The Kid comes full circle

Thursday was a fantastic day. A day I’m sure no baseball fan expected.

MLB The Show, Sony’s exclusive MLB game for Playstation, revealed their cover man for the upcoming 2017 video game.

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MLB The Show/PlayStation

Below is an excerpt from PlayStation regarding Junior gracing the cove:

“Destined for greatness, no player entered the Big League with more hype than the first pick of the 1987 MLB draft, and no player entered baseball’s Hall of Fame with a higher percentage of the vote than “The Natural.” A legend both on and off the field, “The Kid” inspired a generation of baseball fans with electric play, a contagious smile, enviable flair, and a swing that’s been imitated but never duplicated for almost three decades.

Almost twenty years since his last appearance in a baseball video game, Ken Griffey Jr. returns to the digital diamond as the cover athlete of MLB The Show 17.”

Not since 1999 has Junior Griffey graced the cover of a MLB video game. Most of us over the age of 20 remember the greatness that was KGJ video games of yesteryear.

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Photo: Google

Things have come full circle I’d assume for Griffey. After earning the highest voting percentage (99.3%) in the baseball history to get into the Hall of Fame, Griffey had his number 24 retired in Seattle and will now grace the cover of PlayStation’s most prestigious and exclusive baseball game.

If you need any details surrounding the game and it’s packages for the March 28th, 2017 release, be sure to go to HERE and pre-order now 🙂

It’s been a crazy 2016 for yours truly as well. Just to recap here: another fun baseball summer with my Monarchs squad, moved out on my own, engaged to the love of my life, baptized, attending my lifelong dream of witnessing Griffey get inducted in the hall with my dad, and now this. I can’t thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ enough for what He’s provided for this undeserved soul.

This game is going to cost me many nights of sleep. And I can’t wait for it. It’s pretty amazing that in this day in age where there’s a plethora of superstar talent in MLB that someone like Junior would get the cover.

Most fans thought guys like Anthony Rizzo or Kris Bryant were shoe-ins to nail the cover honor. MLB The Show teased fans saying we’d all be ‘surprised’ and ‘stunned’ with whom they picked to hit the cover. It was revealed Thursday morning and fans nationwide embraced it. #TheKidIsBack was the number one trend on Twitter for the US. And Griffey was the number two trend.

Well, I’m going to ride off into the sunset. I’ll hope to post something again by Sunday evening. Talk to you all then!

Prayer of the Day:

Today I pray that I relax and let today happen. I can’t control all of it so I’ll wait for chances to make a difference. Today is a gift. 

Bad days occur

Over the last few days I’ve been down and out. And I can’t seem to pinpoint how and why which is the worst part of the healing process.

Now, to each their own in terms of how people perceive depression to be validated or not depending on one’s circumstance. Everyone battles through situations differently and nobody should be judged on how or why they feel down. We are imperfect human beings who suffer from time to time with some obviously being worse than others.

I battled depression for two years. I’ve discussed this at length on my podcast ‘High and Tight’ on Olio.fm a couple different occasions. It’s not fun. In fact, it sucks. It truly stinks.

Why?

Because for me I knew how incredibly blessed I was but I couldn’t see the forest through the trees for nearly 24 months. For a long time I never looked at it as depression but more like feeling sorry for myself. That’s immensely wrong.

Simply put, I wasn’t myself. I strived to look like someone I’m not. I strived to be people I’m not. I concerted strenuous hours on my appearance. I hated how I looked from an athlete standpoint (neck down). I obsessed over looking like a meathead. And I didn’t understand then and I don’t understand now why I was so hyperfocused on it. Maybe I thought that’s what women enjoyed or that’s the ‘gold standard’ of how you should look.

I also had the fear that if I didn’t transform my body then I’d automatically be unhealthy and would die young.

Okay, yes, I had bouts of delusion and crazy. I get it. I see the light now haha. This current ‘down period’ will swiftly move along and pass but there are just blips in time where I feel as I used to feel. Not fun but I have the grace from God and His promises to remind me how special I am regardless of what the enemy repeatedly tells me.

