What I Have Been Up To

It is a new year and a chance to make a bigger, better more improved version of the self you have always wanted to create.  We all have goals and resolutions we want to achieve and strive for.  We tell ourselves this year is going to be different than any other year and we start off the year strong, sticking to our resolutions and keeping our promises.  Chances are our resolutions slowly start to fade out and before we know it we are back to our usual routine, not getting better and still miles away from our goal.  My question is why?  Why do we start out with so much hope, ambition and promise only to go back to our own ways?  Why do we not stick to our new changes and routines and go back to what we were doing?

My answer is comfort and drive.  We as humans do not like to be uncomfortable and will always resort to what is most comfortable to us.  Some of us are comfortable being overweight and stuck in a job we hate because the steps we need to take in order to get to where we want are uncomfortable.  It is uncomfortable giving up the foods we love to eat and for some it is uncomfortable to exercise so we are better off not trying and staying in our comfort zone.  Some of us may be unhappy with the jobs we have yet we continue to go to them week after week because we are comfortable there and anything new or different is scary and unsettling.  I heard a statistic the other day that 85% of Americans are unhappy with their jobs, 85%!  That means out of 10 people you talk to, 8 of them are unhappy with their job.  To me that seems like quite an alarming rate and brings me to my next point which is drive.  We have to be driven to make the changes, we have to be driven to get uncomfortable, we have to be driven to make the sacrifices necessary in order to get what you want to get and be where you want to be.  How driven are you to lose that 10-20 lbs, to get a new job, to make a million dollars, to find a spouse or start a new company?  What are you willing to give up and sacrifice to get there?  Life is hard and can beat you down if you let it but you have to have the drive and ambition to be better today than you were yesterday.  Write down your goals on paper, read them everyday and take action.  We only have one chance at this life so let us make the most of it and go after our dreams.  It is time to get comfortable being uncomfortable.

Before the new year was even upon us, I started doing things that were a little uncomfortable for me but would also greatly benefit me in the long run.  I have been working on improving myself and being the best I can be and taking the necessary steps every day to get me there.  Here is what I have been working on lately:

Chasing my dream.

For those of you  who are Frontdive Fitness readers, you may remember I posted awhile back about how I  am changing careers.  I am chasing after my dream of becoming a firefighter here in South Carolina.  After thinking about my past work history and talking with some fellow firefighters, I concluded I have all the necessary qualities to become a great fireman.  I have always had a passion for helping others and I figured what better way than helping people in a time of need by joining the fire department.  The journey on this process has been a long, ongoing, tedious and patience forming one to say the least.  I have taken several of the fire fighter physical and written assessment tests and have gone on a couple of interviews.  I have my goals set high and I will not stop until I reach my goals.  I will continue to grind it out and go on interviews until I get hired on.

Meditation.

I have to say, adding this to my daily routine has helped me tremendously.  When I wake up in the morning after I do my normal routine, I sit down and meditate for 10-15 minutes.  I focus on a deep nourishing breath in and a relaxing, stress relieving breath out.  Sometimes I think about breathing in for a 4-6 count, holding for a 2 count and exhaling for a 6-8 count and other times I think about joy, happiness or abundance on the inhalation and worry, stress or anxiety on the exhalation.  I found after meditating for a week, I am more patient, less anxious, less stressed and I can handle more stressful situation better.  I found my temperament has improved dramatically and I no longer get mad, upset or frustrated at things I cannot control.  Meditation definitely helps ground you and makes you become more aware of the mind, body  and spirit connection.  Also sometimes, I enjoy pulling up a guided meditation on Youtube and have someone lead me through this amazing experience.  I highly suggest adding this to your daily routine and you will be amazed how much it benefits you.

Brain Games.

