Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fitness Is...

Potential.

Everybody has it. Few reach it.

It’s easy to assume that people despise mediocrity because the world is littered with evidence of humanity’s desire to excel—our obsession with talent, our reverence for heroes, even our love of money. It’s easy to assume that everyone wants to be his or her physical best because everywhere there are those wishing for a better body type or a better lifestyle. They fill our virgin ears with a symphony of sincerity and aspiration, but listen closer. They clamor with empty voices.

The truth is that 90% of people just want to get by. We pretend our ultimate goal is to be the best version of ourselves, reading the right literature, quoting the right sources, joining the right gyms; but the reality is far less compelling. If we are truly honest we will admit that the level to which we might possibly rise is rarely our chief concern. More important is reaching the level where we can merely survive or, at the very least, mock survival. Getting there is much easier. Getting there requires less time, less pain, and less effort. Getting there is too often there enough.

I was speaking with my father the other day about a friend of ours whose son wanted to be a college football player. He had good size and natural talent, but he was a little slow and lacked the explosive quality most big programs look for in an athlete. One evening while having dinner with this family my dad suggested that the kid hang a bell at the top of the hill abutting their property and ring it every morning before going to school. Not only would sprinting up the hill begin to build the explosive power needed for speed and acceleration but the sound of the bell would become a symbol of his dedication to the goal. I wish I could say the kid went out and rang that bell every day, or committed himself to some other program in its place, but this isn’t that kind of story. He, like many others like him, chose instead to remain a card-carrying member of that mediocre 90%.

Why? Because greatness is HARD. Our bodies don’t care about potential. They were built to survive, not to excel, and survival has gotten pretty easy as of late. Our bodies don’t know that by being stronger and faster and leaner the likelihood of illness, disease, and injury drop dramatically. Our bodies only know that it hurts like hell getting there. It takes supreme physical and mental fortitude and an unflinching, genuine ambition to overcome these hurdles. Most of us lack this and it shows.

Now, maybe this kid would never have been great like Peyton Manning or Jerry Rice or Ray Lewis, just like some of us will always be at a higher risk for diabetes or arthritis than others, but that really isn’t the point. In this story his ability wasn’t being measured against theirs or any others, only against his own potential as an individual. He claimed that he wanted to be the best that he could be, to give himself the best chance to be a college football player. But when faced with the reality of what it would take to reach that goal he balked, exposing his ambitions as half-hearted and insincere, and his athletic future to be one ridden along the tired road to the middle. This is an all too common tragedy.

After hearing this story, I sat for a minute and observed my father. He was visibly disappointed by the kid’s inability to commit himself to his goal. Yet I knew for a fact that my dad had wanted to lose weight for years and failed to commit himself to doing so in much the same way. This struck me as a prevailing irony, not just in this conversation but in our culture in general, so I decided to ask him when was the last time he “rang the bell.” He was lost for a second, then smiled wryly as he got my meaning. “Too long,” he replied.

Sadly, it seems that our praise of greatness and our distaste for mediocrity is an appreciation and expectation reserved for others. We expect Jordan or Tiger or Ronaldo to reach their potential every time they compete and we shake our heads when they fall short. But we shrug off our love handles and that occasional chocolate cake as acceptable losses. We cry for the children growing up without physical opportunities, yet lie on the couch and amicably waste ours away. We claim we’re too old, too fat, too injured, or too tired. The truth is we’re too obsessed with getting by.

The good news is that physical potential does not expire. It has no shelf life. Whatever state you’re in at whatever moment, you can always be better. SO BE BETTER. Too often people try to do this by setting a number to hit, a person to beat, or a mirror to impress, implicitly attaching a finite quality to the process. This focus is flawed. As you change and improve, so too should your potential grow and your ambition swell. Remember that fitness is a goal inadvertently attained through the systematic overestimation of yourself in all fields. It’s a byproduct of setting the bar too high, of striving for perfection and falling just short. It’s knowing that you’ll never get there but trying your damndest nonetheless. It’s constantly pushing your limits in every direction regardless of your skill. It’s finding a way to keep ringing the bell.

Do this and we inevitably yield the best version of ourselves.

