One of the greatest gifts my father could have ever given me was the gift of working out. I can remember the first pair of green weights from GNC. He came into the living room where I was and placed a weight in my hand and taught me how to do a bicep curl, he might have even said something manly about having huge muscles. I’m not sure.
All I know is that since that time I have not stopped, it was the times that my father all but demanded that I come downstairs and work out rather than playing video games. Another memory that comes to mind is when my parents bought one of the original versions of the total gym, a machine heavily endorsed by Chuck Norris and many other top athletes in various sports.
When I first got on this machine, I’ll never forget how great and amazing it felt to develop the range of motions in my arms. Not just that, but muscle tone. From that point on, I wanted to be on that machine. My mom, though, she would always be protective of me and not want me to get hurt by working out on my own as any good mother would.
I’ve always liked working out on my own, though. Being able to throw in my ear buds and tune out the world. Letting go of pent of emotions, feelings and thoughts. I never really understood people that liked to stand around and talk during a workout. I understand, though, that people are fundamentally different in some ways. Maybe for the ones who like to talk during a workout, it’s a means to catch up in regards to life or perhaps it’s a form of accountability to make sure you finish what you started.
What I want to discuss, though, is developing your own inner coach or rather inner drill sergeant. I don’t know when this started exactly, but when there is a difficult WOD ahead of me (that’s Crossfit language for the workout of the day) I often sense this inner voice saying to me “Don’t give up!” Or “Almost there, don’t quit”. This inner voice is always there for me. Even when I am tired and would rather lie in bed, the voice whispers “you’re one step closer toward your goal”
By now, you might be wondering “that’s great for you, but how do I get an inner coach?” And to be honest, I’m not sure that there is some magic formula that I can give you. I believe everyone’s inner coach will sound or seem different. The first suggestion I could provide you.
- Find a verbal cue, what I mean is find something that triggers a sense of motivation and resolve within you. For me, it was triggered by an army commercial where a drill instructor would tell the soon to be ranger “Don’t quit!” with great conviction in his voice. Since that moment, that same drill instructors voice has not left my head. Whatever it is for you, my encouragement is that you embark on the journey of your own inner coach.
- If there is one lesson that I have had to learn over and over again, it’s that you cannot depend on others to be there. You won’t always have that friend to drag you from the couch to the gym. It’s in the pivotal moment when one must decide if they’re going to keep chasing their goals despite the fact that no ones watching, despite the fact that no one is cheering for you. The question you have to ask you have to ask yourself is: Do I love myself enough to do what it takes to be the best version of you possible? Forget about the moments of failure, forget the moments of self-loathing and forget about all the times you thought that none of this really matters. The only thing you have to is Keep moving forward.
- What do you do then, when you can’t sense the voice of your own inner coach? The answer is simple: Keep going, there are many many times when I have to quietly yell at myself to keep going. To give all I got no matter how long it takes me to finish the task at hand. I have no regard for records or who is the best at what, but that I finish and finish strong.
Lastly, set goals for yourself, some short term and some long term. Goals will allow you to keep going not matter what comes your way. Even if the goal is to get out of bed in the morning, start there and move to the next, like eating a healthy breakfast. Then get your ass to the gym. Life is far to valuable and precious not to take care of yourself, so why not start today?