“To Sleep, Perchance to Dream”

Ever had a nightmare where

You go to school with no clothes on?

Well, what if it isn’t a nightmare at all,

But rather a dream.

A dream in which you stand up to give your presentation

And everyone gasps,

But then you turn and say,

“That’s right, this is me, all of me. Here I am.”

And then everyone cheers,

Because you were completely

And unashamedly yourself

And who wouldn’t love the FREEDOM

To be just that?

The Heart of a Champion: The Furious Life of Pete Czerwinkski

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Summary: Our circumstances may not be in our control, but our reactions to them certainly are. And reactions make all the difference.

Above is a picture of a wonderful gentleman by the name of Furious Pete.

I first met him on the competitive eating circuit. We shared a common trait: we eat like Cookie Monster. (Although, admittedly, he’s better at it.)

The man is full of life- and that’s saying something, considering his backstory.

See the picture above? Fit dude, right?! But he was not always that way.

No, years back, he was anorexic- so much so that he had to be hospitalized for it. Having wrestled with anorexia in the past myself, I can relate to his struggles. It’s a terrible state to be in.

BUT! He did not stay that way. He fought his way out of it. He built up his body and his self-confidence and went on to become a pro body builder and a top-ranking competitive eater. He’s even quite the YouTube star…

If this were a fairy tale, that would be a pretty sweet place to end. But, as you’ve probably noticed, life isn’t a fairy tale. It’s a CONTINUOUS CYCLE of ups and downs.

To that point, he was recently diagnosed with testicular cancer. His health, his future… everything was put into question. Yet, again, he kept going. He saw a doctor, got the surgery, and now he’s back on his feet, pursuing his dreams.

In many ways, this is the face of the modern day superhero: Someone who is thrown a bunch of curve balls, yet never gives up. This isn’t mean just “sucking it up.” No, that is a phrase for our parents’ and grandparents’ generation. Today, we take a fearless inventory of our lives, admit our weakness, and by confession and positive action, we rise above.

As of the writing of this blog, Furious Pete is back hitting the gym hard with his eyes fixed on being featured in bodybuilding.com’s Bodies of Work Vol. 4.

Whoever and wherever you are, I hope you internalize Pete’s approach- and go, fight, win!

Blessings to you in Christ,

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Vulnerability: The 1st Step to Becoming Stronger

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Summary: That moment you’re happy with yourself and the one you love….

Photographer Neringa Rekasiute recently put out an a photo series entitled, “We.Women:”

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The series takes a group of women of all different ages and body types and sets them in front of a mirror, giving themselves and their audience an uncompromising, 360-degree view of their subject.

Black and white. One prop. No tricks.

I have to give props to these women. They’re willing to put it all on the line, call spade to spade, and become utterly transparent for the world to see.

I don’t know if you’ve given yourself the same treatment, but it’s a bit unnerving and a bit freeing at the same time. I mean, originally I was going to take a shirtless pic of myself for the Physiques blog, and then I was, like… “nobody needs to see that.”

And that’s exactly my point! Only until we reach the point of being utterly vulnerable can we truly be utterly free. Physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. When we strip away the safeguards we work so hard to put up, we can finally get to the meat and potatoes of relationship and intimacy.

That said, I do not want this to come across as an anti-Photoshop PSA, either. I think image editing has its place. Ask any boudoir photographer, and you will quickly find out how transformative an experience good lighting and a quick airbrush can be. Even still, like clothing, makeup, cars, money, or any other trappings we humans choose to decorate ourselves with, these images can only amplify what is going on inside.

I love dressing up, putting on a nice suit and hitting the town; but when I am feeling like dirt, it doesn’t matter what I’m wearing, I won’t be very much fun.

So, love yourself, love others, and get out there and kick some major butt!

Vulnerable
We’re on this journey together, guys!

Blessings to you in Christ,

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