Accomplishing those personal goals- fitness or otherwise- starts with overcoming the intrinsic challenges placed upon us.
As someone who has worked in the fitness business for the better part of a decade, I have come to appreciate the challenges, both mental and physical, that keep us in the way of accomplishing our exercise and wellness goals.
Perhaps, it is as steeped in our subconscious as much as it is in the general, uncomfortable nature of exercise and change writ large. Let's face it, parting with anything is difficult, whether it be time, money, energy or even routine.
Change is as uncomfortable as it is necessary. Imagine all the great things that have been accomplished since the dawn of mankind. How much of the most lasting impressions that humans have made throughout history were done in the proverbial cauldron of discomfort? I would reason to guess that most- if not all of them- were.
As we see with any garden-variety fitness program, being challenged from an outside source or from the simple motivation that lies within all of us is oftentimes the spark that spurs the action. Necessity is the mother of invention, yes, but don't forget that impulse was the first-born in that family. Without having that courage and call-to-arms mentality, there is no invention in the first place in the same vein as there is no action to beget the change.
I am struck by how much we are willing to invest in anything- investments, real estate, commercial goods- before we are willing to spend a dime on ourselves. Virgil once wrote, "The greatest wealth is health." It stands as one of my favorite quotes as a health and wellness practitioner because it is as true as it is poignant.
Think about all the greatest tycoons and inventors, people who have made endless streams of money. Now, think about those like a Steve Jobs, who with as much wealth and innovative power as he had, didn't make time for the most important variable in the whole equation: himself. That's right, you are the single most important asset and, to put it in Wall Street parlance, you are a blue-chip stock. If you hold that to be the case, why would you not invest in the most sure thing around?
Had Jobs just invested his time in a doctor's appointment, perhaps we would still be graced with his genius and foresight. But, there is a moral in stories like those. More than just plopping down your hard-earned money at the local gym or for more health-conscious choices at the grocery store, you must live this course of action.
Thomas Edison didn't just wake up one day thinking he would shift the paradigm with his litany of inventions, he spent hours and hours working at it, even failing in the process. Did it take courage? Without a doubt, it did. But, it also took a willingness to commit, to stare the fear brought about by change straight in the face and continue onward.
When it comes to your own personal fitness and lifestyle journey, you must understand this is not a day-to-day process but a lifelong one. You are embarking on a course of action to change not only your health and the way you look but a mindset that can transcend all that you do on the treadmill.
It is uncomfortable. It is difficult. It is demoralizing at times. Above all, however, it is worth it.