on some meds to control my blood pressure and said I could continue to exercise as long as I was feeling ok doing so. I took a few days off to gather myself after the episode. My busy mind was totally messing with me. What if it happens again? What if I can’t continue doing this? I had a whole lot of "What if's" going through my mind. I didn’t talk about it much, but it wasn’t easy getting back into the rhythm I had worked so hard to find finally in my life. I was nine months in and plateaued at 51 lbs lost. My body has changed so much from the day I started this journey. I was starting to see all the hard work I had been putting in. I was stronger, faster, leaner and most importantly my mind was so much more clear than before. Well, almost...

The month of April was a tough one after the heart issue came up. I had anxiety attacks every time I walked in the gym. I would see that purple and yellow and it totally freaked me out. Since the heart episode happened on the exercise bike, I stopped riding it. It was all mental at that point, but I happen to excel at mental. I was getting through workouts, but I was taking it easy on myself. I was dialing back the intensity of my workouts which was pissing me off being honest. I had gotten all the results I achieved by doing high-intensity training. I believed for a brief minute that potentially I wouldn't meet the goals I had been designing for the past nine months. I already know how the best version of myself is going to look. I've been creating that blueprint in my mind the whole time. You have to see it, to be it. The negative guy was trying to find an opening to do his work on me. I was getting pretty frustrated by the whole situation. 

Frustrated and losing my momentum I knew I had to do something. I needed a change. I did a lot of extra praying about it. I realized I had fallen back into trying to resolve things on my own instead of leaning on the strength that had got me so far already. I needed to make sure I was listening to the right voice. I needed to trust in my corner man. Feeling as though I needed a change, I joined a new gym. It was exactly the change I needed. I hated to leave Tom, but this was necessary for me to push forward. My workout needed an overhaul to break the plateau I had found. It felt like a fresh start the day I walked in the new gym. They had new toys to play on. Lap pool, rowing machines, kettlebells, spin bikes and a whole lot of iron. It took me all of a couple of workouts before I decided to push myself again. I was getting back on track physically, but mentally too. I remember saying a short prayer over and over while doing my first 20-mile ride since the health scare. It was real simple. 

"Lord, I don't want to be scared anymore."

I found a calm in those words. I still do. My conversations are much different now when I'm training. I've concluded that I enjoy testing my endurance. It's my favorite part of working out now. I love creating challenges for myself. I have found a lot of healing in being able to complete them. At some point, I want to start participating in some endurance races. I have a burning desire to cross some finish lines. I have developed a passion for rowing and swimming. Every couple of weeks I create and race mini-triathlons. An example would be a 5000-10,000 meter row, 10-20 mile bike ride and 50 laps in the pool. It feels pretty kick-ass finishing one off. I have found the best way to keep showing up is to do the things you enjoy doing. Make it about more than showing up to workout. 

Nutrition has been my struggle through the whole journey. I like to eat chocolate almonds. I'm surprised at the results I have achieved despite myself. It's been hard with all the things I have given up. I quit drinking. I quit smoking. I quit making excuses. I have found a balance I can live with finally. I'm starting to see the results of getting my nutrition and workouts on the same page. I quit following a scale months ago. It's not about a number anymore. It's about a feeling.

So here I am. One year later. Am I happy with my results? I'm proud of how far I have come for sure, but I'm not satisfied. The feeling of not ever being satisfied is what drives me now. I'm developing a no finish lines attitude now. Everything that I achieve moving forward is nothing more than a checkpoint. I don't care how many finish lines I run through moving forward. This journey started with an idea of building my best me. You can't put a deadline on that. Those are the things that feed complacency. I've learned a lot about myself. I'm a determined guy. I'm a fighter. I have the best corner man in the business guiding me. He is my strength and my assurance. He is my voice. I'm taking instructions a lot better now. I've found peace and calm that has escaped me most of my adult life through training. It's better than any pill I've ever taken. It's like taking my meds with nothing but kickass side effects. 

Thank you to everyone who has been supportive in following my journey. I hope you all find your lane, your voice, your reason. Someone you love is probably watching ready to take off too. Show up for yourself. Show up for the people in your life who love you. Find you a Tom. Set the pace.

Run your race. Never quit. Ever.

Jon Paul

Year 2, day 1. #ovp

A flicker became a fire.

There is something about the mental aspect of a daunting physical challenge that intrigues, inspires, and drives me. I never knew this about myself. I guess I never really gave myself a chance to find out. Now I find myself planning the night before what I'm going to do the next day to push myself. Possibly make myself a tinge uncomfortable. 

