The Cave You Fear to Enter Holds the Treasure You Seek
The hardest thing for me to do used to be staying in shape. I used to be skinny-fat during my teens (fat’ish without any muscle) and at some point even a bit overweight. On top of hating training, sweat and everything in-between, I had developed a deep hatred towards jogging in particular.
Man…that shit was so damn intense. I lost every single race that was held in my gym class, and by lost I do not mean not getting first place…I was the last boy to finish. ALWAYS.
So in conclusion, I was the slowest and fattest kid in my class. At least amongst boys, since we had some heavy weight girls there as well. Haha.
I looooved chocolate! I loved chips. I loved all kinds of fast food despite my family being well-off enough to make quality food. I rejected anything that did not taste good and went for the “weak route” instead. I chose instant gratification instead of investing in my health. Was it wrong? That’s already a matter of your perception. Although, in terms of living longer, feeling better in the mean time and being fully functional and physically superior to other men – it sure was a VERY wrong way to live.
So…what did I do?
Well…nothing. For years. However, once I turned 17yo, my perspective on life started to shift. I began valuing the idea of being physically fit, since I thought people would look at me, point with eyes filled with jealousy and hold me on a higher standard. I loved the idea of being acknowledged for my achievements (which I probably got from playing a video game called Runescape for years). Being healthy in the progress and looking like a greek god, having all kids of aesthetics was from that point on really damn appealing to me.
I started weight training. I bought a gym membership (the most expensive gym in my city since I did not know any better) and got to work. Since this type of life got under my skin really damn quick, I started skipping school to work out even more, I learned about dieting and fitness programs through internet, sometimes spending a good 5 hours doing my research in one sitting. Needless to say – I was hooked.
Weight lifting was not hard for me, because, if you think about it, what is it exactly? Picking up some heavy things and doing curls with them for about 10-20 seconds. So, in conclusion, you’d have to work for only 20 seconds and then take a 1-3 minute break just to recover and move on. So even if you spend 40 minutes in the gym, you’d actually be working out for only like 5-10 minutes maximum. That’s how it works. And there results can be spectacular if you also have your diet in check.
Jogging, however, is a constant struggle that can last for hours. Shit does not work like that with weight lifting. Weight lifting consists of small sprints that are not hard to motivate yourself to do. But to run for hours without rest, constantly battling in your mind over stopping and giving up, having consistent debates in which your own body and mind are against you…
It’s not pleasant at all!
Realizing this, I quickly switched (even though my upper body was in a great fucking shape) from bodybuilding to jogging just to bring myself out of a newborn comfort zone. And man, it was tough as hell. If you think gym is hard…oh boy, try going out for a jog at 4 o’clock in the morning.
Go ahead, just try it.
You’ll most likely hate it, even if you’re an experienced runner.
The point that I want to address here is that my journey involved doing things that were outside of my comfort zone. Despite being on the right track in terms of my diet, physical fitness and on top of all that – looks, I still sacrificed everything I had just to go for something even harder. For me, that was jogging, in which I pretty much excel at right now.
Is it painful tedious and boring?
But, is it worth it.
Therefore, since I have a purpose for my sport, the hard parts and the grind suddenly becomes easy. I’m not forcing myself to go out and train, no. I have achieved the state of power, in which I’ve realized that running is a part of life, the good life, at least for someone in my situation. It’s not the question of should I go or should I not. Do or do not, there is no try. There are no mental debates. There’s just action. Sometimes I don’t run and some days I do. I simply listen to my gut and then make the right decision. Since knowing how much jogging is improving every single area in my life, having thoughts on quitting the sport all together is not part of my options. Not logically, not even emotionally.
If something is really hard for you to do, then in many cases there’s really no other choice but to do it. If your suffering seems endless and you feel such as there’s no way out, one must do the opposite – find joy in it.
I find lots of joy in jogging now, running for my destination, seeing new places, clearing my mind from bullshit, going out to feel the air against my skin and always having a specific goal in mind – the finish line.
It’s a fun hobby that I learned to enjoy. It’s a useful hobby that will keep me right on the edge, where I got to be. Go through the pain in order to earn the spoils. They’re worth it.
How did running a marathon save my life?
Once you find out what you’re scared of or threatened by the most, hold that bastard by the neck and squeeze everything you want out it, you’ll feel unstoppable. Yes, I was deeply afraid of putting my body through that tedious process of fighting myself for hours on end. Daily!
But, fear is nothing but a signal of what you need to do in order to get the biggest benefit possible.