This time it was the driveway, a double wide strip of 5 inch thick ice just waiting to be carved apart with the ice breaker and hauled BY HAND out of the way. The ice pieces were too heavy to lift with my snow shovel so as I broke apart the sheets I had to carry or throw the massive chunks off to the side. It took about 50 minutes and each time I checked my heart rate (since I knew it was going to be a workout) I was up above 140. It is strange that I am happy to prove myself in the real world now, whereas during my gym days I would only consider actual weight lifting as exercise and everything else was just a waste of time. Oh how my life has changed since then. One phrase that always goes through my head is hearing Osmin Hernandez shouting THE WORLD IS YOUR GYM and although he is a little crazy at times I completely agree with his philosophy. Anyone who says they can’t work out because they can’t get to the gym needs a good smack to the forehead. Yesterday’s workout equipment was an ice breaking blade and a snow shovel. It takes a lot to get out of the gym mindset and even more difficult than getting out of the gym is the notion that you can actually get fit at home with or without a DVD set to motivate you. Coming from a gym rat mindset makes you think that you need “proper” equipment to work out with and the idea that you can get a great full body workout without ANY equipment is insane. Truth is that you don’t need anything to get in shape except a positive attitude and a little creativity. Every neighbourhood in Canada now has access to 2 or 3 parks with monkey bars, climbing frames etc all of which are great for workouts. Just make sure you are alone or people will get the wrong idea.
The other problem is a very common one among people who already have the right attitude, they have the knowledge and they may even have some kettlebells, bumper plates and an Olympic bar at home but their problem is that they can’t train themselves. It’s the toughest thing in the world to be your own trainer and for the most part it is not possible. However, there is a way to overcome this and that is to write your plan for yourself as if you were writing it for a client or friend and then follow it to the letter. Make it up during your off hours when you can think clearly about body part rotation, time allotment, rest etc. and that way you don’t end up standing in your basement at workout time thinking “hmm… what should I do today…”.
I know this because I have coached many sports, from rugby to gymnastics and I have been a certified personal trainer for 20 years now, since before everyone thought they could do it and I am smart enough and humble enough to know that I cannot coach myself. That is part of the reason that I keep this blog, not only to record my progress but also to give me the chance to think about where I am and what I need to do next. I won’t go home at the end of the day not knowing what I SHOULD do. The only thing that will derail my achieving what I have planned is if there is something else there to take it’s place like last night. There is also a rest day window that I have. Once I have worked out 4 days straight the window is open and if I get into a situation where I can’t get a workout in due to time constraints or other reasons then I can take a day without guilt and move the planned workout to the next day. I have things in place that mean whatever happens I am able to adapt and make the day a success. That is what it takes to at least have some degree of success in coaching yourself, but believe me, it’s not a walk in the park. The biggest problem is that you will always let yourself off with doing less than you would if you were training someone else. You have to learn to drive yourself as hard as you can while you are in pain and that’s the problem, it takes almost superhuman dedication not to quit when you are hurting but believe me, the one thing that the truly successful people will do is ignore the voice in their head and get the work done.