Men At Work

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Today I stepped into the gym for the first time in probably 18 months. Nothing to be proud of, really!

Between the time I woke up this morning to the time I walked into the gym, my mind came up with at least 17 different excuses of why I shouldn’t go workout today; my gym subscription has expired. My training shoes had a small tear on the side. I stayed up late writing all night. I didn’t eat enough protein today. I have to study for an exam. Maybe I will train tomorrow instead.

All kind of stories that my subconscious mind could muster, to protect me from the disappointment and physical pain that await.

I took my pre-workout supplement but didn’t feel the usual rush.

I stretched up my muscles and everything felt so tight.

I touched the iron bars and there was no connection.

I started to think that if this was hard for me – and I was a semi-pro athlete for almost half of my life, how hard it must be for someone who is just starting out with no experience in working out, and no muscle memory to fall back onto.

This has forced me somehow to adopt the mindset of the newbie. But make no mistake, this post isn’t about sympathy, it’s a reality check; we all struggle, each on his own level. It never gets easier, we just become stronger. And whenever you leave your comfort zone, resistance and self-doubt will find its way back to you.

This is the dictionary definition of discipline:- to do the right thing, even when you don’t want to.

Every day, consciously or unconsciously, we make tens of small decisions that end up dictating how we live our lives and who we are as human beings:

Hit the snooze button 3 times or jump out of bed and onto the cold shower Snatch that candy bar or a green apple. Add sugar to your coffee or have it black and bitter like real men do. Climb the stairs or take the elevator. Eat a healthy lunch or order junk food form an app on your smartphone. Work out or Netflix n’ Chill. Read a book or post on instagram. Approach a girl or jerk off to porn. Go through the discomfort of socializing or hang out with the same loser friends you had since college. Invest or spend.

And then you wonder why you aren’t fit and rich and fun to be around and have cool friends and get your way with the ladies.

The sum of these daily decisions that feel insignificant at the time is what eventually separates lions from sheeps.

Your identity isn’t your bank statement. Your identity isn’t your job title. Your identity isn’t what your friends think of you. Your identity isn’t the number you read on the scale. Your identity is your internal drive to either improve or destroy your life. Each day that drive is tested.

What is your identity today?

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