If you don’t believe this, or understand it, think about how the opposite applies. It’s very difficult to act like a failure and succeed.
Think about it. Try acting like you aren’t dieting and try to lose weight. Try acting like you are weak and get stronger. Try acting lazy at work and see if you get a promotion. How you act determines how successful you can become.
If you want to get stronger, do things that require strength. If you want to get healthy, act like it. If you want to get a promotion, show your employer you deserve it.
You will never get maximum results doing the bare minimum. If you are taking shortcuts, the only one you are ultimately shorting is yourself.
Think of the truth behind this statement, “scar tissue is stronger”. Our body is so smart. Our body does develop calluses just anywhere, it builds tough skin where we need it most. We have calluses on our feet and our toes to protect our skin from tearing or blistering, so we can go the distance. A guitarist has calluses on their finger tips, making it possible to play songs for hours and hours. I have calluses on the palms of my hands from lifting weights, which allows me to lift heavier and work harder without hands giving out before my muscles do.
Basically, calluses are nothing more than scar tissue on top of the skin. Anywhere the skin has been invaded or broken, new scar tissue is laid down to mend that area and make it stronger for the next attack. As you hit the gym and work hard to eat healthy every day, it will be the difficult days that make you stronger – not the easy ones. No matter what challenge you face, whether in the gym or in your personal life, celebrate it – and realize it’s an opportunity to strengthen your body, mind in spirit.
Wikipedia explains the Second Wind as “a phenomenon in distance running, such as marathons or road running (as well as other sports), whereby an athlete who is too out of breath and tired to continue suddenly finds the strength to press on at top performance with less exertion. The feeling may be similar to that of a “runner’s high“, the most obvious difference being that the runner’s high occurs after the race is over. Some scientists believe the second wind to be a result of the body finding the proper balance of oxygen to counteract the buildup of lactic acid in the muscles. Others claim second winds are due to endorphin production, while still others believe it to be purely psychological.”
It really doesn’t matter where our second wind comes from, what matters is knowing it will come. Whether we are talking about fitness or life, sadly, many people never get to experience the second wind because they give up too soon. No one ever said weight loss would be easy. No one says that life is easy, so why are we so surprised when things get tough? If we plan to run a marathon, we know it’s going to be a long grueling haul. Weight loss is a marathon of sorts. So is marriage, our career, raising kids, and maintaining friendships. They all require a certain intense level of commitment – a commitment to the finish.
If you plan to do a race, you plan to finish. It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you go, the goal is to cross the finish line. Sadly, many people give up on their goals, hopes and dreams as soon as things get tough. I want to encourage you today, you WILL get a second wind – but you don’t get a second wind before the pain sets in. You don’t get a second wind before you run out of breath, or before your body shuts down. No! You get a second wind AFTER you begin to feel defeated. AFTER you’ve been on a plateau for too long. AFTER you’ve cried and started to doubt if you could “do this”. AFTER your mind starts turning on you. The second wind DOES come, but it doesn’t come when things are going smooth. It comes right when you need it the most …in the very last possible hour.
Test Yourself. Don’t miss your second wind because you choose not run long enough in your first one. Train hard. The more you reach the point of needing a second wind, the less doubt you will have that the second wind will come because you’ve experienced it before. However, if you quit every time something gets hard, you won’t have the past experiences to encourage you in your next race.
Never Give Up.
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Where is your primary focus? Is it on how much you hate working out. How much time it takes and how little time you have? Do you focus on how far you have to go? Is your goal so far away that it drags you down? Maybe your focus is on others, and how great everyone else seems to be doing, and how much further ahead they are.
Where your focus is, is what you will see. What you see, is who you’ll be. In this quote Alphonse (1800′s French novelist) shows his focus is not on the thorns, but the roses. Instead of looking at a rose bush as having flaws in the thorns, he sees how awesome it is that a thorny bush could have such beautiful flowers.
