The best note to remember in any competitive setting is that there is a big difference between losing and failing. In fact, we want to strive to fail because this means we are learning from pushing our boundaries. Part of daring to be different requires you to try new things as part of your personal growth towards whatever your personal goals are.
This can apply to achievement in sports, business, family life and any other number of things, but what I’d like to talk about is how it relates to taking care of your body.
I see and talk to so many people on a daily basis who are stuck in ruts but haven’t been willing to change. Trying new approaches is different and most people don’t like different. These are some of my favorites:
- The person who has had the same workout regimen for years and is constantly getting hurt… They swear it’s normal to get injured working out.
- The person who has been stretching their hamstrings for years but still can’t touch their toes… They swear it works though!
- The person who has been working out 5x/week for a year but hasn’t even thought about their eating/drinking habits and is shocked at how bad they still look and feel…must just have to go 6x/week.
- The golfer who has the same practice habits (no structure or plan) despite repeated education and training on the best practices and is unhappy with how they are scoring… Must need a new putter and driver.
These four people have the same approach to their frustration: They aren’t willing to do the uncomfortable thing and try a different approach. Instead, they have these subconscious blinders on that prevent them from achieving anything better. Do you see the problem here?
None of them are willing to take a step back and ask themselves if what they are doing is actually helping them. That can be scary, and most of us are afraid that we will arrive at the conclusion that we have been wasting our time and doing the wrong things. We might be wrong?! Ahhh!! Can’t have that, so it must be something else.
What if, instead, our four people tried a different approach. What if person one tried a routine prescribed to them by an expert in the area they want to improve? What if person two tried to train their movement instead of stretching the same stretch they have been doing for 10 years with no change? What if person three sought out nutritional guidance to assess their eating and drinking habits? What if person four took a look at their practice habits and researched blocked vs random practice?
Our four frustrated people will likely find that their workouts would shorten, because they would become more efficient; they wouldn’t have to go to the gym as often; they could touch their toes in a few days or even faster; and they probably wouldn’t need new clubs but a new approach.
Is there an area in your life that you are one of these people?
I challenge you to find an area of your life where you are stuck in this rut. It may be your fitness, or maybe it’s an ache or pain that you have just lived with for years or maybe you aren’t performing to your potential in sport, school, or work.
Identify it, have the courage to ask yourself the tough question if what you are doing is working, and then have the grit and resolve to seek out a better, different solution. Enjoy, and then repeat often.
Chris Finn, MSPT