INSPIRATION from rob and the wrench

THe Greatest WomAn i never knew


Inspiration From Rob and the Wrench

Women's History Month


Loretta Marie Kehoe was born in 1900. not the best of times to be an ambitious, driven woman. Women's fortunes were tied to the men they married. Her journals tell the story of a restless, ambitious, driven, romantic who wanted all she could get out of life in a male dominated world. After a youth of testing boundaries and pushing limits Loretta graduated high school the year women finally got the right to vote.Then it was off to college while her friends were getting married and foregoing their dreams in place of their husbands. She embraced the new found opportunities for women the roaring 20's offered and after college it was a job at Maryland national bank and a glass ceiling so low you needed to get down on all 4's to get under it. the glass ceiling was no obstacle for this tough, thick skinned woman. the men's world was her to take on and she moved on to become executive with the bank, a career in finance and membership in the male dominated american institute of banking in a time where a single woman had little chance of getting credit, Loretta owned her own 2 story house in Pikesville and drove the automobile she and she alone owned. needless to say she was a threat to jealous men and even women who thought her life was not acceptable for a woman of that era.

At the age of 30 she met John Kelly ason of poor Irish immigrants who became a self made trucking magnate. John was a confident and self assured man who found Loretta's independent nature was something he cherished about her. Jealousy was never in his nature and he found her kindred spirit fascinating. As Loretta stated " I married him because i love him and i didn't need his money, house or cars I had those, now i had the man I love"

This amazing Loretta Kelly is my grandmother, i never met her but through her journals i learned all about her and learned how i should live my life, i learned how to never run from a challenge, never be afraid to be different or be afraid of what others think . and finally love and cherish the amazing qualities of another. Loretta is not in any history books and no movies have been made about her life, but she shaped my life and taught me well, thank you grandma i hope you would be proud to call me your grandson.

This is dedicated to all the great women in our lives.

the vision of a song writer

Words of Wisdom from Rob and the Wrench

We listen to music all day, from Country, to Rock, to Rap, Soul, Blues, and Indie; we have all felt the gamut of emotions tied to our favorite lyrics. Music makes us happy, sad, romantic, inspired, and spiritual. Our workouts take on a whole new level of intensity when the theme from Rocky, Flashdance, or We Will Rock You by Queen plays. Now I'm really dating myself... Most of the people in my gym don't even know who Rocky is.

What is the genius of the song writer. How can it be that someone can create such music so full of emotion without ever hearing it played. Look no further than the the greatest composer of all time. Ludwig Van Beethoven. His greatest symphonies were composed while he was losing his hearing. In fact, a large part of his work was written while he was completely deaf.For the person who only has sight or hearing of what is in front of them. It is hard to see how a composer can create music they cannot hear.

The true genius of the song writer is the vision of the music that can be. It is played in their mind before the 1st note is ever written, or the first instrument ever played. Whether it is Bernie Taupan and Elton John, McCarthy and Lennon, or Don Henley and Glen Frey (Now I've REALLY dated myself), these song writers all had a vision of music that could be and not just the sight and sound of music that already is.

For you see even though Beethoven never heard his beautiful symphonies played in the concert halls of Europe, he had the vision to hear them in the concert hall of his mind. So next time you feel the rush of emotion from your favorite song, remember that song was once the visual genius of a songwriter.

Dare to have a vision of the music that can be. It's not just a songwriter's thing, it's a life thing.

i got your back

The we not me with no expiration date. I got you, you got me. We rise together we fall together. Through the good and the bad we are there for each other, stand next to each other and hold each other up.

I rise not only for the benefit of myself but all those around me. And when someone messes with you they mess with me.

Wether we are a sports team, military unit, friends, husband, wife, father, mother or simply member of the human race. We have each other’s back and even though we have not spoken in years or are separated by distance having your back comes with a lifetime guarantee and no expiration date.

You and me and everyone.

happy valentines day

On this day full of love start with you. Love yourself for the good person you are and love the person you are meant to be. then spread that same love to everyone around you. love them for the good people they are and love and encourage them to be the awesome people they are meant to be.

Don't selfishly mold those around you into your image. Love and cherish the gifts they and they alone possess.

