Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Real Work

When I was in high school, I wanted to be a lawyer.  That is, until I realized that the stirring final summation only came after months and months of dull, tedious and ultimately necessary, research and preparation – which was usually covered by a 30sec montage in the movies, showing the lawyers sitting at cubicles late at night with a half-empty box of Chinese take-out.  The truth is, I didn’t want to do the research... I just wanted to make passionate speeches that moved people.

We see this sort of thing all the time in the fitness industry.  People come in, swearing up and down that they’ll work as hard as possible to get themselves to their goals, no matter what.  They say “I just want to go after this – I’ll commit to three days a week of training with you, and I can do another couple of hours on my own of running/yoga/swimming (etc).  And I just want you to push me right to my limits, every day – I want this so badly”.

What folks need to realize is that the “Rocky” montage of weeks of training is the Hollywood, short version of the effort and commitment needed.  The boundary-pushing workouts are not only a very, very small part of the journey... they’re also the easy part.  The hard part isn’t the 5hrs a week spent working out... it’s the other 163hrs.  It’s these other hours that require the patience, the diligence... making sure you’re eating properly seven days a week, that you’re getting enough sleep, that you’re stretching, foam rolling... and so on.  It’s not adding 3-5 hours of activity into your week – it’s adjusting your entire lifestyle.

So, when you decide you want to achieve something great, and really make changes, ask yourself (in the immortal words of David to Michael from 1987’s The Lost Boys) – “How far are you willing to go”? 

Then answer honestly.

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