As I look back at my fitness journey and write about it, I realise that I've done something significant - I've been stubborn to keep showing up and to not give up.

Showing up and not quitting, are two out of the three of Coach Dan John's success formula. I found Coach after I had realised that I needed to do these two things, via my own journey. That, amongst other reasons, is why his teachings resonate a lot with me. Besides being a genius strength coach, he is also a fountain of wisdom for life. The hook was simply This guy is saying something I've discovered for myself - something so powerful that it changed me, and from then on to just liberally copy as much of what he's said, and eventually ingrain it within me.

I realise a lot of folks out there will think that it is/was easy for me to do but it will not be easy for you to do. It is easy for me because I've already done it. That's all. Because we are talking about my past and your future, it seems to be radically impossible for you and not that way for me.

Instead, how about we think about it like the movie Arrival?

Arrival. Watch it!

You've already reached your fitness goal (in the future). Or at least, you've gotten past your stumbling block. All that remains is for you to do the work.

If you have not seen the movie, do watch it. And all of Denis Villeneuve's work!

As I try to mine the lessons of why and how I was able to do it, so I can teach it better, here's what comes to mind.

  • It was not easy.
  • Every day was difficult.
  • I sucked, big time.
  • I did not know what the right thing to do was.
  • I did not know if I was on the right track.
  • I did not have any instantly gratifying episodes. In fact, I literally had the opposite - my first attempt at running was awful, my first trial class at CrossFit resulted in total embarrassment, my first-ever CrossFit class left me done at the warm-up.

Every previous attempt that I had made before 2007 ended with me giving up because it was too difficult or I was not seeing results. And I knew where that road led - nowhere close to my goals of losing weight or becoming fit.

It seemed like a crazy dream: could we run a 43 mile hiking route in one day? Neither of us had ever tried such an ambitious adventure.

Here, my friend spots the mountain for the first time.

We made it around!
Photo by Brian Erickson / Unsplash

And so, the choice was simple. Show up, and don't quit. At least until I was able to move past the current place.

That led me to stumble from one to the next, in search of a better solution. But I invested enough time and effort in each, before I could ask questions (incidentally, Coach's 3rd part of his 3-part success formula) about it, analyse and move on to the next one. Not out of boredom or because I was giving up. But because I wanted more or better. I spent a year running. I spent nearly two years with CrossFit. Then a year and some lifting barbells.

If you are like me, you know where quitting leads you to - not achieving your goals. So, do the other thing - don't quit. Keep grinding!

It is simple. Not easy.