Choose The Long Road
We want it now. Success, money, happiness, weight loss, muscle mass,.........This list never ends. We envy those who have what we feel we don’t have. We hate on those who have what we feel we don’t have. We strive to be like those who have what we feel we don’t have.
If you want it, make it happen. Just know that it isn’t going to happen now or tomorrow. Probably not next week either. You may not see positive side effects immediately. Real results come slowly. Real slowly. Slow enough that the weak minded will give up too soon. Only those who really want it and are willing to sacrifice get it. They give up time, pleasure, and money. They do the non-flashy things that no one else wants to do. They work hard when they’re tired. All because they know that over time it will add up to something bigger than they could ever realize in one day, one week, or one month.
Here is a list of things that if you really want it, you can have it. But, you’d better be ready to commit to it and find satisfaction in delayed gratification. On the left is the hard part to swallow. On the right is what it equates to for those who are willing to ride it out.
½ pound of weight loss per week : 52 pounds of weight loss in two years
½ pound of LEAN muscle mass per month : 24 pounds of SOLID muscle in 4 years
20 minutes, 2x/week, for 2 months, focused work : 1 strict pullup (varies)
3 strict pullups + 3 strict, deep ring dips : Ring muscle up
We want the right side but aren’t willing to deal with the left. So we don’t. We quit. We blame our circumstances. We pass the buck.
We don’t have to be this way. We can respect the process. We can accept the journey. Embrace it. Love it. Enjoy the sacrifice. Pass on the setbacks disguised as pleasure. If you want it, it’s for the taking. All you have to do is take responsibility for yourself. Own the process. When you get there you can re-evaluate, to continue further or to hedge where you are at. But, until you get there, there aren’t cheat meals. There is no “too tired to workout.”
Most likely your goal’s process will include some of these:
Eating chicken breasts, nuts and vegetables
5-6 workouts per week
2 x 20 minutes/2x week of weakness accessory work
Saying no to everything and everyone that may trigger your weaknesses
Showing up to OLY class at 7:30am on a Saturday morning
Hiring a professional to program for you or plan your nutrition
Instant gratification is a drug. People use drugs to temporarily alter their reality. You always end up back at square one.
Choose the long road.
My personal journey with health and fitness has been interesting. I always played sports. I didn’t always work out. Here are some bullet points about my journey to put things into perspective.
My current health and fitness goals are as follows:
- Maintain my bodyweight. I enjoy some pleasures because I am satisfied with my current mass and body fat percentage. I fluctuate some but not enough where I couldn’t get back in 1-2 focused weeks.
- Maintain strength levels while increasing work capacity. I do enjoy lifting PR’s here and there but I am satisfied with my strength levels and find pleasure in improving my workout times and finding new “gears” at which I can move with solid technique. I’ve found with the busyness of running a gym, 1 workout/day, 5-6x a week has allowed me to achieve this. About 1-2x a week I find time for about 15-20 minutes of skill or strength accessory work which has proven very beneficial to my efficiency in gymnastics related movements. Typically, I choose 1 item, and focus on it for 2-3 months. The experience and dedication is invaluable.
- Take as many classes as I can each week so that I can get coached, have fun and enjoy the process with everyone else.
Here are some of my hardships, what I had to do to overcome them or the time it took to experience gains:
- April 2008, bodyweight 238 pounds. Low Carb South Beach Diet for 2 months, no cheating. Bodyweight reduced to 217 pounds by June 2008. June 2008-November 2008, I drank 2 V-8 juices a day and ate 5 hard boiled eggs for breakfast. 3 small lunches I called “Dog Food” 3x/day, 5 days/week. Dog Food was: Ground Turkey, brown rice, black beans, steamed broccoli, onions, garlic, and canned/diced tomatoes all mixed in a stockpot. By January 2009, I was at my current body-weight of 205 pounds. During this time, I was working out 5-6 days per week at 24 Hour Fitness, with leg day 2x/week, back day, chest day, arm day, shoulder day, and treadmill intervals 2x/week.
- I started dabbling with CrossFit in November of 2011. Before I started, I considered myself extremely fit. In my first 3 months of CrossFit this is what I experienced:
- My first FRAN, December 2011: 13 minutes and 29 seconds
- May 2012: 4:58
- November 2013: 3:39
- August 2016: 3:24
- Troy CrossFit May 2017: 3:26
- Troy CrossFit July 2017: 3:08
- Troy CrossFit June 2018: 3:06
- Back Squat:
- 2012: 245
- 2013: 305
- 2014: 345
- 2015: 355
- 2016: 365
- 2017: 370
- Overhead Squat:
- 2011: I couldn’t squat the 45# barbell
- November 2013: 225#
- Troy CrossFit 2018: 245x2
- Handstand Pushups: Zero
- 2012: Strict pike pushups, never kipped from abmats
- October 2013: 4 unbroken kipping handstand pushups
- 2015: 2x/week, 2 months, EMOM style until I accumulated 100 reps
- 2017: 2x/week, max strict handstand pushups, rest 2 minutes, repeat until completing 30 reps
- Double Unders: 1 unbroken
- 2012: 1 set of 20 reps, in between every strength exercise set. Averaged 600 double unders per day 3x/week for 4 months. Hundreds of lashes, scrapes, some blood, and a lot of frustration
- 2013: 60 unbroken double unders
- Pistols: Zero
- 2013: I held onto a pole in order to get near parallel
- 2014: I could do them in weightlifting shoes
- 2016: I could do them without pain and proper tracking of the knee
- My first FRAN, December 2011: 13 minutes and 29 seconds
I share this with the intention of being vulnerable, putting progress into perspective, and showing you my 7 year journey with CrossFit. Some gains came quickly in the beginning as I had a strong base of strict upper body pulling strength and horizontal pushing strength. Other gains came slowly as my legs were weak and imbalanced and my shoulders were weaker and lacking mobility. I never considered myself a gymnast and every gymnastic skill I am good at now has taken all of the last 7 years to develop from the strict strength, stability, mobility, body awareness, control, and finally movement endurance. The only thing that came naturally was the mindset of grinding. I am very good at putting my head down and plowing. Sometimes in the wrong direction without realizing it 🙂 What I know is that the gains come slowly and surely. That’s great. But, the greatest part of all is that along the way I’ve met a bunch of people who have impacted my life, become some of my grandest friends, and who have supported me from exploring my own fitness to helping others explore theirs. The last 7 years have been wonderful.