Lewis Howes’ Masks of Masculinity Book Review: Stoic & Athlete Mask – Episode 3

I decided to break these down in increments of two (1/4) because I feel it would me too much material to handle in one go.  So, here’s a breakdown of the STOIC and Athlete masks.

The STOIC mask somewhat relates to the Alpha Mask in a way that men AREN’T SUPPOSED to show their emotions.  Every man dreams of being the hero, but the amount of pain that lies within him, is killing him — literally.

There was a substitute teacher I had back in the 6th grade that told us a story about her brother.  With every hardship, he stayed quiet.  He didn’t want to express his feelings, because apparently that would make him less of a man.  One day he had a heart attack, dying right before his family.  She went on the ask us, “why do you think he died?”  We, of course at a very young age, were scratching our heads.  The reason for the heart attack was because he held all those feelings of greed, grief, hate, and all other negative feelings with him; rather than having someone on the receiving end, listen.

What Can You Do?

A weight off your shoulders
Deeper relationships with men and women
Healing
A healthy heart
Vulnerability
The permission to feel
Acceptance and belonging

Step 1: Make a list of the five most painful moments of your life. Note what happened, and how you felt in each moment. Journal about it and go into detail. (An example could be: My dad was my best friend growing up, but he abandoned me when I was 6, and it left me devastated.)
Step 2: Once you’ve journaled about these painful moments, read them out loud to yourself. Give yourself permission to feel or to cry about them when you hear your own words. Play soft instrumental music during this process to facilitate your ability to reach your emotions as you allow your feelings to awaken.

Step 3: Share them. When you have accepted the truth of this pain and all these emotions, tell a friend, partner, or family member whom you trust. Part of removing the Stoic Mask is allowing other people to support you. The only way they can do that is if they know what’s going on. I’m a big believer that anyone who has experienced trauma in their past (and hasn’t ever discussed it with someone) will allow the trauma to grow in negative ways. You won’t be able to heal until you begin to share your story.
Step 4: Look into hiring a coach, therapist, or someone who is a specialist. Once you’ve shared your pain, you need to find someone who has experience with helping people understand their emotions and get comfortable with them. For those who really struggle behind the Stoic Mask, this is serious work and it requires a serious approach. But it is work that can start today, right now, with a piece of paper and a pencil.”

Excerpt From: Lewis Howes. “The Mask of Masculinity.” iBooks.

Athlete Masks

From the Tommy Hearns and Marvin Hagler, to the battles of NFL players trying to prove rights over others by delivering the most vicious, bone-crushing hits.

“Gilbert Arenas, the ultra-talented point guard for the Golden State Warriors and Washington Wizards? Not only was he a prolific scorer and a back-to-back-to-back NBA All-Star who led the entire league in minutes played during the 2005–06 season, but he and his Wizards teammate Javaris Crittenton threatened each other with handguns in the team locker room. Is that what men do? Threaten each other with dangerous weapons over a $1,100 gambling debt? This move cost Arenas $7.5 million in salary. Crittenton is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence on an unrelated 2015 manslaughter charge.”

Excerpt From: Lewis Howes. “The Mask of Masculinity.” iBooks.

“Think about all the incredible athletes out there whose prowess on the field doesn’t line up with the way they conduct their personal lives. Take Antonio Cromartie, a four-time Pro Bowler who led the entire NFL in interceptions in 2007 and holds the record for the longest play in NFL history. He is mind-bogglingly talented. But you forget all of that when you watch him in a 2010 episode of HBO’s Hard Knocks, a sports documentary series, where he struggles to remember and recite the names of his eight children (from seven mothers), three of whom are the same age. Cromartie now has 10 children with twins on the way, and reportedly pays close to $340,000 a year in child support.” – Lewis Howes

So, you can see these two masks are what 95% of men in the world suffer from.  Let’s take them off once and for all!

What can you do now?

