Pour Into Yourself

An empty pitcher can’t serve anyone. It’s only when you fill the pitcher up that it can do its job.

IMG_0751As I sat in the hospital room for the 5th straight day with Cassie and Chase, I could feel the miasma of lethargy slowly creeping over us. Our Little Man was very sick and it was difficult for him to even get to the bathroom. Our diet had consisted of pizza, hamburgers, and chicken fingers from the Baptist Health Café. We sat, and waited, and waited as the doctors tried to diagnosis what was killing our son. I could feel my energy being sapped, not only from the challenges of hospital life but also from the lack of movement.

No one would have criticized me for feeling this way, but this feeling of lethargy was alien to our family and I could feel it piling on emotionally to our situation. It was that day that I found out there was a fitness center at the hospital and I decided that I had to get a workout in.

11873470_10104754760653380_1357142864249026555_nIn 30 minutes I instantly felt energized and invigorated again! I had always preached the idea of exercise as the perfect remedy for both our physical and mental ailments, but I was truly amazed at how good I felt after my workout. While my workout did nothing to improve Chase’s current situation, the energy and joy poured in helped me improve my attitude and we began to get out of the room more and more that weekend.

As we moved more, his strength continued to improve and our attitudes and emotional state improved. We knew we had a long road of treatment ahead of us, but we knew that we could get through it with our emotional and physical strength.

You must pour into yourself. And it can’t be unhealthy food and reality TV, unless that’s what you want to pour on other people. You have to be selective, intentional, and consistent on what you pour into you. This can be exercise, books, friends, family, hobbies, or anything else that fills you up.

It’s even more vital to do these things in times of stress and challenges. My workout in the Baptist Health Fitness Center was not to get bigger muscles, or because I had missed a workout. It was so I could get my stress out and be a better father and husband for my family. I know that if I pour in health and wellness, that is what will pour out of me.

I want you this week to focus on what fills you up and makes you the best you. What gets you motivated to be the best, and are you consistently doing these things weekly? If you’ve fallen off the plan or have hit a roadblock, go back to those things that helped you find success in the past.

Fill your pitcher up with greatness, and pour it out on those around you!

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2015 Fall Fitness Frenzy Wrap

It was an amazing finish for our 2015 Fall Fitness Frenzy at Live Oak Fitness! Our team of 28 strong lost a total of 248.6 pounds!

FrenzyTeam15cropWe created a whole new program this fall for this year’s contest that gave equal emphasis to weight loss and exercise. In the first run of the new program, Miranda beat out two-time winner Merry for the top prize! Miranda collected a total of 321.32 points and lost over 25 pounds in 12 weeks! Merry kept Miranda working throughout the contest as she looked to make three straight Contest wins. While Merry ultimately finished 2nd overall, she collected 290.91 points and lost over 33 pounds! Sally rounded out our Top-3 with 189.88 points and lost an impressive 13 pounds in her 12-week journey.


Overall, our team lost an average of 8.9 pounds per person and our contestants who followed the program for 9 weeks or more lost an average of 16.9 pounds per person! In addition to the life changing results from the contest, many participants have continued their exercise programs and have lost even more weight since the finish of the contest!

Clients also competed for great gift packages from some amazing St. Simons Island restaurants. Crabdaddy’s, Boulevard Café, Chick-Fil-A, and Sandy Bottom Bagels all offered some great food and gave contestants some healthy and great tasting menu options!

Our next contest, the Spring Meltdown, will begin on Monday, January 25. You can register today online, at Live Oak Fitness by calling 912.602.5732, or contact our Performance Coaches at liveoakfitness@gmail.com.

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6 Months!

Thank you!

As I left the studio on Wednesday after another great day I realized that it was September 17, six months to the day that I launched Live Oak Fitness!PicsHeader

I’m looking forward to another amazing six months as we celebrate our one year anniversary on March 17, 2015. The mission of Live Oak Fitness is to help people live better lives, and my goal is that through stronger bodies and better health we can continue to make this possible.

