How LEGO and Minecraft Will Help You Get In Shape

Minecraft

Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve always loved to build stuff.

If I was in the back yard, I was building a treehouse. If I was in my basement, I was building a pillow fort. If I was anywhere near LEGO pieces, I was building a masterpiece! Or a random hodgepodge of multicolored blocks that I called a spaceship. This is why most photos on this site are of LEGO characters!

It’s no surprise that my favorite book of all time is The Pillars of the Earth, which follows the construction of a massive cathedral over many decades in a small town. What sounds like a weird concept and boring story turns into one helluva mystery and adventure.

Needless to say, I love building stuff and learning about building!

Now, sure, the LEGO photos are cute, but they’ve actually been serving a far deeper purpose – I’ve been slowly brainwashing your subconscious with each picture – showing you the true secret to a healthy body, stronger muscles, and a better life…one brick at a time.

So, when I recently stumbled across a quote that hit me like a ton of bricks (sorry, pun TOTALLY intended), I knew it was time to teach you everything you need to know about getting fit with LEGO pieces.

Become a Bricklayer

Lego

I was reading something from my friend JC Deen and in it he shared a quote that I fell in love with:

“Get obsessed with consistency in the actions that feed the goal. Getting obsessed with the goal won’t work and neither does having moderate goals. It’s like thinking about laying down the perfect brick after perfect brick rather than going nuts over when you’ll see a building emerge.”  -Amir Siddiqui

I then thought of all of the creations in the world built out of bricks: the Pyramids of Egypt, The Cathedral of Notre Dame, and LEGOLAND’s Model of New York City.

Heck, somebody went through the effort to create a replica of the famous Elven city of Rivendell in Minecraft (which is but one of million epic creations in the game):

There’s something pretty cool about looking at something so grand on such a seemingly microscopic level: “Don’t worry about the brick you last placed, or the brick you must place next. Instead, put 100% of your focus on where THIS brick is supposed to go…and things will work out.”

In order for these creations to withstand the test of time, every brick, stone, or LEGO piece had to be placed in the perfect spot, next to the previously perfectly placed piece (say THAT three times fast).

I was recently introduced to an 85-year-old sushi chef named Jiro (h/t Ramit), widely known as the world’s best. Jiro is known as a master for seeking absolute perfection in each piece of sushi that he is creating. Not the one he already made, nor the next one. But rather, Jiro takes true joy in mastering the piece of sushi in front of him:

Jiro doesn’t concern himself with that final product. He knows if he can pour his all into THIS piece, and then repeat that process – the rest will take care of itself. (If you’ve seen the new movie Chef, from Jon Favreau, it’ll make you fall in love with the process of preparing a great meal, too.)

Look at a final plate from Jiro. Or take a walk through the Notre Dame. Watch that fly-by video of Rivendell. It’s incredibly easy to focus on the finished product: “Wow that looks amazing, and it look like it took a crazy amount of work…there’s no way I could possibly do that.” But that’s not how great things are built. Great things are built one brick at a time.

I see the same thing every single day in health and fitness. We have readers that have long journeys ahead of them, needing to lose hundreds of pounds. Or we see some people who can only focus on the finished product; they see somebody else they want to look like, or they think what’s in front of them is too daunting.

It’s quite easy to look at the plans for a cathedral, or the blueprints for a LEGO skyscraper and get overwhelmed.

Today I want you to stop worrying about that final plan, and instead focus on just putting the next LEGO brick in the right spot. THAT’S IT.

Forget what happened yesterday, what has to happen tomorrow, an hour from now, or even five minutes from now. All we have to worry about is putting that next brick where it belongs. Once that brick is placed, we can move onto the next brick. If we can put our faith in the plan that’s in front of us, we don’t need to worry about what it will eventually become or how quickly we’ll get there.

We just need to do the one thing, and do it well. And enjoy it!

Enjoy the process!