Moving on, I can’t explain why the last few days have been so bad. I can honestly say it may be because I’m not playing baseball. The spring and summer are such a gratifying and satisfying time for me because I’m in my element almost everyday. I’m praying that my second job (Diamond Academy) helps with the baseball hunger during the offseason.

Other than that things have been great. Looking into the mirror lately has been tough but I’m working on the confidence level. Helping out my church has been fantastically gratifying. Being involved in something greater than you or I is what we are all called to be part of. There’s no better feeling than helping and guiding others. Especially the youth. It’s special man, it’s humbling.

Just wanted to pop in with a new post about something that’s been on my mind. Sorry so short and loaded with random cliffhangers.

Prayer of the day:

Today I pray that I remain positive no matter what the day throws at me. I’ll look for the blessings behind every obstacle.

Weekend Mayhem

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Photo Credit: VisitPhilly

In 2016, quiet weekends have been hard to come by for ol’ yours truly. They’ve been fun, nonetheless. This past weekend qualifies as one of the ‘exciting’ ones.

Things kicked off Saturday up in Chestnut Hill PA for the Harry Potter Festival. After finally finishing all eight legendary films (major cliffhanger in the final film if you ask me) Friday evening I was jacked up to hit the festival Saturday afternoon. The ride up there felt like the longest 50 minutes as the route was slow and maze-like. However, I enjoy the sights of Chestnut Hill so it wasn’t too bad.

Parking a near two miles away from the festival was bad. It was 45 degrees with 30mph wind gusts Saturday so the walk was less than exhilarating. I had Morgan with me so it wasn’t too shabby. Oh, and we were with 15,000 other HP fanatics as well.

What I loved most about this event were the age groups. It’s great to see adults continue to live out their dreams, fantasies, and passions. To any high school kid who’s worried about expressing themselves through their passions remember this: Probably 95% of those people will be insignificant in your life soon enough. Forget and delete those who don’t support you and your passions. I never had an issue in HS or even in college, but I know kids who have suffered. Be good, listen, be respectful, and be yourself. Keep a small circle of trust in school and out of it. You’ll thank me for that advice down the road someday.

I’m a very humble dude. Some say too humble. Since I was young I’d always put my passions on display. Whether it was my favorite sports team, player, wrestler, or even brand (Affliction, Criss Angel, Caffeine and Kilos, ROGUE) I never gave a sh*t what people thought of me. Not one single person. I don’t change for anyone. I have a select group of friends and they love me for me. If I changed they’d ring me on it.

While walking through Germantown Ave. with thousands of Potter fanatics, I realized that imagination is alive and well in 2016. In a climate full of hate, racism, and judgment, some things continue to bring people together and it’s special to take witness to. Whether people were distracted by the poorly planned and coordinated even I don’t care. It was encouraging to see people my younger, same age, and older dressing up and having a great time with not a care in the world.

We need more of those times.

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Photo: Google

After the HP festival we came home to chill out, eat a great dinner, and watch a movie. So, I chose ‘Now You See Me.’ I had heard great things about the flick but had never seen it. Watched it and my goodness it was fun. Great cast, well put together, and funny. On Sunday night we watched the second one which came out early 2016 and I thought it was better than the original. Daniel Radcliffe was a solid addition to the sequel. Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman were tremendous in both films. Those two are bonafide legends and two of my favorite actors of all-time.

Sunday was a beautiful day. After worshipping and listening to the word of God, we finally were able to get to Johnson’s Farm. It was packed but it wasn’t too bad at all. It was cool seeing kids and their families picking pumpkins that were in some cases bigger than the kids. Funny stuff. Got our first pumpkin together, apple pie, and some darn good warm apple cider (which I’m sipping on now as I type.)

We were able to catch the second half of the Eagles-Vikings game. Was phenomenal to see the Birds bounce back in a huge way to serve Minnesota their first loss of the season. Now, it’s time for Dallas. A rivalry restored with the superstardom of both Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott.