IMG_53502 years ago, Cassie and I were sitting on the beach in the Bahamas. We were enjoying the first day of our vacation and were looking forward to a wonderful week. Our family had grown to three beautiful children, Cassie had a wonderful job at Lumpkin Elementary School, and I loved every day I got to go to work and change peoples lives. As we talked with the ocean in the background, she asked me what would I do if she just so happened to get a job in Glynn County. I thought about different ideas and careers, but I continued coming back to opening a private training studio on St. Simons Island.

This is one place where Live Oak Fitness started. It is amazing how moments in your life, sometimes small, make such an impact down the road.

Thank you for being a part of the Live Oak Fitness story. Each day I wake up excited to see who is scheduled for a session and who I get to pour into that day. I’m excited to see our amazing growth and the success we have enjoyed with our first Fall Fitness Frenzy. I have many more plans for Live Oak Fitness as we grow, and I’m most excited that you get to be part of this story!

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Perfect Timing

I wrote this article on March 17, 2014 as I started my new business. I’m happy to say that I am still in business and currently in the throws of a boot strap start up! For everyone who’s waiting on that perfect time to begin, here’s my perspective on it.


I quit my job last week to start my own personal training studio and truly follow my passion, helping people live better lives through health and fitness. I have 3 beautiful kids, an amazing wife, 4 months left on our rental house, and a mortgage from our previous home. My daughters 4th birthday is in a week and we are heading to Disney World for the first time in 2 weeks. Currently, I have no facility for my clients to go to, so in between I’m meeting at their house or mine to train.

I’ve already been asked once: “What are you thinking? Couldn’t you have picked a better time?”

Is there really a better time? Is there anything such as perfect timing?

Seizing that right moment and knowing when the perfect opportunity presents itself is every man’s dream. Business pay big money for consultants to pick the perfect time to launch a product. General’s find glory in perfectly timed attacks that catch the enemy off guard and score a decisive victory. Even something as simple as asking that pretty girl on a date requires perfect timing.

Unfortunately, perfect timing only happens in hindsight. When we wait for the perfect time, the right time, or even God’s timing most of us will continue waiting and never act.

The right time is only found when we act. At the time of our action many will think our move is ill timed, the wrong moment, or stupid. You might have a moment of pause and say, “is this really the right thing to do? What happens if this whole thing fails?” Taking decisive action always involves some very calculated, and more often some very big risks.

I remembered Brett McKay’s article from his website Art of Manliness on Dwight D. Eisenhower and his decision, and his decision alone, to send 160,000 troops into the English Channel to take the beaches at Omaha. The weather was horrible leading up to the attack and there was lengthy discussion on the right time to call the invasion. I would encourage you to read the whole article and the process of making that decision.

We can look back now and see the perfect timing of the invasion. Everything in Eisenhower’s life had led to that moment, when he acted and changed the world. But Eisenhower had no idea it was perfect timing. The first thing he did after he gave the order to move was to sit down and write a letter shouldering all of the blame for the failed invasion. He knew at that moment, that perfect moment, that he might be remembered as inept as Zhang Han at the Battle of Julu.

If we take action and move forward with our risk and fail, those people who bet against us will cheerfully step forward and exalt their wisdom and your failure. Your friends will be more loving in their critique. Bad timing, poor market, and just not the right time will be the excuses they offer.

The Book of Acts in the Bible is another great example of perfect timing because of action. The leader of this tiny movement, Jesus of Nazareth, had left this group of working class fishermen and peasants. One of the members had just recently betrayed their leader and sent him to die. The 11 primary members of the group had left their jobs and families to follow Jesus for 3 years and now he was no longer with them. Some were being hunted by the Roman and Jewish authorities. When asked if Jesus would make everything right before he left, Jesus replied: “You don’t get to know the time. Timing is the Father’s business.” Acts 1:7 (The Message)

1560392_670565292999540_198460057_nUltimately, the timing of our act is less important than the planning and preparation done in advance. All of our hard work leading up to our moment of action helps give us conviction and a determined heart. When we act, that is the time when all of our preparation comes together.

