You remember that scene from Remember the Titans don’t you? It is the semi final game. Petey is making excuses about why he can’t cover his man like he should. For the whole movie Coach Yoast has gone easy on him, but no more. He confronts Petey in front of the team. He says, “If you want to act like a star you have to give me a star effort.” Petey whimps out and another player is brought in to play in his place. A less talented player named Allen who gets the job done because he gives the effort required.
Petey comes back to the coach before the next game and tells him he is ready to play for the championship. Coach Yoast tells him he is going to sit on the bench and cheer for the team and he will have a chance to play the next year. It is only after the less talented player give Petey his spot that Petey has a chance to get back in the game and finally give a star effort. The Titans win the championship. They wouldn’t have if Petey hadn’t learned his lesson and been given another chance.
I see a lot of Petey in myself. I know there are things that I am talented at. I know that I have the potential to be really good in some arenas. I even act like it sometimes, but I have rarely given a star effort to go along with the star act. Don’t get me wrong, I have worked hard on many things and been successful, but there are areas of my life that I have been slacking. One of the glaring spots? My health and fitness.
One of the qualities that I have liked about myself over the years is I am a fairly strong guy. I am not Samson by any means, but fairly stout nonetheless. For some reason I have prided myself on it, like picking up heavy stuff makes me special. It does not. (It has made me a good jungle gym for my son. I love that aspect of it.)
Being fit and being strong are not the same thing. You can be strong and not be fit. (You can be fat and be strong for that fact.) You can not be physically fit and not have strength though. I have been approaching it from the wrong direction. Because of natural strength, I have ignored my overall fitness. What good is being able to pick up heavy things if you can’t carry them very far without wearing out?
I took a stab at trying to undo this 2 years ago. I was more motivated than I had been in my life. I worked out 2 and 3 times a day for several months. I lost around 40 pounds. It felt good. I felt good. I saw a little bit of that star effort and the results of it shining through. Then, I went and gained more than half the weight back. What went wrong?
I did a good thing in losing the weight, but I did it in a way that wasn’t sustainable. I never set a solid routine. I was a wild man doing all he could. A sustainable routine over a longer period of time would have been a better approach. I also realized that there is no stop date on a physical fitness plan. I got where I wanted 2 years ago and more or less quit. Yeah, bad idea.
So, it has taken me two years to find my motivation again. I am approaching this time with a different outlook. I want a solid routine. I want steady progress. I want accountability in what I am doing, but I don’t intend to talk about it much. It is time to put in the effort before anyone else knows about it. I waited 3 weeks into my new routine to write this post.
I once read that John Mayer played his guitar for more than eight years by himself before he would let anyone hear him play. Talk about putting in a star effort before becoming a star. I also read that the Beatles played together more than 10,000 hours on stage before America ever heard of them. They definitely put the effort into their career before they became the band that changed Rock and Roll.
So, it is time to do the work. Only time and my mirror will tell if I have put in the effort to act like I have done anything great. But, if all goes like I have planned, the results will speak for themselves.