In Steve‘s blog yesterday, “Hello 2013. What Now?“, Steve talks about the reality of how you feel before you start working on your goals, during the process and once you reach your goals. “Reality” is the key word here – in order for us to successful, we have to be more realistic. His words were simple, but so powerful and true.
Today, we’re going conquer our worst enemy – our mind.
No Pain, No Gain
I think some people live in a dream world (or maybe a “wish” world). I blame advertisers for pushing a message “no pain, and have gain anyway” – but that is a lie. That’s just not life. As a result, we wish our way through our workouts and diets. We wish that we could take a pill and sit on our but and lose weight. We wish walking the dog would be considered cardio. We wish that counting calories wasn’t important. We wish our halfhearted effort would pay off. We wish it didn’t hurt so bad. We wish it wasn’t so hard to get to the gym. e wish, we wish, we wish. Before you know it, you’ve wished your way out of results. Then, when we don’t get the results we wished for, we wish we never even wasted time trying.
It’s time to come back down to reality. To accept what you are in for, and also embrace the fact that it will all be worth it. Unfortunately, the reward often gets overshadowed by the work – to the point the works is all we can see. And for most of us, it will take a few purposeful steps (note: I’m using that word “purposeful” a lot this year). In order to reach our goals we must be very strategic and purposeful in our planning. Just like an army prepares for battle, we have to be prepared for every attack imaginable – and our biggest enemy is our mind.
But the End is SOOooooOOOOOoooooo Far Awayyyyyy
In order to succeed this year, you have to be in control of your thoughts. You can’t let the thoughts that face you today, like pain, struggle, doubt and a goal that seems almost too far away to ever reach, fill that pretty little head of yours up and sabotage progress.
It is SO easy to let the “now” paralyze you instead of push you. But, as you plan your attack this year, you can be ready. You can use those thoughts to trigger a productive response. You can remind yourself that it IS worth it. You can tell yourself that your pain will be replaced with power. Will it be difficult? Yes, it very well might be. Will it be worth it? Yes, it totally will be.
EXCUSE (k-skyz) Relieve, rationalize, explain, pardon, condone, exempt, rationalise, apologize, justify…
Training for a body building show can be pretty intense. The training, additional cardios, extreme dieting, and keeping up with all the supplements (listed below) can all be pretty overwhelming even when things are going smoothly. Then add an injury to the mix and you’ve got new beast to battle.
Steve Pfiester is not the only one to suffer a devastating injury prior to fitness event. Most athletes face some kind of injury at some point in their career. For Steve, it’s was a torn MCL and medial meniscus just 10 days prior to his bodybuilding show in Daytona. When something like this happens, it can throw you into depression fast if you let it. Key word: “Let“.
You can let an injury take control of you, or you can take control of it. The choice is yours. For Steve, he decided to go forward and do the contest despite his knee. As part of the preparation, I had to mix his music for his night performance and I wanted it to reflect his circumstance. In search for a motivational sound bite, I had a feeling Eric Thomas “The Hip Hop Preacher“, known for encouraging athletes, would have something cool that would fit Steve’s situation- and I found one of the most profound statements I’d heard in a long time.
“It’s not about making excuses, it’s about making adjustments”.
In addition to all Steve’s normal training and dieting, now he had to go to Dr. Stepanek’s office to get cold laser therapy twice a day, which he felt was really helping. In addition to therapy, he had to ice his knee as many times a day as possible – all between clients, training, eating, teaching boot camps and running a gym.
He also had to adjust his workout routine around exercises that didn’t hurt. Hamstring curls and squats were impossible, but leg extensions and straight leg dead lifts were okay. He had to keep up his cardio, so he traded running outside for melting fat on the elliptical in the gym. And, he had to do it all on less sleep because his knee pain kept him up at night.
His knee required him to adjust the way he walked and performed even simple tasks, like getting in and out of bed or putting his pants on. He even had adjust his clothing around wearing a brace, and he added compression socks to his daily wardrobe. Adjustment was his middle name.
Making adjustments can be a pain (sometimes literally), but necessary when you want something bad enough. However, most of us use the tiniest excuse to stop us dead in our tracks. Instead of listing all the things you CAN do, we use that one thing to convince of the things we CAN’T do.
It wasn’t that Steve wanted to win a bodybuilding show that bad. He didn’t need another trophy or the notoriety. He needed to follow through with what he had planned. He needed to reach his goal, which was to do his very best – not necessarily to BE the very best.
Steve showed up, knee brace and all, and won both his weight classes. But, even if he didn’t win, he knew in his heart he did his very best with his circumstance – and that’s what fitness is all about. It’s not about perfection, it’s about dedication.
What excuse are you allowing to paralyze you right now? For every excuse you are using, someone else is overcoming. Just because you have a good excuse doesn’t mean you have to use it. Finish what you started.
What gets you in the gym? What gives you the desire to put on your tennis shoes and go for a run on a hot day? What is the driving force behind your workouts and your diet? Is it based on motivation? Or is it based on determination?
Motivation varies. It comes and goes. Determination is constant. You are either determined to reach your goal or not. When you are determined, you no longer rely on feelings, you rely on the knowledge that your work will pay off.
Don’t get me wrong, your goal can motivate you to stay determined, but relying on “feeling motivated” is totally a different thing. Feeling motivated doesn’t last. It can leave as fast as it came. But, if your goal is real and your desire is strong, your goal can motivate you to stay determined enough to keep showing up day after day until you succeed.
Ask yourself: Are you Determined?
TRAIN WITH YOUR BRAIN.