If our action succeeds, and we score a victory in our endeavor, it will be called perfect timing. Perfect timing is only found when we stop and look back.

Today, we must act.

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100 Catches a Day

Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez (88)I recently read an article in Sports Illustrated about Tony Gonzalez and his final game in the NFL. While his final season did not turn out the way he would have liked, it was amazing to read his take on his curtain call. I would encourage you to read Peter King’s full story, but this part of the interview blew me away: “My routine hasn’t changed at all. I still catch my 100 balls a day. First of all, that’s what I think has made me the player I am. But then I want the young guys to see it.”

100 catches every day. This guy is an NFL superstar who knows his position inside and out and he still goes out and catches 100 balls a day, in addition to team practice. He continues saying that he wants the younger players to see what it takes to be at his level.

This got me thinking about what I do everyday to make myself a better personal trainer, dad, and husband. What do I do, day in and day out, to be better? Many people I have told about this have brushed it aside by saying, “If I was paid millions of dollars to catch a ball I would do that every day too.” I then ask them, what if there was something you could do every day that would lead to you being paid millions of dollars a year to do your job, would you then do it?

So here’s my question to you and me as we enter 2014: what can we do every day to make ourselves better? Currently, I do 55 push ups and read a chapter in Proverbs before morning coffee. My goal is to do 100 push ups and a chapter before breakfast every day and grow from there.

“Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline.” -Jim Collins

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8 Minutes Ago

8 Minutes Ago

Radiolab had a great program a year ago talking about how much control we have over our lives today and how it is a thin line between what we think we control and what is actually already decided for us today.


It takes 8 minutes for the Suns rays to hit our planet. All of the light and heat we are feeling from the Sun is 8 minutes old and if the our closest star and best buddy decide not to shine all of a sudden we wouldn’t know until 8 minutes later when everything went black and frozen. Nothing we could do, no way to prepare, no way to stop it. BAM! It’s cold and dark and…. we’re done!

Listening to this broadcast, I realized something:

Nothing you do today will have any impact on this day.

Every choice, decision, good day or bad day has already been made for you day’s, week’s, month’s, or year’s ago by you and everyone you encounter today. If I look at today’s schedule there’s little to nothing I can do to really increase my productivity. My clients who I train today made their booking either last week or earlier this week. Also, these clients made a decision week’s ago to begin a workout program. That decision could have been spurred on by a walk by the mirror, a difficult day that sapped every ounce of energy, an infomercial that was seen at midnight because they couldn’t sleep, a suggestion from a friend to find us. Regardless of how they got here today, they are here because of choices they made before today.

So what the heck am I doing today if there’s nothing I can really do about this day? You’re building tomorrow. In health and fitness this is one of the most important lessons to learn, everything we do in a workout is part of a cumulative effort. Your ability today is dictated by how much effort you put in the last day you trained and all of the previous days before that session. When a client jumps on the scale, they know what the number will say even before they see it. If you have been drinking your water, eating your snacks, and maintain habitual discipline between now and the last weigh in you will see a good number. By cheating today and neglecting today we are assuring failure for tomorrow.

This also pours over into other aspects of our life. If our marriage is a success or failure it is because of what we have poured into that relationship. Nobody wakes up in a happy marriage and one day says, “Mom was right, I made a mistake! Honey, this isn’t working. I’m going to Vegas.” On the flip side, one romantic evening will not change a life of discord.

If a child is well behaved in the store and not screaming when told no, you can be assured that the child has heard a “no” before and knows the consequences from previous battles that it does not end well for any member of the family. If you see exasperated parents pleading with a child to calm down and casting any and all forms of bribery toward them, I can assure you the same story will be played out until a new pattern is set.

Our jobs, our house, our yard, our government, our addictions and numerous other relationships could be discussed on how and why we are where we are. Both for better or for worse. I encourage you not to focus on the negative, this only breeds more negative. Instead, look for ways today you can create building blocks for new success and fulfilling habits.

While we can not change today, we can work today to create a better tomorrow.

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