Yoda

Remember when Forrest Gump ran and ran and ran? He wasn’t worried about the great distance. He wasn’t running for a particular cause…he did all of it simply because he just liked running:

“That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run. So I ran to the end of the road. And when I got there, I thought maybe I’d run to the end of town. And when I got there, I thought maybe I’d just run across Greenbow County. And I figured, since I run this far, maybe I’d just run across the great state of Alabama. And that’s what I did. I ran clear across Alabama. For no particular reason I just kept on going. I ran clear to the ocean.”

In nerdier terms, Frodo didn’t concern himself with destroying the ring in Mordor, but rather asking “Gandalf, is it left or right?” and then putting his faith in his feet to get him there.

I want you to do the same. Get really damn good on focusing where that next brick is going.

  • Don’t worry about the 100 pounds you need to lose, instead focus on making a better decision while in the lunch line today. Or be like Jiro, and try to make your next meal a masterpiece – even if it’s just chicken stir-fry. We are building towards something epic, and every individual decision is something we get to control – that’s pretty awesome. Like building a castle out of LEGO bricks, building is most of the fun. The finished product is just a bonus!
  • Don’t worry about what you’re supposed to look like a year from now, instead focus on the completing that next set of push ups with great form. Or how you can cook an epic meal for dinner. Or how you can get a tiny bit closer to doing a pull up! When Joe lost 128 pounds in 11 months, he didn’t step on a scale for half a year – he just put his faith in his brick-laying, every day focusing on his next meal, his next workout.
  • Don’t worry about the 26.2 miles you need to run in a marathon, instead focus on running past the next tree as smoothly as possible. And remind yourself why you’re running: because you enjoy it! Enjoy the wind in your hair, the ability to place your next foot anywhere, and the freedom it brings you.
  • Don’t worry about all of the things you need to get done before the weekend, instead focus on the NEXT thing and do it to the best of your ability. Get that done with focus and precision, and then move onto the next task. Repeat.

The best part about all of the scenarios above: if you can lay enough bricks consistently, the cathedral takes care of itself. Falling in love with the process we are completing will allow us to build the best damn thing ever, but it requires us to take a brick-by-brick view of life.

Nerd Fitness has provided the blueprints for your leveled up life, so let US worry about that. All I want you to worry about now is where to place that next brick, and how perfectly you’re going to place it.

My cathedral, and my brick: 

I am not good at the violin, and it’s intimidating me so much that I opt out of practicing a lot. So, I’m going to stop worrying about playing like Kiana in Gaelic Storm, and instead just focus on playing the next song in my song book today.

On the fitness side of things, I’ve also been putting my faith in my bricks, and falling in love with each workout. It’s working! Plus, it allows me to do cool stuff like this 🙂

What about you? What’s your cathedral? And what’s the next brick you’re going to place?

I’m feeling particularly generous today, so let’s give away some free stuff! I want you to leave a comment: tell us what kind of Cathedral you’re trying to build, and how instead you’re going to focus on the placement of your next brick. How can you fall in love with the method with which those bricks are being placed?

We’ll pick 3 winners at random and send them a Nerd Fitness shirt from the NF store.

Tell us about your bricks before 11:59pm on January 22nd to be eligible!

-Steve

PS: Seriously though, if you haven’t read it, check out The Pillars of the Earth. It’s a monster at 900+ pages but it surprised the hell out of me and I’m about to start reading it again.

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photo source: Patrick Louke: lego

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194 thoughts on “How LEGO and Minecraft Will Help You Get In Shape

  1. My cathedral is full pull ups. The first brick I tried to lay was assisted pull ups using a resistance band. I was not making progress (not able to do any more reps than when I started) so before the cement dried (before I gave up) I pulled that brick off, turned it around, and tried doing negative pull ups instead. I have slowly seen progress from 3 negative pull ups each round (so 9 per workout) to 6 per round (18 per workout) and I have been doing chin ups as well (making slow progress). My brick right now is cleaning up my form, and the next layer of bricks will likely be doing one full pull up and the rest of the set as negatives, then doing two full pull ups and the rest of the set as negatives etc until that layer is complete.

