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The real you…

All humans, we know, are a house divided. Today, during practice 226 with k-dev krazies, Anthony began to talk about his love for the team and his lack of clarity around his love for the work. He’s divided and it’s still good. Do not be discouraged, friend, if you find yourself unclear with regard to loving the team and loving the work. Most of us never get the “and,” most of the time. If you’ve found some semblance of love for one or the other think of it this way – you’re half way home. No need to panic, grow anxious, or think too much about it. You’re half way whole.

So, today, young Jake filmed a bit of our BTL practice. He interviewed one krazy and got some great material for our upcoming video he’s producing. The magic, however, was when he told the k-dev krazies the root why behind him being with them. You see Jake is the son of Tom Ryan, OSU’s successful Head Coach of wrestling. Jake, just a few years back was starting on his dad’s team and losing sight of what he was chasing. His wrestling was winding down just as his desire for videography was starting to become clear. Timing wasn’t great. He was a starter with two years of eligibility left and loved the team; the work, not so much. He was divided. For him, playing with his love to’s, not thinking about them, brought the clarity for him to leave the team he loved to pursue the work he loved. This was not easy. He had to tell his dad he was leaving. Simple, not easy.

Today, Jake is filled with energy. You can see it oozing out his pores. He’s no longer sweating and regretting on the mat. He’s sweating and realizing his opus in the studio. It’s still hard work. This time it’s hard opus. Hard opus, remember, we sustain as we tire. Hard labor, we disdain as we tire.

The k-dev krazies took to today’s message, will, like the team of krazies their founder dreamt of forming. This team is bathing in autonomy and responsibility. This team is filled with fear and encouraging teammates who aren’t afraid to be who they are. This team is divided as they fight to unite. Remember, most battles are within, not with others. This team welcomed two newbies today. You would have thought they’d been with us for 225 practices instead of one. The psychological safety was off the freakin’ charts. This doesn’t happen by accident. This happens because a leader believes in the discipline of practice and starts doing it on day one and continues doing it on year eight!

All humans are a house divided. The problem is not your division. The problem is when you no longer love. If you loathe the team and loathe the work, you’re dying. If you’re going through the motions and simply sucking it for a long while, you’re slowly dying. If you love one or the other, you’re half way home. Keep working. Baby step into more love to’s. Relax, you’re young. Clarity will come when you, most likely, stumble into some love to’s that’s got you lit. Like me, when you love the work and love the team, nobody else is gonna have to tell you. You’ll feel it, and like Jake, telling “dad” won’t even be that hard. Freakin’ magic, baby.

Love this, friend. Love the baby steps of discovery. You’ll find it. Actually, you’re gonna find the one you’ve always been searching for – the real you. You’re moving from hole to whole and becoming BTL. The real you. Good…

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Today ended with OSU grappler practice 76. The team is mostly missing as it’s summertime and only freshmen and a few others are in the room training during this “downtime.” Kyle Snyder, now graduated but working in the room as an Olympian, was there. He’s always at BTL team practice when he’s here. You can say that participating in BTL team practice is one of his habits. You would be correct. Kyle has lots of habits, as do you and I.

You see, Kyle has a masters mindset. He understands that it’s not about simply winning. Life is about becoming your best. You and I become what we habitually do. Fact. Today, we talked about the master craftsmen who built The Colosseum, learned from the best builder in Cbus (Matrka), and listened to Aarons little brother. We learned from all, at least we were given the opportunity to. Masters, remember, do not simply learn from teachers, mentors, and leaders. Master, make it their habit to learn from everyone the universe places in their path. Masters are not afraid to learn what they think they already know. You see, masters are not in a hurry and not easily distracted by shiny objects. Masters marry the mundane. Heard that before?

We ended practice with a significant challenge to all. I asked them to write about what’s tripping them up on their road to becoming a master in their current craft. You see, friend, we’ve all got habits that are holding us back. Masters don’t just play to their strengths. Masters look in the mirror and take responsibility for fixing what they don’t like seeing. Normal humans simply look away. Masters understand that Aristotle wasn’t off the mark when he wrote, “We are what we repeatedly do.” We become, for better or worse, what we habitually do.

What habit is holding you back? Slow down and sit with this one for awhile…

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Your name…

I’m flying back to reality as I write this rant. Miss, Tay, and I are somewhere over the Atlantic at the moment and have been to some special places over the past twelve days. We’ve walked on the same stones as Marcus Aurelius back in the first century and seen the birthplace of the Renaissance – Florence. We walked on bridges built for pilgrimages to Rome and rode our bikes through Tuscany. We’ve eaten at fine restaurants and enjoyed street food too. The best moments were around food with Carla and Lorenzo, our culinary hosts. We made new friends and got to be with Andrew Paul, our Berlin based boy. There were times during this trip that Miss and I have been overwhelmed by the beauty. It’s almost been too much to take in. We saw great works by Michelangelo, Raphael, and many others. We marveled at so many creations from those that have come before us. It’s been a good twelve days. Here’s my simple takeaway.

There’s not much more important than your name.

