It’s April. Fools! It’s Time to Bounce Back!

Yes!  There it is, my favorite meme!  Well, one of my favorites.  The Mr. T “It’s April. Fools” meme!  Ha, if you’ve been paying attention, I’ve been counting down to being able to use this one for weeks so there you have it.  Bask in its gloriousness people.  Seriously, go on, I’ll wait….

Why do I like this meme so much?  Well first there’s the cheesy play on words.  I can always appreciate a good pun lol.  Plus there’s use of the word “Fools” which also cracks me up, especially when you imagine him saying it (try it in your head now…see?!  Hilarious eh?).  And of course, it’s Mr. T!

I didn’t realize exactly how big of a fan I was until I started typing this but thinking back, he was my favorite character on The A-Team and I faithfully watched his cartoon with a bowl of Mr. T cereal every Saturday morning as a kid.  And even as an “adult” well…look!

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The Mr. T “Shut Up Fool” tee and socks!

I have another shirt with him on it that says “Yo Sucka” but that would require cleaning my closet to find it right now.  I love you guys but um yeah, I think the other 2 items have already made my point!

Although I really SHOULD clean my closet.  It is Spring after all.  Do any of you have any lofty Spring cleaning goals?  (Tell us about them in the comments below) Aside from things in the real world, I need to clean up some of these email inboxes of mine.  I still have AOL and Netzero offers in there so that should tell you the last time I did a thorough cleaning!

When March 1st hit, I asked how your New Year resolutions were going.  So now that it’s April, I ask you once again, how are you doing?  Most people only talk about New Year resolutions in January because that’s typically as long as they last before most people give up.  But if it was important to you then, it should be important to you now so what’s stopping you?

If you immediately rattled off several responses to that question, that may be a major part of the problem.  Perhaps you’re way too focused on the obstacles instead of the actual goal.  Like they say (lol who’s this “they” everyone always quotes?), if you constantly tell yourself that you can’t do something, you’ll always be right.  So, stop focusing on what you can’t do and figure out what you can.

One of my favorite TV chefs is Gordon Ramsay.  Aside from being one of the best cooks on the planet, he’s always full of great quotes.  Of course, many of them I can’t type since it would probably look like this:

“MOVE YOUR @&$ YOU F@&*&^# COW!” – Gordon Ramsay

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However, one of the things that he always tells contestants on his shows who are facing adversity in the kitchen is to “bounce back.”  Throwing yourself a pity party will get you nowhere, it’s how you respond to adversity and step up to the challenge that matters.

Before I continue with that topic, a quick sidetrack since well, that’s what I do.  Do any of you also watch Masterchef Junior?  These little kids are between the ages of 8 and 13 yet make 4 course gourmet meals better than I would even dream of!  It’s incredible how much talent these kids have!  My little 5-year old nephew Domonick had better start practicing, I expect more than a bowl of Cheerios when I visit next time!

Anyway yeah, I take that whole “Spring Forward” concept beyond just daylight savings time.  We’re a quarter of the way into 2017 so it’s time to refocus on those goals if you haven’t reached (or started) them yet!  Sure, you may have suffered a few setbacks but that doesn’t mean that it’s time to throw in the towel just yet.  I began this post by referencing Mr. T who happened to star in one of the iconic Rocky sequels.  The reason people get so pumped up watching Rocky isn’t because his character went in and dominated from the beginning.  It’s because he did what it took to beat the odds.  He dealt with failure and came back twice as motivated!  How boring would it have been had Rocky just stayed there lying face down on the mat once he got knocked down and then they rolled the credits?  Not the most compelling movie concept to say the least!

In the real world, the NBA Finals, World Series and most recent Superbowl have been instant classics because the teams that looked down and out stared down adversity and willed themselves to victory.  So long as there’s time left on the clock or blood flowing through your veins, it’s never over.

But it’s not just movies and sports.  Perhaps I’ve just been fortunate as a personal trainer to have worked with people who had one arm or one leg, chronic and terminal illnesses or extreme weight conditions to the point that they couldn’t walk for more than 30 seconds at a time on the treadmill when we first started.  Yet I was able to watch firsthand as they did everything I asked of them to keep pushing until they achieved their goals.

