Make Savage the Body…part 1

Ok, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say, wow this blogging thing is NOT easy to do. Trying to find the time to write, as well as think of  an interesting topic is well…. not even remotely easy! Which leads me to my next post here, Make Savage the Body…

Now anyone who has gone to the gym with me knows I am a bit unorthodox, (though insane is a word my wife would probably use) I am pretty stong for my size, and love pushing my body in ways that most would think are draconian. Once upon a time I used to favor the old stand by.. Certain body parts several times a week, isolation routines that at the time made me feel pumped up but ultimately lead to boredom. Like smack myself in the head boredom

I'm so happy I'm confused!!!....

So depending on what season it was I’d either go hiking…

On our first ever quest to hunt down skunk ape! or beer... OR BOTH!!!

Climbing…

I swear the trail goes this way!

Or Martial Arts…

Me (on the left) practicing Muay Thai against a vanilla gorilla...

Black Test test squaring off againstTHE TOUGHEST Texas gentleman I have ever met...

In all of these endeavours I always strive to be the best. The fastest, strongest, meanest, smartest… Because lets all admit it, we all at one time have had our heroes, people we all aspire to be like. While for my wife it was Jane Goodall, being a boy it was comic book characters. While my brother and friends had Spiderman and Superman, my heroes were a bit different.

Obvious...

Very obvious...

Not so obvious unless you are a fan-boy like me...

Yeah I’m a nerd and proud of it… Thing is, it plays well into the concept of make savage your body. Batman, The Punisher and Grendel did not have super powers, not speed nor strength, nothing. These guys pushed themselves and became the very best at what they did and that fascinated me as a young boy. That they relied solely on their own prowess, they trained harder longer and more intensely than their peers. That is what I mean by Make Savage the Body. I push myself to extremes so that now my norm is considered extreme by those around me, and it hasn’t always been in a gym either. I have trained with top ranked fighters. Learned power-lifting from what I believe may have been a shaved Russian Bear, done survival training with Navy Seals, Army Rangers and Marines. All of these people have given me the push, the drive, the desire to take my body to the limit of what is can do. Have there been, and still remain problems. Yeah sure. I can’t always get to the gym. I don’t always have the partner to push me when I need it, and worst of all I am a terrible foodie and alcohol connoissuer and that more than anything has me still looking kind of like the love child between the Micheline Man, and the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man…

Please send beer and bacon or I will explode!!!

The idea I guess, is to do your best to stay the course in your endeavours, work hard on your body cause its the only one you have, unless of course you are a serial killer and have a bunch of parts stored around, cause in that case I guess you’ve got back up parts. For the rest of you I urge you get up off the couch. Put down the triple bypass bacon burger (or give it to me! Yummmmm!!) and find your inner inspiration and go try to make it real. Whats the worst that can happen you get hurt and end up on the couch with some ice cream and a wicked scar?

Next.. Obstacle racing, mud runs, work and kids…

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Civilize The Mind…

This might seem like the right time to write about my personal philosophy- Civilize the mind, make savage the body. I dont know when or where I read that to be honest with you, but it seems like just the right mantra for someone who is currently cultivating the idea of Tarzan in a tuxedo… The concept of it might seem simple, but think about it for a moment: how often do we really push our minds and bodies? How often do we really give ourselves a trial by fire? Recently, I was commenting on a thread on the Spartan site and the idea of finishing the Ultra Beast came up. Feeling low and out of touch with myself I questioned whether I could, in fact, endure 26.2 + (see how they sneak the plus in) hellish miles of war (Im telling you the ish thing with these Spartan races will kill me). Im not being overly dramatic. It is war and anyone who cant see that isnt seeing the forest for the trees.

Id so rather be running here than at my desk...

This run that I am embarking on, hell every run that I do with my friends and family takes on the same tone to me, prepping for battle, and before anyone says Im not enjoying myself because im taking it too seriously, allow me to present exhibit A

I might have stepped in explosive poo, or fallen in a chocolate lake, not really sure

See that guy up there? The one with the big old sh*t eating grin? Thats me… Almost noone EVER sees me smile, like EVER. However in the chaos, the strife, the struggle, I find myself. In the mindset of war my mind and body focus and an all consuming urge to make sure my team is safe and having fun and pushing as hard as we can so we cross that finish line TOGETHER. Yeah, that is fun. That, to me, is a piece of heaven I can never explain. What I do understand is the union and harmony of mind and body, the total pursuit of a goal, not just the tedium of

I swear I know this guy.... Louie? Buddy is that you under all that oil?

nor the endless toil of

Kind of looks familiar...

is what bring me the most sense of joy and acomplishment. That perfect union of my mind and body going to extremes.

