Push Through It!


If working out was easy, everyone would be a triathlete.  Heck, the world would be a much better place as the food industry wouldn’t be trying to cram sugar laden food down our throats. But this isn’t a post about the sins of the major food processors.

No, this post is about the transformation and journey one will experience as they move off the couch and into the gym, outdoors on the jogging path, and/or on the saddle of your bike.  This is also a good time to disclaim the concept of seeing your doctor before doing any rigorous exercise.

Reflecting on the Painful Past

As I reflect on the past few days and the agony of sore quads, a bit of dehydration, and stomach discomfort, I look back to my first journey and the pain, the emotions, and the experience I had when I was in much worse shape.  It was not a walk in the park.  In fact, I was moody, in pain, couldn’t catch my breathe, and wanted to walk away from it all so many times.  But I didn’t.

This time, I know what is ahead.  Right now, it hurts.  Right now, I lose my breathe easily.  Right now, my heart rate peaks very quickly.  Right now, my muscles are fighting to stay in bed.  Right now, I am thirsty and hungry.  Right now, I am drenched in sweat.

But tomorrow, the next day, and the day after that, I will experience these things a bit less.  Pretty soon, I can climb a flight of stairs with vigor without losing my breathe.  Pretty soon, my muscles will be upset when I DON’T exercise.

Don’t Be One of the 95%

As we embark on our fitness journeys, we will go through stages.  I understand why a lot of people go to the gym and give up after three sessions.  In fact, one of my personal trainers told me once that if he could one client through six sessions, they would be a client for over a year!  That conversion rate, less than 5%.  Yup, less than 5% of clients go beyond six sessions.  That’s a lot of people saying goodbye to their fit future.

Take My Advice

Just push through it
from Brainy Quote

For anyone who is new to this and just embarking on their fitness journey, my advice is this:  “Just push through it! The reward at the end is far sweeter than you think.”  It is true.  Becoming a triathlete saved my life and it gave me a life I never thought possible growing up.  Being fit makes it super easy to do things.  Being fit makes you look different walking down the street. Being fit gives you confidence.

While the first few sessions will suck and that voice in your head will try to convince you to go back to the couch, don’t listen to it.  Listen to me, “push through it” because you will thank yourself later.

Let’s do this together.  Subscribe to my Blog, join me on Twitter. Leave a comment, share your goals. Let’s create a community.

A Sunday Quote and Weekly Exercise


One of the things I do everyday as I plan my day ahead is find a quote that draws me in on a random topic.  I write this quote at the top of my bullet journal daily planner page for that day. It is part of my morning routine and sets a wonderful feeling for the rest of the day.

While I would love to publish a daily quote video, or at least a daily quote post, I thought I’d start off with a Sunday Quote.  A quick and easy video with a quote, commentary on why it sings to me and even a small exercise for you to do during the week which relates to the quote.

So, here we go, my first quote video, nicely interrupted by the cat.

You can purchase “Relaxation on the Run” by Jay Winner, MD at the following link: https://amzn.to/33JX2G7

Today’s quote:

“For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be got through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.” – Alfred D’Souza, clergy

This week, when you feel like you can’t action on something, STOP and get your daily journal or a sheet of paper.  Write down what action it is you can’t take.  Then spend a few minutes writing down what obstacle is in your way.   Review the obstacles and determine which ones are real and then make a plan to overcome.  Better yet, forget the obstacles altogether and just do the action you feel you can’t take.

Please share your responses here, on YouTube, and Twitter.

Check back next Sunday for a new quote.

 

 

Some Inspiration: Apolo and a Warrior


Reading is one thing I really enjoy doing right before bed time.  Spending a few minutes with a great book gives me an opportunity to wind down and focus on something more inspirational.

Apolo’s Dedication From the Heart

While I am reading a few books at the moment, one of them is Apolo Ohno’s “Zero Regrets.”  Apolo is a very inspirational person and I find his story quite motivating for both life in general and the sport of triathlon.  Here is a segment of his book that really caught my attention:

He was teaching me right then and there the most fundamental thing: You have to dedicate your heart and soul to something.  Then you go forward; you don’t look back.  And you don’t hold back.  You go after whatever that thing is without being afraid to fail.

After reading this segment, I really wanted to yell out “Yeah, go Apolo!”  But then it was late at night and I didn’t want to wake anyone up.   To me, dedicating your heart and soul to something is, perhaps, one of the hardest things to do.   It means maintaining focus, avoiding distractions, and implementing a dream that comes straight from the heart!

My dream from the heart was to finish a sprint triathlon.  In fact, I finished seven! During this journey I faced a lot of hurdles, snuck by distractions and learned so much about life, fitness, and the sport of triathlon that reflecting back on it, makes me want to cry with joy.

The Commitment of the Dancing Warrior

I have also been reading the “Spirit of the Dancing Warrior,” which uses zen exercises to help the athlete perform to a new level.  With a new focus each week, the book helps the athlete focus on connecting with the inner soul.  Starting with Emptyness (being ready to learn) and Gratefulness (take things for granted), I have now moved on to the Commitment focus.   The segment below grabbed my attention:

Consider whether your lack of commitment is simple complacency or whether you might want to look deeper to see if there is another sport or activity that will engender a higher level of commitment.  In other words, lack of commitment may be a sign that it’s time to move on to something else that’s more appropriate to your development at this particular time.

After reading this segment shortly after reading the segment from Apolo’s book above, it sent a chill down my spine.  What if my struggles during the winter are really an indication that I need to do something completely different for the winter months?

I am not sure what that would be and I would have to do some more research, but it is something to think about.  Instead of triathlon training (swim, bike, run, strength, yoga), maybe I should take up karate or kayaking.

Whatever I choose, it has to come from the heart and once selected, I must be committed to it.  Are you committed from your heart?

Live By the Olympic Creed


Apolo Anton Ohno continues to amaze me.  His approach to life is something that truly represents what it means to have lived.  I think that is why social media is all over him, be it on Facebook, Twitter, or Flickr.   Apolo shares his life with us and today I found something very powerful in his Tweetphoto feed, something that reminds us all of the journey, The Olympic Creed.

“The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.” – The Olympic Creed

As we struggle and find ourselves continuing to swim, bike, run in the strangest of places, in harsh conditions, and longer, farther than every before, the only thing that matters at the end of the day is how well we fought for it.

Did we leave anything behind?  Did we give 150% against our struggle?

Only you can tell.

What Triathletes Can Learn From Apolo Anton Ohno


Apolo Anton Ohno is someone that I look up to.  His charisma, personality, dedication, humor, and grace are things that I envy. To watch Apolo take silver in the men’s 1500-meter speed skating event last night during the 2010 Vancouver Olympic games, was one of the most exciting sporting events I’ve seen in a long-time (I honestly don’t watch many.)

While his second place finish was awesome, there was something he said during a side-bar interview that really caught my attention. I hope it really catches you attention as well:

“Before you go to sleep each night, ask yourself this question: ‘Did you do everything you could today to be at your very best?’ ” – Apolo Ohno

Whether you are a triathlete, runner, swimmer, kayaker, lawyer, politician, truck driver, banker, or a janitor, I think we all can take something from this quote.

It is not deep; it is not complex; it is not a lot of time investment.  Asking yourself this question and doing everything at your best is simply the only way to work, compete, live, and honor.

I must be honest.  I have been slacking the past two weeks.  Have I done everything I could to my very best?  No.  As shameful as I am to admit.  Tomorrow, I redeem myself.