Just like exercise is important for your body and health, so are games to activate and train your brain.  Fellow co-workers have turned me on to a game called Lumosity which you can download for free on your phone.  Lumosity is a brain game app in which it tests your memory, problem solving, attention, flexibility and speed.  One neat thing about the game is it gives you 3 different games to play each day and it tracks your progress so you able to see if you are improving or if you just don’t have it today.  Also, you become aware of different areas you are not so great in and try to improve on them.  I am terrible on any of the memory recall games and I know this so I challenge myself to improve.

Motivation/Success Videos.

If you have a quick minute or 10, I highly recommend listening to some type of motivational, inspirational or successful video or audio clip.  If you type in motivation, success or inspiration into youtube you will have a endless supply of clips to pump you up, engage you and make your mind strong/er.  We all need some motivation and think of this as a way to give yourself your own personal pep talk.  I usually like to walk on the treadmill for 20 minutes and listen to several different clips to inspire me for the day and to help me get on my path to achieve greatness.  The power of the mind is the most important and critical area to work on.  We have to believe in ourselves and know that yes, we can make a difference, we can be successful, we will be successful, there is no stopping us and we will not quit until we win.  A couple of people I would highly suggest taking the time to listen to is Les Brown, Zig Ziglar and Lewis Howes.  Les Brown is one of my new favorites and I enjoy listening to him everyday.

Gratitude Journal.

Everyday take the time to write down at least one thing you are grateful for.  You will be amazed on how great this make you feel, how thing really aren’t that bad, how blessed we really are and how much we have to be grateful for.  We are all blessed to wake up everyday with a roof over our heads, a bed to sleep in, clothes on our back, money in our pockets and food in our house.  Never take anything for granted, count your blessings and write down what you are grateful for.

Let us start to take the necessary steps to improve our lives.  The time is now, don’t wait, don’t delay, take action and start taking control over your life.  The path to greatness is a long, winding and bumpy one but it is worth it once you get there.

 

Last Post of the Year

2014 is almost over and 2015 is ready to bring all of us good fortune and cheer for the new year.  I love to take time back and reflect on all the highlights the 2014 year had to offer me, what I learned from it and more importantly what I gained from it.  I started my year off with coaching my last year of diving at Orange Coast College and I wanted it to be special and memorable and it sure was with one of my favorite divers winning the state championship title on 3 meter.  I got to enjoy the birthdays of my two beautiful daughter Devon age 3 and Hartley age 1, my girls are my fuel to my fire, my light in the darkness and everything I live for.  I am grateful to have such wonderful, healthy and sweet girls who are a delight to watch grow, learn and excel each and everyday.  My wife and I took a trip to Hilton Head, South Carolina for a scouting trip for a possible move for our family.  We were able to check out a lot of the surroundings, loved it there and decided we are moving to Charleston, South Carolina.  We are excited and ready to move away from the go-go-go of the Southern California lifestyle and eager for a more laid back and simpler lifestyle.  We are saddened to leave behind all of the great friends we have made in our time in Cali but look forward to the new friends we will soon encounter.  I was delighted and blessed to be the best man in my brother’s wedding and had a blast.  One of the best and most fun weddings I have had the pleasure of participating in with lots of family and friends.  We unfortunately this year had to put down our pug Boo, who has been a family member for the 7 years.  She will be missed but always remembered from her snaggle tooth, eating coffee grounds and being my cuddle buddy.  My wife and I celebrated 6 years of wonderful marriage together and are still going strong.  I love my wife more and more everyday and love sharing all of the good and the bad with her and having someone who is there by your side everyday.  It is truly a blessing and a pleasure having a special someone you get to share in life’s journey with.  We are currently spending the last several days with my parents who are ultimately enjoying their grand kids as much as they can before we fly 2000 miles away to the other coast.  They are both happy and sad for us knowing that we are moving away to better our families lives but also sad because we are going from a 5 1/2 hour car ride to a 6 hour flight.

