Jason Mudd, my friend and also contributor to the YES Louisville blog wrote about our ride the other day. His blog is about how sometimes we limit ourselves in our own head, and he is 100% correct. (see blog Anything Is Possible). I wanted to add a little something to that. A different perspective maybe, or just maybe my own two cents. Jason said I was in superb shape, which in itself somewhat subjective. I only started riding a bike again four months ago. OK, I have been doing martial arts for 12 years now and have started running just about 4 years ago. Thirteen years ago, I never considered myself fat or out of shape, but there I was, working at the bank, living in my head, and weighing about 265. I would wince every time I saw a picture of myself sitting and saw the belly I had pooching out, but I really wasn't doing anything about it. Honestly, it wasn't important for me to do anything about it, there was so much else that filled my time.
But that is just it. TIME - how do you fill your time? Another great blog that Jason wrote was about the cost of everything - In his blog "Be Courageous" (see blog Be Courageous), he quotes Malcolm Gladwell and the Revisionist History podcast. If you want to DO something, you need to invest yourself, your energy, your time into that thing that you are doing. That time is then taken from something else, because your time is always filled up, there is never really any EMPTY time. It all comes down to a level of importance, that we schedule our time and energy.
The thing, is my fitness journey did not start out to be that at all. That level of importance had to do with my son at 4 years old watching the Ninja Turtles and doing what 4-year-olds do; letting all his energy out. Denise thought we could channel that energy by having him start some martial arts classes, so off I went with my son, and a coupon my wife gave me to take Chance to his first martial arts class. The little man there said "the family that kicks together, sticks together", and since it was sort of in the back of my head to work out a little, Chance and I were both soon in our new uniforms and officially white belts. That little man who I didn't know at all then, means a LOT to me now, it was Grand Master Jung Oh Hwang, who has been my mentor in martial arts now all these years, and it has been a privilege to train under an Olympic champion (1984 Silver Medal at the Los Angeles Olympics in Judo). The important part of this is that I didn't start saying I wanted to be fit, I started because I thought it would be a good thing to do with my son.
It takes accountability to get to that level of greatness that is within all of us. We do the WORK on our own, but there is something about an outside voice and true care and appreciation that will make us stay on task. We have to believe in ourselves, but we have voices in our own head that try to shut us down all the time too. I wrote about this in my blog "Angles and Devils Inside Us" where I talk about how left to our own devices, sometimes these voices, fears, assumptions stop us. My accountability started because I needed to drive my son to his class, then it changed to actually being in a class myself. I had tried starting to run again many times over the last 25 years, but only 4 years ago, did I stick with it. I had reasons to run because it gave me a clearer head and also I wanted to lose more weight (at this point I was between 200-220 lbs) to be better at sparring in Tae Kwon Do. Actually, Facebook was my first accountability partner in my running, because I started taking pictures around Louisville as I ran, and people were always commenting nicely on my pictures, I started feeling obligated to continue. Later my wife started running, and we have become accountable to each other, pushing ourselves out the door every Sunday for one of the weeks longer runs. (Yes, even on those mornings we don't want to get up, we push each other). I have set up all sorts of accountability partners to help get to the place where I am going to be able to finish an Iron-Man in 2017. Jason Mudd is one of those people, he wanted to ride with me, AWESOME, now I get to push him too as he is trying to become more fit as well. I am sure soon we will be able to do a 100-mile bike ride together!
So here I am today, in shape (188 lbs), in training to do my first Ironman in about 13 months, but I am no superman, I couldn't have done this alone. YES, all the power and drive and endurance I have built up has been created by my personal dedication and discipline, but I wouldn't have made it here without also having accountability outside of my own self. I have seen this with business as well, this is why I dedicate myself to not only have compassion and care for my clients, but to PUSH them to go beyond self-imposed limits. Even as little as 10 months ago I would of said running an Ironman for me is CRAZY, sometimes I still think it is, but NOW, because I have been held accountable, I am doing what I need to do to be prepared, to put in the miles, to build up the endurance, to have the patience that the CRAZY will subside and success will take its place.
John "Z" Zeydel
Creator of Managing by Excellence - your personal PUSH accountability specialist.