Straight Up by Trent Shelton, former NFL player current founder and president of the non-profit organization, RehabTime. Trent is all about bettering himself. That's how all this started, as he was moving around in the NFL he would post videos about his self-care process, and how he faced the tough challenges in life. These videos helped Trent and his growing following, he would end each one by saying,
"It's Rehab Time"
A mantra, the spiritual cleansing of always bettering yourself. The idea of viewing your life as something to be rehabilitated. That's how I interpret it at least.
I'll be honest, I am about ten years past the target audience for this book. On the other hand, there are a lot of things in this book my seventeen year-old-self would have been better off knowing. Not to mention, it's a great read and Trent organizes his raw honesty into 52 bit sized chunks.
Here are 5 of the main lessons my past teenage self could have used from this book:
1. Don't Be Afraid to Call Out for Help
This is a lesson I still need to learn. Trent calls it, "grabbing the buoy" and implores you to hope for help. Because you never know who might come running. This section finishes off with the letter from Luke Skywalker would have written to Ben Kenobi if he was a young man trying to better himself and asking for some advice as to..you know..leave the moisture farm and join the rebellion against the empire...
2. Get Your Environment Right
Your environment is your soil. Trent goes even further and encourages us to look at our friends as part of our environment. Who contributes to our "nutrient rich soil". And as far as you can control it, shape your environment to push you in the direction you want to go. You need to ask yourself difficult questions, what is this relationship with this person doing to me? What role does it play in my environment? Is it starting or stunting growth?
3. Put Your Peace First
Protecting your peace is a big theme in this book and something I did not learn until I was older. When I was a teenager I had two speeds, go go go and complete stop. I was either sleeping or totally invested. Protecting your peace is about what Trent calls the 4 A's: Appreciation, Affection, Accomplishment, and Activity. Be grateful for your life, maintain relationships with affection, get the small things done, and move your body.
4. It's Not Crowded Outside the Comfort Zone
Trent talks about how there's no line for his 6 a.m. run. It's easy to park, this is an easy visual representation of the motivation to make yourself uncomfortable. Use it as a way to stand out and as a time to focus on yourself. Do not subject yourself to discomfort for the sake of it but if you regularly make yourself uncomfortable then when something big comes around that would normally throw you off, it won't.
5. Your Life Experience is Unique
Nobody else can live you life. Whatever it is is it completely yours. This may sound a touch cliché but I could have used someone to truly explain this to me when I was younger. I was prone to dwell on negative experiences instead of learning from them as Trent writes. Using them to my advantage.
If I could gift a book back in time it would be this one, to myself!
Be sure to check out the audiobook, too! (Trent reads it, so you feel like you're getting an amazing pep talk):