I’ve been told “work like no one else so you can live like no one else”. That message is meant to have a lucrative and freeing end result. “The only risk is to not take one” is another lofty one.
I think “ignorance is bliss” is more accurate of the entrepreneurial process. If I knew what it takes to do what I have attacked a few years ago, I probably would have given up. At the same time, I am not one to go down without a fight, without the knowledge that I pushed with every ounce of my being. Quitting is not an option, but adapting and switching course is the nuance to get your head out of the sand.
“It’s not the journey, but the destination” is another cliché. True, though. You learn things about yourself and others. Your intuition usually gets verified, the lesson being “trust your gut” sooner to save time and money. There are many other lessons, but let’s stay focused on the “journey” part.
The title of this post is “checks and balances”, because in the end, everything has to even out. In business, it’s your cash flow, and when that doesn’t, the business ends. Someone screwed up somewhere, or something went awry. While you can foresee most things, you take that chance, that risk. It is the same in fitness.
Here’s how the latter applies to yours truly: I sleep very little, which affects my performance, and my hours in the car or training clients prevent a proper ingestion of nutrients, or restful digestion. Between a start-up company and its perfect storm of activity and a teething baby (who just got to sleeping through the night and night it’s back to being up after each incomplete sleep cycle), undertaking a strength focused or hypertrophy focused program design is essentially doomed to not achieve quite the results I set out for myself.
But I don’t quit, I adapt. There is progress. Repetition is a form of change (“do more reps”). Lifting only the same load but having dropped 8 pounds of bodyweight is progress (stronger pound for pound, and it appears to be fat loss, with a visual check). OK, so I won’t work as a bouncer anytime soon (I’m more like Dalton…) or scare someone into crossing the street when they see me, they’ll rather ask me for directions. My body reverts to what it knows, or has to do it with the best technique available. No one enters a fight 100%. Every fiber of my body is responding, without the benefits of the optimal conditions I encourage everyone to create. I am not a hypocrite, I am just not necessarily achieving the end goal results I set out for, but it remains a matter of perception too. A program for strength, or hypertrophy, without the matching rest requirements or nutritional intake is still a training program. As a matter of fact, it’s great for weight loss! A recent genetic testing procedure showed that my genomes are those that require little sleep. Unsure if it’s me or a statistic, but caloric reduction, moderated fatigue and frequency of training with load variations led to a stronger body pound for pound, some balance for the brain, and a lithe agile body. Win. The drills are performed within the RPE (rate of perceived exertion) or percentage of effort required with whatever “money is left in the bank” or “fuel in the tank”. Inevitably, a variable will change.
And that’s what I believe is the most important factor in being a successful trainer, or at anything: the road map. It gives you a starting point, a baseline. Follow it, things will change. Lack of change is change, usually not for the better. And “better is the enemy of good”, better is always better.
I make the time, sacrifice, compromise and sometimes have to also let go. I write checks my body can cash, and it keeps it balanced. So long as I incorporate quality movement daily, there is progress. What’s your story? I’d love to hear it 🙂