We should learn from Alphonse, and realize we have a choice of what we see based on what we focus on. We have a choice to be appreciative of everything that is wonderful, and overlook the thorns in our life. When we look past the thorns, we see less thorns in others too. Our whole view changes.
Try, with all your might, not to think about how hard dieting is, how challenging your workouts are. Try hard not to focus on your own shortcomings and focus on all the good that is blossoming in you. Fitness grows strength, beauty, confidence, health, physical improvements and improved performance – and that’s just the physical. If you focus on your spiritual growth, and all your gifts and talents instead of your limitations, you will realize you are like a beautiful bouquet to your peers – beautiful, with a sweet aroma to anyone who gets close.
Get the Fertilizer Out
In many ways, we are all thorny. We all have our hurts, our struggles, our selfish ways, our prickly personality – but, we all have our own roses too. It just depends on how we care for ourself – and it’s difficult to want to take care of a thorn bush, if that’s all we see. However, if we see ourselves for who we really are (a prize rose bush), you will be more apt to treat it with care. Another words, you must love yourself – and that’s difficult to do if you cannot see the good in you.
We need certain things to really blossom – just like roses. We can’t expect to act beautiful if we deprive ourself of life’s water, food and proper care. If you neglect your mind, body and spirit, like if we neglect caring for a plant, you will be nothing but thorns, with little flowering, and little life, left in you. This will make it even more difficult to love yourself. However, if you take the time to care for your body, you will blossom SO much and you will begin to see your value – and the last thing anyone will ever see are your thorns.
If you look in the mirror (and look inside) and all you see is thorns, here are a few tips on how to care for a dying plant (which totally applies to our life too):
1. Strengthen your roots. If you are dying inside, you may be rooted in the wrong soil and need to be transplanted. Nourishment comes from your roots. Are your roots in unhealthy soil? Are your roots strong, or are they so shallow that you’ll blow over with the first big wind? For me, roots are God first, then family and friends. That is my foundation. Without that, I am weak and cannot weather any storm. “Let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment from him, so you will grow in faith, strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught. Let your lives overflow with thanksgiving for all he has done.” (Colossians 2:7)
2. Cut away the dead stuff. One way to get stronger roots is to prune the tree. The weaker the roots, the more cutting you have to do. Another reason for cutting away the dying stuff in us is so nourishment is confined to only what is healthy in you. There is no need to nourish the parts of you that are already dying, or unhealthy. In the fitness world, you may need to cut away junk food, unsupportive friends, laziness and doubt. In life it may be friendships, bad habits, things that steal your time, selfishness or an unhealthy lifestyle that need to go if you want to get healthy and really blossom.
3. Live in right environment. Even if you have the right soil, and you get rid of the bad stuff, you will never blossom without the right environment. As you know, certain plants do not do well in direct sunlight. They need a filter. We too need the right environment to grow, and often times need to be filtered from this harsh world. If you are not sure what that looks like, then think of a time in your life that you were the healthiest. If you don’t feel you have every been healthy, look at other people you respect (not the ones who may look successful, but the ones how have peace and joy – because money doesn’t last, but joy can continue with or without money). Then plant yourself near them, or in a similar environment, and get the same nourishment they get.
4. Care for yourself daily. If you take care of your roots, you trim away the yucky stuff and you make sure you are in the right environment, that still isn’t enough to get the results you want. Sadly, many people do this in fitness. They join a gym, cut out all the junk and get in the right circles, but they don’t consistently take care of themselves. They are hit or miss with their workouts, they are hit or miss with their eating, and they are hit or miss with their commitment. The same way a plant needs consistent loving care, YOU need consistent loving care. If you don’t consistently get the nourishment you need, you will first lose your blossoms, then you will go limp and weak. Then you will begin to dry out and shrivel up. However, I think we all know, even if you have little life left in you, it is never too late to revive your life.
We all are born with the same potential. What you do with your life is up to you. You have the power to decide. Will you be a living thriving strong grounded flowering life, or a dying malnourished thorny bush?
