Start Where You Are

I’m 5’9″ 169lbs and I’m in the worst shape I’ve been in in my life… and I don’t feel bad about it.

I played basketball with a friend of mine yesterday and I was amazed at how quickly I got tired running up and down the court. It’s totally different than running on a treadmill…

I don’t remember it being like this 20 years ago… but I wasn’t 33 years old, 20 years ago either 🙂

I have a different respect for basketball players…now.

Anyway, I’m getting back into my workout routine now.

A few years ago, I spent on average about 2 -3 hours a day in the gym. I was taking classes, hitting all the funky exercise machines, free weights, you name it. You would have thought that I was one of those ‘gym rats’…or more eloquently said, “fitness buffs” …but I wasn’t.

I really didn’t like it all that much…I got SOME enjoyment out of it because it became a social outlet for me and I was definitely pleased with the results I was getting,

So, in other words I didn’t HATE it, but I didn’t LOVE it either.

But because I work on the computer all day, I knew I needed to get some regular exercise, so I started going.

I didn’t like it.

I’d go for 2 or 3 days, get frustrated, then quit.

Get motivated again, go for 2-3 days, then quit.

This went on for several weeks, then I realized that I need to create some accountability to keep me there. So I got a personal trainer…. ha, ha, ha.

Well the trainer created the accountability I needed, but he made me dislike the gym more than I already did. He was pushing too hard (in my opinion).

I wasn’t interested in becoming the Hulk, I just wanted to get ‘fit’ and stay in shape…but he was piling on all the weights, yelling at me and making me do push-ups and laps when I didn’t want to be there in the first place.

So I fired him and tried it on my own again.

Same thing.

I’d go for a few days and quit.

So I went to a second trainer. Told him very clearly and directly that I don’t like coming to the gym and if it it wasn’t fun for me, I wouldn’t go. I told him I wasn’t interested in heavy weights and ‘hard’ workouts.

He started out a little better than the first guy, but after 2 weeks, he reverted to the ‘feel the burn’ mode…so I fired him as well.

So how did I get to the point of going to the gym 2-3 hours per day? Well, it took me 6 months to get to there. And here’s what I did:

I started where I was at the time.

I went to the gym, got on the treadmill – for 3 minutes and went home…I didn’t even break a sweat.

The next day, I went to the gym, got on the treadmill – for 3 minutes and went home.

The next day, the same.

I did that for about a week. on the 5th day, I increased my time to 5 minutes.

About a week later I was up to 10 minutes.

But here’s the cool thing. After 2 weeks I’d gone to the gym EVERYDAY consistently.

After about 3 1/2 weeks, I was totally SHOCKED by what happened. I’d gone to the gym as usual and got on the treadmill. By this time, I’d gotten an ipod and was listening to programs during my workout. Well, to my surprise, I finished listening to a program and looked at the treadmill to find that I’d been on it for 45 mins!!!

I shouted out Whoo-hoo!! Everyone thought I was nuts, but I was excited about that. I mean, this was only after being in the gym for 3 1/2 weeks!

So from there, I started using some of the other equipment in the gym and I took the same approach. I started out with 5 reps then stopped.

The next time I went, I’d do 5 reps and stopped.

I did the same build up until I was doing 3 reps of 15 on the different muscle groups.

After about 6 months, I was looking great, feeling great and semi-enjoying the gym.

What’s the lesson here?

Start where you are…

Whether it’s working out, business, relationships, etc. Start where you are and build on that.

So many times, we try to ‘get it all now’ and overwhelm ourselves, then we quit.

Trying to go to the gym and ‘doing what everyone else was doing’ was a BIG mistake for me. I was comparing my fitness level to that of people who’d been in the gym for months or years…

Additionally, I had no ridiculous expectations for myself either. I wasn’t trying to lose 50 pounds in 30 days…my life wasn’t in jeopardy. I just wanted to get ‘fit’

So where it took me 4-6 months to start seeing results, It may have taken someone else 2 months, but who cares? I’m not in a business where my physical make-up determines my salary and I wasn’t trying to impress anyone either…

And comparatively speaking, I was much better off than the people who tried to ‘hit it hard’ and quit forever.

Practical Application
Don’t try to ‘do it all’ right now…you can’t do that anyway, so why try?

Start where you are and pace yourself…especially in things you really don’t truly enjoy….there’s no rush. The world isn’t going to end because you didn’t do that extra set of squats

Take Care

~ Antonio ~

3 thoughts on “Start Where You Are

  • August 4, 2007 at 7:21 pm
    Permalink

    Hey Antonio,let me be among the rest to congratulate you for your success.
    Its not every day that we of color are able to
    listen and then take advantage of it.
    I am doing the same think but just a little different.I hope that we can share ideals and network in the future. May god bless you in your endeaver.

    Thanks

    Lamarcus
    http://www.amaritravel.ws

    Reply
  • April 30, 2009 at 12:30 pm
    Permalink

    I love this post. Overwhelm is the keyword.It can also be synonymous to overcommitment. We take in too much stuff that we can’t swallow, even chew. Yeah, so by taking it one step at a time from where we are at already, is the perfect motivation.

    Reply
  • May 19, 2009 at 6:12 pm
    Permalink

    This is applicable in setting goals in life. This is what I love about LOA. It covers personal and career development. I agree with the previous posts and also to the blogger, that we take one day at a time. So here I am, living life to the fullest. Thanks to all of the people like you who encourages positivity.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *