It happens every two years alternating between summer and winter. It’s when the World’s best athletes come together for the ultimate competition. Records are broken, dreams are realized, and medals are won. At some point in our lives we’ve probably all had “Olympic Dreams”. Unfortunately, if you’re like me, the skills required to reach those dreams are sorely lacking – for example; if you’ve ever seen a rock swim, you have a pretty good idea of my pool abilities – can you say ‘hybrid dog-paddle’? Now, I’m not saying that every event is going to be that sad, but there is no way most of us can compete with the big guns.
True, many of the athletes competing in London this year we’re likely born with some genetic ability predisposing them to success in a given sport/event. But this fact does not automatically exempt them from hard work, dedication, and hours and hours of practice. Many of the competitors started at a very young age and have had the support of their parents, families, coaches and friends along the way. They have become strong and confident in their ability and are not afraid to push themselves outside of their comfort zones and make sacrifices to achieve their goals. They will do whatever it takes for a chance to “Go for the Gold”.
So, what does this have to do with you or with a Paleo lifestyle? Think about this for a minute. Let’s say you that you are currently battling a health, weight, sleep, stress, or training issue. You know that something has got to change in order to improve your current condition – this may be a physical change, mental change or an adjustment in habit. The biggest thing holding you back is the fact that it’s ‘hard’ and what you’re doing now, even though it’s not necessarily healthy, is comfortable and easy. Maybe it’s even become your identity – are you the ‘over-trainer’, the one that’s ‘big-boned’, or the the ‘caffeine junkie’? It’s become easy to just keep doing what you’ve always done – because making a ‘fast food’ run at lunch time is WAY more convenient than packing your lunch…
How many times do you think the Olympians of today have wanted to throw in the towel, skip early morning practices, or ditch on time in the weight room because sleeping in or hanging out with friends sounded ‘easier’? I’m fairly certain it happened more than once… But guess what? They didn’t – they instead focused on their ultimate goals and changed their thinking. What once was ‘hard’ and ‘uncomfortable’ started getting easier and pretty soon the ‘tough’ stuff became habit. Now let’s apply this to a ‘real world’ scenario:
Meet ‘Pat’ – Pat has always struggled with weight, now has Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure, hormone/thyroid abnormalities and is always tired. This ‘state’ has been the theme for the past 5 years. Pat is on a number of prescription drugs and it seems that every visit to the doctor adds another or a higher dose. As for diet and exercise – well, Pat pretty much ignores any recommendations in those areas. It’s not to say the thought hasn’t occurred to make changes, in fact; Pat has even tried – there was the DASH diet, that bout with Slim-Fast, the walking program, home exercise equipment, and the unused gym membership. It was all too ‘hard’ and since Pat had all the meds to control the major health stuff, the ‘comfortable’, ‘easy’ path was the chosen route.
Now, granted most of us are not in as dire need of intervention as ‘Pat’ – but I’m fairly certain we’ve all got something that’s keeping us ‘comfortable’. Well, it’s time for us to be Pale-‘O’-lymipians. It’s time to do the things that are ‘hard’ and ‘uncomfortable’ and to reach for our goals of physical, mental and emotional health. If you’re reading this, it’s safe to say that you’ve either already made some major changes or that you’re thinking about it. The mind is your fiercest competitor – change that and you’re in medal contention. Everything is hard before it is easy, and nothing that’s worth doing doesn’t take some work.
Start training now and before you know it you’ll be “Going for the Gold”!