Join Isabel Romero as she shares her journey in health, fitness and mental wellness. Her goal is to serve as an inspiration to others by helping all her readers achieve their personal best.
The excuses we give throughout our lifetime seem endless! “I just can’t do it” seems to be a common theme amongst most human beings. Whether it is I just can’t do better in school to get better grades, I just can’t push harder at work to reach the next level of my professional goals, I just can’t play a certain sport, sing or dance….”I just can’t” has taken over our lives. It is depressing. And it is daunting.
A few months ago, I registered for a mud run/obstacle course race. I tried to recruit my friends to form a team. You should have heard some of the excuses I got! I can’t run, I can’t leave my kids for the day, I can’t do it because I am too old…the list goes on. Well, I can tell you, that there is no one that is cut out WORSE for an obstacle course race than I! I have had spinal surgery with a metal plate and screws in my neck, I will need a double knee replacement surgery at some point soon because my joints are bone on bone which is very painful, and a little after that, I will most likely need surgery on both my right hip and my right shoulder. Not to mention the fact that I live with chronic paresthesia of my upper limbs which basically means I can’t feel my arms or hands! I am the poster child of a walking orthopedic nightmare, and yet most people I interact with on a daily basis have absolutely no idea that I struggle with this constantly. Oh, and did I forget to mention that I will turn 40 in a couple weeks? Have I ever used my age or injuries as an excuse to not do something? Nope, Never. And I will tell you why….
If you don’t challenge yourself, you can’t change yourself! SO, SO TRUE!! This was but one quote of many that I heard from Caleb Johnson during his brutal Orange Theory Fitness training session last night. As many of you might know, I love going to OTF. I have my favorite 4 trainers, each with their own strengths and special characteristics, Vic, Dom, Jeremy and Caleb. When I need to be inspired and pushed to be the best I can be, I go to Caleb.
Give me the BEST effort of your life!! This is perhaps Caleb’s most frequent quote. These words resonate through my mind, as I aggressively pull the handles on my rowing machine to increase my wattage. Come on! Come on! Set your goal and make it happen. Caleb stands over my shoulder and tells me to increase my watts to 150. I tell him “but I am only 100lbs!”… “Doesn’t matter, you can do it.” And sure enough, I DO IT. Shouldn’t we ALL be giving “the best effort of our life” in everything we do? Whether it is our best effort at being a great parent, our best effort in being the best doctor or fitness trainer or whatever we have chosen as our career path in life. Our best effort to become healthy and fit and reach our fitness goals. Doesn’t every aspect of our lives deserve our BEST EFFORT EVER? Absolutely. Caleb will tell me in today’s class to give him the best effort of my life, and I will. And he will tell me tomorrow to give him the best effort of my life, and I will. Everybody’s “best” is different. My best will not be the same as your best. But we should all strive to give our personal best in everything we do.
I believe the reason that so many people always come up with excuses as to why they can’t do better or try harder is because of the fear that the end result of our efforts will not match our expectations. Meaning, for example, if you try so hard while training for a marathon… but the big day comes, and you cannot complete it. Or you try so hard at work to get a promotion…but in the end, the job is given to someone else. Or you want to lose a certain amount of weight in a month, and you don’t reach that goal. You feel disappointed, depleted, and you start questioning why you tried so hard to begin with. However, what most people do not realize is that we can make a conscious choice to turn the disappointments in our lives into opportunities to push us to excel even more! These “failures” in our lives can allow us to take our commitment and motivation to the next level.
It’s all about mindset. Believe you can and you will. Caleb said this during my first class I ever had with him about 6 months ago. And I will never forget it. I remember being so tired that day. What I really wanted to do was to half-ass everything and just go through the motions of the workout. After hearing him, I increased my incline by 5% on the treadmill. I increased my wattage by 20 on the rower. When we did “supermans” that day, I actually visualized myself flying. I shifted my mindset, and it made all the difference in the world. Towards the end of each workout, he reminds us: Empty your fuel tank. In this particular setting, it means to put out every bit of energy you possibly have left in your body. However, we can empty our fuel tanks several times throughout the day in different situations. It’s all about pushing yourself to your limit. Reach further. Push harder.
I challenge you to give me the best effort of your life and empty your fuel tank each and every day, in each and every aspect of your life. Give it all you’ve got to be your own personal best. You will be so glad you did.
Love, Peace, Health and Happiness,
Caleb Johnson, Trainer at Orange Theory Fitness