Monday, November 21, 2016

Truth Is The Only Safe Ground To Stand Up On...

Truth is the only safe ground to stand up on... and it is the only way we can be who we are in the moments where it is vital to be who we are - a lesson I've only recently been blessed to put words to. Thank you.

"Be who you are
in the moments you are called to be who you are
and allow yourself to receive

what you desire."

On our truth is the only safe place to build anything lasting.
To do this, we must embrace who we really are & all that comes with that in order to grow and live joyously.

Too often we hide ourselves because we yearn to hide our flaws. We mask and cover up parts of us over and over until we aren't even sure who we are.

We don't take the time to connect with ourselves, to truly see ourselves and embrace ourselves and then we wonder why we cannot connect, truly connect with another person.
I, Mark Sparks, am imperfect. I am flawed. I've been broken on more than a few occasions and I have much work to do to grow into being the person I most desire to be and fulfilling the goals I most desire to achieve. I take full responsibility for my growth, for reaching my goals and for habitually tuning my ability to truly see.

The beauty in the moment of this clip resonates so deeply with me because it's a moment of decision for both Kas and Noni. It's a moment of complete honesty with each other, but even more, with themselves to themselves. No pretense. No game. No hiding of flaws. A moment to see, to really see.

When we see more than only what our eyes take in, we unlock our ability to speak the true language of the Universe and when we do, we are able to find what is for us with ease and shed what is not without anxiety, fear or worry. When we build on our truth, we are assured a safe place to stand on and build from.
Thanks for reading, I appreciate it greatly.
Instagram @marksparksinc

Ps - if you were looking for fitness and health stuff, head over to and join me on instagram @sparksconditioning for that info.

Monday, October 10, 2016

I am blessed. Or Happy Dedicated Canadian Gratitude Day!

Recently I had a conversation with someone whose work ethic and heart I admire. They were asking me about a particular accomplishment in my life. I ended the share with the result I was blessed to achieve - winning. He asked me why I said blessed instead of simply "I won." It was a great question because it brought me to a place of incredible gratitude.

I say I am blessed each day because I know how lucky I am to have the opportunities I have - and I don't mean the "spectacular ones" only - I'm talking about the simple things like being able to see, waking up with control of my arms and legs and the rest of my body. I'm blessed to be able to form thoughts, dream my dream and work towards it's birth in the physical realm.

I say I'm blessed because, unknown to many, I've lost so much in my life and on a couple occasions, almost lost life itself. Through very little on my behalf at times I have made it through. To take credit for that would be absurd.

Do I work hard? Yes. My faith would not be proven true otherwise. Do I hope to earn what I receive? Absolutely, though luck often plays a part in success. Do I watch my habits and my thoughts and aim to align them with my vision over and over and over? No doubt.

But, even so, I am blessed. In defeat to learn a lesson and in victory to savor and share its sweet taste.

Happy Dedicated Canadian Gratitude Day!
Hope it's a blessed one.

Ps - if you were looking for fitness and health stuff, head over to and join me on instagram @sparksconditioning

Monday, September 19, 2016

It's Not In Our Heads. (Again and Again). A Poem.

Again and again it happens
yet folks still say it's in our heads
yet not even a few week have gone by
before there's another
innocent black man shot dead.
And this isn't just a problem
of them against we
but a problem that has roots
in our lack of unity.
And my heart goes out
to the new families that join the pack
of families who've lost a loved one
simply for being black.
Again and again it happens
yet folks still say it isn't a fact
that life is made more dangerous
when you're born in North America black.


If you came looking for fitness and health post, thank you and head over to and join me on instagram @sparksconditioning.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Do The Right Thing. (Grandma Says).

Adversity: Character Builder or Character Revealer?

Someone once told me that adversity builds character. What I've witnessed in my life thus far is that adversity, more often, reveals character.

Almost anyone can "do the right thing," when that thing doesn't present a challenge or is either easy or convenient or both but what we do when something is hard or when something isn't convenient - when things hit the fan - that reveals who we truly are.

My Grandma use to always caution me to be aware of my actions - and reactions - when the going got tough & when things aren't easy. She also taught me, by default, to pay attention to the habitual reactions of those around me. She would ask me if my actions in those hard moments were a reflection of the person I desired to be? She'd encourage me to evaluate my actions against the actions of the person I'd have to grow into in order to reach my goals? And then she taught me to challenge myself to change, to grow actually - and to hold myself accountable to a higher standard, not in the easy moments but in those tough ones. Of course she'd most often punctuate a lesson with a bible verse from memory as well.

"A Leopard Can't Change It's Spots."
But can we really change our habits? Can we really grow?  Can, as the saying goes, an old dog learn new tricks? Absolutely. But growth takes habitual work. It takes meticulous focus. It takes planning and execution to change a habit. It takes implementing systems and habitually measuring and managing progress within that system.

