#ManspirationMonday #DannyJones

My #ManspirationMonday this week is not a man but a tree.  Danny achieves internet fame and a huge influx of followers after being compared to a tree on social media.  

He is 6’7’ and a chiseled 275 pounds, making him hunk from heels to heaven. (Just made that up, pretty proud of that.)

Danny is a fitness buff and trainer, if you would like to follow him you can on IG @DannyJonesFitness or Twitter @dannyjonesfit.

Thanks Danny for being an inspiration!


4 Months In!

Four months into my fitness journey and so much has been accomplished.  The biggest accomplishment is the success of me and my husbands social group, #WOOFpack: Gay Men’s Fitness & Active Adventure Tribe. What started as 4 guys has turned into 30 guys with great participation rates!

Since I have written last we have had two fun runs, multiple gym meet ups and now a few of us are doing a two week hot yoga challenge on top of our 6-8 gym visits a week!  Things have been a little nuts to be honest schedule wise which is why I have been doing less writing and more doing.

While beautiful things are happening I felt the urge to write today because I had to remind myself of what has been going on.  Under these announcements of cheer and happy news, the truth is I’m FREAKING EXHAUSTED It’s extremely tough to remain possitive everyday.  Especially when your trying to be possitive for yourself and other people around you.

Make no mistake while this group and these results give me joy, I still suffer from anxiety/depression.  Sometimes when that alarm goes off I cannot stand the idea of facing the day.  Sometimes my husband has to spend a half hour trying to get me out of bed. Sometimes I can’t enjoy my workout because I’m so focused on how horrible my anxiety makes me feel.  Sometimes I feel so incredibly ugly and disgusting that I look in the mirror and think “you look like an inbred Stay Puft Marshmellow Man” and it makes me want to cry.

The point of it is, is it’s not easy changing who you are, even with friends even with meds, even with a supportive and loving husband.  You have to find strength inside yourself everyday.  You don’t find strength one day and everything is smooth sailing from that day forward, NO you have to find strength EVERY DAY.  That’s not even the hard part though, the hard part is finding COMPASSION for yourself while also digging for that strength.

This has been my biggest weakness the past couple weeks. So I am writing today as a way to tell myself that it’s ok to have these feelings of weakness and that I’m doing a great job. I won’t always have a good day but I am a human being and a pretty decent one at that. 
Thanks for reading and helping me have an outlet to remind myself of the good and to be less hard on myself.
Celebrate Everything,


Even tho I could’t even.

This morning was hell getting up, I felt more tired then I have ever been while still being able to stand up.  Thank the universe for my husband and friends who encourage me to push thru those feelings and these hard days.   

I literally felt so tired that I was concerned about passing out.  I was to tired to drive.  To tired to even think while working out.  My gym partner took the lead today because I could hardly answer basic questions.  I got there tho, I paid my dues toward my goals.

All I could think and all I had the energy to think was “I am going to make it thru this day, I am going to do normal weight, and then I can lay down.”  

It’s amazing what you can do when you stop just wanting to do something and feel a need to do something.  Today I’m celebrating the fact that even tho I couldn’t even, I actually did.

#ManspirationMonday #DamienRider

My #ManspirationMonday this week is Damien Rider.

Damien fought his demons left from severe childhood abuse, and used fitness and sports as an outlet for his emotions.  He started the Rider Foundation which aims to provide fitness related outlets to young people, and help guide them to better outlooks on life.

You can follow Damien @damienrider on Instagram and you can check out the Rider Foundation by visiting theriderfoundation.com.

Thank you Damien for being so open about your past, you will inspire me this week to be more open about my own past, and to use that energy to better myself.


Woofpack Check In & Thoughts

If you did not know me and my husband created a local fitness social group called #Woofpack in Grand Rapids, MI for Gay men.  We are up to 22 members more than 80% are very active and I am so thrilled with the success of it all!  This community is so in need of positive platonic relationships between gay men that isn’t centered around dating and bars and I feel good about where we are so far!

I had a few thoughts about leadership and mentorship that was made apparent by running this group.

 #1 I was impressed that I could keep my standing as a leader even though I am not the fittest person in the group, which honestly I did not expect. I think a good leader always assumes he SHOULD be the best at something in order to lead, but I think that anxiety is driven by heart, which is the real value of a leader.

#2 The power of having both mentees and mentors in your life is crucial to making a difference. If I were doing this alone I might talk about my goals to my husband, to my co-workers maybe a few friends which is great, but it can lead to major feelings of disappointment if you fail. Seeking out people with a similar vision to mine, and having them physically join me to achieve something good for everyone has motivated me more than ever.  Each week I post a #ManspirationMonday not just for how they look but I research what they have achieved and what these men do each day to get better.  Them and my husband I consider my mentors, people who achieve a lot in the field of fitness and health.  It isn’t just enough to be inspired though, you also have to inspire others which is the real fast track to success. Celebrating with others, and developing a tribe is the best way to goal-set and be successful, we often need other people to change our lives with us.

#3 You have to protect your vision with conviction.  I’m learning that it just simply is not O.K. to let people share negative opinions with you about your goals.  Goals and achievements change people, changing your lifestyle changes yourself, and that is perfectly fine.  Just like having mentees and mentors that share your vision can help in a huge way, the people that want to keep you the same, or the people who bring negative opinions into your space are extremely toxic.  I myself am a little “to nice” and although I want to make a positive influence on everyone’s life I am learning that a lot of people are just not ready to be inspired, they are not ready to change for the better.  I have even gained some enemy’s which is a new thing for me and I don’t always handle it well because I want to be friends with everyone.  The truth is it is almost guaranteed to happen that people will be jealous, and will try to find fault with you if you are achieving something that they are not.  Although it isn’t easy, you HAVE to argue with those people and your HAVE to get rid of them. It is your personal responsibility to yourself to put as little turbulence as possible between you and your goals!


It has been a wonderful learning experience so far, and I am so proud of these wonderful men who are helping me to change my life!

Thank you #Woofpack for all you do!