Take the long road. There’s a fascination, an obsession really, in the fitness culture with ways to skip the inevitable path of progress.
You watch weightlifters at the Olympics move with such grace and explosive precision, CrossFit Games athletes suffer through brutal workouts with ease and powerlifters out-squat people twice their size while still performing warmup sets.
You are not seeing their path, you are seeing the finished product. Daily recovery sessions and injury prevention. Weekends of skipped birthdays and other social events. Years of tweaking, perfecting, honing their craft.
They know there is no finish line, it only gets harder.
This is the beauty of the long road, the one that makes every step of your journey worth it because of what it took to get here.
This is what makes your dreams and goals more satisfying because it was something you fought for, pushed for and, yes at times, bled for.
Will you wake up tomorrow and no longer want to lift?
What, then, is the rush? Why must you learn it all, conquer it all, catch up to everyone you think you should be caught up with at this very instant?
Don’t let what is between your ears beat you down. Just because it takes you longer doesn’t mean you’ve failed.
Are there exceptions? Phenomenal talents who get away with skipping steps and bad technique or poor nutrition?
Yes. But you are not the exception.
And neither are a lot of the high-level athletes you are trying to emulate.
Two-time beach volleyball Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh always had the mantra —breathe, believe and battle—uttered before every big match. It was something Walsh’s coach, Troy Tanner, used to use.
Breathe, a reminder to be in the moment.
Believe, to have faith you can rise above it.
Battle, to be prepared to go for as long as it takes.
There are no shortcuts to any place, weight or goal worth getting to. Take the long road.