Lots of Work no Magic Potions
By Coach Brian Keith Shrewsbury

The catch phrase “no gain no pain”  is an accurate statement when it pertains to life and especially sports.  <Making gains in life is not usually easy, and the sustaining things take work and time.  Back a few decades ago the quick fitness craze began, with people like Jane Fonda and a bunch of other quick fit videos and exercise equipment.  These new gurus were supposed to get you fit fast and without a lot of effort.  Most of these quick fit programs came and went, some of them were ok, but none of them stuck because there is no quick fix to fitness, or life.

Before the fitness craze of the 80’s The catch phrase, “No Pain No Gain” had been used  with the like of Jack Lalane and even Arnold Schwarzenegger later. The term also used a lot was, “ feel the burn”  the fitness giants of decades ago knew that there were no quick fixes, and they were mainly interested in fitness gains, not the monetary gains of those of todays fitness crazes.

Many exercise physiologists today would say that the way to hard solid muscle and a good fit body is a lot of hard work.  The muscles need to be pushed past what they can already do, and get to a point of exhaustion.  In Arnold schwarzenegger’ s body building book, he talks about working the bodies muscles past their limit to the failure of the muscle.  This concept of working hard, and committing to an exercise program is so foreign to most Americans that work even seems to be a bad word. People in today want quick fixes, quick soothing, and easy to get rewards.  In most cases hard work combined with a program and commitment will lead to long term fitness/sports rewards and success.

Have you ever hear of the “Jumping Jack”?  Well fitness guru Jack Lalane is given credit for popularizing it in the USA back a few decades ago.  He even coined the phrase, “Dying is easy. Living is a pain in the butt” (wikipedia).  When Jack was younger he was addicted to sugary food, and did little exercise, he did not have a long term plan.  When he got older he become a fitness junkie instead, his soothing came from long term success.  If he did not have a machine to workout on, he invented it.  When there were no clubs to work out in, he opened his own clubs.  Many followed his example and opened fitness clubs of their own.    There are no quick fixes, just a lot of dedication to exercising and figuring out how to get results and stay on track.

Along with exercise Jack invented crazy stunts to entertain himself and others.  He did not look to others for his ideas, he followed his own dreams and challenged himself.  He once swam from Alcatraz ( the prison island in San Francisco Bay) to Fisherman’s Wharf, about 1.2 miles across shark infested water while handcuffed. He also swam across the water under the Golden Gate Bridge, toeing a large boat with his mouth.  The journey turned into a 6 mile swim thanks to the current.  To say the least he did some crazy stunts to challenge himself. (http://www.newser.com/story/110438/jack-lalannes-10-most-thrilling-fitness-stunts.html)

Today most people would think that Jack was a crazy man.  He was an adventurer, a risk taker, and he blazed new trails in fitness and how people viewed being healthy.  He did not look to others to set his goals, or tell him how to think.  The things he did took great leaps of faith, and failure was around every corner; sometimes even death.  Many never take the hard road that Jack took, some would think he was stupid.  Instant gratification is too tempting and always easy to reach, but yet not very satisfying in the end.  Each of us may get the quick thing we want and it often times leads to disillusionment and lack of appreciation of what has been achieved.

When you want to really get some place in life, I believe that you have to think for yourself, blaze your own path, take a lot of risk, and be OK with failure at ever turn.  I believe you also have to be grateful for your successes, and even stop and say to God and to those that have helped you; thank you.  Without appreciation and the understanding that we sometimes need to work hard to attain our goals, the reward at the end of the journey will not be very satisfying.

When I do take a risk and start a new project, I try not to disrupt what is going well in my life. Building on my successes helps me move forward at an even greater pace.  Also asking others for help, and putting trusting good people in my path, makes my risk safer and more tolerable; “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, this statement could not be more true.  Often times just when I am on track and winning and getting my confidence up, someone will come along and side track my success and efforts.  When things are going the best for me I can almost always except someone to come along and tell me that they know a better way.  I rarely believe that my accomplishments are solely me, but I sure do not believe in people that come along to sell me a better idea, especially when they have not even been a part of my life when I was struggling.   When people do help me, I can tell their authenticity when they struggle with me and encourage me all of the way.  No true friend or anyone I want in my life is worth much if they wont help me with my struggles, and show up to steal my success.

In my life there have been no magic short cuts; there has been only hard work and dedication leading to my successes.  I have had to blaze my own trail, and suffer from my bad decisions.   I have had to get up over and over and dust myself off, and try again.  There have been no people that have done things for me, but there have been good people that have given me opportunities and let me decide on my own what to do next.  I have always thought for myself and been a little weird and outside of the box.  There have been many people that have told me that I would fail, never amount to much and that I did not even have the intelligence to go to college; they were wrong.  I will never wait for a magic potion or a quick fix to gain the things that I want.  Hard work, tending to my own life, and making my own decisions will get me where I want to be in life.  These values are not flashy nor are they exciting. Each thing I have accomplished has been from hard work, support and choosing good people to be there for me


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