Friday, September 16, 2011

Why Most People Fail to Reach Their Fitness Goals

In the movie "Troy", Achilles is about to fight a Thesselonian, a man much bigger than he. Before fighting the giant, he has a brief conversation with the messanger boy. The scene contains one of my favorite quotes.

Messanger Boy: "The Thesselonian you're fighting... he's the biggest man i've ever seen. I wouldn't want to fight him."
Achilles: "Thats why no-one will remember your name."

When you think about your fitnes goals, whether it is to lose 10, 50, 100+ pounds, compete in a bodybuilding show, squat 600 lbs, quit smoking, or eat healthier, are you like the messanger boy who sees the goals as insurmountable? Do you let fear paralyze your efforts? Or, are you like Achilles, full of confidence and ready to overcome the challenge no matter how great?

Achilles obviously knew how great the challenge would be. He could sense that many doubted he could survive his encounter with the great Thesselonian. Yet, he still tried. He "showed up". He knew that in order to be great, he would have to do great (and difficult) things.

I've seen so many people, men, women, athletes, start an exercise program and a clean diet only to fail miserably. Why? Because it's tough. It hurts. It's inconvenient. They all lacked the mental toughness needed to accomplish their fitness goals.

Let's get back to the movie. When Achilles arrives to fight the Thesselonian, he sees his oppponent, fixes his eyes on him, and begins to run towards his opponent. There is no hesitation. The Thesselonian screams! He makes a lot of noise. As Achilles gets closer to the giant, the giant starts his attack. Instead of slowing down, Achilles starts running faster (towardsd the very person no one else dared to fight). He never takes his eyes off the giant. Here's the scene:

As with Achilles, as we get nearer to the Thesselonian (our goals), the challenges will likely get greater and even louder. The challenges and obstacles may not be flying spears and giants with swords, but they will be harmful nonetheless. Whether it is self-doubt, impatience, laziness, injury, lack of a support system, all can impede us from being the type of person we want to become - a healthy strong individual. We need to first set goals, then have confidence we can accomplish them. We need to focus on the goals ignoring the naysayers and distractions. Mental toughness is required. As we get closer to our goals, we must not waiver, but run faster, deflecting the obstacles that are in our way, with our eyes fixed on what we want to accomplish.

So, my question to you is, will they remember your name?