Do it for Yourself


March 17, 2013 by IowaTriBob

After a tough and challenging week of training, both physically and mentally, I decided it was time for a little mind numbing TV and found myself watching “American Ninja Warrior” on NBC with the family. Although this post has nothing to do about the show itself, if you haven’t watched an episode it’s pretty cool and amazing to see the free form strength training that these guys put themselves through. It’s like a triathlete workout for upper body and something I’m sure anyone who has ever gone rock climbing would definitely appreciate.

What really stood out to me were the pre-event interviews and in particular, how many of the contestants shared that they were doing the training and contest for someone else. Some were doing it for their wives, some were doing it for their kids, and some were doing it for their parents (both alive as well as many that had recently passed away).

As I thought about this for a minute I realized that the interviews on the show weren’t all that different from many interviews and testimonials I had heard before. Whether the show or interview was for body makeovers, weight loss, athletic events, or changes in behavior, it seemed a common reason for making the change was because of somebody else.

At first I thought this sounded great as many reasons were very sincere and definitely very heart felt by those sharing. However, after giving it some more thought I’ve come to the conclusion that these individuals are destined to fail if the number one reason for changing isn’t for themselves and themselves only.

As I look back over my own past experiences I can point to numerous examples of this happening. From joining the wrestling team my freshman year in high school, to enrolling in pre-med in college, to buying an acreage to start a horse stable business, all were great ideas but they were done for someone else and ultimately doomed from the beginning. It’s not that I wasn’t committed to these endeavors; it was just my main reason for doing it was for someone other than me. Which meant it was also much easier to quit. It was easier to come up with excuses why it just didn’t work out, or why I had done enough and really didn’t need to do anymore. Regardless of the reason, it was just easier to give up and stop.

That’s not to say that others can’t play a major role in why you’re doing something. Part of the reason why I started training for a triathlon, and more importantly working towards an overall change in health, was because both my Dad and Grandpa passed away at somewhat early ages and both in relatively poor physical condition. I know both weren’t ready to go and would have given anything for just a few more days of life, but it wasn’t meant to be. I really do believe if both wouldn’t have smoked their entire lives and would have kept in even half-way decent shape they both could have had just that extra day with their kids and grandkids. Both could have spent just a little longer with those that they loved and shared another bit of wisdom on how to live life to its fullest.

Although both my Dad and Grandpa provided the spark to get started, I didn’t commit to this new way of life, training, and racing for either of them, I’m doing it for me. I’m doing it because I want to. I’m doing it because I don’t want to have any excuses or regrets. I’m doing it because I’ve learned from the experiences of my Dad and Grandpa and don’t want to think of what more could I have done to get that one extra day. Although both have provided tremendous motivation to get up and get after a workout or trade that Big Mac for a healthy lunch, I’m not doing it for them. I’m doing it for me.

And because I’m doing it for me and can see the change deep down within, I know it’s going to be successful.

So if you’ve recently embarked upon some life changing goal or lifestyle, make sure you’re doing it for yourself.  Do it for yourself and use your experiences and others as sources of motivation when things get rough, visualize the change from within, and you’ll be surprised how great you are and how much you can truly accomplish.

6 thoughts on “Do it for Yourself

  1. kruzmeister says:

    You make some great points Bob and I totally agree. I spent a lot of my previous sporting career in Taekwondo training and competing for others instead of for myself. When I got sick and found Triathlon all that changed. I now eat healthy and train for myself and my own goals. I no longer look for or need the approval of others. When things get tough I will look upon my father (who passed 11 years ago) as inspiration to keep moving forward but ultimately I do it for me.

    • IowaTriBob says:

      Thank you for commenting and sharing. It really is amazing the difference it can make if its something you want to see vs. something someone else wants to see for you. I look forward to following your journey!

  2. bgddyjim says:

    Truer words have never been written. Great post.

  3. Excellent post and so true. Wise words.

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