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Do you begrudgingly board the treadmill in the winter (well, we have all probably done that at some point…)? Is it a struggle to get out the door to run, cycle or walk?
I understand that it’s not easy to train every day - or be consistent with your workouts when the demands of family, work and life in general pile up. I get it.
What if you approached your training sessions differently? What if you approached them with a sense of gratitude? Maybe something like...
Yes! I get to go run for an hour today!
There are a lot of different reasons that people train. Some love it. Some like to look good with their shirt off. Some know that if they don’t train, they’ll instantly gain 20 pounds. I understand the multitude of reasons that people train. It’s unlikely that my journal entry will change the REASON you train. I would like to, however, help shape the attitude you take into your training sessions and why it should be far more grateful than it currently is.
You GET to train. You GET to lift weights. Do you know how many people can’t run, lift weights, ride a bike, go for a swim? Sorry - I don't have a cool stat to put here - but it’s a lot of people. A LOT. Injuries, genetic factors, sickness, accidents…the reasons contributing to why a lot people can’t train are numerous—each person’s story unique.
Your story is unique too. Your story is a part of the lucky portion of society that has the opportunity to go out and work your butt off and get better.
I don’t always have the best attitude when I step into the squat rack or lace my shoes up for a run. I’m human. I feel sorry for myself sometimes or create reasons why I don’t need to run that hard or put more weight on the bar. And then I stop. Why?
I stop feeling sorry for myself because I think about the thousands of wounded Soldiers who can no longer train the way they want to because of their sacrifice to the Nation.
Some of those wounded Soldiers were my Soldiers - and I think about them. Soldiers I knew. Soldiers I led in combat. Some of those Soldiers did not come home and they will never have the chance to train again.
I was wounded in combat, and if not for a few seconds difference, would likely not be here today. I was wounded, recovered and am able to train again. I am extremely lucky and I think about that often. My brother was wounded too, and if not for a few steps, he would likely not be here today. I think about him; his sacrifice; his bravery.
These are the things I think about when I want to feel sorry for myself. These are the reasons I approach my training sessions with a sense of gratitude and humility. Your reasons are not mine - and mine are not yours. Find your reason and hold it close…you’ll need to pull it out every now and again to motivate yourself and pull yourself out of a mental ditch.
This holiday season when you think about what you are thankful for, be thankful for your body and the ability to train your butt off.
Have a great Thanksgiving. I hope that you can spend it with your family and friends. If you can’t, enjoy the day as best you can and give thanks for the good things in your life.
Talk to you next month.
If you’ve ever had a shock and felt the adrenaline surge in your body then you’ve felt cortisol. It’s a wake-you-up, get-you–ready-for-action hormone.
It really is. It hits its lowest point around midnight, so you can go to sleep, and then peaks again about an hour after you’ve gotten up in the morning, getting you to wake up and get ready for the day.
It’s nick-named the “stress hormone” because it’s released in moments of stress. So in a dangerous situation, or if you get scared suddenly, you’ll feel it.
But… when we have too-high levels of cortisol for too long, it can make us feel stressed… even if we have no reason to be.