You know... when I was writing my introduction blog I completely left out the fact that I have been in the fitness industry for about 12 years now working as a Fitness Professional.
That's just a fancy way of saying Personal Trainer.
It's been a lifestyle to me, but not necessarily an easy one. Hours of sacrifice and massive amounts of energy have gone into my career in the gym.
Now that I'm transitioning from wanting to be a Fitness Professional to wanting to be an artist and songwriter, I sometimes ask myself if it was all for nothing. My usual conclusion is, "Hell no."
For one, my sanity and mental clarity... Whenever I had a bad day in the Navy, I would go straight to the gym, load up a barbell with some solid 45 pound bumper plates (those are the think rubber ones), pick that barbell up over my head and slam it down on the ground as hard as possible. I did that until I was no longer angry or frustrated at my day. Then I would put a smile on my face and get off to the rest of my workout. Thank God I had that outlet!
Two, my health. I've always had very good numbers when it came time to get a physical check from the Dr. I've always been thankful for that. Someone once asked me if I would trade my health, wellness, and fitness for a 6 figure job. My answer was, "Negative. I won't trade a 6 pack for 6 figures. I'll earn my 6 figure job eventually because I will be able to out work the other guy for it."
Three. It gave me a purpose, inspiration, and motivation. I've been surrounded by wonderful people who are successful and who have worked hard regardless of their stress or energy levels. They were dedicated when nobody demanded them to be. I've seen thousands of pounds lost from people who had weight loss goals. I've seen extreme fitness goals accomplished by people who never started working out until they were in their 40's. I woke up before the sun to train clients and I stayed until late at night after the last person left to make sure my gym was tidy for the next day. I had the drive because people counted on me. That is priceless.
Four? I got to look good naked all these years!
And last, but not least, I got to overcome adversity and had the sports of CrossFit and bodybuilding to fuel and satisfy my competitive nature. When I did bodybuilding, I felt like something was missing and I didn't like how it was all about aesthetics. It was fun while it lasted, but when I found CrossFit and I had to outperform the other guy, that was a high like no other. There have been countless workouts where I was neck and neck for the win and based on my final leg of performance, I either won or I lost. But I had that competition and I had something to work for. Best of all, I've had the camaraderie. The only other place I've found that kind of connection to other people is the military. There is just something about having to share a bucket of suck that brings people very close together.
I'm telling you right now, the people and the friendships you make in a gym family can fill the holes in your life. Each person I've come across in the gym has been a lesson to me. I hope I've been able to touch some lives along the way because my gym families have done that for me.
SO what are you waiting for? Get out there, get a gym family, get healthy, be happy, and be a better you. If there is anything I can do to share some knowledge and experience, let me know. I'm happy to help.
While you're at it, please make sure to iTunes and download my album "Long Road." Music is how I put food on the table so I appreciate your support! Thank you!
Share this with your friends on Facebook too and be sure to tag @gregwhitejrmusic! #FeelTheLove
I hope you had a wonderful 4th of July holiday! Mine was absolutely incredible. I played a show in Safety Harbor, FL, got a spend time with my family and friends, and the fireworks were fantastic! God bless America!
I've been asked why I do music for a career.
Isn't it obvious?
I want to own my own island, strum my guitar in front of thousands of adoring fans, and come up with a ridiculous contract rider that includes, but is not limited to, only green M&Ms, random action figures, and some form of construction work necessary to ensure my personal comfort.
No, not really. *wink
Although the aforementioned ideas would be nice, it's certainly not why I choose to do music for a living.
Can you remember the first song you ever loved? What was it? How many songs have you loved since then. What song do you love right now?
I remember one of the first country songs I loved was Alan Jackson's "Living On Love". I also loved Mel McDaniel's "Baby's Got Her Blue Jeans On".
To me, it's all about the song. Songs shape us and put imprints on our lives. If one day, my music puts an imprint on someone's life, I will consider myself successful.
I was asked once if I had any encouraging words for songwriters or artists who were struggling in this brutal, ever changing industry.
Yes, I do. These words can really apply to any job or profession out there. Keep a smile on your face and feed the love for music that you have often. Keep writing songs. Write good songs, write bad songs, write long ones and short ones too. Write a song for the world and write a song just for you that nobody else will hear.
Be joyful, have fun, and be easy to work with. That type of attitude is needed and wanted in this industry. It's stiff and hard and everyone wants a person around who is going to make life a little easier or at least more enjoyable.
Don't fall into the nonsense that everything you write has to be a hit. Some songs will be hit material, but most will not. That's just the way it is. Don't get so tied to a song that the outcome of that song defines you. There's always another song. There's always a better song.
