I was thinking about how long I’ve been pursuing fitness and exercising, and it feels like yesterday just walking into a gym for the first time. The weights were intimidating, the people lifting weights were intimidating, and the people who seemed to be sprinting on the treadmill were intimidating. It was an overwhelming experience. My body wasn’t coordinated. It wasn’t used to moving the way I wanted it to. For some reason, I came back….and came back….and came back. Through the years, working out has been time to bond with some of my closest friends, it has been time for me to think, time for me to relieve stress, and it has morphed into a career where I can look forward to helping others. There have been both good and bad experiences on my path to fitness, but these experiences have taught me true life lessons. Here are some of the top things I’ve learned from fitness.
Good things really do come to those who wait. But the phrase should be “Good things come to those who have patience.”, because having patience is different than waiting. It’s hard to begin pursuing a fitness goal and not having reached the goal within the first few weeks, months, or even years of hard work. Patience is needed. Having patience can be difficult. It takes time for the body to adapt to the different stressors you’re putting on it. It takes time for your body to change when you change your diet patterns. It takes time to develop the skills needed to be successful. Skills include adopting habits, changing nutrition patterns, and learning new exercises. Patience is something that I continually need to work on, but through my experiences it fitness I have realized that patience is needed in all aspects of life. It is necessary both personally and professionally. Patience allows you to step back from the situation, analyze, work, plan your path forward, and drive for results. By realizing that my body won’t change overnight, that I won’t be the fastest, strongest, or leanest tomorrow, it has been easier to realize that patience is needed in other aspects of life as well. Your dream career won’t necessarily come tomorrow, you won’t have that great house around the corner tomorrow, and you may not hit your fitness goals tomorrow, but keep working and have patience.
Consistency and Perseverance-
Being consistent is difficult. There are always rough days; days that make you want to go home and never come back to the gym. There are setbacks that are frustrating. The key to overcoming is consistency and perseverance. Keep driving forward, no matter how bad it gets. Slowly but surely, one step at a time, you will keep moving towards your goals. Sometimes the scale doesn’t seem to move for weeks. Maybe your mile times don’t improve, or your bench press doesn’t increase. Keep putting in the time and be consistent with your effort. Consistency is what forces your body to drive change. Keep lifting heavier things, keep running that treadmill, keep eating healthier foods…. I’ve had bad days in the gym. There are days when I don’t want to even look at my running shoes. Sometimes taking a nap then grabbing dinner with friends seems way more appealing than putting my gym clothes on, but putting those gym clothes on is what has driven results Over the years, progress has stemmed from consistency and the drive to want to do better. Sure, we all have setbacks. Maybe there’s been a bad nutrition week. Maybe workouts haven’t been stellar. Vacations….Travel for work….etc…, but be consistent and persevere. The day in, day out grind is what helps drive the change you want to see. If you want something badly enough, keep working towards it. Bad days are learning experiences. Good days can be celebrated. Keep consistent and persevere.
Work Ethic –
Nothing is given to you. Everything has to be worked for. Sure, some people are naturally more talented that others, but hard work beats out talent every time. Don’t be afraid to put the blood, sweat, and tears into what you want out of life. Achieving your fitness goals is hard work. We can’t wish, hope, or dream it to happen without having put in the sweat equity. Sometimes it feels like I go through the paces at the gym. I’ve noticed weeks where I’m walking in the front door and moving some weights around or pounding the treadmill, but I’m not pushing myself. Those weeks have little progress being made. Put true work into what you’re doing, and those are when the best results come around. Be present, both physically and mentally, when driving towards an end goal. Sure, we can’t do this every day. There will be some off days, but work for what you want. Truly work. Sometimes sacrifices need to be made. Sometimes it’s painful. If the end goal is great enough, and you’re motivated enough, the hard work will be worth it. There is nothing better than experiencing the satisfaction of months or years of hard work.
So, after thinking about it, fitness has been able to teach me more than a thing or two about exercise. It has taught me some life lessons that will stick with me forever. I’m sure that some of you have experienced these lessons yourself, and feel free to share what those lessons were! All in all, I have never felt better than when implementing the above virtues, both in the fitness field and out of it. And, it’s so rewarding to help others along their fitness journey, helping them achieve their goals and finding out who they are along the way as well.
Yours in Health,