What The Gym Has Taught Me
“What is the most valuable lesson the gym has ever taught you?” he asked.
“The gym taught me to grind.” I said. “Before working out, I didn’t know what it meant to make progress. I didn’t know that success comes in waves.”
This question was asked on a recent interview. I’ve been doing a lot of podcasts lately. Sometimes two a day. I don’t know why that is. Maybe it’s the season.
I continued, “When you can see that plateaus and setbacks are part of the process, you no longer become frustrated by them. You expect them, and you work your way through. All plateaus turn to progress eventually. No setback lasts forever.”
I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently, plateaus, setbacks, and the arduousness of process. Because when I began work on my upcoming book, the one that took me over a year to get into the hands of a publisher, it felt for the longest time like I was stuck in the mud. It took over a year to find traction for my project. I’ll admit, it was pretty rough.
Because when you start a new project, you expect newbie gains. Early results are what keeps us motivated. But what about those times where you start at a plateau? That’s tough. Not many people get through something like that.
But that’s how it is for a lot of life’s projects. Starting a business, recording guitar (below), writing a book. Very few efforts come with the early surprising results of starting a fitness program. But starting a fitness program teaches you how to trust the process and to have staying power. Fitness gets you to see plateaus and setbacks not as plateaus or setbacks, but as the way ahead.
(Two things: Apologies for the comment about whale reproductive organs. For me, vulgarities are just a part of the process. Secondly, I’ve got a few tunes on Soundcloud, if you want to have a listen.)
You can’t let stagnation stop you. Most often, this is The Universe testing your will, to see if you’re worthy of the possession that you seek, be it a leaner body, a profitable business, a bestselling book. The Universe is seeing if you’re the kind of person who is weak willed. Because why give something great to someone who is weak willed? Why do they deserve it?
Trusting the process means understanding that through consistency and the right approach you always, inevitably, at some point, break ahead. I can’t tell you when that point will be. Maybe it’s a month. Maybe it’s three years from now. It depends on the project.
For fitness, most plateaus don’t last more than a couple of weeks. But for business, that’s a tricky one. I know people who’ve started a business and were unprofitable for years. And then one day, it started happening for them. The Universe finally nodded its head. Thanks Universe. You’re a real stand up guy.
Don’t keep starting and stopping. That’s not how you gain The Universe’s permission to succeed. You need to prove that you’re worthy of what you want in life. So if you want a harder body, a leaner body, a stronger body, be willing to give up those simple, creature comforts. What are they really giving you?
Be willing to grind it out under the weight. The weight of the bar, of two heavy kettlebells. The weight of being tired some days, cranky on others. This happens to all of us. Don’t turn it into an excuse. The Universe does not accept.
Finally, be willing to commit yourself, to a coach, to a process, and over the long haul.
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.” – William Murray
PS – This post was derived from one of my daily emails. If you enjoyed it, you can subscribe HERE.