Missed opportunities.

This morning, my first alarm went off and, after a fifteen minute interval, it went off a second time. I got up, stumbled into the kitchen for some water, and stood in a daze not really thinking about anything at all. After some time had passed, I began gathering things I would need for the workout this morning. Water, headlamp, Garmin, and three Running Shop bags that I stuffed with goodies for my half-marathoners – ‘I hope they show up!’, I sighed to myself.

The program was over. They completed a half-marathon, some of them for the first time, and I wasn’t there at the finish line to bring them in or take pictures, or anything. I wasn’t there because I was off doing my own thing.

Another deep sigh.

The sky is overcast. I can see the dark clouds in the morning darkness. It isn’t too cold but still cold enough that I wear my Nike tights and a lightweight long-sleeve pull-over.

I sit in the warm car , listening to a podcast about “lotteryism” and how the media is silent and thus, complicit in supporting the undemocratic interests of corporations over people when it comes to building stadiums, hosting the Olympics, or building headquarters for behemoths like Amazon. I find it mentally stimulating and eye opening.

The clock in my car finally reads 5:30. It’s time to go. I sigh before opening the door and stepping out into the cold to begin my warmup.

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Going without goals.

Oh! You’re going somewhere. Did you know that you’re going somewhere? There is a destination at the end of your current direction. It’s out there, waiting for you, and your chance of getting there is nearly guaranteed if you stay the course. One-hundred percent.

You wake up, you eat, you poop, you do your routine. It’s yours and you know it pretty well by now. Sometimes, you think you’re the victim of your routine; that you have no choice.

It’s like we define ourselves by what we are not and who we are not, living in the default world of our true lives, doing all the useless little things that are left over from the table of our better selves; our dream selves.

Victims.

So we piddle around aimlessly from day to day, waiting for a tomorrow that we were destined for, but never saw coming.

Your actions today will steer the course of your life’s tomorrows. Put your hand on the rudder and steer for something worthwhile.

Either way, you’re going to end up somewhere and that Destination is a choice only you get to make!

Obstacles all around me.

One cannot seriously think about the way that others treat them without considering the constant; themselves.

If a person is constantly being disrespected, perhaps there is something that person is doing which signals to others, ‘this is the way I am to be treated’. It would be almost certainly a subconscious choreography.

I imagine, for myself, that these attitudes I have fostered in others about myself are crafted through positive and negative reinforcement. If someone says something bad about me, like it or not, and injured though I may be, I agree with them on some level. If someone says something nice about me, I immediately summon the host of negatives that can drown almost any positive – covertly behind a polite smile and an inner dialogue of, ‘if you only knew!’

Those tortured inner core beliefs must manifest and others will take them as cues.

It’s really just our stupid way of making it hard for others to cheer us on. No! I want to be someone that others want to succeed, the poster-child of my own success, the hero of my own journey.

I want to remove the obstacles that prevent others from wishing for my success in life, in love, and in happiness.

How can you stop putting these barriers up in your own life?

Bring it!

When I come to our workouts, I want to bring a level of energy and pop!   I want to burst and crackle and roar.   To shock and jolt and shake everyone around me because I’m alive and I’m here to work my ass off!

The alternative would be to show up and wait for something or someone to enliven me. That’s no good – that cannot happen.  I have to be better than that.  Every coach and every leader knows that you have to grab the loose power line with both hands and hang on – trust yourself and let fly the black flag – there will be no prisoners.

Imagine showing up and having to be dragged along, limp and lifeless, yawning and rubbing the sleep out of your eyes.   It’s so easy to think that everyone owes you their gratitude because, ‘at least you showed up at all’.. as if, just by showing up, you’ve already conquered the beast.   You have conquered that beast, and sincere kudos to you – that beast is no joke – but now is not the time to rest.   You woke up!  Now don’t be so quick to capitulate that life would act on you, instead of the other way ’round.

Roar, shake, crackle and burst.   Outdo your coach.  Bare your teeth and growl in real life as you lean into it.  Chuckle and laugh in the severity of your zeal as you show up and BRING IT!

