There are three words that I see all over the place in the fitness world, and they bother me to no end: “What’s Your Excuse?” I feel like it belittles the true accomplishments and drive of the people used as an example.
One thing the whole Cancer Experience taught me is that you are always a statistic of one. You can’t compare yourself to others directly because their battle is not your battle. It’s good to take in as much external motivation as you can, as long as you use that motivation as something to strive towards rather than equal. That person you’re using to motivate you has their own motivations, their own goals and their own reasons for doing what they do. Absorb their inspiration, but don’t use it as the foundation for your motivation.
For example, Thursday I saw this amazing story on that wretched hive of scum and villainy, Facebook:
Naturally, I had to race over to their Facebook page and dig up the previous video they mentioned:
I’ll give you a moment to compose yourself.
Now first off, this is an amazing accomplishment and I’m both overjoyed and proud of someone I don’t even know. It’s inspiring to be even a second or thirdhand witness to someone playing the hand that fate dealt them and fucking winning. Human potential is a truly astounding thing and it just breaks my heart at how many people just. Don’t. Get it.
Think about your friends. Think about your family. How do they react when you tell them about what you do here? How many times have you heard “I could never do that,” “You guys are crazy,” or the phrase that puts a spike right through my brain: “That looks too hard.” The next time you hear that last one, you have my permission to slap them in the face. Hard. As they’re trying to get their eyes to focus again, ask them what they’re afraid of. That’s what’s behind a large majority of the people who aren’t in here working out with you: fear. Not only the fear of the unknown but the fear of their own potential.
A lot of people don’t like what we do because it’s hard. Because we’re in here learning to get comfortable with uncomfortable. Because we’re striving to mold ourselves into Something Better. Because we’re facing down our fear and making it our bitch. It’s a big step to make for some, but the reward can be immense for those who take it. Just look at Amanda up there. She was brave enough to strive for a change and now she and her coaches and friends are making that change happen.
The next time you see something inspirational like Amanda’s accomplishments and get ready to share them with your friends, ditch the “What’s your excuse” claptrap, because we know what that excuse is. Instead, change it to “Why are you afraid?”
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.”
– Marianne Williamson