If the smile leaves your face and you find yourself getting angry because of the industry, then it is time to reevaluate. I've heard songwriters literally getting mad at conferences because somebody didn't like a song or collection of songs that they had written. They got mad and actually mouthed off to the speaker. Well, I think it's easy to say that person isn't getting a gig anytime soon. They didn't help their situation at all and they forgot why they were there in the first place; the love of a song.
For you songwriters that are reading this...
I learned a wonderful tip at an NSAI (Nashville Songwriter's Association International) conference in Nashville last year. I believe Brent Baxter was the speaker. He said when you are writing a song, write no less than 200 words of that song and then finally the good stuff will start to come out. Trust me, it works. Don't always settle for the first words you write. Most times those first words will be cliche and typical. The fresh and original lyrics will eventually come out. Just keep writing!
Hope you all have an amazing Wednesday! Please check out my album "Long Road" on iTunes or Spotify and don't forget to download them! Music is how I put food on the table. Thank you for your support!
What's Your Favorite Holiday?
Wow! This blogging thing is pretty cool. Thank you guys for the positive response. See, you inspired me to write again so soon!
So with the 4th of July coming I feel compelled to tell you that THIS IS MY FAVE HOLIDAY!!
I mean, what's not to love?
I know, I know, some of you are thinking that your birthday is your favorite or Christmas. What about Christmas?! No. It's just not the best holiday. Sorry. *sad face
4th of July is about friends and family and the grill and the refreshing beverages that cool you down when the sun is burning hot. You can relax and enjoy time and not stress out about the cold, or whether folks like their presents or if you made every recipe you could think of for 30 people for Christmas dinner.
Yes, Christmas is Jesus' birthday, but back in 1776, Jesus gave us America. So...BOOM, 4th of July it is! Thank you Jesus!
Anyway, the reason I love the 4th of July is for many reasons including nostalgia. I love that it gives people a reason to have summertime parties, get together in their swim suits, grab a cold beer, throw meat on the grill and socialize however seems fit for them. Go ahead, kick your shoes off, throw on some damn good music, sit in your favorite chair at your favorite place and just breathe in the greatness that America has to offer.
One particular 4th of July that I remember, a bunch of friends and I went to a lakehouse in PA and had the weekend of our lives. We piled two kegs of Budweiser in the back on my buddies Ford, took an extra special trip the grocery store to pile up on Ballpark hotdogs and chips (cuz we spent all our money on beer and fireworks), and headed to our destination. Our destination was a two story lakehouse about 50 yards uphill from the edge of the water. There was a little dock that extended maybe 10 yards out into the water. Surrounded by trees and privacy, that was our little piece of paradise for the weekend.
I remember we sat out on the back deck and drank beers, grilled dogs, and hit the beachball back and forth. That game (dont' let it hit the ground or drink) was so much fun and I think it made it even better that we didn't have a care in the world.
Call us crazy and stupid, but we had a blast having firework battles. Yes, it's exactly what you think. We would shoot fireworks at each other. Sure, it was dangerous, but it was fun as hell and wouldn't you know it, we survived just fine.
One fella that was with us (good dude) was having a bit of an attitude down by the lake. Encouraged by the amount of Budweiser we drank, we decided to shoot little bottle rockets at him for some fun. Don't worry, we weren't even getting close. He didn't think it was funny, but man, we sure did! We were rolling with every snap of the bottle rocket. Well, eventually we ran out of small ones and the bottle rockets started getting a little bigger (still missing), then a little bigger (still missing), until POP, we nailed him! Right in the arm! And he let out a yell that puckered our butts and he hit the ground!
We took off running for him. He was screaming like we'd shot his damn arm off! When we reached him, we discovered that we had a direct hit right on his left arm below the main body of the shoulder muscle.
Besides a little redness and black soot, he was just fine. But he was pissed! And rightly so. But, giving his condition was A ok, we just thought it was the funniest thing since Richard Pryor!!
Everything turned out fine. He eventually got over it and joined us for some delicious burgers on the grill that night. We went all out on the burger condiments too. Spared no expense. Am I making you hungry? Good.
I should mention that our theme playlist for that weekend was Three Days Grace One-X. We just played it on repeat. Oh, and Panic at the Disco's I Write Sins Not Tragedies. I'm sure there was some country music and Eminem in there some place, but those two particular artists I remember clearly. See, I'm a multifaceted music lover. *wink Whenever I hear those two songs, I go right back there. Love how music does that.
Now obviously there were the beer games like flip cup, cornhole, and beerpong, but the activity I enjoyed the best was swimming in the lake. We swam a decent distance to a little island sitting out in the middle of the lake. We took a cooler with sandwich fixings (on a raft) and ate a nice picnic lunch right there. It was serene. It was peaceful. It is a great memory.
