Why jumping matters and why it‘s a staple in my fitness programming

Photo Courtesy of the author.

Almost a year ago, I began my 2020 challenge. The goal was simple: to be able to dunk a basketball on a regulation 10-foot hoop. The road to the goal has been difficult, enjoyable, and frustrating. Ultimately, it has been enlightening.

At the beginning of each calendar year I make for myself a series of challenges. I choose a mental, a physical, and a spiritual challenge. The point for me is to find a stimulus in each area of my life that will require me to be uncomfortable, and thereby force consistent action. …


It took 21 days to realize my fling with coffee was really a full-blown addiction.

Photo by Mike Kenneally on Unsplash

A few years ago I was listening to Tim Ferriss give a talk. I don’t remember the entire context of the conversation, but it centered around the steps he took to prioritize his health.

One major change Ferriss implemented was the elimination of caffeine from his diet. The exact statement was something to the effect of, “I spent years punching my central nervous system in the face by overdosing on coffee.”

While I don’t consider Tim my guru, I do respect his opinion. I felt the twinge of conviction as I listened to his talk, while I slurped down my…


I thought I was out of the woods. But a sinister predator stalked about my psyche.

Photo by Matthew Smith on Unsplash

Since becoming a father, I’ve been asked numerous times by parents-to-be, those thinking about becoming parents, newlyweds, and even some of my bachelor friends, “What’s the most difficult thing about being a parent?”

I’ve given various answers: the standard stuff about letting go of control and the delicate balance between meting out discipline but not turning my children into robots scared to try anything of their own accord.

I’ve even told people it’s the lack of sleep, or the switch from putting my needs behind me to focus on the needs of my kids and family. Or maybe I said…


When anger helped me survive, it came at the cost of my mental health and self-discovery.

Photo by Erika Wittlieb on Pixabay

As a young man, I always thought asking for help was the least manly thing I could do. I could add admitting weakness, admitting I was wrong, telling someone I was in pain, and crying to the list. I could do all of above when I was alone by myself. But to show those sides of myself in the company of others. Forget about it. Men are strong. Men are stoic. I had to be a man.

With the recent rise in the study of stoicism and stoic philosophies, stereotypical masculine characteristics are emphasized. While being in control of one’s…


How to hit the wall, use it to your advantage, and overcome the sophomore slump.

Three years ago I hit a major slump. I’m at that weird age where I’ve been in the workforce long enough to know the game. I had tools in my bag to be able to change careers if I wanted to. I was no longer searching for purpose. I was good at what I did. Yet, there was a ceiling for me with that particular organization.

The only options for me were either to continue in the same role, or to wait for my boss to retire so I could take over. I was bored. A change was mounting. I…


Finding your true voice in the midst of pseudo tribalism.

In the early days of hip-hop KRS-ONE emerged as a hip-hop’s conscious golden boy. His first three albums reached gold status, but then his career in the spotlight began to wain. His “Sex and Violence” album in 1992 was the last he would record with his crew, Boogie Down Productions, and it initially had dismal sales.

Commenting on the rise of gangsta culture in hip-hop, KRS called out emcees and record executives alike. Giving rise to the mounting conflict — an extreme change in culture among the rap community and in the music industry — KRS even kicked fellow rap…


Is the increasing personal emphasis on success a type of self-abuse?

Photo by Ernesto Carrazana on Unsplash

“The grind sharpens the axe, and the toil makes the man.” — A Proverb, Unknown.

Grind time. Beast mode. On the grind. Time to get this work. Don’t talk about it, be about it.

We all understand the sentiment. Set a schedule. Stick to it. Be disciplined. Accomplish tasks. Be productive. These are all good things.

Yet when it comes down to it, all this accomplishment, all this glorification of “the grind” is another form of distraction. It can become an idol. What if we are keeping ourselves so eternally busy because we are afraid to get to know ourselves?


Turn the mystery of uncertainty into your greatest ally.

“In the beginning was the word. And the word was with God and the word was God.”–John 1:1

“Call me Ishmael.”–Herman Melville from Moby Dick, or the Whale

Chaos. A world swirling in madness. Confusion. Collusion. Atoms crashing, smashing, exploding. No order. Things happening. Violently. But yet, there is a kind of terrifying beauty in the whole thing.

Think about it. All those billions of megatons of potential energy, suddenly made kinetic. A great and powerful destruction. But also…a magnificent creation.

God spoke the world into existence. God lives inside of you. So you can too.

There it sits. Chaos…


Without the proper development of character, winning creates a cascade of detriment.

How We Play the Game

Photo by Lucas Benjamin on Unsplash

How often have we been taught the following train of thought — “If I win it will make up for a multitude of sins”? If we follow the train (choo! choo!) to its inevitable conclusion…the locomotive will crash and burn from a screeching fall off an unseen cliff, tumbling into the depths of an inflated ego.

“No one cares how you act when you’re winning,” Eric Davis states in his book, Raising Men: Lessons Navy SEALs Learned from Their Training and Taught to Their Sons. When someone is winning, they are the modicum of success, and thus a majority of…


Become a more effective professional and increase student and client engagement.

I remember it like it was yesterday. I was a second-year teacher working in an Alternative Education Program. I felt like I was barely keeping my head above water when it came to planning engaging lessons and finding resources.

I had week full of great lessons planned. I’d written them with a descriptive flourish and connected them to multiple learning objectives as delineated by my state agency. But I had no materials that seemed to fit. And class would begin in a couple of hours. …

Real Coach Monk

Copywriter, Daddy, Teacher, Coach, Folklore Investigator, Basketball Savant.

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