So something that is very personal about me is that for several years now, I’ve really let myself go in terms of my physique and athleticism. I am very aware that I have no one to blame for this but myself and my lack of will power. You see, when you have near limitless access to a cornucopia of free, delicious, and gourmet foods as I had when I worked at Google, it is very easy to get carried away. Of course, Google also provides a billion ways to stay active and keep in shape… but I must have missed all of those memos.

The long story short is that I ended up gaining almost 45lbs in the two years that I worked there. It’s inexcusable and about 6 weeks ago, I started down a road to fix that. I’ve had some amazing support from my wife, Nicole, my friends, and also have been so lucky to have genuine guidance by my friend, Sandy Foster, of Yoga Bliss Photo.

But the point of this story actually stems from my personal trainer, Melanie. Melanie is maybe 5’1″ or 5’2″ but she could probably snap me in half if she sneezed the wrong way. In any case, I was in the middle of a session with her when she had me try a new form of squat which required me to balance myself on one foot while entering into a squat form and holding an 18lb kettle bell. This proved to be more difficult for me than any other preceding exercise because my equilibrium wasn’t tuned to keep that sort of balance and because I lacked focus.

So, Melanie instructed me to focus on a little label a few feet in front of me. Amongst all the chaos of everything going on in the gym at that moment, the only thing in the world that counted to me was that label. I turned all of my attention to it and you know what? It did the trick! It helped quiet my mind and all of a sudden, I was able to do two or three consecutive one-legged squats before having to reset myself!

I’m sharing this drawn out, personal story because I strongly feel that there are many common threads between my workout and photography in general. It’s easy to get distracted by the static building up everywhere around you when you’ve got your camera. This is especially true for me when I’m standing in the middle of a gorgeous creek or waterfall. I know that I need to quiet my mind and look for that one thing that causes me to stop and say, “ok, there’s my photo.”

One of my favorite ways to do this is to focus on little rocks and boulders in the middle of a stream. There is a certain peace that comes with just watching the water effortlessly skirt around and over anything in front of it. No friction, no drama. Just the path of least resistance. This usually is all it takes for me to find my happy place and start shooting.

Oh, and as for my weight loss? Since Feb 15th, I’ve lost 14lbs and about 5% body fat. I also dropped a size down with my jeans. :) I’m targeting about 25lbs to lose before reaching my goal.

Camera: Sony a7 with the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS
Filter: Formatt Hitech Filters ProIRND 10-stop ND
Tripod: Really Right Stuff TVC-34L/BH-55
Stylization: Adobe Lightroom 5.7