It all has something to do with being able to push through when my mind starts trying to tell my body to stop. Being able to shut out those self doubts drives me further. The ability to overcome those mental phases of the challenges is so rewarding to me. I really enjoy the conversations that go on during those moments. I find myself in such a calm space. It's like I'm meditating and my body just knows what to do at times. It's all about breathing by the way. One voice inside my head might be screaming "You're done Jon Paul" while the other is calmly and confidently saying, "We got this. Keep pushing through. Your body will follow." It's a battle within the battle. I love it. It's healing me from the inside out. I'm all sewn up.

The more I pit myself against endurance challenges. The more distance I am putting between myself and those self defeating ideas I have developed over my lifetime. I'm winning everyday against my biggest and most feared opponent, myself. I don't need to beat anyone else. I'm the undisputed champion of me and that's enough.

I'm going to continue training to become an endurance athlete. I want to explore ways to push myself beyond. Beyond what one might ask? I honestly don't know the answer to that question. That's what makes the journey even more exciting to me.

I know somewhere along this journey a switch turned on inside of me. A flicker became a fire. It became about more than my waistline. It's kinda like falling in love when you didn't even mean to fall in love. I keep finding myself wanting to know more about Jon Paul. What am I really made out of here? How much grit and determination do I have? What can I endure today that will make me stronger for whatever I must endure tomorrow? Am I ready?

Showing up for myself daily is revealing my truth to these questions. I have to find these answers. I'm going to find them. I'm carving my own path. I'm not maneuvering around things I find unsatisfactory about myself like I've done in the past. I'm not putting bandaids on problems that need stitches. I'm pushing, pulling and running right through those things now. Everything I have endured over the course of my life has given me the fuel I need to keep this fire burning. I'm not going to let me down. It's not an option.

There is no finish line, just checkpoints. #ovp

Chocolate Almonds and Rambo 2.

I believe I would be shredded like Rambo 2 right now if only I could have stepped away from the chocolate almonds a little more. It's no secret I've worked my ass off the past year in the gym. I'm actually surprised at the progress I've made with the lack of self control I've shown at times when it comes to my affinity for chocolate almonds. You're probably thinking, "How many chocolate almonds are we talking about?"

Handfuls multiplied by handfuls squared.

Over the past 11 months I have given up so many habits. I've quit drinking. I've quit smoking cigarettes. I've quit sodas. I've quit taking big cups of chocolate milk to bed just in case I needed a sip. I've quit chips. I've put my Ben and Jerry's habit down. Double Chocolate Fudge Brownie is where sin comes from if you were wondering. Chocolate almonds have had a hold on me. I had been 23 days without any until tonight. Tonight I walked right past the regular almonds. I had other plans on this evening. I pulled that chocolate almonds bulk lever tonight at Howard E. Butt grocery. I pulled it like a slot machine that was paying on all lines. I looked over my shoulder like I was committing a crime while I was doing it. To my demise nobody was looking. I took advantage of the moment. As I walked around the store my guilt began to set in. I asked, "Who am I right now?" I wasn't feeling all that bad I guess because I started to eat them while shopping around. Once I got that first handful handled, I knew I was in trouble. There was no turning back. I gently put my foot through the floorboard and ended up finishing the bag before I left the store. I was standing in line reading a Men's Health magazine about how to get the body of Tarzan. All the while reflecting on the sin of gluttony I had just committed. I handed the empty bag to Josh at checkout lane one and said, "Yea Josh, that just happened." He scanned my empty bag and disposed of the evidence. My conscious is clear. I feel better.

The old me would have done it without a second thought. I guess the fact that I'm even thinking about this is progress. Accountability is a big deal when you're trying to make your changes stick.

Maybe Rambo 2 is just not in my cards... Maybe I'm more of a Tarzan type anyway. We'll see, I bought the magazine. #ovp

Just 5 more laps Jon Paul

Swimming has been the best thing I've added to my daily routine. I've gained so many benefits from getting my swim on. It's leaning me up big time. I'm sleeping better than I have in sometime. It works best when I swim a few hours before I want to go to bed. I should have went tonight... I wouldn't be laying here writing this right now, choices. I also really enjoy the endurance part of swimming. Every day I just keep saying to myself, "Just 5 more laps Jon Paul." Now, from a mental perspective 5 more of anything seems doable right? It does in my mind. It's not like asking for 15 or 20 more... It's only 5. Now, if you say it enough times it will turn into that 15 or 20 more. That's the secret to becoming a warrior. You read it here first. Really, all I've been doing is convincing my mind. The physical 5 ain't shit really. I'm finding more and more how tough the body actually can be. I can assure you, we are tough. At least this is how I'm working it all out in my mind. I know that I keep being able to make that 5 more, so it ain't all bullshit. I'm building great endurance here. I love it. I have a desire to keep pushing myself to go further and further. Part of me feels like it's me leaving a version of myself behind that I don't like very much. Part of me feels like it's me getting closer to a me I can actually like. Anyway, If you're looking for a great workout for body and mind try swimming laps. It's really changed it up for me. I love to use it as a finisher. Now that I have tunes too.... Shiiiiiiii....t. 😊

