Thanks, Carl Miller

I’ve been so busy in life, doing all the things I have to do for school, and donating so much of my time to pleasing others that I have forgotten a central aspect of my own developmental trajectory.


Those old, Saturday matinee, evening and night martial arts films. This is one of those things I can say for sure, “I got it from my mama!!” My mother, ever the ecletic woman when it came to hobbies, had more martial arts films than I do comic books and that my friends is LOT. Since I was 5, I remember watching Bruce Lee open a can of whoopass on bad guys. I saw all the Bruce Lee clones (Bruce Li, even the black version, Bruce Leroy!!!) My mother had movies with Jet Li, Jackie Chan, Bolo Yeung all these guys. It’s amazing.

I remember loving martial arts films to the extent that I bought a pair of nunchakus, although they seemed to have been lost some time before my first marriage. Whew.

This week has been so draining with school. I’m SOOOOO close and SOOOOO far away. After another late night, I wound up arriving home at 3:00 am, and after failing to go to sleep, wound up streaming “Game of Death” (my all time favorite Bruce Lee movie) and just remembering all these fight scenes I would watch with my mother. This among many ways is how I connect I think with her when I miss her, and I miss her every day. As I was watching Bruce Lee kick ass last night, it occurred to me from a developmental standpoint, this may in some way explain that old “yellow fever” that I’ve had since like 11 or 12 where I thought Asian women are so lovely, and continue to find them as such today. It all begins with my mother, who by the way just for the record had  BIG crush I think on Bolo Yeung and Jet Li. Whenever, Bolo would get on screen she would always get really quiet and talk about how big and manly his muscles were.

Coincidentally, Daddy Orangemask didn’t seem to like the guy very much…

After watching so many of these as a kid, I remember once that I wanted to take martial arts classes. We didn’t have the money to do so, but I remember studying up on so many different types of fighting styles, and ultimately settling on wanting to learn Bojitsu. I had SO many dreams of things I wanted to do as a kid what happened to those?

Not that I’m the biggest Nicki Minaj fan, but even her video for “Your Love”, I remember watching several times. No, I didn’t watch it for her Anaconda despite what you might think. I liked the fighting in it. Even with Power Rangers, Ninja Turtles and the like, this Easter philosophies of mind and body and using this to defend oneself while staying healthy always appealed to me. So I can’t believe I’ve made absolutely NO PROGRESS towards doing that, especially when I’m looking for a new spark in my fitness routine (running is getting old, swimming was a big fat fail, and I seem to bore of weights…not the best combination).

As tired mentally, physically and emotionally as I’ve become lately, I felt so energized watching this scene and some of these old clips. I remember as a child when this part of “Game of Death” showed. My mother and I had pretty much memorized every line to it. After Bruce knocks Carl into the locker, my mother and I would prepare to say in unison those famous four words that EVERY Bruce Lee fan knows: “You Lose, Carl Miller.”  You knew, you just knew, when you heard that music come on, and saw Bruce in his yellow jumpsuit, that was gonna be somebody’s ass. That suit was so iconic, that Quentin Tarentino used it in homage in Kill Bill.

Kill Bill! And look stylish while doing so.

Kill Bill! And look stylish while doing so.

These memories are so valuable to me. So cherished. My mother really put emphasis in spending time with us and encouraging us to appreciate the arts: movies, books, shows, etc. So in my time of weariness, I can return to those. I haven’t watched a martial arts film since probably the early 2000’s…when mama was still here in the physical. But last night… last night we watched our favorite film together. And today, I have this energy I can’t explain that will hopefully get me through another all nighter.

I love my mother. And 2015 will be a year of getting back to the roots of many of the things she taught me and gave me.

Bronze Colored Waters

North Carolina native Clay Aiken may have said it best:

“On my way here, where I am now, I’ve learned to fly I have to want to leave the ground; I’ve fallen hard but I’ve been loved, and in the end it all works out. Faith has conquered fear. On my way here […] I’d rather try and fail, 1000 times denied at least whenever you feel pain, it lets you know that you’re alive.”

 The beautiful shores of Hawaii. Is there any site better on this planet?

Best view of Hawaii!!