    Side note: I have The Pillars of The Earth on my eReader (coworker recommended months ago) and I haven’t started reading it yet, but now I’m thinking it might have to be next in my reading list.

  2. My cathedral is to gain a body that is capable of carrying me any distance I need to go, via any path e.g. some paths might be a nice flat road, others may have walls to get over and trees to climb. My bricks are focusing on performing each rep with good form and running the next mile smoothly. If I do this then I know my running endurance will improve and I will keep adding weight to the bar.

  3. This is an awesome way to look at things! I’ve been so focused on my ‘cathedral’ that I regularly think that I’ll never see it. Which is ridiculous, because my cathedral is simply to be as fit as I was when I was at school. I played field hockey, netball, and made the top three in cross country every year. And I loved it. I loved running, and I loved playing sports. Last year, I was excited to begin the whole process, and began running five days a week, and even joined a social grade touch rugby team. After a two months I was finally beginning to enjoy moving around again, at which point I went ahead and broke my leg. It’s been nearly three months, and I’ve been given the go ahead to start running on my leg. So now I just have to focus on the bricks again — to enjoy the process day by day, and not get down when I don’t see the whole cathedral just yet.

  4. My CATHEDRAL is getting my body back to full health, which includes losing 40lb and hopefully reducing the disability in my back and leg. Every lb off is one brick towards a better, stronger body, the less I weigh the less strain my back has to take and the less pain I’ll be in. Previously I’ve just focused on the end result, then hated myself for not reaching it. This way I will just be looking at what I’m doing each day to put each brick in place, whether that’s going for a swim, eating right and drinking enough or just giving myself a break from punishing workouts, strict ‘fast’ diets and thoughts of failure.
    Thanks Nerd fitness, whenever I need a boost on my journey it’s good to know you’ve got my back x

  5. I’ve got three cathedrals at the moment.
    I just had an allergic reaction to sugar that threw out my back so i really need to focus on making the next meal amazing and sugar free cause i need to not give in to my cravings. And get healthier, and start living sugar free.

    My second is i’m training for a half marathon in april and haven’t run since high school. My brains been really getting in the way. So once my backs better i’m gonna go out running just thinking of a little bit at a time and doing it cause its Nice and medatative. Kinda like Forrest. A little at a time and i can always turn back!
    My third is that i live in France right now studying. My french is near fluent, but i’ve hit a plateau right under fluent. I need to actively work on my french again, studying vocab and phrases a little each day. Maybe then i’ll reach my goal!

  6. Wow! This article really hit home with me! I am a first year teacher (5th grade Science), a wife and mother of two. Fitness has always been about my ideal body; always focusing on that end goal. But then I have been watching my grandmother begin to wear away. This heartbreaking experience has opened my eyes to the importance of health and quality of life a little more. I also have had a lack of confidence in myself as a teacher, worrying about testing at the end of the year and all the mistakes I have made throughout the year which has always led me straight to the snack machine! So here’s my cathedral: a confident, fit and healthy woman who can learn from her mistakes rather than dwell on them. So on the teacher side of things I am going to start each day thinking about the positives from the day before and focus on completing each task throughout the day to the best of my ability rather than worrying about what is going to come up next. On the fitness side of things I am going to keep lifting on the weekends and complete the Angry Birds workout during the week. On the nutrition side of things I am going to work my way toward eating Paleo but start with no Dr. Pepper and sugar. The rest of my time should just be hanging out with my family. Thank you so much for this post, you have no idea the impact it has had on my thinking and how excited I am to start building my cathedral one brick at a time!!

  7. The cathedral I’m going to build is mastery of the Japanese language. I’ve been too focused on trying to reach perfection and not allowing myself to make mistakes. When I learned English I didn’t worry about my mistakes or trying to make everything perfect, I just tried to get my point across as well as I could. I read books, I joined discussions online and offline, I wrote fanfics, I told really bad jokes and I made many, many embarrassing mistakes as I went along, and that lead to where I’m at now; a professional translator. I just need to remind myself that I’ve built a cathedral like this before. This one just looks different. My next brick in this Japanese cathedral will be choosing a really pretty kanji to learn and writing it as beautifully as I can.

