You’ve got a towel in one hand, a water bottle in the other, your tightly laced and unnecessarily colourful sneakers are making your feet look like an acid trip, and your shirt has a motivational quote about not quitting emblazoned on the front. Does this mean you are prepared? Do you have everything you need?
Sure, hydration, hygiene, the right footwear and a shirt of some kind are important, but none of them represent the difference between “going to the gym” and “training.”
Think about this; most people who have a gym membership and actually use it (as opposed to filing their membership card somewhere at the back of their wallet with their old Video Store membership card) average maybe four visits each week. That’s a very small percentage of your life, overall. It’s less than three percent. Most people who have a gym membership have it because they are anticipating some sort of change, result, or difference in their lives as a result of it. As a result of something they do with only three percent of their lives.
So I’ll ask again; do you have everything you need?
If you’re expecting results from that tiny percentage of your life, there’s something else you’re going to need, and it ain’t a towel.
You’re going to need an attitude. You’re going to need an approach.
You’re going to need to decide before you ever put your towel and water in the bag, before you lace up your sneakers and before you don that oh-so-motivational shirt, what the gym is to you.
To some people, the gym is purgatory. It’s a place where they go and spend an hour wishing they were somewhere else. They sweat and struggle through the warm-up, then they find every excuse to put the rest of their session on hold. They take a phone call, send a text. They check their social media and they watch whatever’s playing on the TV (gyms are like bars, the good ones don’t need TVs, but most have them anyway for no reason whatsoever). If they have a cold they don’t go to the gym. If they think they might get a cold tomorrow they don’t go to the gym. If they have an injury they don’t go to the gym, if they have a pain that might be an injury they don’t go to the gym. If they think they might get a pain they don’t go to the gym. If work was hectic they don’t go to the gym, if it was a good day and their colleagues are going for drinks they don’t go to the gym.
There’s a pattern there. Did you see it? A lot of stimuli result in not going to the gym.
Meanwhile there are others. They show up, train with an intensity that sets the equipment on fire, then leave and crush the rest of their day with a smile. They train through feeling a little under the weather, they train while their colleagues are at the pub, they train off a bad day, and if their arm hurts they do a leg session.
When I ask what the difference between these two types of people is, I often get told that “some people are just like that.” Your attitude is like your coat. You have more than one and you decide which you’re going to wear.
So let’s bring it back to a more fundamental question. Do you want results from your time at the gym? Or did you just acquire a membership so your Video Store card wouldn’t get lonely back there? If it’s results you want, you need to decide how you’re going to approach your training. Life is 10% what happens, 90% how you respond to it. The gym, the equipment, the environment, it’s the same for everyone. So you have to decide what the gym is to you, because your response, your attitude, your approach, will define your results.
If you want it to be, the gym can be a place of pain, torture, purgatory. But if you want it to be, the gym can be a place of liberation. It can be a place where nothing that happens beyond its doors matters for an hour. It can be a place of equality, where nothing you do, nothing you are in the rest of the world is relevant. It can be a place where you build the foundations of unshakable self-respect, it can be a place where you test and breach your perceived limits, where you develop an understanding of your own potential. It can be a place where greatness is born and nurtured. Not just physical greatness, but the kind of greatness that constantly breaks through the mental barriers that restrict us all.
It can be the place where you make yourself great, or it can be the place where you make yourself the victim. The choice is yours. It’s all going to come down to your attitude. Your approach.
Go get it guys!
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