There are many ways that can lead to success in the fitness world. I have seen people get tremendous results with boot camp, Crossfit, lifting weighs, Zumba, running, and many other ways of moving your body. They all had the same thing in common though.
The person who succeeded set a goal and refused to give up.
Getting a trainer is an awesome idea. Getting a workout partner works really good. Getting into a workout group is excellent too. But it eventually boils down to 10 2-letter words.
If it is to be, it is up to me.
People can help you along the way. You can be given all the tools and knowledge in the world. But you are the one that will have to execute.
If you think about it, that is the best news you will hear all day! That means you already have everything within you that it takes to be successful. There is power in realizing that about yourself.
Never doubt yourself for one minute. Never doubt that you aren’t good enough or strong enough. You don't need magic, luck, or pixie dust. Even though pixie dust is pretty awesome.
The only super power you need is consistency.
If you ever need a cheerleader, if you ever need someone to just listen to you, or if you just need some advice I'm here for you. Decide today what you want to do, write out the plan, and get to work!
-I started my business during a recession.
-I met my wife in a trailer park. (that would be a great country song)
-Some of the best times in my life were times when I’ve been exhausted, dirty, and in pain.
Why am I sharing all this weirdness with you? Because too many people let their circumstances determine their happiness and what they are able to accomplish.
They become victims of what is known as learned helplessness. This is a term coined by Martin Seligman, a psychologist who specializes in positive psychology. My kind of dude.
Learned helplessness is when someone repeatedly experiences something negative that they cannot escape or avoid. That leads to the person giving up even when they can escape or avoid the negatives in life. They feel like they have no control over the situation.
When bad things happen in your life, how do you react? Do you automatically give in and resign yourself to the outcome? Or are you prepared to fight and overcome?
You can begin escaping this helpless feeling by asking yourself 3 questions next time something bad happens. These are questions from Daniel H. Pink’s book “To Sell Is Human”.
Here are the questions with some bad and better responses for examples:
1. Is this permanent?
Bad response: Yes. I hurt my knee, I will never be able to exercise again.
Better response: No. I may have to scale things back, but I will be as active as I can until I recover.
2. Is this pervasive? (pervasive means it’s everywhere)
Bad response: Yes. Everyone who takes fitness classes is narcissistic and rude.
Better response: No. Maybe it was just that one particular lady I was next to in class.
3. Is this personal?
Bad response: Yes. My coach picked on me because he doesn’t like me.
Better response: No. My coach showed me extra attention today because he was helping me with my form.
The main point is take back control of your life. You do have control of a great many things in your life. Attitude and effort are two of the most important things you control.
Bloom where you are planted, stay positive, and don’t let life’s ups and downs that are out of your control keep you down. You never know what that bad thing in your life might lead to if you have the right attitude. Might even find love in the trailer park like all the greats do.
If you want to become a vegetarian, I recommend you look into how sausage is made. You will probably become a vegetarian that day.
Nobody wants to think about the "behind the scenes" type of stuff that goes into making something. I went through a sausage making experience with my business this week.
I put out a video on Facebook this week called "Who we are and what we do" that explains kind of how boot camp works. This video was a little over one minute long. So that is how long it took me to put it up there right? Not even close.
That one minute video took me so many takes for so many different reasons. I stuttered, started talking nonsense (more than usual), I filmed half my face, and the list goes on and on. It took me 45 minutes to get one minute of content.
Then all you have to do is upload it right? Yep, that is if your internet is working. Anybody else have issues on Wednesday? Good times.
When I finally got my internet back and got the video uploaded, I worked on getting captions put on the video. Did you know that 85% of videos on Facebook are watched with the sound turned off? Now we both know and that is why I spent another 30 minutes figuring out how to put captions on the video.
What is the moral of this story? Other than hire someone who knows what they are doing.
The main point is this:
Even though it seems like it takes forever to see a tiny bit of progress, you are still moving forward! It is still working. You are doing something right, don't give up now.
Don't get discouraged because you "only" lost 4 pounds and it seemed like it took forever. 4 pounds of fat is about the size of a 2-Liter bottle. That is awesome progress!
Next time I do a video, I will be able to do it faster because I found out that a squat rack makes a great camera holder. And I will be more efficient at putting the captions on the video.
You keep at it too. I've seen it happen over and over for people. They are plugging away, plugging away, and then the weight and inches start coming off like crazy. That happens because they stayed the course, found out what exercises worked for them, what types of foods their body thrives on, and never gave up.
You can do it too, keep making sausage.
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Last night at boot camp, my friend Nancy gave us a sample Pound class and it was awesome! She just got certified to teach it, so she was really nervous because this was her first time. She was amazing and it was so much fun.
The first class I taught was awful.
And by awful, I mean I had someone ask for a refund type of awful. Let me set the scene for you.
I have been planning this class for weeks and I had the perfect plan. This class was going to blow their mind and this was going to catapult me to fitness super stardom! But that didn’t happen.
I had my entire class planned in this one area. Everything was setup, we head over, and I am so pumped to get started.
Then all hell breaks loose.
A Biblical swarm of gnats invades the entire class. The gnats are in hair, eyes, and teeth. It was chaos! I think at one point, I screamed, “Run! It’s every man for himself!”. Probably not the thing to scream at a boot camp for women…
My entire game plan was thrown off and I limped through the first session in a bit of a shocked state. It was very humbling and humiliating. Mike Tyson’s quote:
But I learned from it, so I am grateful it happened. 9 years later I am grateful anyway. At the time, not so much. Goes back to one of my favorite sayings, “When you win, you win. When you lose, you learn.”