Happy Valentines Day

My philosophy

I walked through the door this of morning into this not so beautiful rocky gym called S3 training center, just as I have every morning for twenty years. I wondered what it is about this place that inspires athletes to change their game and people to change their lives to achieve their lifelong dreams. It can't be the new equipment: it's only been here for a year. And it's certainly not the aesthetics. It suddenly hit me that it is the atmosphere: one that allows you to rid yourself of fear by learning, drilling, and mastering things you fear. Promote a challenge as an opportunity, not something to dread. Have the freedom to mess up, make mistakes and learn from them. Take risks, maybe fall, get back up, and do it again, this time better. Get with people who are facing and overcoming the same challenges in life. You are not the only one life throws curve balls to. From the staff, to each person in the gym, we have each others' backs. And finally see that our bodies love a challenge, and will always respond. The harder the challenge, the stronger we become. With that, I think I'll get started on inspiring and empowering myself, and then doing the same with those around me. Have a life changing day.

ROB SLADE C.S.C.S.

As owner and developer of the Sport-Speed-Strength Training Program, Rob Slade is the true keystone of S3 Training Center. As a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (C.S.C.S) NSCA, Rob has been training sports teams and individual athletes as well as Police and Firefighters since 1981. Rob was awarded the Division 1 Collegiate Conference Strength Coach of the Year (Two times) NSCA. Rob's past training experience also includes being the former strength and conditioning coach as well as the Assistant Track Coach for UMBC. He also was the former Strength Coach for the USA Sailing and Chessie Racing Teams.

Rob has personally trained and provided fitness training for several Police and Fire Departments including Howard County, Maryland State Police and Baltimore County. He is a graduate of Towson State University and is from the Baltimore area. Rob is the physical education instructor for several schools in the area. He holds several patents for the design of exercise equipment used in training. Most importantly, Rob brings love and respect to every thing he does. At S3, that positive and uplifting attitude is contagious, and makes working out fun and uplifting for all athletes.

A bucket list goal with a heart felt meaning

To play CSNY's Southern Cross on my sailboat at sunset. A bucket-list goal with heart felt meaning.

Just like sailors who followed the stars of the southern cross to navigate the harsh, unforgiving, and unpredictable Southern Ocean, we too must follow our hearts and navigate through the tough times in our lives. And just as the Southern Cross led the sailors to new and wonderful new worlds so too will our hearts lead us to a new and wonderful life. If we are willing to follow

"When you see the Southern Cross for the first time you understand" lyric- Crosby, Stills, & Nash

Become the architect of your own life

An Empire State kind of vision from Rob and his wrench:

From the mind of architect William F. Lamb, came the incredible vision of the Empire State Building that then became the larger than life building we see today.

Have the vision and become the architect of your own amazing life.


Make your own path


Instead of taking the road less travelled make your own. Build on your strengths, become the best at what you and you alone were born to do. Climb to new heights. The view at the top is a sight most will never see. It's not just a jeep or mountain goat thing it's a you thing.

While everyone sees a wreck and criticizes your intentions. Have the vision to pursue your dreams, surround yourself with others who see your vision and have the perseverance to make those dreams come true. For me this boat is a dream come true. Thank you Will Ruhland for sharing my vision when everyone else thought I was crazy. Your expertise in boat restoration made this dream of a boat a reality.

the real strength of a husky

Samantha entered my life two months after I lost my beloved old dog, Sam. This husky has captured my heart because of her amazing strength.

Her strength is not one measured by how hard she pulls me on our many walks. Or her determination to be the "Alpha" in the household. Or her strong will to live life on her own terms.It's certainly not the fight I have with her to get my own bed back.

Samantha's strength comes from bringing joy to others. She is an earnest husky. Her real strength comes from being able to give joy to others in my life: specifically, my father. My father has experienced a lot of grief: losing his wife, his own dog, his home, and his good health. In one minute, Samantha was able to bring happiness to an eighty-five year old man who seemed to have given up on life.

Some people may not understand the ability of a dog to bring joy and love into our lives. This is the real strength of not only a husky, but all dogs.

