Category Archives: Fitness

The Center of Insecurity – Chasing the Dream

The Center of Insecurity – Chasing the Dream

Lawrence Insecure

Insecure has done a great job of highlighting so many of the dynamics between men and women trying to find a common ground in relationships, dating and just overall social interaction. One of the things that I’ve noticed while not really picking sides between the star characters Lawrence and Issa, is that Lawrence’s journey is one that surprisingly I connect to. I say that not in terms of the struggles that he’s having in his relationship with his now former partner but the background elements of him trying to live the life that he wants and that he has been working towards.

The backdrop of this character throughout these 2 completed seasons has been one of unfulfilled potential. We meet this character dealing with unemployment, clearly having a high level of intelligence as he pitches this new potential mobile app but not being able to get enough traction to get things off the ground. In the meantime, his struggles are wearing thin on his partner and on various levels we get a number of hints that perhaps their sex life among other things is not what it should be. These factors lead to overall growing tension between the two of them.

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I can wholeheartedly relate to the experience that Lawrence has been going through on the personal side regarding his professional advancements or at least his attempts to do so. More people than you know are dealing with an economy and a business world that has been in flux for probably the last 7-plus years now. There are more people with high education and higher work experience all vying for the same jobs. As a black man I already knowing what that job hunting process entails and how much higher you have to aim above the crowd, it’s stressful.

It takes a lot to get up and put on that professional face, hold it together throughout the course of the day and then come home and function when you’re not contributing your fair amount to the household situation. So we follow Lawrence as he goes from unemployment to finally bite the bullet and taking a Best Buy opportunity that was presented to him. It’s an ego check as it falls far below his intelligence and experience, but you do what you have to do to provide for your situation.

I connect with this so deeply, I know from personal experience how that feels to have to sit down and look at what you’ve done in the past, what you’ve accomplished, what you know than sit down and have to take a role that realistically you probably could have retained with no more than a high school degree. Again you do what you have to do to bring in that paper regardless of how much your ego takes a hit for it. Let’s just look things over a bit. In the midst of trying to get your paper right, you now find yourself out of your relationship not established in terms of having your own place so you know what happens next? You holla at your homie and you’re dealing with that air mattress struggle. Again I’ve never been in a situation where I separated from someone and ended up in that way but the air mattress struggle is real I’ve been there and when you find yourself in certain spaces of transition and you’re essentially starting from scratch. Building life from the bottom up is a very humbling position to find yourself in.

So as we watch Lawrence deal with these various levels of change some people may see it as him being the butt of a joke, however, your personal experiences will relate to the perspective that you’re going to bring to the situation and for me without touching the way he interacts with Issa, I get the stress, strain and the conflict that he is dealing with internally.

Interestingly enough the story of Insecure seems to present a situation where it isn’t until Lawrence is away from his supportive partner that he starts to make traction in his life professionally. He gets the new job, he gets the place and it makes you wonder was there something within the relationship holding him back

When shows like this hit the scene it is natural for people to start picking sides. The internet is full of Team Issa and Team Lawrence fanatics. People who just like me, connect to these characters in some personal form or fashion and are riding out hoping to see the best for that particular individual as the show progresses. As I said, I’m not on either of these individuals teams because I feel a lot of the decisions they are making in regards to each other and their former relationship have been incredibly destructive and hurtful to themselves.  

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I had this conversation with a friend recently; they are both being incredibly messy single people. But at least on one level of existence, I get where Lawrence is coming from I get the idea of wanting to be something aiming to be something falling short and having constant reminders around you of your shortcomings. I know what it’s like to be a certain age be in a certain place look around you and see others advancing others prospering and you still struggling to get to a place that you know you should be at. It’s not cool to admit the things that I’m talking about but this isn’t something new I’ve been very transparent with my life for years now. But as Insecure continues to grow in popularity I think the show presents real opportunity, to be honest about the lies that we live. As women open up and claim spaces in our society that they have been due for the longest. I think as men we need to start feeling enough comfort to open up about the difficulties that we have we are expected to be stone cold emotionless and just proceed with life like nothing ever affects us and that’s not true that’s not honest and it’s not healthy.

