On a Saturday night in June, in Ohio, on a warm and typically muggy night. Clear skies and warm breeze, and I was working my Saturday night job, one that I am not always proud that I do, but I am good at it. Bar bouncer.
In that job you see the worst of humanity. The drunks, the druggies, the people who are lonely, the ones who can’t afford to pay their bills but spend money on getting drunk.
There are old men and women drinking their lives away, young kids who are on the same path. People who’s only reason for working during the week is looking forward to the drinking on Friday and Saturday night.
While I feel sorry for those people, I can remember what it was like to be like that.
There was a time in my life when the bar was a place that I looked forward to going to, getting drunk was easy, it was fun and being that I worked in bars for 18 years, it was a comfortable place; now its a foreign place for me and right now a means to an end.
How times change… how ideals change and how we change as people.
Some people never change. Some people do change. Hell I am not the same person I was even three years ago. At 35 I was arrogant, brash; and at 38 I am humbled and it took a lot of stepping away from things to figure that out.
When you step away from a false reality, you find out what is important to you. When you figure out that we are only important to a few people around us, you realize that you can pass on and 99.9% of the world won’t even know you are gone.
I live by a simple code in life, and its “follow your heart”. Simple. A lot of people say it, but they don’t do it. Doing that has led me to a variety of places. It has cost me time, money and has also been incredibly rewarding. It has also brought me pain and great joy and I am sure it will do it again.
I don’t know any other way. I am a man who will stick to what he believes in with a fury even if it costs me dearly. I am a man who has been that guy drinking his life away and woke up before it was too late. I am a man who has transformed his life from a man I couldn’t even look at to something that I a proud of. Anyone can do the same, and part of me wonders if those people who are in the bar I just left, still sitting there, doing another shot, feel the same thing but don’t know where to start.
Every day we make a choice, we wake up with a fresh piece of paper, during the day its filled up with things we accomplish or don’t accomplish during that day. Some days that paper is full, some days it is almost empty. The key is to make those empty days less and less, the key is to continually make choices that fill that piece of paper up. Those days add up over time and before you know it, you are learning how to follow your heart.
Its simple, but its also very hard. There are days you want to quit, there are days when you feel things are too hard, there are days when you feel the odds are insurmountable. Trust me, I know. At the end of it all, its always worth it.
When you take your last breath you can look back on the life you led and know you did it the way you should have done it, all those trials, tribulations, victories and accomplishments are all a part of life. It doesn’t matter how much you have, it matters how you did it.
It doesn’t matter if you have a bad period in your life when you want to be that guy at the bar drinking until he’s numb, what matters is that you make a decision to not be that guy and work your way out of that abyss.
Do you want to live a life on someone, or something, else’s terms or do you want to do it on your terms?
Fill the paper up with your terms, live life to your best potential. The sacrifices are more than worth it.
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