Samantha, thank you. I am not quite sure who rescued who.

the man i am today

As I was cutting the grass I had a memory of pushing my plastic lawnmower behind my dad as he used the real one. Thinking of the day when I would come of age and use the real one, one of those mile stones to becoming a real man. I think back to an amazing group of men in my childhood who became my mentors and were so much an important part of who I am now. First was my father and name sake James Robert Sr. He taught me the business end of a shovel and a hammer. He taught me how to fight, how to fight for what I believe in, fight for what is right and fight for those who cannot fight for themselves. Then there were the two grandfathers I never met. They passed before I was born. Wesley Lee Slade's name can be found on a monument at Pikesville volunteer fire dept., dedicated to those fire fighters who fought in WW1. I learned from him how to be willing to do anything to help the ones you care about and love even at great risk to your own life. My mothers father John Kelly ,the self made son of poor Irish immigrants started a huge trucking company with a horse and wagon, hired newly released convicts and homeless men and paid the oil bill at his church for five decades, anonymously. I learned that having a successful business allows you to do good for your fellow person without dealing with politics, having to ask for money, favors or permission. Then my two first bosses Mr John and Mr Bud, who were more like surrogate grandfathers. there were so many times I screwed up. They never fired me. It was always a grandfatherly stern talk in the office on how to always give my best to any job given me, not squander the opportunities I was given to make really great things happen with the only life i would ever get,and never shy away from using my strong back and doing hard dirty jobs to start my journey to success.They also taught me to have respect for others. They are long gone but I still refer to them as Mr or Sir. We had four neighborhood renaissance men. Mr Bruno was the older father of a good friend. He had a mind that would not stop or slow down. He was always building, creating and designing. He was a mechanical genius and an artist with tools. From him I learned to value the wisdom of all those older than us and how a creative mind and good hands can make ideas into reality. Mr Stu took me to my first real gym when I started to love weight training. He was the fertilizer and water that allowed me to pursue my dream I live every day. And Mr Bob used his giant garden to teach me that good preparation, careful nurturing and patience not only leads to a good crop but are the keys to achieving any dream. Then there was Dr. John a most amazing man who taught me that knowledge was your gateway to achieve anything you want. He taught me to overcome fear and gave me one of the most adventurous childhoods ever. The biggest thing he taught me was to never let my diabetes stop me from achieving anything. The mass card at Dr Johns funeral was from Brave Heart. It stated ''Every man dies but not every man lives''. My father is the only one still here and just yesterday we had a medical scare. But you see these men and who they were and the values I learned from them are alive in me. and if I live my life as they did and teach those values they will continue to live into the next generation. I hope I can be half the man they were.

when a bad thing becomes the best thing that ever happened to you


I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was 11. For my parents it was devastating. For me it was a week in the hospital for a kid like me who still can't sit still. I think they were just as glad to get rid of me as I was to leave.

Now it was on to a life of shots, new diet, sugar testing and a whole load of complications to worry about. But to me it just became an inconvenient thing in a very busy life.

I realized that if I started to exercise a lot my sugar went down. To an eleven year old that means more food. Wow so now lots of running, push ups, sit ups, and bicep curls with a paint bucket full of dirt. Then at age 12 I bought a plastic weight set from the nearby toy store and hauled it home in a wagon. I bought it with lawn cutting money.

The day I totally fell in love with working out and fitness was the day I felt my arm and found a bicep. I liked it. My version of the hulk.

Now for the first time gym teachers noticed me, kids that picked on me left me alone and I felt awesome about being me. For once I was really proud of myself.

I went on to play sports in high school, become a collegiate discus and hammer thrower, taught scuba diving, sailed, and a host of other things. In other words, I lived life to the fullest.

Now I own a gym, fitness and sports and youth development is my passion and dream that started at age 11 with a diagnosis of a lifelong medical condition. Funny how things workout.

Thank you diabetes for the life you gave me.

