Things to Come

I started this blog about a month ago now and to be honest it was mainly for a class I had to take. I had no idea what to talk about, all I knew is I didn’t want it to be about sports since I talk about that all the time and I didn’t want it to be just about me. If I was going to do a blog I wanted it to be one where I could possibly help others and share my own experiences with chasing dreams, since we all do. This is what came out and to say things have gone well would be a gross understatement. Things here have progressed faster then I could have ever imagined and the site keeps expanding every week; the feedback from others has been great, the community has been growing rapidly, and I’ve connected with a number of great people. With that said we are planning some major updates to the site in the very near future and even bigger ones down the line. The first of these updates will be the creation of a logo to represent the site and everyone involved. I just wanted to throw a quick teaser up of some of the logos we’ve come up with along with a quick video showing the co-poster Dareece Walker drawing them up. Be on the look out in the next couple of days for a new post where you can personally vote for which logo you like best. Since this is a community everybody should have a voice in where it heads. Enjoy!

Also my friend and contributor to LLF, Eli “Axcess” Hammond has just released a new track called “Sunrise”. Take a second, check it out and be on the look out for posts coming from him in the future.

Poetry Corner- Lessons learned

Welcome back to living. life. fearless! and to the first of many posts in Poetry Corner. In my intro post (…Platform 9 and three-quarters) I mentioned that among art,video and music, I would also be sharing poetry.

Poetry is a form of literary art where language is used for it aesthetic qualities(emotional tone). My perspective is that poetry can be insightful but also fun; when i write i try to puzzle piece  feelings, words, and my ideas  together until i feel confident in the result.

 This is an original poem that I wrote this past week that i titled ” Lessons Learned”; I will be posting both my original poems and work by other poets, both amateur and professional. This poem represents how I have been feeling about life, and the things I feel I’ve come to understand about it.

                                                                                

Lessons learned, lessons learned, life’s all about lessons learned

not about the money earned, A better self should be your concern

proof is in the pudding, input equals output

focus on what your doing and detail your outlook

experience don’t make the man, actions do that

Heroes and idols are nobodies until they make an impact

if your path is true stay hard as a rock from the heavens

Impact somebodies life and maybe you can be a blessing

as if you came from the sky they’ll ask where did you come from

I came from life’s lessons and learned what it means to need someone

lessons learned, lessons learned, life’s all about lessons learned

not about the money earned,

its the connections you make and the things that you’ve learned.

                                                                                  

Once again we encourage comments and feedback, so if this post or any other post (past and future) touches you or makes you feel like sharing  please do, and let us know how you feel. We’re all in this thing called life together so I know we all have something we can share about it.

The 5 Ton Elephant In The Room

After writing that last post about leaving lasting impressions it became painfully clear what I needed to talk about next; it’s utterly unavoidable and as much as we try to ignore it, it remains the 5 ton elephant in the room. This elephant in question’s name is none other than Death…

Death surrounds us all, affects us all, and terrifies us all, and rightfully so. Self-preservation is hardwired into each and every one of us and is what makes us cling so dearly to our existences. I’m not saying that this is a bad thing, au contraire, we should all prize our lives because it is the most precious commodity we have. I’m just saying that it’s time we stop avoiding the 5 ton elephant in the room and face it directly. Nowadays death and I are on very good terms, but this was not always the case; I used to be just as terrified of it as everyone else. In fact, I can remember the exact moment when all of that changed for me.

It was a particularly hot summer night in Tucson when I woke up in the middle of the night, my stomach in knots and hot tears running down my face. I remember laying there for what seemed like an eternity hoping that eventually that intense feeling of despair would loosen it’s grip on me, but to no avail. So I headed down to my mom’s room (eyes all red and cheeks moist), woke her up, and proceeded to tell her what was bothering me so. I couldn’t fully explain what was terrorizing, all I know was that it was about Death and it didn’t make sense to me why it was so frightening to me but it was. Eventually she calmed me down and said some words to me ( I don’t remember what they were) that did the trick and a sea of calm seemed to wash over me. From that moment on I vowed to never let my fear of death affect me like that again.