Even outside of the gym, many of us lived through 9/11.  We’ll discuss this more in September but many of you know that I used to commute into The World Trade Center every morning back then.  It truly felt as though the world was ending that day but once everyone wiped their tears, licked their wounds and reflected for a moment, we came back even stronger.

aliI obviously don’t know each and every one of your stories or what you’re going through but I do know that you have the power to will yourself to victory.  The first step however, is to believe that to be true.  Not just surface level belief, but deep down you have to know that you can and will make your dreams a reality.  You have to have the heart of a champion.  If you don’t truly believe that you can do it, any minor setback is going to leave you frustrated and ready to quit so prepare your mind before you take action. 

Your next step?  Put it in writing so that you’re committed.  Almost like a written contract to yourself.  You have to have a plan though, you can’t just wish for your goals to happen.  To my knowledge, genies in a bottle don’t exist so  unfortunately you’re going to have to do more than just “want” you’re going to have to work. 

Plan short term goals to get yourself closer and closer to reaching the finish line.  If there’s a setback during one of those steps, don’t sweat it, just use it as a lesson and keep going.  The long-term goal is still achievable, you must might have to take a different path to get there that’s all. 

Before this turns into a full-blown Tony Robbins speech, I’m going to wrap this topic here but hopefully you get the point.  If you want something bad enough, make it happen.  Use your resources, creativity or another person with a fresh set of eyes to help you overcome whatever is holding you back but never ever give up without giving it your all first. 

What are/were your New Year Resolutions?  How are they going so far?

Typing that sentence about “taking a different path” just reminded me of the crazy incident that happened here in Atlanta the other day.  Many of you may have seen it on the news but we had an overpass on a major stretch of highway collapse due to fire the other day!  It was an eerie scene but not nearly as bad as it could have been.  Nobody was harmed in the fire or the subsequent collapse so all things considered, I have to say that I was very impressed by the way this situation was handled.  It’s going to be a bit messy getting around an already crowded city but again, I’m just glad that nobody was hurt.

GVRR, Stockyards, Train Robbery 07-12-08There’s a ton of debate down here about finally expanding our train system to help ease much of the commuter traffic.  The objection by many people in more affluent communities is that they don’t want criminals coming into their neighborhoods.  I personally feel that rationale is a little misguided.  I mean, aside from there already being buses that stop in these same neighborhoods, I doubt that most criminals are going to use mass transit as their primary getaway vehicle anyway.  I mean, this isn’t the 1800’s!  Who’s going to steal a giant flat screen tv and then hop on train?  What is this, the wild wild west?  Should we hide all the horses as well? 

I’m not curious enough to bother looking up the stats, but after utilizing the amazing subway and train systems in NYC, New Jersey, Washington D.C., London and Toronto, I’m fairly certain that having an efficient railway isn’t going to spike crime statistics.  Hopefully they reconsider since it would help eliminate much of the traffic down here especially with a stretch of road now missing on the interstate!  In the meantime, once again, I’m just glad that nobody was hurt the other day.  (read about a few of my train commuter stories by following this link and this one too…)

What are your thoughts on mass transit in relation to crime statistics?  Comment below

Since this topic is “bounce back” here’s where I would have loved to have posted a picture of this rubber band ball that I used to have.  I started it back in third grade using a single rubber band and built it to the size of a soccer ball!  Eventually it got harder to find rubber bands to fit around it and then it got pushed into my closet and ignored for years until I finally threw it out during a mass purging of items before my move to Georgia.  In hindsight, I should have kept it but until I can find a time machine to take me back to June 2012, it’s gone forever. 

hoardersI’m not a hoarder like those people you see on tv or anything but I do like keeping things around for nostalgia or for dumb show and tell segments on this blog (ha, I created the perfect justification for my pack-rat tendencies now).  Most of these silly items that I show are stored away neatly so that my place doesn’t look like a funhouse but I still try to go through things to get rid of every now and then.  The rubber band ball is one item that should have stayed on the “keep” pile though.  Along with this one vacuum cleaner I gave away and maybe one of my ex-girlfriends (although I’d still take the rubber band ball back first)

Do you have any items from your childhood that you wish you could get back?  Tell us about it in the comments below!

