I recently went on a business trip to Austin, Texas. When I found out I was going I was excited. Luke had gone months before and loved it. He gave me all the inside info on what to expect and what was in store for me. However, I did have one hang up.
I was worried about my diet and fitness goals. I have been making great progress in sticking to an eating plan and I have begun to re-engage my workout habits. But the reason I was making strides was because I have been in a great routine. A routine that includes eating well and exercising automatically built into what I do daily. But the routine was going to change as soon as I stepped on the plane to Austin. I wasn’t sure if I could stay disciplined when my circumstances changed.
Then I thought that was silly. If I wanted to keep up with my healthy eating and exercise goals I could make time if I truly wanted to. So that was the decision I made. I was going to find a way.
The first thing I did when I checked into the hotel was to ask where I could go for a run in the city. I didn’t know anything about Austin but quickly found out that this city is a cool, diverse, young, and active place. I was given a runner’s guide by the man at the front desk. I said thank you and went to my room to change and head out for my run.
After I changed I looked at the card and saw that I was only a few blocks from an entrance to a park that runs along each side of the Colorado River. It goes for miles through the city. I got to the river, fired up my strava and took off. I should have never worried about struggling to exercise in a city like Austin. There were fit people everywhere. I passed people going both ways along the path. People walking their dogs. People riding their bikes. People jogging and running everywhere. I was so impressed with the active culture of these citizens I had even begun to imagine what it would be like to move there. But that was short lived because I am extremely happy with where I am at.
My fears had begun to ease. I was confident I could keep up with my fitness goals while I was away from home. No doubt it was more challenging, but I made the decision to make it a priority and get it done.
This experience along with many others recently have started to shift my thinking and teach me a lesson. It is a lesson we all hear, but I am beginning to realize, is a hard lesson to truly internalize and implement. “You can do anything you put your mind to”. It is a phrase we have all heard but rarely put any deep thought into. I know I have heard it many times throughout my life but it always has gone in one ear and out the other. Only recently in my 30’s has it started to manifest and truly start to sink in. I will admit I have a long way to go but I am now more aware of my shortcomings and can take steps to be better.
I am beginning to understand that the limitations holding me back are almost always in my mind. I have these limiting beliefs that stop me from living my best life. Most people have fitness and health goals, and so do I. I want to be leaner, with more muscle. I want to be faster and stronger, but I am not, and it is frustrating. However, I am beginning to learn the reason that I have not achieved those goals is 100% due to me. There are always excuses for why we can’t work out. We don’t have time, we are too tired, we are too sore. Those excuses are the real world manifestation of our limiting beliefs.
It is hard to get over those mental blocks. It is even harder to admit to yourself that they exist to begin with. I still struggle with it every day, but I try to get 1% better every day.
The most recent catalyst that has helped me was a book and a podcast. I read Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. It made me realize that all outcomes in my life are a direct result of my own decisions. Even the events that seem like they are completely out of my control. If I take ownership of my situation I am more able to think clearly and make a plan to overcome the obstacles. The podcast I listened to was from The Investors Podcast Episode 92. They interviewed Jesse Itzler. The billionaire owner of the Atlanta Hawks. He relayed a story from when he was in an ultramarathon race with his friends. They were all set up in a posh tent with loads of supplies and competing as a relay. Then Jesse notices a former navy seal running the whole race on his own with no support. He found out later the seal had broken multiple bones in both feet and completed the race anyway. It taught him the same lesson, the barriers are in the mind.
As I am taking in all this information, the new scenery, and location, I am working on understanding how my own beliefs are holding me back. I am also understanding that I am the only one responsible for reaching my fitness and career goals. Circumstance and situation are not irrelevant, however, they are not nearly as overpowering as we all believe.
Another related lesson was also reinforced on this trip. While I was doing my work I was taking in all sights and sounds that I could. I was trying my best to soak up all the inspiration and knowledge that I could. One of the things that struck me most was the quality of the places I went for the business trip activities. The building was incredible. The landscaping was immaculate. The staff was extremely knowledgeable, professional, and courteous. Everything was the best it could possibly be. So what is the lesson in these observations?
The dots that were connecting in my mind was the understanding of the disservice of not being my best self. If I am not living my life to the utmost potential I am failing myself. I am not as happy or successful as I could be.
Wanting to be my best self and understanding that I am the only thing responsible for getting there is a tough realization to have. It shows that if I am not where I want to be I can only blame myself, and nobody likes to do that. However, I do believe the realization was positive. It is a step in the right direction. It will help put me on the path towards where I want to go. It has actually made it easier for me to be motivated to exercise and execute on my workout plan. While I fail every day, I know that I can decide to continue. It’s my decision that will get me to my goals. I just need to make the choice. I have made that choice.
Lastly, check out some of the scenery I enjoyed on my runs.