Now my fear of not living far outweighs my fear of dying, and it should never be the other way around; it is the only way that we will ever be able to reach our true potentials.Fear of death truly is an irrational barrier if we think about it because we all know what lies at the end of our journeys, we die, there is no mystery. This should be a relief and even more motivation to make the most of what time and opportunities we do have instead of worrying about something we could never change. People always ask me after learning about the stuff I’m into, why would I ever want to risk losing everything for a few potential thrills. My answer: how can a lifetime full of monotony prevent you from wanting to live? Lasting memories aren’t made from the routine and mundane, but instead from the few and far in between exhilarating moments where one has truly lived. One of my favorite quotes comes from my favorite movie of all time, Gladiator. It goes like this, “Death smiles at us all. All a man can do is smile back.” This is why I’m always smiling; I know what awaits me at the end of this fairy tale, but it will never keep me from enjoying the living I have to do beforehand. This is an attitude embraced by all who truly wish to live life fearlessly. If you haven’t found a passion that you are willing to die for, then what exactly are you living for?

I think it’s become clear what type of people I admire the most and inspire me to reach even higher: uniformed men and women, athletes, stuntmen, extreme athletes, activists (for a good cause), entrepreneurs, etc. One thing they all have in common is that they are willing to lay it all out on the line for something that they truly believe in and always carry the belief that they can do even better. They’re the ones who are making the real changes and innovations in this world and these are the kind of people we are looking to attract to this site. With that said I’d like to share a quick video of a person who exemplifies this fearless mindset.

I’m sure you’ve all heard the story of Bethany Hamilton or “Soul Surfer”, she was attacked by a shark and lost her arm at 13, battled through recovery, and got back on the surfboard. I’m not going to lie when I first heard this story my initial reaction was “That girl is an idiot!”, but as I thought about it I thought what if something happened to me that affected me in the are of life I love most? I know I would do everything in my power to get back to it because it’s worth whatever risks may come with it, regardless of what others thought. Now I have the up most respect for this girl and everything she does. Never let anyone or anything keep you from pursuing what you love. You can learn more about her here and follow her on twitter here.

*Bonus* – Here’s a track from Rick Ross called “Live Fast, Die Young” which I think fits the overall theme of this post. You can learn more about him here and follow him on Twitter here.

Related Posts:

Lasting Impressions

Photo Credit 1, Photo Credit 2

…Platform 9 and three-quarters

Hogwarts ExpressRight now you’re at a train station, and imagine that it can take you anywhere. Your mind is the train station. However, you want to go to a magical place where things you never thought were possible happen all the time. The only way to do this is to take a path unseen, a path blocked by a wall, a wall of disbelief. You must charge fearlessly through the wall of disbelief and there you will find a world of new possibilities (essentially what I’m saying is that you can’t see the magic if you don’t believe in it). Everyday we make choices  based on the options allotted to us; Platform 9 and three-quarters represents a choice to pick a different option that most others don’t see.Think of me as a professor from Hogwarts, I am on the other side, waiting for you to break through the wall and hop on the express to the world of magic; where dreams and fantasy become reality.

Now what I have to offer isnt magic spells or potions, but what I do have is my experiences, interests, and thoughts that have led me to be more fearless. This is not to say that I have no fears, what im saying is that I am tackling my fears and that in doing so I have learned things about the world and myself that I didn’t think were possible before. Together we can do great things so I hope you will take this journey with me and hop on the Hogwarts Express.

Being that I am an artist, a lot of what I will share will include images of Artwork and with them I will discuss what it means to me and how it relates to my current feelings. I will also be posting poetry and music and video in the same way. I would like to apologize in advance if any of the future content disturbs you, but Living.Life.Fearless means doing what you need to in order to accomplish what you set out to do, which is to provide my insight, so please be open-minded =).  I would love for you to leave any feedback or insight you may have and I encourage you to actively participate in this journey by sending us your own experiences so that they might also be shared with the world.

So in the spirit of New possibilities and changing perspective I thought I might end my first post with a few words about my Artwork image that Dario previously posted.

This is a Mixed media piece I made, Titled Statuesque, which was recently published. The word Statuesque means attractively tall and dignified suggestive of a statue. I felt as though this piece exemplified that definition, which is why I chose that title.

This piece is about freedom and change, breaking through stigmas and transcending stereotypes, being comfortable with one’s self as flawed and beautiful, confident in change. Though I am strong and solid I can still transform and respond to the richness of the world around me. Even if im arm less or my hands are tied, my mind can still reach out and touch the sky.

