Start, To Be Great

The other week I was covering for a trainer that was on vacation; It is always nice to do this so I can get to know some of the faces better that I see in the gym frequently. I have made “small talk” with all of them at one point or another, so covering them is a great way to hear their story. One gal in particular gave me the inspiration for this article. She is always very friendly and peppy, and had achieved noticeable weight loss in the 2 months she had been coming so I was looking forward to working with her.

She described to me that she had worked out at another gym but didn’t feel accountable and needed a change to kick start her goals. My trainer has her journaling her food every day, and she is now motivated to do regular workouts outside of her sessions. She definitely has a glow about her, a new found confidence and to sum it up in a word: MOMENTUM.

As we chatted more I noticed that she had a small triangle tattoo on her wrist. I asked her about it and she replied that it is the delta symbol and her mother told her growing up that it is the symbol for change, and would tell her to think about it particularly when she was being grumpy 😉 She got the tattoo to remind her that change, if you want it, is always possible.  She said “I was grumpy a lot more but much less after losing 25 pounds.” I chuckled at that statement as she boxed, lunged and planked through her workout.

During my run the next day, I thought back to our conversation. While such a simple idea, the power of change is also a profound thought. The thought of making change to a bad, yet very engrained, habit can be scary…like a big hairy beast standing in your path making it look impossible to pass. But that beast has a name: it is your first name with the last name DOUBT.

I often refer to Newton’s first law of motion when discussing goals (aka change): An object either remains at rest or continues to move at a constant velocity, unless acted upon by an external force. A habit will not change on its own, and once the change begins it will not stop on its own. It is completely within your power. From a fitness standpoint look at a long term goal, say losing 50 pounds or running a half marathon, as a slow yet steady rolling ball. The stated goal in and of itself can sound daunting; maybe so much to not start the ball rolling at all due to the overwhelming feeling it can cause. But chop that goal into smaller, realistic pieces and it can be done in a healthy fashion.

Look at your journey, fitness related or otherwise, as an obstacle course. Some challenges are going to be more struggling than others, and there will probably be “grumpy” moments here and there along the way, but turn the frustration into more momentum to overcome the hairy beast in your path. If something isn’t working, try another approach. There is no one way for everyone to achieve their dreams. I challenge you to draw or envision that delta symbol on your wrist (I’m not saying to go as far as get a tattoo J) and use it when that ball slows down or stops to kick it back into pace.

I leave you with one of my favorite quotes by motivational speaker Zig Ziglar: “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”