Turkeys, Crabs, and Jerks – Oh My!

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“You can’t soar with the eagles if you’re scratching around with turkeys”

The above quote is on one of the first pages of my journal.  There’s no name attached, and google tells me that a lot of people are taking the credit…

But, regardless of who said it first, it’s an important thing to remember – especially when it comes to your body shape.

A Harvard study showed that spending time with fat people all but guarantees that you’ll be fat.

A few years ago my Dad and I went to visit my uncle, who was then the tourism director for Port Angeles, WA.

twilight_book_cover for carson city personal trainer blog

That’s the area where the ultra-popular Twilight novels are set.

If you’ve never been, I suggest you make plans to visit.  There are lots of great hiking trails, ocean adventures, and you’re right across the water from Victoria B.C., where there are museums and art galleries everywhere!

port angeles for carson city personal trainer blog

One afternoon we took my uncle’s boat out to catch some fresh crabs.

When you take the crabs out of the traps, you just toss them in a big bucket.  After the second trap the bucket has lots of crabs crawling around over each other.

This one crab was all set to get out of the bucket.  He was ambitious enough  to climb on top of all the other crabs and then hooked on to the lip of the bucket.

bucket of crabs for carson city personal trainer blog

Now, I’m not a fan of deep water, so I had a white-knuckled grip on the side of the boat.  I wasn’t about to let go before we were back at the dock.

When it looked like the ambitious crab was about to make a prison break, I hollered, “Yo!  One of the crabs is getting out!

My dad and uncle just laughed and told me to watch.

Fine,” I thought, “if they don’t care about losing dinner then neither do I

What happened next has a lot to do with that Harvard study I mentioned a minute ago…

The ambitious crab was getting ready for freedom and pulling himself up out of the dinner bucket, the other 5 crabs below him REACHED UP AND PULLED HIM BACK DOWN!!

A fisherman on the boat told me that crabs just “police” each other.

guy in crab suit for carson city personal trainer blog

But what that means is they drag each other down.

This reminds me of what I see with my clients and friends every day.

We’re surround by crabs who waste our time and drain our energy….   These crabs destroy your passion, motivation, enthusiasm and ambition.

(Often times it’s just an unconscious response, just like the Port Angeles crabs in a bucket.  That doesn’t make it any less real.)

Fear is what drives them.

Fear of losing you.

Fear of being left behind.

Fear of change.

Fear that they couldn’t do it.

These fears are camouflaged as concern for you.  They urge you to be “Realistic.”

crab_hat for carson city personal trainer blog

They always have a reason to burst your bubble, to pull you down with the rest of the crabs.

To put the seed of doubt into your ambitions.

These crabs are often the people closest to you.  Often very close…

They kill your mojo.

Sap your energy.

Drag you down.

You can feel the bad vibes coming off of them…

bad vibes woman for carson city personal trainer blog

Sound like anyone you know?

Well, after thinking about that bucket full of crabs, I took a hard look at the people in my life.

And then I cut out people who were sapping my energy.


Other trainers.

I even limit exposure to certain people who (unfortunately) can’t be cut out permanently because they’re family.

If  I could give you one thing right now, today, it would be the ability to recognize the crabs in your life….

The people, the thoughts, and the ideas that are pulling you down, holding you back from achieving your goals.

Maybe it’s even you…….

crab mirror for carson city personal trainer blog

3 Responses to “Turkeys, Crabs, and Jerks – Oh My!”

  1. Luke Wold Says:

    Being “realistic” is too often an excuse for not working hard enough to improve. It also happens to be a significant source of unhappiness. —John Eliot, PhD.

  2. John Says:

    Cut the family too. Sometimes they just aren’t worth it.

  3. Linda Says:

    Oh My!!!