Building a blog can be lonely.
I’m sitting behind my computer. You’re reading this on your iPhone. Where’s the connection? Where’s the relationship building?
My vision for this blog is to not only have it be a source of information, but also a community. I know a few of you by name but I’d love to get to know more of you.
Yes, that means you there, reading this right now. Time to introduce yourself. 😉
A week ago I stumbled upon a fitness blogger named Krista Stryker. She wrote an article called Imperfection where she shared 39 things about herself. I was inspired by this and decided to veer a bit from writing about the latest bodyweight technique, and instead share more about myself on a personal level.
After learning more about me, I’d be honored if you shared something about yourself in the comments below. That way, I’ll know you by name.
25 Things You Didn’t Know About Me
1. My full name is Tadas Vitas Kuslikis (Thanks a lot, Dad!)
I have a name that no teacher could pronounce. I would usually get anxiety during attendance as the teacher would go through the list of kids. They would come to “K” and be like, “Ummm… hmmm…”
2. I am extremely introverted.
When I was in 5th grade, my teacher set a goal for me to say one word out loud in class. I can’t remember if I actually achieved that goal, but I’m guessing that I didn’t.
Most of my friends (when I actually see them) say that I’m antisocial. I actually have very high emotional intelligence and interact well in groups or with individuals, but I prefer to be one-on-one or by myself. I recharge when I’m alone and get exhausted if I’m around others too much. I’ve been to weekend-long seminars where I have lost my voice, even if I’m not talking. Pretty strange.
3. I am an eternal optimist.
The world is full of great opportunities. Why see the glass as half empty?
The motto of my senior class in high school was “Carpe Diem” or “Seize the Day”!
You only live once. It’s time to give it your all and stop living in the world of “what if?”
4. I don’t like to eat.
In fact, I hate it. I think it’s boring and I wish someone could stick an IV in me for a few minutes and I’d be good to go.
5. I drive everyone nuts with my diet.
There is a running joke in my family that every time someone sees me I am on a different diet. It is true that I have experimented with pretty much everything. However, I am now 95% Paleo and just tweaking it here and there.
I used to drive my family nuts because nobody would know what to cook for me. Now I just drive my wife nuts. 😉
6. I was cut from my freshman high school basketball team and never tried out again.
I stunk at sports in high school. My older brother played basketball at the varsity level throughout all four years of high school and all four years of college.
I was always a “B” level player, and even though I was a shoe-in for the b-ball team because of my brother, I still didn’t make it. I was devastated at the time.
7. I am a follower of Jesus but I didn’t always follow Him.
I was raised a Catholic, but at the age of thirteen I started questioning everything. I had so many questions. Is there a God? Why would God create humans and then send them to hell? Who am I?
At the age of thirteen I began a deep quest to answer these questions. I practiced Taosim, Buddhism, Shamanism, Atheism, and Baha’i religiously for over a decade. The practice I became most involved with was zen meditation. Most days after school (including much of grade school), I would come home, lock myself in my room, turn on Buddhist chant music, light my candle and sit. My breath would slow. My mind would slow. I simply sat. These sessions would frequently last for hours and I had experiences that veteran monks would envy. However, the experiences would end, the feelings disappeared and I realized that they were not truth.
I came to realize that I was creating my own religion, and that there was only One Way, One Truth and One Life.
8. I have wiped so many male butts it doesn’t bother me any more.
For much of my life I have been a caregiver for people with closed head injuries and spinal cord injuries. Part of that work is helping them with their bowel programs (for the uninitiated, that means going number two). During the first few times I would dry heave because of the smell. Now, it doesn’t bother me in the slightest.
9. I have a heart for the mission field.
The last mission trip that I did was when we were pregnant with Emma, two years ago. We went to Krygryzstan and it was an amazing trip. I would love to incorporate regular service projects for my family, so that we can learn and remember the value of blessing and serving others.