Now I know there are some of you who would say, “But Jay, that stack of muscley-meat up there has to focus his mind in order to achieve his goal.” My very mature answer to you is “Go to hell you jerk and stop ruining my blog!” Im not saying that people who are built dont have good minds for what they like, nor am I saying the desk jockey isnt physically fit. What I am saying is that none of these stereotypes are particularly well rounded. I could be wrong but the battles of nerds vs. jocks during my formative years says otherwise. One of my college profs. once summed it up best “An expert is a master of one thing, but totally ignorant to everything else going on around them.”  I have a  lot of  friends around me totally able to do complex science-y stuff but not be able to change the tire of their own car, (or for that matter how to put on and use a tool belt) or another group who are the ones who can do all sorts of manly things but consider a tee shirt and jeans proper dress for all occasions. I have guy friends.. GUY FRIENDS who wont go hunting with me cause the early morning air is bad for their skin…. Really? Seriously? My wife hates the winter, not just because of the cold.. but mostly cause she misses mud run season. Hell last year she sported a black eye from one run, you would swear she just hit the lotto by how excited she was..

Black eye, check, viking helmet check, kick ass medal check, remembering to be a lady and hold out your pinkie when drinking your water.. priceless

Anyway, sorry rant over. Told you in post 2 I rant…. I warned you.

So my mantra… In an effort to exercise my mind I have downloaded from one of my favorite blogs, The Art of Manliness, the top 100 books every man MUST read. Yes, these books are more geared towards men but screw that crap I dont see why women wouldnt be interested in most of these classics.

I already have a good deal of these books under my belt and have turned a few friends on to some of them as well. What I urge is this: Dont just read them- take something away from them. Dont just read the story- put yourself in there as well. Ask yourself questions. Become involved with the characters. Hell, there are books on there I have yet to get through all the way…

I swear one day ill get through this...

But dont let that stop you, and remember this is not college so if you dont like something, put it down and get something else. Heck, most times I have to wade through 15 plus chapters of mind numbing boredom before I get to something even remotely interesting or shocking.

14 chapters of finance, then surprise! Rape?!?!
Really? all that time for rape? Eww!

The thing is that we all- every one of us- focus on what we like/what we are good at/what we feel comfortable with. A year ago I fell into a muddy put of laughing good times that pushed me out of my comfort zone (shhhh I hate running its a secret!!!!) Now I am trying to further my self and try new books, new thoughts, experiences and ideas and I cant picture any other way to live at this point.

Do I trip and fall into an 8 hour pit of Ninja Warrior repeats?

How can I not watch this!!!

Sure. Hell, its fun to shut off, too, so long as it is only for a little while. Once recharged pick up a book and let that take you on a new adventure. Learn new schools of thought, new skills anything, just dont stick with what is safe or what you are comfortable with. I guess the point is dont become an expert on one thing and forget to try other things as well. I know im going to try to keep learning so that when my little monster comes to me with a question about something I can actually be of SOME kind of help.

Give me knowledge daddy, or nuggets.. I dont care right now.

Next rant, make savage your body…

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So whats with the name?

Im not sure how to write this post up without it sounding like a crazed rant. Most of you that honestly know me, know I get into these crazy tirades when I am passionate about something. I swear I try to keep a level head but sometimes I get overwhelmed and well, to say I can go on about a topic is like saying the Encyclopedia Britannica has a few words.

This is a 5 minute discourse on how I feel when guys wear their pants around their butt...

AAAANNNNYYYYWAY!!!

The idea of the Savage Gentleman, or as some of you may have heard me refer to it, Tarzan in a Tux, came to life where so many of life’s best ideas come from.

AHH beer, the cause of and solution to all of life's troubles...

You see, it came during a discussion I had with my best buddy Selim.

This is us in a deep discourse on the proper use of utensils in modern sports.

One rant that keeps coming back into the fray is the lack of something we find our selves. Selim and I suffer from a certain restlessness that I was to later discover a few others suffer from as well. A kind of missing piece if you will. We are certainly happy with our lives but something was off, something was missing that we couldn’t quite put our finger on. Then out of the blue it hit us we came to the realization that our lives were a shampoo commercial. Get up, go to work, come home wash, rinse repeat…. Over and over again until it was literally driving us to drink… Well not really driving us… actually we were drinking well before this so maybe…Dammit lost my scotch of thought! Train of thought! I meant train!!

It seemed to us that there was more to life than this cycle, or better stated, there should be more to life than this cycle. So we decided to create a kind of list of things that we wanted to do. Kind of like the movie The Bucket List, where Selim is the Morgan Freeman (he is the levity) to my Jack Nicholson (cause like Jack I love calm, rational discussion.)

You almost done in the bathroom dear? I really need some aspirin...

It kind of all started as just hey I want to go skydiving, or ice climbing or read the 100 greatest books of all time. As we went down the list something else became very apparent. The list basically could be broken down into two columns. On one side were all of the physical craziness we want to do, like run a marathon, or run from the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. On the other side was a list of things more geared towards the mental side of us.

Kind of, but not quite so cute...

