One Right Way

We are consumed with the notion that there is only “one right way” to do everything….and too often we feel like the way we are doing, have done, or were taught to do must be the only way for it to be done. So we condemn ourselves to the same course of action as our friends, families or life has taught us. We leave so much potential for change on the table in the name of the path of least resistance…… Diet, entertainment, how we raise our children, what we do on Friday nights, how often we imbibe alcohol….even how we love our spouses/ significant others. My wish is for us to open our minds a bit, and live life a little closer to how a child might. Not necessarily in a naive way, but certainly not in a “I already know everything way” If we can open our minds to change. If we can accept the notion, or even the mere possibility that the “one right way” that we have been doing it may not be the right way….then it opens us up to innumerable possibilities. I am a MovNat certified Level 2 Trainer and a CrossFit Level One Trainer….and I have met people that have drank from the respective ways of fitness and believe that their way is the “one right way” as far as physical exertion is concerned. I have met people who are staunch Vegans, (for a multitude of reasons,) and people who are nearly the antithesis of Vegan…..who both would tell you that the way they eat is correct…..Likewise I have met globo gym goers who believe that the 7 hours they spend weekly at said gym is completely necessary to maintain their physiques…..who is right? I am sure that with a build up like that you would expect me to offer an opinion….heck those of you that know I own a CrossFit Affiliate (CrossFit Williamsville) may expect that I would err on the side of the dogmatic crossfitters and proclaim that it is the be all and end all to fitness and indeed nutrititon (paleo anyone?)

I believe in CrossFit, when it is done correctly and safely, I would argue that when it is not done correctly or safely it is not CrossFit at all. I believe in MovNat. It is not only one of the most comprehensive fitness systems in the world but one that has consistently generated the most smiles from my clients when they are engaging in the Combos that are indicative MovNat.
But in the purest sense I believe in an exercise program that addresses deficiencies, improves on posture, balance, strength, mindset. A program that challenges your mind as much as your body, and a program that promotes healing within your mind and body…..
That is what I am constantly striving for. I want to educate my clients, as well as make them uncomfortable at the same time. I want to give them outlets for how to deal with external stressors and also how to deal with internal ones they create themselves. It is an audacious task and I am far from being at the end of my own education. But I truly believe if you look hard enough for something you will eventually find it.
If you can’t train here what can you do? Push yourself consistently, keep your cup empty, use common sense uncommonly. If it seems easy and not challenging then guess what it is not changing you. If you want to change your life guess what….you have to change your life…..good luck everyone…. happy hunting for that one right way…

The reality of eating/ being healthy,,,,,and words of encouragement.

…..eating the “right” way is different for everyone……is a popular sentiment among some of the most knowledgeable fitness, health, and nutrition professionals.  And if you get right down to it, purely speaking, different foods will do slightly different things in certain people…I can agree with that.  But the problem is that when the general public reads a statement like that….they take it as a license to mean that ….Hey that could mean that me having a Big Mac, fries, and shake once a week is not a bad thing…..right?   …..umm…Wrong.


All things in moderation…

Look at where all things in moderation has gotten us.  We are, not even moderately, the fattest country in the world.  And it boggles my mind that people would rather seek salvation in a pill instead of taking the time out of their day to eat food that started as food in the first place…

Just had an outstanding lunch with a like minded friend and he recounted a story of a recent stay at a resort in Costa Rica……I will paraphrase….he said it was a wonderful “resort”…five rooms only, 15 staff there to wait on you hand and foot…he said one morning he ordered a smoothie….the ingredients of which where then cut down and put in the blender…how awesome is that…it reminds me of my Great Granny Harris showing me which chicken we were going to eat for dinner that night…..awesome….(maybe disturbing at that

All things in addiction….

that’s probably closer to how it should read.  Here is the rub.  If you eat bread/ pasta/ rice/ coke/ ice cream…..etc..on a regular basis…you are addicted to sugar… is what it is……if you do not believe go for a day without any grains/ alcohol/ sugar/ pasta/ ….and see how you are feeling..take it to two or three days….trust me, after 30 days straight…you won’t crave it anymore…though it may feel like hell to make it to that point….

So you’re saying I’m not allowed to eat anything good anymore?????

first off, because you are addicted to something doesn’t make it good.  Just because it tastes great doesn’t make it good…..let’s look at what it does when you put it into your body…that will determine whether it is good for you or not.  Let’s at least agree on that..

But it’s ok if I have a little cheat day….isn’t it?   

Well how is that working out for you thus far????  Let’s put it this way …if your goal is to look at function like Jessica Biel and you look and function like Jessica Biel then go ahead and have your cheat day….probably not going to put you out too badly…but if you are 60lbs over weight, and move more like ET….then you have no business having a cheat day…you have had a cheat life thus reason to put an exclamation point on it.

