Sometimes it great to blow of some steam, don’t you think? After a tough day at the office you aim to leave your troubles behind by kicking a run or hitting the gym. It’s your one and only chance to disconnect and leave your stress, worries and responsibilities behind.
For many of us time spend in the gym – during training – is separate from our lives outside of it. In the gym we break down barriers, we exist outside of ourselves. But, when we get into our cars at the end of a workout, it’s like we are jumping right back into our comfort zone. There’s a void between who we are in the gym – sweaty, primal, fearless – and who we are the other 23 hours a day; passive, cautious and fearful. We’d all be better off if we connected the dots between what we do in the gym, and how we live our lives. Because the habits we use to take our physical performance to new heights are the very habits we need to transform every aspect of our lives.
Connecting the Dots: Training —-●——Living
1. Recognize resistance. Any worthwhile endeavor comes with some measure of sacrifice attached. If you want to get in shape prepare to embrace sweat and soreness. The same can be said for anyone who chooses their calling over a career; you’ll need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Even though we want to get fit and follow our dreams resistance tells us we can’t. Newsflash – you can! All you have to do is recognize resistance and eliminate excuses.
2. Get your mind right. If you’re disconnected from your actions – at work or during a workout – it’s easy to fall into bad habits or a rut. You have no meaning, no purpose and no ambition. Maintain focus and make progress by aligning your thoughts with your actions. James Allen wrote “All that a man achieves and all that he fails to achieve is the direct result of his own thoughts.”
So if you’re setting goals for training sessions or weight loss, try to put that same effort into developing your career path or home life. If you’re heads not in it, no matter what it is, you’ll never perform at your best.
3. Forget luck. There is no such things as an aha moment. And overnight success is a myth – behind every overnight success you’ll find a lifetime of hard work. Luck is really the sum of all the sacrifice, struggle and strife you’ve encountered on the journey to realizing your goals. Those who do not understand the slow and incremental process perceive the results as luck.
They’ll say; you’re so lucky, you’re a natural-born runner. They’ll act as if those hundreds of miles you logged had nothing to do with you finishing your first marathon. That’s because they’re still making excuses and luck is their way of rationalizing your success. But you know it’s not about luck, it’s about doing the work.
4. Do the work. You can think about doing the work, and you can even talk about all of the great ideas you have, but the only thing that matters is actually getting shit done – everyday! In the gym and in life there are efforts and there are results. The strength of the effort is the measure of the results. That means if you’re not doing the work, if you’re not hustling hard, you’ll never be satisfied with your life or your body.
5. Embrace failure. I am not going to tell you that failure feels good; it sucks. If you bomb a presentation or bail on a workout part way though you’ll feel like complete garbage; I know I do. But, here’s the thing, the act of failing is not bad in itself. It’s all about what you do next. You can quit, make excuses and blames others. Or, you can study yourself failing, analyze why where you went wrong and come back stronger next time. Fear of failure should motivate you to work harder; it shouldn’t prevent you from going big in the first place.
Are you living like you train or are you leading a double life? Don’t just look to hit PRs during your workouts, aim to confront obstacles head on every day. What do you think; do you have it in you?
Joe Vennare is a one of the nation’s top fitness trainers, a freelance writer, and the co-founder of Hybrid Athlete -an online and on-location exercise resource for fitness seekers and facilitators.