People of Character


It’s been nearly a week and a half since I last posted an article on here. Rest assured it’s not because I have nothing to say or haven’t been working on anything. Here at Legion Fitness things are busier than ever. Next week we will be launching our online workout program and nutritional guide in cooperation with our partner site “Ingredients to Live By.” We’re also finalizing plans to open a gym here in the Nashville metro area. The more successful I become the more I find my time split between many projects and demands. I’m not complaining though but grateful. Not long ago I had nothing but time on my hands and nothing to do with it. It’s an exciting time.

This past week I had to make some hard decisions about the company I keep; not only in person but online. Over the years as I have built my dreams I have realized that often the hardest roadblocks to success are the friendships we keep. Online it is easy to fill your life with so-called friends who share similar passions and hobbies. Are they really your friends though? With few exceptions they are not. I have built some good relationships through Facebook and made some valuable connections that will only help me in the months and years ahead but unfortunately I have also filled my circle with garbage that needed to be dumped.

I don’t use the word garbage to be spiteful or insulting but to convey the simple truth of the matter. Too many of us have surrounded ourselves with clutter; people who fill our minds with pollution and distract us from our purpose and true goal. They pull us down not just with their negativity but with their poisonous actions and the way they constantly anger us. To put it bluntly if you desire to be a person of character you cannot surround yourself with those who have none. People who wish to stand for something; to shine through the darkness of jaded philosophy and to stand apart from the sheep of this world cannot allow those with no integrity to fill their thoughts.

I have long known that I am an arrogant and uncompromising man. I feel little need to prove myself to others and have little patience for people who cannot be relied on to do what they say or back up their bragging. Most of all I cannot abide to be around people who have no backbone or principles. I hate those whose values shift constantly in the wind of popularity and trends. I despise those who are afraid to speak their mind and whisper insults in secret while bowing and scraping in person. You can usually identify these people by their constant need to exaggerate their accomplishments in an unending game of one-upmanship. Everything you do; they can do better. Anything you like, they like too as long as you are listening, then at first chance they will cut your throat if it gets them closer to those in power or in charge of what they want.

Facebook is filled with these people and as people of character we must strive to shake loose of their grip and detach ourselves from their misery. I refuse to be part of anything that will not stand for its own values and principles. I refuse to quiet my criticism of what I know to be deceitful and false in order to gain popularity and support. If I do not like you, you will know it. You will not receive my praise and false friendship while I plot behind you and run your name through the mud to others. I have little to fear from anyone in this world and will not hide behind a mask of lies. I will not hide my face behind the picture of my children while slinging obscene jokes and foul comments on Facebook. I will not tout my victories to cover up my many failures and shout down anyone who calls me on my bullshit, or simply demands some levity and truth.

I believe in few things in this world, but those that I do I support all the way and will not back down or be persuaded to abandon them for convenience. I am a man of my word. I do what I say and say what I mean. My character may be harsh at times, judgmental at others, uncompromising, unfair, and even old-fashioned but it is character nonetheless and I would not change it. Our integrity as people is all we really have that cannot be taken away. If our allegiances and beliefs can be bought and sold what does that say about our souls? In a world where men of principle, reliability, and integrity are in such short supply why do so many sell theirs for so little?

I am a personal trainer by profession, a warrior by calling, and a teacher by choice. Above all that; I am a human being struggling to make this world better for my species. It may sound simple and quaint but I do not believe there is a nobler calling in all the world or a more worthy goal. One day I will have children and the world they inherit will largely be determined by my actions and choices. They way they see the world before their eyes will depend on what I teach them about it, and show them how to look at it. That starts today with my own views and stance on things.

I try to show my clients a different way to see things so that they can live differently and experience the world in ways they thought impossible. That begins with their character. I teach them the character and strength of will I learned as a Marine, not to impress them but to share with them the knowledge that who we are; starts with what we say not only to others but to ourselves. Who we are and what we stand for is much more important than what races we have won, how many miles we can run, or how much weight we can lift. True strength comes from character and integrity. If people cannot rely on you to keep your word and remain steadfast then what are you?

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Shanny says:

    I might get in trouble for this comment but here it goes anyway. There have been some articles circulating about how we should not strive for physical attractiveness because it can make you shallow and one dimensional when you start to see people for what they look like before who they are. I have to disagree with that though. I do see people for what they look like and often times I will judge them for that. Not because of what they look like but because what a person looks like is an outward indicator of the life that they lead and the story that they are telling themselves and others. Knowing, as I do, how much of a sacrifice and hard work being healthy and in shape (in all aspects of life) can be, I know that the person that I’m looking at isn’t putting forth that effort and for that I judge them. I feel like telling people, “It’s not any easier for me, buddy, I just give a shit, that’s all.”.

    Anyway, good post….not sure how you’re planning to cull out your unsupportive, energy draining acquaintances but these things usually have a way of sorting themselves out…..once you know where you’re going, they either have the energy and drive to go with you or they don’t. And then, problem solved!

    1. changingscottslife says:

      I think that most of us that are being honest with ourselves judge people by how they look at first. I admit to the same bias every time I see an extremely obese person in Walmart. I think to myself “what’s their problem?” There are a myriad of excuses that the media hands down to explain obesity but none are legit and science dismisses them. However I do know that many obese people do truly seek a healthier life and body but feel overwhelmed by the task ahead and have given up on it. As far as the recent articles about not wanting to look better I have no time or patience for them. The people that write those would have me apologizing for being fit and attractive. They would say that I am shallow and crude because I enjoy how I look. In reality their articles are just more excuses and justifications to not be more, to enable mediocrity. I am all for self esteem and a good mental self image but not when it comes at the price of settling for less and excusing laziness. Regardless of how they look now, the fitness models we see on magazines and covers got there through hard work, discipline, and determination. No one gave them that body, and were they to feed it garbage and sit on their asses all day I promise you no amount of genetics would prevent them from gaining weight and getting fat. I’m tired of having my hard work explained away as fate or some genetic gift or shallow pursuit.

  2. Shanny says:

    I love your last sentence. A lot.

    I think you’re right, many unhealthy and overweight people desire a healthier life, but do they actually go out and seek it? I’m not so sure. I used to be 260+ pounds and the day I decided to actually go and SEEK better health and vitality for myself, that’s when the work began. And it is work, every bloody day….forever!

    A friend of mine, who also commits significant time and energy towards fitness and health, discuss this quite often. We have friends and coworkers who have seen where we’ve been and where we are now and decide they are going to get the same results…..only they collapse the moment it gets difficult and then declare that we (my friend and I) are somehow special or less busy or less stressed than they are and that it must’ve been much easier for us…..after all, they didn’t actually SEE us struggle through rainy runs and early gym and saying no to birthday cake and muffins. That pisses me off….because people see the result without recognizing the insane amount of effort to even get halfway.

    So ya, I do judge people who don’t put in any effort and then piss and moan about their hard life and how cars are getting smaller and booths are getting smaller and stairs hurt their knees.

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