  8. My cathedral is becoming a powerlifting warrior princess! I’ve gotten lots of inspiration from Stacy. 🙂 My next brick. Making it to class tonight and working on my back squat technique. I’m doing my very first powerlifting competition next month! It’s been overwhelming thinking about everything I need to prepare. This brick method is a great way to keep myself from going insane! As always, thanks Steve!

  9. My non fitness cathedral is to remove the cathedral of clutter from my house one box at a time – now I can imagine each box in Lego brick colors! My fitness cathedral is to get into my Guess jeans that I haven’t been able to wear since an injury last year – they will look especially awesome with a Nerd Fitness shirt!! 🙂

  10. My cathedral is not being stopped by my body when i want to do something. Ive recently moved in with my mother who needs help around the house because her health is going downhill. Id let my fitness drop over the last few years and i can barely finish shoveling her porch without having a heart attack. I want to be able to bring in the wood and shovel the driveways and clean the house without having to stop every five minutes to rest. My next brick is just doing five minutes of QM work every morning as soon as i get out of bed. That way i can have no excuses to skip it.

  11. My cathedral is overall health and fitness in body, mind and spirit. I want to be healthy and strong so I can spend as much time on this earth with my 5 children and their children as I can (knowing that there are some things beyond my control). I want to complete my doctoral thesis and use what I have learned to help others grow. I seek to build a healthy spiritual life that reflects the one I follow. My bricks are daily habits of exercise, better eating, writing each day and spiritual disciplines.

  12. While I have physical goals of my own that I view as my main cathedral, I’ve been focusing on other’s cathedrals more. Lately I’ve been trying harder to inspire those around me to essentially find their cathedrals and build them up. In the end, their success is helping my success through inspiration from their achievements, motivation for each other to reach next steps (or bricks), and shared appreciation for forging the building blocks to our masterpieces.

  13. My cathedral is being able to contribute to charity by doing a 10k. I would also like to be able to do advanced yoga, both for physical fitness and to help to control my anxiety. In my cathedral I enjoy clothes shopping and feel comfortable in my skinny jeans! I am in good health with a good hormonal balance and have lots of energy so I can get everything I want out of life!

  14. My cathedral is something that I can see just about every day–it’s to successfully hike Mount Rainier. Coming from the incredibly flat state of Illinois, I now see this mountain just about wherever I go. I have a bunch of hikes I want to do, with increasing difficulty. Eventually, with enough practice and skills, I will conquer the giant–one brick at a time.

  15. My cathedral is a brick house…sorry, couldn’t resist. Apologies if anyone beat me to this pun and I missed it somewhere.

    My cathedral is to turn this swamp into a mountain, to build it up so that I’m not bothered by what I see in the mirror anymore. To be able to walk into one of the switchrooms that I maintain and actually fit (though in my defense, some of them aren’t built right.)

    My cathedral is playing with the kids we hope to have and living long enough to see them become better than I am now. I’ve taken some steps, picked up my guitar, am moving about more, but when I say I start in the swamp, my doctor looked at me at said three days ago “You’ve lost ten pounds and with everything we’re throwing at you, I don’t know how.” I want to keep hearing that.

  16. Not commenting with my cathedral, just wanted to point out that this is exactly what the Bhagavadgeeta describes as ‘karma yoga’… take joy in what you do, not in what you will get…

  17. My cathedral is to get back to the shape I was in 6years ago. I was in the best shape of my life and didn’t appreciate it as much as I now wish I had. That was about 70lbs ago. I’ve tried many times over the past 3 years, and failed. My weight has only increased.

    This time I decided to do this in stages, starting with getting back to where I was 2 years ago, around 20lbs ago. I really started about two weeks ago, and started brick by brick. Cutting out soda. An extra bottle of water. Going for a 15minute walk. Doing just 10 minutes of yoga. Making a healthier choice for lunch. Etc. Just trying to get a brick in when I can and when I think about it. And trying to actively remember to add bricks. So far I’m 12 days in, and I’m down 8lbs.