Put simply, growth takes work. Lots of work. Lots of work day in and day out.
But the rewards make it worth it. And, as time goes by, our reaction under fire will reveal the character that we've built with that work, the character of the person we all strive to be: our very best.

If you came looking for fitness and health post, thank you and head over to  and join me on instagram @sparksconditioning.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

I'm Angry. And I'm Okay With That.

You ever been angry?
Angry, yet void of an exact reason why?
Doesn't that just seem to make you angrier?
I don't mean violent - as in feeling like hurting self or anyone else - but just angry. Angry that things are the way they are. Angry that people hold the views they do. Angry at events unfolding as events sometimes tend to unfold. Angry at people lying to you, about people letting you down?

I'm angry. It could be the history books I've been reading. It could be the anniversary of my Grandma's death. It could be the projects I'm currently working on, the current events I've recently read, the character I'm currently playing, the people I've recently interacted with, the piece I recently finished writing or none of those things at all.

Every day we are bombarded with messages to "be happy" and "think positive" and such and so forth. We are given these messages so much that we begin to believe that being angry isn't right - or worse, that somehow this primal human emotion is wrong and therefore we are wrong.

Anger is part of the process of life. Acting on anger and in anger are two different subjects entirely but being angry sometimes is as natural as... well, living. That isn't a green light to float into the downward spiral of anger because that would mean forgoing the other natural part of life; joy.

I'm angry. And I'm learning that sometimes what's more important than aiming to always figure out why is to aim to simply be okay with that.

If you came looking for fitness and health post, thank you and head over to for those or join me on instagram @sparksconditioning.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Dear Canadians looking down at America...

Canadians, let us not take on an air of self righteousness too quickly.

Posts that I've read and conversations I've heard over the last few weeks from Canadians are catching me off guard because, somehow, many people seem to believe that racism, classism, sexism and homophobia are "an American" problem and a thing of the past here in Canada. Far from it.

We don't have to look further than our own communities to see examples - both obvious and subtle - of their existence.

Even right here in Toronto where we fly the flag of multicultural pride, people of colour are regularly discriminated against (ever heard of driving while black?), people of lower classes are marginalized (when have we ever destroyed an upper class community of homes to build condos, while scattering the people who currently live there inconveniently all over the GTA), women live in fear because even if they do work up the courage to seek help they are mocked and made to feel small with such comments as "the way they dress, they were asking for it."

We have come a long way but we have a long way yet to travel. Just because we aren't dying in the streets in the same numbers as people of colour are in America - and that isn't just black people, a young latino man was gunned down earlier this week by police too for instance - doesn't mean we are done. Not by a long shot.

Laws aren't enough. Not being killed shouldn't be the standard either. We've got a long way to go. And that journey will take unity. Not just black folks unifying but all folks who know that the current state of the nation isn't right. We need a plan in order to progress and we need to stop thinking that rage will bring about solutions because it won't. Not anymore than a self righteous attitude will.

I pray that we all find some way to change our thinking, our language, our habits and in turn - with love - our time.

@marksparksinc on instagram

For more about Mark or for bookings, please visit

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

A random rambling turned poem.

We cannot stand by idly
while you lie so easily
talking about equality
when nothing about your actions are equal.
Cause when an out of the ordinary tragedy
becomes a way too ordinary type catastrophe
how can you seriously look at me
and say "but it isn't that bad"?
We'll placate no more
cause it's our lives we are fighting for
and we've come to the point where we can't
afford to stay quiet anymore.
Another tragedy leaves room for no more concessions
no more generic answers to our specific questions.
No more hypothetical solutions to our very definite problems
cause only truth will help to solve them.
No more "maybes" and "what ifs"
cause we are all tired of the bullshit
and though you hurt us we won't shatter
because we know we matter.
I cannot bear witness silently
while you lie so easily
talking about us being free
while these "out of the ordinary" tragedies
grow in frequency
all the while you saying to me
"but it isn't that bad."
...Isn't it?


Monday, April 18, 2016

It's Not Okay...

It's Not Okay...
In advance I thank you for reading & ask that you please share. this post.

Over the last little while I've been talking to women about their day to day dating experiences and being approached by men and some startling things continued to come to light.
Many of the women I've spoken to can recount stories of men approaching them and them turning down the offer - pretty normal interaction. Where it got concerning was the amount of times that women shared that men would not take "no" as an answer.

Ladies shared stories of having to walk faster and further than they were going to lose a tailing man or having to find safety by entering a store to wait out a man who was following them "just to talk."
They shared stories of being called "bitch" and other names because they didn't want to give a man their number or continue that interaction.

It's not okay.

I don't know what is more concerning about this behaviour: frequency in which it happens or the fact that many times the man in question is not alone and his 'friends' say nothing about his abhorrent behaviour.

