The REAL Warriors

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A while back, some years ago, I sent out an e mail talking about being a Warrior. I was referring to the mindset of getting after whatever it is you do and giving it your all.

As many of you know, I am always striving to personally grow & share my experiences with you to help YOU grow stronger, in mind, body & spirit.

Someone had replied and mentioned that I should be careful of telling others to be Warriors when the Real Warriors were out there on the front lines, in war, protecting our country.

He was right. But.... he forgot to mention another type of "Warrior" beyond the Military.

I'm talking about the men and women who Live The Code.

Honesty.

Integrity.

Commitment.

Work Ethic.

There are fakes and frauds out there claiming to be Warriors, when all they do is talk a good game, shouting from the roof tops telling others how to live when they themselves don't do jack shit beyond the rambling of their words.

Words alone do NOT give you the right to even come close to being a Warrior, let alone  calling yourself a Warrior.

The Warriors are the men & women who fight for your country & protect you (& your family) so you can sleep peacefully at night and enjoy your freedom day in and day out.

The other Warriors.... They are the parents out there, raising kids, often times, raising them on their own through challenging circumstances - ALL of them with dignity, respect & transparency. Transparency simply meaning they are the same person at all times. Integrity is one and the same.

Last week I received an e mail from a Mom who had her first daughter at age 16, got kicked out of her house a few months later and had to raise her daughter through tough times in life with all the cards stacked against her.

This Mom NEVER gave up and fell prey to doing unethical things to get the money to care for her daughter, even as a teenager. We ALL know that when we were teenagers our decision making skills certainly weren't the best.

This Mom never bailed on her daughter. Instead, she Lived The Code. This Mom pushed herself to set a strong example for her daughter by working hard and achieving goals in life when others would be busy making excuses, pointing the finger at others, blaming others and / or doing the wrong things.

SHE is a Warrior. She never gave up, she fought to do the right thing and lived with integrity. If I ever called myself a Warrior, then damn, I made a major mistake. I now focus on thinking like a Warrior, but to say I AM a Warrior, it's just not right.

I'm a Husband, Father & Coach. That is WHO I am and WHAT I am, through and through, mind, body & soul.

Yes, The REAL Warriors have spent time and sacrificed their time with loved one AND put their lives in danger to protect US. Thank YOU!

[youtube width="640" height="360"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSMlIM9zLio[/youtube]

I am embarrassed for using the word Warrior too loosely and simply being caught up in confusing aggressive action taking with being a Warrior. I prefer what Mark Divine speaks about, regarding Warrior Spirit, where we THINK with the mind of a Warrior. But, for me to call myself a Warrior would be a fraud. Maybe you feel indifferent, which is perfectly fine, we all are entitled to our opinions.

But deep down, you know if you truly are a Warrior or not.

Certain Martial Artists & Fighters, I would consider Warriors - the way they fight, the way they live, the way they think.... they have their own Code. I feel one of the biggest parts of the Code is that they never act out or speak in such a manner that isn't truly them (Again, Integrity). They treat others with respect and don't dishonor others, because doing so dishonors themselves and their family.

Warriors are people who are out there truly caring, truly giving their heart to others.

[youtube width="640" height="360"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nf5TWk87-GY[/youtube]

I'm a Husband, Father & Coach.

I'll do my darndest to be the Absolute BEST I can at those three and I am beyond blessed at that. I don't need to be a Warrior. I simply need to Live MY Code and give my family all the effort and love I possibly can, which honestly, it is never enough.

Just like all workouts, we, as people are flawed. We are NOT perfect & should never pretend to be. I f*ck up plenty of times. It hurts to make mistakes, trust me, I know.

I'm beyond happy to give my all when it comes to being a Husband, Father & Coach. It is when I am with my wife, my kids & the athletes I train that I feel in my heart that I am in the right place.

I hope you can find your own "right place" without caring what others think about these things. All that matters is that you tell the truth and do what you feel in your heart is the right thing to do.

I can only hope my words & videos inspire you to be the best you can be at what you REALLY are, not something or someone you pretend to be.

The TRUTH will always prevail.

Thank you for reading.

Stronger in Mind, Body & Spirit.