If you enjoyed this post please subscribe on the side =) because we enjoyed you stopping by.

Lasting Impressions

To be honest I wasn’t even planning on writing a post today and my next post definitely wasn’t going to be the one I’m about to write. All it took was one comment to change all of that, and it’s been nagging at me all week. I think that’s what I’m starting to fall in love with about this blog, the community aspect. I love that things that people have said to me have changed the way I view things and have opened my eyes to viewpoints that I never would’ve known otherwise. This blog is as much yours as it is mine, I’m simply the outlet; take advantage of it.

In case you don’t know which comment in particular I’m talking about, it came in my previous post where I asked everybody what their greatest fears were. It got the votes I’d expect heights/small spaces, but one comment from someone very close to me, and in all honesty someone I didn’t expect a comment to come from, stuck with me the most. That commenter was my older brother, a firefighter in the Air Force, and if you haven’t read it then you should take a second and check it out because it really took me back; so much so that I had to let it sit there for a day before I could think of a good response.  To summarize what he said, his greatest fear was not knowing whether or not what he said or did during a person’s last moments of life meant anything to that person. His fear was about leaving a lasting impression on someone’s life, and not the superficial kind where they remember you because they thought you were hot, but the genuine heartfelt ones that truly make a difference in someones life. This would be a terrible fear to have to live with and could easily, and in many cases does, haunt people for their entire lives.

There’s a razor thin line between superficially touching a person’s life and really affecting that person with the things you do and say. I believe that the only way you could come to terms with this fear of not meaning anything to a person is to be true; to be true to what you’re saying, to be true to what you’re doing, and most of all to be true to yourself. (Most) People aren’t stupid, they can tell when you’re being genuine and when you’re being fake. Everybody has had some contact with a person who just seems to be going through the motions (see any recent Nicolas Cage movie), and probably couldn’t even remember what the person looks like, it’s a very unflattering trait that won’t leave any impression on a person other than a negative one. Now compare that experience with one where the person’s passion for what they’re talking about or doing clearly comes through, you could probably remember minute details about that person just because it left that much of a good impression on you. I can’t say that I have any experience of dealing with the tragedies my brother and others like him have seen, but I do know that if you put your heart and soul into what you’re doing and are being true to yourself, then it will shine through and the impression you leave on someone will be a lasting one.

This is exactly what we are about at this site. I hope that all of you can see that we are extremely passionate about what we do and talk about. We didn’t do this for us, we did it for everyone else out there who feels like us, that we as a people were meant for greater things than just the “norm”. We wanted to show everyone that if four brothers from nowhere can have the courage and strength to fight through adversity and get this close to accomplishing their dreams, then so can you.

living.life.fearless isn’t just a motto, it’s a lifestyle and we live by it everyday.

Shout out to all the uniformed men and women out there. This site appreciates everything you do for us day in and day out. You are the standard of living.life.fearless that we all strive to be. #LLF

This was a personal post for me and this song kept playing in my head while writing it. “Vent” by Big K.R.I.T, extremely deep and dope song, take a listen you won’t be disappointed. Learn more about him here and follow him here.

“I know you’ve been down so long
So I’ll be stronger for you
I know you’ve been down so long
Cause I’ve been down too
Yes I understand… what you’re going through
Yes I understand… cause I am going through it too”

[audio http://hulkshare.com/ap-iygg5ubmu6os.mp3]

Photo Credit

Where Will You Be For The Revolution?

When I first started this blog I knew that I would get some attention due to my unique position as a college athlete, but I never thought it would get out there as fast as it has. Recently we’ve been getting a lot of inquiries about how people could become members of the LLF community and how they could become a spotlight feature on here. Well to make things clearer I provided the necessary info below and also created a new page on the top of the site. Here it is:

MEMBERSHIP

So you were checking out the site and decided that you want to be a part of the community? Well that’s easy, we welcome anybody and everybody and age does not matter. All you have to do is go back to the home page and subscribe either through the RSS feed or through email and you are now a member. Easy right!

Now that you’re a member you want to be the spotlight feature? Now that’s a little trickier..

SPOTLIGHT FEATURE

To be a spotlight feature you first have be living the LLF lifestyle. That means chasing lifelong dreams regardless of the obstacles, facing one of your fears, or just doing fearless (not stupid) things. Let me clarify: providing care to people in hostile territory, saving lives as a firefighter, starting a business, trying to push the envelope in extreme sports or any sport; FEARLESS. Anything that would show up in an episode of Jackass; STUPID.

