Struggling to make progress is exactly when you are moving in the right direction. There is a reason why eating the right food is inconvenient. There is a reason why getting enough sleep is hard. The point is that until we address the real challenges, very little of what we are trying to improve will make a difference if we do not have a strong foundation. This is why starting with the right perspective is so important.
Have you ever noticed that guy or girl who really wants to be in the greatest shape but has never quiet gotten there? He or she might be you, me, or any number of people that feel they have been shortchanged by the ever buzzy term ‘fitness’. I know I’ve felt this way many times.
For years the idea of washboard abs and being ‘lean’ was my ultimate goal. I weighed my foods, took my supplements and did my cardio but I noticed that each time I used a given method, it became harder and harder for me to look my best. I felt stuck and I found myself associating my self-worth with my physique. As I looked deeper, there was more to this whole fitness journey.
The abs, arms and body we enjoy should be a product of the work you can perform, of the movement patterns that you have honed and refined. The ability to resist stress and do what you want with your life is ironically similar.
A simple example is just how many strict chin-up’s you can perform.
We don’t need to associate our success with our self-esteem. Doing the work is enough.
In modern advertising, we see this narrative all the time. It always emphasises doing more, not less.
If you are fat, you are worthless. If you are depressed, it’s likely you will be like that forever. If you have a mild headache, maybe you have Brain Cancer. What are you going to do about it?
We all know what it’s like to be up late at night asking Google strange questions about illnesses. What if I told you that this paralysis by analysis could be overcome with healthy amounts of change?
Training, travel, these are just simple tools that anybody can use to get out of their overthinking.
We just can’t say, “I cant”, before jumping up to the chin-up bar and seeing what can be achieved. You might need a band to start with, or a coach, maybe a training partner but, if there is one trend stopping you from making progress personally/professionally it is simply be the need for healthy change.
To me, training and exercise was always more than just about ‘being fit’, it was a symbol of the commitment needed to succeed.
I think that training is the perfect way to reset our understanding of effort (especially on holiday) because it forces us to come to terms with our own impatience.
A classic example of was the first time I was introduced to time under tension in my own training. It’s basically the allocation of a pre-determined tempo to a rep. The need to quit pulls harder than the need to stick and that is where half of the problem lies.
Knowing when to stick and when to quit in our modern world is getting harder and harder to measure.
As it turns out, training is a great way to help us learn more patience. Being patient increases resilience and that means embracing change, not necessarily avoiding it for fear of interrupted productivity.