“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” -Lao Tzu
There was a time not too long ago when I doubted myself. I was unsure of my abilities and as a result, failed to commit to anything of significance. The world seemed so daunting and so intimidating. I was unsure of my place wondering if I was good enough. And this doubt left me aimless, afraid to have a purpose, afraid to pursue my dreams.
I was not in shape, nor was I conscientious about living a healthy lifestyle. I shuddered at the thought of working out and thought it would be impossible to even bench press my own body weight. I did not exercise discretion in what I ate, often settling for fast food unaware of its consequences. I was just another guy, mindlessly going through the motions in life.
In reality, I was only in fear of myself. In reality, I was afraid of the possibilities that the world presented. And I didn’t know where to start. And then it came to me.
There came a point when I wanted to change. I wanted a new life, a healthy life. I wanted to feel my best physically and have complete command of my body. In essence, I wanted to unlock my physical, emotional, and mental potential. I decided it needed to be done and I was going to do whatever it takes to get there. And that is when I realized:
It all starts at 1.
I needed to commit to taking the first steps. Starting was half the battle. But when I finally committed, I rode the momentum, gaining confidence with every rep.
My first push-ups became my first super sets. My first pull-ups became my first muscle ups. Each obstacle cleared led to a new a new challenge staring back at me. And each challenge I overcame only fueled me for the next. There were no short cuts, no easy paths, no magic formula to lead me to where I am today--Just sheer determination, relentless perseverance, and unwavering dedication.
You can unleash your potential too. All you need to remember:
It all starts at 1.
They say that you have to love what you do in order to be successful in anything in life. That if you want it badly enough, you will achieve it. It can't be that simple…or is it?
We can all fall short of our goals despite our best intentions. This is particularly true in the health and fitness world. For me, I’ve learned there’s more to it than loving what you do. Wanting it badly enough is only half the battle.
Understanding what it means to have passion
Love is an intense emotion that can be the push to get you started. But love is just an emotion, and it’s fleeting. What happens when you’re faced with the reality of what it really takes to achieve your goals? That’s where passion comes in.
Unfortunately, the word passion is thrown around and it’s completely misunderstood. The word passion comes from the Latin root, Pati—which means to suffer or endure. The intense emotions of “love” or “wanting something badly” enough are just the first layers of passion…the first steps of an endless journey.
Getting to the second layer
For me, there were definitely times when I took a step back, looked at what I was doing, where I wanted to go and asked myself, were my actions going to help me get there?
So I went back and reexamined my goals, and that helped me uncover that second layer of passion.
I encourage you to do the same.
Goals are often centered around losing weight or looking better. We will pledge to “lose 30 pounds” or be able to fit into a particular size. Or we will aim to be able to do 20 push ups in a row or run a 5 minute mile.
These are all great goals that will provide you with short term motivation but ultimately, focusing on these benchmarks is not enough for the long haul as they don’t help guide your behavior. What we need to focus on is our everyday habits. And that starts with asking yourself:
Who do you want to be?
Asking yourself who you want to be means focusing on everyday behaviors that support that identity. Instead of focusing on losing 30 pounds, commit to being a calisthenics athlete. This entails developing the habits of a calisthenics athlete—for example, doing your push ups, pull ups, body squats, etc. every day. The key is to start with baby steps and building on them over time.
That’s when I fell in love with the process. I fell in love with the grind. I found a passion for what I was doing… and that helped me push on to reach my goals.
I encourage you to also take a step back and reevaluate your own process. I’ve learned that all results are a byproduct of our every day actions and habits, and that’s when the passion begins.
“Is it too late for me to start calisthenics?”
This is the most frequent question I receive from the wonderful people who follow my work. Every time someone asks me this, I think back to when I started. I also remember asking myself, “Is it too late for me? Is it too late for me to get into calisthenics?”
I remember watching my favorite calisthenics teams like the Bar Union and Highlandaz with reverence and appreciation, but I admit I also felt a little deflated. “Late” is a trap that many of us fall into, losing ourselves as we live vicariously through the constant stream of other people’s fitness accomplishments.
It’s normal to have self-doubt and thoughts of “it’s too late for me.” But I realized that I needed to process the content I was consuming on social media differently. I needed to change my mindset. I needed to realize that the question, “is it too late for me?” is just fear…I was my own worst enemy.
“Late” is a mental block.It’s a mental block driven by the fear of change. We are surrounded so much by advertisements of artificial values that we lose sense of what is truly important. This blinds us from our own potential and makes us afraid to follow our own path. Following our own path and fulfilling our own potential entails change. We need to embrace change.
So I challenge you, as I challenged myself, to change the question “Is it too late?” to the statement “Better late than never.” I’ll share some of the lessons I learned from my own experience in breaking through my fear.
“Late” is a relative term and can mean something different to everyone. Every person who has ever wanted to try their hand or mastered the art of calisthenics can argue that it is or was too late for them. There really is no such thing as late. You’re only late if you believe you are late.
