Is it just me or is it harder to put in difficult work into a goal when you know you’ve fallen off the wagon quite a bit or when you know you have a long way to go before you see your dream become a realization? You see the mountainous obstacles more than the distance goal, and waver in your dedication because it is dark and the light is still a little too far away to see…
Due to injuries, disorganized priorities, personal and professional frustration, I slowly slipped into possibly the worst shape of my life. To others, it’s not a huge difference to my old self, but to me I’m not in the shape I once was in. Being thin or lean doesn’t mean that you are in great shape. Listen, I am a former athlete, so I’m used to looking and feeling a certain way. Nonetheless, I’m not as toned as I once was and I am on a mission to get in the “best” shape of my life, but I’ll gladly settle for the tone I once had.
So, as usual I randomly looked into the mirrors at the gym and for some reason this time started to secretly asked myself why I “let myself go.” I think it was because I was breaking a huge sweat and really wished I would see some instant results in that mirror… a magic melt. I started thinking about the near future and dreaded all the hard work, soreness, and time that I know I will have to spend to get back where I once was.
And then it hit me, I was more motivated and committed when I was in better shape because I could look in the mirror and see the ab-pack and more toned arms and legs to inspire me. It kept me coming back like a secret high. I could visually see the fruits of my labor and I knew the ultimate goal was within reach. But now, not seeing that tone is a constant reminder of where I was and how I “fell off” the wagon. It is not possible to just work out for a week and see that tone right away. I’m actually going to have to burn and burn and burn and wait and wait and be patient in order to see my ideal shape once again… hopeful sooner than later.
I know I’ll keep working on my goal because I want to see the results, but I realized how that same mentality affects many people in other areas of life. I have found it challenging, yet easy to put in the work when the results seemed closer or but when my goals were lost in the dark, covered by factors that will take time, grit, and pain to move, my motivation sometimes wavered. The light is distant and the mountains of “why and how the heck did I get here” resound louder than the beauty of the end result.
BUT, then I looked in the mirror again, visualized what I will look like after all the pain, dedication, and time and did three extra sets of my exercise. I found inspiration and resolve in the thought that if I once was in my ideal shape, I can get there again and even further. Whether it’s fitness or LIFE, don’t be discourage by where you are. You don’t have to like where you are, and it may even frustrate you, but remember and TRUST what you know you can be. You will get there and beyond, if you never give up. Literally, if you don’t stop, it is just a matter of time before you see results. And when you get there, remember all the hard work you put in and refuse to go back.
P. S. And just in case you go back, remember you were strong enough once before so you are strong enough do it all over again.