The gym is a lot like life; it’s made up of people who would rather be somewhere else, doing something else. Yet they are in the gym, judiciously sweating and puffing because they need something that cannot be gotten any other way. Sounds a lot like your job, yea?
I used to be a gym rat, that was a decade and some pounds ago, but I learned some valuable lessons that never left me till date. Lessons about life and how to make it work.
Right from the time you were unsolicitedly pushed out of your mother’s matrix, you were handed a baton and pushed into the race called life and whether you were ready or not, interested or not, you had to make a success out of it.
These five lessons I learned from the gym will help you at any point to make the best of life.
LESSON 1: Have a Plan.
Everyone that is in the gym came there for a reason, and no, everyone’s not there to lose weight. When you step into the gym, you must be clear on what you wish to achieve; to lose weight? Bodybuild? Carve abs? Define curves? It is what you wish to achieve that determines the exercise you do. Likewise in life, you must know what you want to achieve, and you must also define what success means to you because that determines what you pursue and what you abandon.
LESSON 2: Pace Yourself:
Your worst day at the gym is the first time you step in there. As if it’s not bad enough that you cannot lift the smallest barbell or last more than two minutes on the treadmill without passing out, you see all these people effortlessly doing things that you know if you try, it will kill you instantly. So you don’t believe it when you are told that after a few weeks, you would be doing the same things they are doing. The trick is to pace yourself. Start with what you can do, no matter how ridiculous it feels, then increase gradually. Start with three minutes on the treadmill, and then make it four then six… one day you would do an hour. Life is one step at a time, do what you can today and add a step to it tomorrow. Do not be intimidated by those doing great things, rather let them encourage you that with time and effort, you too will do great things.
LESSON 3: Get a Mentor:
Knowing what exercise is right for you is as important as doing the exercise itself. A coach is a must have, both in life and gym. You need someone experienced in whatever it is you are attempting to achieve, someone who is willing to direct you and tell you when you are wrong, someone who will push you to do more. Life is about ‘course correction’ and a good mentor is an invaluable guiding system. Find someone that knows better than you and listen to what they have to say.
LESSON 4: Find a Pairing Partner:
If you are still wondering if the saying is true that goes “life is lonely when lived alone”, try exercising on your own and you will be convinced. Your ‘gym buddy’ is the most important success relationship you can make after your spouse. In the gym, you need someone to work with you, different from a mentor or coach. Your gym buddy is someone in the same boat as you, trying to achieve what you are trying to achieve. Your bond comes from your common goal. You must find that person/s that shares your dream, and are also trying to get to where you are trying to. You both encourage each other, a little healthy competitiveness is not out of place.
LESSON 5: Measure, Analyze and Celebrate:
In the gym, as in life, you must measure progress. If you do not measure progress, you would not know if you are developing, regressing or stagnant. Taking an assessment of where you are is a constant data mining process which informs you on what you need to do next. There are two ways to respond to the data you receive from your assessment; You analyze your failures, just to see the steps you took that got you there and avoid them in the future, and you celebrate your success because anything you reward, you repeat.