How to Not Excuse Yourself


After my podium finish at World’s Toughest Mudder, I have been asked countless times a string of very similar questions.

Well, I came to some conclusions that I wanted to share since I know that a lot of you are living a very similar lifestyle or trying to build one.

And January is on it’s way.

So here’s what it seems people want to know:

“How do you live with no excuses?”

“How do you find the willpower to make consistently positive lifestyle choices?”

“Do you ever get lazy?”

We all know that someone who is successful in whatever they are doing probably made a few really big impact decisions (like races etc.) and a heap of really small ones (like what to eat, when to sleep and who hard to work).

The “how” though is trickier.

I hopped onto the highway to get to an early morning crossfit class the other day. Traffic was backed up to my on-ramp from the far side of the bridge three miles away. I tried to get off and go around it. More traffic. So I parked my car and ran. I was twenty minutes late but I figured that some was always better than none. Plus, I’d get a run in.

When I arrived, I explained the circumstances. People were flabbergasted that I would just park my car and run rather than throw in the towel.

But for me I wasn’t thinking, “Should I go in this traffic?” – I was thinking, “How do I get there in this traffic?”

My workouts are a priority… so I make them happen.

But how does one get there? Well, I think everyone has cultivated that discipline in some respect.

Mothers don’t wake up, hear a crying baby and think, “Should I get up?”

They just do.

Pregnant ladies don’t think, “Should I have this baby?”

They just do.

And the list goes on. People are good at making the things that they have committed to happen.

In my own personal experience, people will have a much easier time committing with a deadline (like a big race or wedding).

The other thing that I have noticed is that committed and positive fitness oriented people have a sense of adventure. That bridge traffic wasn’t an annoyance. It was a challenge. It was an opportunity to run in the dark and the rain and look out over the reflections on the water.

It may be hard at first to get your butt out the door and do hard things… but you’ll soon find the rewards are worth the effort. And effort and reward are almost always proportional. I know that the more difficult a workout or race is, the better I’ll feel for days, weeks or months after. It’s a very small price to pay really.

I also know that I’m in the body that I built and I like owning that.

No excuses? I guess… I’m never looking for them though.

Why Wait?

Why Wait?

Waiting. One of the marvellous traits of humanity is that we can learn to enjoy it. I know more than anything, training has helped me to appreciate it as the essence of life.

Every time I do a workout that challenges me, I wait. I wait until I can breathe again, I wait until my muscles regain feeling, I wait until I can stop the torture. And I know that the longer I wait, and the harder it is to wait, the better waiting is.

Training is waiting. You are never living in the body you created today. You are living in the body you created yesterday. Long ago. Someone else’s body. You will not get to reap the strength, power or endurance that you built today. No, you will wait.

I used to hate the taper before a big race. Turning off the beast mode after a chunk of hard training makes the sanest of us crazy. But now I love tapers. The wait. The calm before the storm.

Christmas time is all about waiting. We start it really early around my house and get really wound up. Every day is a count down to the big day. And is the day itself so wonderful? Not really. It’s all about the wait.

We get Christmas every year but I’m probably only going to have two babies. I find I need to remind myself that life is all about the wait, all about the journey, all about enjoying the moment. This is a time I will only have once… the only time my baby can hear my heart beat all the time, and when I can feel her every move.

There’s almost always opportunity in your life to move forward, but sometimes its all about sitting still to truly appreciate where you are.

Happy Holidays!