That’s how winning is done!

balboaThis scene from Rocky Balboa gets me every time. Every. Single. Time.

Heck, I even have a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes as I proof-read this post!

Yes, I know it’s a movie, and sure, the words are explicitly intended to create a sense of drama and elicit an emotional response from the audience. But there are quite literally thousands (millions?) of movies, books and theatrical works that try to achieve the same result and fail. Of course, one’s reaction to any given dialog or scene is a deeply personal experience. But why is it then, that this speech from Balboa to his son stirs so much emotion in me?

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Goals + Motivation ≠ Success

running-skyWhen individuals fail to meet their goals, they often attribute it to not being sufficiently motivated enough to see things through. However, in my experience goals plus motivation seldom equate to success.

Consider this common scenario:

  • A goal or desired outcome is conceived, usually as a result of some external influence, and motivation to move toward that goal is high.
  • For a few weeks, concrete progress is made toward the goal and you start to see results.
  • Then, just as everything appears to be going well, life gets in the way: Work gets busy. Events come-up. You travel. Friends and family vie for your attention. Chores need to be done. You get injured. You’re not sleeping well. The list goes on…
  • Slowly but surely, motivation wanes and progress slows to a crawl or even stops completely.

So why is it then that, despite having concrete goals and good amount of motivation, you don’t accomplish your aim?

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Appropriately sore

sleepykittyToday was a rest day; an opportunity for my body to recover from the first two workouts of the week. Now sure, I am not quite as tired as this little fella, but I am appropriately sore from my efforts.

The week started out with lower body on Monday and upper body on Tuesday, with both sessions largely focused on increasing strength. And I did feel strong, in spite of the super-set format and short rest intervals. Still, there’s a long way to go this week with a second round of full-body conditioning on Thursday and an intense, metabolic stressor on Friday.

That reminds me, I’m working from home Friday so I need to think about an alternative to the barbell complex I’ve been using at the gym. Unhooking the heavy-bag and manhandling that for the 20 mins seems like the only viable option, although I’ll need to figure out some straps or ties to help with grip.

Closing thought: The importance of rest days is easily overlooked and more often than not, resting feels counter-intuitive to achieving your goals. However, if you are following any sort of strength or conditioning program, the rest days are when you actually get stronger!