Trainer Bob here – wanted to share that I am celebrating my 15 year anniversary of becoming a personal trainer! Thank you to everyone who has been part of that journey. A few of my tattoos shown here are parts of that journey. Messages to myself about facing fears and questioning what holds us back. Our culture doesn’t often put mental or physical health as a priority. Change can feel impossible because the comfort zone of being unhappy or miserable is generally less intimating than the effort and patience needed improve our situations.
My wife Tracy has some great advice – the law of addition. Focusing on small, positive changes that improve our lives. Sometimes it’s difficult to suddenly remove what is making us sicker, but if you can gradually start to appreciate how those small positive changes add up to make us feel better, it becomes a lifestyle, and the negative aspects of our lives start to fade away. My challenging journey continues in this ever changing world, so I am flattered to have you as part of my life as we face what’s ahead for all of us.
Keep it active, keep it healthy, and most importantly, keep it metal!
Presenting one of the new pictures of my completed tattoo project. Six years in the making for the art. Nearly five decades in the making of my stories and life experiences behind the ink. All of which are too long to share here. Inspiring moments of happiness, heartbreaking moments of tragedy, and mundane moments that I never would have imagined to be the most special of all. I wanted these images permanently on my skin as daily reminders. I want them to be a heavy metal boot kick to my face anytime I struggle, feel weak, or feel afraid. I want them to shake me awake when I get complacent, too confident, or think I have it all figured out.
The image as a whole is something I love artistically, but much of it is not necessarily meant to be pleasant. It’s meant to evoke emotions. An open opportunity with others to have uncomfortable, but meaningful face to face discussions. More importantly though, a reminder to myself about what I need to always focus on. Truly being a good person doesn’t just simply mean not doing bad things. You have to act. You have to make the effort to be proud of who you truly are and stand up for others in the face of opposition. I spent so much of my life repressing my thoughts, letting so many things control who I was, and it only led to sadness, anger, or regret. I no longer allow that to be the case.
Keep in mind I haven’t mastered these meanings. I am a work in progress. Since I can’t share all my life stories and experiences right here, I do want to share a long list of quotes that sum up much of what my tattoos express. Powerful quotes with incredible messages from people much more experienced and intelligent than I am.
“Dark times lie ahead of us and there will be a time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right.”
Albus Dumbledore – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
“Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives. I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey and reminds us to be present every moment we can, because it will never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we’ve lived.”
Captain Jean-Luc Picard – Star Trek: The Next Generation
“The strong man who has known power all his life may lose respect for that power, but a weak man knows the value of strength, and knows compassion.”
Captain America: The First Avenger
“You must unlearn what you have learned. Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose. You will know the good from the bad when you are calm, at peace, passive. A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack. Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. Pass on what you have learned. Strength. Knowledge. But weakness, folly, failure also. Yes, failure most of all. The greatest teacher, failure is. We are what they grow beyond – that is the true burden of all mentors.”
Yoda – Star Wars
“What makes you think human beings are sentient and aware? There’s little evidence for it. Human beings rarely think for themselves, they find it too uncomfortable. For the most part, members of our species simply repeat what they are told – and become upset if they are exposed to any different view. The characteristic human trait is not awareness but conformity, and the characteristic result is political and religious conflict. Other animals fight for territory or food; but, uniquely in the animal kingdom, human beings fight for their ‘beliefs.’ The reason is that beliefs guide behavior, which has evolutionary importance among human beings. But at a time when our behavior may well lead us to extinction, I see no reason to assume we have any awareness at all. We generally are stubborn, self-destructive conformists. Any other view of our species is often just a self-congratulatory delusion.”
Dr. Ian Malcolm – The Lost World Jurassic Park