Five core areas…

1.Health: mental, physical, emotional
2.Relationships: intimate, family, friends
3.Wealth: finances, career, education, business
4.Contribution: making an impact in the world and other people’s lives, being of service
5.Spiritual: connecting to a higher power or your spiritual beliefs”

Podcast

Lewis Howes: The Know-It-All Mask – Introduction

“Have you ever noticed how people tend to fill the dead time in a conversation or a meeting by rambling on about some random topic? Have you ever watched someone you work with try to impress the people around them by going on a long rant about something you can’t even pronounce? Have you ever seen someone in an important setting suck the air out of the room by making it all about them? They always have a response, they can’t let anything go, and they have to show you how smart they are.”

Excerpt From: Lewis Howes. “The Mask of Masculinity.” iBooks.

Welcome to the Know-It-All Mask!

Not off the top of my head, but I’ve worked with quiet a few people in the past and present who can just ra-ra-ra the world with their impeccability of BS – LOL. It took me a while to think about it, but there were times I would be around individuals and they can talk about just a bunch of bs that would go on and on when I was in the midst of doing something.  Luckily towards the end of my tenures, I stopped talking to these particular beings, resulting in a lot of free-time.

One of my students, who was a brilliant speaker, said to me, “ummm teacher _________ knows a lot.  He knows everything.” Yeah, he knows everything so much that he doesn’t allow you to speak, huh?

Sometimes you do have to just take the seat in the back, as a teacher, and shut the heck up.

Now, I won’t put his name out there, but obviously there are a lot of entrepreneurs who just don’t shut up and listen, even when interviewing men who have amassed over 50 billion USD over their lifetime.  From philanthropists — to Hedgefund leaders — it just always seems that they need to be the center of attention.  We love talking, especially people who know a lot about everything, but there comes a time when you just have to be a listener.

I’ve done 8 podcast interviews, starting from last year, and I really just allow my guests to speak.  That’s the sole purpose of doing the interview…..you asking the questions and getting the best out of them, such as what Larry King does.  Larry King is a superb interviewer because all of his questions are so centered/focused on the person sitting across from him.

One of the funniest instances I had was four years ago.  I had to go to a meeting at a language center where the staff looked at me in more bad ways than one, and the owner of the language center looked down upon me for even more obvious reasons.  Anywho, I sat in a room with three teachers throwing ideas out there for an English camp, and when I came around to give my two cents (after asking to do so), a teacher by the name of Nicole ran all over me and shot me down.  She wanted to do ALL THE TALKING and then later told me that I tried talking too much during the meeting, although I counted 1-2 sentences in the 30-minute session.  She was absolutely one of those people who would run over me from left to right.  From the first day I met her at one of the worst English camps, to this particular one where the commute was much longer.

She was right about one thing.  I wasn’t changing my mindset about Thai women — and was losing fast.  That’s about it.  Having a strong personality like that around is unbelievably draining.

I need to get much better at listening, too.  I get easily distracted, but now I go back to the previous conversation and ask deeper questions.

“It’s like the line in Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho: “That’s what the world is like: People talk as if they know everything, but if you dare to ask a question, they don’t know anything.”
Here’s the thing: If we’re being honest with ourselves, then we’d admit that none of us know anything. I think Coelho would even agree that nobody really knows what the hell they are doing. We’re all just making it up as we go along. ”

Excerpt From: Lewis Howes. “The Mask of Masculinity.” iBooks.

Podcast

Flights/Hotels/Spartan Tickets Booked – Training Commenced

To give everyone a nice little update on the upcoming trip to Malaysia, I’m EXCITED!

I haven’t left the country since Maldives last year.  Does anyone know how long it’s been?! Although I’ve now left a very forgettable neighborhood, the “fun and hobbies” portion of the wheel of life has taken a massive hit.  I now have a lot of free time to focus on my projects, but I’m still missing out on a key piece of my happiness.

