“Leaders don't create followers, they create more leaders.” – Tom Peters
Last week we covered how motivation comes in many forms. Getting help from an experienced professional can build on that dedication and motivation. When I started going to the gym, one of my goals was to learn as much about muscle hypertrophy as possible. I had a ton of books on exercise and diet, but it’s hard to learn physical action through pictures. Luckily, I made friends at the gym quickly and after a couple weeks, I had a regular training partner nicknamed Stout. Stout was about 200 pounds and could move some serious weight. I figured if I hung around long enough I could learn from him. Turns out, he had a deep understanding of anatomy and was very open to teaching me about resistance training. He taught me the basics on isolating muscle for increased focus and thousands of exercises for every muscle group. We would hang out in the gym for hours going over techniques and talking about programs. He was with me every step of the way and kept me on track when I wanted to quit. He set the bar for me and showed me how tentative a trainer and coach should be.
I owe a lot to Stout for teaching me about fitness, but I still had some questions. The world of health and fitness is so vast that no one knows everything. It’s kind of like Jiu-Jitsu in that way; the more you learn, the more questions you have. Therefore, I continually read books, articles, and forums on various lifts and programs. I have been studying this topic for about half my life and I am nowhere near done. Even the Fitness Gurus I follow online have different views on many training strategies. I trust these guys as well, but I prefer to research the topic and form my own opinion on most topics. I also like to play with new exercises and modify them to fit my training style and programs for maximum efficiency.
I started this journey, just like many before me, with very little knowledge. I knew I needed help to accomplish my goals and I had an idea of where to find it. I ran into a couple challenges along the way to my goal, but I modified the plan and kept moving forward. (I didn’t care because I love a good challenge.) And some of my goals changed along the way. I no longer plan to be 250 pounds of muscle because I would not be able to move the same way that I can at 180 pounds. That doesn’t mean that I gave up on that goal. It means that I learned more about myself and discovered what my priorities truly are.
Self-discovery is goal that many people search for. There are countless books and workshops about finding your “True Self.” I stumbled upon it almost accidentally. I kind of knew I was looking for it, but I never really figured out that I found it until I reflected on past decisions. It’s like when you lose your phone, then you realize it has been in your hand the whole time. You never say anything, but in your head, you think, “Damn I’m a dumbass, it was right there the whole time.” Yeah… That was my road to mindfulness.
ACSM Certified Fitness Professional