Best view of Hawaii!!


Today,  I do something I never thought I would. I conquer my swim fear. I’ve already posted the story of how the fear came to be. And how it’s stayed with me. What I haven’t done is talk about what it means to get rid of it. It’s official for me. I signed up for lessons. And my first one is today. I have my swim trunks. I’ll probably buy goggles later. I even have my sandals.

You see I’m a runner. I run. Running is calming. Running is safe. Running is an old habit that I am prepared to do at any minute. I haven’t run in months, yet earlier this evening I told myself that I was going to run due to the stress from school and the fact that I do miss working out daily. I’ve given myself visions of racing in and winning a 10K. A half-marathon. Who knows how far I could take it if I really submitted myself to daily training, and a strict diet. I could take running far, because I’ve done it for years. Well over a decade. But as I ran this morning, a thought occurred to me. Running is a lot of things to me.

But running is also a crutch. It doesn’t require work. It requires almost nothing from me save the investment in a new pair of nikes, which I absolutely need at this point (Orange preferably, size 11-12… in case anyone is keeping score… ). I run a distance of 5K pretty much whenever I want to and to be completely honest, in 3 weeks prep, I could run a 10K. Easy. When I lived at the beach, I would come home from school and run that distance nightly. In life both figuratively and literally, running is always the easiest option for me. Always. Just put foot to ground and keep it moving. I can use running to hide. You see, I will tell myself that I am doing it to get fit. That I am doing it to train for a future race. I’ll deceive myself that I am doing it to start my day off on the right foot. Or end my stressful day that I just endured. I might even post a picture to Instagram because well, fitness selfies are in vogue right now.

But the truth is, I’ll be running is the best way for me to control the anxiety that goes with thinking about swimming. this morning I got up early and ran because it’s the last chance I’ll have to run away from what I have to face. It’s not everyone’s challenge. But it’s mine. To put on swim trunks and walk into the recreation center, and meet a trainer. That is exciting yet difficult all in the same breath. I have to face the one thing I’ve been running from forever. The water.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve taken pictures like this at the beach or at fancy hotels:

Managing the Water...

Managing the Water…

Me nervously smiling while my legs dangle in the water. In a pool that’s 3 feet. What the picture doesn’t reveal is that by the time I’ve sat down on the edge, I’ve already calculated how deep the pool is, and how far out I can walk in it and still have my arm on the guardrails, as well as the location of all 4 lifeguards in attendance. Just in case stuff goes south.

A funny memory: Senior Beach Week in Myrtle Beach, SC. My friends and I had rented out a hotel for a weekend. It was awesome! But I remember we also had a large pool in the back. Not very deep at all. I had walked out and somehow in the actual pool had tripped or lost my footing. I remember I began to panic and I said, “I’m drowning!” My guy friends all looked at me and laughed, deservingly so… one of my friends simply said, “Why don’t you try standing, Calvin.”  Sure enough, the pool was about 4 feet deep…while I was 5’10 tall. “Oops…right,” I remember squeaking out. It was all in good humor but I remember being incredibly embarrassed.

So there I sit always on the edge, but never quite in the deep end of the pool. Always with my head above water, never holding my breath and going under. How does one maintain two identities that simply don’t go together: I absolutely love the beach. I LOVE the Beach. The beach is my element, it is my home. And yet I don’t go in the ocean. A deep desire of mine I’ve never really shared is that I want to learn how to surf one day. You can have the skateboards (especially since every day on campus at least 5 of them crash into me or into each other). But to put on a wet suit and ride the waves across Hawaii, Bermuda, the Carribean. Wilmington. Miami. That is my dream. Now I understand that I might not look as hot as my baby here crashing surfing on her boogie board…


"That's dangerous...!"

“That’s dangerous…!”

But I think I can come pretty damn close!

I refuse to live with regret. I refuse. It’s why that line, “I’d rather try and fail— 1000 times denied” is so powerful to me. I have to try to swim because the only alternative is never to learn to swim and miss the joy of swimming in a pool with my family. I can’t imagine never kissing my baby in the open ocean, especially given the choice of places we want to go for honeymoon. Never enjoying a cruise for fear of what I would do if we had to abandon ship.  Never really enjoying the reality of purchasing a house on the beach. Not really having an alternative as I know one day my knee is going out on me and running won’t be something I can do as often.

