Monday, February 29, 2016

Motivational Monday: Start with the man in the mirror

@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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Disclaimer: I am not an expert, but the advice dispensed here has been researched or is something that has worked for me in the past.  Proceed at your own risk...

I saw this quote "If you're searching for that one person that will change your life, take a look in the mirror."  and immediately thought of the Michael Jackson song Man in the Mirror.  I've pondered the quote and the words from the song over the last few days and really if anyone is going to save you, it has to be you.

No matter what element of your life you want to change, the most important thing is doing more than just WANTING to change.  And make sure you really do want to change and understand the challenges involved.  Set up smaller daily goals to help reach the ultimate prize.  For example if you want a promotion or a new job, don't wait for someone to call you.  Be your own advocate.  Apply for at least three new jobs a week.  Follow up and continue to update your resume.

Running through the snow...

Over the weekend I was a part of the Southern Illinois Men's Expo.  One of the speakers is a marathon runner.  He said during his discussion if you really want to be a runner you have to train all the time.  If it's raining, prepare to get wet.  If you don't feel well, run anyway.  Too busy?  While you're waiting for your kid to finish soccer practice, run around the field.  

The point is you can make excuse after excuse for not achieving a goal.  Stop doing that and get started now.  When things get tough, trudge through.  Change isn't easy, but your life may be after change is made.  Believe in yourself more than anyone else and make the people who do support you proud.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Hall of faming ain't easy

Godfather as IC champ
Courtesy: WWE

@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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Earlier in the week the Godfather was announced as the next member of the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2016.  So far he and the legendary Sting are the two confirmed inductees.  I haven't seen the "leaked" list of others, so I'm limiting my thoughts to just the Godfather in this post.

Chad & Papa Shango
We started a conversation on Episode 66 of My 1-2-3 Cents the podcast about Godfather's induction.  The character was certainly over with the fans during the Attitude Era, myself included.  But I also liked the Papa Shango character Charles Wright (the man behind Godfather) played.  So is he Hall of Fame worthy?  The debate comes up each year.

While there are men and women who I think should be in the Hall of Fame sooner rather than later, I don't think anyone currently in should not be there.  Each Superstar, Diva and announcer is there for a reason.  Guys like Koko B. Ware, Junkyard Dog and Big John Studd may have never wore gold in the WWE, but each person enshrined has made some kind of impact on me as a fan through the years.  (I'm not going to comment on the Celebrity Wing.)

Chad & The Godfather

Another factor WWE considers is name recognition.  As Chad pointed out on the show, more fans today know who The Godfather is than say "Superstar" Billy Graham.  Remember, it's a business.  WWE will cash in with merchandise sales and a desire for fans to meet the new inductees during Axxess.  

On the more morbid side of things, there are a lot of greats who are no longer with us and may never make it into the HOF based on that.  It's been reported the company doesn't like to do a lot of posthumous inductions in the same year.  There's a growing list of worthy men who aren't in as a result.

Ho train
Courtesy: WWE
Final thought, is WWE being hypocritical by keeping Chyna out of the Hall of Fame because of her adult film past and inducting a pimp who was always accompanied to the ring by hos?  Share your thoughts here or on the Facebook page.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Motivational Monday: Fall seven times, get up eight

@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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Disclaimer: I am not an expert, but the advice dispensed here has been researched or is something that has worked for me in the past.  Proceed at your own risk...

"Fall down seven times, stand up eight," is a Japanese proverb that should really be taken to heart by all of us.  I recently saw an example of this come into play.  

I was at a cheerleading competition waiting for my daughter's team to perform.  Another squad was on the floor, when one of the fliers tumbled from her stance.  As she fell, she took down two other girls with her.  All three hit the mat with a thud.  Despite gasps from the crowd, the trio sprung back into action.  I was impressed with their determination to keep going.  Whatever uneasiness or fear they felt, they hid it.  

You don't have to literally fall to get back up.   Falling isn't failing.  We all get off course from time to time.  If you miss a day or two at the gym or decide to eat a doughnut instead of an apple,  don't dwell on it.   You may have to tweak and adjust goals along the way.  Just don't make excuses.  You'll never see results if you do.  Fall down, get up, dust yourself off and keep going.  Repeat when necessary.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Three Wrestlemania opponents for The Undertaker

Undertaker at Wrestlemania 29
Courtesy: WWE
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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Speculation is running rampant on who the Undertaker will face at this year's Wrestlemania.  Even though the Dead Man's winning streak ended a couple of years ago against Brock Lesnar, the Undertaker's match is one of the most anticipated.  

