Kings, Queens, and other BS

I will never call myself a king, or my girl a queen. I am not royalty or nobility and this trend of declaring ourselves to somehow be special or superior is just another act of declaring our own entitlement to privileges and special treatment we neither need or deserve.

I’m getting really tired of reading this BS on social media. I think what makes it so hard for me to digest is that often times the people declaring their own royal stature are neither, noble or royal in character or deed. They’re usually self-absorbed attention seeking fame mongers.

We aren’t kings or queens, princes or princesses we’re just people doing the best we can. When did it become so wrong to be just an everyday guy or gal? When did doing your best to do your job, pay your bills, and provide for your family become so vulgar and peasant like? I submit that nothing could be more noble in this modern social media age where everyone is shouting “look at me!”

Now I understand that this trend started in women seeking to deliver themselves from abuse and grow their confidence. I agree people do deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. But If you insist on making bad choices, hanging out with bad people, and chasing after bad men when all your friends, relatives, family, and history are telling you to go the other way…well you kind of brought that crap down on yourself. If you want to be treated with respect and dignity start by treating yourself with the same, before you demand the rest of us do.

What I really think this has become is just another way for lazy people to demand a life of pleasure and ease without earning it. Typically a valid rallying cry for respect has been co-opted by and as an anthem for the shallow and clueless. Confidence and motivation aside, what do these people really want? They want recognition and fame for simply being themselves. Except it doesn’t work that way. You don’t get a prize for simply being you, especially if You, isn’t really all that nice to begin with.

Our modern outrage and offense culture demands the rewards without the effort. We think we deserve everything but many contribute nothing. You must provide value to receive it in kind. The best kings and queens in history were loved because they gave, not because they received. Their fame was earned through war, strife, and great sacrifice. Those that demanded it are still reviled today. The best monarchs put their people before self and became great servants of their nations and leaders.

Before we start demanding the world bow down to our imagined greatness, we would be better served to try actually being decent human beings first. Otherwise we’ll never be royalty just the butt of the joke and meme fodder for the easily amused.

If you really want to stand out in the crowd today, be normal. Have original thoughts, think before you speak, keep your business private, and let the results of your efforts speak for themselves. You may not be royal afterwards but you will definitely have done more with your life than many of these “Kings and Queens.”

Murph 2020

Memorial day is early this year. With everything going on in the country it had almost slipped my mind. We have just 27 days before the annual Murph workout and challenge. If you don’t know what Murph is, it’s a CrossFit Hero workout named after Lt. Mike Murphy a Navy Seal who lost his life in Afghanistan on June 28th, 2005 during operation Red Wings. You may have seen the movie Lone Survivor, detailing the events of that day. Every year CrossFit affiliates across the United States host a workout in his honor simply titled: Murph.

Murph is simply put one of the most grueling workouts known to man. It consists of the following movements and exercises. In this order.

  • 1-mile Run
  • 100 Pullups
  • 200 Pushups
  • 300 Air Squats
  • 1-mile Run

Traditionally this workout is done while also wearing a 20 pound weight vest or tactical plate carrier. Novices or beginners are encouraged to do the workout without additional weight though. It’s also traditional to do the movements as listed above but CrossFit has done the event twice at the Games now and the second time the Pullups, Pushups, and Squats were broken up into 20 rounds of 5 pullups, 10 pushups, and 15 Air Squats respectively. Either way is now acceptable and both hurt there’s just no sugar coating it.

If you’re planning on participating this year the time to start preparing for this beatdown of a WOD was a long time ago, but if you’re just starting today there’s plenty of time to build up to the workout by Memorial Day.