This weekend taught me that there’s other things in life to do other than sit in all day and watch football. It’s just lazy to me. It was fun being active and being out doing things. Don’t get me wrong I adore Eagles Sundays but thankfully it’s no longer the end all be all for me. And it shouldn’t. If there’s somewhere to go whether free or not and it can create a memory, go do it! God, life is so short. Make every moment count. Honest.

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Photo Credit: SyFy

Found a new TV addiction Monday. The Magicians on SyFy. It’s a darker Harry Potter mixed with some sex, language, and a little bit of steroids. It’s fantastic. And the fact that SyFy created a show like this is even more unbelievable. The special effects are tremendous and the storyline is compelling. With each episode the story and characters build more and more steam. Season 2 will commence in January, I believe.

If you want to watch season one in its entirety head to SyFy’s website or download their free app in GooglePlay or iTunes.

Thanks for reading all! I’ll check you all down the road,

Chris

Magic and Harry Potter

harry-potter-wallpapers-hdOver the last two weeks or so I have delved head first into the world of Harry Potter. Just for fun, I’d like to let everyone know that yes, I understand that I’m extremely late to broom party seeing as the original Potter film was released back in 2001. And it’s approaching six years since the final film was released.

When it comes to franchises like Potter. And even Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, etc., I’m apparently the last one to hop aboard the popularity train. I like what I like and I usually stick to that. That said, my fiance asked if I wanted to sit down and finally watch the great iconic film series known as Harry Potter.

“Sure, I think I’m ready,” I said to Morgan.

“Great! Would you rather start with the books or go straight to films?,” she asked.

“I think I’d much rather shoot for the movies so I can read the books after and compare,” I replied.

And that’s how I am. I’m backasswards with things. No matter who it was I have always been directed towards the books before even thinking about watching the films. I’d rather watch what I’m getting into before reading seven 500+ page books.

Again, that’s just how I am. (Side note: I’m about to start book number two as of this writing.)

My infatuation with magic and illusion probably sparked my appreciation and interest in Potter. I’ve been a prodigious fan of magic since I was a kid. The suspense, mystery, and act completely takes me out of reality and helps me believe in the impossible. Yes, even after knowing it’s not necessarily reality. Much of it is fake but the presentation and creativity is the drawing card.

Fast forward to 2006 when I stumbled across the greatest magician who ever lived, Criss Angel. Found the show MINDFREAK and instantly became hooked. Still am. It’s remarkable what Angel does on an everyday basis for his craft. It’s unprecedented. He’s been a role model for me for over a decade now and if you read his book you’ll see some reasons why I say that. He helped me realize it’s OKAY to be who I want to be and not give a giant crap of others opinions. Because they don’t matter.

It’s why I’ve never been judgmental towards anyone in terms of their beliefs, fashion, or interests. Just be you. Always. We are all much better off that way in the long run. Ultimately, it’s what God wants from us. To be who He created us to be. We are individually plucked out and giving special gifts. We are created to be different. Find what it is that makes you happy and roll with it. I spent many years trying to be someone I wasn’t. It was mentally draining and stressful. I couldn’t take ti anymore and I was creating a delusional universe where I didn’t belong.

To be completely honest with everyone, I didn’t figure myself out until as recent as a few years ago. I had to surround myself with the right friends and people. I finally figured it out.

Back to Potter.

As of this writing I still have to watch the final two films before I can attend The Harry Potter Festival Saturday afternoon in Chestnut Hill. Part of me bears excitement while the other part of me weeps with sadness that it’s all ending. Thankfully, I still have five remaining to read. I’ll milk that out as long as possible.

Okay, heading back to structured life for a few more hours. Crossfit tonight at 5:30 as I look to hit 70% of my one rep max on the Split Jerk. Wish me luck.

Oh, then it’s too many handstand pushups, toes to bar, double unders, and rows.

I’ll write a post reviewing our experience at the HP Festival hopefully by Sunday evening.

Eagles Prediction:

Eagles win 23-21

Prayer of the Day:

Today I pray that I give each issue time to work itself out, not making rash decisions or quick-fixes. Everything will be alright, in time!

