My identity, forged in competition and sweat-soaked gyms, has been a double-edged sword. The highs? That relentless drive, pushing without promise of immediate glory. But when the game was up, stripped of my athlete badge, I grappled with what remained. Highland Games became my obsession in my late 20s, my world for a decade, until it vanished in a flash, leaving me battling not just chronic pain but the ghost of a once-defining identity.

The word "wellness" gets tossed around like confetti these days, encompassing everything from mental health to the woo-woo realms of meditation, breathwork, and journaling. To an ex-athlete like me? Sounded like a load of soft crap. But, swallowing pride and diving in with the same zeal I had for lifting heavy, I was blindsided. A simple session of breathwork with mentor Kelly Starrett flung my mind into uncharted territories. "Holy shit, what was that?!" I wondered. Just like in training, the more I practiced, the clearer everything became.

Journaling? Felt like stepping into an alien world at first. Despite years of writing, the idea of spilling my guts on paper But I pushed through, discovering it wasn't about wallowing in the shadows but shining a light on them. It was a tool, allowing me to sift through the clutter, confront my assumptions, and stare down the parts of me clinging to the past.

Facing change when you've built a public persona is like stepping off a cliff. The fear? Palpable. But the terror of stagnation, of betraying my future self for comfort, outweighed the fear of evolution.

Wellness, then, is not just a buzzword but a lifeline. It's embracing the fringe practices I once mocked and finding in them a roadmap to the core of my being. It's acknowledging the impermanence of all things and choosing growth over decay.

I took the discipline of an athlete—consistency, relentless effort—and applied it to my soul's workout regimen. Sauna, cold plunges, meditation, breathwork, journaling, gratitude, stillness, psychedelics—all became part of my daily grind, propelling me to heights and insights I never imagined.

I was haunted by the thought of a life dulled by routine, by missed adventures, by the "what-ifs." Instead, I chose to roar back at life with a resounding "Not Dead Yet." These practices aren't just my lifeline; they're my blueprint for thriving.

Now, I balance the monk's serenity with the motherfucker's fury. It's not about choosing one over the other but knowing when to wield each. It's about staring down my demons, not just the physical ones but the mental ghouls whispering doubts and fears, and transforming them into allies.

So, to hell with staying in your lane, with the safe, with the known. Wellness is the wild ride to your best self, armed with every tool in the box, ready to face whatever the hell life throws your way.

May 20, 2024