Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Are you cheating yourself?

As a personal trainer and group fitness instructor, I often use this line as motivation: “You’re only cheating yourself.” I usually then tell the short story about the personal background for this line: today, I’ll tell the story in more than just two sentences: 
I began swimming competitively at age 5 when I begged my mom to let me join my 3 sisters in the pool. Seventeen years later, I was finishing up my career as the team captain of the Army Swim Team. Throughout those 17 years, I had lots of different coaches (Army Brat), but I can pretty much guarantee they all used that line at least once: “You’re only cheating yourself”. Swim coaches, just like coaches of many other sports, give you a set and trust you to finish it completely while they are working with other teammates. Before we set off on a dreaded set of 100x50s (ok, that’s a rare training camp set, but it happens), coach would look us in the eyes and say, “Keep count, remember, you’re only cheating yourselves if you cut corners.” Well, to be honest, that never really meant anything to me at the time. I loved swimming and I loved competing, but I don’t like pain, so there was always a pain threshold that I just wouldn’t cross: if it started to get painful, I would slow down or maybe (don’t tell) not finish the last two 50s, I’m just saying.
It wasn’t until several years later, when I finally got mentally ready to lose weight and get fit, that I realized what the quote means. Now that I was no longer required to be at swim practice for 2 hours or conducting PT (physical training) for an hour each day, it was up to me to ensure that the time I put into working out is effective and efficient. Maybe this also has something to do with how time becomes more precious as we get older. Regardless, now that I’m actually doing squats and lunges so that I can have nice legs and butt, I really don’t want to cheat anymore. I have a goal and I’m going to put in the effort to reach that goal. 
So, I often tell my clients: “You came here, make it count” and of course, “Don’t cheat on this lunge, it’s your time, you’re only cheating yourself!” 
GI Joe giving it his all in the
Miami ING Marathon
I only wish I’d realized this during my swimming years...I often think I just might have been a better competitor! :)
When you head to the gym today, remind yourself that it’s your time, don’t waste it and don’t cheat yourself! Have a Fit day!
~ Samara

1 comment:

  1. why did you two have to move?! I soo need you to kick my butt at classes weekly and well I could pay you to cook for me too. Say is there room in that house for two more?