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So I mentioned that Gordon Ramsay is one of my favorite TV chefs but did you know that his website has tons of great recipes and a class option to get step by step culinary lessons from the man himself?  Here are a few great recipes that I may try out this week but click around www.gordonramsay.com for many more!

Meatball Sandwich with Mozzarella and Tomato Salsa

CroppedFocusedImage192072054-37-Meatball-Sandwich-1590By:  Gordon Ramsay

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 small onion, peeled and finely diced

2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced

Olive oil, for frying

1 tsp dried chilli flakes

500g minced beef

75g fresh breadcrumbs

3–4 tbsp milk

4 submarine or hot dog rolls

2 balls of mozzarella cheese, torn

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Salsa

3 tomatoes, finely chopped

½ red onion, peeled and finely chopped

1 tbsp chopped coriander

1 tsp white wine vinegar

Pinch of sugar

Cooking Instructions

  • First prepare the meatballs. Sauté the onion and garlic with seasoning in a hot oiled frying pan for about 5 minutes until soft and lightly colored, adding the chili flakes after a minute or two. Place the mince in a large bowl and add seasoning. Put the breadcrumbs in a separate bowl and moisten with the milk. Add seasoning, then stir the breadcrumbs and onion mixture into the mince and combine well. With wet hands, shape the mince mixture into large balls about 4cm (1.5 inches…he’s British remember?) wide. Transfer to a lightly greased plate or tray and chill for 30 minutes until firm.
  • Put a little oil in a frying pan and cook the meatballs over a medium-low heat with a dash of oil for about 10 minutes until coloured on the outside and cooked all the way through. Set aside to rest.
  • Meanwhile, combine all the salsa ingredients and mix well. Leave to one side.
  • Heat a grill until medium hot. Slice the bread rolls in half and toast the insides for a couple of minutes until golden. Remove from the grill and sit the meatballs on half the sliced rolls, pressing them down into the bread. Spoon over any cooking juices from the meatball pan. Top the meatballs with mozzarella and place under the grill to melt the cheese. Once melted, spoon the salsa on top and sandwich together with the remaining halves of the toasted rolls.
  • Serve while still warm with any extra salsa on the side.

Jerk Chicken

Gordon-Ramsays-Jerk-Chicken-recipe

By:  Gordon Ramsay

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 large chicken legs, skin on, cut into drumsticks and thighs and scored

Olive oil, for frying

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Rice, to serve

4–5 thyme sprigs, to garnish (optional)

For the Marinade

1–2 Scotch bonnet chillies, deseeded and finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

1 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground nutmeg

2 tsp ground allspice

5–7 thyme sprigs, leaves only (you will need about 2 tbsp)

Freshly ground black pepper

Olive oil

Cooking Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 220°C/Gas 7 (428°F) .
  • First prepare the marinade by combining all the ingredients with a good grinding of black pepper and a dash of oil. Rub the marinade into the chicken pieces, massaging it into the scored meat. Leave to marinate for at least 1 hour (or better still, overnight).
  • Heat a large ovenproof pan over a medium-high heat and add a dash of oil. Fry the chicken pieces for about 10 minutes until golden brown on all sides. Add the Worcestershire sauce and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Cover with an ovenproof lid or foil and place in the preheated oven for 20 minutes until cooked through (if your pan isn’t ovenproof, simply transfer the chicken to a roasting tray). Remove the foil for the last 5 minutes if the chicken needs coloring a little more.
  • Serve the chicken hot with rice.

Those are just a few delicious examples but again, there’s much more on the website!  Since I’m friends with Chef James Avery who appears with Gordon on Hell’s Kitchen, one day I’ll have to beg my way to try a dinner service one of these days!  In the meantime, trying these great recipes will be the next best thing!