TRAVELING!

Well, I’m back! Malindo Airlines (praying everything goes well because I’ve heard horror stories), a gorgeous hotel (PARKROYAL) in KLCC, and an easy way to get to the race.  This trip should go perfectly.

This trip also marks the breaking of the chains and shackles I’ve had for so long.  So grateful for everything, but it’s time for the new life to begin.  Officially on a tourist visa and really not sure what’s going to happen or what to expect next.

Nevermind all that though.  This is about the Spartan Race, an appetizer leading up to the main dish in May (Spartan Super).  It’s really funny because I’m between a rock and a hard place at the moment.  I’m trying to figure out who to go with.  I promised a friend last year I would go with him, but after he brought along one of his friends who failed to run more than 1km, I really don’t want to “walk.”  If I want to walk, I’ll walk at home or on a treadmill.  All the training and everything leading up to the Spartan was based on cardio.  If someone failed to prepare cardio, the most important aspect of the race, disaster will happen (and did at that point).

If I go with some others, there will be a group of 20.  I know within the group of 20….at least half of them won’t be doing cardio.  Therefore, I’ll have to walk for 13-15km, which would take AGES! So this is the big problem with doing the Spartan Super.  I can hurry up and find a friend (somehow) to go with who’s a beast, but it’s difficult.

Nonetheless, this Malaysia Spartan is going to be a battle for me, just because I’m going to try and finish it as fast as possible (record time) and see if I can compete in the competitive or elite next time.

Training

I’ve been busting ass (not that way) in the gym.  Over the last couple of weeks (including Friday – a day I ran 10km and did a one-hour class later in the evening), I’ve gotten my body back! This is what I LOVE! Looking like a damn Greek God! More importantly, I ran 10km (felt very odd at the end) without any issues.  I went to the gym to buy a protein shake, up to the Skytrain, and felt perfectly fine (unlike my earlier years where I felt like hell).  I’m doing a series of different movements, body weight exercises, and developing strength in my legs.

With Spartan, cardio and upper-body are the most important parts.  The first Spartan I did last year sucked.  My upper-body was…….weak.  However, the second Spartan I did, I couldn’t believe how much my strength increased.  Cardio in KL (last July) was amazing, but overall upper-body was sub-average.  Second Spartan I did….completely crushed it.  Now with having the experience….here’s my workout regimen on a weekly basis.

Monday – Class: Lab Leaner + Kettlebell Strength

Tuesday – Cardio (bike and treadmill) in the morning

Wednesday (City Run – 10km)

Thursday (upper-body on my own)

Friday – Class: Lab Stronger

Saturday and Sunday – Rest days or core work.

This is just for the 7km race.  After April 15th, my workouts will get much more difficult leading up to the Super after my birthday in May.

Stay tuned for more!

Lewis Howes: Invincible Mask – What Can You Do Right Now?

A lot of people do big things or risky things to get the attention of others.  Remember at the beginning I talked about one of my students’ brother who slammed into a pillar at high speeds, intoxicated and ultimately killing himself.  He was unrecognizable after it happened.  Before he got on his bike, he told everyone that he was safe to drive, although he was completely inebriated.  He was going welllll over the speed limit and resulted in him no longer being able to live.

A many of these “van” boys drive at top speeds with spoilers off, trying to get the attention of women on the streets.  This gives them that since of invincibility and that’s why Thailand, by percentage, has the highest traffic fatality in the WORLD.  These adrenaline junkies are always looking for the next thrill.

So what can you do? What if you stole, or do things that could question the law just to get the attention of women? More importantly, what’s available if you take off the mask?

A fulfilled and healthy life span
Deeper relationships
Self-esteem
True courage
The permission to just be and not constantly do
A sense of belonging

Ask yourself these questions

What is valuable to me?

