“The important thing in life is not triumph, but the struggle”- Pierre de Coubertin
That quote comes from the founder of the Modern Olympic Games and reflects well one of the important virtues we often forget not just in the pursuit of better fitness but in all aspects of our life. What does it mean?
We all have goals right? Career goals, personal goals, relationship goals, fitness goals, lots of goals, goals, goals. Goals are good, they give us focus and direction for us to channel our energy and passions into. They empower us to strive for more and who doesn’t love the feeling when we finally accomplish a goal we’ve worked so hard to achieve?
Do we achieve our goals every day? Of course not, otherwise the reward simply wouldn’t be very rewarding and we would lost interest. However this easily forgotten when it comes to exercise and fitness. Many times and with the best of intentions there are people who get excited about starting a fitness program or new diet, only to give up less than 2 months later.
Constantly giving up just to start over again gets to be exhausting, even more so it’ll get you no where. Ask yourself, “Why?” as in “Why Am I doing this? Why am I here?”. This is an important question to ask because accomplishing your goal is only a fraction of the time you spend in life. The rest of the time comes from the pursuit of said goal and doing what it takes to achieve that brief moment of accomplishment.
“Why even bother?” you might ask, if it takes so much time and effort just for such a brief moment then why is it important. We call this the “daily grind” and everybody in the world is doing it right now. Showing up to work or class, cooking dinner, doing chores, getting in the car and commuting to wherever, it is all part of our daily grind. Again ask yourself, “why even bother?” especially because these daily tasks aren’t going to lead to any remarkable moments; you’re not accomplishing anything great. Instead you’re just doing what is necessary to get by.
Imagine though, the day when all your hard work pays off. Graduating from school, getting a promotion, saving enough money for a dream vacation. How does that feel? Pretty amazing I bet! That’s something we get to feel every day, it’s the result of days, weeks, months and even years of putting ourselves through the daily grind to achieve just that.
Take that idea and apply it next time you decide to take up a new fitness program or diet. Give yourself a long term, ambitious goal to achieve. Break down the steps you need to take to get there and start the process, focusing on accomplishing each day like it’s the best. Every day, every step will get you even closer and the reward will be that much sweeter.
By Dirk Smith