If anything the true level of insecurity comes in our inability, to be honest with ourselves and others that sometimes we’re just not happy with our lives. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s better to acknowledge your feelings and address them than bottle them up and have them possibly explode in the wrong direction or towards the wrong person.

While we await the next chapter of life between Lawrence and Issa in season 3, I do hope that the level of conversation that this show has sparked doesn’t die down. There are so many areas we need to address with other. We need each other more than ever and the first step to that position comes through understands open communication. We’re all insecure about something so why not share and heal together?

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SAMURAI SIT DOWN: ACTRESS, MODEL & SINGER – GENESIS VAL LEON

SAMURAI SIT DOWN: ACTRESS, MODEL & SINGER – GENESIS VAL LEON

Genesis Val Leon

Multitasking is a term that people toss around a lot. It’s true that today we find ourselves doing various things at the same time. Well, today I want to present to you a woman that truly embodies the definition of multitasking. A triple threat in everyone sense of the term, meet Genesis Val Leon today’s Samurai Sit Down feature.

Please introduce yourself, where you’re from and what you do?

My name is Genesis Val Leon and I am a curly-haired actress, singer, and model from the Bronx, New York

What was your earliest Inspiration for acting and modeling

I’ve been performing as early as 8 years old. I was that kid that would dance to TV commercials and even the car alarms that would go off on my street. My first classical music/ voice classes started when I entered second grade. I vividly remember my dad playing music from an old record player. We literally would go around the world through music. I remember him playing Tommy Boy, Queen, Whitney, Michael, Prince, Ana Gabriel, Selena and so many other. He gave me one of my greatest traits which my broad music palette. It was something we shared and still till this day do. My dad is an engineer but has an immense love for music (singing)

As for acting, my mom. My mom has the most electric and contagious personality I have ever encountered. Think Rosie Perez meets Sofia Vergara with the most beautiful accent. I remember attempting to imitate her while she would try to reprimand me and getting in so much trouble. I also remember writing apology songs and performing them whenever I got in trouble. My mom is also a huge Novela ( Hispanic Soap Operas) fan. And boy, that’s where the fun really started. You have not really laughed until you’ve watched a novela episode.

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As for modeling, it just came with my personality. My first “pageant” was when I was 5 years old. I wish you all can see this video. I always had big hair and I guess my mom had put my hair in two ponytails. Well, I decided I wanted my hair out. Next thing you know, I walked out with my hair out in this gorgeous fro and strutted my way across the runway, made a detour and walked through the crowd- absolutely messed up the entire order and the organizer had to go and get me.

GVL Coming Soon

Continue reading SAMURAI SIT DOWN: ACTRESS, MODEL & SINGER – GENESIS VAL LEON

The Rock and Under Armour Have Been Cooking Up Something Real Good

The Rock and Under Armour Have Been Cooking Up Something Real Good

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What happens when today’s top action movie star links up with the innovative Under Armour Brand? You get the new Project Rock collection which looks to capture the intensity that Dwayne Johnson himself brings to the gym within the first over head-to-toe performance training collection for men and women.  The Project Rock collection is now available on UA.com and selective retail locations.

Check out a few images from this awesome collaboration along with statements from UA and The Rock!

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· COOLING TO CRUSH IT
UA CoolSwitch pulls heat away from skin for a cooling effect that helps you perform longer.

· GO HARD, BREATHE EASY
ArmourVent® mesh breathes & releases excess heat.

· SWEAT NOTHING
HeatGear® fabric wicks sweat to keep you dry & light.

The SuperVent Project Rock Training Collection debuts with a full product suite for men, featuring SuperVent tees, tanks, shorts and leggings. And for the first time, a women’s performance collection is available, including exclusive cut and sew styles for tanks, leggings, accessories and much more. Price points range from $34.99- $89.99.