Here is some motivation for the person who is close to giving up! For that person who has doubt – whether they doubt themselves, doubt the system, doubt their trainer, doubt their capability to change, doubt their loved ones or doubt their faith. Let Perseverance FINISH it’s work in YOU.
It’s perseverance that develops you, grows you, matures you, and you can’t have perseverance if you give up.
Perseverance: noun \ˌpər-sə-ˈvir-ən(t)s\ Continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition.
Perseverance is not enduring something for nothing. It’s maintaining a continued effort for a prize. The prize may be tangible, the prize maybe self growth, the prize may be relief, the prize may be weight loss, the prize may be bigger stronger faith, but there WILL be a prize. Because of this, you can “consider all trials as joy because you KNOW that the testing of your faith produces perseverance ” (James 1:2-3). Perseverance produces changes you cannot experience any other way.
What perseverance IS (Synonyms):
- Keep on
- Carry on
- Keep trying
- Stick with it
What perseverance IS NOT (Antonyms)
- Give up
Are You a Survivalist or Warrior?
I believe there are different levels of perseverance. There is the kind where you just go into survival mode, and let life happen around you. You do the same things you did to get you to where you are, but you aren’t changing, you aren’t moving. And then there is the kind of perseverance where you are not just surviving, and avoiding the bombs going off around you, but you are at WAR – being proactive to fight the enemy and come out a winner. You are doing all you can do to do the right thing. You aren’t doing the bear minimum. You aren’t just trying to get by one more day. You are a fighter. You are trying to conquer ‘this’ – not just SURVIVE the battle, but WIN.
I challenge you to look deeply at why you are where you are. Whether your weight isn’t budging, or you are dealing with life issues, you may have more trials (and have to persevere longer than necessary) if you are just living in survival mode instead of warrior mode.
I once heard a story about a man who decided to ride out a storm. “A man is on top of a roof during a great flood. A man comes by in a boat and says “get in, get in!” The man replies, ” No, I have faith in God, he will grant me a miracle.”
Later the water is up to his waist and another boat comes by and the guy tells him to get in again. He responds that he has faith in God and He will give him a miracle. With the water at about chest high, another boat comes to rescue him, but he turns down the offer again cause “God will grant him a miracle.” With the water at chin high, a helicopter throws down a ladder and they tell him to get in, mumbling with the water in his mouth, he again turns down the request for help for the faith of God.
He arrives at the gates of heaven with broken faith and says to Peter, I thought God would grand me a miracle and I have been let down.” St. Peter chuckles and responds, “I don’t know what you’re complaining about, we sent you three boats and a helicopter.”
My pastor told this story years ago, when I was a teenager, and it has stuck with me. Although this story is a joke pastors may tell to wake up the congregation, it has many valuable applications. For me, it reminds me that opportunities are out there if I just pay closer attention. This man could easily have appeared to have more faith than anyone, but he displayed no wisdom or obedience. This is why people with the best intensions struggle because their intensions never turn into actions. It also reminds me that my idea of an answer, or miracle, can often make me blind to the actual answers God provides. It reminds me that most of us have help all around us – but we have to receive it, apply it and cultivate it. Whether it’s allowing yourself to receive love, guidance, support or knowledge, I believe our biggest flaw is waiting on help to look like what we think it should look like.
I can give someone guidance, and if it’s not what they want to hear, they’ll walk away empty handed – not because I didn’t give them something, but because I didn’t give them what they wanted.
Like J.G. Holland says in this quote, God may give us what we need, but He rarely plops it in our lap. It is probably within reach, even if it’s a stretch, but we have to decide to make an effort ourself if we truly want to continue to grow, mature, improve and learn – and stop wasting time waiting on a better time, a better situation or a better answer.
Beware of putting God, friends, family, goals, hopes and dreams in a box. Because oftentimes your narrow-minded vision of how you define them could keep you from seeing truth. I can’t tell you how often someone comes to me saying “help”, when I literally put everything I know out here online for anyone to use free of charge. Help is there. I can give someone guidance, and if it’s not what they wanted to hear, they will walk away empty handed – not because I didn’t give them something, but I didn’t give them what they wanted. So they will follow someone else’s blog, or join someone else’s gym, seeking the answers that better fit within what they are willing to receive.
