About: In Pursuit (Update)

***I’ve updated the “New? Start here” page link found near the top of the site with a better, updated explanation of what’s going on over here at In Pursuit of Mastery. Enjoy.***
In Pursuit of Mastery isn’t a fitness brand, or a BJJ brand, or a weightlifting brand.
This, “brand” for lack of a better term, that exists via the mediums of WordPress, Facebook & Instagram is dedicated to the lifestyle of Self Mastery – mentally, physically, emotionally/spiritually – with the intent that Self Mastery in your life will then naturally flow into and make better other areas of your life and the lives of those around you.

Mastery over self – FIRST.

This means self awareness: understanding, accepting and embracing weaknesses, shortcomings and darkness. From there, not excusing or rationalizing them away, but rather having objective confrontation with them in order to see what can be cut out and what simply needs improvement.

This self awareness also includes being humble enough to understand, accept and embrace your strengths, light and areas of excellence. Not falling into hubris, but looking for ways to make those areas even better.

Simply put: improve or cut out the weak shit and double down on your strengths.

Most of your strengths have a shelf life and if not worked on, will whither and become weaknesses or shortcomings. Your shortcomings will continue to whither and rot if left to their own devices, too.

Self Mastery, then, is a life-long process. It is the antidote to the poison of hubris and suffering from the proverbial plank in your eye when your neighbor has but a bit of sawdust.

In Pursuit of Mastery is just that: documenting the pursuit. It is sharing with you, dear reader, how I am doing it – my thoughts and reflections, my actions. Me showing you that it can be done, regardless of age or the demands of life. But at the end of the day, you are the one who must do the work.

So why read this blog, follow my Instagram and Facebook or listen to me at all?

Because I’m not dependent on a paycheck from you so I’m not going to say everything you want to hear.

Because I’m on the path. I stumble, I fall, I have doubts and battle the inner demons… and I get back up and keep moving forward. 

Because I’m not perfect and haven’t “arrived”.

I’m on that path. I’m in pursuit. Are you?

No more excuses.

Get up.

Pursue Mastery.

~Tom Kenobi

 

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A Horror Story (humor)

The following is based on real events. Please get the word out and let people fully understand the dangers of taking preworkout.**

It was a slow morning, the normal routines trudging on. Brush teeth, shower, dress, fix hair, breakfast, morning commute, then on to the opening routines of my office. It is a rest day for me, but I still take preworkout for the caffeine and for the Creatine HCL and other awesome things that help my body along. At work I took out my pre, conveniently packed in a little ziplock bag, effectively making me look like a coke-head about to get a hit and slunk off to the break room to retrieve some ice-cold water and create the magic elixir that would bring life and joy to me. Time was running short and I could feel the effects of the spell wearing off. I had to act quickly.

My shaker bottle had about five ounces of water so I took off the lid and added the pre, slowly swirling the bottle around as I turned towards the water cooler. This is where my world descended into nightmare.

An invisible phantom knocked the shaker bottle from my grasp and large drops of cherry red concentrated pre splashed onto the table. Time slowed and horror came upon my face. I was unable to reach the bottle as it continued its fall, defying physics and travelling faster than gravity dictates, the bottle rocketed towards the floor. A scream of utter terror came from somewhere, the shrill shriek of a banshee. I realized the voice was my own as the bottle and its contents impacted with enough force to raze my office building to the ground.

I didn’t know five ounces could do so much damage. If someone would’ve pranked me with an M-80 in the bottom of my drink, there would’ve been less carnage. Simultaneously splattering on my shoes, up my pant legs, across the floor; the cherry elixir spread far and wide. It hit chairs, tables, the dishwasher, the ceiling.

The sweet smell of Black Cherry began to fill my nostrils as the spell began to reverse itself.

I instantly noticed all my gains disappearing. Half of my body began to bloat and atrophy, the other half began to shrink. I was literally becoming skinny-fat. My back began to twist and contort. I felt a sharp pain in my head, reaching up I could literally feel two freakish dents appearing, my head was literally caving in. The pain was extraordinary. Half of my beard fell out. Before I collapsed to the floor. I noticed my reflection in my iPhone. I looked like the love child of a threesome between Quasimodo, the Phantom of the Opera and Medusa.

When I hit the floor, I struggled to move towards the one area where the majority of the elixir had pooled. I feebly licked the floor; dirt, hair, a three-week old Cheeto soaked in pre… I was beyond help.

Darkness took me.

I awoke later that evening in a hospital room. My eyes strained to focus but I saw an IV drip hooked into my arm. It was pre…glorious pre. It was diluted for the continuous stream being fed intravenously, but it was wonderful. A few short days later, my body had fully returned to its prior state and I could go about in public again.

Be careful, kids, preworkout is good…but missing a dose can cost you.

Training Grounds

Possible humor and/or rants ahead. Not sure, could be both. One thing is for sure, I broke my self-imposed 500 word limit for this. Enjoy!

I hold a membership at the local recreation center in town. It has a nice free weight area, two good squat racks, ample plates, a handful of benches, dumbbells, plus machines. Thankfully, it also has a heavy bag and speedbag. Like other gyms, it has larger areas strictly for cardio machines (hamster wheels), since that seems to be the “go to” machine for many. It has a pool, a gymnastics area, a rock wall and a bouldering wall. And ample kids programs. For the money, it’s great, at approximately $100 more per year than the price that I would pay for just Mrs. Kenobi and I to attend other gyms, we can get our entire brood of six in. Value for the win.

However…

The more I train at the rec center, the more I find myself becoming fonder of having my own private gym. There are set backs to going to a public gym. From talking with others, these set backs seem to be universal and depending on the time of day or night you go to your gym for training, the more or less likely these things occur. Here are a few examples.

If you do not have the dough to purchase your own gear, like a good weight belt for heavy iron lifting, your gym will usually have a few to borrow in varying sizes and inherit with this is the risk of other people using it when you need to use it. Eventually, you’ll see some dipshit wearing the weight belt that you need for Squat Day…on the assisted pull up machine, or doing curls, or some other bullshit bosu-ball utilizing exercise where they aren’t manipulating a loaded bar through space. Seriously, cupcake, you look like a complete fucktard doing goblet squats with a 10lb kettlebell in the power rack with a damn weight belt on. Leave the gear for people who need to lift some heavy ass shit!

And let’s talk about that squat/power rack. What the fuck are you doing goblet squats in the rack for anyway? Seriously. Move the fuck over, get your special snowflake entitled candyass out of the damn rack! If you are using the rack for any exercise that doesn’t call for a rack (squats and overhead presses as a quick example) or the usage of the safety pins in the rack (like rack pulls or pin presses) stay the fuck out of the damn rack! That rack is there to move weight and people at the gym do not need some dipshit wasting time taking up a squat rack for your bro curls or because you think you look cute. We don’t give a fuck. Get out.

Ask me how I know this…

I wish I could say this is one specific sex, but you see this with both women and men. There is a girl who shares the same weight belt as me and I have seen her multiple times

…doing quarter squats

…in the smith machine

…with the fucking belt on.

It’s insane.

I can handle crowds. If I hit the gym and it’s busy, others are getting after it and nothing is available for Squats or Bench or whatever, if can’t work in with someone, I can change it up, hit something else and come back in about twenty minutes and something will be open. But there should be some sort of three strike rule for those people who misuse or improperly use equipment or gear, hindering others from getting after it.

Which leads me back to the desire for a private gym.

A private gym… only for people who want to get after it and improve their lives, using the door of the physical to drive improvement in the other areas of life.

Private, by invite only.

A place for my Tribe to go.

That’s the vision now…