If there is one thing you can say about health, wellness, and fitness, it is that you get out what you put in. The scale might lie, your grocery list might lie, your mom might lie, but the gym is honest. Your results are a reflection of your effort while in the gym and your discipline while out of it.
While selfishly raping and pillaging the Earth at will, Baby Boomers had one thing right that Millennials don’t seem to grasp: hard work is the foundation of success, nothing is given, and nobody owes you a damn thing. I am a Millennial, and even as I write this, my brain doesn’t want to accept it, but the fact is, 6 years of higher education doesn’t mean squat in the real world. You don’t start earning your stripes until your actions are directly relational to someone’s profit margin. The truth is, the real world begins when you finally understand the concept: if you don’t perform, you don’t eat. The sooner you come to this understanding, the sooner you start to see results.
2. When the going gets tough, the tough get going
Lactic acid burn is a unique feeling that I truly believe everyone should experience (regularly) in their life. Your muscle tone starts to harden, your breathing rate increases, and a fiery burn sets into your muscles that is just short of painful, and yet not debilitating. Learning to push through that discomfort to achieve a goal not only creates a healthier body, but instills a feeling of accomplishment that nothing else can quite match.
A little (regular) discomfort is a good thing. It makes you appreciate the times when you are not in pain, it teaches you not to quit when something gets physically difficult, and it shows you how the power of mind can overcome any weakness of body. While common in athletics, “self-talk” or “internal dialogue” (the process of talking to yourself through your own thoughts) may not be a tool that is developed by the average person. However, this voice can be an invaluable coping mechanism and an ally that offers a certain inner-strength when applied to everyday life events.
3. Everyone needs a spotter
The strongest power lifters in the world don’t settle under the weight they intend to lift without a spotter ready to catch them when they fail; they would be crushed. Even more importantly, a spotter will let you struggle with the weight (after all, you still need to put in the work to see benefits), but a good spotter knows when and where to help and does not let you get crushed.
This is a great analogy for life. No one is an island. We all need help from time to time, and investment in developing these safety nets (also known as friends and family), are a vital part of our personal growth. Success, in life is about building and maintaining momentum, and being willing and able to seize an opportunity when it presents itself. Your support system (if you have invested in the right one) will help when times are at their most difficult, to push you through to success. Like weight-lifting, they can’t do the work for you, but they will be there just in case you need a hand.