I have done a fair amount of traveling. I have been exposed to some breathtaking views and witnessed some of the greatest splendor that the universe has to offer. I can safely say that the most spectacular view in the world is standing right behind the eight ball. Ground zero. This is where the transformation begins. The world makes no greater offering than the opportunity to stand in a dark, lonely, and seemingly God-less arena, where fear and self-doubt are your only companions. This is the starting point. This is where it all begins.
There is much to be said for having the opportunity to change your life, especially when your life seems to amount to nothing. When you are stuck on the couch, under the covers, or in your head, there lies an opportunity to progress with minimal effort. It does require effort, mind you, but minimal is required.
I am very fortunate. The day that I decided to join the fitness community, I started with a fresh slate of personal records (often referred to as PR’s). I PR’d my distance by running from one light post to the next, and I Pr’d my pace time by running between those light posts at probably a nineteen minute mile. I PR’d my time of being cigarette free, by not smoking for about three hours. I PR’d my nutrition by not eating cake and McDonald’s for almost twenty four hours, and I PR’d in life by making my bed, folding my laundry, and waking up before noon. These things were big, and it was important that I not take them lightly. This was no time for comparisons, my life was going to change.
Now, these PR’s don’t amount to much in the face of someone who has their life together….except, I didn’t have my life together. Therefore, I celebrated these accomplishments appropriately, because they were my own (never miss a chance to celebrate….if you are not celebrating life, you might as well be mourning it.). The beauty of ground zero is the huge gains that you can make every single day when you come from a background of inactivity. The first step does not have to be a personal trainer, a fancy gym, or an organized race, but a walk around the block, a couple push-ups, and a washing of the dishes can initiate one helluva transformation. A brisk walk to the mailbox, an air-squat in the kitchen, five jumping jacks after dinner, or simply locking your knees and getting a deep stretch can stir up some good feels. That’s truth. Don’t overwhelm yourself with complexity, simply make your blood pump. The human body does one heckl of a job at providing what you need, if you just make your heart do a little thump-thump. If you activate your body, then you will activate your heart, after this your mind will soon follow. With the mind becoming active, spurns imagination and endorphins. Where there is imagination and endorphins, the sky is the limit and the ballgame will change entirely. Endorphins are what are happening when you come up with ridiculously illogical ideas, and are so excited to have motivation that you follow through with them anyway. At least that’s what it feels like. Ya know what? Don’t quote me on that. I might be mistaking that for bi-polar disorder. Either way, I love getting things pumping.
I advocate the fat guy who knows he is better than what he is now. I champion the heavy girl, who desperately wants to know what it’s like to walk with confidence. I want to be part of the person’s ride who starts behind the eight ball, because that is the most fun. I think everyone wants to be part of that journey. Starting from scratch is beautiful because of the strides that come with progress. The elite athlete spends an entire season trying to shave of forty seconds from his marathon time, while the newcomer cuts his mile time in half within a few months. The elite athlete spends countless hours in the gym trying to attain the extra five pounds on his deadlift, while the newly inspired can double his weight with a few pointers and a bit of dedication. The elite athlete needs the strictest of nutrition and exercise regimens to lose that extra .5% body fat, the couch potato needs to walk around the block. It’s all relative, and telling yourself that you are too far behind is the worst kind of excuse. It doesn’t even register as an official excuse. Being “too far behind” is a Hail Mary that has never been caught, or even been ruled a forward pass. Being “too far behind” is not even acknowledged by the Council of People Who Pity Themselves, of which I am the founder and President. Please, don’t try to sell the “too far behind” excuse, unless your only other option is the, “I’ve always been fat” bit. If you have to choose between selling “I’m too far behind” or “I have always been fat”…sell Amway. People would rather be sold Amway.
I believe that looking ahead towards one’s fitness journey is an excellent way to ensure that there is no journey. Trying to place confinements or expectations on the human body is a dangerous thing, provided our mental capabilities. Humans are the only creature on the planet who are capable of running a flight simulator in our minds, and crashing the plane a hundred times before we ever get it off the ground. If you knew what the journey looked like ahead of time, it would not be an adventure. If you can see the path ahead of you, than most likely you are on the wrong path. Blaze your own trail and write your own narrative. You are meant to be exactly the person that you want to be moving forward, not the person that you have been, to this point. The sights and scenery change so much more quickly the further down the hole that you are. Rock bottom is a gift. Embrace it. Make the most of it.
Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,