The Dream is Coming Alive as the Autumn Nears

We’re in the final third of the year and this is often the time I’m singing Wake Me Up when December (yeah, I know the real song states September) Ends.


Yeah, I’m ecstatic, but take a look at my vague track record. You may be able to relate.

2011: I found a new hope after living on $70 per week and almost flunking college.

2012: Came on strong from January to June. Strongest ever. The rest of the year was a living nightmare except the fact I managed to land my first personal training gig. It didn’t fully cure things.

2013: Still struggled from some losses in 2012 but at least I liked my job. Things peaked in May and went downhill fast so I decided to drink myself almost into a coma on two occasions. December ending was a blessing. Merry Christmas, Todd.

2014: Arguably the greatest year of my life. I competed, had a kickass workout buddy, and returned to school after a hiatus. Then things tanked in August. Other than school, 2014 was a memorable year to forget. Once again, Merry Christmas, Todd.

2015: Things started off on a high note before hitting rock bottom in July from a morale standpoint. Man, I couldn’t wait until January.

2016: Again, things started off strong before crashing and burning come September and October. Some of this was self-inflicted as I started looking for other places of work. My employer wasn’t happy.

2017: Things never picked up before August, ironically, but once again turned into same story, different year. Probably the worst year since 2011. Is it December yet?

2018: Things started off high before crashing, this time in April when my boss yanked half my paycheck without warning due to not profiting from a six-month-old business.



But, this blog gave me hope, and the outlook for the rest of 2018 might be okay. No, the rest of 2018 is going to be the toughest challenge yet. There will be no Todd’s Finest Hour falling into my lap like in 2011.


Captain Comeback is going to have it rough.


But, there’s hope.



I used to reminisce with emotional songs each of the previous years of what I had, what I lost, and what could’ve been. Talk about a waste of valuable time.

The gym used to be my solace but when it became my work, it ceased to become.

I needed a new escape, or I’d do the same thing.

I watched time fly by like a whirlwind, watching the sun set behind the old water tower in Wintersville, Ohio from the parking lot of the now abandoned Riesbecks plaza. God, what a sad freaking story.

It’s the one constant on the Ohio side of the Ohio…Steubenville, Wintersville, and once upon a time, Weirton. God, what a freaking beautiful sunset, especially as summertime sets.

People came and went. Friends came and went. Family left. Businesses and shops closed.


Other than the freaking beautiful sunset, turnover after turnover reared its ugly head in a dying valley.


The rich got richer and the poor became poorer.

And I had no outlook.

A simple fitness degree and a myriad of low-income opportunity that came with it.

But, the fire inside reignited.


The passion.

To pursue. To take the ultimate risk. A blog, freelance, the works.


No, December, you’re not taking me this time. You can hold off, I have some unfinished work to do.


No more.


No more melancholy.


No more feeling sorry for oneself.


No more I could’ve, should’ve would’ve had this or that.

I spent much of 2018 slaving away but having the time of my life writing Lord of Columbia, Neo Skyehawk, putting my heart and soul into My Freedom Flame, which will one day become the hottest philosophy blog on Earth with viewership in sixty-two countries, thank you very much, I appreciate your support.


December can wait

As my work life suffered from mismanagement and failed ownership in the North Hills, My Freedom Flame, though new, small, and in its infancy grew. My following grew.


Northern Knights, Book One in the Lord of Columbia Series has seen good early returns.
While my income crashed and hopes looked bleak in the fitness world during the summer, my eyes set on a new challenge. To create a following. To become motivational.


To share my philosophy and perspective on society day after day after day, even if it kills me.


To challenge the hell out of mainstream thought. To speak my mind. To tackle sensitive issues. To do good for the public.

To write my books and share my story with the world. In thirteen countries.

My research for paid freelance over the past two months has given me a new hope. For jobs, for money, to make a living doing what I love and to wake up each Monday like it’s a Saturday, hit the gym in the morning as others fight traffic for work and I hit the library by mid to late morning.

