What's up with the neighbors lawn?

My lawn is scheduled to be seeded and aerated this week, and this is one ofmy favorite times of the year.

This morning, I felt my first real surge of fall air and that cool feeling that comes with a change of the season.

When it is time to get the lawn looking its best, there is only one man to call. So, I put out a shout to my man John Rigsbee of Growin Green to see just why lawn care at this time of the year is so important.

Here is what he had to say...

Why Aeration and Overseeding Are Needed in the Fall?

Aeration and Fall Seeding are necessary to repair the wear and tear that summer fun inflicted on your lawn. Now is the best time to rejuvenate your turf for a lawn you can love and enjoy next spring.

September through mid-October is the perfect time to seed a new lawn or, overseed an existing one. The combination of warm days and cool nights with adequate moisture in the ground creates the ideal growing conditions for grass seed. Additionally, those warm-loving aggressive weeds are slow to germinate at this time of year so the little grass seedlings can flourish and get strong before winter arrives.


A few benefits of Aeration and Overseeding are:

  • Aeration loosens soil, reduces compaction – allows grass roots to reach deep for water.
  • Aeration penetrates soil allowing water, air & food to reach the roots and be absorbed.
  • Aeration enhances seed germination. Seeds germinate easily in aerator holes.
  • Overseeding introduces new grass seed to fill-in thin areas and thicken existing turf.
  • Overseeding builds resistance to insect damage and turf disease.
  • Aeration and overseeding reduces weeds which germinate in opportune weak areas so, a thick lawn is the best defense.
  • Aeration and overseeding improves the beauty and enjoyment of the lawn.

If you have any questions about fall seeding and aeration – give us a call at 1.866. LAWN HELP or, visit Our Seeding Page online.

To reserve your place in our schedule for this valuable service, call us today at 336-854-7999.

Inspiring you to love your lawn again!

John Rigsbee

Thanks John! Lawn care expertise definitely gives you a "Man Coach Card!"

-Allen Branch


Weekend Warrior Worries

Weekend Warrior Worries-The Man Coach

I know people who are weekend warriors. They train all week long though, in preparation for a mud run, spartan race, sporting event or pick up game. 

     Check out Allen's new book to learn the tricks of the trade to staying fit, active and safe!  Click here to read more about it!


Check out Allen's new book to learn the tricks of the trade to staying fit, active and safe! Click here to read more about it!

Muscle tweaks and strains are sometimes par for the course of weekend competitions, but are there things we can do to help prevent the agony of pains obtained during weekend activity?

Once again I went to by buddy Dr. Charles Rawlings to find out what he had to say about the weekend warrior, and as always he surprised me with his answer.


Allen Branch "The Man Coach"

