At a Loss…

Hey there, I’m truly at a loss. I’ve purposefully waited a few days to let the dust settle, but my community here in Birmingham has suffered yet another terrible blow. For the second time this year we’ve lost someone dear to us. I’m trying to tread very carefully here. Both of the friends I’m speaking of were greatly loved. Their advocates are fiercely loyal — and with good reason, these were beautiful souls who greatly enriched the lives of those who knew them. And yet, from where I stand, they both left with time to spare. Philosophically I stand upon a paradox. I believe… Read More »

Man Seeks Advice for His Stoner Brother

A few days ago, this was in my in-box. Yo! Dave, What’s up man..hope all is well. I have question I was hoping you could help me with. My little brother (18 yrs) is a freshmen in college. He is very talented baseball player, and used to work hard and wanted to be the best. He has been smoking pot almost everyday for almost a year and is now losing motivation to be his best. He has almost got busted a few times, but sees nothing wrong with w/smoking cuz it’s “natural.” What helped you? Any thoughts/advice would be greatly… Read More »

Destiny’s Manifesto

Over the past few days I’ve been writing the biographical part of what will become my manifesto. It’s a useful exercise in that it achieves two goals. It shows you where you’ve been and it shows you what matters most. What matters most defines your core values. Your core values are the compass by which you navigate life. Being clear about those values is helpful, especially when wading through the murky and unclear waters that often comprise our lives “right now.” Hindsight is good but only after the fact and in the midst of a struggle a sense of bearing… Read More »

A Million Little Pieces

Hey there , Back in January of 2005, the first month of my sobriety, I read a book, A Million Little Pieces, by James Frey. Frey and his book had just been rocketed to instant celebrity by a gushing testimonial by Oprah over how much she loved the book and how badly each and every one of us needed to read it. Just as quickly as he ascended he crashed and burned. His book, published as a memoir of his experience in rehab was revealed to be an elaborate exaggeration. Oprah rescinded her endorsement and he was publicly eviscerated, drawn… Read More »

“Everything Happens for a Reason”

Hey there, On Friday I shared a bit of my history and that pivotal moment in my life when I decided to stop using drugs. There is a cliché that’s often bandied about in self-help and get-off-your-ass-and-do-something circles and that is, “Everything happens for a reason.” What we most often take from this is that there is some divine plan at work; that we are a part of a bigger scheme devised by God, or the Universe, or whatever name you choose to describe the force that drives what we know as reality. There’s comfort in the idea that someone… Read More »

Clean and Sober

Hey there, For a good ten years I was a drug addict.  I was a “recreational user” for longer than that but by addict I mean I was daily user — for ten years. I stopped seven years, nine months and 27 days ago. New Year’s Day, 2005 ranks, along with the day Samantha and I snuck off and eloped and the days my three daughters were born, as one of the most important days of my life.  It was the day I decided I was bigger than my problems and that I didn’t need an external salve to make… Read More »

What I Want

I think I may have stumbled upon a new level of maturity.  Either that, or I’ve completely regressed and I’m delusional to boot. Here lately, I’ve become more and more concerned about what I want.  Which at first blush seems to give more credence to the regressed option, but bear with me, I think I can make a better case for development. For most of my life I’ve been concerned about what others want.  I quickly learned to navigate a dysfunctional family structure by learning and then giving my parents what I thought they wanted.  My childhood, adolescent and young… Read More »

A Note to my Former Self

I saw “A Note to my Former Self” as the title to a post on someone else’s blog this morning as I was logging on to WordPress.  I was somewhat neurotically checking my stats on the dashboard, “Is anyone paying attention to me today?”–it’s not really as bad as I make it sound but it pays to be aware of your motivations and I’ll admit that many of mine are selfish, or at least self oriented. Anyway, I began to consider that maybe it’s time to write that post–the note to the me that was.  The fact that the whole… Read More »

Elliott Hulse

All I can feel is sound, the roar of a thousand lions, caged, furious, mad with rage.  Bulls bellowing with all of their strength straining to break their bonds, every fiber taut, fuelled by an anger so deep it’s origin is nameless. In a moment of clear consciousness I realize–it’s coming from me.  I’m on my knees beating the floor with both fists, bawling for all I’m worth.  My neck strains, my mouth stretches and all I can do is let it out. Around me fifty some odd guys and a few women are in the throes of their own… Read More »

Paul Reddick

Over the past few years of following Zach’s emails and blogs I would occasionally hear or see the name Paul Reddick.  I had no real idea who he was.  (That sound you just heard was the collective gasp of the greater north-east.  Any gym owner or trainer in the New England area with a blog or a keyboard knows Paul in some capacity it seems.)  I did know Zach respected him and considered him a good friend but I had never pursued Paul myself and was therefore ignorant to just how influential he is. Turns out Paul’s a pretty cool… Read More »

Brendan Gilliam

Greetings Friends and Neighbors, I want to continue my series on the Underground Strength Conference and the lessons I’ve taken home.  More than just bragging about all the cool people I met, (and I met some very cool people) I want to share their messages.  Maybe there’s something here that you’ve been waiting to hear; it’s my honor to be able to share. The next speaker to come up was Brendan Gilliam.  I’d heard some buzz from some of the other attendees, references to Crossfit, Greg Glassman, and Brendan having been one of the original trainers at first Crossfit in… Read More »

Underground Strength Conference: Part 2

  I am so incredibly blessed. It’s 11:30 on a Saturday night and I just got back from a late night training session at Zach’s gym.  It could not have been a more perfect ending to an indescribable day (but I am going to try). The conference began with a talk by the Ultimate Warrior.  Most of you might not know who he is, but Warrior (that’s his legal name) was a pro wrestler from the days of the WWF.  He fought guys like Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant.  Today Warrior is a man of passion who uses his… Read More »