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    News & Updates

March 19, 2018


Hard Knock Life

In a deep conversation about life some time ago, I was asked point blank if I have ever really had to struggle. While initially taken aback, my foolish pride kicked in as I started rattling off a slew of impressive things. “Of course I’ve struggled,” I retorted, followed by a complete biography of “First of all, I…” and “Then I…”, and “Not to mention I…”. At the end of my dissertation, I felt fairly confident I had proven my case in the court of public opinion, however, the real point of the conversation wouldn’t dawn on me until some time later.
Life has a funny way of making you eat your words. In boxing terms, it’s a counter puncher. You throw your best jab, and it comes over the top with a right hook that knocks you flat out before you even saw it coming. What I didn’t know in the midst of my rant about my “struggle”, was that life had a right hook waiting in the wings; locked, loaded, and ready show me that even though I had done things that were hard, I had never actually experienced true struggle, and it was about to show me the difference.
The time that followed was uncharted territory. Nothing I had done prior, regardless of how hard it was, could prepare me for it. It was a dark and hopeless place, which opened my eyes to a part of my brain I never knew existed. It made me question everything. It made me want to quit. It made me want to change. But in all reality, it was probably one of the most important times of my life because it made me want to take action. It showed me that doing what is hard, or difficult, in life is about testing your will to succeed. Whereas the struggle…real struggle…is about testing your will to survive.
In doing what is hard, you may come up short from time to time, fall down, or take a few losses. Don’t mistake those times for real struggle and adversity, as they will leave you hopelessly unprepared. “There are levels to this game,” as UFC champ Daniel Cormier once told an opponent, and life’s challenges are no exception. If you have done things that are hard, I commend you. If you have experienced struggle in its truest form, the kind that takes your breath away along with all your facades, don’t miss your chance to take advantage of this gift from life. It is here where you will find yourself, you will find your friends, you will find your propensity to take action, you will find your hunger, you will find what has true meaning, and most of all, you will find your will to live.
-CPT Ryan
March 12, 2018



When it feels forced. When the harder you try, the worse it works out. When everything you say is misunderstood, and everything you do is misinterpreted. When you start thinking something is just plain wrong with you, and there is no way up and no way out because, really, who would want you anyway? When you start having those feelings, and they start creeping into every aspect of your life, realize that you aren’t a failure, you have simply misapplied your passion into something which is not compatible with what you have to offer, or what you were meant to do.
We get so spun up about what we should do with our lives, we lose sight of what we could do with our lives. We mistake acceptance for success, and chase the accepted instead of the unexpected, one day realizing we have worked ourselves into something we never really wanted but thought we needed, and now we just can’t fake the funk any longer. And that’s okay.
It’s okay to be a misfit. It’s okay to lack acceptance. It’s okay to have gone down the wrong path, and it’s certainly okay to change course in exchange for what you were meant to do. The most successful among us, the truly successful ones, not the most distinguished or most decorated, but the ones who made a life of chasing their dreams, were all once the misfits who were misunderstood and misinterpreted. So make no mistake about it, you may not fit in, but why would you want to anyway?
-CPT Ryan
March 5, 2018


For Them

When you are losing faith, and coming to the end of your rope…look around. When you have tried everything you can to make your vision a reality, but you just can’t seem to get anything to work…look around. When the pep talks, the speeches, and the motivational social media posts lose all their luster and meaning, and you feel like you just can’t find the spark in anything anymore…look around. And when you are just done, tapped out, given up, and all you want is a way out of the suck…look around.
Look around and you will see the faces of the people who don’t just believe in what your capable of, they know what you are capable of. They believe in everything about you. They have your back, they have sacrificed for you, they have walked through fire for you, and they would follow you to the depths of hell, all just so you could succeed. No different what you feel, and would do, for them. Just look around. You know these people are there, even if you don’t want to admit it.
When you have lost the will to do it for you, look around, and do it for them. Be the person they see in you. Be the person they have invested their time, love, and compassion in. It can’t always be about everyone else, or for everyone else, but until you can do it for you again, do it for them. Behind every success is a low point, a point of seemingly no return shrouded by the darkest of days. But if you can just look beyond yourself for a second, and see the people behind you, there you will find the grit to keep going, because you better believe they would do the same for you.
CPT Ryan