“WHY EVEN BOTHER? Nothing is happening!", shouted Timothy as he smacked his belly with both hands, and then plopped himself on the floor in agony.
My heart dropped. I held back the same tears that welled up in his eyes.
Timmy is one of my personal training clients. He is only 10 years old, but we are friends, and I'm emotionally invested in him. (FYI: No one tells you this before becoming a trainer. There should be a warning after you complete the test. You become emotionally invested in certain clients, soaking in their hurt and frustration, along with their joys and victories.)
This scene played out over the last few seconds of an exercise- one that Timothy had completed many times before. Timothy is usually motivated during our workouts. But right now, he was fed up.
“Why even bother?” he asked me again while looking down at his belly, emphasizing the area on his body that causes him distress. He pulled his knees into his chest and buried his face in his hands.
I swallowed my apology over the fact that I couldn’t give Timothy a quick fix. I wasn’t a body fix’n magician for my clients and I resented myself for it at times. So, I took a deep breath and prayed for the right words to come out.
“Timothy,” I said, staring into his sad blue eyes. "I understand it is frustrating because you work so hard, and you are still unhappy with your body. But I have noticed many things happen as a result of your hard hard with me. Do you know what they are?” I asked him.
He sniffled, and a thought for a second. “Well, my hockey coach told me that I am getting faster,”
“Yeah!” I proclaimed with a look of astonishment. "What else?"
“I do feel stronger and I can hold wall sit longer”, he said.
"That is absolutely right!" I applauded.
Over the next few minutes, we continued to talk and Timothy’s motivation tank filled back up. He recovered pretty quickly, (phew!) and we were able to resume and finish an awesome and productive session.
So, why even bother? Shouldn't you just give up when nothing seems to be happening on the outside?
I indirectly had Timmy answer his own question, but this is worth thinking about for anyone who often feels defeated while trying to achieve a goal that seems just so darn far away.
You bother because there are so many INSIDE victories to be had along the way.
Like that incredible feeling you get when endorphins release.
or when you beat your record in a timed challenge.
or when you're finally able to reach your toes.
or when you influence your kids to join you in plank hold.
or when you peel off your sticky clothes and jump in the shower.
or when you sit down to devour your favorite post workout snack.
I can go on and on. ( and I welcome you to leave your favorite "inside victories" in the comments below).
But most importantly you bother right now, so you can say, “I did it!”,
and so that you know you are capable
and so that you do it again...
Because you must. It is the only way to get closer to achieving your goals that momentarily seem so far away.
So wherever you are, in whatever outside goal you are trying to achieve, please know this:
Every day is an opportunity for you to take one step closer! Do your best, and progress from there. Then do it again.
And whatever you do, be sure to fully notice of all the inside victories to be had along the way. Because, guess what?
Those are the ones that matter most.