Dream Big

You may (or may not) have noticed my absence from the blog lately.  I would hope that you did since my writing is so outstanding, groundbreaking, and full of awesomeness. What?  No, no- Todd wrote that post… that one too.  Okay, so maybe consistency with writing isn’t my cup of tea, but this post is a little bit different, and you can all take a lesson from it.

We all had aspirations to be something awesome growing up.  Maybe you wanted to be a fire fighter, a Marine, design roller coasters, create your own clothing line, etc…  Did you achieve your dream?

If you’re like me, maybe your dreams changed over the years.  I grew up playing guitar and I was going to be a rockstar.  However, I played shows every weekend through high school and into my freshman year of college, ultimately burning out on music altogether.  And that’s okay, I went with my heart and moved on.  I always told my parents that I would never have a “normal” job.  No 9-5 for me…

When my best friend, Dustin Pague, approached me during my freshman year of college and exclaimed that his goal was to make the jump from professional skateboarding to MMA, my initial thought was, “well that’s crazy.”  The UFC wasn’t mainstream like it is now (it was getting there though), there weren’t MMA gyms on every corner, and there wasn’t a real venue for guys as light as Dustin was (at the time he walked in the high 140′s – mid 150′s and fought at 155).  At the same time, I was transitioning from focusing my studies on audio engineering to Kinesiology.  So we made a pact: someday when he made it professional, we would open a gym together, he would fight in the UFC, and I would be his strength and conditioning coach.  Crazy?  Only if you let people convince you to do what’s safe, normal, acceptable, blah, blah, blah.

That was 2004-2005-ish.  It’s now November, 2011, and Dustin is on the current season of the Ultimate Fighter on Spike TV, we are finishing up the construction of Disciple Mixed Martial Arts Academy, and we have stuck to our guns and followed our dreams.

This blog isn’t me bragging- there’s a lesson to be learned here.  We’ve been told we are too young, don’t have enough experience (I’ve been training for seven years now), we should work for someone else, we’d never get the funding to pull this off, etc…  All that talk could be so easy to listen to, especially when it came from stable, seemingly happy “adults.”  But do you know what I’ve found?  People who attempt to impede the achievement of your goals are really just unhappy with where they ended up, or trying to hold you back for their own personal gain.  Okay, okay, maybe a select few are genuinely concerned, but that’s a lot less than you think.  The point is, hold tight, stay focused, and don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t do something.  Anything is possible.

We are having our grand opening this Saturday, November 12th, from 11am – 2pm:

This project has really tied me up over the last quite a few months- but, with that being said, I am BACK!  I will be writing regularly, and I plan on knocking your socks off with some knowledge bombs!

Enjoy some pics of the facility in the mean-time!

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Chris Merritt

Strength Coach/ B.S. Kinesiology, Pennsylvania State University/ FMS/ Functional Range Conditioning Mobility Specialist/ Certified Kettlebell Instructor/ Owner of Beyond Strength Performance and Beyond Strength Performance NOVA

3 Comments on Dream Big

  1. That is so awesome!! I’ll have to come down and roll.

    Where is the deadlift area??

  2. Great blog bro! You are the man and I am ecstatic to be able to train with you. Tomorrow we keep living the dream! See you in the morning…

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