Are you ready to take the step – and take a huge leap forward in your fitness?
Lee Iacocca – the man known for saving Chrysler in the 1980s – was once asked “What quality do you look for in all of your top managers?” He answered simply “Decisiveness.” Decisiveness is – not surprisingly – your ability to make a decision.
What does this have to do with fitness?
Allow me to regale you fine people with an answer via anecdote.
A while ago I was working out at my local park doing light weighted chinups and dips (12 kg of stones added in a backpack that someone carelessly threw away. I am obviously a fitness MacGuyver) and several onlookers and fellow exercisers marveled, commenting that that seemed heavy. I was flattered. One guy, however, attributed my strength to “genetics and age” as well as “having tons of free time.” I was not so flattered.
Before I go on, let me regale you once again – this time with an interlude about my magnificent genetics and how they manifested themselves from elementary school to high school.
* Throughout elementary, middle, and high school I was generally picked next to last for sports teams since I was weak as a kitten (cute as one too, but still, weak) and about as quick, agile, and athletic as a ficus tree.
* In high school weight training in my junior year, I remember getting pinned like an amateur wrestler under a barbell whose weighted equivalent was likely in the same league as that of a broomstick with a couple of bagels on it (maybe less). When the gym teacher noticed my struggle, he yelled at my inattentive, chatty-cathy spotter so f***ing loud the entire class stopped to watch the debacle (our teacher was a mountain of a man who could bench 350 like it was his job). While my spotter was visibly embarrassed, he could not possibly have been more embarrassed than I was at getting pinned under such a paltry weight.
Genetics? Age? Excessive free time? No. The only quality I have to benefit me is my decisiveness – which is to say my decision NOT to let anything stand in the way of my goals. I am not cut out to be naturally strong and I never have been (never mind that chins and dips with 12 kgs isn’t exactly an effort I’d call strong unless you have polio), but I love being strong and I love the process and journey toward becoming stronger.
This is the quality I look for in all those who seek my coaching as well, both in person and online. Case in point: I have had several 50+ year old women who have wanted to work on their pullups, and in all cases, despite NEVER having done pullups a single day in their life, their decision to work at it and follow the program and instructions I gave them led them not to discover superior genetics or a boatload of heretofore undiscovered free time, but rather that their hard work, dedication, and determination fueled by their DECISION to achieve their first pullups is what led to their success. Not luck in the gene pool, not even motivation – just the decision to execute a plan and work hard.
There are genetic freaks out there, no doubt (Paul Anderson, Dmitry Klokov, and others come to mind). But guess what? It’s probably someone with a bunch of medals and international titles behind his/her name and not the skinny guy or girl quietly deadlifting 315 for easy reps in the corner of the gym – you know, that corner whereupon all the the inny and outty machines cast their sleek, expensive shadows as people text and talk while others are working hard.
You don’t need perfect genes.
You don’t need hours of free time.
You don’t even need boundless motivation.
You only need to decide: am I going to be better tomorrow, or am I going to be the same?
You can make progress or you can make excuses. Pick one.
Pictured is bodybuilding legend Clarence Bass, who has made a yearly decision to schedule a photo shoot to keep him focused and consistent. Not bad for being 77.