Have you ever felt like a failure at exercise? Have you ever felt like a failure trying to eat healthy? I guarantee you have and that’s ok! We’ve all been there. I’ve been there several times and I do this stuff for a living.
The main point is to not be so quick to judge your aptitude at something. Of course you are probably not going to be world class the first time you do something. Give it some time. If after a few weeks you find your exercise program or eating plan is not right for you, then find something that suits you better.
There is a way to exercise and a healthy way to eat that fits you and that you can do long term. I guarantee it! Keep searching and keep experimenting but give each program time. Your body was made to move and your body was made to run on healthy foods.
I can’t wait until you find out what those ways are because you will feel so amazing. I’m right here along with you for this journey, feel free to reach out if I can ever help you on your path.
I was listening to Joe Rogan’s podcast yesterday and he started talking about the importance of doing things you are not good at. He said it was crucial to become a beginner at something again.
That seems like a rough way to treat yourself, but I completely agree. It is good for you brain and your body to try things that are out of your comfort zone.
Never was this more alive to me than when I went sky diving for the first time last weekend. Check out that picture! Here is another one:
It was definitely out of my comfort zone, considering I don’t like heights or flying. But when your wife surprises you with the opportunity on your 40th birthday, you jump at the chance. No pun intended.
And it was amazing! That first picture is from the free fall, where you are flying through the air like Superman. An unreal feeling that I wish everyone could experience.
Was it comfortable? No. Was I nervous? My palms still sweat thinking about it. But I am so glad I did it. My life was literally in someone else’s hands and that someone was a stranger!
Stretching and growing isn’t easy, but it is worth it to get better. I had a speaking engagement a few days later and my wife asked me if I was nervous and I said, “I just jumped out of an airplane, this does not worry me now.”
What are you afraid to do because it is not in your comfort zone? Are you afraid to try something because you are afraid to fail? Don’t be! Look at it as a win, win. If you succeed, awesome! If you don’t, you learn from it.
Your homework for the weekend is take some time and figure out what you need to do to stretch and grow. Lift heavier weights? Try your first 5k? Learn how to swim as an adult? Take up kayaking?
Find something you are a beginner at, stick to it, and continue to challenge yourself! The hardest part is the beginning when you are not good at something. Persevere and you will so glad that you did.
One of the most common questions I get about my boot camp is "Why just women?"
My typical answer involves how my training experience led me to decide that women are the best clients and that was a need in the community for a women only fitness class. That answer does not tell the full story.
My experience in class not too long ago, tells the story a lot better.
I was in class the other day marveling at the amazing women that I'm surrounded by. In just one day I had the opportunity to train women who had lost husbands, children, parents, and everything they own to Katrina.
Women who had been through divorces, rehabs, abusive relationships, and layoffs.
Women who had beat cancer, sickle cell, diabetes, lupus, and numerous other serious diseases.
Single moms, women who take care of aging parents, and women who have taken on the role of mom and dad while their husband is serving overseas.
Women who have served overseas fighting for our country. And women who volunteer tirelessly in our community fighting battles against hunger, child abuse, and so many other worthy causes.
And these are just the women I see in my classes! Every one of these women is still standing tall and staying strong.
Why do I train only women?
Because they are bad asses.
Have a great weekend and happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!
I have a confession for you, but you have to keep it to yourself. There have been a lot of days lately where I have hated exercise.
It’s hard for me to admit, but I feel better telling somebody. That is weird because I have loved exercising almost my entire life.
Dealing with a couple of significant injuries and having some fatigue issues have really made it not so fun. Can’t lift as heavy, go as hard, or go as far as I used to be able to so what’s the point? It’s very frustrating.
Have you ever felt that way? You get to the point where you want to give up because it is too hard, uncomfortable, inconvenient, or insert your excuse here? If so, it is ok you are not alone.
You can not give up! Stop focusing on what you can’t do and dominate what you can do! Look for the reasons, not the excuses.
And I am not getting on to you, I am talking to myself just as much as anybody else. You may have to slow down, you may have to take a few steps back, and it may not be what it used to be right away but you can still make progress. Keep pressing forward!
If your lower body is injured, summer is right around the corner let’s get those guns ready. If your upper body is injured, that is great news! That means you can have all the squats in the world. And if you are too beat up to exercise, then it is a perfect time to put your energy into cleaning up your eating habits.
Most of all you need to stay positive. Feed yourself positive thoughts, get around positive people, and break the habit of talking negative to yourself.
Let’s keep each other encouraged, build each other up, and keep this train rolling. We have stuff left to do in this life and we are going to need to be at our best to make it happen.
Have a great weekend!
Last night I started watching a documentary on Netflix about the Barkley Marathons in Tennessee. It is an insanely tough race, that many consider to be the hardest race in the world.
Great documentary to check out next time you are lost in the Netflix searching zone. It even has a guy from Huntsville in it.
I loved the quote I heard from the race director, Gary “Lazarus Lake” Cantrell. He said, “You can’t accomplish anything without the possibility of failure.”
I thought that was so awesome! Looking back on your life, what are your proudest accomplishments? Chances are they came with a high chance of failure. We tend to live safer lives the older we get. We also tend to stop growing as people the older we get.
My next question is this: Have you stopped challenging yourself?
When was the last time you did something that you were completely scared to do, but you did it any way? Whether or not you succeed is not the point, it is the intent to step out there and stretch your limitations.
Here is your homework. Write down one goal you want to accomplish that scares you to death.
One that makes your heart race just thinking about it. Did anything just pop into your head?
This goal can involve fitness, your career, family, relationships, or whatever it is that you are scared to do. When you figure yours out, I would love to know what it is. I'm still trying to come up with my next goal.
I look forward to hearing about your new goal!