Friendships.  That invincible mask that Billy had on — I had on, too.  I would treat my best friend Andre like crap over the years, and after my run yesterday, he spilled the beans on how I treated them from a “funny” aspect.  However, I didn’t look at it as funny.  I was embodying anger from when Billy use to treat me like crap, so I wanted to dish out those feelings, too.

Andre is everything to me.  The most valuable friendship I have today.  When he speaks, I absolutely listen and take thought to it.

What do I value about my life?

I honestly need to stop playing the “black” card, as the Irish teacher told me.  I love that he’s in my face about it, because he shows me how much of a magnificent being I can truly become.  This is why I love the fact that I am “different.”  Just last night I was thinking to myself, “oh man! Look at all of these anglo men in the picture of this company that sent me those jobs three days ago.  No wonder I can’t get the job!”  Self-doubt.  I still have that lingering deep within my bloodlines, and it’s something I need to address immediately.

What am I looking for in these activities?

Can I see the true value in friendships and myself?

Can I get those things elsewhere in my life?

Absolutely NOT.  Once I’m gone, I’m gone forever.

Additional Questions In The Podcast

 

Lewis Howes: Invincible Mask – Part IV

I have a very interesting story to speak about in regards  to my childhood best friend Billy.  Despite Billy calling me poor for a year or two, I was still his friend.

Billy lived in the “corner house” of my block.  Red hair, freckles, beautiful sister, young brother who would scream, fantastic mother and a questionable father.  Yes, questionable.  I won’t say it like that, but as a child I noticed things.  I noticed anger inside of him.  He didn’t speak much to the family.  His mother would always say, “your father is coming home so I need to cook and we need to have this house in perfect shape.”

I still remember the night between 1999-2000 when I heard a slam in their kitchen.  Bill had slammed the oven door and started to scream at Jo in regards to the food and she instantly started crying.  I ran home as quick as I can because….well my mother was already getting in full-fledge knife wars with my father.  I didn’t want to see that there and go home and see the same thing.

Later Bill apologized.  Nonetheless, this man was stacked with money.  Not sure what his job was, but Billy would have presents on top of presents on top of presents during the holidays, reducing me to tears of jealousy in the process.

Billy went on a hiatus in 2004 before showing up against in 2010.  His sister had become just a gorgeous 18-19-year-old, Billy was massive and his mother was still the most loving woman she’s always been.

Billy and I talked about those years in the backyard of his house for hours and he broke words about his fathers true intentions.  Although I won’t reveal what they were, let’s just say it was a humanity – type of company he was peddling in the foothills of Pahrump – the place he would go 95% of the month.  Now I understand where the money had come from.

I don’t know exactly what that mask was, but Billy wore it.  Billy war the “I have more money than you mask” in the year 2000.  He would call me poor constantly because his mother donated some 2nd-hand furniture to my mother so we can have a furnished downstairs.  I know, “that’s totally not a friend.”  He was maybe 9-years-old, so I won’t put it up against him completely.  However, after his father lost everything (blessing in disguise), Billy ended up being on my level.  He didn’t have food in the house.  He didn’t have those great holidays.  He didn’t have ANYTHING.  I never went back to rub it in his face, but he got a hard dose of reality, which he was actually dishing out to other people, including me.

He was no longer invincible.

I have and had gone through emotional health problems as a child.  I went through emotional withdrawals with my mother, my brother, and even my sisters.  I wasn’t taking care of myself for those early 2000’s, and then it finally caught up to me in 2003….the year I developed a lot of anger problems.

Lots of stories in the podcast down below.

Podcast

Lewis Howes: Invincible Mask – Continued

Lewis Howes mentioned in his book the moment he had the invincibility mask on at a farmers house with his friend.  His father and the insurance agent, who was the farmer, was looking over some papers.  So, like a good thief, Lewis and his friend went down to the basement, started looking through drawers and WA-LA! – $25 dollars in a sealed envelope.  His friend took the $20 and Lewis took the five.