Live The Code

[youtube width="640" height="360"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXlYRl2rHkQ[/youtube]

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16 Responses

  1. Zach,
    very true and honest words right there.

    To center yourself in life is one of maybe 5 big goals in life everyone should have. That again can only be achieved through honesty, integrity and respect towards yourself and then to others. If you don’t realize that you will miss a huge part of life and its meaning.
    Happiness, success and other attributes can’t be achieved if you don’t build this foundation.

    How you achieve it – everyone has to find that out for himself.

    And maybe the even harder part of it is to hold on to it. To prove it day after day after day. Talk about work ethic, …
    Peace, …

  2. Hey Zach,

    Being an ex-martial artist this post really spoke to me.

    I’ve never been in war, so I can’t speak for those warriors. But a part of me has always felt that being a true Warrior – with a capital W – must have to do with being a guardian, a protector of life, of good things. Otherwise the warrior is just someone out there killing others for no good reason.

    The mother you mentioned, protecting her daughter through the tough times of life, she may not have fought in a war, but she has guarded and nurtured a life through challenging times. Like you, I feel that must count for something – the mindset of a guardian, or a Warrior, in the fight of life itself.

    Someone once made a comment to me that he felt a man wasn’t a man until he could do X number of pull-ups. That felt wrong to me and I couldn’t put it into words until I thought of my father. To me, a man is a real man not when he can do X number of pull-ups or X number of dead-lifts, but a man is a real man when he can take care of the people he loves.

    That’s a real man and a real Warrior to me.

    Thanks for the post.

  3. This is one of the greatest post I have ever read. Knowing some of the back story really makes it even better if thats possible. I will be shareing this one with every single member, family, and friend. It is so refreshing to know there are still people in the world with morals, passion, and the willingness to tell the truth. You may never say it and its one of the reasons you are a true warrior! One day soon there will literally lychanging of the guard in my gym.

  4. This is one of the greatest blog posts i have ever read. It tells the truth with integrity honesty and doesn’t worry about who it may offend. the truth is not always what people want to hear but is never the less the truth. Knowing some of the back story this really strikes home with me and warms the heart to know there are still people in the world with integrity and honesty that do what they say and say what they do!You call it living the code I call it filling in the blanks but no matter what you call it, more people should do it! I will be sharing this one with all my subscribers friend, and most importantly my family. Everyone in life must “own” their mistakes its what makes them a better person, with that in mind I should be a great person with all the mistakes I have made in life! However I am not half the man I should be and its because I haven’t Owned up to some of the mistakes I have made. I will soon right a few with a literal changing of the guard in my gym. It will not alone right every dumb thing I have ever done believe me, but it will keep me moving in the right direction. That is all we can strive for each day to take one step towards our goals. You will never say you are, and that it is what makes you a true warrior!

  5. Angel Otero says:

    Hey brother! Much of what you say hits me, but this spoke to my heart and compelled me to say something. I’ve been in the military almost half my life now and believe I’ve seen my fair share of the ugly out there. I have to say that we do not, nor should any of us feel as though we can stake a claim on the word Warrior. A Warrior looks after what matters most to him/ her. Family, friends, those less fortunate, etc. A Warrior doesn’t concern him/ herself, or waste time being offended by other people’s use of the word Warrior. We do not own this word. As a human being, as a free person, you define for yourself what you will consider a Warrior. I love and care for my wife and children. I’ve fought and will go and fight again. I mentor and care for as best as I can, those younger and less experienced than I am. I don’t know what a “Real Warrior” is. I don’t believe this is something we should even get into.

    Zach, it was a privelege to attend your cert. When you look me in the eye and speak, I believe what you say. As far as I’m concerned, that makes you a Warrior. Semper Fi!

    1. Angel, you’re the man. I got into this after I realized how some people are hurting others by faking it, when they, themselves are NOT living the code.

      VERY true, time should NOT be wasted on these things…. but there is a part of me that still feels the need to address people who are hurting others

      As a Coach, I am always in that place where I am out there trying to protect others, not exactly sure why, it is simply me being me.