But I can’t eat healthy all the time….

Can’t never could do nothing…….I’m not asking that you eat healthy all the time…just try it for the next week, two weeks, month…the beautiful part of eating well/ right…is that once you get into won’t want to go back….

How do I get started?  

Surround yourselves with like minded people, and/ or information….read blogs about it, read books about it, subscribe to newsletters, watch documentaries (netflix…waddup?)  Educate yourself…just like anything if you wanna be good at something you have to learn about it.  Once you begin to immerse yourself in it, you’ll find it’s not that difficult..there are plenty of great people around to help you on your journey…and by gosh your slimming waste line and heart will love you to life for it.


Fueling yourself is so important, I go as far to tell the members of my Box that it doesn’t matter how hard you work the 60 minutes that you are in here with me if you go out and throw away the other 23 hours you have left in your day….what a shame to work so hard….and see no return….

Best news of all?

you can find thousands of people…in Buffalo alone…that are wanting to experience, or have experienced, or will share with you, help you…guide you…or even take the trip along side you….the way we as a community are going to change…and fight the Obesity epidemic that is infecting our country is at this very grass roots level.  Our Government will not solve it…’s not their responsibility anyhow…they have lobbyists to cater to…..take charge of your life… healthy, train hard…and infect those around you with the zest for life that you will gain from it…

thanks Buffalo and beyond..


in response to a misquote from Bill Cosby.

As with an early quote attributed to Morgan Freeman, my little brother, unknown to him, linked a quote from “Bill Cosby”…if you have read it before please skip over.

Bill Cosby “I’m 83 and Tired”

I’m 83. Except for brief period in the 50’s when I was doing my National
Service, I’ve worked hard since I was 17. Except for some some serious
health challenges, I put in 50-hour weeks, and didn’t call in sick in nearly
40 years. I made a reasonable salary, but I didn’t inherit my job or my
income, and I worked to get where I am. Given the economy, it looks as
though retirement was a bad idea, and I’m tired. Very tired. 

I’m tired of being told that I have to “spread the wealth” to people who
don’t have my work ethic. I’m tired of being told the government will take
the money I earned, by force if necessary, and give it to people too lazy
to earn it. 

I’m tired of being told that Islam is a “Religion of Peace,” when every day I
can read dozens of stories of Muslim men killing their sisters, wives and
daughters for their family “honor”; of Muslims rioting over some slight
offense; of Muslims murdering Christian and Jews because they aren’t
“believers”; of Muslims burning schools for girls; of Muslims stoning
teenage rape victims to death for “adultery”; of Muslims mutilating the
genitals of little girls; all in the name of Allah, because the Qur’an and
Shari’a law tells them to. 

I’m tired of being told that out of “tolerance for other cultures” we must let
Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries use our oil money to fund mosques
and Madrasa Islamic schools to preach hate in Australia , New Zealand ,
UK, America and Canada , while no one from these countries are allowed to
fund a church, synagogue or religious school in Saudi Arabia or any other
Arab country to teach love and tolerance.. 

I’m tired of being told I must lower my living standard to fight global
warming, which no one is allowed to debate.

I’m tired of being told that drug addicts have a disease, and I must help
support and treat them, and pay for the damage they do. Did a giant germ
rush out of a dark alley, grab them, and stuff white powder up their noses
or stick a needle in their arm while they tried to fight it off? 

I’m tired of hearing wealthy athletes, entertainers and politicians of all
parties talking about innocent mistakes, stupid mistakes or youthful
mistakes, when we all know they think their only mistake was getting
caught. I’m tired of people with a sense of entitlement, rich or poor. 

I’m really tired of people who don’t take responsibility for their lives and
actions. I’m tired of hearing them blame the government, or discrimination
or big-whatever for their problems. 

I’m also tired and fed up with seeing young men and women in their teens and
early 20’s be-deck them selves in tattoos and face studs, thereby making
themselves unemployable and claiming money from the Government. 

Yes, I’m damn tired. But I’m also glad to be 83.. Because, mostly, I’m not
going to have to see the world these people are making. I’m just sorry for
my granddaughter and their children. Thank God I’m on the way out and not
on the way in. 

There is no way this will be widely publicized, unless each of us
sends it on!

This is your chance to make a difference.

” I’m 83 and I’m tired. If you don’t agree you are part of the problem


Humm…??  Indeed.  I’m going to throw a guess out there that it was not written by someone who is 83 years old.  I have to hope that by the time you reach that age that you are not swayed by such things that only can be grabbed from sensational news sources…..I’m guessing it was a tech savvy just out of college, living in their basement, with a useless degree burning a hole in their pocket….that’s my guess.  They are viewing this world with an entirely different set of eyes than me…and I feel for them…mostly I feel sorry for them.  Let me tell you the future I see…..

