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How I Learned To Go H.A.M.

From a young age I was put to work by my dad within his construction company.

We did tons of concrete, demo work, steel building construction, and pretty much any other odds-and-end job you could think of.

By far, the worst I can remember was digging out an auger pump 40 feet under the ground in an old grain bin.

The smell was absolutely terrible and to top it off, it was in the middle of the summer so it was about 100 degrees out, extremely humidity, and being down in a 40 foot hole just wasn’t fun.

But not all the jobs were like that.

There were the times I would be given a sledgehammer and told to either go pound some 2 inch diameter pieces of rebar into a concrete slab or better yet, go break up pieces of concrete we were tearing out of an old driveway to prepare for a fresh one.

I actually didn’t mind doing that.

I could go on and on about the different types of jobs I did for my dad back when I was working for him.

There were a lot of good one’s and a lot of bad ones…

Now I look back and smile and think that those jobs weren’t all that bad and in how they actually all helped mold me into what I am today.

I wake up each and every day and give praise and gratitude to be able to do what I do today with training athletes and owning a gym.

I LOVE what I do and I’m thankful for everything I have.

The jobs I did back then were NOT easy. 

Construction work is some serious stuff and I give big time credit to the guys out there that do it for a living.

But, the man I envy and respect the most is my dad.

I can’t think of one single person in this world that is a harder worker then he is.

He’s currently 59 years young and he’s still out there getting his hands dirty pouring concrete in the summertime and constructing steel buildings in the winter.

If it’s 110 degrees out, he’s usually still working…

If it’s 10 degree’s out, he’s still working (well, most of the time ;))

The bottom line is this, my dad taught me at a young age what true hard work was by not only making me do the work myself, but also with leading by example.

He walked the walk and still does.

When I think of working construction now, I cringe at the thought of being out there doing all that hard ass manual labor, but for my dad, he loves it.

It’s his PASSION.

Working for my dad in his construction company was just a small piece of how he ingrained a “Hard Work – NO EXCUSES” mentality into my brain.

At an early age, he got me involved in wrestling.

I can remember when all of my friends were starting to get into basketball how I was pushed in to wrestling.

I didn’t like it at first, but after a while, it grew on me.

Just about every weekend during the spring and summer, he would drive me all over the country for wrestling tournaments.

I loved it.

Not sure if you’ve ever read one of my old blog posts before, but it was this wrestling tournament that truly changed my whole mindset…

Read more about it HERE.

Either way, my dad really got me into wrestling because he too was a wrestler.

OLD SCHOOL BAD ASS (Not the Uniform though 😉 )

My dad was a bad-ass motherf*cker when it came to wrestling.

My mom laughs when we get to talking about my dad and his friends of today have told me how, “no one would ever mess with Scotty”.

There’s been more people tell me stuff like this then I can count on both my hands…  Teachers, old coaches, local business owners in my old home town…  They all say the same things.

But, he was a humble guy and was never looking for trouble unless of course it was looking for him out on the mat…

My dad was a f*cking work horse…

He busted his ass and would tell me about all the times we would stay after wrestling practice to get in extra work.

Even when everyone else went home, he would still be in the wrestling room drilling, conditioning, and continuing to train.

In his senior year, he took one of the most successful wrestlers in Nebraska history – Roye Oliver, down in the first period.  What’s so crazy about this was Roye hadn’t been taken down all year other then that one time.

It was the semi-finals match for the states and it was an all out battle, but in the end Roye beat my dad by 1 point in overtime.

After high school, my dad walked on to The University of Nebraska where he had to fight for just a chance to join the team.

Within the first year, he battled his way onto the varsity squad and EARNED himself a scholarship!

But, just a month later, my Grandpa filed for bankruptcy, so being the type of man my dad is, he decided to drop out of college and leave his dream behind for family.

That just shows you the type of man my dad was and still is…

He was willing to give up a dream of his own in sacrifice to help my grandpa.  He talks about it every now and then and mentions how tough it was, but it was the BEST decision for his family at the time and everything turned out fine.

Family is #1.

He says this to me all the time…  “Family and Friends should ALWAYS come first”…

Now, to switch gears just a bit, as I grew older my dad would always talk about building up strength through bodyweight training and grip work.

He built a peg board and put it up behind our garage.

How many people you know can say that?

He also told me at a young age to do push ups every night before I went to bed so I did…

He also told me to get strong with pull ups, so I did…

I can remember we had an old cloths hanger in the back yard I would go do pull ups on when I got bored.

Back then it wasn’t nothing to go back a hit a set of 20-25 pull ups just to do it.

I wouldn’t even think twice…

Good stuff and great memories!

Now beyond the physical points my dad would always stress, he would often talk about the mental side of things as well.

He told me to never be satisfied.  Celebrate your victories early, but forget them quickly as there was always going to be someone out there gunning to get what you got.

There will always be someone out there stronger, faster, and better then I am…

You have to continue to focus on improving no matter what.

When I look back, I can honestly say I didn’t have the mental edge that I have today.

I had all the tools in the world to be a champion in wrestling, but the doubts I had within my own heart and mind were what hurt me the most.

Back then, I didn’t BELIEVE I had what it took to be a champion and I beat myself up about it all the time for it.

Thinking about that now is what drives me to be better in everything I do today, but the major source of all of my drive, desire, and hard work I have all comes from my dad.

So, THANKS to my dad for forging me into the man I am today…

I’ll continue to strive to get better with everything I do and forever go H.A.M.

#trainaggressive 

Got stories about your dad?

Post and share them up in the comments…

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  • http://Aggresive,HardcoreStrength Nelson

    You must be very proud Travis, I don’t even know you or your father but I bet we would have been great friends growing up. We both were raised strong… Herc.

  • matt

    Nice work Bro. Everything out there has a story/Journey. Yours is definately a good one. Matt

  • Rick

    OK, I may have missed it and tried to figure it out. what does the acronym H.A.M mean? or where does it appear in an article,blog? thx

    • forgedstrength

      Rick, if you gotta ask…

      Search through some of my old post bro 😉

  • http://www.morningmistfitnessfarm.com Mayo Holloway

    Travis,I know how you feel my Father was everything to me,wish he was still around.All my values and work ethic came from him and I got his brains fortunately.I am about your Fathers age and I had been in the Pipe Trades all my life until I became a trainer and Bro I know that hard ass work miss it sometimes especially the big jobs but like you Travis I give praise to be able to do what I do today.Great post man can’t wait till Monday.Take Care

  • Reynaldo

    Any one can be a dad it takes a man to be a father

  • Bryant Georgen

    I lost my father to cancer last year at 77 years old. He was a retired insurance agent and financial planner for 43 years. He worked harder than anyone else and NEVER took no for an answer. He was constantly winning sales contests and winning trips to Hawaii, all expenses paid, etc. I’m a salesperson, too, and I do my best to exemplify his work ethic. I remember many of the lessons he taught me, many of them I learned through demonstration. I’ll never forget him. I miss him terribly. He was my hero.