Stardate: 21st August 2015
Sometimes, I find myself wondering what the conversation would be like… if the current me, met an older version of himself.
I experienced what I believe that would feel like, just a few minutes ago… when I received a message from a friend of mine letting me know that he’d read an article of mine on Barbados Today, today. He’d admitted that he’d read it a while ago… but that it had ‘just popped up’ in his feed last night… and it’d spoken to him.
I have to admit: It spoke to me as well.
Here it is:
A few years ago, I had the pleasure of running into an old schoolmate of mine. He’s always been in ridiculous shape, having been a serious sprinter since high school. That night, however, I realized that he’d made the transition from fitness enthusiast to trainer. He was working with his client outdoors. His shirt was off, and he looked phenomenal.
Honestly, my first thought was: “If he and I were standing shirtless, side-by-side, and a chick was asked to pick one of us, based solely on our physiques, she would pick him without a second thought.” A minute of insecurity? Maybe. Maybe it was less than 10 seconds of it. But it was enough. Immediately, it made me think of some of the thought processes I’ve encountered with many of my clients.
Many of them see someone who, their minds tell them, is “better” than they are. And, immediately, they fall into a downward cycle: Why me? Is my girl/guy checking him/her out? Why is he/she with me? Why do I even bother coming to the gym? I’ll never look like that.
I’ve heard them all, and many more. Truthfully, I’ve never been able to relate fully. I’ll tell you why: I believe that comparison, self-evaluation, categorization, and self-quantifying are natural parts of the human psyche. Furthermore, acknowledging and embracing such (as opposed to denying, demonizing, and battling that moment of comparison) lends a person the ability to move past it.
For me, those couple of seconds of insecurity I felt, led to three distinct thought processes:
- An honest appraisal of my body-type.
My buddy was always in shape (and will probably always be in shape). He doesn’t watch his diet, and has never needed to. He is pure ecto-meso. Me, on the other hand, I’ve always been ‘softer’, even when shredded. My body-type is closer to meso-endo. I have to watch what I eat, and I have to keep my activity level high. Standing next to him reaffirmed my life choices and diet choices for the past decade.
- An honest appraisal of where I was physically.
I was carrying 20-30 lbs more muscle than my peer – possibly more, I was put together “better”. Then why would I feel self-conscious? I’ll tell you why:
- “I can be better.”
For some, this thought exists in the back of the mind like poison: slowly seeping into unconscious thought, eroding self-perception, self-esteem, and self-worth. But, do you remember what I said about acknowledging it? Let’s bring it to the forefront. I did and, immediately, poison became a positive.
I CAN be better, and will be.
There will always be someone whose very existence challenges your sense of self. The truth of the matter is, you CAN be better. But, and this is the most important part, the person you need to be better than isn’t the phantom that you allow your mind to create.
It isn’t the guy/girl your significant other thinks is attractive.
It isn’t your subordinate, who happens to be more qualified than you on paper.
The person you need to best is you.
Every day, every week, every year, strive to be better than the person you were before.
Life isn’t a competition. But if it were, past you would be the person to beat.
Make it happen!
And, he’s right: The person you need to best, is you.
Today, I’ll aim to be a better me than I was yesterday.
Will you join me?
Yours in health, peace, and fitness,
– Corey Springer
Apollo Fitness Barbados