Never crossing the finish line of a triathlon with my baby’s hand in mine. Or never finally going scuba diving or snorkling, both of which I have admired and dreamt of doing since I was a kid.

Who wouldn't want to get in the water with that pretty lady in green?

Who wouldn’t want to get in the water with that pretty lady in green?

The easy thing is to run. I can run past the recreation center as I have done since I was 13. As I have done everyday since being on campus. I can run. I can run forever. But running won’t cause me to grow. The water will. So to steal a phrase from my very best friend, my support system and the woman that pushes me harder than any PhD program ever could…

It’s not time to jump. It’s time to swim.



Fears that Swim

This post has been a long time coming. I’ve been meditating on the best way to write this one, so it’s been swimming in my head for the longest. I think with some of these posts as a blogger, the best thing to do is just to start writing and let the words try to form a coherent structure with which we hope we can express ourselves. Tonight is one such post.

So I have a fear. I don’t have too many of those really. But here’s one that the time has come to finally conquer.

This all began when I was 13. You see I had went to Myrtle Beach, is sunny South Carolina with my family for what was supposed to be a day trip. I will never forget it for as long as I live. I admit it was foolish to go that far out to sea but then again, what 13 year old boy doesn’t take risks on a day to day basis? My mother and sister sat on the beach soaking up the rays while I decided to get my feet wet. Well at first it was my feet. Then my knees. Then my stomach. What the hey, if the water comes up to my chest I’ll be fine, really.

I’m playing around flapping in the water (happily, I might add). For some reason, almost suddenly, the brightness of the sun was blocked. It got really dark, really fast. My back was turned and I was still having a great time. But I look over at my mother and sister. My mother, who had beautiful caramel colored skin, was suddenly pale white. My oldest sister, sitting beside her had her jaw drop with only muffled sounds coming out. I caught enough of a glimpse of her to see her pointing at me. What on Earth had grabbed her attention so much?

It was when I turned around that I realized she wasn’t pointing at me. She was pointing at behind me. And it wasn’t a solar eclipse that had blocked out the sun. It was the biggest wave I had ever seen in my life. It had risen so high, it seemed higher than the great wall of China. It was monstrous.

I didn’t get long to stand in its awe. In fact, it wasn’t long before I wasn’t standing at all. Down on me it crashed.

The force of water is awesome. It felt like a ton of concrete had been dropped on my head. It literally felt like bricks or mortar being flung at me. It slapped me in the face something horrible. I was knocked completely off my feet, and sent underwater, completely submerged. It wasn’t long before sand filled water over took my eyes, my nose, my lungs. I gasped for air. I tried to stand up and almost made it, but another almost equally as powerful wave came directly behind it sending me to the bottom of the water again. My head hurt. I couldn’t breathe.

What I also neglected to mention is that I also couldn’t swim. I was wading in the water for a bit and over estimated my ability to run back on land should a problem arise. Momentarily I floated, all four limbs above my body. I was completely powerless against the might of the Atlantic ocean. As the reality set in that today I might perish, I regretted not being smarter. Panic set in.

As a great, Pretty Lady might say, “Welcome to Fear”.

Time stopped. I remember that although I couldn’t breathe, I saw little particles of sand floating by me. Where there was light, a growing darkness started to overcome the light. The brown colored water began to get darker…and darker…

But the darkness can never overcome the light!

With a last bit of strength, resiliency and willpower, I steadied my body for one last fight. One last push. One final attempt. I will never go down unless I’m going down fighting! And I fought! Somehow I turned myself over and was able to grab something. Was it a rock, a reef, some poor swimmer’s leg? The hand of God? Whatever it was, I pulled on it and was able to flip myself over and pull myself back to far enough to my head could get out of the water and I could breathe. My strength began to grow and I righted myself enough to get out the water onto the land.

The last thing I saw was my mother and sister running towards me at full speed. Before they got there though, the next 10 minutes was spent upchucking salt water and sand from my stomach and lungs. My lungs hurt like someone had stepped on them! I was in pain. I had aches and pains a full week after. The memory of my sister and mother holding me to make sure I was okay, and my mother shouting obscenities at me for being so careless fills my head to this day.

