INSPIRE : "I Can't Workout"

How many reasons can you think of NOT to workout? Write them down. Alright, now how many reasons can you come up with TO workout?

If your list favors the “NOT”side, here is a little story that may change your perspective.

I was at Hyde Park Gym about to hit the platforms for some heavy deadlifts (I’m thinking man these are going to suck!). As I was getting mentally prepared, I noticed someone who seemed very different from the average member there. I first noticed his gaze and it was that of complete conviction and pure emotion. What I saw next came to me by surprise. As he turned towards the platform next to me, I saw that he had his right arm amputated (from the elbow down), and that there were straps that he had attached from his upper arm. At this point I’m thinking is he about to do deadlifts?! No way…

Low and behold, he strapped his right arm to the bar, got his left arm in position, preceded from a STRONG posture, and lifted 135 lbs for reps. At this point, I was in complete awe. Here I am thinking how deadlifts are going to suck, and here this man is rocking the hell out of the exercise with one arm! Not only that, he was completely independent in the gym, he knew which exercises he was going to do, and he moved with purpose.

I wanted to ask him about how he got to where he is, and how I admired his strength in the gym. Instead I sat, watched, and went off on what I like to call: My Own Mental Adventures. I began to think of the stories that he must have that led him to this point. I explored the pain he must have felt when he had his arm cut off. I went off on all sorts of tangents!

In the end, all of that didn’t matter. I feel that him walking into the gym at the exact time that I was dreading deadlifts wasn’t on accident. It was to teach me a valuable lesson. And I can summarize it in these few words: “Obstacles are what we see when we take our focus off the goal”. As soon as I realized this, I turned to my obstacle (345lbs), kept my focus on completing that lift successfully, and imagined my musculature and nervous system adapting to become a stronger version of myself. I preceded from this space, and completed the lift with an inspired sense of vigor. I achieved a personal record for that lift!

I am eternally grateful for getting to watch this gentleman in the gym. He changed my outlook by being himself. It took courage and resilience to show up the way he did, and I can’t help but admire that.

So now, I ask you to revisit your list and write down your goal with conviction and passion.

What is the emotional reason behind it all. Once you’ve done this, connect with that emotion every time you step into the gym/playground/trail/training session. Focus on that! Let it drive you to what you really want for your body. And last but not least….Remember the man with no arm.

Much love, Sumair

Sumair Bhasin