This week I’ve seen Oliver Quinn perform a pistol squat while holding his wife and ‘clean’ an 80kg bell – that’s heavier than me! I watch the guys and girls from local calisthenics group AMPM do bodyweight exercises I can only dream about. Then there’s Einar Svindland and Ido Portal who I idolise from a movement perspective, and the Yoginis like Megan Joy who can do things with their body which seem to defy normal anatomy.
Whether it’s the former ballerinas now doing Pilates or something else, things often aren’t what they appear to be, nor are they representative of the capacity of the wider population; the ‘average’ person if you will.
Those people may once have been ‘average’ and the before/after pictures some share attest to that. They give those of us who are average a little more hope that maybe if we just get started, we too can become an inspiration and slightly super-human. @lind.slaaay springs to mind – check out the picture from March 1 on Instagram.
What’s often not clear is the consistent hard work and dedication it takes to make these changes. Whether it’s losing weight, getting stronger, developing a phenomenal skill or something else, what we see is typically the end result of a very long process and a lifestyle of consistent hard work and failures.
Goals are great. They’re arguably essential. However, it can be disheartening if you compare your Chapter 1 to someone else’s Chapter 19, especially when each individual’s personal circumstances are so very different.
We also tend to see only the successes too; rarely the fails. We don’t see the bad days everyone has, or the life challenges that get in the way of executing the required behaviours necessary to reach our objective.
I’ve literally spent 25 years in gyms. There has never been a time in my adult life when I have not exercised consistently outside of holidays. I’m genetically lucky to be pretty mobile, so while the deep squats and Cossack’s feel normal for me, the ‘average’ person can’t do them at all. I’m also genetically unlucky to have been given with Scheuermann’s disease and will likely never be able to perform many of the ‘back-bend’ activities I would like. I switched to training with only kettlebells at the end of 2013 and that’s all I’ve done ever since. Now that I run a business which revolves around kettlebells, I’m using them one way or another 6 days a week.
Last week I shared a video of me performing a Turkish get-up with my friend Penny and this week, swinging a 48kg bell in one hand. It’s taken me 3 years of consistent practice to be able to do those things, and so far I’ve only ever lifting an adult once. Not that long ago I was starting with 8kg too.
We all have to start somewhere. In the current digital age it’s easy to lose perspective on what’s ‘real’. Health is not a race, nor a competition. Being healthy is a lifestyle of habits and choices repeated daily.
Aristotle said, We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore it not an act but a habit.
Our thoughts create beliefs, that influence actions, that determine our results.
First, we must acknowledge that which needs to change. Our desire to change must also be greater than our desire to stay the same, if it’s not and if we’re talking health, then first we must work out why our health isn’t more important to us. A day spent in a hospital talking with people who no longer have their health is a good start.
Most people brush their teeth twice daily; it’s quick, easy, keeps our breath fresh and teach clean, or at least in a much cleaner and healthier state than if we hadn’t brushed them. The challenge with physical health is one of time and effort. We all have the same 24hrs in a day. If our health isn’t a priority something is fundamentally wrong.
Our health beliefs, actions and results reflect the priority we place on our health. If Aristotle was correct, then our outward appearance is a clear indication of what we repeatedly do (in the absence of disease and disability).
Q: How do you eat an elephant?
A: One bite at a time
‘Health’ can appear to be like the proverbial elephant – bite off more than you can chew and you’ll may choke. You probably won’t fancy going back for more either. Slow and steady wins the race, and if the internet is to be believed Confucius said, it does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.
We must also remember to never discourage someone who makes continual progress, now matter how slow; sooner or later that person will have consumed their elephant and looking for a bigger meal. Average become inspiration.
Our mission: TO INSPIRE PEOPLE TO LIVE A HEALTHIER LIFE AND EMPOWER OUR CLIENTS TO GET MORE FUN AND ENJOYMENT FORM THE LIFE THEY LIVE.
If you would like our help, call us or drop in and say hello.