I was finally able to get my bike dusted off from the winter months and ride outside this week. Not far, but enough to have my body point out that my bike fitness has waned over the last few months. Anyway, as I was riding, the park was full of joggers, walkers, riders…all types of fitness engaged individuals. It was cool to see that many people out and about attempting to improve their level of fitness. It got me thinking about why people choose the activity they do and what continues to motivate them to stay active. Later, I was talking to a friend of mine about different fitness activities and was discussing one particular elite athlete and the comment was made that they could never be an “athlete like that.” I asked why not? My friend said they didn’t have the time, energy, and so on. So me, playing devils’ advocate, asked again, why not?
To me, it is a matter of perspective and desire to achieve. We work towards exactly what we want, whether we know what we want or not. Low effort produces small results if any…high levels of smart effort produce big results. I know this to be true. My friend backpedaled and said it was a matter of time. I responded with, why is your time different than anyone else’s? We all have the exact same number of finite minutes to manage each day. We find time for what we want to do. We prioritize our time according to our wants and needs. If we “WANT” to sit around eating cookies we do, unless our other goals and desires trump that. When they don’t…we eat cookies. I’ll admit I have cookie-eating moments, I just do. However, I also know what my end goals are, and what I need to do to get them accomplished. My day reflects that.
So why can’t we be “athletes like that”? I think we can. I think it is in how we define them. I would put emphasis on effort and commitment, not just results, or maybe not even results at all. Every person is different, so results will be individual. If I am progressing towards my fitness goals with the same intensity, effort, and determination as said perceived elite athlete…why shouldn’t I fall into the same category? Maybe I don’t compete at the same levels, or run and ride as far. Maybe I don’t want to compete, or ride and run as far as others. Should that preclude me from being “an athlete like that”? I don’t think so.
This is what I think is at the core of what dEVOLVE is trying to accomplish, teaching people that can put themselves on that level. Everyone can perform at 100%…its just that everyone’s 100% effort is different. So what! I have never ridden in the Tour de France, but I ride as hard as I can. I am that athlete. I have never competed in any strength related event, but I lift as hard as I can. I am that athlete. I have never run a marathon, but I run as hard, and as fast as I can. I am that athlete.
Yes, we are tired. Yes we work long days. And very few of us, if any have full time sponsors that allow us to only eat, train, and sleep. But remember, we took a very long, meticulous amount of time to become our unhealthy selves. Repairing, reversing, and overcoming that takes time and dedication. The last thing we need to tell ourselves is, “I am not an athlete like that.” Yes, you are. Yes, you are! I see athletes of all calibers everyday doing crazy amazing things…heck I surprise myself sometimes with the things I do. Our very own PFG Tony throws around some awesome weight squatting at the gym. I always out-squat him…but good form, focus and consistency has allowed him to make great gains (temporarily, because I do not get out-squat) and it is all because he believes he can, so he does.
Set high expectations for yourself. Challenge yourself to do a little extra each workout. Maybe it is just not eating that cookie, muffin, or drinking that soda. One step forward is always a step forward.
Previously Fat Guy