Barbells and Illusions

Had a solid day off today and needed one after this past weekends events. The Crossfit competition Saturday did a number on my body. Then Sunday I woke up at 6am to head down to Landover MD to watch the Eagles once again lose against the Redskins.

I won’t discuss that game from an analytical standpoint other than that loss may have cost the Eagles their season. I suppose I’ll talk about it more at length on my next episode of High and Tight this week.

Also, High and Tight will cease at the end of 2016. It’s just time to focus efforts on other ventures. I’ll do as many shows as possible up until that point.

I enjoy days off now more than I ever had in my adult life. I personally appreciate ‘down time.’ I appreciate waking up in the morning and not having anything planned. Wake up and wing it. I never appreciated that kind of stuff. I always just worked. It’s all I’ve known. Now, I realize work just supports my lifestyle. I’m blessed and grateful to be where I am but it’s not the end all, be all for me like it used to be. For anyone, work can’t be that. There’s so much more to accomplish then to think about your job 24/7.

Maybe that’s just me. Now, I’ll clarify that I like working. It’s satisfying. It’s productive and keeps the brain going. However, taking a day or two here and there, if possible, is so vital to your mental, physical, and emotional health. It’s rejuvenating.

Had a few cups of coffee today. Wawa’s Pumpkin spice is fantastic. We purchased the 1lb bag and it’s a beautiful smell to wake up to.

Today, I attended the late morning Crossfit class as we begin our ‘Deload’ week. Fresh off an intense 8-week cycle that was very good to me it was time to recuperate and settle in before the next big cycle.

Power movement:  Snatch Balance (2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2) up to 75% of max. WOD 1: AMRAP 6- 10 Goblet Squats, 200m Run. *Rest 2 minutes* WOD 2: AMRAP 6- 10 Kettlebell swings, 200m Run.

It all hurt. Bad. I failed horribly on the Snatch. My shoulders and neck are still bugging out from this past weekend. No excuses, I should’ve been able to lift better. I was able to find a 2-rep constant in 115lbs. Tried 120 and suffice to say, I didn’t do well. Form and confidence are the two most important factors when doing such lifts. Aggravation set in after my seventh and final attempt. I took myself out of the game, lost focus, and that was it. I had no chance of redeeming myself on this day.

I do not under any circumstances take failure well.

After the workout I wanted to get home and enjoy myself. So I watched MindFreak seasons 4 and 5 in their respective entireties. I’ve had an infatuation with Criss Angel since 2007 and it’s never wavered. I don’t know if you can call it a guilty pleasure but if you do, then all the power to ya. I just really respect and enjoy magic/illusion and he’s the greatest to ever do it. It entertains me and I love it. 512y1i7rll

Thank you, Morgan for not making me turn it off. She occupied herself doing other things like baking and wedding planning. Fun.

As the night dwindles down I’m nestled on my couch preparing for the WWE Return of Bill Goldberg. This will be one of those ‘must-see’ moments as a wrestling fan of over 20 years. Goldberg has always been that enigmatic presence in the wrestling business and I’m looking forward to seeing him inside a WWE ring for the first time since Wrestlemania 20 in 2004.

Excited for what’s next!

Site design is a work in progress. The banner is almost finished and that should be up and on display sometime this week, hopefully. Also working on owning this domain and making it barbellsandmayhem.com without having WordPress controlling everything else. Would like to post some videos up here as well.

Quote of the Day:

“Life is limited. Don’t waste a second on negativity, or a person who spews it. When your last breath comes you’ll wished that you valued and made the most of every moment.” – Criss Angel

Prayer of the Day:

Today I pray that remember how powerless I am. I control my behavior and my responses to situations and that’s literally ALL I control!

-Chris

Fear of Striking Out

The greatest baseball player of all time is arguably Babe Ruth. One of his most famous quotes was..

Don’t let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.”

Now, I have heard and read that quote everywhere but it’s amazing how true it is. As I mentioned in my premier post Friday evening, today was my first Crossfit competition with a partner at my gym- Crossfit Mt. Laurel. 

