It's Labor Day, and I'm just coming down from another of life's highs, a weekend in Chicago as I took part in a great friend's, a brother's wedding. There is a respect, a bond that is formed between two teammates through years of hard work, sweat, pain and injury, triumph and heartbreak on the mats that cannot be described, only understood by those who have experienced it. Carlos is that, someone I look up

(Very special gift from Carlos. Back reads "Brothers In Arms")

to and respect a great deal, I've known him since first starting jiu-jitsu in the beginning, and he's one of few to have stuck around. He is very talented, yet modest, holds a prestigious yet demanding job while being a great dad and family-man, and just silently commands admiration from his peers with his humble demeanor. To to be welcomed into his close circle of friends, treated so generously by his bride's family, and to bond with Carlos and everyone involved this past weekend has again left me nearly speechless, inspired in yet another way. Inspired for more of life. You just never know the impact you have on people, or the impact they may have on you. I've had this particular blog topic on my mind for several weeks now, but the new material just kept coming in, I've been amazed more and more every day, but finally this past weekend I feel drew some finality to it.


(A slice of Life! Slice of World Famous, Chicago mainstay, Giordano's deep dish pizza! Something only in my dreams and on the TV until this weekend!)

The D once said, "You can't manufacture inspirado, it arises from a stillness, a quietude" It is true, inspiration comes in many forms, from different people and in any number of fascinating or unexpected ways. Just recently, in the past couple years, I have realized and assumed the role of inspirer, seeing and hearing how I positively impact and affect people, just going about my business. No more has this been apparent than these last few months, as it's almost daily I get a random text, call, or message of some form telling me how I have inspired or helped someone. The gesture, sometimes just as simple as, "thank-you" still completely floors me, I'm humbled, and in turn, inspires me tenfold back! 

I had a friend I had met years back just briefly, out of nowhere text me and say how seeing my photos on Facebook of Hawaii inspired her to finally take a step outside the box, out of her comfort zone...she took the leap and bought herself a round trip ticket to the islands, nothing else. No lodging, no itinerary, she didn't know what to do, but she was going! I talked to her on the phone and she told me how her whole life she has taken care of her kids and husband, her family, now she was doing this for her! Her husband was surprised but completely supportive. All of it stemming from my trip photos! 

Another friend, acquaintance of mine from college emailed me as we were discussing other business, "PS you have inspired me, I am going to take up jujitsu after my biz gets up and going." My clients daily give me positive feedback. One recently had a serious talk with me, telling me how much I have changed her life for the better, getting her off almost all of her meds, changing her attitude, her perspective on life. She was emphatically telling me how forever grateful she was, and even inspired now to become yoga or kickboxing cardio certified, aspiring for a part-time job. An online client after several weeks of no contact, a text: "Your workouts are kicking my butt...but I'm loving it!" Another online client I had a lengthy text conversation with, discussing how he's never felt this confident before as he was down weight, hitting lifting personal bests, and preparing to go to a bachelor party in Vegas. On Twitter and Facebook practically daily I get flooded with posts, "thanks for the work today brother" or "thanks for pushing me today" or even an inspirational video from a friend in the Army with whom I haven't spoke to in half a year, with the comment, "just thinking back on all your accomplishments this year and no one deserves them more than you! Class act Travis Conley"

I was flooded with overwhelming thank-yous, a barrage of them from donations I had sent to a charity school in Honduras, a nonprofit organization that helps underserved breast cancer patients and survivors, a local longtime friend competing at Nationals, and of course, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for my niece. I can't yet (working on it, becoming a wealthy philanthropist) just donate and help everyone, and sometimes I don't have enough or anything to give, but I always find a way...and just the simple thanks I get makes it all worth it.

I was recently asked to be a reference to a very well respected, established person in their field, as they were applying for an impressive position with the US Air Force. Another guy, friend, whom I had learned a great deal from, asked me if I would come in, paid, to evaluate his employees, his trainers, to inspire them and increase productivity for his company. I'm honored he asked and thinks so highly of me and my skills as a professional! 

It's these things, all these things just recently happening that absolutely floor me, reassure me that I am doing right, doing good, and as I said, in turn, inspire me even further! It is a great cycle, a mutual inspirado where everyone wins, and wins big time. Improving the quality of ones life is a desire for anyone, is it not? I cannot imagine someone denying they want the quality of their life to be better, either mentally, physically, spiritually, financially, whatever it may be. After such a great weekend, leaving me loving life more, wanting more, appreciating friendships and relationships old and new, and wanting to be an even better person and inspirer...I ask, what get's you going? What inspires you?


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