Weekend Warrior Worries

“This too shall pass – just like a kidney stone.”
Hunter Madsen

    Back pain - an almost invariable result of a weekend full of physical activity, be it tennis, club soccer, softball, or even playing catch with your kid. Is it just a nagging lower back sprain/strain, or have you entered into the world of the kidney stone belt? The kidney stone belt encompasses almost all of North Carolina, primarily due to its tap water. Do you drink iced tea? Then you may very well be a victim of the heinous kidney stone attack. The passing of one is equated in males to childbirth in women. Never having given birth to a baby, but having passed over 20 kidney stones, the pain is best described as a hot Bowie knife piercing your scrotum, or a sledgehammer repeatedly pounding your kidney - your flank region, depending upon where the kidney stone is located at the moment.
    So let’s start with kidney stones and the pain therefrom, we shall leave the typical back sprain for the next installment of this article. Why start with kidney stones? Easy, August is actually peak season, the number one month, for developing a kidney stone. Moreover, there has been a dramatic increase in the incidence of kidney stones, particularly in men. Over the past 10 years, the incidence of kidney stones has risen by approximately 30%. This rise in stone formation is best explained by the increase in diets high in refined sugars, salt, and most importantly, animal protein. Why August? August is typically the hottest month and with the rise in heat, people (men especially) sweat more. As the sweating increases so does dehydration. As dehydration increases so does the number of kidney stones. Now, why iced tea? Everyone from the South knows that to beat the heat you drink iced tea. Unfortunately, iced tea contains a compound that increases dehydration, plus oxalates, which increase the formation of kidney stones. Thus, a double whammy. You are hot, you are already dehydrated, you drink iced tea made from tap water, and voilà, you become even more dehydrated and provide even more minerals for the formation of your kidney stone. Don’t drink iced tea!
    So what is a kidney stone? A kidney stone is much like its name; a collection of minerals that have precipitated out of solution in the kidney and formed a hard concentration. In other words, minerals in your urine have formed a hard stone that now needs to leave your body. The stone thus begins its journey in the kidney, where it is rarely painful, and begins working its way down the ureter, the tube that connects your kidney to your bladder. Once it enters the ureter, your pain begins, plus the bloody urine. The stone is typically sharp enough to rip the lining of the ureter, thus the blood. That ripping is painful in and of itself, but the real pain usually begins when the stone becomes lodged at the uretero-pelvic junction, or UPJ; a kink in the ureter where it passes over the pelvis. Typically, the stone has problems passing this point and blocks the flow of urine. This blockage causes the pounding, pulsating back pain typical of a kidney stone. Sadly, this pain can last hours to days. Once the stone passes the UPJ, it travels towards the bladder. Usually you are pain-free at this point and think you are cured. Then the stone hits the bladder wall. This irritation to the muscular bladder wall causes extreme urinary urgency and incontinence. In other words, you feel the very strong urge to pee every five minutes and finally just let it dribble out continuously. The bloody urine also begins again. This stage typically takes about 3 to 4 hours and is accompanied by severe testicular pain and bladder spasms. Once past the bladder wall the stone enters the bladder. You then pass the stone when you pee after several hours with a strong stream. The process then begins anew.
    Most kidney stones pass on their own by the process I outlined above. The person so afflicted needs to drink copious amounts of water, take pain medication, usually Percocet or Norco, and also a smooth muscle relaxer like Flonase. Occasionally, the stone is large enough that it requires surgical intervention either lithotripsy or via cystoscopy and snaring.
    The best course of action is to prevent a stone from forming. In fact, once a person develops a stone, he has a 50-60% greater chance of developing another. Sadly, North Carolina has the highest incidence of kidney stone formation in the US and thus the world; North Carolinian white males have a 15-20% chance of developing a kidney stone. So, what to do? Stay away from dark iced tea. Drink lots of filtered water; eight to ten ounces an hour or more if needed. Keep your urine either clear or a light yellow. Acidify your drinks using lime or lemon, or drink actual lemonade. Moreover, see a doctor if you feel like you are passing a stone. Good luck!
Next we will discuss the ubiquitous lower back sprain/strain.

Charles E. Rawlings, M.D., J.D.

The information provided in the foregoing article is for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, and does not constitute legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. Persons in need of legal advice related to a subject discussed in the article should contact a lawyer who is qualified to practice in that area of law. The article is the property of the author.


How To Take Your Daughter to College | The Man Coach

How to take your daughter to College | The Man Coach

Okay Dad,

It’s that time of the year.

We're going to load up cars and trucks and carry our college-bound away from the nest for another year. For me, it’s year number two and I’m not looking forward to it anymore than I did last year. Blah.

I sure wish someone would have prepared me for what was coming. After my experience with taking my little girl off to school, I knew that I would have to help others find their way a little easier and so, here we are.

The process of packing up, as you know, isn’t all that bad. Heck, who am I kidding? It was ALL that bad. From watching the room empty out, to seeing her favorite things go out the door to the truck, it was all bad. I took the photo in her room for this blog the day we left, just after all of her things were taken out of the room. I was holding back tears already.

The drive to the school was different. There was lots of time to reminisce and think about her growing up. In my first gym, I wore her in a little cradle close to my chest when she was a baby. She grew up with me taking care of her. It can’t be that she was going to be gone for a year. My son was asleep in the other side while my wife drove in my daughters car. I only cried 10-12 times on the trip, trying to hide it from my sleeping son and behind my favorite sunglasses. I could tell someone should have prepared me for this.

When we arrived, a group of college kids came out and helped us unload. We were in the dorm and setting up in no time.

We met the roommate, made of list of items needed, took a few quick trips to Target. All of this can be expected on day one. We need to get emergency items before we leave our girl all alone in the big world. We ate out as a family that night, and we even stayed in a hotel the first night near campus. But she stayed in the dorm, ouch. They knew what they were doing, making us gently break away and making her feel at home.

By the next morning, I was visibly shaken. I fought it hard, and started playing brain mechanic to pull my emotions in. We walked outside the dorm, took a few pictures and hugged “see ya soon.” My throat had a lump in it the size of a small volcano. All I could say is “I love you. Call me if you need anything. Be careful when out. I love you my angel.”

As we walked away she smiled and waved. Now down to 3, we got in the car and headed out. The ride home was filled with lots of silence.

Deep inside, I am going to be honest. I was acting like a sniffling idiot. This was the hardest thing I had ever done.

I have pulled tobacco in 106 degree weather, worked 15 hours on a freight dock, poured concrete on top of buildings, and sparred world martial arts champions and fighters. I had 43 full contact fights and have ruptured my achilles tendon. Not even close.