10. I am not a huge fan of formalized education.
That may sound weird coming from someone with a Masters degree, and with a wife and sister that have degrees in education, but I just think I’m a little jaded. I have racked up so much debt that your eyes would probably bug out. Formalized education is good for a lot of people, but for those individuals that love to learn on their own and grow professionally and personally, I don’t think it’s needed. The new generation puts more weight behind “What have you done?” or “What can you do?” than “How many letters do you have behind your name?”
11. I get annoyed when people swear.
Swearing is low class. People think that it’s cool or that it’s just an expression of their emotional state. They’re wrong. I believe that the world would be a much better place if people controlled their tongues and chose their words more carefully.
12. I have biciptial tendonitis in my left shoulder.
At one point in my life I wanted to be a professional boxer. I even trained under one of Floyd Mayweather‘s trainers. The Sessions were intense and repetitive. Eventually, I injured my left shoulder from jabbing so much, and I ended up with bicipital tendonitis. I have to spend extra time stretching and rehabbing it before doing handstand work or intense push-up work.
13. I love being around elderly people.
One of my first jobs was at a nursing home. I worked in the kitchen as a dietary aide. We cooked the food and then delivered it to the residents at meal times. After work some of us would go to the main activity room, turn on the mic, and adjust it so that it could be heard throughout the facility. We would then sing “You Are My Sunshine”, “Amazing Grace” and many other favorites. The residents absolutely loved it.
14. I have a bump on my tongue from when my brother kicked me in the head as a kid.
I have an older brother. Yes, he would frequently give me injuries.
One time, we were playing karate in the basement. Things got a little out of hand, and I got pissed. When I get mad, for some reason, I bite my tongue. Well, Tom decided that was the perfect time to deliver a round house kick to my jaw. Blood started squirting everywhere, including down my throat. My mom thought the hospital couldn’t stitch up a tongue, so we iced it and let it bleed. The tongue healed, but not how I would have liked.
15. I once walked with a group of wild deer.
I used to have a friend in Kalamazoo, Michigan who was a scientist. He told me about one of his friends, Dr. Peter Beamish, who could communicate with animals using a system called Rhythm Based Communication. He said that it’s very similar to a system that Native Americans used. After he taught me the system I didn’t quite believe that it would actually work, until a week later.
I was hiking on a trail in the forest and, all of a sudden, I saw a deer. I immediately crouched down and looked at the ground so that I wouldn’t scare it away. I then flicked my hand quickly up in the air at certain intervals. When I looked up I noticed that the deer hadn’t run away, and that there were other deer around too. They were about twenty yards away through the trees, and I spent the next three hours patiently using RBC to get so close that I could actually touch them. It was one of the most surreal and magical experiences of my life. It ended when we heard someone coming down the path and the deer bolted.
16. I once gave away practically everything I owned.
I am not very materialistic. When I was in Nursing School I felt the urge to downsize. So I pulled out two pairs of shorts, t-shirts, pants, shoes, socks and underwear (big mistake with that one) and gave pretty much everything else to Goodwill. My TV, stereo, bed and everything else… see ya later!
17. I have been in an acapella group.
When I was at Western Michigan University, I was in a 5-person acapella group. We sang a ton of songs including “My Girl”, “Stand by Me”, “Oh Draw Me Lord“, and others.
17. I am as stubborn as a mule.
I don’t compromise my values.
As an example, about a month into my marriage my wife baked a loaf of home-made bread. I started eating it and said, “Wow! This is really good. What’s in it?” She rattled off the ingredients and when she came to the word “sugar” I immediately spit the bread out of my mouth on to the floor. I reprimanded her for using sugar. Needless to say, we ended up having a huge fight.
Lesson learned: Don’t major in the minors.
18. I served in New Orleans for two months after Hurricane Katrina
I was in Nursing school at the time Katrina came through. I was one of those people that was glued to the TV screen and knew that I had to do something to help. So I asked my professors if I could take a semester off to help, and they were OK with it. I joined the American Red Cross and embarked on a two month journey that drastically changed my life.
