Train Everyday to Live

“On my refrigerator is a colored 5×8 card that simply says “Train everyday to Live” its been there for many many years and on many many different refrigerator’s. It was a simple sentence said to me by a Ranger in 1986 training for the Best Ranger competition. It was never about being the best Ranger it was for him about being the best HIM he could be. Training everyday in the things that matter is the key to strength , health and happiness. It is my truest belief that the day I stop training is the day I start getting old, the day Ill start to die and I’m nowhere ready for that.” – Tom M.


Why do you train?

Some pursue an aesthetic goal, six pack abs, bigger muscles, and slimmer waist lines. Others train for sport performance. Most of us aren’t body builders or professional athletes, so what is the reason behind your training? Theres a lot of talk reagarding your “why”, the reason behind what you pursue, not just “what” you are pursuing. With anything you pursue in life, the reasoning behind your actions must be strong. If its a weak “why” then you will fall off the path to self improvement. So, why do you train? what motivates you?  Brad, author for the site, touched on this in his piece “My Motivation”, his “why” was guided by his daughter, and the fact that his career may put him in harms way. He has stayed true to his “why”. He has began to train in Jiu-Jitsu and has become quite the formidable opponent. Whatever your “why”, whatever your reason, it must be strong. The pursuit of anything relating to your improvement is one of drive and action.

Why do I train?image

A while back my Father in law, told me of a quote he heard when he was a Ranger in the U.S. Army. “Train Everyday to Live”. He is a man who truly lives the Martial Way, always learning and moving. He has seen the worst in people and the best. He has traveled the world as a warrior, with experiences and challenges that would break the average man. Yet, his glass is never full. He’s always looking to fill that glass. He is currently learning a new form of Karate, Isshin-Ryu, at age 62. So, the quote stuck with me “Train Everyday to Live”. What struck me is this, the word “live”, not “survive”, but “live”. How many of us truly understand the word “live” and how many of us go day to day to “survive”.

We live in a time in history where the average life span is nearly 100 years. How many of those years are spent living and how many of those years are merely  surviving. Ive seen many people in my time with a beating heart and I wouldn’t consider them to be alive. Just because your body is taking in oxygen, doesn’t necessarily mean your living. To me a person who is alive has the ability to move and act as they please and they live in a state of “awe”, always looking for new information, looking to inspire and improve.  Yet, there are many out there, absent any major illness, who still do not embrace that freedom. Many develop excuses as to why they can’t move, or choose not to. The less you move, in my opinion, the less you live.

Think about the amount of us that spend a large amount of time saving and investing in our retirement. Yet, how many invest time and money into their health and longevity? Will you be well enough to enjoy your retirement? Will you be able to move ?

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop”- Confucius 

The other day I saw a man, who appeared to be in his 60’s, running with his adult son, who looked about my age. I noticed the ease in his stride, Similar to his son who was half his age. This man didn’t allow the status quo from keeping him from this run. Even when the majority of men his age are nearly immobilized, he decided that wasn’t going to be him. He trained to live, he didn’t allow his age, his schedule or excuses to drive him into a life of inaction. The ability to run, hike, bike and move with my Boys throughout their lives is what motivates me.

If you don’t move past what you have already mastered, you will never grow

Many of us get stuck in a certain mode of training. This could be “globo” gym style workouts, running, or even a martial art we’ve mastered. It seems we often train and train only to get “comfortable”, but in comfort lies complacency. In complacency we forget to find new challenges and collect new information. So, we need to continue our quest for new training that’ll make us better or give us a tool that may help further down the road. In finding new challenges, we continue to live.


I train because if I want to run, I can. If I want to hike, I can. If I want to play baseball with my boys, I can. I want to look at everyday as an opportunity to become better, faster, stronger, smarter.

I don’t want to just “survive”, but “live”.  This is training to live. Its training to surpass what you have already mastered. Training to go beyond existing. Training Everyday to live.