What the heck? You spend all of this time getting attached and then they pull out your heart and leave you a sniffling mess on the floor? Pretty much.

But guess what? She texted me. I answered back. We talked. We FaceTimed. After just a few days, she wanted to talk to us. Here is why I think she did, and your exclusive advice from The Man Coach for anyone who is taking their daughter off to college.

1.) You are not the only sniffling idiot walking around. There are a lot of US. If you see a guy who you know is going through it, please talk to him. We need to avoid letting the team fall into depression. I went into her room at least 10 times the first week, smelled her pillow, peeked in the closet. I looked at the things hanging on her wall. I went into her bathroom where all of her little rubber duckies still sit. I sighed a lot, and moped around the gym. Several guys, especially my good friend Harold, noticed it. He was compassionate about it. It was a tough time. I was not myself. Accept it. The first 2 weeks are not easy.

2.) She knows you love her, but this is part of the grand plan. Would you rather her leave and get married out of the house? It happens, but I can’t speak with any authority on that topic. WHEW. And guess what, she loves you back. Just give her a little space.

3.) DO NOT TRY TO CONTROL HER. We saw it. Parents who were still trying to do every little thing for the kids. They are in College. Let her go, but be standing close by if she needs something heavy carried. That is your job. Give her that feeling of independence she wants, but also let her know you are right there if she needs you.  Controlling her will only lead to her pulling away and we do not want that!

4.) Send her little notes each day. I typically sent something short. “I love you, kid!” or “Have a good day!” was enough. I had to know that she knew I was thinking about her without her feeling smothered. It was tough to stay at a distance, but I am so glad I did.

5.) Concentrate more on your spouse or other children if you have them. Eventually, it is going to be back to just you and your spouse if married. Work on spending time trying to reconnect with her, and be sure any other children at home get a little extra attention.

The time passed and I spent more time with my wife and son, anxiously awaiting my daughter's weekends at home. I missed a lot of things I was used to, and took for granted when I had it.  Sunday night pizza night, movies together, time playing with the dogs, being able to sneak in her room as she falls asleep for a kiss on the head. It was tough, but I just kept check on her to be sure she was happy and healthy. 

I talked to other men who were going through the same thing, including my neighbor at work. His daughter graduated with mine, and I saw him in the parking lot soon after they left.

“How are you holding up?” I asked. “Not good,” he said. "Feels like the house is empty. It is real quiet around there, and something isn’t right, you know?”

Yep. I know. We talked awhile giving each other a little “manly" support and then went on to work. As I walked into the gym, I knew that I felt what he was feeling. It was nice to know that I wasn't alone. He was not himself, and neither was I, and that is okay.

It ’s okay to be sad, to miss her, and to show it. It’s okay when someone asks how you're doing to be honest and say, “Not good! I'm missing my daughter but she is loving it at school and that’s what matters."

About 2 weeks into the year, I got a call on a Thursday night. Of course with caller ID I knew it was her. “Daddy! Can we have pizza? If you can order it they will deliver it right to the dorm. We are really hungry and that would be great, I’m starving!”

To this day no one knows this, but I could barely hold back the tears and smiles at the same time. She needs me and she always will, even though for now it's just for a quick meal in the dorm room.

Pepperoni it is.

-Allen Branch


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Men in Church? Why Bother? | The Man Coach

We are facing an epidemic in the U.S. today, and that epidemic is men missing from our churches on Sunday morning. If men are the head of the household, what example are we setting across the board with our habits and actions?

I called my buddy Scott Haulter, pastor of Catalyst Church in Greensboro, N.C. and this is what he had to say. This is definitely some food for thought as we plan our Sunday-and everyday.

-The Man Coach


Why aren't more men in church?

Men in church; this seems very dreamy. It doesn’t happen these days. Here are some statistics that make me want to fight.

The typical U.S. Congregation draws an adult crowd that’s 61% female, 39% male. This gender gap shows up in all age categories.
[1] On any given Sunday, there are 13 million more adult women than men in America’s churches.
[2] This Sunday almost 25 percent of married, churchgoing women will worship without their husbands.
[3] Midweek activities often draw 70 to 80 percent female participants.

Why does this happen? I think there quite a few reasons. Churches are set up for women. There is more worship than preaching. The preaching is weak, very emotional and often doesn’t make a stand.  There is also the design of church services. Most men learn kinetically; by doing, where as most women learn by hearing.

