We are big on positive reinforcement here at Woodshed. This is especially important during the first few months–no matter the starting point, there are always one or two things an athlete is already doing well, even something as simple as making time for 2-3 workouts a week. We’ve found that accumulating some clear wins in short order lays the best foundation for longer-term success; most folks, after all, don’t join gyms to fail at things.
There are times, however, when asking “what’s the alternative?” can be an incredibly motivating factor. Most of us do have performance goals (and if not, consider some!), but it’s worth the occasional reminder that for just as many of us, the decision to train hard is itself a worthy end.
Because there are alternatives. Sure, some are superficially benign–sedentary lunch breaks, you’re worn out after twenty minutes of yard work, the jeans are tighter around the waist than they were a few years ago.
But some aren’t. Anxiety and depression, poor bloodwork and lipids, having to tell your kids or your spouse “I can’t” or “not right now.” Those things suck. Those things are the enemy. And for some of us, they represent an alternative we’d go to any lengths to avoid.
So for sure, stack up your wins. Write them down, remember how hard you’ve worked and how far you’ve come. But don’t lose sight of the alternative. Whatever’s hiding behind your curtain, waiting to pounce…I want you to be one second faster than that motherfucker. Choose YOU.