Around 4am, his father confronted him in a pitch black room asking about the situation and if he had taken the money.  Lewis, like anyone else, lied to his father.

His father later found out that Lewis was lying and BOOM! Not only did Lewis get his emotional bank account overdrawn almost immediately, but terminated a friendship between his father and an insurance agent – not to mention stealing money from a man who needed to feed his family.

“After that day, I never stole anything again. Something had switched on inside me: I saw that this wasn’t the path I wanted to go down. The Stoic Mask I had been wearing since my brother went to jail was holding back a tidal wave of emotions I didn’t understand and couldn’t control, but this cheating and stealing was the first time I felt like I was actually in control of anything. The more I did it without getting caught, the more in control of my life I felt until, inevitably, I started to feel invincible. It was an incredible high, just not a positive one. And I wanted to change directions now.”

Excerpt From: Lewis Howes. “The Mask of Masculinity.” iBooks.

Same thing happened here.  Between 1999-2000, I committed several acts of foolishness.  Can I blame it just on my father? Well, when I was living with him in Sunrise Apartments on what was the “outskirts of Vegas,” I never saw him around.  He never taught me from right from wrong.  I learned virtually everything out on the streets, and given the fact that it was such a mucky ass neighborhood, I saw gang fights – literally.  I saw a kid come up with blood all over his face after having his face smashed in by some bad ass kids at Woodbury Middle School.  There was Bret – the best fighter in our elementary school – who would constantly impose his will on just about everyone.  My brother hung out around a guy name Ozzy, who’s more than likely dead by now (given the fact he was the worst student at Woodbury).  I mean all these things put together ultimately creates a disgusting blueprint that’s unshakable.

I stole.  That’s right….I stole some candy from the store.  I got caught red-handed once and the man came in, took the candy and shoved me out of the store before I ran home and cried.  My brother asked me why I was crying and I told him.  He then ratted me out to my father, and then I was grounded for probably 4-6 weeks.  My father, however, never sat me down and told me just how dangerous it is to steal.

So, one year later and while living with my mother, I was caught in another predicament.  Disgusting neighborhood, house got ransacked by my brothers thug ass friends (as it got robbed because of his friends, too), and again, poor decision after poor decision.  As guilty as I still feel today, I stole $1 dollar from my mother underneath the bed.  I told her years later and gave her the money back, but the feeling of shame cannot become undone.  That’s the worst part about it.

I remember the last times I stopped being bad was a comment from my English teacher – Mrs. Baise – who said “looks like you’re doing bad in all of your classes.”  That moment….was the Rite of Passage.

Luckily my despicable friend by the name of Sergio had moved somewhere else and I never saw him again.  Everyone else ended up dispersing, and now my best friends were my childhood friend Billy, Filipino from Hawaii by the name of Mark (very conservative and strict family), and my best friend Andres (who’s managing a warehouse in New York today).  Your environment, family, and friends become you.  I had that invincibility mask which could’ve quickly taken me to juvenile hall (jail for minors).  I snapped out of it.

“So I turned all this energy toward sports instead of stealing. It was unquestionably a better direction, though the idea that a change of direction alone would solve the problems was a total illusion. I was still hiding behind my masks. If we’re honest with ourselves, those of us who want to achieve tend to believe we can do anything when we recognize mistakes and change direction (in business, we call that a “pivot”). In a way, that belief drives us to take risks and do bold things—but I think it’s worth pausing to appreciate how much damage it can do if you ignore the underlying problems. You can’t just ignore the things you’re doing to yourself, to your loved ones, to your body, to your mind, to your reputation, and to your sanity . . . because they will catch up with you.” – Lewis Howes

Podcast

https://www.spreaker.com/user/thearseniobuckshow/lewis-howes-invincible-mask-continued

 

Lewis Howes: The Athlete Mask Ending + What Can You Do Now?