This year's rumors have ranged from Braun Strowman (which have since apparently been squashed) to John Cena.  Now there are reports the Undertaker's opponent will be someone not on the current roster.  That can be interpreted as someone from the past returning or a wrestler on NXT stepping up in a huge way.  Here are a few ideas.

Roman Reigns
Courtesy: WWE

Roman Reigns: This isn't my idea, but I like it a lot.  Greg DeMarco of Breaking Wrestling News discussed the reasoning on a recent episode of My 1-2-3 Cents the podcast.  Dean Ambrose should win the Triple Threat at Fastlane and go on to face Triple H for the WWE Championship.  Brock Lesnar takes on Bray Wyatt and a frustrated Roman Reigns turns heel and tries to prove himself against the iconic Wrestlemania Superstar.

Finn Balor
Courtesy: WWE

Finn Balor:  He's the pick from NXT.  His "demonic" character against the Deadman writes itself.  This could become a very significant torch passing moment.  However, I don't know if WWE would put an NXT wrestler (even if it's the champion) in such a high profile match at the biggest Wrestlemania in the history of the company.  That's not a slam against Balor or NXT even though it probably comes off that way. It's late, I'm tired and I can't articulate myself the way I want on this point.  

The Rock
Courtesy: WWE
The Rock:  I know it's a long shot.  And I don't even know that I really want it to happen.  But here's how it could become a storyline (thanks to reader Jason DeBoer for the prompting on this).  The Rock has beaten three of the biggest names EVER in the wrestling business at Wrestlemania.  The Great One has beaten “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Hulk Hogan and John Cena at Mania.  Even though he's off to Hollywood, he could say he's running out of time when it comes to beating The Undertaker.  

Other ideas: 
If he were healthy, I'd definitely would have made the match against John Cena this year.  I don't think Cena will return early from his injury, but I won't be surprised if he does.  Samoa Joe would give 'Taker a good match too. If WWE doesn't go with Ambrose vs. Triple H, but the Lunatic Fringe in there against Undertaker instead.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Motivational Monday: Presidential quotes

@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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It's President's Day and in an effort to honor the day I've decided to post quotes made by Commanders in Chief.  Please note that in an effort to avoid negative comments or general whining about sharing a particular quote, I've left the names out.  That way you can still be inspired by someone you can't stand politically speaking.  :)


"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

"It's easier to do a job right than explain why you didn't."

"One man with courage is a majority."

"I walk slowly, but I never walk backward."

"We did not come here to fear the future.  We came here to shape it."

"We grow great by dreams.  All big men are dreamers."

"An error doesn't become a mistake until you refuse to correct it."

"An honorable defeat is better than a dishonorable victory."

"It is better to be alone than in bad company." 

"If you don't feel something strongly you're not going to achieve."

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." 

"The best way to predict the future is to create it."

"The only man who makes no mistake is the man who does nothing."

"We cannot build our own future without helping others to build theirs."

"If you can't make them see the light, make them feel the heat."

"Always give your best, never get discouraged, never be petty; always remember, others may hate you.  Those who hate you don't win unless you hate them.  And then you destroy yourself."

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy (Greg the Hammer) Valentine's Day

@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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Happy Valentine's Day!  I came across some funny cards created by fans much more clever than I am.  Sorry I don't know the original sources for these, but the Neville one is my favorite.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

One more match: Daniel Bryan

@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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Yes! Yes! Yes! I realize less than 48 hours ago Daniel Bryan announced his retirement. I completely agree with and support Bryan's decision.  I'm sure WWE had some influence in it as well, again Bryan's health comes before my (or any fans') entertainment.

Courtesy: WWE
However, I realize Bryan is not going out in ideal fashion.  I still have visions of seeing Ric Flair's "final" match at Wrestlemania 24 and the emotion and celebration involved.  The next night on Raw was one I'll never forget.  I was also in the crowd when The Undertaker tombstoned and pinned Shawn Michaels, ending his career in Phoenix six years ago.  I want Bryan to have that big moment too.  

Courtesy: WWE
There are plenty of great opponents Bryan could have "one more match" against.  Rather than name all the possibilities, I'm going to focus on one.  Even though he's also stepping away from the business or so it seems, I would love to have been able to see Kurt Angle wrestle Daniel Bryan.  Both men are phenomenal athletes who have accomplished virtually everything there is to in the wrestling business.

