To get good at any discipline, you must practice every day. To become great, you must practice all the time. The problem is, with so many pressures, responsibilities, and draws on our time in daily life, how does one manage to train every day?
For me, it’s a daily battle with my demons. These are the insidious little creatures that lurk in the dark recesses of my mind. Their sole purpose being to distract me from becoming the person I want to be. They rationalize and cajole to pull me off the path of self improvement. The path of training. For others, the path may be their daily struggle to make good food choices and lose weight, or it may be the daily battle to study at night while working a full-time job in order to earn that MBA. The path is personal. The demons are universal.
Currently I train for a few minutes every morning which provides the dual function of waking me up and setting me on the right path for the day. It primes my muscles, movements, and nervous system for the more involved training I will perform later that night. Additionally, I will train during the day at odd intervals when I have a few minutes of down time. These little periods provide the consistency I need to help me keep going. But, as I stated above, the bulk of my training is done at night after putting the kids to bed. Usually around 9 pm or so I head down the basement to my home gym. This is my dedicated training spot. For me, it helps to focus my efforts since the only thing I do there is train. It’s minimalist with very few distractions. Perfect for doing the work. For the most part, I beat the demons by just getting downstairs and setting foot in the gym. Getting there is the most difficult part, but once there, the demons are beat and the daily training progresses.
Sometimes, like last night, the battle isn’t won by just getting to the gym. Last night was different. I was tired. I was comfortable sitting on the couch watching TV with my wife. The kids were asleep. The house was quiet. Peaceful. I thought that the demons hadn’t even shown up to fight because getting down there was so easy. Once I was in the gym though, they attacked. It was a sudden, violent onslaught that took me by surprise! “You’re tired,” they told me.
“You don’t need to train anymore today…”,
“You did enough over the weekend. Relax. Take it easy.”,
“Why don’t you just go to bed early for a change? You need your rest!”
On and on it went, not just verbal but real feelings of being sleepy. Feeling like I should go upstairs and go to sleep. I almost gave in. Almost succumbed. Almost quit.
But mental fortitude kicked in. Training kicked in. The battle was on! I heard myself talking to one of my training buddies saying – “you have to train every day. You have to want it bad enough. How do I do it? Well, it’s like brushing your teeth, Dude. You just do it every day (usually twice!) no matter what.” This began the rally. But it was far from won. What won the battle once and for all (at least for last night) was the fact that I just started doing my solo conditioning exercises. I was in the right place. My mindset was returning. But the way to win the battle is to simply begin doing the work. Understand that your training is a necessary part of becoming who you want to be. Understand that daily training is a necessary part of that process. And get it done.