103 comments:

  1. Wow, deep... but hit the nail on the head with this one. Definitely a good lesson there, thanks for that.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great article mate - your right perfection is not attainable but, if we chase perfection we will catch excellence.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are learning, too, that the love of beauty is one of Nature's greatest healers.
      Accident Lawyer Innisfil

      Delete
  3. Inspiring Blair! Thank you. Back in my days at the box, I rang the bell at 0515 every day, but after moving overseas, I've settled for the 90% solution. Time to start ringing that bell again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.
      mobilieji telefonai

      Delete
    2. No man succeeds without a good woman behind him. Wife or mother, if it is both, he is twice blessed indeed.
      Buy Sleeping Tablets

      Delete
    3. The problem with beauty is that it's like being born rich and getting poorer.
      Car Servicing Liverpool

      Delete
    4. This is a nice post in an interesting line of content.Thanks for sharing this article, great way of bring this topic to discussion.
      Lorazepam Online

      Delete
    5. Design is the fundamental soul of a man-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service. The iMac is not just the color or translucence or the shape of the shell. The essence of the iMac is to be the finest possible consumer computer in which each element plays together.
      Personal injury lawyer Brantford

      Delete
    6. Hi, just wanted to say I attended this conference last year, and found it by far the best of about 8 conferences that I attended in the field. Full ofAccident Lawyer Barrie
      professional insight based on testing by experts that knew what they were talking about. I would certain

      Delete
    7. When virtue and modesty enlighten her charms, the lustre of a beautiful woman is brighter than the stars of heaven, and the influence of her power it is iCar Accident Lawyer Woodstock
      n vain to resist.

      Delete
    8. We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.

      Injury Lawyers Scarborough

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. As individuals, people are inherently good. I have a somewhat more pessimistic view of people in groups. And I remain extremely concerned when I see what's happening in our country, which is in many ways the luckiest place in the world. We don't seem to be excited about making our country a better place for our kids.
      Electrician Marbella

      Delete
    2. This revolution, the information revoultion, is a revolution of free energy as well, but of another kind: free intellectual energy. It's very crude today, yet our Macintosh computer takes less power than a 100-watt bulb to run it and it can save you hours a day. What will it be able to do ten or 20 years from now, or 50 years from now?
      Lunesta Online

      Delete
    3. There is no definition of beauty, but when you can see someone's spirit coming through, something unexplainable, that's beautiful to me.
      Accident Lawyer Aurora

      Delete
    4. No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.
      Injury Lawyers Scarborough

      Delete
    5. Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.
      generic valium

      Delete
    6. You must know by now, your article goes to the nitty-gritty of the subject. Your clarity leaves me wanting to know more. Just so you know, i will immediately grab your feed to keep up to date with your oinsurance agency management system
      nline blog. Sounding Out thanks is simply my little

      Delete
  5. Well said. Just recently started to follow this blog with my introduction to CrossFit and I have to say you have hit the bulls eye with this one. I plan on copying this and sending this to my friend who has just started this new workout program with me. Inspiring and truthful. Thanks for a great morning read.

    ReplyDelete
  6. As usual, great thoughts. Keep it up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it.
      Buy Sleeping Tablets Online

      Delete
    2. There is no definition of beauty, but when you can see someone's spirit coming through, something unexplainable, that's beautiful to me.
      Injury Lawyer Innisfil

      Delete
  7. When is the "Fitness Is..." book coming out?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives.
      http://hornsbybusiness.com|http://applyautojob.com|http://similarhealth.com|http://onemediahouse.com|http://pamparedpets.com

      Delete
    2. SEO Liverpool
      wow, awesome post, I was wondering if there is a way to enlarge my penis quickly. and found your site by google, learned a lot, now i’m a bit clear. bookmarked and also signed up your rss. keep us updated.

      Delete
    3. Double Glazing Blackpool
      There is no question that instantaneous water heaters are good options to trust in terms of their water heating services. However, you need to know that not all kinds of this water heater will work best for you.

      Delete
    4. Technology is nothing. What's important is that you have a faith in people, that they're basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they'll do wonderful things with them.
      Electrician Spain

      Delete
    5. Online Pharmacy No Prescription
      I think I am quite anxious about this technical meeting and I want to know the feedback of this meeting.I am sure it will be an extremely informative one and all those will attend it will be quite beneficial.

      Delete
    6. Online Pharmacy
      Nice information, many thanks to the author. I believe that anyone who wants to know something about this topic will like the post.I really loved reading blog.

      Delete
    7. When everything else physical and mental seems to diminish, the appreciation of beauty is on the increase.
      Pool Surrounds Spain

      Delete
    8. When everything else physical and mental seems to diminish, the appreciation of beauty is on the increase.
      Accident Lawyers Stouffville

      Delete
  8. Amazing post Blair! It is sad but true a lot of us strive to better but fail when we realize we how much work it is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice information, many thanks to the author. I believe that anyone who wants to know something about this topic will like the post.I really loved reading blog.
      Online Pharmacy

      Delete
    2. Xanax Online
      There is no question that instantaneous water heaters are good options to trust in terms of their water heating services. However, you need to know that not all kinds of this water heater will work best for you.

      Delete
    3. Thank you for this post. Thats all I are able to say. You most absolutely have built this blog website into something speciel. You clearly know what you are working on, youve insured so many corners.thanks
      Cheap Car Hire Spain

      Delete
    4. Diazepam
      I've found this very interesting and has a good stuff for the readers and designers. I would be glad to recommend the post for its quality content. Nice post.