I would approach this training cycle as a 3 week buildup with the last week culminating with the actual WOD itself. Each week, increase the running distance and reps for the other body-weight movements up to but not exceeding 85% of the actual rep count. This is just a rough estimate but for example on the week of May 17th to 23rd, you want your last workout before the event to look something like this

  • 3/4 to 7/8 mile run
  • 75-85 Pullups
  • 175-185 Pushups
  • 275-285 Air squats
  • 3/4 to 7/8 mile run

I would also try to make my last workout before Memorial Day no later than Thursday the 21st. That will give you a few days to rest and recover and be ready for an all out effort for Murph on Monday. Murph itself should be your peak for this training cycle. The other thing to consider is taking care of your hands in the weeks ahead of Murph. Don’t do a mini-Murph everyday. You’re going to destroy your palms with that volume of pullups. Go strict form if you can, kipping will almost definitely rip some calluses off.

Most people will struggle on one of two sections, the runs or the pullups. You need to get running now and just put some miles in. 3 times a week should be plenty, but more if your feet and legs can take the abuse. When it comes to pullups there is no easy fix, you either have the strength and form or you don’t. If you need to scale down to keep it challenging but approachable do it. Also many of us won’t have access to a pullup bar for this workout so do the best you can with what you have. I will probably be doing cable pull-downs myself and try to add extra weight. The point is not to do the workout RX or but to do it in a challenging level that will still test you and your endurance. Some people will have to do a 3/4 scale version or even 1/2 scale and that’s okay. The point is to do something tough this Memorial Day and test yourself. Many have died protecting your freedoms in this nation. We remember and acknowledge their sacrifice on Memorial Day.

Good luck hard chargers and GET SOME!

You are what you think

Obesity is called a disease. I disagree. I think being overweight, is a symptom of something deeper. I think the reason people struggle to maintain their fitness and health is the same reason addicts struggle to stay clean. We’re treating the symptom, not the cause.

People abuse drugs and alcohol to escape. Whether they’re trying to escape pain, trauma, regret, of self-loathing they will never really get away from it, because it’s within them. Self-destructive people who constantly move from state to state looking for a new beginning and a clean slate are no different. I should know I spent most of my 20’s doing exactly that. The problem isn’t where you live, unless that’s in the midwest then by all means get the hell out of there. No the problem is inside you, and moving isn’t going to take that away.

That pain and trauma is a black hole. Drugs and drinking, and even food are ways to fill that hole if only temporarily. They’re distractions. Unfortunately for the addict those distractions are short lived and the dopamine hit they provide fade quicker and quicker every time until the addict must maintain a constant stream of abuse to keep the high from going away. Before they know it, they’re locked in; slaves and prisoners to their addictions.

I think we need to start treating obesity and food addictions at the source, in the person’s mind. I struggled to help my clients maintain their goals for years until I started looking at it from a different perspective. I started questioning their motives behind weightloss and fitness and made them start questioning it themselves.

It’s easy to say I want to lose weight, you’re almost rewarded for it. More likely in our victim culture if you do say “I need to lose weight,” you’ll be accused of fat shaming yourself and told to accept your body and condition not reject it. That’s a discussion for another day though. All of my clients wanted to lose weight, but when I asked them why, all I got were canned cliche responses. I think they were telling me what they thought I wanted to hear. In the last few years of my coaching though I started sending clients home with a pad of paper and pen and told them to do this. “Go home and write down why you don’t like yourself and your current state, why do you feel this way? Why do you eat foods that you know are making you fatter? How do you feel after you eat them? Do you feel better or worse? What would really make you feel better?”

A few clients never came back but most did and their answers were astounding. None of them ever said I want to lose weight to be healthier. Most said things along the lines of my spouse is no longer attracted to me, I want to be more attractive. I want to be liked, I want people to accept me. Being overweight has a tremendous effect on your psyche and it’s physical as well as emotional. Being obese drastically effects the hormones responsible for serotonin production which effects melatonin, sleep, weight regulation, and sex drive. The heavier you get the more hard wired your body becomes to stay that way. It’s a closed loop that can become increasingly hard to break free of the longer the condition goes on.

These questionnaires often led to deeper conversations about the clients view of their own self worth and respect. The take away here is that many of us have very little feeling of self-worth or self-respect. A lot of that began in our childhoods for a variety of reasons. The net result is we grow up as adults thinking we don’t deserve happiness or satisfaction. We tolerate abusive relationships we shouldn’t with spouses and partners, employers, friends, and family. All the while we hate ourselves for it and the self-loathing just compounds again on itself.

