Normally I write posts about different races I’ve run. But this week I thought I’d try something different. This week was my birthday, and any time that comes around, I think about the last year and where I am with my life. It’s kind of a yearly physical for me on where I’ve progressed with my fitness goals as well as my work goals.
If you follow me on social media, you’ll see I’m a pretty positive guy. I don’t get involved in political or cultural debates, as I really feel there is no positivity to be gleaned from that, it’s basically just a bunch of people shouting their opinions. So I keep the things I share mostly family and fitness related, as well as sharing some things I find comical.
This past year has had a variety of ups and downs, as well as a lot of learning opportunities. I’ve been working 2 jobs for the last several years. My “part time” job is a place I really enjoy working at, filled with lots of motivational people on similar wavelengths as mine. We work very well as a team, and the camaraderie we share makes it not feel at all like work.
However my “full time” job was the opposite. I have nothing in common with the people I work with, most of them are much older and are near the end of their careers. Also the company has been laying off people, so I was getting dumped with more and more work, but not getting a raise. So my frustration level was getting very high. I found I was getting very irritable and feeling like I was stuck in a corner career wise. So I decided to do something I’ve never done at a job before: I pulled my leader into a meeting, showed him my daily tasks, told him I couldn’t handle my workload, and that we were going to need to figure something out. To my surprise he agreed and said he didn’t realize the amount of tasks I had taken on. He then assigned some of my workload to other people so that my work would be more manageable.
The reason I bring up this story is sometimes in life things happen and I’ll sit back and stew. And then I’ll stew some more. I’ll complain about things, but to family and friends who can’t really help, all they can do is offer a positive thought. But if we never bring up these issues to the people who can help us or who actually make the changes, then we shouldn’t be complaining. A leader for a company isn’t a mind reader. We can’t expect them to make changes they may not be aware of.
This experience has made me really rethink my thought process and how I will handle challenges in the future. Complaining does nothing. It’s really a waste of time. Only actions will reap positive changes.
So bringing this over to fitness, the same applies. There are lots of things that still challenge me. The bucket carry is still awful. But if all I do is complain about it, I’m doing myself a disservice. Am I asking for tips from pros? Maybe there’s a better way to manage the bucket carry that I am unaware of. But by reaching out and asking, that could lead to better results.
One of the biggest takeaways from my fitness journey has been the things I’ve learned from working out. I don’t mean different workouts, meal plans, or supplements to use. I mean just about myself personally. I’ve learned how amazing it feels to be able to do something that I physically couldn’t do maybe weeks or even months ago. When doing one pull up is a struggle, it’s hard to imagine a time when it won’t be. But now being able to do 15-20 without thinking about it feels like the norm. But I don’t want to get complacent. I like to think about how far I’ve come to encourage myself to see how much farther I can go. Also having people come up to me and ask me for help or advice feels really good. When you help people and “pay it forward”, and then see them progressing with their fitness goals, it is really an amazing experience.
People ask me all the time: doesn’t doing all those workouts and training suck? Why would you want to carry a bucket full of rocks up and down a hill? My response is always the same; yeah it’s pretty rough. There’s definitely times when your body is exhausted and wore out. But there’s something you learn and discover when you push your body. You learn how much you can handle and how you deal with real physical stress. You lose focus on all the distractions and outside influences. You’re not focused on bills, or the regular stresses life throws at you. We live in a world where we are CONSTANTLY multi-tasking. But not in a race. Your focus becomes very A to B. I need to do this to achieve this. That’s it. It’s very primitave, and there’s something very relaxing about having such a singular focus. But OCRs aren’t for everyone. Some people will never get enjoyment out of it and that’s fine. I would encourage them to find something that does. Maybe a regular road race is more up their alley. Or maybe they would prefer cycling, or a group yoga class. Whatever it is, find something you like and keep doing it!
Fitness is 100% honest. No one gets in shape accidentally. You have to earn it. You can’t cheat it. You will get out of it what you put into it. If you cheat your workouts and are skimping on training, it will show come race day. So when I struggle with obstacles or my race time, I know the only one to blame is myself. That keeps driving me forward to get better. Because I know I can get better. I’m not going to sit around and complain that the obstacle was wet, the course wasn’t setup well, or a myriad of other issues. I’m definitely not going to cheat and skip burpees or put less rocks in my bucket. I am going to simply BE better.
I hope you guys and gals enjoyed reading this post. Little more personal then my typical posts. Comments and discussion is appreciated!! 🤡👍🏽👍🏽
My key takeaway here is “Complaining does nothing. It’s really a waste of time. Only actions will reap positive changes.” Thanks for this post. Yes, at a time we have to practice the pause to have that self-reflection upon yourself. It is one of the key practice of being successful! Keep it up Spartan!
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thanks man! I appreciate the support!
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thank you for sharing. I really enjoyed reading the post. Also kudos to you for you many accomplishments so far this year race wise. Furthermore, I know that you will succeed in your pursuit of six trifecta(if I’m not mistaken). My goal is two this year, and half way to that goal.
I recently read something in the “Happiness Advantage” by Shawn Archor that I think could help you. “The mental construction of our daily activities, more than the activity itself, defines our reality.” In other words, how we view the tasks that were are doing, the more those tasks become just that. Maybe change you thought process to, “with each task I complete, I learning more about X or “I’m reading for my enrichment.” Also, you mentioned that you have nothing in common with the the people you work with. Have you tried to connect with any of them? Are you giving off the “your old we have nothing in common” vibe. Maybe you bring donuts in on Friday and have a conversation with people as they thank you for the nice gesture. Or just have a goal of meeting one new person a week at work. Just some thoughts.
Another thought about work. You mentioned that there have been some layoffs. I’m a spiritual person, so I believe that things happen for a reason. You weren’t one of those people laid off, so they saw you as an asset. I think it’s great that you spoke to your manager, but I would also say to remember to evaluate your self. Could you have been more efficient at work, are you a maker in the morning and a manager in the afternoons ? Again every situation is an opportunity to grow.
Just like you try new things to enhance your fitness goals, you should considering during the same for the other areas of you life.
One more thing, you put an affirmation out there that you would be a fit4 ambassador and it came to fruition. You can do the same thing at work.
I whole heartedly agree with your thoughts about complaining as well as paying it forward? The more gratitude you give the more it comes back to you.
My next race is the DC sprint on 9/9. Would enjoy meeting if your going to be there.
Again great post and can’t wait to read the next one
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thank you! I appreciate the comments and suggestions. I am definitely open minded and always looking towards ways to improve myself in all facets. Part of being better at my job has been the realization that I could be doing a better job and being honest about that. I’m in a much better place with my career now and I feel a lot less anxiety.
I will be at the Sprint in Washington so we’ll definitely have to meet up. I always wear a bandana at races so I’m pretty easy to spot. If u follow me on IG I usually post what time I’m racing and my gear for that day.
Thanks again for the support!!