one

It’s cold. It’s dark. It’s tough.

Who wants to go outside. Who wants to get out of bed. It’s a very inevitable environment we are in right now. That is if you live where I live, southern Ontario, Canada. We are just at then end of January. Still some time to go until spring is here, and the cold dark days are over.

But, you made a promise to yourself. You promised yourself you were going to make this year different from the others. No more excuses. No more reasons why you will skip the workout today. You looked back at last year and you weren’t happy about it. Easily you came up with reasons why  you couldn’t work out. All justifiable. A day a week became 3 days a week which became 5 days a week. It became the norm.

And it shows. Cardio – sucks. Strength – sucks. Flexibility – sucks.

But this year will be different. Why? Because you know that at the end of the day it was up to you. It was up to you to take that 20 minutes you had that day to rip off some burpees. To rip off some push ups. To rip off some Tabata. It was up to you to do it. You want to be healthier; stronger, faster, bigger, smaller, whatever it is. You know what? These things do not happen without making them happen. These things are not going to come across an Instagram post, a tweet, a Facebook news article. These things are not going to happen while you lay on the couch, lay in bed because it’s too cold, binge watching Netflix, because you are tired, because you cannot find the energy or motivation to get your ass out of bed and do it. You’ll do it tomorrow, right? Yeah, that will happen. Do you honestly think these things will happen without putting in the work?

I was in California a couple weeks ago for an instructors retreat. I was fortunate enough to get to train with a lot of top level karateka, one of them being a Kyoshi. After training for the day was done we were back at Kyoshi’s house enjoying some time for everyone to get to know each other. I was having a conversation with a fellow karateka and he mentioned how awesome Kyoshi is, how he can speak Japanese, play  multiple musical instruments, is in more than one band, and of course, is an amazing martial artist.

All these things are true. Kyoshi is an amazing person who does all these things. Oh yeah, and he can also launch a shoe off of his foot and hit someone over 30 feet away. I’ve seen him do this more than once. That ability alone must take considerable time to master.

So back to the point of this post. When this person mentioned this to me, my response was that you could do all these things too. Yes Kyoshi is an amazing person but lets not neglect the reality that to be good, really good at all these things takes work. Hard work and dedication. Things very rarely come to people without putting in the work. I asked him what his priorities are in life. Do you want to be fluent in Japanese, do you want to have a better understanding of your karate, be better at your ground game, or throws? At the end of the day, or the end of your time, you live with the choices that you made. It is up to you to determine what is important to you.

Whatever those choices are. At the end be it the end of the day, or the end, you probably want to be happy about the choices you made. Is it easy? Not really. Sometimes we like to think it is but discounting that person’s hard work with words like ‘he’s so lucky’, or ‘it must come naturally to that person’ is the easy way out and misses the point. It’s easy to forget that we don’t have an insight to what that person is doing when we don’t see them. We don’t have visibility into their daily life, all the hard work they put in.

You owe it

Life is full  of regrets. Life is full of disappointment. Don’t let those regrets and disappointments be because you didn’t do anything about them. You are more than that. You have the power and the ability to change your life to what you want it to be. Whatever your priorities are, make them your priorities.

It’s hard, but it’s satisfying too!

Yours in health,

Darryl