Many addicts struggle with feelings of hopelessness. “This life,” they tell themselves, “is as good as it will ever get.” If you’re living in a burned out crack house struggling to score your next fix that’s a pretty depressing world view. If your 100 pounds overweight and flirting with a whole host of chronic health concerns, hating yourself, lonely, depressed, and angry. It’s no less of a bleak worldview. “Why should I try?” they say, “this is all I will ever be.”

The real struggle as a coach or anyone trying to get in shape and maintain i snot what exercises to do or foods to eat. The real challenge is to break that mindset that says, “I suck, I can’t, I won’t.” In other words we have to help the hopeless find hope even if just within ourselves. We have to change the way we think and see not just ourselves but the world. The only way you will keep an addict clean is when they no longer feel the urge to escape, or cover up that pain. If you can fill that black hole within them or at least cover it up, they have a chance.

So now the question is why do you want to get in shape?

Fit for Free Life Hacks

I’m a firm believer in low cost fitness. Throughout my time as a CrossFit coach, I never agreed with the high costs of a typical affiliate membership. It was pricing fitness right out of the hands of those who needed it most. Now that most of us have been forced to train at home, I’m hoping more people realize just how effective home workouts can be. Fitness goes beyond working out and exercise though. Here a re a few tips you can incorporate into your daily life to help maximize your workout results.

Chew your food! Shouldn’t we all be doing this already? Yes we should be, but we’re not. Like a lot of common sense habits this one has gotten away from us. Chewing your food is important for a variety of reason. First it makes your food more digestible and helps release more of the essential micro-nutrients. The digestion process actually begins in the mouth…if you’re chewing your food properly. Your saliva contains pre-digestive enzymes and acids that begin breaking down food on contact. Most of us only chew our food enough to keep from choking, then down it goes. I blame our modern/mostly carbohydrate centered diet. Fibrous vegetables and lean meat take some serious chewing to break apart, we evolved for these kinds of foods. Chewing is also important because it literally slows down the eating process. It gives our stomach time to tell our brain when its full. You should be chewing up to 20 times per bite in order to properly breakdown food for digestion. Side effect: it will strengthen your jaw muscles.

Drink More Cold Water. I constantly tell people to drink more water. It’s important for a whole host of reasons and despite all of us fitness professionals out here screaming it from our lungs, most people are still mildly dehydrated. Do as you like. I can’t make you drink something that is literally keeping you alive. However if water is your go to beverage and you’re trying to lose weight and get in shape, here’s a quick trick to help speed up your metabolism and burn more resting calories. Drink it cold! Cold beverages ramp up your metabolism by acting like a heat sink in your digestive track. They pull warmth out of the surrounding tissue and your body must metabolize more energy to maintain your core temp. Just be careful downing a jug of ice cold water on a hot day after exertion will probably cramp you up pretty badly. Take a sip, hold it in your mouth for a moment to take the edge off then swallow.

Skip Breakfast! Do you know who coined the phrase “breakfast is the most important meal of the day?” It was cereal manufacturer Post who used it to sell breakfast cereals high in heavily processed carbs and sugar. If you’re not planning on working out before lunch, skip breakfast. In fact don’t eat anything before 12pm if you can help it. Drink lots of water and coffee is you like it. To take this strategy further try too consume all of your calories between 12 and 7pm everyday. Hopefully those calories are high in protein, fat and complex carbohydrates and fiber. This will in effect put you in a fasted state from 7pm to 12pm the next day. Now if you’re an athlete, workout early in the morning, or pregnant, then you should probably go ahead and eat breakfast most days, but again, skip the sugar and simple carbohydrates.