I haven’t went that far into the water since.

I mean I lived in Wilmington for two years. I went to the beach and still got my feet wet. But I almost never went in beyond my hips, even after puberty hit and I got a couple growth spurts.

Today, I’ll sit in low pools. I’ll sit in jacuzzi’s. But that’s it.

And I have decided that that is not enough. This year is a year of freedom. A year of breaking old chains. A year of breaking any bondage that has kept me down.

I need to get over my fear of swimming. I no longer want to sit in the water. Or put my feet in it. I want to swim in it. Actually enjoy it!

IMG_5452This is the destination.

I’m signing up for swim classes. I’ll be mid 30’s soon. Very soon. It’s time to get over an almost 20 year fear. If I can do it, anyone can. Maybe we don’t have to be slaves to fear. Maybe we don’t have to fear love, life, hurt, pain, failure, loss. All the negative of life.

Maybe there’s a better way. Maybe I can inspire someone. And if not, maybe I can inspire myself. But I want for someone who loves life and the beach as much as I do, the fact that I don’t swim is an abomination. It makes no sense.

So maybe I wrote this more so to myself than to the readers. But I think that if there’s any fear in your life you need to conquer, NOW is the time to do it.

Just do it. Do it SCARED if you have to. But just do it.

Love. Live. Ask that person for forgiveness. Forgive that person. Take that money risk (as long as it’s calculated). Ask him / her out for lunch. Finally pay off that debt that’s been plaguing you for years. Attack life by the horns. Show the world how beautiful you are…and don’t worry what they say about you.

That’s what really being heroic is, to me. It’s not realistic to avoid fear. But the true show of strength is to face it head on.

That’s what I’m doing from here on out. Starting in the swimming pool!

I’m actually conquering two fears. I’m super frightened of even posting this on a public forum. I’d like to keep my vulnerabilities and private fears…private. But that doesn’t serve me, my readers or those who look to me for inspiration. So instead, I proudly display those fears. For the world. And I say enjoy them while they last.

They won’t be here forever.

Go Heroic.


Lab to 10K

There’s no question on this site how much I love running. None. I’ve decided to take it to the next level.

Over the years, I’ve left the gentle feel of the trails and ground for the hard iron of the weight room. Lately, I’ve been feeling a bit stagnant on what to write about on the site though. And I realized something.

I’m a little bored with it all. The bodybuilding stuff that is. The massive muscles, the supplements, the wild hours in the gym. It’s just all so… monotonous. Lately, I had been feeling the fitness bug and thought that maybe my dedication was lacking. Well, it’s not that at all. It’s that I needed to keep inspired. And counting how many sets I spent on the incline bench just wasn’t doing it anymore.

Boredom is disaster for me. I put running down because I was a little bored with gaining the mileage. But lately, it’s all I’ve wanted to do. Running, unlike bodybuilding, has a very STRONG spiritual / religious aspect to it for me. The prayer I do while hitting the pavement, and the endorphins that arise in my body… it brings me closer to the Lord moreso than any iron ever has. That’s why I can never, ever let it go for long. I’m ready to lace up my sneakers again. But this time, I want to add a new dimension to an old favorite.

I want to compete.

You heard it here folks. I want to run. Like so many of my friends do like Krysten, Hollie and Christina.

As I’ve thought about this more and more, I realize that running and blogging go hand in hand for me. I wasn’t running. So I stopped blogging became lost as a writer and seriously contemplated deleting this blog. I had no purpose in the blogosphere.

As it turns out, running gives me a purpose and part of that purpose is writing. Which brings me to my goal of giving my running a new purpose (I sure hope that wasn’t as confusing to read as it was to write. Oh my I have a headache now!)

On my “regular” runs, (which are cheaper than therapy as my baby would say) I normally run a distance of 5K. I’ve admitted this before, but the fact is I am a S L O W runner. My average 5K time is around 40 min. I’m a bit of a wonderer, so if I happen to take notice of butterflies, cardinals, flowers (I’m a sensitive guy, ya’ll!) It could easily take me 45 min or so. I don’t try to run fast as I don’t want to miss anything. But the way my mind works, “training to run a 5K race” doesn’t compute. That’s silly to me because 5K is for sight seeing, viewing nature and getting a quick workout in.

