Health and fitness are one area of life. No doubt they’re an incredibly important area, but they are still just one area. With few exceptions, your level of health and fitness is under your own control.
The laws of God and nature control health and fitness, just as these laws control all aspects of our lives. Therefore the same character that we exercise in all other areas of our lives affects this area in the same manner.
So to consider why you may not be reaching your health and fitness goals, so too consider why you may not be meeting goals (aims), in other areas of your life. Think about particular paths you’ve taken, or rather started to take, but then quit for one reason or another.
Think about your career path, for instance. Have you invested time and energy learning a vocation, only to give up on it, thereby wasting time and money? How many false starts have you had?
Now apply this to health and fitness. Let’s look at diet. How many times have you started a new eating program, only to quit once the going got rough? Often it’s because you gave in to the siren’s song of a “better” diet. Believe me, I’ve been there! I cannot tell you how many times I’ve bailed on a diet, even though I knew it was helpful overall, because I discovered it wasn’t “perfect.”
The same is true for fitness programs. How many times have you tried a program, only to quit when the going got rough, especially after seeing a new flashy program on the Internet or hearing about it through a friend or co-worker?
One thing we don’t understand about how the world works, and how things have been laid out for us to grow, is that the going is supposed to get rough. Finding the rough patch is a test of our commitment to the path!
Inside of us is a compass that provides guidance along our journey. But it is easy to lose contact with the compass through the noise of our world and the chatter inside our heads. It’s time we started listening to the Inner Compass again.
Let me give you an example from my own life: I have always really enjoyed barbell training. But along the way, I found myself getting hurt while training. Therefore, I stopped doing barbell training. On the surface, this seems perfectly logical. But is it?
In reality, it’s not the barbells that have been the problem, it’s me! Looking back, the injuries I’ve sustained through barbell training were sustained because of my own foolishness! And foolishness has many forms: there’s poor lifting technique, the impatience to wait until soreness or injuries pass before moving forward again, and overtraining, for starters.
I am quite fond of the “old school.” I love old school training, and old school wisdom. Orison Swett Marden, author of the classic inspirational book, “Pushing to the Front” and Founder of Success magazine in 1897, wrote this in an booklet called An Iron Will:
…A man who can resolve vigorously upon a course of action, and turns neither to the right or to the left, though a paradise tempt him, who keeps his eyes upon the goal, whatever distracts him, is sure of success.”
“Though a paradise tempt him…” Hmmmm….
This is the siren’s song that temps us in the weak moment of our resolve, once we’ve already set a course of action, yet are not firmly resolved in it. Now there are surely adjustments that we need to make continually while on a course, just as a ship’s captain makes course corrections as needed while on a journey. But the captain doesn’t turn the ship around, as we so often do, when the challenge hits us, to seek another course.
Marden goes on to say,
“The world… has little use for the timid man, the one who is never certain of himself; who cannot rely on his own judgment, who craves advice from others, and is afraid to go ahead on is own account…”
This is the crux of the matter, in the world of health and fitness, just as it is in all areas of life: We must rediscover our own internal compass. It guides us on a flawless path, where we stop sabotaging our own efforts at a more healthful diet, and a fun, simple, and rewarding fitness plan, not to mention a much more fulfilling life.
Rediscover that compass, and you’ll rediscover life.
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Patrick Rooney is the Founder and President of GREEK PHYSIQUE™, LLC, which specializes in functional body sculpting for men and women in Middle Tennessee and worldwide via phone and Skype. Patrick is Certified through the National Association of Fitness Certification (NAFC). Email questions or training inquiries to [email protected].