Remember my Dale Carnegie podcast on “not winning an argument?” Here’s the link…..Dale Carnegie’s ‘You Can’t Win An Argument’.

“You can’t win an argument. You can’t because if you lose it, you lose it; and if you win it, you lose it. Why? Well, suppose you triumph over the other man and shoot his argument full of holes and prove that he is non compos mentis. Then what? You will feel fine. But what about him? You have made him feel inferior. You have hurt his pride. He will resent your triumph.”

Excerpt From: Lewis Howes. “The Mask of Masculinity.” iBooks.

My brother, who I’ve talked about so many times, always felt the need to win.  He would have this overbearing voice while yelling at the top of his voice to shoot a point across.  I would sit back, relaxed, and just retort before he does it again. He was one of the people who thought winning arguments were critical and it made him feel more superior, especially over his younger brother.

Steve Weatherford’s Story In The Podcast

“As athletes we’re obsessed with how we look, with how we perform, and with winning. We’re consumed by competition as the measuring stick for our manhood. But our self-worth has nothing to do with those things. It has to do with our values and principles.”

Excerpt From: Lewis Howes. “The Mask of Masculinity.” iBooks.

So, what’s available when you drop this mask?

  • Creativity
    Culture
    New experiences
    Connections with other humans
    Self-worth
    A healthy relationship with your image
    Balance
    Time to do other things you enjoy

Men, what have you been avoiding to focus on your physical appearance? I’m asking this because most body builders are very ego-maniacal, self-centered and anti-social.  These are the factors you can work on to rip this athlete mask off.

1.Health: mental, physical, emotional
2.Relationships: intimate, family, friends
3.Wealth: finances, career, education, business
4.Contribution: making an impact in the world and other people’s lives, being of service
5.Spiritual: connecting to a higher power or your spiritual beliefs.

Rate yourself in each area.  What would you look like in each area? Write these down in a notebook of some sort.

Also, what are your values and principles that you can lean on so that you can figure out how to contribute to the world, and to your own happiness, in each of these areas?”

More In My Podcast Down Below!

https://www.spreaker.com/user/thearseniobuckshow/lewis-howes-the-athlete-mask-what-to-do-

 

The Masks of Society, Identifying Yours & The Journey

1.The Stoic Mask: Because every man must be invulnerable and tough, emotions are carefully managed and suppressed. There can be no crying, no pain, no feeling. A wall is put up between him and the world to protect him, to pretend he doesn’t feel the things he does, because weakness is an invitation to scrutiny and judgment and rejection.

2.The Athlete Mask: One of the clearest ways a man can distinguish himself is on the field or on the court. He is like a modern-day gladiator whose weapon isn’t death, but domination. Sports are how men prove themselves, and a good athlete is a good man—period. This means spending hours in the gym to get in shape. It means fighting through injuries and pain and fear to win at all costs. And of course, if for some reason a man isn’t good at sports, he had better compensate for that by loving them and knowing everything he can about them.

3.The Material Mask: There is no clearer sign of a man’s worth than the amount of money in his bank account. Not only do men work incredibly hard—and sometimes do questionable things — to make as much money as possible, it’s all for naught if other people don’t know how much money he has. In this way, his cars, his watches, his houses, and his social media feeds become a representation of who he is. A man’s net worth becomes his self-worth.

4.The Sexual Mask: A man is defined by his sexual conquests—his worth determined not only by his bank account but by the number of women he’s slept with. Relationships? Those are for lesser men—for quitters and settlers. A real man loves them and then leaves them—but he’s so good in bed, they’re left fully satisfied, of course.
5.The Aggressive Mask: Men are aggressive. It’s their nature. They’re violent and tough, and they never back down. When they see something they want, they take it. Men hate; men have enemies. Of course they have a temper; of course they break things; and of course they get into fights. They’re the hunters, not the gatherers. It’s what men do. A man who thinks otherwise is not a man and is responsible for the weakening of the world.