A message to the hero i never met


To the hero I never met, Wesley Lee Slade, Pikesvile volunteer firefighter, WW1 veteran and my grandfather. Pops I am your proud grandson,proud that whether you were charging into a burning building or charging into German machine guns your courage never wavered. In 1917 you went from protecting your fellow man in your town of Pikesville to protecting mankind in the deadly fields of France. As I read your unit history I read of horrors I could only imagine in a terrible nightmare. You lived it and suffered the rest of your life for it. Although you passed on before I was born I learned a valuable lesson from you. I learned how important it is to be willing to sacrifice for those you love and care about even if it requires the ultimate sacrifice. Thank you pops,all 34 other pikesville volunteer firefighters,your 3 sons and veterans of all our wars. I can only hope to be half the man you were,

11/11/11/18

I'm a jeep, not a porsche


I'm a Jeep not a Porsche, stop dwelling on your weaknesses and build on your strengths.

Words of inspiration from Rob and his Wrench

Oh how I miss my beloved jeep CJ 7 Renegade, the most cherished vehicle I ever owned. That CJ was a four wheel reflection of me.

My parents thought otherwise. My Dad thought it was insane that I would buy something that he almost froze to death in during the Korean War.

Mom stated flat out "the most irresponsible thing you have ever done. They are loud, bumpy, freezing in the winter, ungodly hot in the summer. They are full of drafts, and leak. You need a ladder to get into it, and without the doors on it is downright terrifying. I heard 60 minutes says that jeeps tend to roll over if you drive around beltway exits at the speed of a Porsche". Well I could not get my jeep to go as fast as a Porsche if I dropped it out of an airplane.

The real stinger was when mom asked me how I could take my girlfriend out in a "thing like this". Funny thing was my girlfriend had a "thing like this", only it was red.

Mom had a point though. When coming back from teaching a scuba class, we got in her jeep with wet hair and arrived home with it frozen.

Moms last statement to me was "why cant you get a car and be like everyone else"

Well later that winter, through 18 inches of snow "that thing" that no one else has, that thing that's not a Porsche, a jeep flies through the snow drifts, past the other cars everyone else has, that are now trapped in snowbound driveways or imprisoned on the side of the road by mountains of plowed snow. In no time at all, I get my mother to her friends for her hair appointment, in the middle of a snow storm. Thanks to my jeep, doing what it does and does well, doing what it was born to do and is now recognized as great, from the same person, my mom, who could only see the jeeps many flaws before.

We spend too much time being critics, of not only ourselves but of others. We dwell on our weaknesses and never see the strengths we all posses. Our strengths get lost in the snow drifts of criticism and we never spend enough time loving our own and others talents.

I had a truly amazing life coach work with me to organize my chaotic life. I quickly realized that she possessed an amazing strength and talent. She had an incredible ability to make me like me. And see how through all my faults I was truly gifted. And from an automotive standpoint, she did not try to change a jeep into a Porsche, but worked to make the jeep into the best 4 wheeler on and off the road. Funny how her strengths allowed me to build on my own strengths.

No matter if we write the music or perform it, coach the athlete or are the athlete, teach or learn from the teacher, design the building or construct it, drive the car or fix it, we must all spend more time on following our strengths, our passions and gifts in the only life we have. And we must spend less time being the critic and more time nurturing others and their strengths.

Remember if you are a jeep, don't try to be a Porsche, or be a car that anyone else has. Be the jeep that can go anywhere a car can't. Thrive being what you and only you were meant to be. Be happy being you.

the fallen tree


I mountain bike past this fallen tree every day. I have ridden by this same tree for years, but every time I pass it, this same tree always looks different.

In the winter it is covered with snow, in the summer it is covered with a beautiful carpet of green moss. In the spring it is covered with dew and in the fall it is covered with frost.

The same tree changes appearance throughout the day depending on where the sun is and if there is any sun at all.

Some days a snake may sun on the soft moss, or a bird may find it the perfect perch. Leaves sprinkle it like confetti and raindrops bounce off it like a trampoline.

Age, time and the elements seem to take some of the tree away but always adds to the new appearance.

Every minute of every day this same old tree has something new and beautiful for me to see. It is never the same, always changing but always beautiful and always making me smile. It’s like my own natural art gallery that changes paintings every day.

One day the tree will disappear and become rich soil on the floor of the forest. But its story does not end here. For that nutrient rich soil will serve to create a new generation of trees. And the two constants of change and beauty continues.

Imagine our lives like this. Ever changing for the better. Always discovering, exploring, creating, and solving.

