As winter begins, like clockwork – it’s time for me to deliver the “no nonsense” pep talk as we head into 2019. I’ve been writing this column for nearly ten years and have been a proud member of the fitness industry for two decades now (yikes!). I’ve had the pleasure and displeasure of witnessing a plethora of fitness gadgets ranging from the cardio glide to god help us – the shake weight. All promising instant results with virtually no effort. And if you order now we’ll throw in a bottle of “instant six-pack abs” cream for free! I have no doubt we’ll be bombarded by the next craze come January. WARNING: Don’t believe the hype! If it looks and sounds to good to be true I have news for you – it is! Besides, shouldn’t we care a little more about the journey of our transformation? We get so caught up in wanting it all NOW that we often look past the most gratifying part – the path in getting there. All great stories that captivate and inspire others involve overcoming challenges and adversity. And if you adopt the following principals, you too can write your own epic journey in 2019.
Embrace the Challenge!: Most people think that exercise is an adversary, keeping a sharp focus on either the perceived suffering it may bring and/or the desire for it to be easy. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase as often as I have – “If it were easy everyone would do it.” Perhaps, but honestly how boring would that be? Brushing your teeth and washing your hair is easy, but beyond good personal hygiene does it bring tremendous personal pride? No! Physical and mental strength is built through challenge. Embrace it! Nobody shouts “LOOK AT ME” and beats their chest the top of a mole hill! They do it from the mountain top. So stay diligent, dedicated, and challenge yourself – it will keep driving towards the mountain top.
Have “Inspired” Goals: Take a quick guess at what most people’s (maybe yours too) top three workout goals are for next year. “To lose weight…” “To tone up…” “To get lean and/or lose fat.” Two problems with this. One, those are all essentially all the same thing which makes it only one goal. Two, they aren’t “inspired” goals. Here’s what I mean by inspired. It takes something extraordinary to keep you on the path. Having a goal like doing the 50k Frenzy, completing a Spartan Trifecta, running Robie Creek, doing a triathlon, competing in a body building show, are extraordinary feats that require true commitment to accomplish. Taking on something a little more profound than what the scales says will catapult you further than you ever imagined for yourself. It goes without saying, my clients that reside and train in this domain are the ones killing it and get results! Those who come in simply want to “get toned” will most likely be beating their head against the same wall again next year! So go within, take a deep dive, and find your inspired goal.
Stay in the present: There is a Rivers to Ridges trail that I absolutely love called “Five Mile Gulch.” It’s primarily a three mile climb with a soul crushing vertical gain of 2000 feet (most of that is the last two miles). Okay – maybe it’s more “love/hate” but I certainly lean more towards love and here’s why. It keeps me present. The hill simple demands your attention – the entire time. Which in turn keeps me focused on the task at hand which is to continue to chip away at the hill. I can only do this by maintaining my running form (what’s left of it), keeping my intensity where I need in order to improve, all while getting immediate feedback if my pain threshold is improving. Specifically, I love the process because I’m grounded in the moment and know in the back of my mind I will come out mentally and physically stronger than before. So get your mind right and remember to stay “in the moment” each and every workout because that is when you level up.
There is no “next year”: Above all, you have to go all in and start now! Under no circumstances will “life” put itself on hold, clear your schedule, or manage all your personal matters to make working out a convenient thing you have the luxury of doing. Not in November, not “next year” period. It must become a non-negotiable part of what you do and who you are. Once you truly commit, you stop finding reasons to put it off and finally “resolve” to find ways to always get it in, 365 days per year – till death do you part.