Yes. It’s a new outlook.


The Challenge

See, without the challenge, without the adversity, without the reason for me to stand up, say enough, take action, take ownership, take control of my life, and state, with everything I have in me that I will never, ever rely on governments, corporations, anyone, for a paycheck.

For an income flow.

For my success to hinge on the success of someone else in some corporate office, heck no, nada, not going to happen.

It’s not the Libertarian way.

Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.

It’s not the Libertarian way, it’s not my way, it’s not self-reliance, it’s not individualism…it’s dependency.

And I could’ve taken one of two actions.

1. I could’ve sat there and complained about work, life, why I always get a raw deal, why I have such bad luck, why God doesn’t want me or will never let me succeed, while blaming corporate greed for this (likely illegal) pay cut without warning I didn’t even sign on for.


Then, I could sit there and tell everyone I had this going on or that going on but was forced to take a pay cut, downgrade, and live on the edge because someone else I worked my tail off to make a lot of money for and help them pursue their dream is in charge of my paycheck, therefore my standard of living, my monetary well-being, the whole nine yards.

2. Or, I could do something about it. I could research writing. I could start a blog. I could finish my book.


I could network across Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, do my research, read author blogs like The Creative Penn or Just Publishing Advice and dig myself not only out of my hole but move a freaking mountain.


Look my owner and manager in the eye and say freaking try me, I’m going to move a mountain while you’re still climbing hills and here in August, almost September 2018 it’s what I’m doing.

No, I haven’t broken even yet. No, I haven’t made any serious money yet. No, I haven’t made this a complete living yet.


But,  when I look upon this year come December, I’ll smile and nod. When December ends, and when the frozen months of January and February arrive, the willingness to evolve will have overtaken me.

I’m light years ahead of where I was. I’m one million yards ahead from where I started. People know my books exist. People know my blog exists. I get an increase in blog traffic each month. I’m seeing my book slowly climb the sales rankings.


I’m seeing everything playing out in a positive manner, setting the stage for something amazing to happen and happen it will.


You Can, Too

And the best thing is, you can do this too. What’s sad is most people won’t. They’ll take Option 1. They’ll sit, complain to others, complain online, complain to strangers, complain to anyone who hears them.


Come December, come Christmas, oh, they’ll be a wreck once more. Come January, they’ll be wishing, hoping, praying 2019 will be better than 2018.

Worse yet, people will listen, relate, and agree.

But no.

No. Don’t take that road, the road well-traveled, because it’s not a well-traveled road at all; it’s a road to nowhere.

There are two roads diverged in the woods. The road more traveled goes in circles, and nothing more. The road less traveled leads to somewhere great. Somewhere bigger.


Somewhere better. Somewhere most will never see.

But, it doesn’t have to be this way.

It’s us. It’s our choices. We choose the path. Like faith. We choose the path we wish to take. The good way, or the bad way. In this case, are we going to take the easy way out, complain about our jobs, get another one, complain about it, and never stop complaining about our situation?

It’s our job.

We chose to work it, we choose to go to it, no one’s forcing us, we’re only being forced because we control our spending habits and when we drive ourselves deep in debt, which is our choice, our job becomes mandatory only because it’s the sole way out.

What if I told you there’s another way?

Would you believe me?

It’s going to take a lot. It’s going to take early mornings, late nights, sacrifice, no more Friday night happy hour, no more weekend partying, turning the TV off, less (if any) relaxing, and a constant fight with sanity but it will be worth it.

How do I know this?

Because as much as I’ve been inconvenienced by powers out of my hands this year, I’ve seen first-hand what hard work, dedication, sacrifice, attention to detail, and attention to craft can do. And I want you to take the same path.

It’s going to be the toughest challenge of your life unless you’ve experienced something as a matter of life or death. But, it’s going to be a tough road. Are you ready?


Let this December be your best one yet. The year ain’t over.