At some point in our lives we have fallen victim to the belief that getting in shape and staying in shape takes hard work. This idea is even built into calling the practice of getting healthy; “WORKING OUT”. Sounds terrible. Even Pavel Tsatouline, Russian kettlebell master and all around badass, says, “in the Russian language there is no word for ‘workout’… the implied meaning of a workout means let me just go and see how much I can reduce myself to a pile of shivering J-ello as quickly as possible.”
Again, sounds terrible.
Health does not come from getting up and beating the shit out of your body everyday. A healthy body is derived from understanding what your body needs, then making it a daily priority to provide your body with said need. It is understanding that those needs change on a daily basis. This requires you to have a relationship with movement, food, thought, and spirit. (Yup, I said spirit too. You don’t really think you are just a body do you?)
The hardest truth for almost everyone that I have ever worked with to grasp is that being healthy does not require hard work at all, it only requires conviction: a firmly held belief. When you are convicted to getting healthy or to a way of living it is no longer a hassle or hard work, it’s a lifestyle.
Yes, there will definitely be some work involved in getting healthy. BUT if you are really ready, if you are really going to jump down the rabbit hole of health, the hard work you will have to do isn’t going to come from physically destroying yourself. No, the toughest weight you are going to have to lift, will be figuring out what you really want and why. The toughest rep you are going to pull is owning your shit.
For years, I have watched some of my clients accomplish their goals and some of them fall short. This inconsistency could have been enough to make me pull my hair out. (Luckily, I don’t grow much hair these days.) With each client’s result, good or bad, I am always left asking myself, “What did I do right or wrong?”
Then a few years ago it occurred to me it wasn’t about a right or wrong course of action or flaw in program design. The difference between the client who “succeeded” (I use this term loosely b/c success is subjective) and one who didn’t was about a state of mind.
After years of frustration, observation, and consideration I have arrived at a definite conclusion; One must be ready.
I have come to think of these four words as the “iceberg phrase”.
Like an iceberg, the initial appearance is nothing miraculous. Just like reading those four little words probably didn’t send you into a state of enlightenment. Nor did they knock you off your chair into a complete “’Aha’ coma”. Similar to seeing a picture of an iceberg, it’s cool, but really it’s just a big chunk of ice. You can open your freezer and see ice. No big deal. BUT to get up close to that iceberg and witness its size, is a totally different experience. To see it flip over and feel the power it creates connects us to our humanly position among Nature’s wonders.
The realization of how much deeper that iceberg goes below the surface when it flips upside down and reveals its true whole self, is to understand what lies within those four words, one must be ready. It’s the difference in shrugging your shoulders and letting out a passive, “I’m ready” and running to the top of the nearest hilltop with the rising sun and proclaiming for all nature to hear, “I’M READY!!”
Being ready is not about having a membership to one of the trendy new gyms or ‘boxes’ that are popping up around you, owning stylish gym clothes, or the latest fad in foot apparel. Ready is not an instantaneous emotional decision to commit to a goal because your piers decided they were all going to do it. Being ready does not come from deciding to prove some one else wrong or right. Ready is not powered by anger, fear, or ego. Ready is not going out and beating yourself into ‘a pile of shivering J-ello‘.
Ready is when you are no longer OK with the individual who is staring back at you in the mirror. Ready is the realization that you love yourself so fucking much you absolutely refuse to continue living life in such a way that causes unwanted and unneeded pain and suffering. Ready comes when you decide to flip over that iceberg and start revealing your true self to the world regardless of what the repercussions may be. Ready is when you realize this relationship, job, or body no longer fits you so you kindly remove yourself (or shall I say, your Self). Ready is you when realize there are no safety nets and you jump anyway.
Your coach, teacher, Sifu, mentor, instructor, best friend, trainer, spouse, parent, or anyone else cannot decide when you are ready. Only you can.
The reality is some of you reading this are not ready. That is OK.
I know I’ve forced ‘ready’ when I wasn’t, many times. I have watched clients’ motivation fade because they started working with me when they weren’t ready. As much as I tried to inspire them or adjust their program so that it better fit their lives, it didn’t matter because they were not in a state of readiness.
But when you are ready, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY READY… health & fitness will no longer be an enslaving act of self-torture. Instead getting healthy will become a catalyst that will empower you to become your greatest Self. The Self you know deep down inside you are capable of being.
It’s in there.
Are you ready to let it out?