6.The Joker Mask: A man has a sense of humor and a wit that can repel even the most withering critique or the most nagging doubt. Talk about his problems? Okay, Dr. Phil, maybe later. Cynicism and sarcasm and a sense of superiority, these are the intellectual weapons that a man uses to defend against every attempt to soften him or connect with him. If you want a man to let you in, expect a knock-knock joke, not an open door.”
7.The Invincible Mask: A man does not feel fear. A man takes risks. Whether that’s betting his life savings on a company or cliff diving or smoking and drinking in incredible quantities, a man doesn’t have time to think about consequences, he’s too busy doing. Other people (i.e., women and betas) have “problems.” But men? Men have it all under control. They’ve “got this” and they’ll be fine.

8.The Know-It-All Mask: A man is not only physically dominant but intellectually dominant too. If you don’t understand why that is, a man is happy to explain it to you—along with all the other subjects he’s an expert in. He went to a top school, he watches the news, and he knows all the answers. He certainly doesn’t need your—or anyone’s—help. He knows it all.
9.The Alpha Mask: At the most basic level, men believe that there are only two types of men: alphas and betas, winners and losers. No man can stand to be the latter—so a man must dominate, one up, and win everything. A man can’t ever defer. As a man, he must be in control, and he can’t ever do anything a beta (or a woman) would do.

Excerpt From: Lewis Howes. “The Mask of Masculinity.” iBooks.

  1. This has to be one of the strongest misrepresentations of the African American community.  Turn on your TV in America and see a man berating the airways by Lavar Wall, preaching that he’s a man because of whatever reason.  People, especially men, who cry, are not men….period.  I’d have to say a good 70% of American men have this “Stoic” mask on, but luckily I’m not one of them who suffers from it.
  2. On part of the other book I’m doing by Darren Hardy, his father was definitely a representation of the “Athlete Mask.”  Football coach among so many other things taught Darren to be “tough,” but that toughness also equated to amazing habits and unshakable discipline that manifested millions upon millions of dollars.   However, if you look at the “jocks” of high school – you need to have a letterman jacket, a car, and a ton of girls to be considered the “cool guy” of the school.  I still remember a handful of those boneheads that walked around school with their chest out – and all of them are working 10$ hour jobs at the age of 30.  Damn.
  3. INSTAGRAMMERS! How many of you have scene those men, “motivational” (although fake) posts of guys in ultimate, luxurious suits strutting those high end watches in front of Ferraris? Yeah, these are the fakes.  These are the men who seriously believe their bank accounts and being successful only means the dollar signs.  90% of American men MUST suffer from this, because it almost seems like every Instagram post I see has a link that says, “click the link to make six figures.”
  4. This is more of the Generation Z tribe.  I remember also being in school and hearing African Americans (just trying to make a point about a specific group) that would spew sexual rhetoric towards their friends: “did you f*** her yet? Ahhh n*gga you a b****!”  Yeah, welcome to my junior and senior year of high school in North Las Vegas.
  5. Men who club. PERIOD! I believe clubs are grounds for the worst people, including women.  How often do you hear of the “big fight after a night club closed” news?  Go online and type “fight at the club” and hundreds of videos will pop up.  These are men trying to claim their territory, most notable men such as singers Chris Brown and the singer from Canada (completely forgot his name) who got into a massive scrum inside of a nightclub.  Short-tempered thuggery is what I call it, but this also happens at football games in Europe (Serbia) where hooligans throw chairs and all kinds of objects at each other…..for…..nothing.
  6. Yes, and no.  There is a colleague I have that just uses endless amounts of jokes and doesn’t take anything serious. That’s not necessarily a mask, though. There have been a few people that tread this line before, but nothing very blatant.
  7. MY BROTHER! My goodness.  This made me laugh out loud.  Drinking, smoking, etc…he also has the know-it-all-mask.  Try telling him anything and he wants to argue to the point a fight breaks out.  If the sea looks black, please agree….or else.
  8. Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, along with so many other athletes who try showing that they’re “macho” blur out this “Alpha male” bs.  There’s no such thing as Alpha.  If there is, it’s a man who’s beyond insecure to show his true side.  My best friend, who lives in New York, tried being an Alpha male….but there were times I saw his weak side (that he doesn’t want to show).