Every day I am lucky to see people working toward becoming truly better versions of themselves…..I witness it first hand when someone accomplishes something they never thought possible…do you hear me...I see that on a daily basis…that is miraculous…….I’m greeted by hundreds of posts a week about people looking for the right way to eat, the right way to train, the right way to live…..we live in an age right now where information will soon turn into the only form of currency and I must say (though I’m not religious) I feel blessed to be doing what I do, and seeing/ running into so many wonderful people who are striving to help people in ways that I’m so ignorant of.  Some of them I would just love to sit and listen to….The Chris Nentarz, Matt Meyer, and Rich Brown’s of the worlds…there are so many more names I could list….

As far as some of the Complaints that the false Mr. Cosby spoke of above…….Muslim hate….what a tired viewpoint…some of the most honest, classy, kind, and loving people I know are Muslims…..and I am looking forward to a time in our civilization, when like the Dalai lama, we can look at each other as we truly are, one in the same…..that time will come…the time will come when we revert back to taking care of ourselves….and our own communities…..I just hope I am around long enough to see it.  And if not, I know that I will breathe these hopes and wants and dreams into my own children so that they may have a similar outlook, and hope for their future…..As I look at that above one more time I can’t help but feel sorry for that person..imagine if they are 83 and feel that way…what a waste…why not take the time to write something motivating, inspiring…something that will move people to think better, act better, love better…..after “83” years I would think that you could craft a much more compelling call to action than that… any rate….let’s take the high road and expect greatness from our society…..

perhaps a great blog Entry……. a catalyst

So,,,,I hop out of the car, in the middle of downtown, reach into the back of my trunk and pull an enormous box from it…a box which once held 48 four packs of Dove moisturizing unscented bars….I set it on the ground and stare at for a bit….ya think this will hold me?  I ask, sort of to myself, and sort of to anyone at all who is passing by…I don’t get any answers.  I look around, just a block away or so I see the “occupiers.”  Wow.  Is this what I have become.  Honestly, am I no better than these people? Staring at them I’m forced to admit to myself that other than the obvious amount of attention they garner, they do look to be very serious about what they are doing.  Perhaps as serious as a cat who hasn’t eaten in three days and will just not stop clawing your bedroom door.  But then you are forced to think, if I don’t feed the cat what is he really going to do about it?  I wonder if we have looked at them that way.  Honestly, what are they really going to do about it? The answer to if I’m better than them or not weighs in my mind a bit and I settle on..  Well at least I have a job, after all I’m doing this is on my off day  The thought makes me smile a bit, and I reassure myself that yes indeed, the box will hold me up,  well it should….

I stand up on the box and proceed to follow through with my plan….

Step one, take off my clothes…man I didn’t think it’d be so cold today.  Of course I knew it was going to be cold that day….sort of the point,,shock value you know…perfectly normal for the 24th of December to be cold.  Besides it’s much easier to attract attention to yourself in this kind of weather if you are standing around in just your knickers on top of a box, rather than fully clothed.

Step Two, start singing Man in the Mirror, crap, couldn’t I have picked a better song, maybe one that is a bit in my own key, that way I’m not getting looked at like one of those auditioners from American Idol that are just there to be on TV..  Although my intention there had absolutely nothing to do with changing myself, though the outcome might be a change for me as well, I thought the classic hit from old MJ would be a perfect tune to attract a crowd….and I was right

Step Three….just start talking….. I had never been more prepared in my whole life.  I’d mapped out my whole speech….I would spin a tale of such intrigue, of such shocking truth that the audience would be captivated, moved to tears even.  It would be full of suspense, heart break, betrayal, conspiracy,, and just when they thought the worst had happened the third act would push them to the point of giving up…and then the answer……and at last I’d offer them HOPE.   They would find such purpose in my talk, such inspiration that they would go through a change right then.  Right at that moment they would alter themselves and their own family trees for generations to come.  I would be amazing…..

It will be amazing…..

I was so ready.  Nearly sure that here right now at this very moment is what the better part of my life had been preparing me for.  I wasn’t cold, I wasn’t nervous, I was filled with the need to share..and give everything of myself to these 60 or 70 onlookers…..

and then I saw her……

Front Row, about my 10 oclock (just to my front left for those of you not acquainted with those directions)…she was bursting at the seams pregnant, it seemed she held just about all her impossibly petite frame could hold, Jeez her due date has to be…right now..  In fact it was an amazing sight to behold, and she would have been equally as beautiful as the fact that she was pregnant had she not been tugging on a Marlboro…..

