It happened. The website that I’ve poured just about every waking hour into for the better part of the last two years is gone, and in its place, we find this shiny new bit of internet real estate. The responses I’ve had come my way following the change have ranged from excited support to outraged condemnation, with some going so far as to accuse us of “selling out” and becoming “mainstream media shills.” I get it guys, change makes a lot of us uncomfortable, and I’m no exception. Coming from a guy like me, that’s never lived in one place for more than a few years and has made a career out of pursuing unusual ways to make a living, it might come as a surprise, but trust me when I tell you that few people dread change as much as I do.

Years ago, back when my wife was still my girlfriend, and my waist was still only 28 inches around, I decided to enlist into the United States Marine Corps because I recognized two things about myself: the first was that I was going nowhere as a college dropout turned mechanic. The second was that something was bound to change, so I could either make it happen myself or wait for fate to do it for me. Faced with the unavoidable understanding that, one way or another, something would have to be different, gave me the motivation I needed to make the decision myself, and in doing so, I not only changed the direction of the rest of my life, but I changed my approach to it as well. Change is a constant; it’s the only way to survive in a world that has little concern for what you’d prefer, and the only way to stay in front of it is to be proactive and find comfort in the uncomfortable. Growth, whether we’re talking about in your quads or your career, requires not only risk, not only pain but a willingness to embrace both. Get busy livin’, or get busy dyin’.

Literally no one misses this version of Alex. He needed to go.

When word came down from higher that our little corner of the internet was to undergo a substantial facelift, I felt that familiar sense of worry wash over me. Change was on the horizon, and I’d grown so comfortable in my fighting hole that part of me wished I could just stay in it, keeping things as they were, where I felt confident. Of course, that’s the wrong mindset: the transition from SOFREP to NEWSREP was a natural one, and one my hard work over the years had helped draw into fruition. I’m not, after all, a SOF guy — I’ve just been honored enough to get to work among them — but my anxiety forced me to confront my own complacency. Making this change made me take a look at myself in a critical way and make an honest assessment of what I have to offer in an increasingly convoluted media world. I needed to assess my strengths, but more importantly, my weaknesses as we look to embrace our existing audience, and hopefully, over time, help it to grow. It doesn’t matter what job I have to do, it could be mopping floors, doing preacher curls, or writing articles, I’m going to try my damndest to be the best at it — and that means acknowledging my shortcomings and working to correct them.

I can’t tell you if all things in life can be boiled down to fitness metaphors, or if my brain just forces it because fitness plays such an intrinsic role in what makes me who I am, but that sense of longing for more of the same, that anxiety associated with changing things up, extends well beyond our social and professional pursuits — it informs our approach to all things, fitness included. When we begin our fitness journey’s, everything is new and exciting, but over the years, we fall into comfortable niches and regimens. We may switch things up from time to time to keep our body’s guessing, but eventually, many of us find a comfortable range of exercises and activities, plant our roots, and settle into being that kind of fitness person: a weightlifter, a crossfitter, a long distance runner. We strive to improve within the scope of our chosen fitness realm and disregard workouts aimed directly at improving things that don’t fall within it. It’s a normal thing to do, but sometimes it can also be what’s holding us back from achieving things we hadn’t thought possible.