New year’s day came and went. And as January 2nd came and went, so did a lot of naive naive resolutions that started with “I’m not going to….”.
The awesome energy that a new year brings allows us to make plans to be better. It gives us an opportunity to look at past failures and tell ourselves that this year is going to be the year. But let’s be honest, most of the previous years started out with that energy too. And the previous years ended up like they did. It’s not until around March when reality sets in and our willingness to stay the path gets challenged. The struggle to make the “new you” merge into life as you know means that other things will have to take a backseat. The point where most fail is the moment when you have a choice to make. You can either give in and do what you always do or decide to make the time to be different.
Becoming an athlete again, developing athletic qualities like you once possessed, takes time and patience. I say this is the perfect year for you to take a step towards feeling great again. But just because it takes time doesn’t mean great things can’t happen in a short time with some hard work. You can get back to running for the first time in years, get back to lifting the same weight you lifted when you were a football player in high school, or feel energy at 4pm again like you did when you were younger. It’s important you know that the right mentality is brick by brick, step by step building a foundation that is going be long lasting. It’s time to get back to being the athlete you were and still can be. Which foundation do you to want to build your body on?
Imagine how much progress you will make by December, not how much weight you can lose by Spring Break.
Mapping it out
First things first, you need to get moving again. Trying to go out and run a mile three times a week starting in January is a great way to be googling “how to not make my knees hurt so much” by Valentine’s Day. Start slow and remember, brick by brick. We are building a sturdy house not a shaky building on stilts. Being realistic in what we choose is what is going to make the difference. What’s different from when you were younger and were at your peak athleticism? Marriage, kids, important job, other responsibilities? These are all important things that definitely take up most of your day. This leaves you with limited time and makes it even more important we map this out to maximize efficiency. Not to mention, those other responsibilities take energy away from your workouts, so we need to be honest when we evaluate. Now we can get realistic idea of what we’re capable of doing right out of the gate. If you take an honest look and find out you actually only have 15 minutes to exercise right now, that’s great. Now we know and we can begin to plan out how to get the most out of that 15 minutes. If you have more, that’s great too.
Next, once you know HOW much time you have you have find out WHERE it fits. Convenience is such a huge factor in this stage of the process. Most former athletes I’ve had consultations with say that the biggest reason they haven’t been exercising is that they don’t have time. But when I drew it out on paper for them and really broke it down, there was always a window of time they didn’t realize they had. Some people also make the mistake of trying to cram a workout into their busiest time of the day and set themselves up for a very distracted training session. What you need is a window of time solely dedicated to improving yourself physically and mentally. So find out how much time you have and then pick the best place to fit that time in your busy schedule. Nobody said it’s easy, but it’s time to do it in order to make that change.
It’s funny when I say this, but actually, the workouts are the easy part. No, I’m definitely not saying squats, lunges, pushups, running, or any exercise is easy. But I’m saying if you carve out the time and have the will to change, the physical demands of a workout are not so hard to put up with. All you have to do is show up and do it. I’m here to provide you with the information and education to make it as simple as following what’s on paper. One of the easiest ways to hinder your progress is to show up to the gym with no plan. You end up doing an exercise out of boredom and not because it’s the best thing for your goals. I am going to take care of the program, you just bring the effort and discipline to follow it. I really just want to help you get back to when you felt great and had the ability to do all sorts of stuff. Remember when you could play pickup basketball for 10 games straight without thinking about your swollen knee cap? Or not worry about waking up the next day without being able to walk? The goal of Athletes Again is to help return you to a level of health and fitness that brings energy to your job, your family, and your life. Imagine if when the clock hits 5pm and your headed home from work you still have energy?
As I mentioned before, workouts that follow the foundation-building approach are going to help more in the long run. I’m not going to let you start out of the gate with complex exercises at heavy loads just because it makes your ego feel good. It’s important we take one step forward each day with our work and not one step forward, two steps back. We do that by sticking to the plan and keeping our feet moving. The last thing we need now is you jumping into some workout you saw on Instagram that blew out your back and gave you another reason to stop trying to get back in shape. If you want to do that, google your local fitness center or CrossFit and good luck to you and your spinal discs. I promise you can get back to doing box jumps, olympic lifts, and sprinting. But if I gave you a baseball right now and said to throw it to me I guarantee you wouldn’t crow hop and throw it as hard as your body could possibly throw it on your first try. And you shouldn’t treat this process like that either. It can definitely be humbling, especially if you were at a very high level before and at a very low level now. Exercises that weren’t very tough for you at age 20 can kick your butt at 35 when you haven’t be doing much. You have to be able to be honest with yourself at where you are right now.
Time to get started
This is going to be a place that you can go to find this information. I am going to hold you accountable to make a change. It’s going to take you avoiding some things in your life that you have built a routine around. If you have a Wednesday “ice cream night” with your family, you’re either going to have to stop going or make a healthier choice like frozen yogurt. It’s all about making better choices. Trying to stop everything that might be unhealthy in your life at once is a great way to fail. Slowly adjusting or trying to make a better choice (like yogurt over ice cream) is going to be much more manageable. If you drink 6 beers with your buddies every Friday, start to scale that back to 2-3 instead of telling your friends you’ve changed your life and can’t see them ever again. You need friends as support, so pushing them aside just because you are trying to be healthier may actually be more unhealthy and less helpful. This is especially true if they are supportive of you making a change. The one exception to this, obviously, is if they aren’t supportive and are keeping you from getting better. If you want this to be a success, it’s important to have people around you that want to be successful and want you to succeed too.
So 2018 is here. It’s going to be tough, but it’s going to be worth it. Make time, plan ahead, and let’s get you back to doing things you didn’t think you could do anymore. You’ll be running, jumping, and skipping again before you know it.