  6. Dustin W. says:

    “Warrior” is a state of mind. There are those that go off to battle, and there are those that stay behind. Every family should function as an elite military unit. Covering each person’s blind side. There for support, and if needed to give their life.
    As someone that has been in the military I never saw the front. Or enemy face to face. My job was to provide support. I battled for years about my place within the ranks of the military community. “Could I consider myself a Warrior?” You could assert any Realitive definition to “Warrior”, but that would be true to you, and possibly a small segment of our world.
    You need to look at the essence of “Warrior”. Victory or Death!
    I feel this disconnect with our Warrior mentality has led to many of our social problems. Military warriors have the authorization to be aggressive. Yet we are told to be passive. Possibly joked as being a poser. But battles are not only found on the front line. Every day we are confronted with internal and external battles.
    Yes! A workout can be a war if you train for Victory or Death. Allowing this exercises our aggressive nature. Thus making us more social and loving.
    Warrior of Life is not easy by any stretch. I feel after last weeks trauma in Boston you can say that at any time you may be faced with a situation of life and death. Of you and your family.
    Through training (physically/mentally) you can train that Warrior mindset. I could go on with this because this is an area of passion for me.
    “It is not the one that yells the most you should fear, but the one that says nothing.”
    Zach I know where you are going with the first part of this post. We both felt the burn of a self proclaiming warrior prophet.
    You are leading the fight and education of this movement. Keep up the good work!

  7. Hey Zach, thanks for reminding us that you’re a human being who makes (gasp!) mistakes. I mess up every day, sometimes I try to bluff and sometimes I just come clean and say – “I was wrong.” Guess which one is so much easier?
    Also thanks for clearing the air on the use, and over-use of the word “warrior.” I’ve felt that the word is WAY overused, as is the word “Hero.” There are very few warriors among us. I sure as hell ain’t one. I do my best each day to raise my 2 kids each day and hopefully turn them loose on the world as confident, helpful members of planet earth.

    Keep up the good work and the ENTHUSIASM bro!

    cheers, Eric

  8. Mike Vertucci says:

    Z,

    Could not agree more man! In my time in the Army I have been places and have seen and done things that I would not want my loved ones and close friends to experience. Was it tough at times, yes but you knew you could count on all of the men you were with. Honestly, the civilian world can throw you a lot more curve balls in my opinion than the military. You know what to expect in the military, hell it’s what you signed up for. In the civilian world you have to pave your own path and to do that you need to live a certain way and the way you describe a warrior is exactly how each day needs to be lived. I have inserted a quote by MAC that I know you can relate with. Thank for sharing the words Zach. UTWW “Choosing a warrior’s path is simple, but it is definitely not easy. It requires “showing up” time and time again. It means making the right choices in the midst of adversity. It requires taking responsibility for your every action. And it requires the willingness to pay a price. But the benefits are tremendous. The ability to stay present to a moment, to understand beyond a shadow of a doubt that you can handle any situation, that you can face that path before you and see the right direction, and that you have the skills to walk along that path – these are rewards that will carry you as far as you want to go.” #UTWW

  9. Any time you can stay true to yourself and find the courage to believe when others doubt, stand up when others run, or speak the truth while others mislead you are demonstrating the Warrior Ethos. Zach, it’s clear that these are not mere words to you but a life code by which you measure yourself and hold others accountable too… and for that we are all made better. I’d highly recommend an amazing book by Steve Pressfield that describes this ‘code’ and ‘mindset’ it’s called “The Warrior Ethos”. It will speak to all Warriors… believe me. http://www.blackirishbooks.com/store/the-warrior-ethos/

  10. Zach,

    If you’re not a Warrior… I don’t know what is! I know where you’re coming from about not throwing the word around loosely… that itself shows your integrity. I think being a Warrior is a lot like perfection… it is an ideal we strive for, but something we may never truly reach.

  11. I had a similar discussion with a buddy of mine and I think what he wound up telling everybody will help (get to that in a moment). A group of my friends and I were talking, and a younger buddy, who had recently (just a little less than a year) joined the marines. The rest of us are veterans (in a traditional meaning- been deployed to Afghanistan and/or Iraq).

