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Motivation 008. Do It Anyway
The things that keep you from working out aren’t “big” things. They aren’t cataclysmic events in your life. They’re little things I like to call “flinching moments.” They’re the few seconds right before the pain of sacrifice where you either choose to do it, or talk yourself out of it.
The little twinge of embarrassment, because you feel like you look stupid at the gym.
That little dip in despair because you think about far you have left to go.
That little pain of feeling stiff, or out of breath, right at the beginning of your workout.
Those are the prison bars keeping you trapped in your body, keeping you trapped in discomfort and embarrassment and weakness. Not the lack of family support or lack of finances or lack of time. Those are easy to overcome. Do 100 burpees to beat yesterday’s time every day and count your calories—you’ll be pretty healthy.
It’s the “flinching moments” that keep us trapped. Should I do the rep? Should I go for the run? Every single step of progress you make in getting stronger and healthier requires you to push through a flinching moment. It requires you to run when your joints hurt and you question the efficacy of your exercise.
“What difference does it make whether you work out or not?” That’s your prison guard talking.
“You deserve some indulgence! You worked so hard!” Prison guard.
“What’s one day off? You’re gonna work out tomorrow.”
If you don’t want to be as healthy and strong as reasonably possible, I’m not going to try to convince you to want that. I can’t. You have to convince yourself.
But if you do want that, life is too short to live in your own prison. Life is too short not to go to the gym. Life is too short not to go on a run. You get 70 years on this earth if you’re lucky. Who do you want to be at 50? 60? 70? The decisions you make today will determine whether you’re the old lady or the old man that people ask, “How do you have so much energy at your age?” Or you could be huffing and puffing just to get off the couch.
These flinching moments will tell you that they are insignificant. They’re not. They’re portals into another possible universe where you’ve made your body an advantage, rather than a disadvantage, in your role as husband, wife, father, mother, pastor, employee, student.
The pain comes now with no immediate reward. But they are portals into a universe where you’re not passively disabling yourself. There’s no shame in flinching. So flinch. But do it anyway. Pick up the weight. Run the miles. Count the calories. Stay on the path.