      Delete
    5. Valium
      Hi, just wanted to say I attended this conference last year, and found it by far the best of about 8 conferences that I attended in the field. Full of professional insight based on testing by experts that knew what they were talking about. I would certain

      Delete
    6. Pool Surrounds Marbella
      Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.

      Delete
    7. There is no definition of beauty, but when you can see someone's spirit coming through, something unexplainable, that's beautiful to me.
      Glass Curtains Costa del Sol

      Delete
    8. You must know by now, your article goes to the nitty-gritty of the subject. Your clarity leaves me wanting to know more. Just so you know, i will immediately grab your feed to keep up to date with your online blog. Sounding Out thanks is simply my little
      Anxiety Medication

      Delete
    9. The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives.
      Buy Sleeping Tablets

      Delete
    10. I think I am quite anxious about this technical meeting and I want to know the feedback of this meeting.I am sure it will be an extremely informative one and all those will attend it will be quite beneficial.Cialis Online

      Delete
    11. We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.
      Injury Lawyers Oshawa

      Delete
    12. It is a very profitable post for me. I've enjoyed reading the post. It is very informative and useful post. I would like to visit the post once more its valuable content.
      Car Accident Lawyers Hamilton

      Delete
    13. It is a very profitable post for me. I've enjoyed reading the post. It is very informative and useful post. I would like to visit the post once more its valuable content.
      Injury Lawyer Hamilton

      Delete
  9. Great post. Blair, I'm looking into using the 5/3/1 method to increase my numbers in the core movements. How do you work it into your normal training? How do you decide what you are going to supplement with? Have you noticed big improvements? I would like to get your insight and ask you a few more questions. Keep the post coming.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diazepam Online
      We are learning, too, that the love of beauty is one of Nature's greatest healers.

      Delete
    2. We want to reinvent the phone. What's the killer app? The killer app is making calls! It's amazing how hard it is to make calls on most phones. We want to let you use contacts like never before - sync your iPhone with your PC or mac.
      Injury Lawyer Niagara Falls

      Delete
  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Fantastic writing, completely hit home with me. Though I gotta say, my brain hurts reading the white text on that crazy background. Who's with me??? Seriously, good stuff right here - glad I stumbled upon it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You must know by now, your article goes to the nitty-gritty of the subject. Your clarity leaves me wanting to know more. Just so you know, i will immediately grab your feed to keep up to date with your online blog. Sounding Out thanks is simply my little
      Timber Merchants Leeds

      Delete
    2. Cerrajeros en Barcelona
      I am really impressed by this excellent stuff on ZBrush which is a digital sculpting and painting program that has revolutionized the industry. I've enjoyed reading the nice post

      Delete
    3. wow, awesome post, I was wondering if there is a way to enlarge my penis quickly. and found your site by google, learned a lot, now i’m a bit clear. bookmarked and also signed up your rss. keep us updated.
      Pool Surrounds Costa del Sol

      Delete
    4. You can only perceive real beauty in a person as they get older.
      Glass Curtains Costa del Sol

      Delete
  12. Thanks. Well said and I have shared it with many clients.

    ReplyDelete
  13. The best thing i`ve read for years. Thank you, and another thank you for a great shirt !

    Regards / David , Sweden

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Photoshop Clipping Path, Masking, Image Manipulation service provider. Free Trial, Quality guaranteed, Express Delivery, Cheap cost, 24 hrs support.
      Generation Weddings

      Delete
    2. The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives.
      Buy Anxiety Meds

      Delete
  14. Awesome words--now, it is time for me to ask MY Dad when he "rang the bell" last...

    ReplyDelete
  15. That was inspiring and a wake up call for me.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thanks for writing this! Very timely as I needed that kick to push my limits in just over a week.

    ReplyDelete
  17. This is a great post ! it was very informative. I look forward in reading more of your work. Also, I made sure to bookmark your website so I can come back later. I enjoyed every moment of reading it.how does raspberry ketone work |raspberry ketone reviews does it work |how raspberry ketones work

    ReplyDelete
  18. I’ve been writing essays for how many years and today I’m more on academic essay writing and I’m happy to be like my dad, a professional writer. | |

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When you're a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you're not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You'll know it's there, so you're going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back.
      Internal Door Casings

      Delete
  19. instant hot water heater, a familiar vision in Europe as other places, acquire a reputation suitable for energy efficiency, which translates into much more money in your pocket and less strain on the environment.

