This is going to be a short little rant, about a lady I encountered today in the gym. Before I begin, I understand that there are far too many who don’t exercise, and that over a third (34%) of Americans are obese. So, by traveling to the gym to exercise, she’s making progress. She’s being proactive about her health, and she should be commended for that, right?
Today was the first Sunday of football season. What does that mean? That means that all across the country, people are going to watch the games. I’ve just started to getting into football and even I know not to mess with this. But in comes Grumpy McGrumperson, and decides that she can’t watch football. In fact, she can’t watch sports at all. “I don’t want to watch anything that involves balls.” She then insisted that I scrolled through the television channels so that she could find something to watch…and I scrolled through the 80+ channels on the cable box. When she finally decided that the current show on the Soap Network met her requirements, she laughed to a friend and said. “I’ll never get it done without this!” It was a learning experience for me, because I wasn’t aware that television was an integral part of the workout experience. Sure, I’ll make sure the right music is on my iPod, but you seriously care about the television while you’re working out? Maybe that’s why you look like this:
I know that I’m being harsh. I know that plenty of people need to have SOME form of entertainment playing to distract them from the mind numbing boredom of the elliptical. Usually, I’d rhetorically ask, “If it’s so boring, why don’t you find something better?” Alas, this isn’t about programming. It’s not about efficiency, or the difference between “Training” and “Exercising”. It’s simply about effort. Whatever you’re doing, do it well. Do it hard. Do it better than you did the last time. Whatever you do, just do it.
(That would be a great Nike plug, right?)
If the TV channel was changed and Days of Our Lives provided the motivation for her to ‘Do Work’, it would have been fine. I can appreciate that as your motivation. That’s not what happened though. She didn’t do work. She slowly walked on her elliptical. She stared at the wall. She didn’t break a sweat. And then, after those twenty arduous minutes, she got off.
I bet she had a great workout. Um, yea, right.
What’s the point of my tirade? What can you learn from it? It’s rather simple. If you’re going to do something, do it the right way. Work hard. I don’t care if you are just learning how to squat properly, or if you squat 500lbs. I don’t care if you can only run 1/4 of a mile, or if you run 10 miles. (Actually, I’d rather you not run 10 miles, but you probably already knew that.) Yes, this lady is at the gym, unlike many of her peers. But being there doesn’t count as doing it. For every person who goes to the gym and leaves with minimal benefits, there are people staying home who get far greater results. They’re self motivating. They’re using their minds to change their bodies, whether or not they have a dedicated garage gym or are using a Perfect Pull-Up. With a little bit of knowledge and a lot of heart, you can achieve great results. As I observed today, you can be IN the gym and doing next to nothing. Obviously, with the motivation AND the equipment, you’ll do the best. However, motivation is the key. If you don’t have the heart, the drive, you won’t achieve anything.
How many people do you know that exercise in waves; for the college aged individual it looks like this: First two weeks of the fall semester. Right after Thanksgiving. As your New Years Resolution. For three weeks before Spring Break. For a month to get your ‘Beach Body’.
Do you know this person? Could this person be you? Don’t be this person. Don’t be the person that goes to the gym and half asses it, and don’t be the person that works out at home without results. You can do better, guaranteed. You’re either well aware that you can do more, or you think that you’re doing enough. I really don’t care what you think you’re doing. What are your results? If you want to get bigger, stronger, leaner, or however you define your fitness, are you achieving your goal? If you’re not consistently reaching your goals, then you’re not doing what you can and should be doing, and you don’t have the right to whine about it. This should help you figure it out.