I’m Rob Wilson. I value people and life’s journey. This is my story.
It can be very dangerous when we believe we know and can do, but in reality, we find out we don’t and can’t.
It was the summer of 1996. At that time, I had a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. I grew up in one of the worst and most notorious neighborhoods in inner-city Philadelphia, so pretty good street smarts. I thought I was well equipped.
As I opened the door to my bank, a handgun was pressed into my forehead by a guy in a jumpsuit. He used it to push me backwards just outside the doors. A split-second later, another guy came out and pushed another gun into my right ear. Great, two guns now. I must have missed that class.
Defeatedly I said, “What do you want me to do?” Forehead-guy said, “Get inside!” while ear-guy yelled, “Get on the ground!” So I said, “So, which one is it?” Ear-guy then said, “Get inside and get on the floor.” Done.
Now, I’m lying face down on the tile floor, just inside the doors. Not a good feeling. I heard scared voices, commotion, and crying and realized the two gunmen were gone. For the next three hours, we were locked inside the bank as the local FBI questioned everyone. As I sat there, I had time to think.
I realized that I didn’t know what I thought I knew. I was disappointed and a bit angry. I resolved that going forward, I would research and train with the experts of reality-based personal protection and violent confrontations. And so I did. Along the way, I earned a first and second-degree black belt in Hapkido. Always the martial artist.
Training in Hapkido provided the mindful yin to the aggressive and brutally honest yang of reality-based personal protection. Grandmaster Gedo Chang guided me through Ki Breathing, meditation, and the philosophy and approach of Zen. Living the way, so to speak.
Then I began to apply this reality thing to all aspects of life, because what we practice in the dojo, doesn’t directly translate to the street. What we learned in business class doesn’t fly in the boardroom. What we absorbed from that book is great information, but it doesn’t account for the variables and dynamics of reality.
So what do we do? The great jazz musician Charley Parker once said, “Master your instrument, master the music; then forget all that bullshit and just play.” Study, train, practice and master it, so that in reality, we can just play. In 2012, I wrote a book entitled, “The Gray Reality” and its tagline is “The better we understand the black and white of things, the more effectively we can operate within the gray.” Reality is a million shades of gray.
However, no matter what we know or do, no matter how hard we train or practice, the situation at hand can be much bigger than we are. It’s unexpectedly overwhelming, like two guns to the head on a nice, sunny day.
A few years back, I began training in yoga, going more towards yin. It has helped me physically, spiritually, and emotionally. I highly recommend it.
I’m a registered yoga teacher (RYT200) with Yoga Alliance.
I follow and study the approach and philosophies of Sadhguru (Jaggi Vasudev of Isha), because his philosophy and approach, resonates with me; realistic and down to earth.
But wait, there’s more! (such a funny line, I had to use it):
Bachelor of Science in Fitness Management, 16 years in the commercial fitness industry, public speaker and CEU trainer on fitness, published in Campus Rec Magazine and Play & Playground Magazine, wrote over 200 articles and one book, 4x Tough Mudder Legionnaire, and invitee to World’s Toughest Mudder. Etc …
My goal with this blog and eventually teaching yoga (maybe) is to share insights and wisdom through reality and life experience that will help, if even in the smallest way.
“Rob is equal parts Simon Sinek and Chuck Norris. I think you’re going to like him. He has a true talent for explaining complex topics in simple, jargon-free language that is entertaining and compelling.”
– Kent Callison: Director of Marketing, GameTime
“Rob combines humor, analogies and thought provoking observations that give me great reminders about what my team needs to stay focused on.”
– David Hill: Senior Sales & Marketing Executive, GameTime
“The creation of Zen within one’s life is a journey that will never end. Rob is on that journey. His professional, creative, and motivating style has helped me get through some difficult times. When things get tough, I remember his words.”
– Kirt Roosa: Tennessee Sales Engineer
“Rob gets people. His approach is tangible. Our company gets better every time I sit down and chat with him.”
– Greg Copponex: President, The Copponex Group
“Through his writings I have been able to take normal everyday happenings in life and use them in my job to better myself. Thanks Rob.”
– Dennis Deal: Territory Sales Manager
“I always find his articles witty, fun to follow, and easy to relate to. Sometimes I’m even provoked to think differently, more open minded, and rethink things to have a more positive perspective.”
Cindy Robinson: Project Manager, GameTime