How to do the hard things…

I started back up at 24 Hour Fitness just over a year ago. I was excited and enthused. It seemed like that was the direction Life wanted me to go.

I spoke to my boss at that point and said I am IN this. Because I was. I was stoked to help start a brand new Super Sport location thrive. I was excited to help coach other trainers to become Master Trainers. And getting down to it, I really love training people for their best lives, watching them grow, flourish, and evolve into their best selves!


So I stepped in and I gave it all I had. I drove anywhere from 30-60 minutes a day one way to “make this happen”. But it felt right, so I didn’t mind.

Some days, I got to see the sun rising right over Mt. Hood as I crossed the Marquam Bridge heading towards Gresham at 5am.

Other days I got stuck in the thick of I-80 westwards traffic backed up and bottle necked at I-205. Yuck.

But, all the while, I practiced my breathing, box breaths, rhythmic counts, and diaphragmatic activation and I’d repeat my personalized mantras out loud in the car to whoever was listening (there really wasn’t anyone else there).

Then, a day came, where I stopped on the way out of the brand new gym and looked at the sign that I’d kind of actually passed by every other day without fully absorbing…



…is what it said, and on this day, it took my breath away. I had learned the lesson that hadn’t fully embedded within me a few years prior when I’d moved on from 24 Hour Fitness before. Albeit perhaps hastily amidst the throes of grief and “finding myself”.

Even when I’d walked back into the gym and started training lots and lots of people again, I found myself shifting and moving and adapting myself to be the easiest trainer for others to adapt to. I always liked to coin myself as “being able to train anyone” because it’s true, I can.

But then there was a moment when I realized that the shifting wasn’t actually adaptation, it was becoming Sacrifice.

Now, Sacrifice is something I’ve dealt with in many of my life stories and themes. I had learned as a child how to sacrifice my true feelings to make sure everyone else was ok. I continued to sacrifice sharing who I really was throughout high school in order to SURVIVE. Because let’s be honest, I was scared sh*tless to be a gay kid in a small town.

Fears that were etched in truth through the stories of Matthew Shepard current and etched in my mind straight in the heart of the 90’s.

So I played it safe. I learned how to hide in order to make other people feel comfortable. And yet, on the flipside, learning how to “sacrifice myself” in order to listen deeply to others is an absolute gift of experience now. I’ve learned that even when I’m not hiding I can still make people feel comfortable, safe and fully heard/seen. When I say “It’s OK,” I mean it and others can feel the ease to the depth of their core.

But with this also comes responsibility, because when I say “it’s time to work”, it really is time to work. Because it’s not necessarily the comfort that we reside in that gets us the places we want to go. It’s the work that we put in inbetween.


I committed myself to my boss to help him grow as a Fitness Manager and thrive with the training department at this new 24 Hour Fitness gym. And after a few months, growth happened, but it also looked like on my end as far as growing anymore in that area, I was tapped out.

So I had a decision to make. Do I continue to help others grow and sacrifice my own livelihood, well-being, and evolving maturity in the process by sticking to the initial commitment that I made?

Or, do I honor what I’ve done, what I’ve given, albeit even in a short time and have a REALLY HARD conversation with my boss to let him know that it’s time for me to move on?

I chose to have the conversation. For my life. For my family. For my loves. For my deeper commitments.

It was hard. I fretted and fretted about it, because I ultimately just felt a little dirty “going back” on a commitment that I’d made to my boss. But, I had to reframe the situation to understand in my own mind what was happening.

I was, for the first time in my life, honoring my own growth in the process of helping others grow…

Let that sink in. Because this happened a year ago and it’s taken just about that whole 356+ days for it to sink in for me.

I was honoring my own growth of “leaving all doubts behind” and making NEW commitments for my life and my self. Which I ultimately knew would help and encourage others throughout the process as I’d seen time and time before. It was a bigger move with a bigger impact (because here we are #LalasGym), although I didn’t even know it at the time.

The hard conversation was still hard. The dirty yucky feelings were still there. But there was also a NEW feeling and it was Honor. I was no longer sacrificing myself for others.

I was, and am now, honoring myself for, through, and with others.

Honoring our True Selves IS contagious. It’s actually where “the magic” happens. And while I like to have fun and call all the miracles and cool sh** that happens “magic” and “rainbows” and “unicorns” the TRUTH is that how we treat ourselves is the FIRST place that our lives can become better.


When our lives become better, we feel it, others can see it, and a wealth of inspiration continues to inspire it.

We can ALL live our best lives by being who we really are. For me, the answer has always been very clear, AND very scary at the exact same time. At this point in my life, I consider myself LUCKY.

Because while a lot of my internal life of living has felt hard and scary (I’ve honestly lived in fear for most of my life) it’s actually a very simple switch to “step out” (no pun intended) if you will.

Honor yourself.

Honor your dreams.

Honor who you want to become.

Honor how you want to feel.

And then see how Life shows up for you.

This Honor then honors others as you move with the energy. Honestly, no words need to be said, but I like to write it out anyway.

Honor is living in integrity, in alignment with who you really are, and becoming more of this true self each and every day.

Now sometimes, this is where I get stuck or afraid even in my very own growth. I’ll be honest and admit that sometimes I get scared to honor my truth too much. Like maybe something will happen to me. Like maybe I’ll poof disappear. I know I know, pretty outlandish… but that’s what fears are: irrational illusions.

And we all deal with them. This just happens to be my certain set.

At the end of the day it’s not about fitness, or writing, or religion, spirituality, politics, blah blah blah. It’s about YOU. Are you living your Life with Honor for, with and through your True Self?

We are all becoming more empathic these days, so the veil of illusion is diminishing. And while I’ve always been able to “feel” others energy, moods and ‘tudes, it’s becoming apparent that we all can feel others energy now too. So, it’s no secret if you’re not living in alignment. We can feel it. But, it’s also ok, because we’re all unveiling layers of truth that reside within ourselves.

Now, Honestly… the word Honor, is really just about being Honest. Don’t let it get too heavy with war-time, hero’s and sacrifice on that end. Which, bless everyone’s hearts who are in that avenue or deeply affected by that avenue… But I am more concerned with each of you. Regular, every day people. My neighbor, my post office attendant, my grocery store clerk, my Cannon Beach locals, my extended North Coast community, my family, my friends, my loves, the list goes on and on.

Live honestly friends. One step at a time. It doesn’t have to be some big grandiose “coming out” 😉 But it can be about you, and teeny tiny steps of action to honor each and every day. So you can feel better, live better, and love the best you can.

Because again, at the end of the day, that’s all we’re really looking for… Love. And Honestly, we CAN really give it to ourselves quite simply through honor, honesty and integrity. <3



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