Find Your Why!
I've always loved sports. From the time I could pick up a baseball bat (yes, and I mean a wiffle ball bat), I was always intrigued with the mechanics of sports. How is an athlete able to hit that ball going 90+ miles an hour? How is the wide-receiver able to catch that pass, and know to keep both feet in with only a few inches to spare? How does a sprinter know when to kick the knees up and out in order to elongate their stride? I loved learning it all! When I was finished playing collegiate sports, I needed something. I needed something to push me to keep me interested. I needed something to make sure I stayed on the health and fitness path (even though in my 20's I thought the minimal would be enough), so I decided to lift weights. I always lifted in high school and in college, but after reading "The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding," By Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bill Dobbins, I found out I was doing it all wrong! I was freaking hooked! The movements, the mechanics, the work, the form. I found my new "why!" I entered my first bodybuilding competition in 1998. I thought I would win the whole thing! I practiced (somewhat) my posing; I thought I ate pretty good, and knew enough to lean out properly. I got the baby oil (that's what I thought all the competitors used when they were on stage. I drank water (even though I depleted myself of this, because I thought that was the right thing to do), and I thought looking "better" than most people in the gym was enough to win a trophy or two. I look back at this now and found out how dumb I really was. I got my ass kicked on that stage! I took dead last! It hurt then, but it never deterred me from trying again. I wanted to learn everything about the sport. I wanted to perfect it. My "why" at that time, was to never lose another competition again, so I needed to work harder! Let's fast forward to 2015. Before then I was competing sporadically. I knew I had to find a new "why" in order to stay on the healthy path and to compete at a high level. My "why" was to get my pro-card. Working to get my pro-card rejuvenated my love of bodybuilding. My "why" made me get up at 3am for fasted cardio; it made me workout 6 days a week; it made me practice my posing 6 months out from the competition, It also made me eat the same thing for 1 year everyday (give or take a macro-nutrient or two). I ended up winning 2 overall championships and qualifying for Nationals (where I could get my pro-card). I was on top of the world, then my dad died. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I didn't want to workout, I didn't want to train myself or clients, hell, I didn't even want to eat. It took me a while to get out of my hole. My dad always knew my goals, and always told me how proud he was of me. One thing he always told me was to never stop working, always put that effort in. He also knew that getting that pro-card was important to me, which made it important to him. That was my new "why." I knew my dad would have never wanted me to quit and to keep working on getting that card. I was ready to get back at it again.
That's where I'm at now. This is still my "why." I'm still pushing, I'm still motivated even though life always happens, I'm still moving.
What is the take-a-way from this blog? It's simply said, but sometimes hard to do. Find your "why." What will keep you going? What, no matter the obstacle, will keep your eye on the prize? Remember your "why" could be for something fitness related, relationship related, career related, but just find your why. What will keep you pushing when it's 10 degrees outside, you're sitting on the couch after a long days work, your car needs to warm up, you're tired, you're "kind of" sick, but you know you need to go to the gym. What will push you to do that consistently? Answering that is the first step in determining your "why."