I’ve wanted do an Ironman triathlon since I was a kid and first heard about the unbelievable feat of endurance that the race is. In 2009, I finally got up the courage to dive into the sport and competed in 7 triathlons across 4 months. Though I barely survived the swim and had cement legs I could hardly lift for the run of my first race, I steadily improved with each race and grew to love the tri-sport community. The dream of doing an Ironman wasn’t a steady and strong inspiration that got me out on the road everyday, putting my miles in. No, it was really the enjoyment of being outdoors and the feeling I get when I’m swimming, biking and running.
It’s a long journey to the top in any sport, if you’re not enjoying that journey then it is going to feel even longer. Ask any mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter if thoughts of one day being in the UFC are comforting when they’re being ground-and-pounded to knockout. I’d bet my glass chin that most of them will tell you that it’s the love of the sport that brings them back, not tomorrow’s shot at millions.
Seth Godin remarked on his blog recently, “Most people are searching for a path to success that is both easy and certain.” Rarely are our paths in life both easy and certain, in fact, Godin adds, “Most paths are neither.”
So what is there to keep us going? What will push us to do more than what is required by school or work? What if a conflict comes up, my favorite show is on, everyone else is going to a party, or the weather is bad? Chris Guillebeau of The Art of Non-Conformity puts it in great perspective, “Base [your initiative] on anything outside your control, and good luck getting anything done.”
Set yourself on a track of consistency and commitment. If Tuesday and Thursday are your days to go to Kenpo Karate class (pointing at myself here), then prepare for it the day before. Don’t wait until the moment you should be walking out the door to decided whether or not you “feel” like it. Same goes for just about anything. Don’t kid yourself into thinking that you can be nearly as productive and attain your goals if you don’t plan for them.
* As a married man, I will add that your spouse plays a key role in this. It is healthy and loving to discuss and work together to achieve goals for your family, goals as a couple and individual goals.
Don’t put it off – the planning or the doing. Are you wanting to workout more? Drop down and do 5 pushups right now. Bam! You’ve started. Now, do it again tomorrow.
Image: Sam Javanrouh