What do you have in a box? What are you being blind to? Are you blind to a truth, or knowledge? Are you blind to someone’s love? Are you blind to the right process to get healthy because it doesn’t look like what you imagined? Are you waiting for God’s hand to reach down and pick you up out of today’s circumstance, or are you willing to climb down off your perch, climb in the boat and get to paddling?
Would you run a little faster if someone was timing you? Would you lift one more rep if people were circled around you cheering you on? Would you make the same choices if your trainer went home with you and watched you prepare a meal, or sat next to you on the couch while you snacked?
What about how you live? Would you tell a certain joke if your pastor was in the room. Would you complain about your job if your boss was listening? Would you take Jesus to all the movies you’ve seen?
I believe, if you answered these questions honestly, you would probably act a bit differently if you ate, trained and lived like everyone important was watching.
YOU are important – and YOU are watching. You know everything you are doing, and what you could be doing better or different. So why cheat yourself? Even if your trainer doesn’t see you eat ice cream at night, you will wake up with the guilt – whether they find out or not. You will judge yourself. No one else has to live with the decisions you make in secret.
Don’t get me wrong. I make plenty of bad decisions in private – and public too, for that matter. I’m no angel. I’m the queen of opening my mouth when I should have kept it shut. As much as I want to do the right thing and be good, my nasty flesh comes out and I spew out ugliness, laziness and selfishness in a hurry. While I’m just as wrong as the next person, I believe we should always remember to TRY to strive for improvement – in public AND in private.
What you do in private eventually comes out for all to see. If you cuss at home, you are sure to cuss eventually in front of someone. If you eat poorly when no one is watching, it will show up on your body. If you are a disgruntled employee, it WILL show in your attitude or work performance (and your boss will know – believe me, I know! ha!). If you want to change the way people see you, and you also want to see yourself differently too – start changing the way you act, and think, when you are alone.
You have to live with you for the rest of your life, so work to become a person you can forgive, be proud of, and be happy to live with. No matter how hard you try, you WILL fail. Just try to fail less often.
“The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.” ― John Wooden.
Make a decision today to eat, train and live like everyone is watching.
One of the most deceiving things going on in the gyms today is belief that people can work off what they eat and drink. People show up day after day, working very hard in public to show the world they can be a champion in the gym. However, it’s what they do in private that is losing their fight with fat.
Muhammad Ali recognized the importance of what you do “far from witnesses”, and realized he could never win the fight in the ring if he didn’t win the fight with himself first. He had to fight laziness and mediocrity. He had to fight fear and doubt. He had to convince himself that he could be the champion he desired.
“I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was.”Muhammad Ali
In order to be the future champ, he had to be the champ in his workouts before he even faced his opponent. He had to go a few more reps and a few more steps past what his body wanted. He had to care for his body, which probably meant anything from a painful ice bath to getting the rest his body needed even when we didn’t want to take it.
He also recognized that it wasn’t always the big things in life that could bring a man down, it often was the small things that could trip a man up. The same goes with fitness. Your success can easily be tripped up by a few extra calories. The difference between getting thinner and seeing abs is the difference between stopping when you feel better, and continuing on past better to be your best. It is rarely the one hour workout (a mountain) that brings someone to quit, it’s the daily struggle to maintain a healthy diet, to keep showing up to the gym even when the results seem SO slow, that wears a person down.
“My only fault is that I don’t realize how great I really am.” Muhammad Ali
This quote may seem pompous, but it is a very true statement for most people. Most of our boot campers, and most of our members, do not realize how truly great they are. They often don’t believe in themselves as much as we believe in them. How can we believe in them? Because we have seen people JUST like them, who have the same set of excuses, fears, struggles and weaknesses, succeed. Once you realize how great you really are, you can do anything.