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Also part of the collection is the Project Rock Delta training shoe—an exclusive version of the UA Delta trainer shoe that is inspired by Dwayne’s grueling training sessions. This cutting-edge footwear is built with Under Armour’s signature Charged Cushioning technology that absorbs impact and returns explosive energy. The training shoe also offers extended ankle support for increased stability and deep flex grooves to provide extra flexibility where you need it most. The Project Rock Delta is available globally today, retailing for $139.99.

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Brand integrity is a serious thing and when you think of The Rock there’s a certain faith you have in him when it comes to things of a health and fitness nature. I can’t wait to get a few pieces from this collection for myself.

If you like what you see here then please make sure you take a look at the Fall/Winter preview I was invited to recently.

**Click Here to view**

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The Epic Trunk Show Returns with Lifestyle, Fashion & Music

The Epic Trunk Show Returns with Lifestyle, Fashion & Music

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This past weekend Manhattan’s Shop Studios was the place to be for another edition of the formerly named Ultimate Trunk Show. Now known as the Epic & Co. Trunk Show the evenings event is a collection of indie fashion brands, lifestyle accessories and services that allow you a fresh look at some quality clothing for the summer season and pamper yourself a little as the Epic & Co provided complimentary massages, nail treatment and shoe cleaning throughout the day.  The Trunk Show definitely succeeds in presently an showroom experience to remember.

The free-flowing Hennessy never fails in setting a calm laid back atmosphere. Whether you were on the main floor sampling the fashions or the rooftop awaiting a massage you could enjoy one of the V.S drinks being offered that evening.

A video posted by nightfall914 (@nightfall914) on

Now  what would such an event be like without music though? We wouldn’t have to wonder as DJ 9AM held down the tunes with right mixture of classics with a healthy dose of newer material.

Over the course of the evening I saw some familiar favorites like the always fly Heirport Apparel line.

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Dirty Razkal  returned with some new items including some back packs that I really was feeling.

Personally I really like the items that Kingdom Native had on display. Bringing a positive faith-based theme to fashion I appreciated what they were doing simply from the standpoint of counteracting the react wave of satanic themed items that have been made popular by many of today’s Hip Hop mega stars like Lil Wayne.

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Most notably is the popularized upside down cross images that have ended up on so many fashion pieces. For this reason alone Kingdom Naive gets my support.

Along with them, Imperfect Apparel had some items that I can picture a few of my friends rocking this summer from the US to Japan. I would also point people in the direction of Born Republic Co. for a solid selection of accessories from necklaces to bracelets and more.

Now I do want to give you guys my personal pick of the day. It’s great to look good but often times keeping things fresh and clean is a head ache. Sneaker loves will appreciate this because I brought my Nike Pythons to the event hoping to restore their shine.

Fresh feet work via @ecosolelution. @epicandco Trunk Show.

A video posted by nightfall914 (@nightfall914) on

EcoSOLElution used nothing more than a brush, water and their natural solution to deliver a major cleaning on my sneakers. This is a true must have for your favorite sneaker head. Get some asap. You’ll be glad you did.

Covering this event I was working with the good folks at Mr Refined  so make sure you swing by their side of the Internet to get more insights and a lot more images from the show!!

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Under Armour Gives A Sneak Peak At Q3/Q4 Line Plus New Fitness Tech

Under Armour Gives A Sneak Peak At Q3/Q4 Line Plus New Fitness Tech

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As the people prepare for the pleasant days and cool nights of the Spring season, the wheels are turning at Under Armour to produce those Fall and Winter pieces that we’ll all be looking for once the warmer weather fades.  I was invited to view some items that will be released later this year by UA as well as the new UA HealthBox. Take a look at what is on deck for the 2nd half of 2016.

The ladies line is delivering new colors and supportive designs for the better fitting tops and new sweat absorbent bottoms for those early morning jobs and work out classes.

Hit the Jump so you can view some of the new men’s items and the new UA HealthBox!!!