I used to run 10K distances in grad school. There was a place in Wilmington called “the Loop”. I would head there usually after class, some nights very, very late around midnight and run around twice. That distance was approximately 10K. I lost a lot of weight doing that. The sounds of the beach waters would just amaze me.

I can train to run a 10K race, but I can’t train to run a 5K. So…I’m training to run a 10K. There’s not that many in and around Raleigh, but one thing I have found is this little gem:

This is a 5K at the Fairgrounds on Sept. 13. See all the bright lights? People having a good time? Neon colors traveling at the speed of light? New friendships being forged?

It’s a very, very, very Calvin race.

I think my plan, which was imparted to me by the best woman ever, an athlete in her own right, is to train for 10K. But run a few 5Ks for fun until I can find a 10K to compete in. I have my eyes on an 8K in the area near Thanksgiving.

In short, I hope to use this blog for talking about my great love for the Lord, and all the wonderful things He’s done for me (even today, I got wonderful news!), talk about how in love I am with my baby, and hopefully posts pics from upcoming races. I’ve already started training by running a few 5K practice runs. I’m cleaning up my diet while learning what foods will work best.

What gear will I need? What energy candy will be the best for me? Can I make a personal record? Then beat it? So many things to think about…

My ultimate goal with this? I’m not sure. I think… I think… I want to run a half marathon within 1 year. We’ll see. But that’s the goal. A year from now, as I am really hitting my mid 30’s, I want my life to continually get better.

Here’s a start. Returning to my first love. And competing in it.

Supplement Review: BSN Dessert

I have found it.

The mother load.

I have my all time favorite protein ever.

This is it. THIS is the big one.

The one I’ve been waiting for.

If there is such a thing as having a staple supplement,as in something you will always find in my kitchen, this is it.

BSN Lean Dessert. This has got to be the best Protein on the market. Seriously. Let’s get right into this.

This is a protein blend product that has 6 forms of protein in it. It’s made a little thicker than their staple Syntha –  6 product. If you’re someone like me who struggles with sweets, this is the perfect supplement. I have a problem with balance when it comes to sweets. I either eat the whole bag of peanut butter M&M’s or I swear off all sweets for 3 years! I can’t seem to get the proper moderation that is necessary.

Also, I’m one of those people that gets hungry at night time: which is one of the worst times to ingest a lot of carbs. I have the stretch marks to prove it.

How does one get a great taste of sweets while remaining fitness and nutrition minded? I’ll tell you how. By calling up your local BSN Rep and saying, “BRING ME SOME DESSERT…ON THE DOUBLE!!!”

And that’s what I did…



Where’s my manners? Before doing anything, you always need the proper gear. And this time, it would be the limited edition BSN Shaker Cup, brought me by the greatest girlfriend a guy could be blessed with. I love you, sugar, with all my heart!!! Armed with her love and this shaker bottle, it’s time to conquer Earth life!

The Pour. 

IMG_3898I like to add a packet of Quaker Oats, just to make it even thicker. It’s a great quick meal replacement, especially if you add a banana to it.

IMG_3892 IMG_3894

I elected to try the Cinnamon Roll flavor.




To say the taste is fantastic is an understatement, that’s for sure. This fills me up for a few hours and keeps me going through the night time. Also, on those days at school, where I know it might be longer than I wish before I can get my next meal, I usually opt for this instead of the Syntha 6 since I tend to burn through that quite fast. This is just a great supplement, and the price? Almost unbeatable. On Amazon, this hovers around $25.00 making it one of the cheaper proteins. The quality is great for the price and will last about a month.

I’m really surprised. Normally with protein shakes I suffer gas or some type of gastrointestinal issues. I’m amazed that with this? Nothing. I fully expected that my stomach would be bothered, but not at all. As part of a nutritionally rich diet, I can say that I will be ready for this summer as long as BSN (and the love of my Pretty Lady) are around.

