I was supposed to be in Rome right now. But I’ll get to that in a sec.
Jen and I flew to New York last Thursday because my friends, John Romaniello and Neghar Fonooni were getting married. Had I planned properly I would have booked the flight earlier to be at Yankee Stadium for Mariano Rivera’s last game. I’m still kicking myself for that.
But it was a great weekend and I got see a lot of old friends and clients. One of the highlights was seeing the evolution and personal growth of two buddies I’ve known for over ten years- Andrew and Joey. I spent a few hours with each of them and couldn’t help but smile the entire time.
So many people never change or evolve. In a lot of cases people de-volve and become more and more bitter as they get older. But this certainly wasn’t the case here. It makes me proud to associate with people like that.
Sunday morning before the Giant’s kickoff (don’t even get me started on that) Brad Pilon and I caught a workout across the street from our hotel and then hit a bar where we met up with my old buddy Mel, Craig Ballantyne and Bedros Keuilian.
After that we were off to the wedding, which was an awesome affair at a very cool venue. I got to meet some interesting people for the first time and catch up with friends like Eric Cressey, who I haven’t seen in seven years. I knew Eric when he was just getting started in the industry and am blown away by and incredibly proud of all that he has done.
He was also by my side as I consumed forty meatballs while talking with Sean Hyson, Adam Bornstein, Bryan Krahn, Ben Bruno, Dave Ruel, Adam Steer and few other fitness folks. Even though I’m a good twenty pounds lighter than I used to be my eating prowess remains in tact.
As readers of blogs and fitness sites, most people recognize the self-loathing and bitterness that runs rampant in the industry. But at this event there was none of it, simply because none of those people were in attendance. At least not to my knowledge. This made for a hell of a good time.
I’ve been lucky enough to get to know John better over the last year or so, and especially recently, since he moved two minutes down the street from me. Seeing friends do well and find happiness is one of the great, simple pleasures in life and I’m glad I was there to celebrate with him.
The rest of the time spent in NYC, obviously (if you know me) involved eating. We hit The Meatball Shop in the Lower East Side, BLT Prime, The Blue Water Grill, and Hu Kitchen (the last two are included in The Renegade Travel Guide, and deservedly so), which is an awesome place to get ready-to-order Paleo foods. Everything in the joint is gluten and crap free. It’s at 78 5th Ave. Ask for Jordan and tell him I sent you.
While in Jersey I got in two quick workouts at Renegade Gym. The first was an upper body session consisting of standing log presses, low incline presses with the Renegade Bar, ring chins, rope rows and overhead kettlebell walks.
The second was a lower body session that consisted of box jumps, log cleans, trap bar deads, farmers walks and sled drags.
Basic, Renegade Strong type stuff.
Then we were supposed to go to Italy. The only problem was I didn’t realize that my passport had expired and I needed to get it expedited. This would have gone off without a hitch except for the fact that the government decided to shut down. So I had to cancel rooms and flights and get on a plane back to LA.
When I got back last night I arrived to find a huge package of grass fed meat from my colleague, Travis Stoetzel. I spoke at an event in Vegas recently and Travis was in attendance. The card saying, “Thanks for the inspiration,” would have been enough but Travis went way above and beyond. Dudes like that, who really get it, will always be successful and deserve everything that comes to them. Click HERE to check out Travis’s blog.
Finally, I got a “welcome home” text from Ben Bruno, who just moved to LA on Monday. The good thing about being back so soon is that I will get to hang with him and help him get acclimated to his new digs while he’s still a fresh face in town. If there’s a more likeable cat on the planet I’ve yet to meet him. Ben took a big risk and made a ballsy move by relocating to the other side of the country. I’m proud of him and know he’ll do great things.
That’s about all I’ve got for now.
I guess the moral to the story is to always surround yourself with great people, cut negativity out of your life in all forms, be thankful for the small stuff and try to let people know how much you appreciate them while they’re still here. We all tend to do that when people are gone. We eulogize them. But it shouldn’t be that way.
I’m incredibly thankful for all the great friends I have in my life and for all of the support they’ve given me. My mission is to always do the same in return and be certain that they all know how much I truly appreciate them.