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Under Armour Q3/Q4 Lookbook

Continue reading Under Armour Gives A Sneak Peak At Q3/Q4 Line Plus New Fitness Tech

MR REFINED LAUNCHES NEW PUBLICATION FOR THE TODAY’S URBAN PROFESSIONALS

MR REFINED LAUNCHES NEW PUBLICATION FOR THE TODAY’S URBAN PROFESSIONALS

#MRREFINED

**CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR COPY OF MR REFINED MAGAZINE***

One of the most powerful forces in our society today is media. It is how people get most of their information and for better or worse it’s a huge factor in how people form their views and opinions. With this power comes a responsibility to be truly comprehensive, honest and engaging with the content you deliver. In addition to that, the people now hold more ability to control the stories and narratives that are presented. Enter Mr. Refined Magazine.

I take personal pride and consider it an honor to have my words among the premiere articles within the newly launched Mr. Refined magazine.

Car Guide Refined

The Mr. Refined brand has set itself as an expanding force in delivering mature lifestyle content for the new age young adult. From style to travel to business and more Mr. Refined magazine looks to deliver a quarterly dose of high-caliber reading material that you can truly relate and connect to.

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So, without further ado here is the info to get your own copy of Mr. Refined Magazine. You have your choice of digital or hard copies. You won’t be disappointed so order your copy and please share this among your peers.

**CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR COPY OF MR REFINED MAGAZINE***

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How Well Do You Manage Yourself?

How Well Do You Manage Yourself?

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The world continues to find ways to stimulate every single human impulse and desire. We can speak to the global masses without leaving our home. Entertainment, education and professional resources live in our pockets. It’s the wireless digital age but as Jadakiss said in his most recent album “Don’t confuse wireless for powerless….” We have power or, at least, the potential for power like we never have had before. Which is why how we manage ourselves has become more important than ever. Here are 2 reminders of self-maintenance actions we should commit daily.

Self Care

Statistically, we’re working more hours and sleeping less. Before we even notice it we’re wearing ourselves down physically and mentally at an ever-increasing rate. You often need to make the concerted effort to step outside of our routines for our own good. Schedule periods of rest and stillness. Allow time for limited, if not fully restricted digital access. We have always been creatures of habit but your body and mind will thank you for taking a few breaks. Find simple things that you enjoy and don’t allow life’s’ obligations to keep you from them. Spa treatments, fitness. meditation, yoga, afternoon walks, music, art. Whatever it is that energizes you, do it.

Self Check

This one is the often times the harder of the 2 self-management tasks. Many of us are still adapting to having the free range ability to express any and everything we feel with very few if any barriers. We often communicate to the world the way that we think things up in our minds. In our mind’s we are never wrong. We are masters of that domain and we transfer that to our external spaces. That may be physical or digital.  We are social beings so much of what you do will involve people.  We need to watch our communication and balance how much we speak about others or tell others what they should be doing in life vs examining ourselves and what we personally need to improve on. It’s easy to overlook as just observing the people around you but it can present itself as being judgmental and even self-righteous. Today’s memes and popular catch phrases all feed into the “I’m better than you”, compare to/put down others to feel good style of living. Just take that extra moment before you hit send or before you speak and just ask yourself “Who exactly am I sending this message to? Is it contributing anything positive?”

Nothing that is good for us just happens out the blue. We have to work on it and work for it. It’s easy to get into damaging cycles but with a little extra thought and attention paid to what we do positive habits can be put into effect. We’ll all thank ourselves in the long run.

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Whale Watching On The Sea Of Cortez Via Villa Del Palmar

Whale Watching On The Sea Of Cortez Via Villa Del Palmar

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Life in New York has a lot of things. On a regular basis I’m in and out of the epicenter of entertainment, culture and style. From Wall Street to Broadway, LES to Spanish Harlem is no shortage of experiences and sights when moving throughout the 5 boroughs. What you do lack is an exposure to nature in its undisturbed state. Fortunately my recent visit to Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto allowed me witness a number of animals in their nature habitats that I’d never see in the Empire State.