To make things more nerve-wracking is I’ve never met my workout partner for today until 8am. God has a sense of humor sometimes and it was proven today when I discovered my partners name. Faith.

How cool is that! I can’t make this stuff up.

Anyway, we had three WODs (Workout of the Day) setup for this in-house competition.

WOD 1: 8 minute AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible) of 20 Power Snatches 95/55 and 20 Box Jumps 24/20. Partners could split reps as one person works at a time.

We did really good, I think. Faith did great, she worked really hard. We may have worked too fast but there was lots of adrenaline and excitement going into this so naturally we moved fast. The final two minutes was rough. The power snatches felt heavy by this point and my form, as always, began to suffer. We battled through and finished strong.

Only negative I have about this competition is the wait time between each heat. Okay, it’s not a negative but because i’m overtly competitive I wanted to keep going. Sitting here typing this I’m grateful for those breaks. Haha.

WOD 2: 8 minutes to find a one rep max of the Clean and Jerk. 

Good work by all here. I came into this workout with a Clean and Jerk ORM of 145lbs. Definitely my weakest workout but I PR’d at 165lbs! So, that’s a 20lb jump. I’ll take it and run after the week I had. Still in agony.

WOD 3: 10 minute AMRAP (Already explained this above) 100 burpees while partner holds wall ball. Once 100 burpees are accomplished max amount of wall ball throws until time ends.

Boy, this was the workout I feared the most. By this juncture my body is wiped. My arms are weak, legs are cooked, and fatigue began to set in. Testing week is rough on the body because we test our limits and try to hit our best lifts. It takes a toll mentally and physically. I love it. I love the pain.

Faith and I did it, together as a team. We finished the final workout of the day and were able to get through the 100 burpees and wall ball throws before the 10 minute timer went off.

Competition over.

I had legitimate fear going into today. Why? I’ve been doing Crossfit for five months. Most of the competitors have doing this for at least 1-2 years. I wanted to step outside of comfort zone and do this. I wanted to be comfortable being uncomfortable. And it was tremendous. I enjoyed every second of this gig today. I want to thank my partner, Faith, for supporting me every step of the way. She busted her butt and deserved to feel a sense of accomplishment. Good for you, it was a pleasure.

So, bringing this all back around to my Ruth quote. Don’t let fear keep you from accomplishing your calling. Don’t let fear strap you to your couches or gaming systems. Get out and DO something. Be active, test your limits. The human body can do unbelievable things but it’s our mind that drags us down.

Finale:

What’s left of this Saturday? Well, I’m going to sit on my couch, watch Criss Angel ‘Mindfreak’ OnDemand and then prepare myself for an incredible Mexican dinner with my Fiancè and two incredible friends. Then Sunday, I’ll be heading down to Washington to watch the Philadelphia Eagles square off against the Redskins (can I still that name?).

Prediction: Eagles win 27-16

 

Wedding bells and Crossfit

These ‘introduction’ posts are usually just as it reads. ‘Introduction’ as in I’m supposed to introduce myself. So here it goes…

I’m Chris.

Phew, now that that’s out of the way let’s get down to some brass tacks as to what this blog was created for.

October 14, 2017:

That date is significant because on that very day I will officially become a married man. I’ll be hitched. No longer will I be available the beautiful women of the United States of America.

Morgan, you’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever met. Inside and out. God built every morsel of you with tenderness and concrete. If that makes sense. You’re tough and independent, yet, you love so deeply and unselfishly. I don’t deserve you but somehow this schlep landed the nicest fish in the ocean. I’m taking you and running! #Rawr

They’ll be much more about her during this journey. A Godly woman is a direction men should seek. Trust me.

Trust me when I say this, I’m arguably the most blessed man on God’s green earth. I don’t deserve what I have. No way in heck do I deserve Morgan. No way do I deserve the family I have and even the family that I’m gaining through marrying her. In now way do I deserve the unconditional love and support I have through my friends.

