What My Inner Circle Taught Me About Life

Though we were friends in high school we quickly lost touch after graduation. He got accepted at the University of Florida and I ended up going to a small college in Jacksonville. Two months later I ended up dropping out of school and moving to Texas with my uncle before joining the Navy.

We kept in touch here and there, we even ended up on a mission trip to Honduras but we never really spoke much after that. Six years later, after many ups and downs, I was finally accepted into the University of Florida.

To help make ends meet I ended up getting a job as a personal trainer at the recreational center. One day out of nowhere there was Drew working out in the school gym. He had just been accepted into Med School at UF the year before. One big hug and high five later we soon became workout buddies. Almost every weekday we would meet and train. It was as if we had never lost touch.

It was as if we never lost touch.

I had just learned about a new program called CrossFit so I was secretly using him as my guinea pig. I would read articles about specific movements and test my coaching skills by making him do a workout with me. For him, he was putting in 15 hour days attending classes and studying. He used our workout time as a release from the relentless nature of med school. There was always light banter on how bad the workout was going to crush us or how excited we were to see Tim Tebow crush our next opponent. But when the workout got started we pushed each other. We challenged each other to go faster, lift heavier, or take one more rep. We wanted the best for each other. That’ what good friends do.

Sitting at rehearsal dinner with the wedding party I couldn’t help but tell that same story. We had both come to understand that up to that point many people had come in and out of our lives. Our desire to succeed pushed some people away. Our circle was getting smaller and smaller but those that believed in us were always there. We could text them or catch up for lunch after not seeing them for a while and pick right back up where we left off.

In our time together I came to realize it’s not about the amount of people in our lives that we should focus on but rather the quality of our relationships with a select few that matters most. I learned that people come and go, but with a precious few they will always be there for you with you no matter what.

It’s not about the quantity of people in your life that we should focus on but rather the quality of our relationships that matter most.

Next month, one of my close friends has asked me to marry him and his fiance. In front of 100 people, I get the opportunity to marry my close friend in my inner circle and tell the wedding party how amazing this kid is and what an honor it is to call him my friend. He’s seen me at my worst but I have also made sure to include him at my best.

In this world, there is nothing scarier than trusting someone. But there is also nothing more rewarding. No matter how far you live from them. Text them regularly. Make it your job to have dinner with them if your ever in town. Keep them close. Your real inner circle will ALWAYS make time for you. Who knows maybe you’ll end up marrying one of them too!

About Mario Ashley

Mario Ashley is the owner of Naples Strength & Conditioning. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Florida. He has certifications in the following CrossFit Courses: Mobility, Gymnastics, Football, Kids, Goal Setting, Endurance and Level 2 Certificate. 

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