Commit or Complain

"A champion is someone who gets up when they can't."

-Jack Dempsey

People LOVE to complain. Love it! Some people enjoy it so much that if they don't have anything to whine about, they're actually unhappy.

Why is this a waste of time?

Well for one thing, it does NOTHING to help you get closer to your goals. Constantly venting about your problems won't actually solve them.

You're still skeptical?

Let me tell you a story.

Learning Your Limits

I had never been much of an athlete as a kid. I never played football, quit baseball by 2nd grade, and stopped playing soccer by the time I was in middle school. When I entered high school, I wanted to change things: I wanted to join a sports team.

So that spring, I joined Track and Field.

Okay, it's not exactly the most EXCITING sport, but it was a nice start for my fitness career.

In fact, I had been training for it. My Dad and I would jog 3-4 miles in our neighborhood since I planned on running long-distance.

On the first day of practice, I chatted with coach how far the distance kids would be running.

When he told me 7-8 miles, I paused and asked where the sprinting kids were standing.

All right, so things weren't going according to plan from the start. But they couldn't get worse, right?

Well, since i hadn't really practiced speed running during my training, I found myself at the back of the pack during each sprint.

And when I say the back, I mean REALLY FAR BACK. Some kids were twice as fast as me during the runs.

All About Practice

Despite the rough start, I refused to give up. I was determined to give this sport my all and see where it took me.

Running in mainly the 100 and 200 meter dashes at meets, I hoped that by the time the first meet came, I would be at least in the relevant range of the other kids' times.

I ran a 15.6 on my first meet's 100. Even the slowest sprinters ran under 15 seconds.

Understandably bummed, I toughed it out, refusing to give up.

The hardest part was watching some kids not even try hard and still excel at the sport. When it comes to speed, people either have it or they don't. Unlike other sports, there's little one can do to drastically improve quickness.

One kid in particular would hardly show up to practice. When he did, he would come late, barely stretch out his muscles. Every time he ran, however, he was always at the front of the group. Heck, he even helped our 4x4 team break the high school national record; imagine how far he could have gone if he just tried!!

Obviously I was jealous of his raw skill. But I still showed up to practices, even when some of the coaches didn't seem to hold me in high regard.

At one point in my sophomore season, a regional relay was coming up. Most of the team would be attending it.

"Hey coach," I asked. "Do you need me a to be at the relays next weekend?"

Eyeing me for a moment, coach replied "You? Nah, don't worry about it."

Even after a year of hard work and running during my off-season, I still wasn't good enough to compete at the next level.

That being said, I had noticeably improved by junior year. I wasn't one of the fastest kids, but I could keep pace towards the center of the group.

During a meet at my high school, my hard work finally paid off.

Practice Makes Perfect

It was a sunny day, with a certain euphoria in the air.

I stepped up for my 100 meter dash as usual, but for some reason, I could tell it felt different. Maybe it was something I had for lunch or just psychological, but there was this energy inside before the gun went off.

The gun erupted with a bang.

My legs raced forward, faster than I had ever been. My spikes dug in the ground with every step, keeping me on solid traction while increasing my speed.

Racing across the finish line, I gasped for air and walked over to my coach to get my time.

12.6 seconds.

I was shocked; my teammates even remarked they had never seen me run so fast.

Heck, I quoted this time to college athletes later in life and they found it respectable.

Now bear in mind, the fast kids on the track team could go as quickly as 10.7 seconds even in high school.

But for me, this time signified something. I had come a long way.

Conclusion

It doesn't matter what goal brought you to this site. Fat loss, muscle building, general health... all these things will take dedication.

Start dedicating now and you'll reach your goal before you know it.

That's one story from my experience. What are your thoughts? Any stories to share?