THE ORIGIN OF THE DR1VEN PHILOSOPHY
THE DREAM THAT STARTED ALL
It was 2 pm in the morning I woke up from a crazy nightmare. It was the dream that started all. I saw myself climbing a huge mountain in a heavy winter storm and my hands slipped. I fell in the abyss vanishing in the dark screaming in fear. The dream was so real my hands were shaking when I woke up. Sweat dripping from my brow and my heart pounding at 100 miles/hour as if I was attacked by a starving grizzly bear.
I then came to realization I couldn't move my shoulder. I had injured my rotator cuff badly doing heavy push presses during a shoulder workout. For the first time of my life, I felt the pressure of getting old. I wasn't 20 years old anymore. My recovery was getting slower. Every time I cheated on sleep or diet my body punished me for it. My knees were an additional issue. I fucked them up playing high-level basket for 13 plus years. My cartilage was used up. I had a cartilage of a 40 plus-year-old man in my left knee (according to my MRI). Every time I’d squat or go heavy on a leg day. The next morning I'd limp like a 70 year old man with a hip replacement surgery. It was bad and it started to affect my psyche. For the first time in my life, I started to doubt my athletic abilities.
(14 years before)
I remember my father telling me SON there is no HIGH like the HIGH of youth in your early 20's. He was an elite athlete in his young years. I couldn't fathom what he was saying back then. At that time I couldn't conceptualize his idea. At 20 (if you're a high-level athlete) you feel invincible. Recovery is instant and your athleticism is up to the roof. As you age your body deteriorates and you lose a lot of your athletic capacity. Your recovery slows down and injuries become a heck of a challenge.
A FORGOTTEN STRENGTH IN THE PAST- NATURAL ABILITY
I spent the rest of that night sitting on my sofa thinking about that dream.
What was the point why was I climbing a mountain in a storm and what was the meaning of me slipping and falling. Maybe that was a representation of my actual life. I had no clue what I was going to do with my life? I was 29 years old working for a telecom company as an account receivable agent. It's just a fancy word for people who call you to collect your money when you're late on your phone bills.
I hated that job to death but was afraid like most people to leave cause the pay was decent and I had to pay the bills. I was behind on most of them...
This is not the life I had envisioned for myself at age 29. If I could go back in time and ask myself at age 20 where would I be at age 29? The answer would have been much different... But like most people I derailed from my purpose, I doubted my natural abilities and listened to what others had to say. I stopped following my heart. And went with an average approach like most people in my surrounding. I was afraid to fail AGAIN like in my early 20’s and not sure if my plan would create success one day. I let doubt killed my faith.
Maybe it was part of the process maybe it was meant to be. Maybe all this confusion was to make me realize the only thing I should listen to or follow is my heart and block the noise that's coming from the outside world. All answers are within.
I remember reading a book called strength finder 2.0. the author wrote an entire book on the idea of why you should only focus on your strength and not your weaknesses. Strength meaning something you're naturally good at. It comes to you without a second thought, it's almost instinct based a natural ability.
Sitting on my sofa I started to think what is my goddamn strength/natural ability? What is that thing I do naturally effortlessly? After a few minutes of deep thinking. The only thing I could grasp my mind around was sports. I was always good at athletics as long as I can remember. But for some reason like the great majority of people, I always thought it's a normal thing and not a big deal.
I was baffled with an injured shoulder and banged up knees. Not knowing exactly if I’d be the same again. Evoking doubt and fear in something I always had unshakable belief.
(I remembered those voices in my head)
Are you really that good? If you would be you'd recover faster... You'd run faster jump higher, lift heavier... But you're not. Your best years are behind. Like most athletes, you're getting older. Maybe you should find a decent job and forget all these crazy dreams of making your body a machine and helping others do the same after your 30's... Maybe you're not meant for this. You're not what you think you are...
These were the conversation running through my mind... As I thought about all the self-negative talk, I rewinded the tape in my head all the way to 7th grade looking for clues. How I ended up here?
THE FORGING OF SKILLS THROUGH DISCIPLINE
During my years playing basketball. I had learned a lot of great lessons that would serve me in challenging times.
I discovered the mysterious power of persistence consistency and focus. I wasn't gifted to play basketball. I was 5"9 on a skinny 145 pound frame. I remember getting cut from my high school team in grade 7. Because I sucked at playing ball and I was small and skinny. As I was making my way out of the gym, one of the folks laid his arm around my shoulder and yelled " Yo it's ok man you don't have to cry you'll be the waterboy of the team.” And the whole gym busted in laughter as I hasted my way out in shame.
I came home that night embarrassed, humiliated I went to my room and cried. There was hate and anger in every tear coming out of my eyes. I remember promising myself this will never happen again. It was like nothing mattered anymore. All I wanted was to become the best basketball player that school had ever seen. And PROVE TO MYSELF no one can talk you down like he did.
So I made a firm decision and told myself I'm going to outwork every man in that team. I'll outwork them outsmart them and beat them whenever I'll get my opportunity. Thus I went into a serious preparation mode.Forging my skills through relentless discipline.
I was up at 5 am every morning to hit the court in the park close to my house before heading to school. On weekends I’d spend 8-10 hours on that court working on my craft. This whole thing became an obsession. The more I practiced the more my obsession grew. My focus increased exponentially and my confidence followed.