 

Like a job that you love!

Imagine if we treat our fitness and workouts like we treat our jobs?   You wouldn’t miss your shifts, or you’d likely lose your job if you did.  You try to do things that add value to your bussiness.  You work to be more efficient, building job security, making connections and earning your paycheck through hard work and persistence.

Now imagine if you treat your job, like you (maybe some of you) treat your fitness.  How is your fitness-attendance rate?   How is your job satisfaction?   If you were to have a performance evaluation, would you be getting a raise if we applied your current fitness habits to your profession?   How well do you follow instructions?   When you encounter difficulty, are you more likely to give up or ask for help?  Would your workout-attitude transfer to the workplace?  Would your co-workers be inspired and motivated by you?

Think of the excuses you’ve been using to stop doing what you said you were going to do.  How would those play in a work environment?   Imagine telling your boss that you don’t have time to do your job – You’re too busy with other areas of your life to perform the job you were hired to do.   Or that you’re too tired.

Opportunity Costs

 

There’s this nasty little concept called ‘Opportunity Costs’.   Opportunity Costs are all the things you could be doing, except you decided to do something else instead.   Time is finite and our lives are short.   We don’t get to do everything, so we have to choose, and we have to choose one thing over another.  Sometimes, the choices we make keep us from doing the other things we want to do at the same time.  The opportunity costs of going out with our friends is that we don’t get to stay home and study or read or watch netflix.  Sometimes the things to which we give priority displace some other legitimate goal that we want to accomplish in our lives.

Fitness is like that.

It isn’t that we don’t want to be fit, it’s just that when the chips are down, we want something else more, and we choose accordingly.  It isn’t that we don’t want to lose weight, it’s just that when we get offered a slice of something bad for us and not on our diet, we make a choice that we want that delicious morsel more than we want to be fit.  We keep losing these little battles between a healthy choice and it’s counter-part, the unhealthy choice.  When you want something, you have to sacrifice other things that are taking up that slot; sometimes other interests that you could focus on and sometimes the very things that are holding you back.

If it were based on actions alone, I don’t think we could say that we want to be fit, while refusing to workout or clean up our diet.   We’re much more complicated than that, but there is that level where this kind of thinking is true.   When you want comfort over challenge, you can’t be a warrior.   When you want ease over hard-work, you can’t be champion.   When you want indulgence over restraint, you cannot be a well-oiled machine.

You can’t have it all.   You can’t be all the things at once.   You have to choose.   You have to choose what you will you give up in pursuit of what you want – at a macro level and a micro level.   That’s why it’s called a “life-style”, because it ecompasses everything you do and, more importantly, everything you are.

 

“The Suck”

Inspired by one of my runners.   TY N_

Running sucks.   It’s hard, you have to get up early (here in Tucson), which means you have to get to bed at a reasonable time.   This puts you in a foul mood.   Then.  You start to run and, yep.. it sucks.

So two quick things.

One.  In order to have a good run, sometimes you have to have a bunch of bad runs.  Being committed means doing the runs regardless to whether they will be good or bad – and you won’t really know until you do it.   You do the run because you promised and, even if it’s a bad run, you did it and you kept the promise you made to yourself.   If that doesn’t make you feel good – I don’t know what will!

Secondly, embrace the suck!   The suck is there to make sure you know the value of good health, fitness, strength, improvement.   It isn’t free – Boy HOWDY is it anything but free. You have to work for it, it hurts, it sucks and it might NEVER feel good, but you still made progress toward fitness despite every.. single.. thought.. in.. your.. head.. telling you to “STOP! this madness!”.

The overall lesson here is that sometimes the things you want won’t come to you – you have to go out and get them, beat down the obstacles that stand between you and your goals, overcome the doubts and excuses.  You walk when you can’t run, you crawl when you can’t walk.. you keep.. pushing..forward, and you get it done.

“The Suck” is strongest when you need it most!