Kurt's best years are behind him, but he is still able to go.  I know wrestling is out for Daniel, at least in the foreseeable future, but it's my blog and I can dream if I want to.  While this match may never actually happen, one can hold out hope that Bryan's condition improves and he is able to have a successful run much like The Heartbreak Kid did from 2002 to 2010.  Again, a fan can dream...  If that's the case, Sami Zayn, Neville and Kevin Owens are a few of the opponents I'd like to see Bryan face.

Courtesy: WWE
Meanwhile, I again want to wish Daniel Bryan and his wife Brie nothing but the best.  I hope he is to find something to fulfill him like wrestling did.  I'm grateful for the years he was able to get in the ring and amaze fans.  His ability to adapt to every situation thrown his way is admirable and his love for the fans will not be forgotten.  #ThankYouDanielBryan.  You're one of the true greats.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Motivational Monday: When you feel like quitting...

@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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Disclaimer: I am not an expert, but the advice dispensed here has been researched or is something that has worked for me in the past.  Proceed at your own risk...

I came across that quote this morning as I was scrolling through Facebook.  It’s by no accident I’m sure.  The original post came from the Southern Illinois Men’s Expo page and was put there by Harness Digital Marketing.  I think most of us can relate to the words, whether it’s with a fitness plan, career choices or relationship goals.

If you’re reading this on Monday, then you know it’s the day after the Super Bowl.  Like many people in this country, I overindulged at a party Sunday evening.  I stayed up later than usual for me (I get up at 1:30 a.m. daily) and as soon as my alarm went off I instantly told myself “you get to take a nap today.  Skip the gym and come home and sleep.”

One of many plates. 

 But then as I got some caffeine flowing and came across the Motivational Monday quote of the week, I knew going home and napping wasn’t an option.  I really needed to get to the gym for a couple of reasons.  I had lost five pounds last week and I celebrated that fact by having an epic cheat day at the Super Bowl party I attended.  While I know I can’t undo the cheese and bacon filled mini potatoes, guac and chips and buffalo chip dip I indulged in, I knew that I would feel better working out.  Also daily frustrations had already built up and Gold's Gym is a more effective stress reliever than eating a bowl of Cocoa Pebbles like I used to do.

I’ve started and stopped working out more times than I can remember since graduating high school nearly 25 years ago.  I often think where I’d be had I stayed the course.  Now at nearly age 43, I’m determined more than ever to reach my fitness goals.  I hope when you feel like quitting you’ll think about why you started.  I know I will.  Good luck on your quest.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

"Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff scarred me for life

Mr. Wonderful: The bendie 
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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Growing up in the 80's I had most of the LJN WWF wrestling figures.  They were not dolls!  I would come up with dream matches all the time as I clunked the big rubber wrestlers around the ring.  After the first couple of rounds of the larger figures, LJN introduced us to smaller, bendable Superstars.

I didn't have nearly as many of these, but I did have was "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff.   One Saturday night I was bored and laying in bed watching "The 3 Stooges" on KPLR (St. Louis readers know what I'm talking about).  I was about 13 at the time, old enough to know what I was about to do was stupid...

In one hand I had the Mr. Wonderful figure.  The other hand a pocket knife.  I proceed to cut down Orndorff's spine with the blade.  To this day, I don't know what possessed me to do this.  But what happened next is even more mind boggling.  With the knife stuck in his back, I rammed Mr. Wonderful into the wall.  When I did, the blade folded down and sunk into my right index finger.

You can kinda see the scar in this 

I immediately dropped the weapon and my victimized wrestling figure. I ran into the bathroom in an attempt to clean up the blood.  After a few minutes of pressure, my parents determined I did not need stitches.  I can still remember trying to explain what had happened and why I did it.  

Some 30 years later I still have the scar on my finger.  It's not a badge of honor like most scars.  Instead I view it as a moment of stupidity in my teenage life.  Moral of the story: don't play with knives, the experience isn't "wonderful."  

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

You can't outwork a fork

Working the ropes
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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On New Year's Day I posted a blog about how running had made me fat.  I decided then that after years of talk, 2016 would be the year I find my abs.  My friend Tyler Hatton reached out to me and offered to work with me at Gold's Gym.  This is my one month progress report.  (By the way, you can listen to my podcast with Tyler about fitness and nutrition here.)

When I weighed in on January 1, I was 193.6 pounds.  I'm pretty sure that's the heaviest I've ever been.  Today (February 2), I'm down exactly 10 pounds, weighing 183.6 pounds.  My goal remains getting more toned and defined.  I'm seeing some progress in that department, but as we all know these changes take time.  