A life where problems become a challenge that makes us stronger. And as we age we still make the world a better place, and bring happiness to people lives.

And when we are no longer here our legacy has been such that those following us become inspired to do the same.

Embrace the constant change in life and change yours for the better. Your life is an amazing gift no matter your age, problems, stresses, or issues. Remember just as the tree will look different Monday morning, Monday is a new day for us. Make it a great one.

how to use a wrench

Sunday, I was doing more restoration work on my beloved Jeep. I dropped a wrench down inside tbe engine. I was thankful it wasn't running. Imagine the damage...

Did you know there is a Merriam-Webster definition of "throw a wrench into it." It's defined as "to damage or change something in a way that ruins or prevents it from working properly."

I thought about how I see a wrench. Without one, I could never have restored this beautiful Jeep; or built any of my exercise equipment; or made any of the creations I have in my lifetime.

I guess a wrench, and how it's used is dependent on whose hand it's in.

Some people can see it as a bad thing, an obstacle that can't be overcome. Everything seems to have a wrench thrown into it.

Or... You can see a wrench as a tool to build, repair, and create. When a wrench is thrown into your life, you choose how to use it.

the wrench - episode 1

The special needs population and the work place: how to build on strengths and not dwell on weaknesses

starring: Rob Slade and Mark Warns

Watch video here

seasons

How wonderful the things are that people complain about.Last week during the BOMB CYCLONE when temperatures dipped into single digits and omg that wind chill, while people complained about the awful winter and longed for the humid ,sticky summer they will complain about in a few months I was exploring the winter beauty of Lake Roland park on my mountain bike. How great the mud free trails were, like riding on a sidewalk. How beautiful the lake was in its plate glass covering of ice with wisps of wind swept snow on top,and how wonderful it was when the quiet was broken by the sounds of geese and the popping of the giant ice sheet.How much more i cherished sitting by my fire place with Sam my dog after that ride. While people complained about shorter days and long winter nights I had the mind clearing thrill of a crisp night ride as the super moon seemed to follow me up the trail. It was so bright i could of turned my light off.. Back to the hot humid summers people wanted in the winter . Now as those people complain about the awful heat and humidity,and we are constantly reminded of the heat index my well hydrated self is on my bike amazed how beautiful the suns rays look streaming down through the trees and how un threatening the black snake looks sunning itself on the rocks. As people complained about the non stop rainy days and long for the sunny hot humid days they dread i ride and watch the rain stream of the bright green leaves, rain drops dancing on the lake and dozens of frogs hopping through the puddles. People tell me your crazy you may get hurt in those conditions.Oh that's right i am recovering from 3 broken ribs, fractured shoulder blade and concussion from you guessed it, a fall on my parking lot at my condo.Go figure. I guess i could just stay in the house and complain. No don't think so.ENJOY LIFE .ALL OF IT EVERY MINUTE OF IT. hAVE A GREAT DAY.

historic inspiration from the wrench

Oh well it’s Monday Morning. The weekend is over and it’s back to work and your reading this on your cellphone courtesy of Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone.

This photo shows a wooden wall phone from 1900, a Mickey Mouse phone from the 1970’s and the photo was taken with a 2018 iPhone.

The amazing evolution of speaking and hearing from a distance all started because Alexander Graham Bell’s mother and wife were deaf. This greatly influenced all of his early work on sound transmission. He researched extensively on the human voice and worked with schools for the deaf, and taught at Boston School for the Deaf.

Being so close to the hearing impaired, led Bell to do his experiments with acoustics and transmitting sound, and the rest is history.

One of Bell’s famous quotes sums up the inventor of the telephone, “the inventor looks upon the world and is not contented with things as they are. He wants to improve whatever he sees, he wants to benefit the world. He is haunted by an idea. The spirit of invention possesses him, seeking materialization.

