Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It starts with a single step...

The journey of a thousand miles, starts with a single step! ~ Lao Tzu

        Yeah, I look good now Jack! (He pivots in the mirror admiring the work) I got back from working out and was preparing to shower. I catch a glimpse in the mirror of the Adonis staring back at me. “Yeah baby!” Okay, maybe not Adonis, but I no longer hold myself in contempt as I compare my physique to that of a candy bar left on a hot dashboard in July. I just got back from the gym, and I feel pretty good about myself. Yep, it was the first workout after a many year hiatus!

        At just a couple weeks shy of my forty-fifth birthday, I realized I no longer looked like I did in my hey-day. I used to be very active. I trained in MMA martial arts and kick boxing for many years, as well as lived for my power lifting type of workouts with a trainer. I went from a svelte 175 pound lean fighting machine to a 225 pound gorilla in a few short years. Then after blowing out my L4 L5 disc on a leg press, all my muscles decided to migrate to my equator for retirement. After a strict protein diet to one consisting of pain killers, gyros and beer, and sweets, I had to clean up my act. I got the pain killer and beer problem solved, but the diet was a bit more difficult. It was too slow a return on investment for an immediate gratification guy!

I told you that to tell you this: I have found that for me, movement creates motivation, and motivation turns into momentum!

        Movement does not necessarily need to be actual physical in nature, but activity, intention, or thought applied to a desired end result. All I know is that whenever I have embarked on a journey, I find it exhilarating. I remember my first martial arts class. I did not necessarily feel ten-foot-tall and bulletproof, but I did feel “empowered”. Fortunately for me, and the reputation of my instructor, I did not pick any fights.

        I try to celebrate the movement in the direction of my goal as opposed to focus on the distance from it. I find that simply starting a new venture that is dedicated to a better me or lifestyle for me is definitely worth giving myself an “atta-boy”. After working out, I felt really good. I think what was inspiring was not the fact that the sleeves on my shirt fit a bit more snug than they did upon arrival, but that I was investing in myself again. This type of investment has a high ROI. (Return On Investment).

        I felt this “high”, for lack of a better word, when I started my book, when I started yoga, martial arts, and a variety of other undertakings. When I have nothing to look forward to, I get antsy. I find that I will get bored. I will often disregard the present and look behind me. This is not a good practice for me. Since the past often contains many of my “learning experiences”, I try to let it go. I try to live by the principle that the present is the peace between life’s little punctuations. It is where I plug back in to myself to gain a few bars on the battery to be better prepared for what may come.

        Do I expect to be the bruiser I was years back? Nope. I just don’t want the neighborhood joggers to throw up if I decide to mow my yard without a shirt this summer. I do admit I fear getting “Moobs” (man boobs), nor do I want to need a "manzier" (see above). I mean if it can happen to Arnold Schwartzenegger, it can happen to me. I do however, want to keep my cholesterol down, add a few years to my life, and just feel good about myself taking steps in staying healthy.

        I noticed that when I invested in me, that which I looked at that day took on a new shimmer as well. I was amazed how the movement in one direction radiated momentum in many others. By focusing my energies in one area, many other areas benefitted as well. Hmmm. I like that! I wonder what will happen if I decide to intensify my focus on self improvement in many other areas of my life? I see quantum leaps happening.

        So my recommendation is to crack that book, take that class, walk a little or run. Re-examine the challenges that have loomed over you for a while. Don’t necessarily focus on the destination, but take that initial movement in the new direction. Remember too, that when you are green, you grow; when you are ripe, you rot! If you can move forward on something, move forward! The pace is personal and can move like a tsunami or a glacier; both are equally powerful!

        I hope you all find the joy in not just reaching your goals, but taking the first step. I hope you feel the satisfaction of embarking on a new direction; of taking on a new challenge. I hope you feel as I did as I stood admiring the man who is yet to become. I also hope you will forgive me as I close here to go get some Ibuprophen and try to straighten out my sore arms!


Deb said...

This is great, Tony. Good for you. I can relate to what you are saying... I am currently ON 'the bandwagon' but it is so easy to get back off! You are right; the satisfaction that comes from knowing you are closer to your goals today than you were yesterday is almost as good as reaching them in the end. May we all learn to love the journey. :)

marcime said...

Tony - well said!! you make me laugh.

I think we are on a similar wave-length in our posts today :)

Momma Fargo said...

Great motivation!

Timberwolf123 said...

Yes taking that first step in anything is the only way to finish!! Sometimes we get so caught up in what we should do, we don't do anything. Even moving in the wrong direction can actually make things happen because it's still movement. Thanks for sharing & when you have a few minutes look back on my blog about this Lao Tzu quote (one of my favorites). Thanks Tony!!



Marika utomjording(extraterrestre, alien) said...

As I said yes to Marcella I say yes to you...very funny and true!

Mansi said...

Thank you for this inspiring message, Tony. I dedicated today's blog post to your motivational words: http://mansibhatia.wordpress.com/2010/02/24/three-ms/

TirzahLaughs said...

People will usually work their mind or their body but not both. You need it.

And God help those that do neither.

And I hope you avoid the moobs.



Gyanban said...

Hi First time here,enjoyed reading some of your posts.

Every life is a fingerprint - unique. patternless.
sometimes taking a step back could be the best thing to do.

dont you think ?

Anonymous said...

Great story, and thanks for the motivation. I am hoping to get my motivation back on as soon as my shoulder heals. :)

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