Me. Spring 2010.
Me. Fall 2011. Snatched.
I come from a generation that was paid a compliment too many. From Montessori to magnet high school, we current twentysomethings are a legion that are both over-nurtured and over-entitled. We were broken, scarred, and scared—-and those facts entitled us to respect. Or to 2 years after college to “figure things out” while teaching English in Myanmar.
I believed all of those things. I thought I had worked hard. I thought I was ready. But there I was: three weeks out of college, ready to take on the world, and I had suddenly come to the conclusion that I was not ready.
The truth is, damaged goods earn nothing more than a spot on the discount rack at Nordstrom, and the act of acting entitled is tired already. Each and every one of us has potential, that much is true. Potential, however, is just a fancy term for being smart, talented, and lazy.
This was the first thing I figured out as a newly minted New Yorker: that I was a 22 year old who was FULL of potential, and had lived up to almost none of it. I knew deep down if I wanted to live the perfect life I had dreamed up for myself, I had to begin channeling my potential into ACTION. So—-I had a goal. I wanted to finally make good on my potential.
Two years later I can say I’m finally ON THE ROAD to doing so, and I can assure you it was Mark Fisher Fitness (and the denizens that inhabit this community of crazy delicious people) that led me to this road. I believe that 4 major life lessons I learned while becoming a ninja that led me to this path of physical AND emotional health and hotness. Not only is my body quickly becoming snatched, I have empowered myself to become a better performer, friend, and fiscally responsible adult. Here are the four keys I’ve discovered that have helped me unleash my potential.
1. Reclaiming POWER
I remember strolling into the first day of Snatched (back in the Roy Arias Studios days) and feeling WEAK. Obviously I was physically weak—-I couldn’t do a push up (on my KNEES), or even a split squat. What was more troubling to me, in hindsight, was my emotional weakness. Turns of judgmental phrase and “I can’t” flew out of my mouth as I spent my first week of Snatched feeling “less than,” insecure, and powerless.
As the weeks went on, however, I began to notice a change. I began to see the influences in my life that took away the power to change my body. I saw how people, foods, and insecurities were draining me dry. I saw how cutting these things out of my life gave me more physical energy and emotional control.
The thing is, I saw myself doing powerful things for the first time in my life. I was using my body beautifully, and so I believed myself to be, for the first time, POWERFUL.
The lesson for me was this: YOU. MUST. HOLD. THE. POWER. IN. YOUR. LIFE.
YOU. AND NO ONE ELSE.
How was I to change my life without using all the excess energy I could muster? I couldn’t without making sure I held the power in my life.
With power comes the ability to be your true authentic self. Suddenly, I was standing up for myself. My physical self wasn’t just externally evolving for the first time, but my internal, emotional self was, too. I wasn’t apologizing anymore. I was LIVING.
2. Accepting CHANGE
Albert Einstein once defined INSANITY as doing the same thing over and over and OVER again, expecting different results. Think about it. How many times have you set the goal to change your body, changed very little about your day to day life, and have come up with nothing more than a big ol’ bill to the New York Sports Club you STILL owe, and a ton of rotting veggies in the fridge (just me? cool).
Obviously, if you are unhappy with something, you must change it, BUT so many of us are afraid of change. Old habits die hard, and we find comfort in the way we live NOW. We LIKE doing things to ourselves that might not be…in good taste for ourselves. Change creates vulnerability, exposes us to what we might have been doing wrong, and forces us to trust blind faith. All of which is TERRIFYING.
What I experienced with Mark Fisher Fitness was the comfort of being guided to positive change. I had to make the changes in my diet, exercise regimen, and attitude MYSELF, but thank goodness I had a partner who lovingly guided me through those changes. Mark and I shared many a 2:00AM email about my frustrations, my moments of weakness, and my confusion. I always got an email back, a BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN EMAIL FULL OF CARE, advising me back onto the road of accepting the change I was in the midst of.
Change is difficult, but you need to become comfortable with it. In order to change ourselves, we must become friendly with changing how we live. As we say at the ninja clubhouse, “The cave you most fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”
3. Practical GOALS
I remember, back in my high school days when I wanted to lose weight, I would go through my planner and write down numbers. The numbers represented the amount I wanted to weigh every week. One week, it would be 300. The next? 290. The next? 280. I’d do this FOR MONTHS.
Not only would I fail every time, but I would also be reminded of my failure for an entire school year.