Podcast

My Greatest Defeat – 2005 Sunrise Regional Track & Field Championships

Two years into my track and field career marked the biggest could-be-achievement of my life.  As a junior in high school, I qualified for the Sunrise Regional Championships.  Four heats of runners from all over the valley (Las Vegas) facing off with the top 2 of each heat clinching a spot in the finals.  Top 2 athletes of the finals would head to Reno for the Class 4A State Championship Race.

Having clinched my spot in the regional semi finals, and with a very distinguished time (upper echelon of all runners), I would at least make it to finals.

I failed miserably at the 100m high hurdles (my weakness); conversely, the 300m intermediate hurdles was the event that I ran great times in over the course of a few months.

Heading into a pivotal race in the west side of Las Vegas (Palo Verde High School), my nerves were calm and I was ready to go.  However, I didn’t run the race in my mind whatsoever, nor did I ever, which I think was crucial for advancing.

Nonetheless, after the 200m heats, my event was up next.  I’m not exactly sure what was happening on the track, but the officials made us sit down on a cold field, waiting for hour event.

For those of you who don’t know, sitting down and not stretching before a race could end up being detrimental, especially if the temperatures outside were dropping as time went on.

Finally, they called on my heat and I proceeded to lane 3 – one of the best lanes to run in for a 300m intermediate hurdle race.  I recall making eye-contact with a couple of Asians before the race – they nodded, I carried on.

“Runners on your block!”

I told myself I would come out screaming out of the blogs and establish my pace.  Worst decision ever.

I crouched down and did my typical ritual which involved me smacking the track while taking deep inhales and exhales.  I backed into position on the blocks…..here we go.

Once the gun went off, I came out of the block FLYING – passing everyone within the first 75 meters.  However, when we reached the first curve, that’s when my hamstrings and quadriceps locked up on me.  I had no idea what was happening, but it felt like I was carrying cinder blocks, narrowly getting over the hurdles while the rest of the racers past me in the blink of an eye.

The last 100meters was beyond devastating, hitting every hurdle as I went over – huffing and puffing.  I reached the finish line at 50 seconds, dropped to my knees and sobbed.  I remember staggering across the field covered in tears and there were twins on the team who were looking at….then dropped their heads as I approached.

A few of my friends approached me for comforting before I went to my coach to apologize. He looked at me, eyes glistening – then put his hands on my shoulders before giving me a partial hug.

“Sorry, coach!”

Because my coach is such a magician and knowing who I am, he cracked a joke about the race saying, “in the beginning, I was excited! Then around that back stretch I started looking at you and the time with my jaw dropped.”

LOL!

Another shot-put thrower failed to reach the state championships when he was the most favored out of all the competitors in the entire state of Nevada .  800m runner, who had run extraordinary times throughout the year, also failed, too.

The entire team went up in flames that fateful evening at Palo Verde High School in May.

12 years later, two tough mudders later, thousands of miles later, tens of thousands of squats later, I’m still here.  This failure set myself up to continue working out for the rest of my life.  Not just because I’m a speed-adrenaline junky and I love running extremely fast, but if it wasn’t for that May night, there’s no telling where my body would be in terms of physique.

When I go running and I’m 200meters away from my mark, the sprint is ON! I barrel down the street while people watch me in awe….”PUSH MOTHER ****ER! DON’T STOP! DON’T STOP!” I feel at times I’m off my head, but those last two hundred meters have rescinded within me in the greatest possible way.

Thank you, failure.  If it wasn’t for you, who knows where my health would be today.