Part II: Persisting Through The Pain!
Hey, all! I hope you are treating life well! As I mentioned in my last post, my life has been a bit challenging lately. Since the time I wrote my last post, one of my trainers and very good friends was diagnosed with Lymphoma and started chemotherapy. In addition, one of my gyms closed down, and I have been paying back massive amounts of $$ to cover unused and pre-paid sessions. I also had one of my best trainers quit, and I have been dealing with pairing up lost clients with willing trainers.
I assure you that I am not trying to paint a picture of doom and gloom, and I am certainly not requesting a violin to be played in my behalf. If I know one thing, it is that we ALL have our sob stories. The reason I have shared my current struggles with you is because I want to let you “in” on the education that life has taught me lately.
I have asked myself on many occasions what keeps me going in these trying times, and I discovered that the first part of the triad, passion, has helped me through it all. The second quality that has literally saved my economic, mental, emotional, and spiritual life is persistence.
Have you really thought about what persistence is? The following is what life has taught me about persistence:
-It is only warranted in times of challenge. We don’t have to “persist” through easy times or pleasurable moments.
-It is only called for when life has something to teach us.
-It is not “fun.” Tough times are hard. But they are also bitter sweet because I know that I am being given the “education of life.”
-It is all or nothing. You cannot persist half way through anything. You either make it through or surrender to what besets you.
-It can never “ruin” you; it can only refine and purify your character.
-It calls upon you for various lengths of time based on its terms!
One thing is for certain: persistence is what divides the winners and losers of life. I have never persisted through any rough patch of my life and been disappointed with the result. I am always humbled to be a receptive student of life.
At this point, you may be thinking, “Griff, what in the world does this have to do with helping me live a more healthy and fit lifestyle?” I am very glad you asked, my friend!
One of the most common scenarios I see as a personal trainer and as a lifestyle coach is when a new client hits a rut in the first few weeks into the program. Life gets busy, and the first thing that he or she wants to give up is their exercise program! Of course, once the exercise goes, nutrition is not far behind. It is an unnecessary downward spiral. With this in mind, it is important to understand that while persistence is important, so is its close relative, perspective.
Many people get excited about becoming healthy and fit, but they really don’t take the time to realize that STAYING healthy and fit initially takes hard work. We tend to forget that life is still “going to happen.” We tend to forget that life is not going to slow down for our cute little fitness goal. We forget that we are going to be thrown curveballs, such as a death of a loved one, emotional upheavals stemming from relationships gone bad, and financial strains. We forget that we are still going to have friends that would love to sabotage our “health freak efforts” by tempting us to eat “normal” again. In short, in the excitement of our initial resolve to become healthy, we forget that life is still going to punch us in the gut at times. And this is the point that I want to tackle.
The next time life tries to knock the wind out of you, punch back. The way that you are going to punch back is by not raising your white flag. When you catch yourself thinking, “I am just too busy to work out during this hectic time in my life,” counter that thought with something similar to, “Life is busy but still too short not to take care of the greatest gift that God has given me.” A thought like this automatically allows you to persist through the initial inertia that must be overcome with persistence. Notice I said INITIAL inertial. It is always going to be hard at first, but that is where 80% of us fail. We feel the resistance and say goodbye to persistence. The good news is that if we can persist past that first stage of initial inertia, the rest is easy because it becomes habitual.
Remember that you have divine capabilities to persist through life’s toughest challenges. Remember this as you persist towards gaining the healthy lifestyle that you have always dreamed of living. It is time to wake up from that dream and make it a reality! Life is good, my friends!