Sleep More! It’s a fact Americans do not get enough sleep! If you’re actively engaged in a workout program, and trying to lose weight, get in shape or prepare for an event, you should be sleeping more. Here’s something they don’t tell you in history class. Your ancestors, as recently as the early 20th century slept up to 12 hours or more each night. We got up with the sun in the sun in the morning and started winding down when the sun set at night. it was only the wealthy who could afford artificial lighting and stay up all night. It’s well known among professional and collegiate sports teams that even 8 hours of sleep isn’t enough. Even when we are getting 8 hours a night it’s usually poor quality and we wake up feeling tired before we’ve even taken our first step out of bed.

Less Screen Time Saves Lives. The number one sleep thief in our modern lives, are blue-light emitting electronic screens. We as a species evolved a natural clock based on sunrise and sunset. The last 75 years cannot undo 2.5 million years of biological conditioning. Blu-light is the most prevalent wavelength emitted by our sun and it signals our bodies to wakefulness. when the sun sets and that blu-light dies down it signals our bodies to start producing meletonin and prepare for sleep. Staring at the TV, your computer, or cellphone for hours after the sun has set disrupts that natural sleep cycle. You can’t sleep because you’ve been staring at an artificial sun for hours before you even thought about sleep. If you can, apply the blu-light filter on your electronic screens around 6pm. Better yet just turn them off after sundown, free yourself from electronic slavery.

Chill Out and Calm Down. Seriously we all need to relax a little and stop worrying about everything and everyone. Make your world smaller and devote your time, energy, and emotions to things and people that you can actually effect. Stop trying to change the world, it’s unlikely that you will, it’s guaranteed you won’t if your notion of change means bitching about every thing you see or read online and on the TV. Do you know what you make better and change, your own life and your family’s life. If we would all spend more time trying to improve our own situations the world around us would change on its own. I have high blood pressure and no physical cause. Every time I get a physical the doctors are mystified. They order a whole battery of tests to find the cause and are left scratching their heads. I know what it is though, its stress. I get worked up easily and take forever to wind down. I see what’s going on in my country, the country I fought for and my brothers died for and it makes me angry. But I can’t change people or their stupid selfish behavior. I can only change my own. It’s the same for you. Stop looking out and spend more time looking in. That’s the place where change begins.

Maximize Your Quarantine Workouts

With 3 out of 4 Americans now living under a stay-at-home order, a lot of us are working out at home. The good news is, it’s easy to get an effective workout at home, without weights. The key to achieving great results with your home workouts, is all about focus. You’re going to have to start thinking about what you’re doing, while you’re doing it.

A fully stocked gym is a wonderful place. It’s also a place filled with distractions, too many distractions in my opinion. Back when I was coaching full time I frequently preached the need for focus and concentration to my clients. The same clients who were usually not listening because they were thinking about a hundred other things going on in their lives at that moment.

The average gym goer and client is there mostly out of a sense of obligation. They’re not blind. They see their physique in the mirror, they know they need to get in shape. Unfortunately getting in shape is a lot harder than letting yourself get out of shape. At the end of the day a lot of these well meaning people just don’t want to be in the gym. Yes they pay for it, yes they show up, but in the end they’d rather be anywhere else and their focus and performance in the gym reflects it.

If you have ever had the ability and time to realize you didn’t like the song playing in your gym or during your workout, you are not focused on your workout. Think about it for a moment. What is music really during a workout? Motivation? Inspiration? Distraction from an uncomfortable situation…yes. All too often people look at their workout as a period of time they must endure and get through. The music is a tool to help them pass the time.

Most of you are simply going through the motions of exercise. Your goal is simply to get through a certain number of reps and movements in an allotted time frame then to move on to other more enjoyable activities in your life. It’s time for you to stop. If you want to see maximum results from your home workouts you need to start thinking about what you’re doing and focusing on your muscles as they move. We call this the mind-muscle connection in the fitness industry. In other words you literally think about the muscle that is contracting and moving weight as you do the motion.