Numbers lie. You might weigh less, but are you healthier? Are you hotter? Or are you just hungry?
MFF helped me understand the power of practical goal setting. It’s wonderful to have BIG, BEAUTIFUL, BRASSY dreams. But we must use those dreams to help us hatch practical goals that will build the road to reaching those dreams.
What did I do? I created a DREAM board. I wrote on a post it a dream I had, and then around it would write little “projects”—-smaller, attainable goals that would help me make that dream come true.
“I WANT TO LOOK THIS HEALTHY” <—- (I use visuals rather than numbers. Unless you are magical and can totally predict ahead of time at what weight you’ll body will be in the best shape, using a number as your goal sets you up for confusion and failure. I also tried to and still try to avoid saying things like “I WANT TO LOOK LIKE THIS,” because, again, who knows if I will look EXACTLY like this EVER. Instead, I constantly remind myself of wanting to look HEALTHY—-of looking in the mirror and seeing toned lines and refined muscles. Not Cheyenne Jackson.)
Amongst post-its with ideas and how I achieved goals from previous weeks/months is an index card with this week’s goals.
“THIS WEEK I WILL”
- lift an extra 10 pounds during my deadlifts, so I can continue to enhance my ass and arms.
- find 5 new recipes that are under 15 grams of carbs but over 30 grams of protein.
- use fruit as a dessert instead of a meal staple.
BAM! Practical goals give birth to actualized potential. By setting mini-goals I can surely achieve every week. I not only gain ground in my quest of health and hotness, but I FEEL like I am making progress.
4. Remaining POSITIVE
There are places on the earth that have stronger positive and negative gravitational pulls. In Lourdes, France (where there is an abundantly large positive pull), people flock to fountains of spring water said to have miraculous healing powers. In Orange County, California (my hometown—-OC WHAT WHAT), there is a place called BlackStar Canyon, which not only has one of the strongest negative pulls of gravitational force on the earth, but also a reported gate to hell, a very high percentage of animal deformities, and alien sightings.
What is Mother Nature trying to tell you? Remaining positive works miracles. Remaining negative will deform your soul.
At Mark Fisher Fitness, I have always felt a culture of positivity. Visitors to the clubhouse are always greeted with a smile or hello, and ninja trainers give corrections with nothing but love and care for the human body and soul. These might seem like superficial things, but they all add up to creating a foundation for positive change and evolution.
In order to create physical change, I have to create my own personal culture of positivity. Sometimes, cutting the fat out of your life extends far beyond the Lays chips and Coke we label our vices. Like power, positivity can be sucked out of you, too, by those unable to accept your own personal change and evolution. It’s up to us to find places, things, people who help us see the good in what is around us at that very moment, and in ourselves (Mark Fisher Fitness is certainly a great place to start).
In a few weeks it’ll be my one-year Mark Fisher Fitness-versary. I’m sure I would have unlocked my potential in some way on my own over a very long and painfully drawn-out process. What I gained through being a member of Mark Fisher Fitness was the unleashing of my potential through internal growth and empowerment. The value of what I learned; the faith that I have in myself; the positivity I try to relish in; the joy I find in constantly working on myself in an effort to get better everyday; the understanding that I must hold the power in my life; the feeling I get when I walk down the street in a wife beater and shorts; the practical goals I cherish creating every week; and the comfort in knowing that perfection is not the goal, but consistent excellence and improvement are the ultimate end goals: all these ideas I THOUGHT I knew before joining MFF, I truly learned and began to uphold as values because of the fire Mark and his team lit under my ass. I don’t think I would have grown so much or learned these lessons anywhere else.
These keys to unlocking my potential have set me on a road to health and hotness I still travel (and battle) on everyday. I’m not at my dream goal yet, and I still have days where I walk down the street and think “god I look fat today.” But can I tell you how thrilling it is to look in the mirror every morning? For the first time I see dimples. I see a jawline. I see cheekbones. I see a dimpled chin I never even knew I had. My potential is visible—-it’s there, all over my face.
BRIAN DRUMMY is a singer/actor/dancer/director/writer/server from Orange County, California who has recently lost 125 pounds. He just finished up his first national tour, and in a past life was a state-ranked POG player (and competed in the national POG championships of 1994), among many other quirky accomplishments. He loves New York, squats, steak, Sondheim, and being a ninja.