You see, we men don’t like to admit that we are afraid we are not good enough. We are not strong enough, we are not MAN enough to lead our family, to lead other men. But let me tell you a little secret . . . we all feel inadequate.  Think of who is the most MANLY man you know. He struggles. You struggle, I struggle. But struggling doesn’t mean we just give up and make the women lead our family, our church, or our society.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not against women. I was raised with 2 brothers by a single mom. I respect and love women, and because of that I know that they don’t want to have to lead. They don’t want to deal with all of the hard issues. Heck, neither do I. But as a loving father and husband, I know I want my wife and kids to be protected, to be loved, to be wanted.

Men, it is time to put on your BIG BOY pants and strap in and make it happen. The exciting thing is, you don’t have to do it alone. Jesus wants you to follow him. Jesus will deal with all of the tough issues. Actually, He already has, if we just read and act on what we read in scripture.

I started a church 6 years ago and I was head strong and on fire when I started Catalyst Church. But 5 years in, it is a grind. One day when I was walking my dogs and praying, I finally admitted to God I was NOT a good leader. I asked for help in leading my family, leading the church He gave me, and to lead myself.

Here was the hard part for me. I actually shut my mouth and gave the Father some room to talk, and He did!!!  Here is what Jesus said to me (not audibly but that would have been cool. God has Morgan Freeman’s voice in my head), you don’t have to lead. I will lead, can you follow me?

That was when I realized if I could shut my mouth long enough and just listen, Jesus was leading Catalyst Church, my family, and me (when I let Him).

Won’t you do the same? Shut your pie hole and listen. God will speak!!!  Will you listen and then act?

Scott Haulter

The Man Coach supports a Christian based worldview and agree with Scott 100%. Men across the U.S. need to step up and take a leadership role in and out of the home! This week, be sure to attend the church of your choice. If you need to talk about it, we are here.


The Double D's: Death and Divorce- Death | The Man Coach

The Double D's: Death and Divorce- Death | The Man Coach

The majority of men echo that sentiment, and they are the very ones who inevitably ask legal questions concerning death. “I don’t want to live like a vegetable.” “I want to make my own decision about pulling the plug.” “I want to die with dignity and not be a burden.” “Do I need a will?” “How do I protect my family financially after I am gone?” These are all very valid concerns and each has a simple answer- well, mostly.

Is Plastic Surgery a Good Option for Men? | The Man Coach

Do Men Need to See a Plastic Surgeon?

As a plastic surgeon, I mainly treat women. Most women are comfortable these days with the idea of regularly seeing a plastic surgeon; whether for skin care, Botox, or surgery. Most men still feel intimidated to even walk into my office, though they are happy to walk into a gym and work on everything from the neck down. So let’s talk about that area above the neck – the face.

The skin, like the muscles in your body, is an organ. Its main job is to cover the muscles and vital organs with a resilient layer that is both durable and functional. The skin needs to sweat, protect, and defend us from bacterial and viral invaders. Like any other organ, it can deteriorate if not treated well. We know that muscles need regular exercise to stay strong, and likewise, the skin needs its own form of exercise to look and feel its best. Remember, the sun is responsible for a lot of skin aging, and most of the sun damage your skin gets occurs early in life. It is therefore never too early to try to counter that damage with good skin care.

In my office, we believe that everyone – male or female – needs to be doing something for his or her skin. Sunscreen is vital, even in the winter, but it does nothing to rejuvenate the skin. So think about going into a gym for the first time and seeing all of the equipment. It can be intimidating, and no one would expect for you to start on day one by using every piece of equipment. For that reason, when you come to our office (or other plastic surgery offices if you do not reside in North Carolina) we will evaluate you and put together a limited skin care routine that will help your skin look fresher and more youthful. Often this includes something like Retin-A or the newer anti-oxidants. Once you get comfortable with the routine – just like in the gym – we might add something to the mix to help the skin even further. Over time you will see that your skin looks better, and is tighter and more youthful.

Two things – does this work? Yes, but understand that it takes time. No one would walk into a gym and demand results after just one week of training.  Likewise, your skin will respond, but you’ll see the difference after a few months, not a few days. Second, are the results permanent? No, unless you keep with the program! When we stop exercising, our bodies get weaker. Similarly, when we stop taking care of our skin, the aging process will rear its ugly head. Taking care of any part of the body, whether it’s our abdominal muscles or the skin on our face, is a lifelong pursuit. There are no short cuts, despite what the glitzy ads in the mall say. And that brings me to our last point – the advertised skin products that claim to work wonders. Just like the TV ads for pieces of flimsy exercise equipment that claim overnight results, most of the products that you see advertised on TV or in magazines are just not effective. Plastic surgery offices we access to prescription-strength, medically tested products that do lead to real results. Go to a real gym and go to a real plastic surgeon – you will get results.