What does this do? For one it has been shown to increase the contraction of that muscle or muscles involved in a particular exercise. It also increases the effectiveness of the exercises you’re doing, meaning: more results from less reps. There’s a simple way to test this. Today or whenever you next workout, turn off the music. Now take a moment and think about the muscles you’re about to use. For instance before you begin a set of pushups, take a second to contract your chest muscles, tense your pecs, feel them squeeze, hold that squeeze while you begin. Now instead of just mindlessly dropping to the ground and pushing back up and knocking out as many reps as you can as quickly as you can, S-L-O-W down. SLOWLY lower yourself down to the ground, while you focus on maintaining that “SQUEEZE,” then push yourself back up again slowly, focusing on squeezing your pecs, your chest muscles as hard as you can. How many reps can you do before you start shaking from the effort?

This works just as well for squats, pullups, rows, situps, or whatever other bodyweight movements you might choose. I promise you if you take the effort to focus on maximum contraction and slowly go through the full range of motion for each movement, you will be pleasantly surprised on how few reps it takes to achieve muscle fatigue.

If you’re fortunate enough to have weights or machines in your home gym, the principle still applies. Slow down, focus on that squeeze and maintain that contraction throughout the entire range of motion for the entire set. Do you have to do this every time you exercise, of course not. However it should be a regular part of your routines. Slow count and pause reps have been a staple of exercise, body-building, and weightlifting since people first began lifting heavy stuff. Unfortunately it’s not glamorous, flashy, or cool. It’s a technique that requires discipline and mental focus. It’s not for people chasing instant results or shortcuts. If you’re serious about maximizing your home workouts during this quarantine though it may just be the single best thing you can do too achieve the results you want.

What You Can Do

I’ll be the first to admit, I’m scared. I’ve seen some crazy stuff in my life, but never did I think I’d ever see us all quarantined in our homes to protect us from a killer virus. Once again the old adage rings true, you just can’t make this stuff up. What can you do to make the best of this time we’ve all been given over the next few weeks and months? How can we preserve our sanity, while insuring we come out the other side of this crisis better than we went in. I don’t have all the answers. Below I’m going to talk about some of the things I’m doing while under quarantine.

I lost my job, just like many of you I was told to go home and not leave the house. Unfortunately that means no money and no income. While the government is promising checks and increased unemployment benefits in April, it’s really not enough. I’m not eligible for unemployment benefits. My company didn’t lay me off or furlough me. Neither did they fire me, it’s more of an indefinite wait and see. So my state denied my unemployment claim and rather quickly. I am far from alone. That $1200 check the president is promising is roughly a quarter of what I make in a month. After I pay my rent that’s it. I’ll still owe my utilities, credit cards, car loan, and need groceries.

I’ve decided it’s finally time I get serious about financial independence. Many of us are now broke and searching for answers and income because we rely on others for our paychecks. I thought my industry was safe from economic downturns and emergencies, and it is. But it’s not safe from viral outbreaks and when my company’s 2 largest customers stopped production because of Shelter-in-place orders in their respective states that left most of us in the Flatbed fleet without freight and stranded where we were. I was lucky to be close to home and able to make it back, many of my fellow drivers did not. They were instructed to return to the home terminal in Iowa to park their trucks and clean out their stuff. They were then packed onto a bus and sent home to wait this out without pay. Never again. One way or another, I’ll be managing my own enterprise but the time we recover from this.

One thing I’ve seen a lot of these last few weeks, is people outside exercising. Being under quarantine has suddenly given many Americans the time and opportunity to exercise and we should all take advantage of it. Viruses are deadly because there’s really not a lot you can do to combat them. It all falls onto your body’s own immune system and resilience to fight off the infection. That’s why doctors get so exasperated when people with colds and the flu come rushing into the ER demanding a pill. There is no pill. Sure you can take over the counter medications to relieve the symptoms but there is no pill to stop it or kill the virus like there is with bacteria or fungal infections. A virus turns your body against itself. The best thing we can do is take steps to avoid contracting it in the first place, and second, help our body build the strongest immune system we can.

