A Salute to Those Who Don't Give Up
Everybody loves larger than life inspirational stories and cheering for an underdog.
Add in some dramatic music and a killer video montage, and the power of these stories becomes even more undeniable.
The story of Mike Tyson and Buster Douglas is one of these classics.
I challenge you to watch this one minute video without an emotional response, without being inspired, pumped-up, and ready to show just a little more grit and determination in your own life.
Most "before and after photos" in the fitness world are the same. We see stunning transformations on Facebook, Instagram, etc. all the time. Just like the story of Buster Douglas, it's easy to get swept up in the raw emotion that they evoke.
But as captivating as these types of stories are, they only depict a fleeting moment - they don't show all the ups and downs behind the scenes or how that person handles the future.
And that's the real story. The truth is, while some people have a pretty straightforward path to success, most people don't.
Right now, I have two long-term clients who illustrate this point perfectly. I won't use their names, but I will share a little bit about their story.
I've been working with both individuals for over a year on fat loss. Both started out very overweight. Both have had major ups and downs in terms of the weight on the scale and their confidence/mental commitment to continuing the journey.
They fell down multiple times over the last year, and when they did, it sometimes took many weeks or months for them to find a solid stance and get back on their feet. Progress (relative to body fat) could sometimes grind to a halt or even turn into regression.
But ultimately, these two clients showed resilience.
Resilience when the weight on the scale went in the wrong direction.
Resilience to self-sabotage and excuses.
Resilience to life circumstances out of their control.
Resilience to confronting past fears and feelings of/concerns about failure.
Over time though, both clients have turned a corner. But it's not just about turning a corner once - it's about doing it many times in the face of different and/or multiple obstacles.
I think that now, after more than a year of battling (sometimes winning, sometimes losing), both are in a good place and are poised to achieve what they set out to accomplish - albeit, not as quickly as they'd originally hoped.
Their journey wasn't easy, and it's not over. But they've come a long way and I know they can take it to the finish line.
To me, this perseverance is just as worthy of celebration than the dramatic story of Buster Douglas.
TAKE HOME MESSAGE
If you're on a journey of fat loss or fitness performance and you've struggled with periods when you feel defeated or uncertain, you're not alone. This is MOST PEOPLE'S experience.
- Keep moving forward and get some support - either friends or a coach who will challenge you at the right times to keep you on track.
- Focus on the simple habits that you can control and worry less about a fixed time line to achieve your end goal.
- Accept the unpredictable and gradual nature of change. You probably won't get where you want as quickly as you'd like.
- Be kind to yourself, as you would be for a loved one. Don't beat yourself up for small transgressions. Focus on the big picture.