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WHY OUR SENIOR DINNER HAD ME IN TEARS

Last Sunday we had our first Senior dinner at our house with all of our athletes who will be leaving us in the fall.

This was our biggest senior class yet and after it’s all said and done we will be losing about 30 athletes to colleges all across the country.

It was a great time and it was really fun to see all of these athletes who have become family, sitting around swapping stories of prom and discussing where their lives are taking them next.

Krystal gave a very heartfelt speech about how she is so appreciative of what these athletes bring to our lives. She did such a good job in fact, that I honestly didn’t really feel the need to add anything.

She nailed it.

As the evening went on though, I started to realize that I did in fact have something to say to all these amazing people. The only issue was actually getting it out without breaking down in tears.

I literally could not speak.

My son Slater tried to come to my rescue but I think it just made it worse.

All the emotions from ten years of trying to find my true passion came rushing up to the surface.

To understand why, you have to know that ten years ago I was working for a company called Impulse Enterprises.

It was my first job out of college and I had been working there for 5 years. I had worked my way up to a Production Manager position where I supervised about 35 warehouse employees.

I was making good money but I was miserable……and sick…….and a little fat.

Well, I got sick and tired of being sick and tired and went to a local Homeopath who was referred to me by the vitamin counter at a local health food supermarket called Jimbo’s.

This is where my life literally took a 180 degree turn.

She taught me how to eat for energy and how to boost my immune system.

I felt much better and lost some weight. I was hooked on the power of food.

I read everything possible on nutrition. If you had a conversation with me in 2006 it is guaranteed that I annoyed you with some sort of nutritional factoid.

I saved $25,000 and quit my job and opened up a nutrition consulting practice.

Since that original nutrition consulting business my career has taken many twists and turns in the fitness industry. I basically tried to learn everything and became good at nothing.

That all changed about 4 years ago when I realized that my true passion was to train elite athletes. I only wanted to work with the most driven people on earth.

I felt we shared a common bond of striving to achieve extraordinary things. So instead of being a mediocre jack-of-all-trades I decided to become an expert at one thing: training elite athletes.

I thought I had finally found my passion on this earth.

Then it all changed again.

I had kids.

With my first son Dylan running around the gym all the time it really started to hit me hard that these people are molding the world my son (and soon to be sons) is growing up in.

They are going to be major influencers in the way my children perceive the world and they are going to soak up everything our athletes say and do.

It was at this moment that it wasn’t elite athletes that were my passion, it was training amazing people.

I wanted my days filled with people who truly care about my family. People who aren’t just nice to us, but are nice to others as well when they leave the gym.

Regardless of age, I wanted to be around people who inspire me to be a better husband, father, son, brother, and friend.

Which brings me back to last Sunday and my speech I couldn’t get through.

As I looked around my living room at a bunch of 17 and 18 year-olds, it really hit me hard how good I have it.

I spend my days with awesome people. Everyday. All day.

This was emotionally too much for me to handle.

Every single set of eyes I looked into that night plays with my sons at the gym, is respectful to my wife, and even pets my dog.

In their eyes I saw the eyes of every other person we train.

The Moms, the Dads, the Pros, the College Kids, the rest of the High Schoolers, and the Junior High Crew.

All. Awesome. People.

My amazing Mom once told me that “people love when you love their kids”.

Well Mom, I get it.

I just feel so blessed that everyday at Jackson Strength, myself, Krystal and the rest of the coaching staff get to show love to other people’s kids and then those kids show love right back to mine.

The parents of our athletes show love to our kids and we show it right back to theirs.

I get to make a living in an environment where people show love back and forth to each other all day with a common goal of creating a better version of themselves.

Is there anything better than that?

CJ