When a wrench is thrown into your life create something amazing with it.


first two days of spring

What a wonderful first 2 days of spring. No sarcasm here, you see even though i'm 50ish i still get the same giddy feeling at the first sign of snow i got when I was five.I gassed up my beloved jeep, a vehicle born for days like today.What an awesome feeling it is to 4 wheel through the snow. I can only hope hospitals need volunteer drivers to bring staff in .Kinda need a grown up excuse to be out on the snow covered roads.Then there are the snow shoes that have not seen snow in 3 years.What a great cardio workout plowing through the untouched mountain bike trail.how awesome it will be to take Sam my huskey mix out. Ever notice dogs get that same giddy feeling we get when it snows. It is pure joy watching him roll over and over again in the white powder, how he tries to catch my my snowball as it explodes in his mouth. I love when he puts his nose deep in the snow pursuing something. I guess he knows what it is. Ever notice the muffled quiet as the snow falls at night.I have never felt such solitude.Even meditation can't beat a nightime walk through falling snow. Even clearing and salting my gym parking lot allows me more time out in the snow. Th best part of being out in the snow is coming inside to a nice fire in the fireplace and parking myself in my wonderful rocking chair,hot cup of tea in hand.The only thing missing will be Sam lying quietly in front of the fire. There will be no Norman Rockwell moment here because he will still want to play. So there will be an unending game of fetch in the living room In a few days all the snow will melt,spring will come and our wonderful snowy first 2 days of spring will be a memory, maybe to never happen again. So get out and enjoy 2 of the most beautiful days of the year.

a great friend

On this Christmas eve I look back as 2017 became the year that i not only learned what it means to have a great friend but what it means to try and be one. A great friend is one that knows your good,bad and ugly. They know the the good will always outweigh the bad and ugly.The good is what makes you special and the bad and ugly is what makes you human. A great friend always has your back,and even though they may overdo the help or make mistakes or missteps or fly blindly into your problems, they always have your best at heart. A great friend is your personal 911 call center. There 24/7, 365. A great friend is the one who gives you the confidence and the belief that anything is possible,erase your self doubt and overcome your worst fears. At the same time a great friend is the one you will listen to for constructive criticism because unlike others who may only wish you ill will a great friend is the one person you can trust to tell you the truth. And when you are chest deep in the mud of life a great friend jumps in with a shovel or commandeers a backhoe to help you dig out. Finally a great friend simply makes you feel soooooooo good about who you are. The only thing i wish is that great friends were forever. MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO EVERYONE

2017 thank you

As 2017 comes to a close it is time for me to thank all those who made the gym work.

To Evan Roche, you are a man I can trust my life with, and since this gym is my life, I guess I did that many times. Thank you for dragging me kicking and screaming into seeing I can delegate. Your the best.

To Austin Dews, your cool, calm, relaxed personality is loved by the kids and is a great compliment to my full speed ahead bull in a china shop demeanor. Your I.T. skills are so helpful to a guy who still uses a pocket calculator.

To Rachel Ortell, your ability to be demanding yet compassionate. as well as your ability to teach is astonishing. Your attention to all details helps these kids so much!

To Ethan Franzen, my right hand this fall. Your ability to work with young athletes is a true gift. You gave me my two happiest moments this year. The first when you played your guitar for the kids in the gym. It kinda made me feel like I was in a SOHO coffee shop. And when we took Mark mountain biking.

Also a huge thanks to Ethan and Alison Harbaugh for being Mark's job coaches and mentors, he loves you guys.

To Abby Van Metre, your sunny demeanor and positive attitude made everyone feel great. Even the toughest days were better when you were around.

To Mary Griffin, thank you for bringing me out of the social media stone age. I love your creative videos of the gym. I do admit I miss my flip phone sometimes.

To Rachel Talley, the best life coach anywhere, bar none. I am probably your most difficult client. Bullheaded, stubborn to a fault and can't sit still for more than 5 minutes. But yet you make me feel so good about my good qualities and you were able to help me change the bad. Crazy thing is you were about the only person I listen to. May many people take advantage of your amazing talents. Your work with the athletes was just the confidence boost they needed.

To Mark Warns, who has single handedly developed my Public Relations Department. Your ability to work a room is the envy of every politician. Love ya man.

And finally to all the great athletes who helped me run my clinics, goalie workouts, and skill sessions, Amber Bustard, Sarah Cahn, Kate Brocato, Anna Robinson, Blair Pearre, Kristina Buchanan, Dani Jacobstein, and Lauren Cohen.

Thank you all for helping me live my dream each and every day.