Your name, specificially the name you’ve given yourself, is really all you’ve got. Your reputation is not your name. Your reputation is what others name you. We’ve got next to no control of what others call us, do we. We can’t protect our name in terms of what others will call us when we’re not around. Your name is not your given name by birth, boss, bride, brother, or any other. Protect your name, friend. Your name is yours alone to give. There’s nothing much more important than protecting your name. Stand for beauty, justice, honor. Bathe in love. Master your craft. Do not compromise your name. The “dark night of the soul” moment is a case of mistake identify, remember. I appreciate Marcus Aurelius more now than ever. Jesus too. These men knew their name. Neither of them wrote a book or had a monument erected for us to remember them by. Neither named a building after themselves. They knew the importance of their name and we’re still talking about them today.

What’s the name you’ve given yourself, friend. Good…

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Own this…

I get like this when we leave anywhere I love. I get incredibly heavy, almost lethargic, and sentimental. Today, walking around the beautiful Villa for the last time, I noticed the large outdoor table where we had our opening dinner with twenty newfound friends. Took me back seven days in an instant. Handing my borrowed bike to Raffa, last night, we couldn’t communicate at all except in hand gestures and shared admiration of the beautiful tool for taking on these hills and mountains. We had shared admiration for the bicycle and for what it makes possible.

Last night was pizza night. Watching Carla teach us how to roll the dough and then trying to figure it out on my own was a lesson in life. I had to start over more than once. She helped me along the way, mostly by advising when to realize I stretched the dough to its limit. She stopped short of doing it for me. She knows we’ve all got to learn how to make our own. So, at the end of the night, we all experienced the joy of being fed by our own creation.

We all made our own and admired each other’s. This is a good recipe for life, friend. Own your own way, if you will. Nobody else can make your life great besides you.

Own this. Make your own way. Admire others. Help ‘em as you can and as they’ll let you. Good…

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You and I do not rise to the occasion, remember. We slip to the level of our training. If you want to perform better during the inevitable moments of truth – train harder while you’re in the safety of the harbor. Train harder, especially when no one sees…

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Hard things…

Today I made sure to drop the mental breadcrumbs as I took the first turn to the left, pedaled by our favorite pizza place, and began the slow climb out of town. My legs are now adjusted to climbing again. I’m still slow but it’s different now in terms of my cadence and the time it takes for lactic seizure. I remember the two previous trips to France and how after about four days of riding in the Alps, we all began to find a slightly higher gear. It was still hard. We were still struggling, but somehow even us flatlanders were finding our way Up.

Do hard things, friend.

You’ll adjust sooner than you think. Stop thinking about it and start to baby step into the hard thing that’s been placed in your path. You’ll discover it’s not as hard as you think.

Do hard things. Good…

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Lost and found…

This morning I departed our Villa, made my way through the quiet, damp streets of Ponte a Moriano, and took the turn to the left up Aquilea. My superb guide, Alison, was nowhere to be found. The road was damp, the sky threatening, and the climb, after a couple twists and turns, greeted me with Olive trees to the left and open vistas to the right. A little less than two miles later the summit appeared and I remembered Alison’s instructions to just keep turning to the left to complete the loop back to town. The road to the left turned slightly downward. The road to the right was clearly going up. I took no time to decide my path – right!

The road grew in steepness as it shrunk in width. After what seemed like twenty switchbacks (more likely less than ten), the path turned from paved to gravel and my breathing was turned inside out. I clipped out satisfied and sufficiently spent. Bravo.

Beginning my descent and feeling like I’d done something, I took the turn to the right and after traveling flat for a half a mile, the fork came again. Left was safe, right unknown. Right again. Almost immediately the terrain turned a bit flatter and instead of Olive trees and grape vines, it was a forest that wrapped over the road like my own canopy to cover the sun. I looked up to admire the beauty and just then a clap of thunder greeted me to wake me out of my cycling bliss. I decided to keep pedaling and take another chance. After five minutes of not paying attention, the rain began to fall as if someone had opened a hole in the clouds. Drenched and suddenly sober, I turned my Trek Spartacus and descended a road that was quickly becoming a river. The first farmhouse offered a slight refuge under the barn overhang. I watched the rain pound the pavement and waited. Ten minutes and the sky opened to blue and I began my turn to the right. After descending more than a few miles, my mind rebooted and reminded me I’d lost track of my turns to the right. I’d ventured off Alison’s course twice and forgotten to drop my breadcrumbs in my brain.


I felt a short sense of panic and then began to strategize where to turn on the wet descent. Finally, I saw a good spot to turn and back up I began. Long story short. I would get confused twice again and finally come to a complete stop at a crossroads of sorts. You see, I had reached a sign that told me the way to Aquilea was back down the road I had just traversed going up. Nothing made sense, so I clipped out of my pedals and caught my breath hoping some semblance of clear thought would return. It did not.

However, a couple non English speaking maintence workers happened by in their van. I pointed to the sign and asked if the turn to the left led to Aquilea’s city limits and on to Ponte a Moriano. “Si, Si, Si,” they said as if it was one word. We smiled at almost the same time. Then the driver pointed to the other road I’d traversed after the confusion of the shitstorm of sorts. He pointed and told me Ponte a Moriano, si, si, si, si. He was telling me that either road would get me there. I smiled and we waved goodbye.

Your path, friend, is no different than mine this morning. You’re gonna get lost along your way. The key is to keep pedaling, keep moving, and keep humbling asking those the universe sends your way for some help. There are many ways and eventually they all take you home. Today, I got lost outside of Lucca. Today, I also found my way. Lost and found, friend. Lost and found. This is the way home. Good…


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