V is for Victory

I’m gonna start this article with a disclaimer… I do have a sharp tongue. I often give people the wrong impression. As my friend, Katty, says, “There’s a fine line between being proud of what you’ve done with your life and rubbing your accomplishments in the face of someone else that doesn’t have your motivation.” Obviously some people don’t have the same motivation as me… That does not make them a bad person. Sometimes when I try to “help” folks by talking about my personal accomplishments and what I’ve been able to do (or can do) and combine it with my sharp, blunt tongue, it can (and does) hurt feelings.

If you do not have a thick skin, I will probably offend you with this article. I apologize in advance… But, if you don’t want scary answers then stop asking scary questions!!!

I sincerely love all of you! For different reasons I have found joy in my relationships with everyone I know. Life is a playground… You’re gonna scrape your knee sometimes. We dust ourselves off and get back in the game. That’s a given. But, when you fall on the monkey bars and land on your nuts… That’s what separates the boys from men.

 

Without further ado… Here comes the rant!

It’s hard for my friends to understand this, because for the most part, they are overachievers as well. But… I believe that most people are lazy. And, not in a good way.

When I first started this article I really just wanted to talk about body language. Have you ever noticed that when someone runs across the finish line of any race they raise their arms into the air creating a “V” as they complete the race? This is especially true of someone who wins the race. And, referees do the “V” to signal a touchdown. The weird thing is that pretty much every person from all different backgrounds does this famous “V” when they are victorious. It is a natural reaction to throw your arms in the air when you win! Rocky (and other boxers) did it with every win and every success!

I recently asked myself, Self… Why can’t you simply raise your arms for victory before you do something and then be better at it? The answer I got back was strange (mostly because I was talking to myself)… I can. That’s right folks… I believe in the power of body language. We all know it is important for communicating our feelings with others, but many of us didn’t know it works for ourselves too. Try it. Put a huge smile on your face, hold your head high, and throw your hands into the air. You will feel like a million bucks. And, your chances to succeed will increase exponentially.

Now let’s segue into the second half… Simply throwing your arms in the air is not enough. You MUST dig deep and stay motivated to accomplish great things!

Dead Horse… Kick… Yada… I was born with hemophilia. I spent my entire childhood being told by doctors, parents, adults, siblings and friends what I COULD NOT do. I was rarely told what I could do. At nineteen I was told by the family doctor that I would be dead within the next couple of years. Did I give up? Nope. Did I die? Nope. Have I been held back by my disorders, viruses, diseases, and injuries? Say it with me… Nope!

After my HIV diagnosis, I spiraled into a stint with drugs and suffering. Shortly after that bad faze in life, I was gripped by reality and turned my life around. I went from making $9 per hour to running an entire systems department. Within five years of this, I had quadrupled my salary. QUADRUPLED, people.

Two years later I started a computer consulting company with two close friends. Within a year we had twelve employees and were pulling in $2,000,000 in annual revenue.

Since then, I have had two children even though I’ve been told countless times that it isn’t even possible.

From a fitness and healthy perspective, I am sick and tired of hearing people bitch and moan at me about my LUCKY metabolism. Funny thing about my luck (to paraphrase Harold Hamm), “The harder I work, the luckier I get!” Most people see my slim, muscular build and assume this is a metabolism thing. Has anyone seen my father? Metabolism is not one of our gifts. I workout HARD and OFTEN.

I play hard – Ask any of my mountain biking buddies. Ask any of my paintball buddies. Ask any of my motorcycle friends. Ask any of my climbing bros. Ask anyone who off-roads with me.

I workout hard – Hello? Come join me at my gym (it’s called The Vomitorium) for the beating of your life… If you dare, punks!

I work hard – I haven’t gotten where I am in the business world by sitting on my thumbs.

I study hard – I have literally read thousands of books about manifold subjects. Ask my dirtbag friends what I did when we started climbing… I am a self taught computer programmer. I am a certified personal trainer who adamantly studies exercise and the human body. I am certified and taught motorcycle classes to beginner and advanced riders.

Did you know that I post an article on this blog every other day? Do you think that is easy? Do you think that’s air you’re breathing? HA!

Am I rough around the edges? Hell yes. Am I a straight shooter, who will tell you how it is? Yep. Most people around me appreciate my bluntness… Those who don’t rarely last.

Do I know the secret to life? Nope. But I know what it ain’t… Lazy.

Enough tooting my own horn for now… There will be plenty of time and other posts for that.

(:

Am I vain? If being proud of my accomplishments in life is vain, then yes I am. Merriam Websters defines vain as: having or showing undue or excessive pride in one’s appearance or achievements. I do show pride in my appearance and achievements… Is it excessive or undue?? I say, nay.

Do I have to be vain and have an enormous ego to accomplish great things? Absolutely not.

I guess my point is that it takes some confidence and motivation to really push yourself past the envelope. In life, people will try to bring you down. People will try to tell you what you can’t do. People will doubt your prowess. Prove them wrong!

Do you have some accomplishments that you battled to get? Do tell…

I challenge you all… Step it up a notch! You can start by motivating yourself, and by starting tough tasks with your arms raised into a “V” for victory!!!

I will leave you with this:

Tony Manero: You know what I wanna do?
Jackie: What?
Tony Manero: Strut.

*struts*

Posted with an edge and some love,
V

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About Vaughn Ripley

Vaughn is a happily married daddy, author, and CIO. He is an HIV+ hemophiliac, and is one of the longest surviving HIV+ people in the universe.
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Read his personal blog: HIVLongevity.com
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Comments

  1. Dan McNally says:

    LOL! . . . I wouldn’t want you to be any other way, Vaughn! You wouldn’t be you, if you acted any differently! I am comfortable in my fat self . . . and have no problem with you being comfortable (and proud) with all of your accomplishments. I think a lot of the “He’s so vain” mentality in the world is simple jealousy! Keep doing what you do, my friend!

    • Thanks, Dan! That means a lot to me. I agree about the world’s mentality and the Australian’s even have a saying, “tall poppy syndrome” to describe it! As usual, thanks for chiming in.

      -Vaughn

  2. Keep on strutting blood brother

  3. I never liked the word lazy. I don’t believe anyone is truly lazy. I find “lazy” is fear driven. Once we label or accept the term lazy then we believe it. I have worked hard and doing the things I love in life but must be careful that I am not driven by what others think of me but what I think of myself.

    • Excellent point Jonathan! I love the premise of “what I think of myself.” Another (along those lines) one I love is people who race themselves, despite being in a group of other racers. It is important to challenge ourselves on a regular basis. If we set standards and levels and then routinely work/fight to surpass them, we are heading down the right path.

      -V

  4. Offended? I say, nay. Even if you were vain, who cares. You only live once. As long as you are not hurting anyone it does not matter. If your confidence harms others that is their problem. No offense! 🙂 I say, good on you.

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