It's not okay.

We as men must become more vigilant about this behaviour, about not participating in this repulsive bullishness and about calling other men around us to a higher standard when we see them doing so, I mean our Sisters, Mothers, Aunts, Cousins, Daughters, Girlfriends and Wives deserve at least that from us right? RIght.

Men, as the weather warms up and the layers begin to come off, let's not be afraid to interact with women but let's create a new standard in expressing appreciation and attraction with respect, sensitivity and kindness remembering that harassment is simply not okay.
Again, thank you for reading this post.


To read other posts click here.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Active Doesn't Make Us Productive. Purpose Does.

Activity and productivity are not the same thing. For example, many folks have gym memberships and go to the gym on a regular basis - activity - but few people actually make the progress they desire from their workouts.

What separates the two people? Purpose. With a definite purpose we can focus our energy on the things that move us towards that purpose while ridding ourselves of the superfluous, which steal away our time and energy while providing little or no progress.

What is your purpose? Again, let's use the gym example - why do you go to the gym? When coming up with this answer be specific, think big and ahve a reason why this purpose is important to you. If there is no excitement from the thought of working towards and achieving your purpose, you will be hard pressed to find the passion needed to fulfill it.

This weekend, challenge yourself to spend some time thinking about and writing down your purpose - for your workouts, your business, your relationships, you life! After all, what good is to be busy working towards nothing?

Find purpose, be productive.

Happy Friday Y'all,
Mark Sparks

Find me on instagram @marksparkswrites or @sparksconditioning for fitness tips, information & motivation.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Self Love And It's Conditional Rationing.

Working out works best when our fuel is self love, not self hate.

If you haven't watched the Ronda Rousey interview on The Ellen Show, here is a link to a quick clip and a great reminder for us all (click here), thanks Ms. Rousey.

Have you ever found yourself, during the highs of celebrating a goal reached, feeling great about who you are? Have you found yourself, during the lows that come with defeat or loss, feeling like you are nothing? That's the danger of accomplishment based conditional love - it never lasts. And, I'd dare to say that it isn't even real.

It is so very dangerous for us to become our accomplishments.

We are not the sum of the things we achieve but of what we habitually do, particularly when no one is watching.We all lose at some point but being a loser is something entirely different than losing. Losing is inevitable but being a loser is a choice.
Too often we, myself so very included, judge ourselves on our results rather than our character. "Do I have a sixpack yet?" "Did I land that movie role yet?" "Have I reached my goal weight?" We say we are "good enough" when we achieve something and "we suck" when we don't.
The problem with accolade based self love is that when it comes, it is temporary and it can never be sustained. Too often I have people write me or approach me for coaching and physical training because they hate their bodies and think that changing their shape will make them love themselves. It never does.

We must find a purpose, passion and love that cannot be affected by external factors we don't control.
Do your best. Give your all. But most importantly, love who you are as you work towards whatever goal you have.

Find me on instagram @marksparkswrites or @sparksconditioning for fitness tips, information & motivation.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Be Kind - to Others and to Yourself.

As we grow up we're taught to be kind to others yet the emphasis to be kind to ourselves is rarely made.

We call ourselves names, we hold ourselves to impossible deadlines, we don't cheer for ourselves or believe in ourselves, we are not honest with ourselves and sometimes we even tell ourselves we are stupid for going after our biggest dreams. Is it any wonder that we fail time and time again? Or worse become too scared to take any steps in a new forward direction towards what we desire and deserve?

This week, I urge you to treat yourself as you would someone you deeply care about. This isn't a call to be dishonest to you about you but rather to look at yourself through honest eyes and recognize the miracle that you are and all the amazing things that you, with faith and habitual work, are capable of achieving.

Learn to like yourself en route to learning to love yourself all over again.
How? Well that's up to you, but find many ways to show yourself.

Be kind to others, but remember to also be kind to yourself.
Happy Monday Y'all!

Find me on instagram @marksparkswrites or @sparksconditioning for fitness tips, information motivation.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Stop Suffering. Start Getting Results.

"Fear is the path to the dark side.
Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering."

Are you stuck in suffering? The pain that comes from being stuck in failure?
You know, you keep working to change your body, to build the body you desire but
"no matter what exercises or crazy diet you do nothing seems to work,"?

Perhaps it is time to change your thoughts.
Perhaps your problem isn't what you know, or even what you do but what you think.

Maybe you are caught up in suffering because, deep down inside you don't believe that you can change. Maybe you've been overweight or underweight for so long in your life that you believe that you can be nothing else for the rest of your life.

Maybe that fear is holding you hostage and making you angry.
Maybe you really hate they way you feel and they way you look and that just makes you hate the way you feel even more.

That is the dark side of life indeed - to be stuck in a cycle where the result of your habits brings more and more of what you don't want.
You can change.
You can transform.
Let me help