Behind You Is Pain…Ahead Of You Is Pain (And Redemption)

Come here, take my hand.

I’d like to show you something.

A quick glimpse at the highlight reel of my life and career shows smiling faces, happy children, a thriving business and a loving wife.

You’ll also see successful clients, personal records in the gym of those clients, and positive reviews of their experience at my gym.

In addition, you’ll see the smiles of my mother, my grandmother and anything else I can share on social media which brings me happiness, fulfillment and joy.

Here’s what you don’t see:


You don’t see the things that upset my children.

You don’t see the times I tell them they can’t have something.

You don’t see the tears.

You don’t see how we choose to discipline our children.

You don’t see the disagreements that occur between my wife and I about how parenting problems should be solved.


You didn’t see each of the close calls with my business where I thought I’d be shutting us down.

You didn’t see the points where I ran our finances so close I wasn’t sure I’d make payroll.

You don’t see the times my clients tried to give up on themselves and their goals.

You don’t see the tears they shed in my office.

You don’t see how hard they struggle to make it in for their workouts in spite of the demands of their life.

You don’t see every bailed lift.

You don’t see the injuries or the “gym fails”.

You don’t see the look on their faces if the number on the scale goes up instead of down.


You didn’t see the friction in my marriage.

You didn’t see the disagreements, the arguments or the fights.

You didn’t see the marriage that failed…you only see that marriage that succeeds.


You don’t see the grief my mother (and I) carry over losing my father.

You don’t see the disappointment in not being able to call him, hold him, hug him or share good news with him.

You don’t see the loneliness of my grandmother as not only does she watch her family members pass but her friends as well.

My Past

You didn’t see me hospitalized five times in my twenties trying to end my life.

You didn’t see me riddled with drugs for ten years.


You don’t see the doubt.

You don’t see the indecision.

You don’t see the sleepless nights.

For all the good I can show you, there’s an equal if not sometimes disproportionate amount of pain and struggle to reach that goodness.

You see the highlights because the highlights are positive. They show what can be done if you persevere, if you push, if you stay consistent, if you stay the course OR if you return to course after the detour.

There is my pain, there is our pain, there is your pain.

We all have it.

We all struggle.

We all lose our footing.

We all reach out for help.

We all want to know that someone is there to comfort us, to love us, to appreciate us, to fight for us, to fight with us.

Many people want easy. They want success to come with the least amount of resistance that life can provide.

I’m here to tell you it probably won’t happen that way.

All of the good (and great) things I have in my life came at a cost.

The picture you see above is one of my favorite pictures of us, but only at a glance. It was taken during one of the most challenging times in our marriage. The picture below is different. This is us currently: mended, better, indestructible. It took time to get there.

If you want better for yourself, be prepared to fight for it.

Be prepared to find it’s worth it.