Dream Keeper

Right, so I hope everyone enjoyed my previous article, entitled Memories of Time. My message was very simple: That many personal trainers and fitness professionals have very identical backstories to anyone facing, or have faced difficulty in their lifetime. The only real difference was the escape from reality. And there is no better escape than the fitness lifestyle. I’m always glad to share my backstory with anyone who thinks I had it easy for the past twenty-six years. The struggle is always real for any of us.

Speaking of struggles, I want to talk about the absolute mother of all struggles, and this is something we often see in the North American lifestyle. What is really ironic is the fact our privileges in living in America actually create this struggle and no, I’m not talking about nutrition today. I wan to talk about something else. Many like to call it sleeping in, but I’ve coined another term for this sleeping in, and it’s called dream keeping. What is dream keeping? There’s a saying out there that says “We can wake up and make our dreams a reality or we can sleep in and continue to dream.” Dream keeping sure is nice, right? Until we really get to the bottom of it, because we’re actually sacrificing our dreams by dreaming. Sound ironic? Not really. Think about the fact that there is always something we want. It could be anything. I want to be as lean as possible, but I certainly don’t want to wake up three hours before the rest of society! And yet it’s necessary, because I have to get other things done, so my workouts are scheduled around my daily tasks. If I want to get lean, I’m getting up early because I have a goal and I’m sticking with achieving that goal. Don’t think for a single second I’m turning my alarm off, turning over, and sleeping for two more hours. I’m going to be guilty all day and that pain of guilt always outweighs the pain of discipline.

When that alarm goes off in the morning, get up that very instant. Stand up, because for many of us that’s all it takes. I could very easily go back to sleep and continue to dream about living lean. Or I can wake up, get done what needs to be done, and feel great all day. You’re starting the day off correctly! Not for a single second am I giving temptation a single inch! If I want to dream keep, I’ll do so on a weekend day, but only until the sun rises. I also have things to get done on the weekend too.

We, in America are very busy. If you add a spouse and kids to the mix, especially young kids, you have a lot going on. Do you honestly think it’s feasible for most to get their workout in between 7:00am and 7:00pm? Do you know what most do? They wake up an hour before work, because they want to sleep as much as possible. Sure, they’d love to wake up early and feel great, but many act upon the spur of the moment, and then they procrastinate. Why are we procrastinating? Because we as people love comfort, and we don’t like being uncomfortable.

When we want something, and it takes us out of our comfort zone, we have to be comfortable with discomfort. This is the only way we’re even coming close to getting what we want. Be comfortable with discomfort. If you keep doing the same thing over and over and over, it’s not going to get you anywhere. It didn’t get you anywhere before, it won’t get you anywhere now. It isn’t going to happen.

Let’s go back to my Memories of Time post, because thirteen-year-old Todd would have needed this advice thrown at him, and it was thrown at me. But I’m a flawed individual, and I can be very self-righteous, even when I’m in the wrong. At the end of the day, after hours of convincing myself I’m right, I’m still wrong. So why bother? When I was younger, I wanted the popularity, respect, and for others to know my name in a positive way. Guess what? I didn’t do anything other than repeat the same mistakes over and over and over. I said I would finally buckle down and achieve good grades. That didn’t happen either. Why? Because I tried to coast it just like I did the year before, and the year before that. Did it ever work? Not until college when I finally started to take my schoolwork seriously. Guess what happened? I graduated near the top of my class. I put in the necessary work and then some when it came to the way I looked. Guess what? I look better now than ever before. In fact, I have close family members that are between four and eight years younger than me. Guess which one looks the youngest? If your answer was me, you’re spot on. Go figure. What does it take in order to become your best self? Getting out of that comfort zone and admitting you’re wrong when you know you are, and stop trying to convince yourself you’re always right.

This is why this article followed up with my first one. It’s really the second half of it. I lived in a comfort bubble. In order to make anything out of myself I wanted to, that bubble had to burst. Well, now I’m reaching milestones I didn’t know if or when they would be reached. Now, they’re reached. Others are in progress, but I’m stepping out of that comfort zone in order to reach them. Now I know what success looks like, because I stepped outside that zone. Do you want to succeed in fitness? Then you need to take everything you’ve ever known and were comfortable with and turn them upside down. No, not when the weather breaks for good. If you’re serious about doing so, then do it right now. Stop what you’re doing, and get started. Remember, actions speak louder than words. It’s time to stop talking, and start doing.

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