Mind Over Muscle

“You should try X.”


“I did that.”


“Oh, well what about Y?”


“Yup, I tried that too. It helped for a little while, but then I got busy and fell off.”


“Oh, well have you heard about new thing Z?!”


“Honestly, I’m pretty tired.”


Some of you have been at it a while, whatever that “thing” is. 1, 2, 3 years, maybe you’ve lost count. Your goals may have changed a bit over time, but I bet the primary goal you started with is still large and in charge.


The weight of time colors things a bit. You start to see some patterns emerge from the chaos of life, and what at first were simple challenges to overcome, are now Formidable Dragons you do battle with on a regular basis. And they’re roasting you.


What am I talking about?


Really it could be anything. It comes down to a simple question.


Of the things you know you should do, what are you avoiding doing right now?


I remember the nights before The Final Exam. You might too. I knew I wasn’t ready. I shouldn’t have signed up for that dang 7AM class anyway. But the teacher got the class all pumped up, and I got all excited to study, like, so hard in 1-3 days, and crush the test.


And you know what happened? I cleaned the house. Our apartment was as clean it ever gets right around Finals time.


Why? You know why…


Because we’d much rather do anything else than that thing we are scared of that we know we should do. I’d rather do chores than study because they are known quantities; they’re predictable, and give me a sense of certainty in an uncertain world. Based on prior experience, I have pretty high confidence that I can succeed at chores. But they also don’t exactly make me feel alive.


If you’re 2+ years in, and the body fat pounds still haven’t moved on the InBody, will you clean your house, or… confront the Fear Dragons once and for all, and remind them who runs this shit?


At the base of the Fitness pyramid, beneath Nutrition even, is your Mindset. It took me a long time to understand this, but, — believe it or not — we’re not here to build muscle. We can’t build a pyramid on a shaky foundation. We’re here to strengthen your mind first. Because once you start working on your mindset, impossible things become just things again, and realize you don’t have to be afraid. You just step into the circle, be your vulnerable and imperfect self, and choose growth. Again, and again.



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