Basketball was all I thought of during high school. I just wanted to be the best I could be. 5 years later I was the only kid who went on to play AAA basketball in college from my high school team. Basketball gave me an identity it showed me if you want something you have to become obsessed in its attainment and close out all distractions.
So why am I telling you all this? Because I believe everything that happens in your life good or bad brings along a seed of an equal opportunity. And those opportunities shape your identity based on the choices you make.
This part of my life is called: self-consciousness. The discovery of my talents and abilities through hard work and relentless dedication.
INTRODUCTION TO THE IRON-THE OUTWARD MANIFESTATION OF WHAT WAS LIVING IN THE INSIDE.
The next part started in college. I still remember like it was yesterday.
I was in the first tryouts for my college AAA basketball team. At the end of the practice, the coached pulled me aside and told me to meet him in his office. I was a bit nervous since he didn't tell me the reason behind his meeting.
As I sat down across his desk he voiced:
SON If you wanna keep playing ball if you wanna go play with the big boys you need to man up. You need to add some meat on those bones...
I was 5"9 145 pounds of solid nerve. Fast explosive and agile but that wasn't enough to take me to the next level. I remember him saying, you're fast but you're light like a chopstick you need to get bigger and stronger. You have 6 months or I'll have to cut you from the team. I wanna see you in the weight room at least 4 times a week.
He handed me a sheet of paper with a program on it and told me to meet up the athletic coach tomorrow morning at 6:30 am.
Next morning I woke up at 5 to make it on time to meet the athletic coach in the college gym. I got there a few minutes early. I noticed he was already there and expecting me.
We started to hit some weights. My first experience with the iron was despicable I hated it because I sucked at it. I could barely bench 95 pounds and squat 135lbs for 5reps.
I had to figure a way to enjoy my gym session if I wanted to keep my spot on the team. So I kept going and just trusted the process. Even when I hated to be there every freakin morning... It was torture but I swallowed my pride and refused to look back. I remained focused and kept pushing forward.
Long story short after 6 months of hitting the gym consistently I packed on a solid 25 pounds on my tiny chopstick frame and got stronger like I've never been before. Everything about me had changed I felt good looking at myself in the mirror, I suddenly had more attention from girls. I was faster jumped higher and I could muscle bigger guys around without using my speed. It felt awesome. For the first time of my life, I felt like a superhero.
Strong athletic and unstoppable. I was developing a profound relationship with working out. It was like meditation. After 6-month I was addicted to the process. Basketball gave me an identity but weightlifting gave me dignity and pride. it showed the power of molding your body into a machine by surrendering yourself to the realm of the iron.
I call the gym “THE IRON TEMPLE” because it was an hour with myself /alone, meditation and introspection. The journey within. Facing my fears and doubts. I saw the physical manifestation of what I created in the inside.
This part of my life is called SELF-REVOLUTION - The outward manifestation of what was living in the inside.
MEETING WITH OPPORTUNITY
As I sat down on my sofa my eyes went on a folded piece of paper laying on the living room table. I reached out grabbed the paper on sheer curiosity and hover over as I unfolded it slowly.
The day before a very close friend of mine had written a small business plan for me on that paper. We were talking about starting a FITNESS brand and I would be the face of that brand. At the top of the sheet, he had written DR1VEN and underneath underlined " DR1VEN IS YOU". I remember him looking me deep in the eyes and saying I've never seen a man has DR1VEN as you. This is you your philosophy of why you keep pushing hard in the gym even when you're not going to compete or win a prize.
I stood their silently looking at that sheet of paper. Realizing this was my meeting with opportunity…
DR1VEN stands for an uncomplicated life philosophy that I express in a single quote:
" MAKE SAVAGE THE BODY BUT SOPHISTICATE THE MIND".
As the great Socrates said " No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training…what a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable"
Every Man/Women has the obligation to build their body to its ideal. Here’s what I mean by IDEAL:
I do not see fitness as we see on Instagram nowadays. Showing off your abs, flexing in front of the camera. Using a bunch of illegal drugs for the wrong reason to satisfy an EGO trip. And then pretending you're clean,natural/ drug-free and spend 3 hours per day training. When in reality you're cheating with yourself with a needle in your ass and telling others it's all hard work and sweat...
FIRST no one’s got 3 hours to spend in a gym unless you're an Olympic athlete or a professional bodybuilder. Matter of fact people who do stay 3 hours in a gym have either nothing better to do with their time or have the wrong approach toward their physical fitness.
Second : You don’t need a GYM to build an awesome body.
And Third: 30 to 45 minutes 3-4 times a week is all you need to get in the best shape of your life.
DR1VEN is simply a smart approach for an average men/women to take control of their physical/mental fitness and forge the paramount version of themselves.
It is a lifelong philosophy that stands for the full extent of human potential through physical and mental training. It is the science and art of forging your body to its very best no matter your age. Inducing key disciplines that carry the potential to chisel your mind into an unstoppable force.
As the saying goes “FORGE THE MIND AND THE BODY SHALL FOLLOW.”
I will elaborate a lot more in the upcoming chapters. How you can use DR1VEN not just to improve your physique but to build an unshakable mind that'll tackle your biggest fears.
I'll also share how I was able to come back from my injuries and beat all my lifting records at age 33 while working at 2 jobs.
Welcome to DR1VEN
To be continued…