19. I faint when I give blood
I can’t give blood. I’ve tried three separate times, but every time, I faint.
My first time was when I was 16 years old. For some reason I thought I was supposed to not eat anything for 24 hours beforehand, so that my blood would be purer. After giving blood, I was standing at the juice and cookie station. I turned to my dad and said, “I feel a little light-headed.” Before I knew it, I’d fallen and hit my head first on the counter, then on the table where my dad was sitting, and then finally on the floor. I was only out for a few moments, but that was my first experience.
I tried two other times (making sure to eat a ton beforehand) and similar things happened. I guess my body just likes to hold on to its blood.
20. I don’t have a TV or a smart phone
Yes, I run a technology-based business but don’t even use a smart phone. In fact, I don’t even have text messaging on my phone. Above is a picture of my current dumb phone.
I used to have an iPhone, but when I got to the point where I was checking my email at 3am, I decided to axe it. I have an addictive personality, and I need to safeguards around me to make sure that I don’t get out of control.
21. I used to teach Tai Chi
Above is a picture of my first class. It was such a joy.
We did Secret Family Yang Style and focused heavily on the martial application of each movement. I’ve had several occasions where someone came from behind and “attacked” me, and my body naturally neutralized them by putting them in a hold before I even realized what was going on.
22. My first car was a Camaro
I mentioned above that I’m stubborn. I am also persistent. When I was fifteen years old (yep, I had my license before I turned 16 – long story…) I saw an ’85 Chevy Camaro that I wanted. It had dual exhaust, T tops, manual transmission, and was just plain awesome. I didn’t quite have enough money to buy it, so I begged my dad to chip in for weeks on end. He eventually caved and I was in heaven.
23. I have an addiction to cold water.
I have made it a habit to break the ice at my parents’ cottage during Christmas-time and jump in. I love the energy I feel when I’m in the cold water. I give my props to Rickson for this.
24. It took me nine years to get my Bachelors degree.
Farley – “Did you hear I finally graduated?”
Spade – “Yeah, in just a shade under a decade… alright.”
Farley – “A lot of people go to college for seven years.”
Spade – “I know. They’re called Doctors.”
Ahhh… rest in peace, Chris.
I totally related to Chris in Tommy Boy. Although I didn’t spend my time partying, I just didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. After graduating from high school, I went to Western Michigan University to study Occupational Therapy. After a year, I decided I didn’t want to do that, so I switched to a local community college and studied general topics. After a year of that, I dropped out and studied nutrition, herbal medicine, acupuncture, personal training and massage therapy for a couple of years. I tried to start up a practice but was unsuccessful so I went back to WMU and entered Nursing School. After three years of Nursing (one year to go, and hating it), I dropped out for a second time to start my own business, which eventually went bankrupt. Here’s our pitch video that we created. Pretty good, huh?
I then tried several other business pursuits including Multi-Level Marketing (which I was terrible at), and finally decided to go back to college to finish up my degree. I ended up getting a General Universities Studies degree, immediately went into a Masters of Public Administration program, and finished up in one and a half years. My goodness what a journey this has been.
I am officially done with formalized education and I’m NOT going back.
Note: For those of you that are struggling to find your profession, realize that it takes time. Don’t rush it. Find what you are passionate about. This is WAY more important than trying to choose based on “job markets”. Do what you love. Get good at it and the income will follow.
25. We just found out that we are pregnant with #2!!
Having children has been one of the greatest blessings in my life. I would easily trade everything I have, including my life, for the health and livelihood of my daughter, Emma. A few weeks ago we found out that we are pregnant with number two! So excited! Not quite up to par with my buddy Chris, but well on my way!
If you have read this far, I bet that you feel like you know me well now.
I’d like to get to know you!
ACTION ITEM FOR YOU: Introduce yourself in the comments below and share one thing about yourself.