We want to be more fulfilled in our respective careers, feel a better sense of worth, of accomplishment. Maybe start a business of our own or create a blog that someone reads and can take something away from. During a lull in our conversation I was looking around the room and I saw something that bothered me for one reason or another. I saw guys hanging around the bar (I hear this is a common thing) and it seemed to me they all fell into certain classes themselves. I saw overly simple meatheads wearing their team colors, drinking themselves into stupor and getting rowdy if someone got close with opposing team colors. I saw pretty boys who looked like they couldn’t imagine a world in which they don’t spend an hour getting ready to look like they spent no time in getting ready. Overly effeminate hipsters who were painfully skinny with huge bushy beards. The thing that bothered me was how one-dimensional all of them seemed. How it was either faux rebellion, faux manliness or just superficial surface preparation. I don’t mean to generalize here but it seemed that there should have been more to them, but their eyes manners and attitude was as flat as their personas. I couldn’t imagine the meatheads at an opera enjoying Faust, and neither could I imagine the hipster or the pretty boys out in the woods with me hunting in the fall, or prepping food for themselves and loves ones, or working on an engine or building a deck, etc etc…

I asked Selim what ever happened to men? Like the Paula Cole song, where have all the cowboys gone? The sacrificing, hard-working, callous having, stand up for whats right men? The ones who were as chivalrous as well as they were dangerous?  And it hit me, I wanted to combine the two parts of my psyche, to become a savage gentleman, Tarzan in a Tux. Think…..

This..

Plus….

This...

Somehow has to equal

A deep discourse on male nipples... Dont ask.

And thus the idea of the Savage Gentleman was born. In a beer soaked haze Selim and I created what I see as my new life goal. I want to try to make myself over as a much more well-rounded open-minded individual, to civilize my mind and make savage my body. To try to literally become Tarzan in a Tuxedo. How am I going to accomplish this? Well as a start I have been reading a ton of blogs from OTHER guys who are looking to connect with something greater than themselves. I began looking for ways to improve my mind and body to become the best me I can be. Hitting the gym, reading everything I can get my hands on, even changing the way I dress and hold myself whether in a group or on my own.

So there it is.. the name is  a literal translation of the metamorphosis I am trying to undertake. Im hoping it goes well so I can be the best example I can be for my little man, and the best and loving husband for a phenomenal woman.

This ending is a bit too sappy for my taste so I will end it with the most evil thing my child has ever made me suffer through….

BEHOLD THE EVIL THAT IS WONDER PETS!!! NONE OF YOU ARE SAFE!

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Who am I?

I wish I could say this has been a long time in coming, but it hasnt. I have never understood the world’s desire to let everyone know every second of the day exactly what and with whom they are doing things with, but a very recent event fell into my lap (more on that in a bit) and I have decided that to me this is blog worthy. So I guess here goes…

“Begin at the beginning and when you get to the end…. stop.”

Great advice but I’m not going to bore the living hell out of you with all sorts of mindless details that most of you already know. See I’m running on the assumption that the only folks who will actually read this will be my friends and all of you to some degree know the craziness that is my world.  But for the few of you that do not know me, for those that might have stumbled onto this and have read so far and actually will read on…. Thanks for stopping by, you’re super! 🙂

My name is Jay and im a 36 year old father of a disgustingly cute little monster.

Cute little demon-imp, isn't he? Told'ya so.

Husband to a very kick ass wife

She is my Dirty Girl!!!

And, well a bunch of other stuff too…more on that later

The primary reason im starting this blog is because for fun my friends and  I do mud runs…

Derek, Me, Matt, and Nicole...

Recently the most unexpected thing happened to me and well it is both as awesome and it is scary. My friends up there and I are part of the proud Spartan Nation. I am even a street team member which means I try to promote these races and get people off their butts. Please visit http://www.spartanrace.com/for more details and see the wonderous insanity that is mud runs at its best. They have various levels from the Sprint which is 3.5 miles, the Super at 8+ miles, and the Beast which is 10+ miles. These three, known collectively as the Spartan Trifecta were the goal that we set ourselves on. Then word came out of a mythical creature. A new and unheard of race, its name…..

A terrible beauty is born

Behold 26.2 (ish…, there is always an ish with these people i swear) hellish (see what i mean) miles or sheer insanity. The catch? You must apply for entry. They wanted folks to send a running resume and 3 sentences stating why you should be allowed to participate in the worlds first EVER marathon distance mud run. I figured I never win anything anyway and sent my application in on a lark. Im not a fast runner, it takes forever for me to do a 5K due the gigantic nature of my head (there you go Katie!) and the fact that I am almost 100% rice, beans and fast food, not to mention beer and booze. I am a guiltless foodie 🙂

So after a bit of a wait word came down the pipeline that this will be a very small heat and I got the e-mail telling me that they had accepted my application!!!!! “Oh  frabjous dayCallooh! Callay!” I screamed, or would have if I remembered my Jabberwocky, but it was pretty close. Then reality hit like a freight train. This is unlike anything I have ever done before, a distance I can barely comprehend not to mention the obstacles and the millions of burpees I most likely will have to do. It was then that I came to the realization, I need to man up and meet this challenge, to train like I never trained before so that I can pit myself against this Titan of a race and come out victorious. How this will change me, I don’t know. What will happen between now and the finish line, who can say. I am hoping though that this blog will keep me as honest as possible and allow me to share my family and my experiences in my quest to become a savage gentleman.

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