Today is a cold day in Colorado Springs. I could make many excuses to justify why I should blow off my workout. The wind is blowing, there are some flurries, the roads may become slick, I can come up with a thousand excuses, but the fact is...They are all still excuses. So I put on my sweat shirt and my jacket to make sure I am layered up and out the door I go. As I drive I find that more and more reasons for me not to workout today kept creeping in my mind. You know the usual reason like "The drive is so long", "Traffic is bad this time of day", "The gym will be crowded". Then I remembered...All these reasons are simply my excuses. That fact is that today the gym just is not my priority. I am not in the mood to work out. I am tired...wait there I again with more excuses...I mean reasons.
I continued drive until I arrived at the gym. Sitting in my car still my mind was creating reasons why I should go in. I fought through it, entered the gym, and began my workout.
While working out there were two teenage boys working out beside me. I give it up to them. They were working hard and the sweat showed it. After an hour of my workout, I noticed those two were still hitting it hard. One of the boys was doing pull overs, an exercise pulling a weight from over your head to your waist. The sweat was pouring from his face. He dropped the weight and said to his friend "I'm done!".
His friend looked at him amazed and said "We aren't done! We have dumbbell rows to do, pull ups to do, and narrow grip pull downs. Then we have biceps." "No, YOU have all that stuff to do. I am done. I hit it hard and I am done." The first boy continued to stare at his friend and said "Whatever man!" Disgusted he continued through his next few sets hitting it hard for about the next 10 minutes and then...He Stopped.
His friend, who decided to sit on a bench reading articles online from his cell phone, couldn't help but tease him "You ain't done" he said "you have this and this and this to do" he said laughing. I couldn't help but to laugh out loud. They both turned to me. The first boy, you know the one I am talking about. The one who quit first, said to me "He" pointing to his friend "said he wants a big back like yours but he's quitting. He talked all that stuff but quit." he was laughing through his entire sentence. "I made it farther than you punk" said his friend. I continued to laugh out loud. We were all enjoying ourselves. Then it happened. The second guy asked me "How did you build your back" his friend then jumped in quickly and said "Nah, I want those arms." I smiled and told them "By finishing".
Yep, it was time for an Isaac "Learnin' Sermon". "Let me ask you something fella's" I began. "Have either of you ever run a marathon?" Both of them told me no. Lets say two Olympians are competing to win the Gold Medal. They are both running the marathon, 26.2 miles. They both start out strong. One guy decides he is going to increase the pace and he speeds up. The other competitor tries to keep up. He does his best for the first 15 miles but he stops. He is tired, so he just stops. He justifies in his mind that for the last 15 miles he ran his best time ever. He pushed hard.
The other competitor keeps going strong. He continues to push the pace doing his personal best but then it happens. At the 23rd mile he stops. He is tired. He mentally pats himself on the back because he ran his best 23 miles ever. So which one of these guys gets the Gold medal?" The second guy was quick to speak up "The second guy." He says. "Uh, NO" I tell him. "Neither. Doing their best doesn't make up for the fact that they both quit. You see getting further than someone else doesn't mean anything if they both quit. The goal is to finish and finish well. To limit my success based upon what another person fails to do means that I am allowing another person to set to what heights I can achieve. I set a goal and I reach it. What someone else does or doesn't do does not impact ME achieving MY goal. You understand what I am saying?" Both of them acknowledged that they understood. I continued "Getting further than your friend today doesn't mean you succeed. The only thing you succeeded in was quitting. It doesn't matter that you lasted long. The only thing that stands out is that you quit. Guys, don't measure your success by saying "I made it further than him. Instead measure your success by saying I Finished the Race. In that you have achieved your goal. Otherwise, you justifying in your mind that you made it further simply means that you accept the fact that you are simply a quitter."
As both of the boys shook their head digesting all that I had said I asked them "So what do you do now?" "What do you mean?" Asked one of them.
"I mean do you take what I have said and apply it or do you blow it off?" "Oh I am going to apply it" said the first guy. "So am I said the second." Then let me stop talking so you can both finish your workout.
With that they both smiled and began to lift again.
If I would of allowed my excuses to justify to me why I would not workout today the lives of 2 people would not of been touched. Don't allow your feelings to justify a lack of positive action. Your feelings will change. Make your work ethic a habit and soon you will find your DOING will have a way of impacting another.