Went to the cardiologist today. She said, I'm doing a great job taking care of myself. My blood pressure is normal again and my resting heart rate is in the athletic range for my age. I told her if having heart made me an athlete then I'll take it. I told her about the "Every Day In May" challenge. She said, I need your motivation. She asked me how the no alcohol was going. I told her that I haven't had a drink in over 60 days, but who's counting? #ovp

#OPV (Operation Pecker Visible)

All clear...

Day 2, of month 11 #OVP

I don't know why I quit writing here... probably the same reason I've quit other things I started along the way. Thinking about it, I really just wanted to have something to say.

Today I decided to take a much-needed and deserved day off from the gym. I trained 45 times in the past 31 days. 153,869 calories burned in the month of May. That's 43 pounds of hard work and sweat. During that time I lost 8 lbs of fat, but the results are much greater than all those numbers. At the end of the day, those numbers mean nothing to me anymore. What I gained through challenging myself will last a lot longer and prove to be more beneficial as I push forward on this journey. It might seem excessive to you, but I'm doing what I believe is needed for Jon Paul. I know myself really well at this point in my life. I understand that I need to drive this nail in. I need to bury it. That's what I'm trying to do. A friend told me, "Be careful, you'll burn yourself out." I said, "I am burned out with myself. That's why I am doing this." That means I'm that tired of my own shit in the most broken down sense. I've made this journey my "Now or Never" moment in life. That's honestly how I look at it. I've got by in life long enough. I want to find out what I'm really made of here. I'm going to find out. I don't see any other option here. I don't want to see the other options. I've already tried all of them. I already know what Jon Paul is going to look and feel like soon enough. The blueprint has been designed and I was given a sneak peak. I'm going to grab that man's hand and shake it soon. I might even give him a hug and mean it.

Somewhere along the way my need to do this turned into a want. I believe that is when you know you have turned to corner. Hey, I am totally stoked that I can see my pecker in the shower again, but somewhere along this journey I noticed I could see again, period. I've spent a life walking around looking at everyone's shoes, not because of anything they did and certainly not because of their shoes. It was all about me and my false confidence. I'm learning to build real confidence instead of hiding behind some character I built and others supported along the way.

I've been able to answer a lot of questions through endurance and strength training. A lot of people say, "I get bored working out." Well, that is another excuse, my friends. One that I have made plenty of times in the past. I use the time to think, to visualize, to meditate, to pray. I use the time to think about the best version of myself (He's shredded like Rambo 2 by the way). I'm using the time to let things go or at least put them down. Point being, the time spent can be way more fruitful than the exercises alone. 

I don't know everything or everyone this is going to lead me to, but I'm excited about it. I spent a lot of years putting my time, energy and creativity into the other guy. I guess I felt like someone else deserved it more than me. I'm all in on Jon Paul this time. I'm putting all my chips in here. I can't be let down by anyone or anything but myself on this journey. I like this scenario. I'm somewhat surging in it. I know things are going to try and get in my way. I know my old habits are never far away. I'm reminded of it daily as I try to adjust to being socially J.P. I feel a little awkward in social situations now. It's something I am having to work on. I guess part of me kind of believed just being Jon Paul wasn't enough. I know that's not true now. 

My son told me he was proud of me the other day. It's kind of a reversal of roles. I'm supposed to be the one telling him how proud I am of him. I am very proud of him. I tell him almost daily. I have not made his life easy at times because of my choices along the way. I can own that, and I do. If you can't own your faults you'll never stand a chance to fix them. Making real changes means taking a long, hard and honest look at yourself. The reflection isn't always pretty, but you have to stare it down. None of this I am doing is ever going to make me perfect at anything. I can honestly say I believe the words of my son when he says, "I'm proud of you Dad. Keep going." I will Ethan Paul. I promise you I will.

Thank you, everyone, for all the support. I have supported a lot of things over the years. It might have even been you at one point or another. If this journey gives something back or helps someone else make some changes in their life. I'm real happy about that. I've always liked to help people even when I couldn't help myself. I still want to help people. I have plans to do even more of it as I move forward. All the private messages I receive from you mean something to me. If I can help you get started. I want to help. I'm not posting my workouts on social media for me. I know I am showing up. I'm doing it to let someone who needs a little motivation know, I'll do this with you. I'll support you. We'll support one another. 