A short plane ride from Los Angeles gets you to Loreto,, Mexico where the amazing Villa Del Palmar is located. I spent a relaxing weekend taking in the resorts many services including their island tour & whale watching expeditions.

***For more on the Villa Del Palmar Click Here***

Loreto is located along the Gulf of California which is also known as the Sea of Cortez. It’s an area known for fishing and abundance of sea life. While at the Villa resort give yourself a day to fully enjoy the whale watching experience. This wont be some short loop around the beach. Once you are aboard your craft and safely secure you will be taken roughly 90 mins out into the Sea of Cortez. As you ride the beautifully clear sea waters you’ll likely come across  a gathering of Seas Lions. These massive creatures may be laying out on the rocks taking in some sun or howling for the attention of a near by female.

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Before getting out to area where the whales reside you get a nice break to explore the Isle Del Carmen. This is one of the 5 main islands in the Loreto area. You’ll get the opportunity to lay out on the beach for lunch or snorkel for an up close look at the aquatic life. Carmen is also known for the Big Horn Ram hunting deeper on the island.

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Honestly my favorite moment of the day was when we came across a large group of dolphins. They wasted no time playing with us as they raced along side the boat and routinely jumping up at of the water. It was a quite a sight-seeing maybe a hundred dolphins swimming a mere few feet from you.

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Before heading to the marina to dock in Loreto we finally got a glimpse of our elusive targets. A Blue Whale and then a Hump Back surfaced not too long after we left the dolphins. They submerged before we could get a clear shot of them but it definitely rounded out the afternoon.

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From there, upon docking at the harbor you can take a nice walk through the town and stop for some authentic Mexican cuisine before returning to the resort.

I cant lie. It’ a little intimidating being out in the open sea literally catching after some of the largest creatures on earth. Cruising in a modest sized craft you’re kind of at the mercy of nature which really brings perspective to life.  It’s was a remarkable experience and I’m sure you’ll be glad to take time out for this.

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***For more on the Villa Del Palmar Click Here***

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Samurai Sit Down With Sex Educator, Radio Host and Writer Tyomi Morgan

Samurai Sit Down With Sex Educator, Radio Host and Writer Tyomi Morgan

 

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It’s a new year and #SamuraiSitDown returns with more conversations with interesting people from across these Internets. Jumping off the first Interview of the year is Sex Educator, Radio Host and  Ebony Magazine writer Tyomi Morgan. They say sex sells but it’s one thing to talk about it and a completely different thing to understand the various nuances of sex and sexuality in our society. Appropriately enough it’s hump day to get comfortable we chop it up with the Glamazon.

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Many people claim to be experts on Sex. Please introduce yourself and tell us who your are, where you’re from and what you do?

My name is Tyomi Morgan, but many know me as GLAMAZON TYOMI.  I am a sex educator, writer and youtube contributor and radio host for Playboy Radio. I am from Chicago, Illinois but I currently reside in Southern California. I got my start as a model which built my popularity, and through self study I began my journey into becoming a sex expert.

Continue reading Samurai Sit Down With Sex Educator, Radio Host and Writer Tyomi Morgan

SAMURAI HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FOR TODAY’S MAN

SAMURAI HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FOR TODAY’S MAN

SMS Gift Guide Cover FInal XXX

It’s that time of year folks. Holiday season is upon us. Have you already finished all your gift buying? Of course not so while you prepare to knock that task out I’m here to help out in my own way. Do you have a guy but you’re not sure exactly what he’d like? Is he a busy multifaceted guy that’s’ always on the move?

Today’s man isn’t just the beer drinking handy man of old. He’s doing many times at any given time. With that in mind welcome to the Samurai Holiday Gift Guide.  Here you’ll find an array of gift ideas based around various lifestyle interests. I called in a couple friends too for additional input. I’m sure you’ll see a few things the man in your life will appreciate.

Hit the jump and dive into the 2015 Samurai Holiday Gift Guide! Oh and since today is cyber Monday you might see some great deals on this today too.

Continue reading SAMURAI HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FOR TODAY’S MAN