    The young guy said that he wanted to be “thrown into the $#!t” like some of the stories we have and are able to tell. Well a senior friend of mine said that anyone can be a warrior. Wars come in many different shapes than just conventional warfare. Taking a science or math class can be a war in and of itself. All that is required is some preparation, some training and a time to act. (You get ready for class, you get lectures take notes, spend time studying, and you are tested on your knowledge).

    Being a warrior is what the young one wanted. It got pointed out that he didn’t want to become a warrior, but rather a veteran. Even that got lowered and kind of motivation. He asked the kid “Do you know what a veteran is?” The kid answered “Yeah, it’s someone who has gone to war for their country.” He said “In a traditional sense yes, but let me redefine that for you. A veteran is someone who at one point of his life, whether alive or dead, active or retired, wrote a check with no expiration date on it to their country and its citizens for the amount of everything up to and including his life. If you are willing to make that check payable to anything for that same amount you are just as good as any warrior or veteran.”

    I hope that clarifies your personal definitions of a warrior.

  12. Zach, I am very impressed with the post of the “warrior” word or concept to explain a person or process. My perception of a “Warrior” is a person that will devote his or her time and life to combating evil….this I never easy and undefined. Just because you have weapons, persona, training “Skill sets”and title by organization, as a “warrior”, does not always make you a “warrior”, because you do not dispatch evil by assignment.
    I have seen gifted persons physically and mentally advance through a so called “ warrior” organizations,(SEAL,RANGERS, RECON, SP) because they have the ability to conform to the process. When they are called out to take care of business, at the level of evil, then only true warriors are able to perform. Looking evil in its face, is the true warriors goal.
    My personal experience with martial arts training during the Nam, war years, In Korea, I was able to advance to high levels as a fighter much faster and never failed training when those who were designated as “warriors” failed or came in after I did. Did I call myself a warrior because I bested the designated warrior class? Hell No! Because it was not my military job assignment to be a warrior. All this said was I had great warriors ‘skill sets” but was never tested.
    The “warrior title” Is thrown around to enhance publicity of one’s business or event that need s some motivation to make it successful . If you want to call your event “warriors death run” then most have to die so the winner to be successful. Just train very hard continuously and most will be impressed with the result.

  13. Zach, As a soldier and a martial artist I can tell you that not every soldier is a warrior and many warriors are not soldiers. It is your attitude and the way you conduct yourself that makes you a warrior. Those that fight for what they truly believe in on any front are warriors.

  14. Great post man. But to me, being a warrior is mainly about not being afraid of pain. About accepting the fact that you may, and will get hit. Get hurt. But despite this you still do your thing.

  15. Don Charles says:

    Thanks for this Zach! I think we are all warriors in our own mind and we can justify that anyway we can or know how, even sometimes just to push thru. When I hear in the media about our troops overseas fighting for our freedom, when I see a movie based on a true story with navy seals and other troops that give me goosebumps I sometimes wish I became one of them. When I hear stories of firemen running into a burning building to save someone and putting their life on the line and when I hear the stories of the police officer telling his family how much he loves them before he walks out the door to go to work b/c he may not come home the next day….I think to myself, I am no where near a warrior as much as these people are. But here is a brief story of me. I do the best I can. I love the best I know how and will make more efforts to love more, share more, volunteer more, help more. When I train 3-4 times a week, I give it my all, I push thru, I put my heart in it. I talk to my coaches, I ask questions all to become a better person than I was yesterday. When I run across random people at work or just pass me by people that see my progress on social media, and they criticize me, tell me why do I do what I do, i’m going thru a phase and it’s only a matter of time before I give up and become fat again….in the moment when I laugh to keep my dignity and control, I scream inside b/c I just can’t believe how some can be so discouraging, so not positive, so not supportive, but I learned people will be people and I have to be me, I have to know me, I have to own everything about me, I have to surround myself with positive thinkers, so I can laugh and not so much scream anymore, but tell myself, I am a warrior, not in the sense of fighting for my country, or saving the person in the building fire, or fighting crime in the street, but a warrior of the demons and negative thoughts that my subconscious can bring me to. I am a warrior who conquers the negativity that interferes in my world. Thanks for this brothar! Living the code! DC

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