I swore to myself when I started this blog that I wouldn’t just write about the good times.
We all know that the fitness industry is full of ‘beggars, liars and prostitutes’ as my friend Rocco Castellano once put.
What he meant was that people will say and do anything to make money, whether it’s the truth or a bare-faced lie.
Unfortunately, this extends to lying about how they go to where they are and what it takes.
The fact is that in this day and age, if you dare to mention that maybe, just maybe, a person (including yourself) got the results they got through some sheer graft and sacrifice, popular law states that you are 99% likely to fail miserably.
People want it quick and easy.
They want to make a token gesture and then watch a torrent of amazing things happen.
When it doesn’t they get pissed off and do the natural thing.
“It’s the governments fault”
“My wife wouldn’t let me…..”
“If the weather was better…”
“I just always seem to get caught up with the kittens/dog/kids”
Never is it okay to put your hand up and say, “You know what guys, I totally and utterly fucked up”.
Well I am here today, to tell you that I totally and utterly fucked up.
Now this could go either way because I’ve realised there are ultimately three kinds of people when it comes to achieving stuff.
There are those who want it easy and want to pass responsibility on to pretty much anybody except the one person that can actually make the necessary things happen. (That’s yourself in case you hadn’t clocked it!)
Then there are those who need that guy or girl to inspire them. They need a leader. Someone who appears infallible. The problem is that the ‘Wannabe Achievers’ use this person as a benchmark first, then a reason why they could ‘never do it’ second.
Rather than break down what that person did into tiny little steps, they assume that because they can’t do in a few weeks what the other guy can do, it’s impossible.
The third type is the place to be.
This person takes 100% responsibility for who and what they are, they find out what their ‘idols’ did to get where they are, and take it upon themselves to implement the same painstaking / boring / expensive / repetitive / thankless tasks because they know it’s the only way to get there.
They accept that things go wrong and whilst inspired, they realise that they are still their own person, and the only one who can really decide what the right path with. They get used to a lonely existence at times – they have to if they are treading a new path.
By definition, living your own life HAS to be lonely at times.
If you find yourself saying, “I’m a Number 3”, I hope this post sits well with you and gives you some timely reminders!
If you’re more of a Number 2, it might make you a little uncomfortable to find that nobody is infallible and that if you think it’s going to be easy, think again.
And if you’re a Number 1, well you were screwed from the start so this probably won’t make much difference.
In fact, you’re probably not even reading this, because you ‘don’t have time for all that motivational mumbo-jumbo’ with your busy schedule of traffic jams, checking email 50 times and chasing shit that in the end, doesn’t even matter’.
See what happened was that I realised for the last 10 years, I’ve been misdirecting my attentions.
Truth is, whilst walking along the beach the other day I realised that I hate who and what I’ve become.
Actually scrap that. I haven’t ‘become’ anything.
I’ve slowly moulded myself into exactly what I am today. And so have you.
We’re both just temporary manifestations of all the little choices we’ve made.
I had a hormone test the other day which I told myself was ‘out of interest’.
The truth is that I knew something was wrong.
But surely not with me. I’m JLT!
What a dickhead.
I couldn’t possibly be anything other than…..or could I….maybe I should just….oh shit.
Sure enough it turns out that my cortisol levels indicate a level of stress which puts me in the Pre-Exhaustion phase.
Basically, I’ve been pushing too hard for too long.
This means my daily rhythms are out of whack, and I am having to embark on a slow and steady return of Testosterone levels to where they should be if I ever want to be feel like me again.
For too long I’ve justified busting my ass with reasons based on other people.
“I need to impress other people with my training/body”
“I need to keep pushing and pushing to build my business to where it gets me respect”
“I need to help more and more people because they are being shafted by the rest f the industry”
After 10 years, it is easy to accept that this is who you are, and any deviation will result in a loss of respect, a loss of lifestyle, a loss of money.
It’s all based on fear.
Damn, this is hard to write.
Coming to terms with yourself is one of the hardest things you can do but strangely enlightening.
For so long I have been trying to force things.
Trying to get people to see their own potential mentally and physically.
Trying to build something as a ‘haven’ for people to come to look and feel great.
But all the while, I’ve been moving further and further from where I want myself to be and I didn’t even see it coming.
“But you’re a hardworker” I was always told.
Another way in which I have let others program thoughts and perceptions of my own life into my head.
It’s now left me in a pit, with plenty of results to show for other people but for me?
Right now I feel like all I have is more plans for the future.
I’ve left relationships behind because I “didn’t have time for them”.
I’ve treated some girls like shit, just because I convinced myself of….I don’t even know what I was trying to convince myself of.
I’ve lost friends because I was busy “building the business”.
And all because of a chronic fear that maybe, just maybe I could do all the things I REALLY wanted to do, but it would mean letting other people down, putting ‘growth’ on hold and realising that time isn’t stopping for me.
We couldn’t possibly allow that.