  18. italki.com and memrise are really good language resources too! Memrise is free, and italki isn’t entirely free but it has some free features 🙂

  19. Right now I feel like I am playing SIM City. I am trying to fix my physical form, My job let everyone go December 15th(So I am looking for a buyer job in D.C.) and I am trying to be nicer to everyone around me. I could really use a guide for working without weights and a method to track it (a la Tim Ferris) but I guess I shouldn’t skew the giveaway if I win!

  20. My cathedral is building an epic life. I want to stop being held back from all the fun things I want in life because of my fitness level or health issues. Every day, every workout is a brick. I stay focused on my (first) 6 week challenge, making sure each day that I do what I said I would do that day. Whenever I find my focus drifting to “when” I get somewhere further along, I say my mantra for this year, “I am here.” Only by knowing where I am right now can I know where to place my very next step.

  21. Congratulations & good luck at your meet – it is super fun & no matter what happens an awesome place to learn & meet other lifters!

  22. My cathedral would have to be to go back to my home state of Pennsylvania and finish the Megatransect. https://www.ultrahike.com/ I tried it a few years ago and the sweeper caught us before the first big rest station 10 miles in. The time cut me off because I wasn’t prepared enough. I had huge blisters, was completely exhausted, and was completely wet because my hydration pack started leaking, but it was one of the best experiences of my life and I would love to be able to redeem myself.

  23. Gosh, I just really feel compelled to share this quote by Will Smith:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edT3_HeX70I
    It goes right along with this brick-laying metaphor, and it’s actually what I’ve been living my life by for two months now. Every day I tell myself, “I’m going to lay this brick as perfectly as a brick can be layed.” The mindset has served me well, as I’ve found myself really lookin forward to working out and, indeed, to doing other things in my life that are good for me.

    The cathedral I’m trying to build is a life that I wake up to with joy. Where, I can’t wait to get started every day. Therefore, every day, I do things that make me feel excited and enthusiastic! Those are my bricks to be layed. I’ve fallen in love with this process by doing things that make me fall in love with my life, and seeing all the little ways in which that goal I want- that feeling that I’m after- is actually within my grasp. Every day my life feels awesome, and every day it gets closer to that vision of perfection I hold in my mind. Building my cathedral is like playing and I can’t wait to see what games I get to play tomorrow.

  24. I’m just trying to get through what will most likely be my toughest semester of college (at Belmont University – hopefully i’ll see you around Nashville Steve!). I’m a double major in music and film, and I have to remind myself to focus on whatever I’m doing each hour – whether that’s practicing an instrument, writing a script, or doing other homework. If I worry about my other assignment while trying to do the one in front of me, I just get stressed out and accomplish nothing. This article helped a lot! Keep up the great stuff on here!

  25. My cathedral is having a really healthy overall lifestyle that I actually look forward to. I want to be able to get up early and go for a morning run and then practice an hour of yoga and meditation with ease and for it to be relaxing and not so challenging. the next brick I’m lying is just trying to make one heathy choice per day, just one. For example today I ate a handful of almonds instead of a cookie. I’m going to fall in love with this method by feeling proud of myself everyday because I can always say I did at least one healthy thing today that got me that much closer to my bigger goal.

  26. My cathedral is creating a photography business. I have other priorities preventing full-time commitment, but I can still carry my camera with me, shoot every day, and share those photos with others.

  27. Dieting is reputably the most hated word because of the extreme measures people take trying to shortcut their way to fitness, or at least looking fit. We have all heard the “Lose 10lbs with this one exercise!, Get shredded eating these 5 simple foods!, Take this supplement and burn fat fast!” sales pitches but the truth is that you should educate yourself to discern nutrition and exercise choices based on fact, rather than opinion. Extreme measures are not necessary. Only small measures. Simple things we all know but choose not to follow. It is time to implement those things once again. Although a simple meal plan is all that seems to be needed, you must understand why and how your body works – this is the most important.