Think you’re living the LLF lifestyle? Great! Now all you have to do is email one of us about your amazing tales of living.life.fearless with a little background about yourselves and you may just end up being our next member spotlight. Accompanying videos and images are strongly encouraged.

Seeing as living.life.fearless is a movement of individuals proclaiming that they’l live fearlessly I thought there was no more fitting song than “REVOFEV” by Kid Cudi. Learn more about him here and follow him here.

“Where will you be for the revolution?”

[audio http://hulkshare.com/ap-ev6vzyj37xgy.mp3]

What Are You So Afraid Of?

Seeing as this site is more about the community and overcoming your own fears along with us, I wanted to get some input from all of you about some of the fears that affect you all. We’ve already come to the assertion over these past few posts that my greatest fear is of being average. Discovering this really got me interested in others’ fears, so I began doing some research over the internet and the most reliable info I was able to find came from Gallup, an organization that studies human behavior and does a  lot of research and surveys. One of these particular surveys they took in 2001 on 1,000 participants had to deal with Americans’ fears, I’ve posted the results down below:

As you can see from the poll it consists of a lot of the typical fears that someone would think of–snakes, public speaking, heights, small places, spiders & insects, needles & getting shots, and this makes sense. I, myself am afraid of half of those top six things listed. The closest I’ll come to a snake is in the classic “Anaconda” with Jennifer Lopez, I still get extremely uneasy whenever I need to get a shot, and just the other night I had a full grown centipede crawl from under my tv stand and under my couch; I proceeded to spend the next hour trying to kill the thing decked out in shorts and boots armed with a dustpan and a wad of paper towels, I’m sure it was a sight to see. But what stands out to me about their survey is that they only discuss the fears that everyone is well aware of. As we’ve stated on here before there are a lot of fears that people may not instantly think about, but if given deep thought they would be able to identify them because they have shaped many of their previous actions and decisions, and held them back from exploring new opportunities. This is what this whole site is about, so we’d love to hear about some of the fears you guys have, so why not take a quick second and do the poll we’ve included below. Don’t be afraid to add your own answers either.

While you’re thinking about it why not enjoy “Words I Never Said” by Lupe Fiasco. You can learn more about him here and follow him here. Remember, never be afraid to let your voices be heard, #LLF is a community and we’re only getting bigger.

[audio http://hulkshare.com/ap-co9j47mtbknj.mp3]

Photo Credit

WTF!?!

For those of you who have been consistent visitors to this site you should have noticed by now that things are looking different around here and are probably thinking WTF!?! Don’t panic, my posts will still be coming as they have and I will still continue to bring you the excellent content all of you have come to expect; phew right? Truth is this is the direction that everything has been heading all of along; from the outset of this whole thing I envisioned this evolving into a community of individuals who are chasing their dreams regardless of the obstacles and looking to reach their full potentials by living.life.fearless, and what better way to kick things off then to have four of my brothers become contributing authors. So not only will be getting the same great content as before, but now you’ll be getting it with 4x the awesome, free of charge, and as always with no MSG.

First up we have Eli “Axcess” Hammond. He has been of my best friends since freshman year of high school when we used to spend our summers playing AAU basketball. He is currently a college football player out in Nebraska by day and an extremely talented musician by night. He’s come a long way in the music game and is going all in after his dream. You can find out more about him here and follow him here. I’ve also included a quick preview of his work below called “Shoes” off the Hustle mixtape.

Next is Dareece Walker, whom I have known since our days of playing pick up in high school. He started out a business major but realized that art was his true passion and went head first into it. I’d say it was a good choice since he does some amazing work and has already had his own shows. You can learn more about him here and follow him here. I’ve included one of my favorite portraits he’s done below.

Last but not least is Brian Harris who has been my oldest friend from our days of playing AAU basketball over our many high school summers. He’s currently attending the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and if you don’t know it’s one of the hardest schools in the country. He is performing military duties and going to school as he is developing into a leader of tomorrow. You can learn more about him here and follow him here.

