I walked home from the climbing gym last night. It was cold. Very cold. The wind was an icey fist battering me from all directions. I was miserable.
Half-way home while I waited to cross an intersection I ducked into a big chain vitamin store on the corner. I needed more vitamin C. As soon as I was through the doors brightly colored containers of whey, creatine, weight gainer, cut formulas, lifting due, deer antler velvet spray, and all sorts of other miracles in plastic jugs called to me.
I was dumbstruck. I was dazed.
I zombie walked towards the shelves of containers promising me easy power, strength, and a hot body.
It would all be mine! I could have so much sex! I would be popular! Money would flow into my bank account!
Half-way to the shelves I shook my head, blinked my eyes, and focused on VIATAMIN C. I bought my tablets and got the hell out of there
After years of working out, from lifting to climbing, from running to CrossFit, I almost bought the line that all those products sell: It’s easy.
I almost bought it because, like you, I am a lazy moron.
We can’t help it, it is in our DNA. We are lazy because we want preserve energy so that when that lion leaps out from behind your couch while you watch TV your muscles will have enough energy to get the fuck out of there.
We are lazy because we don’t want to burn up energy doing extra things beyond our survival so when the next big freeze comes we will have enough fat on our hips to have sex all winter long and survive.
We are lazy because why do work when you don’t have to, especially with that awesome flickery fire light of a TV, and that so soft couch, and that tasty ice cream. You would have to be crazy to give that up.
I am a moron (and so are you) because I believe I can overcome the effects of genetic laziness by being more lazy, looking for easy answers, and simply not putting in the work. I am always looking for a short cut, I would be stupid not to.
And after years of searching let me tell you a secret to getting stronger, getting flexible, getting more wind in your lungs, getting a cobra back, running a marathon, whatever your physical goal is…. you ready?
It is fucking hard work.
I know I just killed my chances of selling you my 6 Minute Abs DVD.
Getting to any goal worth achieving, be it physical, creative, emotional, political, business, whatever, is hard work.
I wish I could go into a store and buy a magic powder that writes the novel I’ve been meaning to write, or ends racism and patriarchy but, bummer, I can’t, and neither can you.
If you want to run a marathon, put your sneakers on and get outside, no matter how cold it is. If you want to do a push up get off the couch right now and try it until you can. If you want to be healthier stop drinking beer and eating pizza, seriously put the slice down. If you want to make the world better, you are going to have to put in early morning and late nights, and a lot of heartache.
It starts now. It wont be comfortable. It will outright hurt. At times you will despair. You will be alone, out there early in the morning, trudging along a cold foot path stacking on your miles. You will be up late at your computer willing the words from your fingers. You will be in the streets facing down angry cops with sticks and horses. You will miss your lift, your target race pace, some fun parties. You will get injured. Your family and friends wont understand. You will fail, again. You will try, again. And just when you are going to break, just when you had enough you will look around and discover you can do things you never thought possible. You will be different, your life will be different. The world might even be different. This is truly amazing. And it tastes so much better than whey powder.
But if you are not convinced by my promise that it will suck, that you will fail, and it will be worth it; if you still want six pack abdominals without all the work, well I have a DVD to sell you, moron.