    ReplyDelete
  20. The demand for tankless water heating tank is increasing with spare time. Many people prefer to make use tank over conventional ones, as preserving the earth . user friendly is definitely some unique and innovative features. Apart from that, tankless water heater heats water quickly than any a lot of water heaters. Tankles water heating units can be easily installed.br>
    If you need to save money, save less all over your energy costs, help go green, only use the tightest amount of hot water possible you should consider purchasing a tankless water heater. This water warming up cannot only protect you from a bundle inside costs but helps save in space and also help you head to the better for the environment market. Consider purchasing rheem water heater New Orleans in today's market from Avalon Water line.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Any you choose, end result will be considerably energy savings and much less pollution. Additionally a continuous view of instant hot water. A tankless water heater tank means you can enjoy plentiful hot water and save.br>
    This kind program provides incentives on high-efficiency property gas storage together with water heaters, clothes washers, natural gas laundry dryers, programmable thermostats, and low-flow showerheads.

    Together with those lines, there's no wasting of water or other tactics with tankless hot water heaters. Cutting down on the energy statement helps the home wallet as nicely as the ecological. And the environment is also with the small size of a tankless hot water heater. Not only are far lesser materials used to construct it, but shedding it when it must be replaced is a lot less difficult and will use up much less spaciousness in a land fill.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Your knowledge of this subject comes through clearly in this article. I love to read this kind of articles, I hope you will update it. Thank you for sharing it with me obesity research paper

    ReplyDelete
  23. Great post!,Thanks for sharing this useful information.We will wait for your next article soonly.Very nice and valuable post! Thanks for sharing this. how to take raspberry ketones

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vibrant post. Something which is explained well. A healthy post is always one that creates opinions and discussions. SEO Agency Manchester

      Delete
  24. I really love your article. It is good and useful. share we keep in touch more about your post on AOL? I require an expert on this house to unravel my problem. May be that’s you! Taking a look ahead to look you.Franchises UK

    ReplyDelete
  25. I look forward in reading more of your work. Also, I made sure to bookmark your website so I can come back later. I enjoyed every moment of reading it.essay help by writerslounge

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. An engaging page, one which we feel with a little more push could create great visitor numbers to this page. Our door is always open to new business relationships. Professional SEO Company in Manchester

      Delete
  26. an make you stand out in twitter by providing you with unique twitter followers and retweet services. We believe in offering the best and highest-quality service in the industry with a second to none customer support, while keeping our prices low and competitive.
    http://www.buytwitterfollowersbay.com

    ReplyDelete
  27. A well presented one bedroom conversion flat located in desirable North Kingston location, close to Canbury Gardens and Kingston Rail Station offering direct links into London.The property benefits from its own private entrance along with bright and airy open planned
    http://www.gpees.co.uk/forsaleoffice/leatherhead/699/

    ReplyDelete
  28. Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
    Peter J. Burns III

    ReplyDelete
  29. Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.
    arabchat

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives.
      Provigil Online

      Delete
  30. In order to succeed you must fail, so that you know what not to do the next time.rent condo hua hin

    ReplyDelete
  31. A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.
    amber teething necklace

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.
      Modafinil

      Delete
  32. Mmm.. good to be here in your article or post, whatever, I think I should also work hard for my own website like I see some good and updated working in your site.Jeux de Friv

    ReplyDelete
  33. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.
    Click here for more detail

    ReplyDelete
  34. Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life - think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.
    Provigil Online

    ReplyDelete
  35. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through. Skin Care

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected.
      Glass Curtains Spain

      Delete
    2. A lot of companies have chosen to downsize, and maybe that was the right thing for them. We chose a different path. Our belief was that if we kept putting great products in front of customers, they would continue to open their wallets.
      A lot of companies have chosen to downsize, and maybe that was the right thing for them. We chose a different path. Our belief was that if we kept putting great products in front of customers, they would continue to open their wallets.

      Delete
    3. A lot of companies have chosen to downsize, and maybe that was the right thing for them. We chose a different path. Our belief was that if we kept putting great products in front of customers, they Sleeping Tablets
      would continue to open their wallets.
      v

      Delete
  36. Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it's really how it works.
    Injury Lawyers Calgary

    ReplyDelete
  37. Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.
    Personal Trainers Liverpool

    ReplyDelete
  38. Great post. You should really look at enhancing your social media credibility. If we can be of help feel free to check us out. Buy Facebook Likes

    ReplyDelete
  39. Les créateurs de sites sont des programmes faciles d’emploi qui permettent à n’importe qui de créer son propre site web en toute simplicité. Auparavant,
    Modafinil Online

    ReplyDelete
  40. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.
    ket testai​

    ReplyDelete
  41. The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.
    hua hin property

    ReplyDelete
  42. bin checker
    Innovation has nothing to do with how many R amp&; D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R & D. It's not about money. It's about the people you have, how you're led, and how much you get it.

    ReplyDelete
  43. The BIN number is the first 6 digits on a credit card, and is used to identify a few things. It tells the checker where the card was issued and by what bank.

    Bin Checker

    ReplyDelete