My time spent in California was wonderful and I owe a lot to everyone and everything that came into my life during that period.  I was able to grow and become the man I am today.  It is interesting when I think about it:  I moved to California with a car full of stuff and a girlfriend and now 9 years later I am leaving California with a wife, 2 daughters, a dog, a truck full of stuff, countless great memories and many great friends.  Thank you for everything California, now it is time to start the next chapter in South Carolina.

Have wonderful, happy and safe New Year everyone.  I hope it brings you everything you wish for and more.

2013 in Review

2013 is coming to a close and 2014 is a mystery filled with so much hope and promise.  Every year I like to go over the year in my mind and remember the highlights, the special trips, the great memories and all of the amazingness which life has brought me.  I turned another year older in the month of January as well as starting the season coaching again for diving at Orange Coast College.  I have continued to “try” to master the game of golf with practicing and or playing at least 2-3 times a week.  We made a trip back to Kunkletown, PA to celebrate my daughters second birthday as well as having a party here for her.  Continued to work hard training my clients and getting them in the best shape possible as well as myself.  I would get in at least 2 or 3 full body workouts every week.  I coached my divers to respectable finishes at the state championship with one of my girl divers taking 3rd on 3 meter.  I got to enjoy the warm California summer with lots of quality family time and pool time trying to teach my daughter to swim.  In July we were blessed with the addition of my other daughter Hartley Mae who is an absolute joy and treat to have in our lives.  She looks like a cuter version of a female me, there is no denying she is my kid.  We had both sets of parents come out to visit and spend some quality time with their grandchildren.  I got to see my younger brother graduate from Cal State Fullerton which was something my wife and I had a big part of.  Watching him change, progress and become the man he is today is something I am very proud of.  He has come a long way from when he has moved out here and is great to see the transformation.  He is now currently engaged to his girlfriend and I could not be happier for the two of them.  She is wonderful and I wish them all the best.  We survived the holidays rather well and enjoyed watching the girls go trick or treating.  It is so cute to see your little ones dressed up in costume.  We had a quiet but amazing Christmas and our very blessed with the family and friends in our lives.  We are almost there to understanding Christmas and Santa coming to town.  We have my parents coming in for the new year and we would like to go out, we do not know where just yet.

All in all, I say 2013 was a great year.  I am looking forward to 2014.  2014 is the year we are moving.  We have been living out here in the state of California for almost 9 years and with two kids now are mission is to get a house.  We love the state but we know we can not get what we want for the price we want here.  It is ridiculously expensive and are only choice is to move.  We are planning on moving to Hilton Head / Bluffton South Carolina area where the pace of life is a lot slower and more relaxed.  I want a house with a big yard for not only me but my kids.  I grew up with a great big yard to play in and I want my kids to have the same.  I know it is going to be hard and very sad to move away especially with all the roots we have laid down, but I look forward to the change.  We are making a trip out there in May to check out the area, survey the scene, talk to some locals and look at some houses.  All of my thoughts, attitude, desire, and energy is going in to making this move happen.  Wish me luck and maybe I will see you on the East Coast soon.  Happy 2014 everyone.  I hope this year is one of the best years of your life.

Yours in strength and love

Bryan Frontdive Franzen

Instructions for Life

Happy New Year to you all!  I hope 2013 brings all of you great health, happiness and success in your adventures this year.  A new year brings so much hope, promise and resolutions to be a better person, enjoy life more and get the most out of your opportunities.  I am unsure of how many of you make resolutions and more importantly how many of you stick with them but I believe I found my lists to help guide me along the way.  This list is not just for the year but for all the rest of the years of my life.  All are great values to honor and respect day in and day out.

The Dalai Lama’s Instructions for Life

  1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
  2. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
  3. Follow the three R’s:
    –  Respect for self,
    –  Respect for others and
    –  Responsibility for all your actions.
  4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
  5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
  6. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great relationship.
  7. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
  8. Spend some time alone every day.
  9. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
  10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
  11. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and
    think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.
  12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
  13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.
  14. Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.
  15. Be gentle with the earth.
  16. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.
  17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
  18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
  19. If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.
  20. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.