by STEVE HLAVAC
Director of Training
Embrace the journey
After years of training hundreds of people on my own, (now with a team of coaches at our awesome gym), I have seen and heard so many different things. I’ve seen people lose 100 pounds, and I’ve also seen some people quit after one session. I’ve seen people literally jump in the air celebrating their first chin-up, and then there have been times where I need to bring people into the office and sit down with them because they can’t hold their tears in. And I’m not talking about tears of joy.
The roller coaster ride of starting a gym from scratch has been transformative for me in so many different ways, and I’m hoping that by sharing this story it can help someone see things from a different perspective. I feel like I am qualified to make these statements because, as a coach and gym owner, I see things from a completely different lens. I am not better than you or anyone else, I just have the opportunity to look at things from a different angle. This is why even the best athletes in the world have coaches. They see things the athletes can’t see.
What I want to discuss with this post is something I have noticed over the last six years of running a gym:
Everyone is so incredibly hard on them-selves
Folks are so quick to criticize, and almost NEVER say anything good about them-selves. They say plenty of great things to other people, but never themselves. My question is: why?? With this post, I hope to inspire folks to start going a little easier on them-selves, giving them-selves some credit, and to start enjoying the process. If you’re not enjoying the process, what’s the point?
I was a multiple sport athlete growing up. Now, if you’re already rolling your eyes at “another sport/athlete post” please bare with me. I played football through college, which was an experience I’ll never forget for many different reasons. We had such great coaches, winning teams, and a culture that felt so awesome to be a part of.
As competitors and part of a great football program, we always wanted to win the National Championship. There’s the only problem with that. In Division 3 football, there’s over 230 teams. There can only be one National Champion. This is one of the interesting contradictions about sports. How can they be good for everyone if there is only one winner?
My senior year of college we had a really good team. I mean really good. Just like every year, we set the goal of winning the National Championship, and as a team captain, helped motivate everyone to get on board with that. We started training for our senior year of football in June (not including spring ball in April), and got after every single day with the mindset of winning the National Championship. Fast forward to December 4th, 2010. We were playing in the National quarterfinal game against Wisconsin-Whitewater. At the time, they were winning the National Championship every other year (absolutely dominant) and were currently ranked #1 in the country. After winning for most of the game, (long story, short) we ended up losing. This was absolutely heartbreaking for us. We had just put everything we had into every single day for the last 7 months- only to fall short. We ended up finishing 3rd in the country, earning the respect from everyone along the way. Whitewater went on to win the National Championship that year.
At this point in my life, I had never worked so hard to achieve something.
When the season ended, I couldn’t help but feel like a failure at the time. We had set a goal, and failed. Simple as that. We didn’t achieve our goal, so that meant we were failures, right? Here, you tell me. This is what we did for 7 months straight. Every day, we trained hard. We studied our opponents harder than anyone. We practiced like it was a game, and challenged each other to get better every day. We acted like National Champions. Now tell me, is that what you would call failure?
This is why it is so critical to understand success and what it really means to you. There was nothing wrong with setting the goal of winning the National Championship. In fact, I believe that should be everyone’s goal- to set the bar as high as possible. By setting higher goals, it raises your expectations, your focus, and work-ethic. It creates culture, it helps you feel more confident, and gives you a little bit of swagger (among many other benefits). Again, understanding true success is an imperative part of this equation.
"Beyond Measure Fitness, has given me a new perspective on my fitness goals and have taken the guess work and stress out of my life in regards to fitness goals.
I love being among them - they're like family!"
After years of being away from the game and seeing it from the outside, I realized that we couldn’t have been more successful. We dedicated ourselves to showing up and bringing our best effort every day. We challenged ourselves to get better, and grew so much over the course of the season. Not to mention, we had a GREAT time. Some of the best times were joking around in the locker room before and after practice. See, those are the things I remember the most. I remember parts of the journey, the process.
If you are constantly focusing on what you don’t have, rather than what you do, you’re missing the most important part of this whole thing- the process.
We all have a last day here on earth. I believe that is the only thing we can actually be certain about. When that day comes, you’ll remember the experiences, the journey and the process. When it comes to fitness, you sure won’t be thinking about your six-pack or toned arms. You’ll think about the great people you met along the way and all of the good times you had- in and out of the gym.
So how can you do this? First, I believe everyone should sit down and take some time to actually define what success means to you. What are your values? What do you really care about? When you do this, it helps you drown out any voices or influences coming from the outside. This, by the way, is not easy.
These are my 3 rules for success:
1. Show up.
2. Be present.
3. Bring my best effort.
That’s it. By applying these 3 rules to myself, it has helped me focus on what really matters. Showing up and brining effort has nothing to do with how much weight I lift, what the number on the scale says, or what I look like in the mirror. By focusing on being more present, it helps me to enjoy the process. By no means am I perfect with these three rules either. It’s a constant work-in-progress. All I know is, life is so much more fulfilling for me when I’m doing better with these rules. My relationships get better, I feel stronger (mentally, physically, and emotionally), and I look at my-self in the mirror with confidence.
If you need help with this process, or just want to talk about it, please reach out to me, or any of our awesome coaches at our gym
Yours in Strength,
CSCS, SFG1, XPS, FMS1
Beyond Measure Fitness Training
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