What I ask you today is this: Are you winning your fight far from witnesses, behind the lines, in your kitchen, in the gym and out there on the road? Or is you best effort what you want people see in the gym?
French author, Jules Renard, nailed this quote – and while I’m sure he wasn’t talking about working out here, laziness is a plague that truly causes death if it isn’t attended too. It can kill a career, a marriage, your health, and your dreams.
While most people would argue they are tired, even if they don’t do hard labor, often times they are only too tired to start working out because they are not healthy. Fitness revs the metabolism and GIVES us energy – it doesn’t take it away. Fitness makes us stronger, healthier, fitter. It helps us sleep better so we are able to get the rest we need to handle life’s stresses. It helps us relieve pinned up stress, frustration and anger in a productive healthy way. Fitness may be work, but it’s rewarding work.
If you are too tired to workout, you are avoiding the very thing you need most. Don’t rest before you are truly tired. And if you already workout regularly, be careful not to rest DURING your workouts before you actually REALLY need it.
Push your body, and watch it change, improve and be the body you need to make it through this life STRONG, CONFIDENT, ENERGIZED, RESILIENT AND UNSTOPPABLE! Because laziness won’t get you any of those things!
10 Famous Quotes About Laziness
- I’d be more frightened by not using whatever abilities I’d been given. I’d be more frightened by procrastination and laziness. Denzel Washington
- We often miss opportunity because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work. Thomas A. Edison
- Laziness may appear attractive, but work gives satisfaction. Anne Frank
- Folks who never do any more than they get paid for, never get paid for any more than they do.” Elbert Hubbard
- Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination: never put off till tomorrow what you can do today. Lord Chesterfield
- The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied. King Solomon, (Proverbs 13:4)
- People are not lazy. They simply have impotent goals – that is, goals that do not inspire them. Tony Robbins
- The slacker does not plow during planting season; at harvest time he looks, and there is nothing. King Solomon, (Proverbs 20:4)
- Fanatic is often the name given to people of action by people who are lazy. Bryant H. McGill
- For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Paul, (Hebrews 12:11)
I wanted to share one of my quotes online the other day, so I just googled the one I needed so I could just grab it offline. I googled “I will beat her” and I was not prepared for what I saw. I saw a whole bunch of other women’s pictures with my words,
I Will Beat Her
I will train harder.
I will eat cleaner.
I know her weaknesses.
I know her strengths.
I’ve lost to her before, but not this time.
She is going down.
I have the advantage
because I know her well.
She is the old ME!
At first, I was a little annoyed by the people that didn’t give me credit, and then (after I put my pride aside and got off my “I work hard on my quotes” pity party), I realized the impact these words were making on these women.
Sure, I spend a lot of time trying to come up with motivational posts, but they are meaningless if no one is inspired or motivated by them. These women did exactly what I wanted them to do. They related, they connected with the message, and they realized that they too can “beat her”.
How often do we focus on what everyone else needs to do, instead of what we can just do better? How often do we compare ourselves to someone else when, if we were to compete with the old version of ourselves, we would have kicked that old person’s butt. We DO have the advantage. We DO know ourselves better than anybody else.
We know if keeping ice cream in the refrigerator will trip us up or not. We know if we go home between work and the gym, that we’ll be tempted to skip our workout. We know how and where we failed before, and we know what it takes for us to succeed. We know ourselves so well, there really is no excuse for us to fail. We have the knowledge we need to defeat our old self, and it’s up for us to apply that knowledge, to continue improving, getting stronger, learning from our failures and winning our own battles.
I was inspired by these people who applied these words to their own lives. I was encouraged by their drive to become the winner they know they are – and I hope you will also realize you too can “beat her”. She is You Too.
PS: I want to thank all the people that shared this quote (and others), as well as the people who may have redone the quote with their photo, but credited me. I really do appreciate it and hope it encourages more and more people. <3
Feel free to share any of my quote, use my photos, and put your blog or name on my images too (as long as you keep name/blog info on there as well.