Okay, so I realized that I said blog posts would resume yesterday, and I lied. If you’ve been following my blogs over on the Sixthman website (my day job), you know that I just got off a cruise ship that really wore me down, and it took an extra day to recover. I posted a new blog over there today so feel free to read.
Essentially, I spent 5 days on a cruise ship with John Mayer, Guster, O.A.R., twelve other bands, and 2900 music fans. I slept probably three hours a night and walked off that ship feeling like a zombie. Every time I tried to write for NF my brain simply said “NOPE!” After a day on the couch and many hours of television, I’m ready to write.
I’ve put a lot of thought over the past few days into why I enjoy exercising. I’m absolutely fascinated with the concept of efficiency and operating at the highest level possible. If you decide to do something, you can either half-ass it or you can go all out. When I started playing online poker years ago, I read probably a dozen books on poker and learned to remove emotion from my decision making. If you can remove the “gut feelings” and “revenge” factor by playing like a well-oiled machine, you’ll be far more successful (and efficient) than a guy who flies by the seat of his pants.
I learned to play blackjack and craps the same way. After a year of screwing around in a casino while on vacations and throwing my money away, I read books on both and learned the proper way to play. Now I can teach anybody to play proper craps in 20 minutes. I might even write a blog about it some day!
Nagano, 1 of 2 people to complete Ninja Warrior
To me, exercising is no different. I am always amazed at guys who can compete at a level above and beyond anybody else (Example: Makoto Nagano – pictured to the left – a fisherman from Japan who actually completed the Ninja Warrior challenge). I realize most professional athletes are blessed with a great amount of innate ability, but it’s the gifted athletes who still wake up at 6AM in the gym pushing themselves to get better and better that grab my attention. The guys that eat right, determine the best possible way to get in shape, and then attack it with consistency and motivation day-in, day out.
Make sure you know who you want to be. I could care less about the body-builders on steroids or the guys who can look at a dumbbell and get ripped. Those are rare cases that don’t showcase how truly dedicated everybody else needs to be to operate at that level.
I have so much more respect for the guys with slow metabolisms (or fast) who really have to work to stay in shape. Being healthy is a challenge and should give you a sense of satisfaction because you know how hard you had to work to get there. I have even more respect for the guys and girls who stay in shape while working full time jobs and raising a family. There’s always a million excuses to skip the gym, especially when time is limited. My heroes are the people who can overcome every excuse.
For those of you struggling to lose weight, I can definitely relate (but from the opposite end of the spectrum). I am one of the fortunate few blessed with a ridiculously fast metabolism; this means that I can’t put on any kind of weight (whether it be muscle or fat). As a skinny guy trying to build muscle, I have to find a way to eat insane amounts of healthy calories every single day (while exercising) in order to see any sort of progress, which requires a lot of money and time (buying more food, preparing more food, eating more food, cleaning up afterward). I wish I could get away with eating 1500 calories a day, but that would get me nowhere.
I try to stick to this routine consistently, not because I want to impress people with how I look, but because I want to be the best damn person I can be. That means being the best person at my job, best volunteer at the hospital, best personal trainer to my clients, and best athlete for the sport in which I’m competing. If I’m playing the piano, I want to get better and better. If it’s a competition, I want to be the best. Just like the Xbox Live leaderboard, there are ways you can compare yourself to others, and ways to compete against yourself (improvement). Complacency is dangerous. Always strive to be better, and you will get better.
For those of you who play RPG’s, it’s like leveling up your character. There’s always room for improvement, there’s always one more thing you can do. To quote Gerard Butler, the actor who played King Leonidas in 300, “You know that every bead of sweat falling off your head, every weight you’ve pumped — the history of that is all in your eyes. That was a great thing, to put on that cape and put on that helmet, and not have to think, shit, I should have trained more. Instead, I was standing there feeling like a lion.“
I want to work out because I want to feel like that. Why do you exercise?