    Even though there are many misconceptions in the health and fitness realm, it is not hard to understand the facts presented to us. I have done all the research for you. Now it is up to you. Everything you need to reach your goal is included at The Knowledge Thirsty Athlete.
    The posts are regular and informative, covering topics like these.

    The next post will be titled, “The Truth about Diet and Weightloss”.

    Follow the page on Facebook for cold hard facts backed by real peer reviewed, non-bias studies and journal articles.

  28. The masterpiece cathedral I am building is a strong healthy body to show my son what health looks like. Hopefully my cathedral building will help him see where his bricks go much easier than it is for me. Right now the brick I am laying is to make my next meal healthy and to drink plenty of water.

  29. I do have issues looking at other woman and saying I want a body like that. I am so glad I read this article!

    I am no longer looking to have that perfect body like other woman. I am looking to build a Sydney. Through this process I am building myself up. A few brings of confidence have been place, along with a few bricks of strength and stamina. I just need to keep adding bricks!

    I need to step up my workouts a little more to add more bricks. More reps and weight. I have been keeping the workouts more simple so I could make sure going to the gym was a habit. I know I am going to stick with it now!

  30. My Cathedral is my perfect self – I am a successful business woman with a fit body that can hike and climb mountains with ease. I will build this cathedral by completing one step at a time towards opening my business, I will get my financing in order, (I’ve already completed my business plan), I will learn as much as I can about my industry and field. Everyday I will focus on one task that will make me a more competent business person in my field. As for my body, I am currently focusing on each individual meal, making sure I am making the right decisions. I am also focusing on acheiving a step goal of 10,000 everyday. In the warmer months I will focus on being outside being active daily. Eventually I will wake up one day and realize that my cathedral is built and begin on my next master piece!

  31. My cathedral: becoming a boss runner. I’m very much in brick-laying mode as I don’t quite even know what that looks like. But the bricks I’m laying are in the form of running more and (this year) registering for a half marathon.

  32. This month, at least, the bricks I’m laying are to have a clean kitchen by bedtime every day. No more (or at least very rarely) leaving the dishes for the next morning.

  33. My cathedral is completing a Tough Mudder 10K, and I’m just using each workout as a brick. I’m making sure I do 3 sessions a week, increasing each set by 1 rep each day, and I have plans for switching to more difficult workouts every couple of months. I’m going to be adding more “on” days with cardio-based workouts eventually, but it’s currently a matter of getting used to working out and not feeling like it’s suddenly taking over my life. So far, it’s been becoming a real passion!

  34. Over the past 1.5 years, I’ve gotten major PRs on several lifts, added push-ups to my repertoire, and lost 30lbs in the process. But I STILL can not do a pull-up to save my life! So, my brick-by-brick is seeing how far I can get each day. If yesterday, I did 9 banded pull-ups in a row, and today I can do 10… Success! I’ve added another brick to my cathedral! I know I’ll meet my goal eventually, so right now it’s all about getting excited over each and every improvement.

  35. I want to be able to try anything without worrying about my fitness. Parkour, Capoera, Basketball, Marathon, everything. I want to be able to say “of f—— course!” immediately when my friends invite me to try something. Today I am going to do bodyweight workout with heavier weight and less rep to build power. And I am falling in love with strength training. The feeling of exhaustion and the ability to carry more weight, I love them.

  36. I recently started going to Crossfit. Immediately it was overwhelming seeing these people fly around and throw immense amounts of weight up. I turned that overwhelm on its head by simply taking it one workout, one movement at a time. Scale it down big time and build it up brick by brick.

  37. Nice article on keeping fitness fun.
    Check out my blog and give me feedback on my content if you have a second.
    theyoungponderer.wordpress.com
    Thanks for the article Steve!

  38. My next step is to participate in a dance workshop for West Coast Swing. I’m moving toward a more active lifestyle. Dancing is a small change that I can really enjoy. I can get out with friends, listen to great music and meet new people. The last time I went dancing I had a fit bit with me. I didn’t think about it and just had fun for four hours. At the end of the night I had danced 10 km!

