Courage, Commitment, and Conditioning!
It was a cool morning here in Malibu, my legs were feeling strong and I was breathing the fresh summer air. I was out on my run and feeling pretty great. I began to think about why I was feeling so good. Conditioning. It was the word that immediately popped into my head. But then, it’s not just conditioning or everyone would follow a plan and be strong. It takes commitment as well. A commitment to what ever you want in your life, a better relationship, a better career, a better body, a smarter mind. We must commit to our journey. And that leads me to the final piece in this trifecta: courage. It’s takes hutzpah, as they say. Waking up when you don’t want to isn’t always fun. Doing things you don’t feel like doing can be a bummer. But it’s the people who are committed, those who are willing to condition themselves, and those who have the courage to take action who get to experience a life like no other.
It’s very simple and it’s what I try to do on a regular basis and it’s what I want for you. Begin to follow these 3 steps and watch your life change.
When your mind begins to shut you down, you must find a deeper place. You have to understand your own being enough to short circuit your usual habits. An example for me is my early morning workouts. There have been so many times that I’ve wanted to turn off my alarm. I’ve wanted to go back to sleep, roll over and snuggle with my wife. Frankly, I’ve done that many times, but most of the time I’m up and out. I don’t let that negativity hold me back. And here is one trick: you don’t have to go fast, but you do have to go.
So many of us want everything to be perfect. Let it go. Things aren’t always going to be perfect. In fact, most of the time, they’re probably not going to be even close. That doesn’t matter, the simple key is action. Once we move toward something, the universe miraculously conspires. So write down what you want and begin taking the courage to move forward.
Years ago I would have cyclical workouts, cyclical friends, and cyclical relationships. I later fell in love with the yoga practice and it’s been the one thing that has been consistent for just about 20 years of my life. In 2000 I ran my first marathon and fell in love with endurance training. I’ve been doing that ever since. I’ve had a solid commitment to my sobriety and to my well being for almost 23 years. There is will power in saying no and there is even more power in saying yes, to the right things. Sometimes those thoughts that hold us back are the exact things we need to push through that will spring board us into a new world.
We never know what lies around the bend. We never know who we’re going to meet or truly who we can become. Once you’ve written down what you’re going after you must make a commitment to getting there. You cannot take no for an answer, especially to the person who matters the most, you! When you have the courage and the commitment you’re on your way. Write down your commitment to reaching your goal. Tell yourself on paper, it will make it real and give you something to be accountable to.
One secret I have to staying fit is to sign up for races. I’ve done mountain bike races, marathons, trail runs, adventure races, triathlons, relays, and more. I love getting together with a load of people all looking to stay fit and healthy. The energy at the event is great. So many people staying active and healthy. The great thing about signing up for a big race is that you’re guaranteed a few months of training. I want to do well and if I don’t train, I’ll suffer and I won’t perform up to my standards. And by the way, my standards have changed. I started slow, but built up my strength and speed. That came from conditioning. Day in and day out, following my commitment, I’ve been able to condition myself for success. I’m 45 years young now and I’m undoubtedly in the best shape of my life.
Conditioning is when you put your commitment into action. This must be a daily commitment. It doesn’t mean you can’t have recovery days during the week. We all know life is going to hold us back once in a while. As they say, shit happens. We get side tracked by our jobs, our family, our kids, natural disasters, whatever. Knowing that, you can always forgive yourself if you miss a day. Mostly because you’ll have so many good days in the bank that one or two days isn’t going to harm your overall commitment.
Here is where you execute your plan. Get out a calendar and start figuring out what you’re going to do everyday. Go on the internet and find a plan. Get a 30 day challenge for your fitness, or a 2 week cleanse for your diet. There is so much free content online it’s amazing. The tools are there, it’s up to you to act. I know that you can muster the courage and I believe you have the drive to commit and conquer whatever it is in your life that holds you back. I’m here if you need a kick in the pants or a helping hand along the way. See you on the trails! @teddymcdonald
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