Today I am 44

This has been quite an eventful year since I turned 43. In the span of 12 short months a lifelong dream came to fruition, I purged a source of immense pain and self-loathing from my soul, I battled depression and anxiety but now with a way out of it finally with a lot of work and patience, and my wife and I become even more rooted with the purchase of a home.

The stress of the past year was palpable. Despite the year being largely amazing, stress is still stress. Building a business, owning a home, having it all fall on you can be a lot to handle; when you add in the myriad of mental shifts I can go through from month to month, there are days when I am in a numb daze just trying to get it all together.

I know some people look at me as this strong person, but like everyone else I have weaknesses and I don’t always keep it together. Plenty of times I have to fight the internal battle and keep moving forward.

As Kansas City Barbell grows, I grow as a person. I entered this venture with Sean and Sarah knowing nothing about operating a brick and mortar. I still don’t know a damn thing but I am learning as I go. 

My own training has changed a lot in the past year. Last year at this time I was training for strength but due to aggravating my knee, I picked back up hypertrophy. That type of training does little for my soul; to me, hypertrophy specific training is about as mentally fulfilling as watching golf. It may be for you, but it does nothing for me but make me feel like I am going through the motions in the gym.

Enter some major humility and realistic thinking.

I started strength training again, albeit with a much lower start than what my ego would allow me to. 

That is paying off dividends as I am able to rebuild what I lost from injury, heart issues, gym complacency, and aches. Slowly my strength is coming back up; however, nowhere near the levels of the past but realistically I am ok with that.

Progress is still progress, right?

I am my own worst enemy when it comes to training. It would behoove me to hire a coach but that would mean relinquishing control over my own training. That also is paying off because that refusal to subcontract out my training has given birth to the A.S.S. 2.1 program which I, and 14 other people, are testing to some pretty good results.

That focus has allowed me to hone in on this program, and get my head correct with training.

I have settled into a groove again with it.

There are a few dozen people in my gym who rely on me to provide a quality service and great environment. I have dozens of online clients who I work hard to give the same service to despite being hundreds of miles away. I have an amazing wife at home whom I sometimes wonder what I did in life to deserve someone who loves me for me. 

I have a plethora of wonderful things in my life, and a lot of them were magnified or created in the last 12 months.

It’s been an overwhelming, emotional, rewarding, and painful 12 months.

I am slowly releasing the last of my anger and pain, but sometimes it holds on. 

I am slowly starting to forgive myself for my past, but that takes time to believe.

I am human, I am a gym owner, I am a coach. I am no different than anybody else who pays me or joins my gym. The only thing that sets me apart from you is my name and what I choose to do with my life. I made my path, and despite that path being through some very dark places, I do see a huge light ahead of me.

None of this would be possible without Sarah. At my worst, she does her best to be there. At my best, she is there. At my most stressed, she helps me focus on what needs to be done.

Behind every man isn’t a strong woman, and I would wager to say behind every successful man doesn’t have a strong woman… 

But my partner in life who has made every bit of the past year what it is, and who I will miss terribly this weekend as she goes away for Air Force duty, is my wife.

Happy 44th Birthday to me, because regardless of what else is going on in my life, I have a home and that’s the greatest gift I could imagine when I never thought I would be able to say “I am home”.


Check out the SECOND AND BRAND NEW Ashman Strength System e-book.

Join the Ashman Strength Facebook Page.

Check out Pump, Dump, and Hump; a fitness group based around health, lifting, and sexuality run by my wife and myself.

To inquire about training, contact us for more information or to set up a call about remote coaching.

If you are local to Kansas City and wish to kickass at my gym, visit us at Kansas City Barbell for the ultimate training experience.


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