I started working out when I was in 8th grade (14 years old +-). Guys in the locker room that played football were taking their shirts off and they had muscles I didn’t. I asked a guy that lived down the street from me what he did and he told me he did 100 push ups, Sit Ups, and Pull ups everyday. So what did I do? I joined him. I soon had a small barbell, push up handles, and some interchangeable dumbbells in my room.
I was hooked on seeing my body change. I started feeling more confident and it soon helped my performance as a baseball player. I loved the preparation, programming, nutrition, and supplementation involved. I had notebooks full of workouts I would write up, nutrition plans, and supplement regimens I would rarely use. I just enjoyed the construction of a program.
It was like putting a puzzle together. What do you do when you finish a puzzle? You take it apart and do another one. If you’re crazy you’ll put the same one back together again. Some people are content with that puzzle and they won’t do another one. They’ll just leave it on the table for weeks. Some people start a puzzle and leave it on the table only to never complete it. They quit.
What I’ve learned to be true over the past 26 years of pursuing fitness and working closely with others is that your fitness journey is like the construction of a puzzle. Here’s 3 types of people I have encountered over the years, you may be a little of each. (I’m sure we could come up with 50)
- The disciplined athlete that rarely strays. I have a few athletes that come to mind. They aren’t perfect, but they’ve found what works for them and they’ve developed a routine that works. If it ain’t broke, why fix it?
- The disciplined athlete that tears down and builds again. They could stick to a routine or nutrition program, but they need newness often. They aren’t quitting, switching gyms, or anything like that. They just enjoy changing things up. This tends to be me. I like experimenting with different diets, supplements, and methodologies, but stick to CrossFit at the end of the day. I’m not leaving what works.
- The frustrated athlete that quits, repeatedly. This athlete has started and stopped their fitness routine a handful of times. They have good intentions, but excuses get in the way. They want results and they try really hard, only to end up quitting.
This message is really to the 3rd athlete. The only real difference between you and athletes 1,2 is that they’ve dealt with their excuses, almost habitually. These athletes have wanted to quit more times than they can count and I’m not exempt. Fitness and nutrition isn’t easy, but it definitely gets harder the more you quit. The more you quit, the farther behind you get, and the higher the hill you have to climb to get back where you were prior.
Now here is 3 solutions to your problem of not finishing what you started:
- Expect to want to quit at some point. You are going to get in the way, eventually. You’re going to revert back to your old way of thinking. You know these thoughts:
*This isn’t for me. *I don’t have the time. *I can’t afford it. *The kids sports. The key to you being successful is confronting these excuses as they arise and asking for accountability prior to starting. Tell on yourself to a coach, that is if you want to be successful. Ask them to hold you accountable if you make excuses.
2. Expect to hit roadblocks. You aren’t always going to hit personal bests and the in-body machine won’t always show you losing 5% body-fat. Fitness is full of ups and downs or seasons of success and failure. It’s normal. You get back to the drawing board with a coach and get back after it.
3. Invest financially, somewhere, somehow. What I am generally witnessing with athletes is the more someone spends, the higher their adherence and success. This isn’t always the case, but I’m noticing it more and more. This isn’t just at our gym either. These athletes typically spend more at the grocery store on healthy food, supplements, pre-prepared meals, nutrition coaching, personal training, wellness coaching, another gym membership, group classes, and outside gym fitness events. The more I have invested in our personal growth the more successful we have become. Sure you could spend money and not do it, but that’s another issue in and of itself. You’re worth an investment somewhere. You can afford it and you can’t afford not to if you want to grow.