Everyone hates exercising at first. You have to start and find something you love more than hate. That usually is an exploration process of what you want in your life. You have to write it out.
The first question I get from most people is why I wanted to do a 5+ hour endurance event. My response is to see how far I can push myself. My obsession is balancing all the aspects of my health to perform in an endurance event. It wasn’t like this 9 years ago. I hated fitness. I hated exercising. It was always hard. I didn’t understand what it meant to be fit or healthy, nor did I care.
Up to that point, my only experience was soccer and running. I enjoyed doing those in the game setting because playing the game of soccer was amazing. It made me feel like a different person. Training and practicing were not fun to me, all I wanted to do is play the game. I didn’t fully understand what it took to get better or think about anything else but playing without worry about anything else. I didn’t know any better, and it was amazing! Youth and innocence was my perspective. I had never had an injury or a reason to think about anything else but playing the game. I had no worries of hurting myself or the effects of getting older. I had no worries of the past, present or future.
As I grew up, the amazingness of being a kid with no worries wore off. I tore my right ACL, MCL, and LCL in a soccer game, and the orthopedic doctor told me I’d never exercise, run, or play soccer again. I believed him. For 2 years I was terrified to move. I didn’t want to go through ANY injury again. I became complacent and lost any confidence I had in my body. Every time my body would urge me to move, I was scared. When I’d go for a run, play frisbee, anything, I would be incredibly sore. I'd steer further from any physical activity because I related it to extreme pain and discomfort.
One thing I can look back on was what I believed I was capable of. I wholeheartedly believed I would never exercise again because of what I was told. My doctor told me false information and I believed it. I made it my reality. When I thought I could get out of that fog of false information, it would pull me back down. I made my own prison. I could not escape. Now that I’m on the other end of this experience of life, I can share my struggles and successes to help others push through these barriers faster.
Most people have built walls around themselves by the experiences they’ve had in their lives. This is incredibly normal, but detrimental if you don't have the guidance or mentorship to show you another path. Having positive influences in your life is critical to lift you out of that fog of misinformation. All people have their own prisons they have built around themselves. We were never told that we can be and do whatever we want with our lives. We were never told that we can dream and achieve those dreams. We were never given a template to success in our lives. We were all given LIFE—good days, bad days, amazing days, and traumatic days. We get complacent just getting to the next thing: the next weekend, holiday, day off, birthday, etc. We forget that we are in charge of what our life GETS TO BE.
Two years after my knee injury (In my early 20s) I began listening to Anthony Robbins Awaken the Giant Within. He spoke of some basic concepts of pain and pleasure, of having a dream life, and that I had to become clear on what I wanted. I was to write in great detail what I wanted, review it and repeat this process regularly. I dreamed of playing soccer again, playing the game as a kid was my goal. I set my eyes on a 5k race. I thought if I could run a 5k race I’d be able to get into great shape and play soccer again. I began to run. I was sore, it hurt, and I hated it. I was fearful of injury and the long road I had to be able to play again. Fear ruled my life. It was hard. My progress was extremely slow.
From that day, I kept with the creation process of writing down what I wanted and consistently reviewing it. I found a way to get exactly what I want. I went from thinking it was hard to train for a 3-mile race, to playing indoor soccer games, running, and swimming. I slowly began getting into the gym and lifting weights. I joined a functional fitness gym, then started doing small functional fitness events; I loved them!! It was extremely challenging! For the first time in my life I looked good, I felt good, I had self-confidence, and I knew how to work out.
Then the challenges turned a little harder—I entered a sprint triathlon and loved it! The challenge was amazing because there were so many moving parts. I ran my first off-road trail race and, although very different, it was addicting because of the hills, roots, and rocks. The community was amazing. I continued with longer triathlons and longer endurance races. It slowly turned into seeing what my body was capable of enduring. My longest and hardest events to date have been performing in 5+ hour endurance events that took me 4+ months to train for. Events that brought me to unexplainable tears when completing them and taught me that I am strong and no matter what the event or thing I want to accomplish, I am 100% capable if I decide I want to do it.
I’m not speaking from boastfulness but as a pillar for you to stand on to look ahead and determine exactly what you want in your life. What these events have taught me is that all things in life are hard. No matter the event or thing you want to accomplish—you can do it. First, write it down, then take action immediately, even if it’s small. Find mentors who have done what you want to do and speak to them regularly.
Understand that YOU and others that influence you will tell you of all the dangers, roadblocks, and why you’re not good enough. That you can’t do it, it will be too hard, it will be raining, it will be cold, there will be sharks in the water, you will break something if you crash, you can’t do something that dangerous, it’s too expensive, it takes too much time, you have to get up early, you had surgery on your knee, a six-mile swim!!!!
I can tell you this: any and all excuses are the same. 99% of the time they are false and usually fabricated by YOU. Only YOU can dismantle each one as they arise. Some days it will be one, other days they will be unrelenting and seem never to recede. The one reason you won’t settle or “cave in” will be that you wrote down the firm line you will not cross.
Every time you succeed, you gain energy to continue your path of getting exactly what you want. It can be a fitness goal, to lose weight, learn a new language, be a great dad, or countless other variations of what you may want in your life. The process is exactly the same. Write what you want, review it, and be persistent. Review what you want regularly and have a mentor that you can stand on their shoulders.
YOU CAN HAVE ANYTHING YOU WANT……….. ANYTHING.
You have to take it out of your head and make it real by writing it.
Start immediately. Don’t wait. Take that first step.
Remember movement is life. take action now.
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