4 thoughts on “Train Everyday to Live

  1. Another OUTSTANDING Article Efren and you Honor me Greatly Son. This piece fits seamlessly into the last few articles on training and motivation and time…

    Training is at the Core of us. It isn’t the gym , the range or the dojo that trains us….. Its our lives , its the heart and the spirit and the soul of us that drives us to Train. Training is in everything you do. I say it a hundred times a day. Everything I do is ” All Good Training ” because that’s how I see the world. I always have. Everything in my life from being polite to helping a stranger is all just good training. It strengthens me and directs my steps. Action builds and compounds our spirits to thrive, it drives us to become who we are thru the physical steps we take everyday. Good and Bad are the same to me. Every Experience of my life has Value and helped shape me into who I am. Its the same for you.

    Facing the crushing blow of deepest betrayal by a trusted friend , the death of a close loved one and teammate or the harsh reality of the chaos of the battlefield its all the same in my mind. Its the day to day experiences of MY life that build into the story that is the days of our lives.. your life and everyone else’s. That story is written in the action of our decisions and how we choose to allow events to effect on us.

    We are a composite of the things we do and that is Driven by choices. You choose to be Who and What you are through those actions. The force of your will directs your steps along the pathway of your life . You have to ask yourself WHO do you want to be? What are the CORE values of ME. I’ve always seen my life as one , never ending Mission. One gigantic thrilling adventure. From the deserts of the middle east to the deepest forests of central Europe
    to camping off my bike with friends in Wisconsin or in my grandsons back yard. The MISSION is the same , to learn and grow to be better stronger faster smarter.

    In seventh grade I went from a restrictive Catholic school program into the mainstream of the public school system literally overnight . on my very first day an event occurred that has shaped me and stayed with me all the days of my life. I had a science teacher, ( they didn’t teach Science in Catholic school they taught Religion) WHO TOLD ME THAT MY BRAIN WAS AN ELECTRO-CHEMICAL STORAGE UNIT AND MY PURPOSE WAS TO FILL IT. His words stayed with me. I have spent everyday of my entire life trying to do just that. Memories, knowledge, experiences sight and sound and smell. That was the mission I was tasked with early in life and I still strive to fo-fill that mission even today. I wont ever stop , I could never stop because its at the Core of me.

    That same year the Martial Way entered my life and it helped to direct me to become me. Ask yourself Who do you want to be ? What do you want to be ? The world around us is full of people who always say…….. I COULD HAVE DONE THIS OR THAT. I COULD HAVE just means to me you ” DIDNT. ” I Could Have ” isn’t in my vocabulary. and it shouldn’t be in yours.

    Write the pages of the story of your life thru the actions and decisions that push you forward. That build you into the person you choose to be. There are no weak days or down days or days off from your life. Each one is a magnificent gift. An Opportunity that you choose to see and experience or waste. Its up to you.

    A thousand times a day the words ” DRIVE ON ” echo through my mind. What echoes in your mind?


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  2. I decided I don’t want to be stuck at 300 plus pounds anymore. I designed a diet that would work FOR THANN, not the general population. A diet I can stay faithful to with out fail. I’m faithful during the week and cheat on the weekends. I’ve dropped 48 pounds in a little over 6 months. I work out with 25 pound bags of lead shotgun shot 20 min twice a day. I walk sometimes a mile sometimes 3. Unrealistic goals of body builder figure was my failure in the past. Want to know my big secret? no charge. Eat less and better&Move around more. TAAA DAAA

    I still smoke, working on that-slow and easy. Dramatic change has not worked for me in the past. To be old and wise you must first be young and foolish. The amazing stuff I’ve learned. Next I’m working on (slowly I might add) is practical real world martial arts. Any art that gets you moving, sweating, struck, is beneficial. If you have the desire and the drive, JUST DO IT. Never mind what others tell you, do what makes you happy.

    In the mornings I sit on my front porch for a couple of hours, drink my coffee, pet my dog and watch the world go by before I start my day. Very satisfying, somewhat peaceful and a wonderful lazy way to enjoy what makes me happy. Text my friend every morning just to say, hey, I’m still in the fight and it’s a great day to be alive.


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