Everyone has heard that the mental side of working out or fitness is just as important as the physical side and it is. The challenges we undertake in our program require a strong body but also a strong mind. I have probably beat this horse a million times already, but I wanted to touch on a few diverse aspects of mental game that maybe we have not covered yet.
In life we either succeed or fail in every endeavor we undertake.
Some are easy.
Getting out of bed
Getting to work on time
Some are harder but doable.
Getting enough sleep
Some will push your boundaries.
1 pull up
Doing a WOD as RX
It’s a fact of life that you will fail at some things. If you have never failed, then I know you have never tried.
There is a difference in failing and being a failure. Failing happens to everyone. Being a failure is giving up entirely. There is no coming back from giving up.
I contend that the only difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is how they deal with failure. A successful person takes a failure as just part of the journey. Unsuccessful people let a failure end their journey.
When I first started my fitness journey I wanted to learn and be able to do everything. Some things I picked up rather quick, like bodyweight movements, pull ups, push ups, dips. Other things I still struggle with to this day, heavy weights, running, Olympic lifting.
Of all the things I struggled with though, double unders kicked my ass the hardest and longest. Any one that has learned how to do these can attest to the challenge getting good at double unders can be. It took me 18 months to finally get to where I could string 10 or more together. I worked on them every day, before and after class. At the time there wasn’t a million videos on technique for doubles and my coach had a bum knee so he was no help. Somedays I would get a few and then next two weeks I couldn’t get any. It was super frustrating. But I never gave up. I said I would be able to these and eventually I did. Now it’s probably one of the only things I would say with confidence that I am “good” at. After that, I realized the amount of effort it takes to be good at anything really challenging. That some things will take months, years, maybe decades to achieve.
For ALL of the things we want to achieve fitness wise there is no magic pill. Success takes time. It takes patience and believing in the process. It takes dedication to a goal. It takes knowing what you want, then going to get it. Discipline. Day in day out. Year in year out. No excuses.
We’ve all heard these things a thousand times.
“That’s all fine and dandy Jeremy but I’m not like you or (insert name here) and I never will be!”
First step in being successful at this fitness game (or anything for that matter) is taking 100% responsibility for your life. There is only one person responsible for the quality of your life…YOU. You are responsible for everything you experience. It’s easy to say, “I’m too busy” “This is too hard” “My wife” “My husband” “My family” are keeping from taking care of your health and fitness. But I promise you there are people in this world who are busier, with more hours at the office, with more kids and responsibilities, and yet they find time to make their health a priority.
Second step is success is to be clear why you are doing this. If you are just doing this to get jacked for the summer or lose a few pounds, that’s fine in the beginning. But my hope is that as you progress on this journey you see the value in a lifestyle dedicated to being the fittest, healthiest and best version of yourself. Not just for the summer, or a year or two, but for the long haul. For us and others like us this is a lifelong commitment. There’s no plateau and there’s no finish line. This pursuit ends on our deathbed.
The third step to success is to decide what you want. We’ve taken responsibility for ourselves and we have no one else to blame for our results. We are clear why we are here and are committed to a lifelong journey. The next step is deciding exactly what we want. What does being fit and being healthy mean to us? This is where our goals come in. You have to be specific! “Get ripped and shredded” is not specific enough. “I want 10% bodyfat” is very specific. “I want to run a half marathon” is not what we are looking for either. “I want to run a half marathon in under 2:00” is very specific. With specific goals we now have a target to reach and we can formulize a plan to get there. I am not contradicting myself when I said earlier that getting jacked or ripped is not a good enough reason to work out. Your goals come into play after you have made a pact with yourself to take responsibility for your life and health and you are clear that this is a lifetime commitment. Getting to 10% bodyfat and running a half marathon in under 2:00 hours are by products and also stimulus for longevity and health. Goals also keep you engaged so decide what you want today!
Fourth step to a successful life is believing it’s possible. Health and fitness are not for “someone else”. They are for every human being. We were designed for struggle and conflict. We were designed by and for the harshest of lives. Only recently has “comfort” become a pursuit. For most of human history our main pursuit was just survival. You are not to old or too out of shape or too broken to get fit and healthy. There are thousands and thousands of examples of people that started worse off then you. Believe it’s possible.
Last step for success is believing in yourself. You might believe it possible but maybe you think you can’t be dedicated enough. Stop it! I don’t care if you started and stopped a million times. I don’t care where you are starting from. I don’t care how many times you messed up. Who cares if you ate a whole tub of ice cream last night! Wake up the next day and do better. Who cares if you went on a weekend drinking binge! Wake up Monday and get right back too it. Every day is an opportunity to do better. Falling down does not mean you stay there. Everyone falls down. Not everyone gets back up. You can, and you will.
The new year is coming. While I think any changes or actions you want to take should be done at the moment the thought comes in your head, New years is a good time to reflect and reevaluate. Look over these steps to success I’ve posted. See where you are at with all of them. Make an effort to work on these like you work on anything in the gym. Your life will be better. And then share this with someone else. Everyone deserves to live the life they dreamed of.
Remember who you wanted to be.