I had no idea what I would find when I went looking for myself. Thank you, Jesus, for opening my eyes and heart to accept these changes. We're going to cross some finish lines together. We already have my man. We already have.

Jon Paul

Indica Fitness

190,722 total steps in 2 weeks. You do the math. I finally got on a scale today, 13 #'s lost. Not bad for a fat kid that just came off the Queso IV pole fifteen days ago.

I promised myself when I started this I wasn't going to chase the number, but focus on how I look and feel. If I look the way I want and can see my pecker again who gives a shit about the number right? I guess it's good to have some tangible measurements for progress. I just don't want to get hung up on a number. When I look in the mirror and say all kinds of sexy things to myself, I will know I am where I want to be.

A lot of thought and decision went into this new road I'm paving. I had to let myself get pretty miserable inside my body before putting this plan into action. The truth is I have been mentally working up to this change for months. I just finally ran out of excuses. When I over exhausted all of my thoughts and reasoning. I simplified it down to one question. Why would I not love and value myself enough to do this for me? I have no answer so that being said I have no excuse.

I think I'm just tired of being a shadow of myself. I believe in my reaching this goal that it will open endless doors in all other areas of my life. I want to put my mind, body and spirit in harmony for once. At one time or another my mental state has been the wall I couldn't get over. I believe at 42 years young I finally have the knowledge, wisdom and grit to start making the necessary changes to lead a healthier life. I've certainly had no issue with creating bad habits for myself. Let's just say, I've been hard on myself being myself. 

The first day I went to start this new version of Juan Pablo version 4.20. When I first stepped on the treadmill, and it asked me the standard questions. How close are you to dying? How fat are you? How high are you today? How much time does your gut need to run? I looked down at my gut and said, "Better give us an hour here." 

Well, I made it through that hour on the treadmill with only two smoke breaks. One at mile 3 and one during the cool down of course. Planet Fitness prefers if you fire it up outside. They should post that somewhere. You have got to let me know.

So, that has been the bar I am working to progress. The measuring stick if you will. How far can I get in an hour is the game I am playing. I almost made 5 miles last night. I was sprinting balls at the end of the run to make the mark and came up just shy 4.97 miles. Missed the mark by 3/10ths of a mile. That was the result of a 70-minute workout. I just considered the extra time like extended-play during a classic game of Defender.  

I've been running/walking/weight training almost every day now. I'm doing it for me and, of course, the people who love me. Every step I take I'm running and working toward a new me. It's going to be a long race, but I'm going to finish this time. I drive me like nobody else. I'm steady at the wheel.

Thank you for music. I couldn't do this without you, my friend.

And thank you, Jesus... I wouldn't have this will without you. The talks on the run are vital to our process.

 

Operation Visible Pecker #OVP

I've started back to the gym this July. I've gone every day except the 4th, America. I'm trying to prove that pot smokers can get in shape too... not really, but kind of really. We all know that all we do is sit on the couch and eat Cheetos, queso, drink a gallon of Sprite with Reese's Cup chaser. The truth is trying to live a more healthy and productive life is my real motivation. Health concerns have finally made me get off my lazy by nature ass. My blood pressure has been out of control over the past few years. I've been running real hot, which makes you feel pretty much like shit. No energy, motivation sucks, crashing hard on the daily. It's not hard to understand why I've developed into such a beacon of fitness over the years. Sitting behind a computer all day designing stuff or giving #rideswithjuanpablo doesn't light the metabolic furnace or get the heart pumping. I've also made the decision to give up alcohol for the most part. I'm going to save myself for those few times a year occasions. You know times like Greenfest and such. I'm not going just to sit around the house and drink for the sake of drinking. I owe this to myself. I've made a life out of unhealthy choices. I've always wondered what it would be like to get into the best shape of my life? How much ass could I kick in all areas of my life if I worked my body and mind into peak performance? All I've done is wonder what it was like without really putting a plan into place. I got in pretty good shape in my mid-30s. I lost about 50 pounds and dropped a few pant sizes. My concert shirt size went from fat ass to large. I felt really good, but I was still too mentally immature to maintain it. I fell right back into my alcohol, sodas and candy life. It was like I hit my goal weight and said, "Fuck it, I made it. Nothing more to do here." My maintenance plan never really went into action. Once I started rewarding myself, I just went ahead and stepped on the gas. What can I say, I like stepping on the gas from time to time. I have proved I can put my foot through the floorboard when it comes to making unhealthy decisions. Every day I think about all the times I started a healthy plan for my life only to fail because of lack of mental strength. It's the failures that drive me to succeed this time around. One thing I have learned from my list of failures is what it takes to find the win column more often. I've also learned that just because you learn something doesn't mean you always apply it either. I've earned a life of bad outcomes by the choices I've made. I now understand what to do, and I know the hard work it takes, but knowing is not enough, unfortunately. I have to do it and stay mindful on the daily about my choices good and bad. I know I am going to do this because I'm ready to do it. At 42 years young I want this for myself. I need to love myself enough to stay the course. I've started a million things I have yet to finish in this life of mine. I like my chances this time. I'm betting on me. With every mile, set or repetition I visualize a new me. I can see him. It's my job to go be him. 