Get in shape America. Stop smoking, quit drinking, stop eating garbage and start moving and exercising. Take cold showers in the morning, it’s been proven to not only instantly wake you up, but it strengthens the immune system and helps fight stress and inflammation. Partake in intermittent fasting. Fasting has been shown to help your body and immune system eliminate weak and dead cells, rebuild others and in general improve the quality and response of your body’s immune reaction to invaders and abnormal cells, including cancer. Stop smoking I say it again. Smoking and Vaping destroy the protective layer of cells and mucus that line your respiratory tract from your nose and throat all the way into the depth of your lungs. These mucus layers are there to actually trap foreign particles and organisms and keep them out of your blood. Smoking also increases your blood pressure, and the likelihood of numerous other diseases that could leave you weak and unable to fight off even a simple cold. Please stop slowly killing yourself.

I used to make fun of germaphobes now they seem to be snickering behind their little paper masks. First off stay home as much as possible. This will drastically reduce your potential exposure to Covid-19. If you do go out be smart, avoid touching things that others have touched, shaking hands, hugging, or getting close to other’s faces, noses, and mouths. Teach your kids to cover their mouths when they sneeze or cough and to keep their hands and fingers out of their noses and mouths. This was a problem before this virus was even a concern and strangely enough it’s still going on. Wash your hands whenever you’ve been in contact with outside objects, people or environments. It’s not rocket science and we should have all been doing this stuff before this even began. If you feel sick stay home! Most likely it’s just a cold or the flu, yeah, we are still in the middle of flu season, the worst we’ve had in decades. Stay home! The last thing anyone needs is for you to give them the flu and then contract Covid-19 with an already weakened immune system.

Finally, and maybe most importantly, turn off CNN, Fox News, and all the other bullshit. I’m telling you having watched them all, I am disgusted and sickened by the behavior of these so called journalist on all the networks. First let’s all remember while we will all be struggling to make money and survive over the next few weeks and months these assholes’ jobs are secure. This crisis has actually benefited them. Second they all seem to be hell bent on putting words into other’s mouths, quoting things out of context, and twisting facts to promote hysteria and panic. It’s not helping any of us. Tune in to your local news for a change and this is part of my final piece of advice; make your world smaller. Retired Navy Seal and extreme athlete Andy Stumpf delivered this nugget of wisdom last week on a podcast, Make your world smaller.

What does this mean? It means stop worrying about things beyond your control and ability to influence and start focusing on those things you can control. You can wash your own hands, stay home, get in shape, read more, learn some new skills, and improve your situation while quarantined in your home the next few weeks and months. You cannot save the world. You cannot even save people in the next state or county. Indirectly you may be able to help them by doing all you can to stop getting it yourself. We all need to come together as a nation by turning inward for a change, by looking after first our families, then our neighbors, and then our local community. We worry so much in this nation about what everyone else is doing. Time to start paying attention to our own actions. How can you stop the spread of this virus? Stay home, be sensible, be smart, and be rational. Don’t panic, and don’t give into hysteria. Store shelves are empty because people are reacting emotionally not rationally. Crisis requires, calm cool headed people who can make good decisions when everyone else are loosing their minds.

On the Road Again

I’ve decided to go back out on the road again as a professional truck driver. It’s not something I really wanted to do, but given the options available to me it was the best course of action. It’s popular in our social media age to talk about chasing dreams and following our passions. Sometimes it seems that blue-collar jobs and getting your hands dirty is looked down on, but it’s how I grew up and it’s a way of life that’s never failed me. There are times as a man, and an adult when you need to recognize that you need to get things done, suck it up and move forward. This is one of those times.

I’ve held a Class-A CDL (Commercial Driver’s License,) continuously since leaving the Marines in the year 2000. Trucking has always been my fall back option for making money. For the most part it’s a recession proof industry and good drivers with safe records are always in demand. Next to turning wrenches and building engines it’s probably the thing I am best at doing.