But of course, the peace didn't last too long. We swam back across the lake to the house and started in on the kegs again!
Now at this point we had run low on fireworks, so there was one of us not partaking in beverages (my buddies girlfriend) because she didn't feel well. She drove a crew of us to the nearby fireworks stand were we proceeded to buy about $350 worth of fireworks of all types. We got them all! Red, white, and blue sprinklers, bottle rockets, and aerials. The works!
We got back to the house and waited until nightfall. Super excited for the show and well equipped, we all shuffled down to the edge of the lake where I proceeded to set up the first firework. It was a single aerial firework that I picked out of the bunch and proudly set up to be the start of an amazing display for America. No sooner did I light the firework and had back away, did I realize that I put the damn thing in upside down. As I concluded my thought, the cannon exploded on the ground and damn near sent us all tumbling over in surprise.
We started to recover ourselves when somebody shouted, "The fireworks are on fire!"
That sent us scrambling for the trees just as $350 worth of fireworks went off! Talk about a grand finale! Fortunately we all got out of the way without our asses catching fire, but let me tell you something, there is nothing like watching that many fireworks go off when you are hiding behind a tree as some of them whiz right passed you. HOLY Moley! They were going in every direction! Firing across the lake, up in the air, right at us sometimes, those fireworks were giving us a solid lesson in Karma.
Finally, the excitement died down and fella we had shot with the bottle rocket walked right up to the other fella who had shot it at him and yells, "See! You shouldn't have shot me with that #choiceword firecracker!" He had us rolling once again!! We laughed all the way back up to the house where we continued the festivities without hesitation.
We were crazier than hell back then, but you know, sometimes that's what makes great stories and memories that last forever. Sometimes you just gotta let go and live a little.
However, now I'm a safety conscious father so my craziness has decent limits these days.
Happy 4th of July weekend to every American and I pray that we always have our freedom to create great memories for ourselves and our children! Feel free to share your memories in the comments.
Please don't forget to check out my song "4th of July" on iTunes and download it for your weekend! Music is how I put food on the table. And thank you!
Disclaimer: This is a story from the past. I do not condone drinking irresponsibly. Please practice sound firework safety and read the instructions before celebrating! Probably best to have a sober person placing your fireworks right side up! *wink
Love you guys! Thanks for the support! #FeelTheLove
Ok, so why a blog?
Every once in a while you get the inspiration to say something. Right? That's pretty much it.
But to be completely honest, "every once in a while" happens to me more often than ever before. Maybe it's because I've been around 32 years and think I have a little wisdom to share (at least I hope I do) or maybe it's because sometimes I feel like writing things down is a great way to clean the slate for new thoughts and new inspirations.
Either way, here it is. My first post.
I'd love to commit to some scheduled writings but for now, how does this sound? I will write a post about something as it pertains to music and then something that doesn't. Maybe a story of my life or a story from someone else's that I find particularly interesting and think you might too. I'll write when I feel inspired so it isn't forced. I want this blog to be as real as possible. Cool?
Who am I?
I am a God-fearing Christian. By no means perfect, but saved by grace none-the-less. I don't follow a particular "religion", my faith is my own as is my relationship with my Creator. I'm not pushy or judgemental, but we can talk about it if you want.
I love my family and consider myself a family oriented person. I'm a husband to a beautiful wife and a father to an amazing little boy. I got really lucky here!
I love America and Americans (some more than others) with my men and women of the Armed Forces being at the top. I'm not uber political, but I'm starting to realize I have an opinion in these matters.
I am a Veteran and a patriot. Go Navy! Go Marines! Go Airforce! Go Army! Go Coast Guard! I have family that have served (and retired or almost retired) in each branch. If you are a Veteran, thank you for your service! If you are not a Veteran, please thank a Veteran. It means more than you know.
I am a creative spirit. I love to write songs and poetry, play music, produce, and even paint (though I don't paint much). I have my first record, "Long Road," out for the world to hear. I also love other creatives, writers, poets, authors, artists, singers, rappers, sculptors, and anyone else who uses imagination to make something the world (or someone) can enjoy.
I love to drink beer, shoot guns, and hoot and holler til all hours of the night! I have a particular fondness of the outdoors, adventures and wild things. I like to hunt, but I like sleeping in the woods more than actually shooting animals. I like to fish a lot more than I like to hunt and I love to go camping.
I think that's good for now.
Please comment below and let me know a little about you. It is wonderful to meet you and hopefully we will draw some inspiration from each other in the blogs to come!
Please download my album on iTunes! Music is how I put food on the table. #FeelTheLove