If you are still anxious about these new changes I have provided a soothing song by the late Sam Cooke, “A Change Gonna Come”, for you below. And to show you even further that things won’t be any different I’ve included another crazy wingsuit video :). #LLF

Photo Credit

Just The Tip: Definition of Dopeness (Falling…With Style)

I’m definitely a dreamer and my mind is always wandering, thinking about a million different things, so I decided to kick off this new little series called “Just The Tip”; get your minds out of the gutter. They’re just quick posts so I can throw out whatever I’m thinking, whatever people are talking about, and just my general random rants without delving all the way in, get it. You’ll start to see I think about some pretty random stuff but also pretty interesting stuff (or at least I think so), let’s call it my brain vomit. Enjoy.

For the first entry I’m going to share something that I have become obsessed with watching online. WINGSUITS!! Now imagine a flying squirrel gliding from tree to tree; now replace that squirrel with a human and you have wingsuiting. Some people dream about flying and others actually go out and do it. I think it’s pretty awesome stuff and one day I want to do it; one day. Momma I love you 🙂 living.life.fearless #LLF

Best line: “At the beginning of wingsuit base jumping we were trying to get as far from the wall as possible…now it’s getting boring so we play around.”

For those who’ve seen Transformers 3 (who hasn’t?), will know that there’s a ridiculous wingsuit scene towards the end of the movie (my favorite scene). So if it’s in Transformers it must be cool, right? Here’s a little feature on that.

How Action Hank and Black Dynamite Changed My Life Pt. 3 (Face the Fear)

Continued from Part 2

I think before I can continue with this trilogy (Frodo not Neo) I need to clarify what makes something a fear. There’s a lot of things out there that make people uncomfortable; for example, a lot of people feel uncomfortable doing public speaking but they don’t necessarily fear it, they’d prefer not to do it but if push comes to shove they’d be able to get up there and get through it. Now for someone with an absolute fear of it, nothing short of the will of God could make that person do it and if that will does one day come to pass they may just faint, convulse, vomit (true story), really do anything other than look like public speakers. For me, the thought of being average doesn’t just make me uncomfortable it down right terrifies me; I’m shaking right now just writing out you know what. The day I feel like I’m living average may just be the day I say goodbye to the world and all my unborn seeds because death would be a reprieve from that life of hell. See the difference? Good, now let’s continue.

Ok, so over this past week we’ve contemplated what my greatest fear was in Part 1, we’ve discovered what makes it my greatest fear in Part 2, and now we just need to figure out what exactly to do with this new found knowledge. And that is……nothing. That’s right kids nothing; I’m writing a blog about facing fears and for the past two weeks we’ve gone over what my greatest fear is and I’m going to do absolutely nothing about it. But hold on, before you all go out rioting in the streets let me clarify. I swear I’m not throwing a big eff you to all of you, but I never said that all fears are bad ones either. My fear of being average is what makes me who I am, it’s what drives me to do everything I’m doing today in my life. Without it I’d probably still be living at home, I would have given up on my sports dreams years ago, and this blog would be (for lack of desire to find a better word) shit. Deciding what fears are good for you and which ones are bad for you can be a difficult thing to do, and it’s something that everybody needs to do for themselves. However, a good baseline for deciding this would be whether or not this fear keeps you from new, possibly better opportunities and whether or not it’s detrimental to others around you. This last question pertains in particular to my fear. By identifying it and determining how it shapes my behavior was my best step in keeping my fear in control. I know to many of you it seems like a very benign fear, that I shouldn’t have even wasted my time writing about. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth, if I don’t keep it in check I might one day turn into that egotistical douche bag that everybody hates (some would argue that’s already happened). We all have a fear or fears that drive us more than anything else; identifying and acknowledging that it’s there is half the battle; and ultimately each one of us needs to determine whether it hurts or helps us and needs to take the necessary steps to keep them under control. Now that you know a little bit about what makes me tick, what are you so afraid of?

For this post I think it’d only be fitting to choose a song by Kanye West. It’s called “Everything I Am” and it’s kind of him doing the same thing I am and addressing what drives him. I think he has the same fear I do, but he definitely lets it get out of hand sometimes. Regardless, it’s still a great song by a great artist. Follow him here and website here.

Bonus: So you can relive the gloriousness that is Kanye. Hahaha

Related Posts:

How Action Hank and Black Dynamite Changed My Life Pt. 1 (Getting To The Source)

How Action Hank and Black Dynamite Changed My Life Pt. 2 (Past Trends)

Photo Credit 1, 2, 3