Making this decision got me thinking about all those new drivers considering a career in truck driving. I have the benefit of time and experience in the industry at my back. I’ve got almost a million and a half miles under my belt and 19 years of driving across the country. I know what I’m getting in to. I understand the life and what it entails. I know the risks, and for the most part how to minimize them. With that I understand the dangers involved and the difficulty in doing the job right and doing it well. If you are or know someone who’s thinking about getting their CDL and driving a big semi, let me share a few observations with you that may help you make your decision with open eyes and a better understanding of the industry.

First things first, Over the Road driving is not a job, it’s a life. That life will not just impact you but your family as well. You live, eat, and sleep on that truck. It is your home, your office, your bedroom, gym, and unfortunately sometimes even your bathroom. If you are serious about making good money, you better get comfortable with not being home every night or even every other weekend. When trucking companies give salary estimates and averages they’re talking about their top earner’s, the high milers who stay out and keep that truck rolling. Some companies do offer a guaranteed minimum salary but that is just a gross number before taxes and other deductions like insurance. The guys making $65K or more a year aren’t home every weekend.

Long haul trucking is not like most other jobs, except maybe the military or the maritime marine industry. Your hours aren’t set and though you may have to abide by the FMCSA’s HOS (Hours of Service) rules, it doesn’t mean you aren’t going to be working past your 11 hour drive time or 14 hour on duty time. In Flatbed, I’ve had days that went 16 hours or more and sadly, that’s just part of the job. But you do what you have to do to get the job done.

I’ve read a lot of complaints and comments on company review boards that say, “it’s not enough pay for the hours you work.” On first look it’s easy to say that’s true but let’s be real here. First off when you’re sitting at the truck stop on your 10 hour break or 34 hour reset, you’re not working and you shouldn’t be paid for it. It’s no different than driving local and then going home at the end of the night, it just so happens that your home is a foot away from where you spent the day “working.” If you’re on duty, waiting at a shipper or receiver, getting loaded, or waiting to unload, yes you should totally get paid for that time. Will you, only to a point and then probably not what you’d hoped for, but we all knew that going in and it’s part of the job.

Let me say this once and for all, there are a lot of things about our job as drivers that suck but it is part of the package deal. There are other jobs in other industries that suck worse, you could be on the Bering Sea crab fishing, you could be in some godforsaken dust hole getting shot at and eating MRE’s for a year at a time without getting to come home. What blows my mind are brand new entitled drivers going into fleets right out of school and then first expecting to be paid the same as experienced drivers, than second expecting the whole industry to change to suit what they feel it should be like. Wake up guys and gals and be real. This is what you signed up for. We all did our time paying our dues and building up our experience.

Here’s another thing and the last I’ll leave you with for this article. Just because you’re out on the road by yourself doesn’t give you an excuse to not behave as a professional. A lot of new drivers are going to fail for one simple reason, a lack of discipline. This job may not be like most, but it’s still a job. You still have things to get done and people to report to. Learn to manage your time and use it efficiently and wisely. Don’t sit any longer than you have to. Once your break is done get rolling if you can. You may be able to load or unload earlier than your scheduled time and get another load sooner. More importantly until you go Owner-Operator you’re still someone’s employee, in their truck, spending their money to make your living, never forget that. The guy sitting at the truck-stop bitching and moaning about how bad his company sucks and how he tells them what he will and will not do is first off completely full of shit, and secondly a cancer to be avoided at all cost.

If you want to make money as a company driver be willing to take any load and go to any destination during your first few months and year. For one thing, you need the experience and for another, who are you to dictate where you will and will not go? Some companies suck, and many take advantage of drivers but let’s get something straight companies do not exist do give you the new driver a job, they exist to make the owners and shareholders a profit. This is business my friend pure and simple. You can resent that and let it eat you alive from the inside or you can use that to your advantage. If you’re an inexperienced young driver and some company is willing to sit you in their $200,000 truck and take a chance on you, first you should be grateful, second you should take your opportunity to learn the trade, practice your skills, and bide your time until you can apply to some better companies. Time goes by really fast on the big road and you’ll be in a position to ask for higher pay and better privileges before you know it. In the meantime use the position you find yourself in to your advantage.

Be safe out there, keep your eyes open and both hands on the wheel.