Thank you baby for helping me to Finish First!



Identity Crisis

I’ve had a struggle with this blog lately.

The truth of the matter is, I am having a crisis of identity of what to actually do with this blog. I don’t know if it’s writer’s block, so that I can’t get the words my from head to the blog. I don’t know if I need to scale back…if there’s actually the opposite problem where I have TOO much I want to write about and not sure how to move forward.

Lately, whenever I log onto this thing and begin to write, I inevitably have the same problem.

Somedays, I want to post meals I made (yes…I actually eat more than protein shakes, believe it or not).

Other days, I think about posting about workouts or new fitness routines.

Some days, I just want to post about the love of my life. Because really…nothing else matters more.

Still other days, I want to go on rants about the fitness industry. There’s a post that’s been rotating in my mind for weeks about how bikini models are overtly objectified in the fitness industry.

India Paulino Nude

Of course, that speaks to a bigger problem about the objectifying nature of bikini competitions. But to a further point, seriously, though, do I even have the right to write such a post? I’ve read the article behind this latest picture of the current Bikini Champion, India Paulino, in this months Muscular Development. She’s worked hard for that body so she should be able to place photos of it wherever she likes.  Who am I? Plus, I don’t know anything at all of her “real life” and where she learned that her value comes from how well her body looks or her ability to turn others on. Or maybe it’s far simpler— maybe she just likes taking pictures!! So I can’t really write that post or write it fairly. She indeed takes nice pictures, but at the end of the day, I don’t know her “story”.  Not to mention the other problem— she probably is a very nice person and just signed with one of my favorite supplement companies. Conflict.  Of.  Interest. I’m not trying to burn any bridges right now, since I don’t know what opportunities might lie ahead.  Not to mention a post like that is just begging to raise the ire of my feminist readers. Put your guns down ladies. I come in peace.

I’ve recently figured out that my body is very carb intolerant. I need less carbs to function and higher protein and healthy fats. A simple change and acknowledgement of this would see me drop loads of weight in less than 3 months. Does anybody actually care about that? Why would someone care that I ate an avocado today instead of the cheese pizza?!

If I’m going to be honest, (and I always am!!!) the truth of the matter is, that all these things…seem done before. I’m not sure what the “unique” thing is that I bring to the plate of fitness blogging anymore. This could be the result of all the time I spend at school (it’s Friday, I am supposed to be working on several various papers. I’m taking a short break right now to write this post before spending the rest of the night crying over analyzing my data). Somehow I have lost my way, the owner of a blog that is trying locate or perhaps revamp its voice.

I’m just not sure what to write about anymore. I don’t know what to say on here that you can’t just find on Youtube said in a far superior way. I’m not sure what to say on here anymore that you won’t find on Twitter or Facebook. I don’t know what my “THING” is, to where someone would be online and think to themselves: “I need to check the Orange Mask…that’s where the answers are that I need.”

So besides the crazy hours of work at school,  I have a blog right now searching to find its place. It’s niche.

Even supplement reviews are becoming a little troublesome— I’ve made the mistake of having several favorite supplement companies now. SO spending $$$$ to test out other lesser products to see if they work seems silly, and not financially smart (especially given that I’m a graduate student). Also, my hunch is that for Supplement Reviews, most prefer to watch them online on Youtube.

We’re coming upon the 2 year mark of this site, so maybe that’s why I feel I need to shift gears and change focus. I’m not trying to figure out what to do in the gym anymore. If I’m going to be mature, I already know what foods to eat and not eat. I just need to adhere to that. I have a good idea too, which supplement companies are good and worth your time as a consumer and which are using you. I’m not a newbie starting out anymore going to Planet Fitness. I actually want to “bring it” with the big boys at Gold’s Gym.

