There is no reward without work

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I wasn’t born the way I am today. Just as I wasn’t made a Marine the day I arrived in Parris Island, SC. It took work and time to become a warrior. There were days of pain, frustration, and days I thought I couldn’t do it. Life is no different. Health and fitness are certainly no exception. Becoming anything involves a journey, it’s a process. A hundred years ago, boys would begin their apprenticeships in a chosen career in adolescence and continue their education and training into their 20’s and 30’s before even being considered a master of their trade. Today we think we can attend a weekend seminar and become master coaches. We think we can overcome decades of bad eating habits with 20 minutes of exercise or a pill.

A lot has been said of how we Americans have become a society of entitlement and instant gratification and a lot of it is true. I know quite a bit about wanting “it” now without putting in the work and time to earn it. More than a little of my time as an adult has been spent paying for the mistakes I made in this way of thinking. I would see my brothers success and happiness and say to myself, don’t I “deserve” the same. I would see my neighbors house and car and say don’t I “deserve” the same. Now we look at magazines and athletes and say don’t I “deserve” a body like that.

I’m a little older now and marginally wiser and I’ve come to appreciate some finer truths in life. Nothing that comes quickly or easy lasts. We just don’t seem to appreciate things we didn’t have to work or bleed for. Look at kids today who have no chores or responsibilities. Look how the treat their personal belongings or even worse their parent’s things. How often have you seen or heard a young person complaining about what they deserve? How often do you do it yourself? We deserve nothing beyond that which we have not earned with our own two hands. I firmly believe this now. There are many times when I am frustrated to tears by how hard life is, by how it seems its just one problem after another. But I also see that many of these problems are of my own creation.

As a fitness coach I watch one person after another come through my door and get blindsided with a very ugly truth; that they did it to themselves. They have earned poor health, weakness, and limited range of motion with a lifetime of laziness, convenience, and bad choices. Now they think they deserve better. They want a quick solution to a problem decades in the making. They think someone is to blame and someone else should pay. Some even think It’s my job to fix it for them.

Here’s the truth friends. I can’t do anything for you. I can write the best workout program in the world. I can write a comprehensive nutrition plan with every meal you’ll ever eat mapped out in minute detail. I can coach you motivate you, yell, cuss and damn you when you quit. None of it matters if you’re not willing to take ownership for yourself, your actions, and the result. If you are not willing to stand up for yourself, to reach down into your soul and find the balls to be better than you are now; you’re lost. You’re done, you’re beaten. Unfortunately I think some of you were beaten before you ever showed up to the gym. I think you believe going through the motions is enough. I think you’re so used to just “showing” up to work punching a clock and getting paid that you believe you can do these same in this thing we call life.

I’m sorry folks but if you cannot put any passion or drive into your own health and survival then you deserve nothing out of it but pain. Yes you deserve pain. If you are not willing to work, to sweat, bleed, and occasionally puke then you deserve to be fat and miserable, and I offer you no pity or sympathy. Life is hard, its unfair, it rewards the strong and buries the weak. I learned this at a great price. I hope one day so will you.

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