Do you have a recipe you’d like to share?  How about a food item or restaurant location we should try out next?  Tell us about it in the comments below!

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As for today’s fit tip, the recipes listed above use olive oil to cook in however you may also want to consider using coconut oil as a healthy alternative.  Aside from being great for cooking, coconut oil can be used in your hair and on your skin as well!  It really has so many uses that it would be impossible to list them all here but coconut oil is amazing stuff.  Look for 100% raw and organic cold pressed coconut oil that is Non-GMO to ensure that it’s pure and high quality.  I literally use this stuff every single day so I highly recommend taking a further look into its benefits!

Have a fitness related question you’d like to ask?  Or do you have an accomplishment or tip you’d like to share?  Tell us about it in the comments below!

Today’s Soundtrack

Bounce Back – Big Sean (yep….do that)

Eye of the Tiger – Survivor (the theme from the original Rocky…duh)

Living in America – James Brown (the theme from Rocky 4)

The Greatest – Sia ft. Kendrick Lamar (yeah, yeah I know I just used this but it fits and it’s a great song)

Be Humble – Kendrick Lamar (Doubling down on Kendrick today.  Hmmm can you be the greatest and be humble at the same time?  Sure you can!)

(All Aboard) The Night Train – Kadoc ft. James Brown (doubling up on James Brown too.  Ha I forgot about this crazy club remix until just now)

Roll it Gal – Allison Hinds (since I posted a jerk chicken recipe I had to put a soca/reggae song on the list.  This is one of my faves though so it definitely won’t be the last time you see this song appear lol)

Have another song that fits today’s themes?  Tell us about it in the comments below!

So today was all about bouncing back and staying focused on your goals.  One of my goals for this year was to launch this blog which I was able to start on January 2.  I’d still like to grow it larger and take it to new heights though so your comments and shares have been extremely helpful so please continue to do so.  And thank you to all who continue to support this movement and spread the word!

For those of you who are into fitness, you’ll also be happy to know that a separate My Fitness Muse blog entirely devoted to health and fitness topics is in the works.  I’ve also got a few more songs to finish writing and recording in addition to several other major projects that I’m working on but can’t announce yet!

Unfortunately, I’m essentially a one-man team so I need time to juggle all of these projects.  So with that said, for the time being, we’re only going to post new content here once per week.  Again, this is only temporary, but with more than 25 posts in the archives, you should definitely click through those to catch up on any of the ones you might have missed!  Also make sure to leave a comment and follow me on social media so we can keep the discussions going there as well!

Okay everybody, have a great week and thanks again for stopping by!

May the Fork be With You…

-Darrell

“If you want to fool the world, tell the truth…”

 

 

 

 

9 thoughts on “It’s April. Fools! It’s Time to Bounce Back!

  1. Will continue to share the blog, I enjoy reading it!!! As far as a New Years resolution, I can’t believe I didn’t have one!! I have a few goals that I’m working on, and still going strong. At times I get frustrated but it’s always wonderful to have people that support you and your goals.
    Btw, those recipes look so good, I need to try the chicken!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing, I appreciate that! Goals are better than resolutions anyway so that’s great that you’re working toward something and that it’s going well! I need to try those recipes too, Gordon Ramsay is the man! Thanks for your comment!

      Like

  2. “Bounce back” and “stay focused” are the “major themes” that I live by and I use them to encourage others. Words cannot describe the impact that this blog post is going to have on others. Your message is Thrilling, Powerful and Convincing for any who is about to “give up and throw in the towel!!!! I will definitely share it with many others.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It is great seeing Mr. T. again. I use to watch him all the time!!!. Thanks for the spring cleaning reminder, my goals are two months behind, but I will “bounce back.” I am also a fan of Gordon Ramsey and I did not know about his website with great recipes. Thanks for this “good looking out” and “I will be there dude” as soon as I read this blog post again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I think Mr. T is also on Dancing with the Stars this season and a few commercials so he appears to be making a comeback! I’m glad you’re refocusing on your goals – you can do it!

      Like

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