On an even more personal note, I’m not under the faulty assumption anymore that my value comes from how my body looks. When I started this site that was a basic premise. It was actually a basic premise in my life.  “My body looks bad, I will work out, it will look good and you will like my stories of how I made it good. Then you will like me.” But my belief in myself comes from something a little more sterner. As my baby says it best,

”In all honesty there is really only one answer I have for that, and its: God. God is a very important part in my life. He is the Love of my life. And it wasn’t until I got to a place where I realized that beauty DOES NOT come from the outside, but from within. No amount of makeup or fitness can create it. I had to open up the Bible and read what God said about me. He created me. He said I was beautiful. He said that everything He created was good. When I started to believe THAT, that is when I found my confidence. But remember my confidence is not in MY LOOKS. So on my bad days, which I have— I have cellulite, I have acne scars, I have stretch marks—even on those days, I still know I am beautiful. Because I know that God created me. That Jesus loved me so much He died for me. My confidence is in the God who gave me my looks, not the looks I was given. Time and age will quickly put an end to what we define as “beauty”.  Apart from the Lord, I would still be struggling. The idea of “beauty” will always change. So what you base your confidence in needs to be something that is unchanging. For me, that is God.”

Whether my bodyfat % is 30% or 10% (which I may reach one day…maybe), I’m still loved and still valuable. My baby loves me so well, she loves me perfectly, better than I have ever been loved before. In the time we’ve been together I’ve fully learned and accepted it’s not the gym that defines how good I am or how great a personality I have…OR how deserving of love and respect I am. Until I met her, I was pretty convinced it’s what a person does that merits all that stuff. And when you stop doing stuff, you’re no longer worthy of love. She taught me, it’s who a person IS. That’s a long winded way of saying, God loves me for me…not for how many macros I ingested today. So does my Queen. If I show up bloated from too many carbs? My baby says, “I love you”. If I show up fitness model ready, looking like a million bucks with abs you can bounce a penny off of? My baby says, ” I love you”. It is unchanging and for that I will always love you, sugar.  Truly, deeply and eternally. So it’s hard for me to write a post detailing how many lbs I lost, or how many inches I gained on my biceps these days. It just seems superficial.

A freshness needs to be added here. A new direction. A change of pace. An Orange Mask 2.0, if you will. Still fitness related…but what? And that’s my central problem right now. I don’t know the next evolution of the site.

This could be a reflection of a larger issue with life. Maybe I need to add some new things in to get inspired to write. Enter a bodybuilding competition? Enter a triathlon? Enter some 5K, 10K and train for that? Attend a competition and live report from there (that’s actually something I DO want to do, with my baby sometime in the future…I would love to turn this into a fitness news site at some point. Whenever I can get out of my lab, haha).

I’m still around. The site will always be around in one iteration or another. There will always be an “Orange Mask” around to inform you, defend you, and give you fitness insights. It’s just that my “heroically superior adventures in fitness”, don’t seem grandiose enough to write about at the moment.

I need to figure out where my place in fitness blogging / bodybuilding blogging is now.

Wednesday “Win”spiration: Mighty Warrior edition

Super Fit woman


I think about all the ways that there is to describe her. And this picture pretty much covers it all. You all know I love super heroes, right? Well, she is mine. She’s so brave. So strong. So tough. So wise. So knowledgeable.

She can perform permutations and combinations in under 20 seconds!

She can without the use of a calculator, determine the variance, standard error and confidence interval for the population!

She even knows when child psychopathology was first entered into the DSM (even I couldn’t figure that one out)!

She can eat as much cake as she wants and still sport a mean set of abs!! (by comparison, merely writing the word “cake” has given me 5 extra pounds AND 2 new stretch marks!!)

In short, when I am weak, her bravery inspires me. When am sad, her giggles, bring me joy. When I feel bad about that extra slice of pizza I had…she joins me and offers some southern style dishes…just because!

She knows that fitness isn’t something that you just get in the gym. It’s your inner beauty. And I’ve never seen anyone more beautiful on the inside than her.

I just finished stats about 4 hours before pulling yet another all nighter. But I had to write this before going to sleep. I had to. At her best, and with whatever so called “flaws” she might find with herself, to me, is and could only ever be perfect.

I love you, baby. You’ll always be my Mighty Warrior. You’ll always inspire me. I know you have a big day ahead, baby. But we go through it together. Afterwards, we should do some cookies and cream ice cream, with caramel on chocolate cake. Then to pretend we’re really healthy, wash it all down with a Protein shake :-)

Seize the day, my love. And know that with prayers backing you, you will conquer all. I love you!

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