Developing yourself and reaching a goal can be difficult. Especially when you don’t allow yourself to have a strong frame of mind or proper perspective. Having a partner when you work out can be extremely helpful, as I wrote about in a previous post It Takes Two, Baby…🎶. But although having someone there to spot you and motivate you can be quite the benefit, you need to allow yourself to have a correct frame of mind behind your workout.
A friend of mine recently pointed out something important as it relates to fitness. Let’s say that you’re trying to lose some weight. You intend on climbing the nearby mountain with a partner, which is not only smart for safety reasons but can motivate you to push further in order to keep up. As you start climbing, you begin to feel tired. Your body is having difficulty continuing due to the excess weight that you’re trying to shed, and you feel compelled to stop.
Perhaps you tell your partner you need a rest. Or perhaps you tell them you can’t go on. Maybe you surrender to your body’s urge to have you sit down and give up. A terrible thing to allow, especially if you’ve set yourself some fitness goals that can be important for your health. For someone with Type-1 Diabetes, this can be a common occurrence, since fluctuating blood glucose levels can have the unfortunate side effect of making a person groggy and sluggish.
As I’ve often mentioned before, it’s important to ask yourself why? What is the reason behind your motivation? Your body should and will give out, long before you do. Why do you think people listen to music when they work out? It’s not simply for their love of it, although for some I would believe that’s included. It’s because music motivates us (and in some ways, distracts us from the physical exertion we’re going through).
This is why it’s so important to motivate yourself and stay positive. When I started cycling for fitness this year, I would get home after about a dozen kilometres and my legs would kill, I’d be exhausted and I would feel like total crap. But as you can see from the images above, the day before last saw me hit 65 kilometres. And yes, when I got home my legs killed, I was exhausted and dehydrated and needed food. But I can promise that a dozen kilometres now seem like a trivial amount, and I can do it quite easily in only about half an hour. This is something I wouldn’t have imagined when I started.
Sometimes it’s better to take things in small increments. If I’d hopped on my bike and tried to reach 60k on one of my first times out, I likely would have floored myself and became discouraged. But by staying consistent and building myself slowly, I’ve been able to keep building and developing how far I can go. The same can be said of martial arts or any fitness regimen that you may be attempting.
Let’s get back to our friend who’s attempting to climb the mountain. When exhaustion sets in and you feel like you can’t go any further, there’s no shame in taking a breather. But then, look ahead and spot a point further up the trail and tell yourself, “I can push at LEAST until that tree…” Then go for it. Once you reach that tree, maybe you’ll need another breather, maybe you won’t. But fix yourself another short goal and strive for it.
I think it was a Navy Seal that I had seen years ago, who described taking his training in steps, from day to day. At the beginning of the day, he would tell himself to simply get past breakfast. That’s it. Once this period had passed, he would focus simply on getting through the afternoon. Nothing more. With each piece of the day’s puzzle reached, he would be able to shift his focus and move on to the next, thereby guaranteeing he would make it through the day before hitting the rack. If he were to focus on completing the entire day, he would likely become discouraged and lack motivation. This is a concept that anyone can apply to their daily routines.
The idea is to allow yourself the time to grow. Have a positive and motivated perspective and you’ll go much further. If your thoughts are negative as soon as you begin, you’re sure to fail. how can you be motivated if you’re already defeating yourself? But if you focus on the positive, music, goals, health benefits, perhaps the scenery that surrounds you as you climb, you’re more likely to push farther and accomplish more.
Your own health and fitness is important; critical to your survival, really. And the proper mindset is what will help get you there. For someone with weight issues or Diabetes, staying fit and healthy can mean the difference between life and death. This is one of the reasons I push so hard. Life has too much to offer to lay down and die sooner than necessary.
And Diabetes or not, death will take me. Of this, there is no doubt. But I can promise two things: Death will lose ten pounds in sweat trying to make it happen and he’ll lose a mouth of teeth in the attempt. I intend to go down fighting. (Gee, that would make a great t-shirt) ☯