Position yourself in a “can-do” environment. Most of our fear comes from the people we surround ourselves with. Start taking notice of the types of attitudes that people exhibit. Are they people who say they “can” or people who say they “can’t”? Then gradually build a support system with people with “can-do” attitudes.
Make social media work for you. Don’t let it consume or intimidate you. Although we never want to compare ourselves to someone else, there is nothing wrong with emulating the work habits and attitudes of someone who is at the level you want to achieve. Keep in mind that everyone started somewhere and the only requirement for membership in this club is that you try your best in your journey.
Listen to your body. There is a difference between burn and pain. As you begin your journey, you will naturally learn the difference over time simply by being aware of the subtle differences.
Finally, start where you are, not where everyone else is. If you’ve never worked out, your starting point will be different from someone with an athletic or fitness background. It doesn’t matter if your focus is developing your ability to do an assisted pull up or a controlled muscle up. Calisthenics is calisthenics. What matters is you are committing to your physical fitness. It’s up to you to adjust the program to fit you. Just remember, that in order to start, it all begins at 1. And it’s never too late to do that.
I hope this post was helpful. My wish is that we can all learn to conquer our fears and be the best we can be. May we all come to the understanding that there is no such thing as too late in life.
Until next time! MUCH LOVE!
I’m going to be very honest with you. Committing to your health and fitness is a very scary and confusing endeavor.
When I first committed to my health and fitness, my brain was filled with questions. Should I start by lifting weights? Should I run a mile a day? Should I do push-ups, pull-ups, and sit-ups?
For a novice, getting started is overwhelming and intimidating. It is very easy to get caught up in the detrimental exercise of comparing yourself to others. And in today’s world of social media, our feeds are often flooded with the success stories of others. If you are not careful, you can find yourself engulfed in emotions of despair, discouraged that you cannot meet the standards set by this altered reality.
Admittedly, I was not immune to this. I couldn’t help but compare myself to others and as a result, feelings of inadequacy, self-doubt, and discouragement started to creep in. After a few weeks of experimenting and training that yielded low gains, I realized that I was asking the wrong questions and focusing on the wrong things.
What I failed to understand about fitness is that my mentality played a much more significant role than I thought. In fact, I would argue that your mental approach is what sets up the physical aspects of your fitness. It wasn’t until I trained my mind that I saw significant physical gains. Certain principles need to drive your training…not the other way around. If I may, I would love to share the principles that helped me in the beginning stages of my journey and still guide me today…
1. Accept and forgive yourself. We are all unique and special individuals and do not have to adhere to the mainstream ideal of beauty. The aesthetics are a byproduct of your peace of mind.
2. Be true to yourself. Never compare yourself to another.
3. Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do. This is from the legendary UCLA basketball coach, John Wooden.
4. Failure is an important part of the process. Embrace it.
5. Think positive but make room for criticism.
6. Understand that we all progress at various rates.
7. Surround yourself with like-minded individuals. We all need a support group.
8. Celebrate others’ successes and never hate on another person.
9. Don’t let your ego get in the way. Friendly competition can be a motivating and positive tool but don’t fall into the trap of wanting to the get the best of someone. You’re either lifting them up or putting them down.
10. Remember where you came from. Be willing to help others who were in your shoes. We all started somewhere.
Go out there with confidence and always believe guys! Much Love!
Thanks for stopping by and checking out my new website! I am so excited to share the new format with everyone!
Yes, this is my first blog of many to come! I have been working on so many projects lately including the new Superhuman training programs, and I’m very pleased to have them available to you now! I’ve placed an incredible amount of effort for many months to create THE perfect Beginner and Intermediate training programs. My goal was to create programs that will challenge you to attain the next level of calisthenics. Each eBook includes demo video tutorials so you can have the entire program at your fingertips.
I get so many questions and emails each day asking about my workouts, nutrition advice, how to perform certain exercises, how to stay motivated, and more. I do my best to address as many as I can on Facebook or in other ways, but unfortunately I simply don’t have time to answer them all. But now I can give you more with my new website and bring you guys more into my daily life so you can have a closer look at my health and fitness journey! When you subscribe to my newsletter you will receive direct messages and exclusive content of my in-depth approach to exercise, training techniques, motivation, nutrition, new program releases, and everything else that goes along with living a healthy lifestyle.
I know you guys have been asking for a new motivational video... it's coming! My new “Superhuman Rises” Youtube video will be released within a month! Don’t forget to subscribe to my Youtube channel!
Visit the WORKOUT tab for the new training programs (+nutritional bonus), and remember to subscribe to my newsletter so I can keep you updated on the latest happenings, what I’m working on, motivation, inspiration, tips, and other health & fitness topics.
Browse and enjoy my new website! I look forward to an amazing 2015 with you! Much thanks for all the continued support!