Selling Success

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Finding your fitness success is about understanding yourself. What makes you successful, at anything, starts with the things that come most natural to you. We all obtain success either by exploring our natural abilities,  or having the techniques we wanted to become natural drilled into our minds. With fitness, it is no different, and because most of the world comes to understand this split at an early age, individuals tend to classify themselves before the age of ten as people who either have the natural ability to be fit, or people who must try as hard as possible to get there and may never be satisfied.

But my personal thinking goes against what the world wants to think. We are not a society of “haves and have-nots” and more a society of equals, especially when it comes to how we treat our bodies. I believe that all bodies, in terms of excess body fat stored, could look the same.  I think that our caloric intake as a society compared to the level of overall exercise is way too high and could single-handedly destroy us.

Since fitness is personal, I believe that finding fitness success is a personal process.  I’m always puzzled as to why people treat fitness differently from the other personal things in their lives. After all, the way you approach (not the systems but the PHILOSOPHY) things like earning and saving money, family, marriage and raising children, is that you don’t want to talk to just anyone, and if you’re getting advice you go to the most trusted source available to you. That person usually tells you how to sustain that thing on your own, in some easy ways, because the thing you’re discussing is a “long haul” type of issue, one that lasts a lifetime.

Why is fitness different? Why do people trust any new source, instead of sources that lead them back to themselves, and independence? I am not condemning the fitness industry, because individuals who are licensed to do what they do in this industry generally abide by what they’ve learned, and try hard for the consumer. My question is, why is the base of consumers so large? They are incredibly easy to market to, and there is a great deal of money to be made in various venues. I see traps for fitness consumers all the time. Here are some things we all should remember:

  • Superficiality is the enemy. Nice clothes and cars don’t send your kids to college, it actually costs a lot more than it costs to buy clothes and cars, so you wouldn’t save for your kids’ future by buying worthless assets. In that same way, you can’t see “getting a six-pack” as success when pushing your body to its limits means you’ll end up with that lean rectus abdominus forever. Always focus on the bigger picture.

 

  • Be weary of people things you need to be dependent on. Those people and things know you need to depend on them, it is how they make their money. Seek INDEPENDENCE at all times.

 

  • In that same way, be weary of shortcuts. Making something sustainable for you is not making it easier, it is doing a tough thing in YOUR way so that it always happens.

These are just a few of those traps that are set – things that help fitness business owners and equipment manufacturers make money, but do not help consumers see their goals.  It is a two-fold problem. Fitness results can not be sold, only the promise of them, just as fitness results can not be purchased, only the promise of them.  Still, I doubt that someone trying to “sell” you fitness would make any money saying “we only provide you the resources to get fit.” They will probably promise you results, stimulating the consumer in you.  Really, when we pay money as consumers, we have expectations of the product. With fitness though we should be building expectations of ourselves, a process which deep down, costs no money.

Fitting a Year into a Day

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Before you make your resolutions, think about why we make them.  Why do new years weigh down upon us so greatly?  What is different about us on January first?  We are a day older than we were on December thirty first, and will have stepped into a new year.  Our proverbial slate is clean.  If for one second in December we could vow to not repeat any of 2014’s mistakes in 2015, we make our resolutions not with the hopes of holding to them, people rarely do, but having acknowledged to ourselves that this particular area of your life you’ve chosen needs immediate, harsh attention and has become, regardless of your willingness to admit it, completely unacceptable.

My curiosity focuses on projecting your problem, through a resolution, onto others who are doing the same at this time.  They are all trying to fit a past year’s guilt and a future year’s hope into one day.  For a week we will be a network of supporters, hearing each other’s problems and stating our own. We outline our plans to change and the others in the conversation say “right, right, that sounds like a great strategy.”  They will probably ask you on Super Bowl Sunday how you’re doing with the goal.  You will either have a bunch of excuses or a good report.  Really though, with the uncertainty of human emotions, human schedules, and peer pressure, how valuable is a resolution actually?

Resolutions really to me indicate that the person deep down realizes that this area of their life has become completely unacceptable.  What bothers me is that people, instead of choosing a resolution, don’t simply take their resolution and set it as the new standard in their lives, especially if the opposite has become unacceptable.  Building a great fitness year goes this way. The successful things in your life are all built around your personal standards.

Instead of making resolutions, figure out how that thing you resolve to do can become an easy and smooth part of your life.  If you have to work up to it, then do that, but after you’ve set that standard, set a new one.  If you can turn the will and resolve to do something into the guilt and internal shame of not doing it daily, then you are now dedicated to that thing, that thing is positive and yours.  Things that you feel are unacceptable should bring you shame.  That is a natural emotion that motivates us to do anything from brushing our teeth and showering to dragging our bodies into work every day.  The shame of not doing it, the internal shame, the unwillingness to go against our basic principles is what drives us.  To make that positive change you’re looking for, your thing must be treated this way.  If your resolution is to do anything that might make you more fit, then you need to find out how fitness can become a sustainable part of your life, that you’ve built basic principles around, and that leaves you feeling successful daily.  That’s not just in 2015, but forever.  Resolve, resolutions, and the ability to make them is a daily process, not a yearly one.  If fitness is important to you, then you’re coming up with mini-resolutions every day, not just when the support system is around at the end of the year.

Creating Your Own Speed Limit

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Your body is a machine like a car. It runs on food like gasoline. Put cheap gas into it, it doesn’t run as well. Push it past the speed limit, and you become a better driver for other times (not condoning reckless driving). Loading it up with a lot of extra cargo will keep you under the speed limit.