It dawned on me that whilst there are a few constants in my life in terms of people, very few would be hesitant to walk away themselves at the drop of a hat if something more enticing came up.
I realised that I’ve become this beacon for a lot of people chasing their own dreams.
For some it is simply not to feel like shit every day of their lives and I’ve found ways to help them do that, with regular success if they follow the action steps.
But I’ve not being doing it myself because of some deep, in built fear that if I do what I really want to do, I need to let some people down.
For someone who previously struggled for friends and getting girls, this is an unacceptable pill to swallow, but one which I am at least able to swill around my mouth right now, ready for the right time to swallow.
The truth is, it’s never the right time to swallow and at some point it will come down to a choice of swallowing it, or some form of breakdown.
Eventually something has to give.
Take a look.
Seriously…..take a closer look at yourself.
A LOT CLOSER THAN THAT!
The mirror will only tell you part of the story.
That image you see, is not who you are.
It’s just a snapshot of the last few years.
But this is what I have focussed on in helping people.
“Here’s how to look better in the mirror”
I have spent time with some seriously hot girls. I can tell you that they are no happier than the frumpy, spotty teenager.
Because they become who other people expect them to become.
It’s why we see such a rise in plastic surgery, cosmetics and anything else that ‘maintains’ looks.
See, you KNOW there is something you should be doing, but you’re occupying yourself with a ‘substitute career’ that fulfils some of the needs of whatever it is you should be doing. But what you’re doing right now is just a safer option.
You can fulfil some of your needs without actually stepping out into the firing line and potentially losing or upsetting some people.
As shown by my test results, everybody seems to think I have it easy, that I have it all figured out, but they couldn’t be further from the truth.
The only difference is that through my study and research, I’ve entered something of a higher level of consciousness about what is going on around me.
I’ve realised that I clearly do have things I want and need to be doing and I KNOW that if I don’t do them, I’ll never be happy and never reduce my stress levels.
The most stressful situation to be is in when our brain perceives incongruence between who we really are and who we are pretending to be right now.
Yes you might make some money and things seem ‘okay’ but you know deep down, that something is going to keep burning and gnawing at you until you get it done.
Whatever you call yourself now is just a title. At any time you can choose to not be that any more.
And when you make that choice and open your brain to other things, the world opens up.
I know this – it’s worked for me in the past.
But I let the lonely 12 year old back in who needs to feel people are following him and like him.
And it’s killing me. (Literally killing me if stress hormones are taken into account).
What concerns me (and I KNOW IT SHOULDN’T!!!) is that you may well be in a much worse place than me because this stuff has never really dawned on you.
You think you’re in a job because you’re meant to be and you need to pay the mortgage etc etc.
You don’t have to do any of it.
You can find another job.
You can learn to run 10 miles and go on fitness adventures.
You can do stuff without bullshitting yourself that the kids get in the way.
YOU CAN DO WHATEVER THE HELL YOU WANT.
You are not who you are right now, you’re just scared to play the real game.
I am too, so we’re in it together.
Alongside this hormone test, I am nursing a shoulder injury which nobody seems able to figure out.
I am scheduled for my first kickboxing fight at the end of June but right now, my shoulder won’t function.
This panics me and scares me because I’ve made the commitment.
The fight doesn’t scare me at all. It’s the thought of having to pull out.
Again, I am stressing myself mentally and physically because right now I can’t train properly and there is an incongruence between who I see myself as physically, and who I am right now.
It’s a hard spiral to get out of and right now I don’t have the answer, but I’ll keep looking.
The point is that so many people are living false lives on the front line, because they feel they have to.
I’m a pretty open book but I’ve uncovered a few things recently and I know if I don’t change them, they will keep coming back to bite me in the ass.
It’s too easy to say “I’ll do it tomorrow / next week / next year when I’ve got enough money”
“I’ll tell him when the time is right”
“I’ll just get my head down and work on my own until….”
That time will never come and we run the risk of waking up one day wondering where the hell all that time went.
Whatever problems it may cause right now will pass. They always do.
But take my lesson today and please, please move on.
I am having to contend with this feeling that I’ve lost a few years of my life trying to be something and someone I’m not and all because I wanted to be someone that people turned to.
I’ve done this and will continue to be there for those who are willing to put more effort in than me.
You should put in more effort into your training than your coach, more effort into your nutrition than your partner does and more effort into programming your mind than the TV does!
And when you understand that 99% of the people you spend your life worrying about and trying to impress, won’t be at your funeral or give your final breath more than a “Oh no that’s a shame, he was a good guy” you might just start doing the things that really make you jump out of bed in the morning.
Stop saying “But it’s who I am” or “But it’s what I do”.
I know it is, but it doesn’t have to be.
There are things and people out there for you that will give you the warm and fuzzies.
I wish I had learned this before I trampled on a few people – you know who you are and I’m sorry.
I lost sight of the things and people that really did make me who I am and it’s going to be a long haul back rebuilding mentally and physically.
But today is another day.