In the next blog I will talk about some of the treatments we do in the office that can take years off of one’s appearance.

Andrew M Schneider, MD, FACS
Forsyth Plastic Surgery, Winston Salem North Carolina

The information provided in the foregoing article is for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information. It does not constitute fitness, health or business advice. You should seek the advice of a medical doctor before beginning a new exercise or fitness regiment. 


The article is the property of the author.

How To Take the Perfect Photograph | The Man Coach

Have you ever gotten home after a vacation or event, and taken a look at your photos and noticed cut off heads, non-centered pictures and nothing you could really use? Even a selfie takes a little skill, and who wants bad pics of themselves floating around?

I had to seek out a man coach on photography to help answer the question, so I grabbed my buddy David Rosen and posed the question, How do you take a great photograph? His answer is below. Enjoy!

Allen Branch

How Do You Take a Great Photograph?

How many times have you gotten back from vacation, looked at your photos, and thought… I wish I would have gotten closer or composed the photo differently?

As a professional photographer for over 25 years, I am going to give you two tips that can at least get you the right mindset when taking a picture.

Think about this-

Composition:  When you look at the image you're creating, whether with a camera or a cell phone, take 10 seconds before you press the button and look at the viewfinder or phone.  Ask yourself, am I too close or too far away? Am I cutting off someones head or legs?  Look and think before you take the photo.

Content:  Are you taking photos of scenery or of people?  There are literally hundreds of tips to be given here, but the best advice I can give is stop and think before you take the photo.  Think about how you want the image to look and the feeling you want conveyed.


Great advice David! Thanks for your time!


David Rosen with Photo Innovations, www.photoinnovations.com, has been creating timeless portraits in the triad for close to 25 years.  He can be contacted directly at 336-577-0547.


How to Buy a Used Car | The Man Coach

How to Buy a Used Car | The Man Coach

If you are among the thousands of people looking for used cars, but don't have the first clue on how to buy or what questions to ask, then you’re in luck.

Hello, my name is Marc Golden. I help operate a used car dealership and have been on both sides of the tracks. Before becoming a car salesman and dealer, I also was just an uneducated buyer. With the years of experience I now have, I will teach you a few things you should know about buying your next used car.

The first thing you need to do is not fall for the “fast talk”. Make sure to start your car buying day early in the morning so you don’t have to rush before the bank or the DMV closes. You will have all day to not only look at the car, but to drive it and to slow the car salesman down from trying to rush you into something. Don’t let the salesmen rush through the car buying process for you. Remember, this is about you and what you need, not how many cars he needs to sell. You're worth the extra time to just slow down and think.

Another thing you need to do is make sure your test drive is longer than just five seconds. Some cars will seem fine, but after 30 minutes or so will start to show its true colors. For example, overheating, fluid leaks, or other mishaps could occur after time. So, once more, take your time and actually drive the car long enough to see if everything checks out for you.

Make sure after you drive the car around for a while, you have a mechanic look at the car as well. Not just an old shade tree mechanic, but someone that has a lift to put the car on and look under, over, and all around the car. Remember the saying, “buyer beware,” you have to make sure that you have everything checked out, you like the car, and that it meets all your needs-not just your wants.

So, after you have done all these things, it's now time to go back into the office and talk numbers. Remember, don’t ask the price of the car  when you first walk up on the lot; save that for the end. Remember after you talk numbers, you're locked into what ever number you agree on as far as negotiations go.

Before you drive the car and take it to the mechanic, it's pointless to talk money. You might think the car is worth one price, but after looking it over and driving, you find out it needs something that takes the value down when you have already “agreed” on a price. When you bring that up, your salesman will say that you already agreed to pay a set amount. No talking of money until you have done your homework on the car.

Now the final step is to ask a few more questions. Does this car have a recent inspection? Is the title clean? Has it ever been in a wreck? Do you have a car fax on it? Does it come with a warranty? A salesman will tell you all day long that the car runs perfect. So, with that said, if it truly runs perfectly he should not have a problem giving a warranty. Make sure the warranty is free. If they want to have you as a customer bad enough, they will do what it takes. Don’t be shy to ask for it for free.

Now you should be well educated on buying your next used car and have the tools you'll need to make an educated decision. Use your judge of character, because although there are some bad car salesman, there are a few good ones. Not only be on the lookout for the bad guys, but for the good guys too. When you do find a good one and you follow these steps you will be another happy car owner.

Marc operates C&H Auto in Kernersville, NC. He is also a pastor and aspiring MMA fighter. He is definitely someone we want on the Man Coach team. He can be reached for information at 336-564-5204.