There is a very specific mindset of almost all people who are involved in fitness that is parallel across the board, whether it be dancers, boot camp instructors, the super fit person you see at the gym or the ultra-marathon runner. It is the Fitness Mindset.
- Fitness people derive pleasure from workout pain
- Fitness is a part of who they are
Let me clarify these points further. A person I know who is heavily involved in fitness, if given one week to live, will work out at least one or two times of their final last days, knowing full well that they will die the very next week guaranteed. Fitness is as natural as brushing their teeth, taking a shower, or eating. Most , if not all, people who are given a week to live will still brush their teeth, take a shower and eat, irrespective of their fatal condition. Do you fall into that category?
Ask yourself this – when will a cook stop cooking, when will a mother stop being a mother? Given the example above, death would only intensify these conditions of cooking, mothering or working out.
There are many people who read my website who want to work out, get pissed by my so-called elitist attitude toward fitness, love my elitist attitude toward fitness, read my reviews, subscribe to get my book or just love reading some of the ridiculous stuff I have to say. The truth of the matter is I only started working out back in 1998 and that was not really “working out,” it was cycling. When I was in the U.S. Navy and a friend, Steve Joyce, who was and still is a cyclist, talked me into buying my first “real” (read: expensive) road bike. I loved riding and still do. However I despised working out in the gym, I hated it because it hurt – although cycling hurt as well and riding with Steve in the hills and mountains of Japan was murder.
Fast forward a few years to the year 2002, my whole life sucked, everything was pain, all I knew was pain,. When I woke up there was the pain of being jobless, the pain of feeling like a failure from a failed insurance business, the pain of being a foreigner living in a foreign land, basically homeless. I had no comforts, no comfort food, no church to go to, no real friends around, no nothing, ZERO, ZILCH, only responsibility and heartache. At that point all I knew was pain. So one day I just decided I’m going to grow some super thick skin since, most people are not going to like me, what I say, what I do, the way I look. Screw-em. If I’m going to have to deal with pain I’m going to control it.
So I went out and bought two sets of cheap iron weights at the local discount store, walked home with about 100 pounds on my shoulders, whipped out my Body-for-Life by Bill Phillips that I bought during its heyday and followed it to the letter. I made a commitment that even though I hated working out, I was going to do it for six months straight at a minimum of six times day per week, barring only sickness. So I did just that, didn’t matter if I was tired, had a headache, rained, in the middle of a typhoon, or I didn’t feel like it. I did just that for six months straight. At about month five, “IT” clicked. I became addicted. I acquired what I had heard about before…The Fitness Mindset. This is a place where you are in pain every day, and enjoy it, because you know you are still alive, know that you are getting stronger, know that you pushed yourself.
Now only one of the few places I actually feel like I am home is at the gym, as strange as it may sound, the smell of gym sweat and bleach equates comfort and familiarity in my brain. This is how I learned to deal with stress.
If you don’t have your own fitness mindset but want to learn here is how:
You have to be absolutely, unquestionably, sick and tired of “whatever IT is.” For some it is their weight, for others it is their life, but whatever the reason, it cannot be a “nice to do” or “maybe one day.” It has to be at the level of this “something” has to change or I am going to die trying. This also includes burning all bridges that would allow you back to your old way of thinking/lifestyle. For some that may mean cancelling cable TV, because you KNOW you watch too much after work instead of working out. For others that may mean forcing yourself to clean out your cabinets of any food that is man made, or in the words of the legendary Jack LaLanne “If man made it, don’t eat it.”
Next is to “Just do it” – this is the crucible. If you don’t just do it nothing is going to happen, no magic weight loss pill is going to work, your marriage is not going to magically improve, nor is your dream job going to appear out of nowhere. If you want it, you gotta go get it.
You will have setbacks, those are natural. It’s what you do when have them that won’t be natural. It’s so easy to say, “screw it, this is too hard, it’s not working, I’ll just go back to my old way, at least I’m comfortable with that.” Don’t do it. Instead, cut yourself some slack, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get right back at it. You are only one work out/one meal away from getting right back on track. NEVER GIVE UP!!
Never giving up is the fitness mindset.