If anyone wants proof of God’s never wavering love just look right at yours truly. His love never fails.

I want to thank some people right now before I go on. It’ll be quick and painless, I promise. Just have to name these people. Sorry if you guys are embarrassed.

Dad- That word says it all. Anyone can be a ‘father’ but it takes a special man to be called ‘Dad’ and stay that. You’re one of my best men. And it’s been that way since day one. Literally.

Sean- My Best Man. My best friend. I can’t picture a world without you in it. I don’t know any different. Over 20+ years of friendship. You’ve always accepted me for me. And I’ll forever do the same. Thank you. When I wanted to die and/or talked as if that was an option you were right there. Jesus, I can’t tell you how grateful I am for you. Your integrity and reputation will always be protected with me. God bless you!

Jason- Man, I could not stand you when I first met you at Summerhill Hockey rink years back before a pickup game prior to my first season in the DHL. However, God works in mysterious ways. Since right before you left for your venture in Disney World you made a promise to me that others broke. You were a man of your word. You’re a class act and have an incredible future ahead of you. I hope I can be part of that with you. Thanks for being there for me. During my darkest times you were another one who never wavered.

Kyle H: We built a baseball team together after knowing each other for a few months. It was a bond built through our favorite sport. And it’s done nothing but grow since then. You can be harsh sometimes but that’s just your personality and it’s great. Thank you dude for believing in me. There were numerous times where I wasn’t right and you dropped everything and made me get up and go! God bless you.

Biddle: Dude…..I don’t know what to say. My goodness what haven’t we been through? I mean really? Whether it was Pearl Harbor for four years, or every other deployment you went on to protect my freedom. You and I have been through the gamete and more. Thank you for never leaving my side even though there’s been numerous times where I deserved just that.

Kyle B: Another one of those ‘unlikely matchups’ category nominee. I can’t even pinpoint how it all came about. But our passion for pro wrestling somehow showed us how much we have in common and enjoy talking to each other. You’re a great friend man and I’m looking forward to many more uncomfortable texts, slogans, memes, wrestling, and life conversations down the road.

Seb: My sweet Colombian. The man who has cheeks for weeks. Sheesh, it’s been a lot of weeks haha. In all seriousness, you’re the kindest soul I know. You, along with Kyle, dropped everything to aid me in my downfall years. Those moments will never be forgotten. Thank you for being so unselfish as a friend and just as giving.

Matt: Thank you for, on a few different occasions, dropping some caring knowledge and kind words when you felt you needed to. You’re a tremendous brother in-law, husband, and father. I’m happy to have you in my life regardless of angry I seem when you see me.

Brad & Zach: I love you guys. I mean, it’s pure, unconditional love. I’m looking forward to the day you both mature into young men. Whether you boys know it or not you helped shape me into the man I am today.

As you can probably tell, the names listed above are my groomsmen. Some of the best humans you’ll ever meet. Not may people can say they have two friends who they can trust their life with. Good, bad, and very ugly. I have quite a few. And I pray every single day that their lives continue to prosper and do everything God has called them to do. I love you guys.

Crossfit:

As I write this post I’m hours away from my first ever Crossfit competition at my gym: Crossfit Mount Laurel. I’m actually, and predictably petrified. Why? Because I am too competitive with myself. However, Crossfit has changed my life. In more ways than one. I’ll get into that in it’s own separate post but I’m addicted to it. To it’s regime, it’s culture, and the pain it brings me every day.

Finale:

Okay, I winged this entire post. That’s how this will be and I love the idea of it. With all the craziness going on right now in our country. With all the uncertainty happening right in our backyard this blog will bring me serenity. It’ll also help me show people my behind the scenes. What am I thinking, how am I feeling, and my open and honest thoughts on topics.

I want people to see my behind the scenes so I can remind myself not focus on their highlight reels.

I’m riding off into the sunset for tonight, I’ll catch you all down the road…

Father, Today I pray that I am giving of myself unselfishly. I pray I sacrifice my own comfort so that others may be more comfortable.

Chris