To our bodies, intensity is our “mph.” Most of the world is driving between 0mph and 10mph, whether they are choosing to carry excess cargo or not. Most people who exercise regularly are driving between the 25mph residential street limit and the 65mph highway speed limit and still struggle with either keeping the excess cargo or learning how to drive faster with it.  You might say that attempts at formal home workouts (videos and the like) are the street (the dependence attached to this method is what limits a person or “confines them to their street”), and gyms are places where everyone has accepted the 65mph norm as a way to accelerate progress, better known as highways. Some people are attempting to show greater effort at gyms and going over the speed limit. They are either ridiculed by others- “watch that guy get into an accident,” tailed by the cops or concerned citizens (trainers, gym staff, and other gym patrons), or followed by people who want to also get to their destination faster.

Then there’s me, and all the people the world might consider “fit” or “not overwieght” or “in decent shape” or active enough to mostly eat what they’d like. We live above the speed limit. We carry no excess cargo regularly. We drive everywhere, on any terrain, at any speed we choose, but that speed is mostly above the speed limit.

Personally, I’ve experienced all speeds at all levels, and in the last seven or so years, I’ve tried to have more days above the limit than below. I still have days when I don’t drive, but I have learned to truly hate them. I’ve been to gyms to go the highway limit. I’ve done a home yoga practice every day at 70mph for a short strecth. I’ve done daily running when I first started to run at 80mph a day for a while. I’ve trained for road races at 90mph and even longer road races at 100mph. I’ve done extreme calisthenics (or what was extreme to me at the time) like 3,000 sit ups in a weekend at 110mph, This is when you’re sore  in places for weeks after not days.  I’ve done ninety straight days of Bikram Yoga at 120mph. I’ve trained for a marathon, and failed, at 130mph. I’ve even been to 160mph, doing hot vinyasa yoga and running on the same ninety-five degree day, leading to extreme dehydration and my first true near death experience.

My point in sharing my own history? You can do more, and embrace doing more. It can get dangerous, but danger that you come back from can be affirming, even make you brave enough forever.  Our goal is not to park our car forever, it is to race our car against others, or find out our car’s limits on our own. These two goals encompass all of the trivial things most people want like a sexy body and that mental clarity that comes from rigorous physical activity, even if you never make it to the goal. Do not be afraid to push yourself. Do not be afraid to do that without dependence on a system or facility. Drive on whichever road you like, feel free to speed, finding out how much faster you can go every day is the key to getting there on time.

Welcome

Quickly, think about everyone who has ever judged you.  Everyone who has ever called you fat, in public or private.  Think of everyone you’ve ever wanted to be with but you weren’t on their radar because of your body.  Or the person who left you, or the person you’re with who doesn’t appreciate you.  Think about people who judge other people in front of you, making you wonder what they say when you are not around.  Think about all of them at once.

Now think about where they are in life.  Do they meet their goals?  Are they successful?  Not with fitness but simply in their life.  The answer is probably not.  If you really felt they were successful, you’d steal their techniques (and they’d be selling their techniques!), and that’s what we will be discussing here:

  • No one may judge you.  I will never judge what you do, just how you approach it.  Fitness success is all in the approach.
  • We may not say that fitness comes naturally to some and not others. Humans learn and grow like humans, but today they eat like maniacs and don’t exercise.  Instead, we must learn to make fitness as natural as possible to us.  

These two concepts will be repeated many times through a number of methods on this site.  My hopes are to change the way we view fitness in today’s society by helping the people who follow this site to develop their own strong fitness philosophies.  If executed well, these philosophies will provide the framework for decades of lasting fitness in their lives.

Wanting it All, Always.

Roger Federer’s consistency, work ethic, and love for his profession are something to admire, especially when these qualities are difficult to generate for yourself.

In life, being elite is about trust.  You must trust yourself and ability.  Others must trust you to perform regularly so that they will always acknowledge you as elite.  In this quest to be an elite athlete, I do trust my ability, I do trust my body, but I don’t see myself as consistent in completing tasks and reaching goals.  Yes, my goals are higher-reaching than most out there, but I’ve got a vision of myself with an unmatched consistency and work ethic.  In short, I dream and have always dreamed of being a “Type-A” personality.

That’s because unfortunately I was raised a Type-C personality; a person who has always dreamed big, showed promise, but handled life incorrectly.  I was passive, ignorant, angry, pleasure-seeking, and lost.  Then I became a Type-B personality, where I had goals, dreams and a focus, I just didn’t understand why being ultra-serious about those things was a way to live.  Now, I want to be elite.  I agree that some are better than others simply because they want certain things more and will die to have them.  When you’ve never admired yourself, and always quietly admired these individuals, there seems to be only one thing to do: Figure out what you love and live for it.

The first step to this is frequency.  In 2012 I’ve been truly burned out, dehydrated, fatigued, or ill because of excessive exercise a few times, and every time I’ve come out of it wondering it I could ever be the sort of individual who does the extremely high volume of exercise I’ve always dreamed of.  I’ve never thought about quitting or slowing down.  Ten years ago I’d have done something else.  Five years ago I’d have blamed something else.  Today I understand fully that I get what I put into this.

Only those who operate under that mentality are trusted in this world.  They trust themselves and everyone trusts them.  The first step to being elite is building a rock-solid consistency that promotes trust from every direction.  Once you gain this resounding trust, goals become realistic and it is difficult to hold yourself back.