Back and biceps day

I am proud that I've been consistent with my working out. I hit a different group of muscles each time I'm at Gold's, which is at least four days a week.  I'm also running (not as much as I used to), but more importantly I'm eating so much better than before.  I've said goodbye to flavored coffee creamer, fast food and I very rarely eat sweets. 

Spaghetti squash burrito boat

This past Sunday I splurged and had a cappuccino, a glazed Krispy Kreme doughnut and a few hands full of chocolate caramel popcorn.  But I limited my poor choices to that one day and I'm back on course.  I recently made a spaghetti squash burrito boat to replace the usual wheat or flour tortilla.  It was incredibly delicious.  

Ab workout
Chad and I are both competing against each other in this Operation Find My Abs challenge.  It's not about being vain and posting a bunch of pics, although I did here.  My goal (and his) is to motivate each other and help readers and listeners along the way.  His main focus is DDP Yoga,  a program I still do from time to time.  I'm staying mostly in the gym for my quest.  

If you're thinking about getting started, it's not too late.  Don't wait until "Monday."  Finish reading this and then start.  Play episode 60 of the podcast and get some fitness and nutrition tips from someone who knows what he's talking about.  Good luck! 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Motivational Monday: Taking on February

By Chad Smart
@chadsmart & @my123cents on Twitter
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About three years ago, I ordered the DDP Yoga workouts and was determined to beat Kevin in the “Operation Find My Abs” faux challenge. Once I got the DVDs, I wrote a blog to publicly announce my intentions to get in shape in hopes that if I put it out there I would have to go through with the plan. Even with getting a call of encouragement from “Diamond” Dallas Page, the initial euphoria of working out only lasted a few months before I fell back into old habits and let the DVDs collect dust. 

Last December when the DDPYoga Now app was released, I figured if I bought a year subscription then I’d have to use it. Otherwise, I’d just be wasting money. This time however something was different. Previously, I was doing the workouts but that was about it. This time, I knew I had to make changes to my lifestyle. The big question was would I be able to make those changes and stick with them. 

The first step was getting into the habit of doing the workouts. I had started looking at the new workouts on the app. These would be the first pieces to change my mindset. Previously, one of the excuses I used was “the workouts are too repetitive” because I was watching the same DVDs every day. Now there were new workouts to try out. However, I will admit that after a month of working out daily, I’m starting to slip into the old mindset. I need to refocus. 

Second step involved eating. I have been living in fast food joints for the better part of twenty years. Now was time to learn how to use the big white box in my kitchen that produces fire. I waited until after I finished my last job on January 8 before starting this step. Since January 9, with the exception of this past weekend when I wasn’t home, all my meals have been home cooked. So far, I have successfully changed my mindset. I don’t look at fast food as food I can’t eat. Instead, I view it as food I DON’T want. If you’d told me at the beginning of the year, I could go three weeks without Taco Bell and not be craving it; I would have thought you were crazy. Now though, I’m looking forward to improving my culinary skills and seeing what new things I can try in the kitchen. 

Something that has helped me over the past month was being unemployed. It’s not a thing that I’d recommend. In fact, if anyone reading this knows of anyone hiring, I could use a job. Anyway, being unemployed gave me more time to integrate more cardio into my daily activity. In the past, when I would be unemployed I’d usually go see a movie either daily or at least three times a week. In addition to sitting in a theater for 2-3 hours, I would always get a pizza and either a water or large Cherry Coke. Not exactly the best decisions if you’re trying to get in shape. 

The past three weeks though, instead of sitting in a theater, I spend the 2-3 hours walking. I try to average at least seven miles a day and on really good days, walk 10-12 miles. Again, it comes down to mindset. I would rather be doing something active to pass the time than simply letting the day pass me by while I sit. 

My goal when I started, or re-started, was not just finally finding my abs before Kevin finds his. I knew I wanted to lose 20-25 pounds and get into better shape. After the first month, I am well on that path. I’ve lost 10 pounds and feel much better. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to take my 30-day progression photos before writing this blog. You’ll just have to take my word that there’s been a noticeable change. I will get photos before the next installment of the Accountability Blog. 

If you’re reading this and either are on a path to better yourself, or thinking about it, Kevin and I are here to help cheer you on your way. I know Kevin has been hitting the gym more. I stand by the DDP Yoga app. Whatever you choose, try to stay positive and keep pressing on. Success isn’t judged by one day and neither is failure.