  39. Great post, and I think a big part of your article is about the concept of Mindfulness.

    I’ve been a big fan of Nerdfitness, and how your blog posts have been step by step bringing together and into practice so many concepts and ideas that I’ve read and tried to practice.

  40. Rather than a grand cathedral (as I am not Catholic), I could build a castle…but I aspire to a more simple life…quiet and peaceful…so I shall construct a cabin in the woods. A building that is built from the materials provided when clearing the site. The final construct, where every stone, log and thatch is in perfect harmony with it’s surroundings, represents my total well-being, where physical, mental and emotional is is harmony with the world in which I live. I wandered the forest in search of the ideal location (finding Nerd Fitness), then cleared the spot – saving what can be reused (forgetting past issues/failures/misinformation, relearning what needs to be adjusted regarding health and fitness, and reapplying what is necessary to overcome my condition…Fibromyalgia). I lay a firm foundation in stone (my first NF 6-week challenge and making SMART Goals to include smaller, step-stone goals that will get me closer to my main goal which is total well-being with Fibromyalgia in remission). I carefully and lovingly place each stone and log, adjusting where needed to create the perfect fit, much like a puzzle (baby-stepping my way to better health through improving diet/water intake, exercise, meditation and relaxation on a daily basis by doing things that I love and that love me in return, i.e. food that doesn’t make me ill or exercise/activities that don’t cause me pain or other negative). I plan to be mindful that if a log or stone doesn’t fit, much like a piece of a puzzle, I will not force it to fit…I shall set it aside, for it may fit later, and place the next piece (keeping in mind that fitness is not a “one-size-fits-all”… Just because I can’t do something now, doesn’t mean I have failed; it just means I can’t do it right now. So I just need to do something different, something I can do, and try it again later, when I’m stronger/healthier). Like in the book, The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Naht Hanh, where he recommends being mindful of your self and your mind as you are aware of what you are doing, you ultimately put love in your actions.

  41. One brick at a time eh? I suppose it’s high time I become a mason then. I’m one of those people who sets the long goals and runs at breakneck speed trying to get there, even when I have no idea where I’m putting my feet in the meantime while I run, only to find I’m running in a giant human hamster wheel. I give a ton of effort, but it goes nowhere sometimes. I’m one of those people who was always labeled, “Oh he has such POTENTIAL” I hate that word, as in – really despise it. I’m going to envision every step as a brick. I loved legos as a child, and I still play with them with my own children. This is a fantastic analogy and I’m really glad I read this.

  42. My body is my shrine. I think that’s how the saying goes… Shrine… cathedral… same thing, right?

    Learning to understand that I don’t work with the ‘all or nothing’ philosophy has been the biggest gift I have given myself and continuing to make the right choices and increase my healthy habits is helping me build my ultimate body on a daily basis.

  43. Great post! I have a few cathedrals I’m trying to build, but one is to get my buff physique back. I made the brick laying interesting by challenging myself to do 150 consecutive push ups. I can do 100 at the moment. Yay me! So I’m not focused on the end result, just enjoying the process and the increase in strength!

  44. I’m attempting to write a book. I’ve been getting stuck lately, so instead, I’ll just focus on each and every word!

  45. Good morning! The Cathedral I’m trying to build is a Spartan body. I’m trying to achieve this using Body weight work outs. The next brick I’m laying is perfect form in every Rep. I am letting every Repetition become my focus, and maximizing what I get out of each Rep.

  46. My cathedral is correcting a hormone imbalance. It’s not something visible, or that I can check regularly… It’s something that I can only guess at on a monthly basis, based on symptoms or lack thereof. Sure, there are smaller buildings around it, how clean my house looks or finding clothing that fits as I’m getting smaller, but they’re side projects.

    Brick by brick, this is all down to eating right at the meal I’m having, drinking that glass of water, getting up and moving and lifting the weight I put in front of myself. Some days I mess up all my bricks, so the next day I try to get them in the right spot. Nice thing about Legos, if you place it wrong, you can move it… One mistake does not unmake the whole project.

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