The quote above is from an article that Gary V wrote about Nintendo’s constant failure in the past few years in the mobile environment followed by it’s massive success with one of the most significant apps ‘playing’ (see what I did there?) in the space right now – Pokémon Go. However, when I read it, something about that one line resonated with me on so many levels.
Almost two years ago I was just about doing EVERYTHING wrong when it came to my health and fitness – I was eating 1200 calories a day (salad with tuna, yogurt, egg white and veggie omelets, etc.. – because I read somewhere that it’s the minimum amount of calories needed for your body to not kick into starvation mode and store fat), I was partying hard and drinking a lot, and on top of it all I was barely going to the gym (and when I was I would run about 20-30 minutes on the treadmill and call it a day). And that’s basically how I lived the the entire 28 years of my life leading up until that point. Let’s face it, I was unhealthy, and along with that, I was unhappy. Unhappy with the the way I looked and the way I felt… until I met Dan.
I obviously knew Dan was informed when it came to health and fitness and I asked him to show me the ropes and guide me down a path where I actually felt comfortable stepping foot into a REAL gym around REAL people working out (not just my apartment building’s empty basement gym). I was self conscious. I was embarrassed. I was shy. I felt stupid. I thought everyone was looking at me and judging me. “What’s she doing?” “OMG That’s soooo wrong.” “Ugh THAT FORM!” “What an idiot!” “Get back on the treadmill cardio bunny!!!” .. What Am I Even Doing Here?!?!?
I’ll admit, I had it a little easier than most, it’s definitely less nerve wracking being a newbie in the gym when you’re alongside one of the biggest guys there. He could protect me from looking dumb and show me the right ways of doing things. Dan taught me the basics of weight lifting: drop sets, pyramids, negatives, pound per rep, time under tension, etc.. He wrote word documents with daily plans specific to legs, arms, shoulders, and back. He fostered my development until I finally felt confident enough to spread my wings and go off on my own. And off on my own I went! I signed up for a gym membership and began to go every single day after work. My motivating factor was that Dan was there. I had a partner just in case I had questions to ask or needed help – even if he was across the gym doing his own thing. Eventually, I didn’t need Dan anymore for advice or help. I was strong enough (See what I did there again???) to take the gym on all by myself. And I was actually confident in what I was doing! Who would have thought?!
I eventually gained a new gym partner, my roommate Nicole, who made me even more confident because I had someone to be silly with and joke about accidentally hitting myself in the forehead with a dumbbell, or smashing a landmine row into my pelvis, or swinging a kettlebell with a little *too* much sexual hip thrusting. Together we conquered the gym and made a whole lot of friends there along the way.
I’m grateful I took that initial leap – after all, look how far I’ve come since then. I’ve accomplished so many things in the past 2 years, both in and out of the gym, because of the confidence I’ve gained from going. I decided I was going to set a goal for myself, and I gave that goal 110% every day since that first day (regardless of how the previous 28 years were written). I wanted to make a change in my life and I did. And I’ve never been more proud of that or looked back since.
So… Moral of story is.. Every cliché saying in the book:
- Don’t let your past determine your future.
- All it takes is that first step in the right direction.
- It’s never too late to start over.
- Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.
- The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
- You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.
Etc.. etc.. etc…