Excuses are easier than sweating. We blame the culture, the fast food companies, the government, the schools, corn, our spouse, and our parents, but nothing changes until you look in the mirror and say loudly: I am who I am because of the choices I have made.

– Thomas Plummer

Last week, we ended with a slap in the face. Today, let's start with it.

Until we can be honest and face up to something, we cannot get over it. This is not about beating ourselves up. But calling it as it is. Then, we can get to the second step. Action.

Once we've acknowledged, we need to move on and do something. Anything.

If you lose the spirit of repetition, your practice will become quite difficult.

– Shunryu Suzuki

Reps. Lots of reps. Purposeful, focused practice.

If we get bored with reps, then we will stagnate. Think about driving - we've all stagnated at our current level many years ago. Or in lifting weights. Or cooking a dish you've cooked 100s of times before.

If we look at each rep as practice and focus, and give it a great effort - that mindset bleeds into everything. Sounds exhausting. Feels totally exhausting. But I think it becomes habit.

That's just my hypothesis. If in a few years it becomes true, I'll be sure to yell it out.

A practitioner must learn to perform at top speed all the time, not to coast with the idea he can "open up" when the time comes. The real competitor is the one who gives all he has, all the time. The result is that he works close to his capacity at all times and in so doing, forms an attitude of giving all he has. In order to create such an attitude, the practitioner must be driven longer, harder and faster than normally would be required.

– Bruce Lee

Yet another reason why I was always an average student in school and an average Ultimate frisbee player. I never gave it my all in training and practice. I did just enough. With school, it was boredom. With Ultimate, it was bandwidth. In both cases, it would've been better to have given it my best effort or just skipped it.

Footballers speak about this (presumably all other sports people do but I don't follow any other sport) often. Anything you see in a game, well, they've done it 1000s of times in training. In fact, the purposes of having a large squad with ultra-talented footballers who seem to play rather less in the actual game is they still are so valuable during training. If you haven't done it in practice, you won't do it in a game.

Put in the right effort. Put in the best effort. Even if you have a valid excuse. That's my note to self from these 3 quotes.