I have always been able to tap into my memory bank and remember very vivid moments in my life. I think we all have those moments that we wish we could take back, those moments that we wish we could have again to get it right. I like to think of them as defining moments...
I have many defining moments, two in particular that really make me feel like I would love the me of today to go back in time and kick my own little butt.
I don't know the ages of the two events but the first one I know I was very young. It was a father and son bike ride, we went out and round the block in Zimbabwe. I'm guessing the local council had just re-done the tar on our road because when we set out it was thicker tarmac than usual. As we cycled I started to get tired, I started to wish I had never even bothered; we turned down our road on the home straight and hit the dreaded tarmac again.
It seems so vivid now but over the years I may have embellished the memory in my mind. All I remember of that day was breaking down into tears 200 metres from home because my little legs felt like I was cycling through quick sand. All I wanted was someone to drag me to the finish line, through the gate to our house and plop me down in front of the TV. I didn't have the stones to just man up and finish the cycle so I got off my bike and walked the 200 metres home feeling like a loser.
Fast forward to a few years later, to the first time I was trying to lose weight in my life; a challenge that kids today are going to have to face more and more. My dad and I went out for a jog, it was an early morning before school and I was struggling to carry the extra pounds that I had accumulated. Don't worry the tarmac had been worn down a bit by this stage so it was just the fat that was holding me back.
We followed a similar route to the cycle that I had done years earlier; believe it or not the exact point where I bottled it on my bicycle I bottled it on my jog. I felt completely panicked by my heavy breathing, the encouragement from my dad to keep going only made me panic even more. I remember thinking that I was dying. So what did I do…? I stopped, I gave up on myself again. I probably cried, then walked home and ate a big bowl of cereal to drown my sorrows.
Now I know what you are thinking… What a little loser... And so you should! Why was I so easily defeated by something so simple? I guess we will never really know, what I do know is that I use moments like those to drive me to be better to this day. Sure, I can focus on the positives: at least I was trying and all that jazz but the reality is that I could have tried harder.
These days, when times get tough in my workouts, when I can’t breathe; even when I feel like I don’t want to exercise I cast my mind back to moments like those and let them be the driving force behind my next session. Kevin Costner’s quote in Tin Cup (one of the best movies ever made) resonates with me sometimes, “When a defining moment comes along you define the moment, or the moment defines you.”
Use your past to influence your mindset in the present and create a better, stronger future for yourself. It can be within fitness, lifestyle or within your diet. Fuel your mind by striving to be better than you were yesterday and the day before.
Go out and take the week by storm! (That's not a Doris or Dineo joke for those in the UK and Southern Africa.)
Have a great week!
Stay Strong and Keep Moving!
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Brendan is the owner and head trainer at Raw Motion Fitness.