Sad Minded

All I have been writing is sad stuff... sorry I haven't been posting lately not really wanting to bring y'all down. A folder full of drafts with no posts... that even sounds sad.

The crazy thing is I don't even feel sad. At least I don't think I do? Shit, I don't know. Maybe I'm just wearing another mask? I have many masks so I can hide from the bad people or from myself when I need to escape me. Emotions come from somewhere. Sometimes they don't knock before kicking in your door. So many dark holes that need to be filled. You cover one hole up only to open thirty-six more. I need a bigger shovel.

Sometimes the best therapy is learning to laugh at the things that make you blue. I've joked about my insecurities at times. I believe we all do it. It's a coping mechanism I guess. Comics make careers out of playing to their biggest fears and insecurities. Humans are weird, at least I know I am. Always searching for a reason to be alright with being me. Talk about a fucking scavenger hunt. Some day’s it's a challenge. I guess I'm not too tired of my bullshit yet... we'll see.

It's probably all the shitty stories we are fed all day. Maybe I need to leave the internet again? There was a certain peace I found in my time away. We are a world designed for depression and sadness. We play right into it.

I hope this wasn't sad. You should read the last thing I tried to write. Nope.

Becoming a Dog... My Journey...

After years of wanting my very own wagging tail, I am going to start the journey and transition to becoming a dog. I am going to start with a tail transplant so I can start sniffing everyone's ass in public while wagging my new tail without ridicule and judgment. I also hope to find acceptance when I shit in your yard or hike my leg to piss on your tires. Don't be upset with me. I'm just going to be a dog doing dog stuff. I understand there will be an adjustment period in the public eye but, if I sit here and do nothing about my desire to chew on rawhide bones and lick my balls in public I have not lived. I hope my courage, bravery, and heroism will reach all that struggle coming to terms that they too would like to have a wagging tail. If one person grows their tail because of my example. My transdog decision is not in vain. It is my hope that I will be able to love unconditionally like all the other dogs instead of just being another shitbag human. Hopefully, the Westminster Kennel Club will accept my entry into the dog show and award me with "Best In Show." I'm ready to dethrone that Beagle once and for all. I pretty certain I have what it takes.

Thank you for all your support and understanding. I hope you will all learn to accept me over time. It's such a relief to finally share my story. I've been a closet dog my whole life. Secretly sniffing an ass here and there when the opportunity presents itself. Hiding bones from Dings and Dolly so I can gnaw on them later. I can't hide the fact that sometimes late at night I slip out of bed to drink out of the dog bowl when nobody is watching. My secret is out. I hope some of you will still give me a good scratch when you see me. 

I'm going to practice my bark now.

Ruff. 

Better Dude

I have a strong desire to always be better. Admittedly, sometimes my execution really sucks. I guess I need to work on better execution. Point is there is room for improvement in every part of our being. That's always true for everyone of us. We all suck at something. Even the things we're good at we could always be better. To be better means you're growing as a person. If you're not growing as a person then you are dying a little bit more than you're living.

I'm always thinking about how can I be a better dad, son, brother, friend or just a better dude period. My heart is always in the right place. I don't sit around with malice in my heart for anyone. I figured out that I don't want to spend that kind of mental time concentrating on my enemies. I mean what's the use in all that when I can direct that energy toward something more positive for my life. Everyone is not going to like you and you're not going to like everyone. Such is life. Let it and them go. Letting it go means you keep their name out of your mouth too. If you can't do that then you're not really letting it go. Enough talking and eventually you'll be the asshole. We are all a little judgemental even if we don't want to admit it. Enemies are born from judgements. Negative opinions and comments about someone is a form of judgemental behavior. I say we cut all that loose. It's only keeping us from getting better in our own lives.

With our eyes full of judgement and our mouths filled with wicked tongue. We will never see, hear or speak our own truth. Try to find something you love about someone instead of something you hate. You'll be better for it.