What a shame…

Just to her right side my eyes locked with a man at least twice my age…his clothes were tired, his eyes worn…..he’d seen a lot, been through a lot, those tired hands clutched a paper bag that could only have held the cheapest bottle of liquor that the store around the corner sold….


Just then a voice turned my head… was a school age child, her voice shrill and peircing….she was standing with her mother and brother, he was roughly the same age.  Mom was rather overweight..Huge..and it seemed she was doing the best to have her kids catch up and eventually surpass her.  Her children each clutched a burger of some sort in one hand and a meal full of happiness box in the other….it was the box that was creating the argument as it appeared that bro was trying to relieve sis of her toy…her toy or the french fries….wow…

The authenticity of what I was about to do finally sank in.

What could I possibly say to change this?  How could I possibly connect with these people… could I hold on to them long enough to pull them away from the commercials, the restaurants, the pizza, the wings, the beer, their cubicles?  What was I going to say today that would really do any good at all? Are they really going to listen to some half crazed, freezing, (albeit charming), half-naked man on a soap box standing in front of the biggest toy store in the world on Christmas eve????  Really, isn’t health and fitness the farthest thing from chimney mom’s mind…hell she’s probably lucky to make rent since Dad’s not around anymore to help….Weren’t most of them going to go home tonight, order out, plop in front of the television, and eat, drink, and be Merry….after all tis the season…..for heart disease, cancer, obesity… would seem.   How can I possibly change their minds????

I bowed my head in defeat, and took one foot down from the soap box…..I was finished….there was, in mind, no longer anything I had to offer them.  I had lost the game even before it started.

…then I saw him….

He was young, maybe 6, and nestled into his mother’s leg, but staring at me intently.  I perhaps imagined tears welling in his eyes, perhaps not, either way, he was the moment I needed.  In him I saw incredible things.  I saw a world were people cared for each other first, and found that in doing so it was really caring for themselves.  I saw a world where we didn’t settle for being lied to by the media, where we didn’t expect politicians to be half  true with us.  I saw a world where heart disease was as foreign to us as the bubonic plague…and damnit when you saw people at the mall, or Target, or in line for the bank…can you believe it they were happy, because they felt good, and lived healthy….amazing the things I saw in the young man’s eyes, once I made it past Spiderman and the Power Rangers…..and then there it was…..

HOPE………by god he wants me to talk…..

In that moment I wasn’t talking to a crowd of people any longer, I was speaking to him.  As far as I was concerned this little guy was going to be somebody important, and I was going to influence him right now…hell this little guy may even be president 40 years from now…how crazy of a thought is that…..

Rejuvenated I stood up on the soapbox, fully prepared to address my congregation……

Deep breath, here goes…  

” Ladies and Gentlemen, my name is Robert Edwin Vest II, and wow do I have a story for you……”

Accepting that your best is only enough until Next time.

Crossfit, by definition, should push you passed your comfort zone…every time.  When you step into the box, or check out the WOD online, it should leave you with a terrible pit in your stomach, questioning whether or not you should subject yourself to what you see.  It should test you even before you start.  Then you begin the warm up, sweating more than some of your Globo Gym friends do when they workout, you practice the skills involved in your WOD, and then 3,2,1, are off…..and before you know it, not only are you dying, but you are seriously questioning whether you are going to survive the workout, not to mention finish it….but somehow, even when every fiber in your body tells you to quit….when every rational thought in your brain is screaming at you to STOP… don’t.   Maybe it’s because the athletes around you aren’t stopping….maybe it’s because your coach is there, motivating, inspiring, encouraging you to not give in to that quitter in your head…..or maybe….just perhaps…you have found a strength inside of you that is greater than even you believed…….and somehow, now that you are only a few reps, or minutes away from the end you have found a renewed vigor….and all of sudden your next to last round is faster than your first round, that’s impossible….right?  NO WAY…..the only difference is in the beginning you were scared of what you might find inside of you, and by the end you are confident in what you are made of…….and inevitably the  WOD ends, and there you are…..for the most part exactly the same as when you started…except for one glaring difference….you have grown yet again…the same as you did in your last workout, and how you will continute to grow in your next.  That is why you  subject yourself to this…..that is why you drink the kool aid.  That is why, for some reason, all of your non crossfitting co-workers are starting to ask you what your WOD was before you annoy them with telling them about….they have started to bug you….guess what…they are as thirsty as you were….offer them a drink….and show them what CrossFit is…

I must admit, I feel honored and humbled to be able to introduce such an inspiring way of life to my Athletes…and I look forward to pushing them over and over again……as they, no doubt, will continue to push and challenge me.

best of Health