Sep 06 2013

The gym is more than a place where their are barbells, dumbbells, weights, cardio equipment, and whatever else there is.  That’s just the surface.  Some views these things see as just objects and nothing else.

It’s way more than that.

I come across countless stories of athletes, coaches, fitness models, bodybuilders, powerlifters, and corporate workers who mention how exercise and working out helped them.   Dave Tate, owner and founder of EliteFts , tells his personal life’s story of being beaten up by his peers and teased for his learning disabilities.  He lacked confidence and was filled with anger, but then he found the iron.  The gym.

I’ve told my former athletes this many times, “The gym is not only a facilitator of movement, it’s a tool that builds character.”

Builds character.

There are many lessons I’ve learned in the gym, but I only want to focus on the 2 I feel are most important.

1. Kuha’o: Self Confidence

There’s a difference between confidence and arrogance.  Arrogance is when one who puts down others in order to feel superior.  Confidence is one who empowers and inspires.  When you work out, you are in control of the outcome.  You have several goals you want to accomplish, so every day you work your way towards that goal.  You’ll come across some obstacles, but it’s up to you to figure out the solution.

As a kid, I grew up with low self esteem because I persuaded myself that I was dumb, I wasn’t going to do anything with my life, and I was weak.  Then I became a student of the gym.  It was one place I felt I had full control. Where the outside world couldn’t bother me.  Where it was just me and the weights.

Overtime, as I started to get stronger and more comfortable with myself in the gym, I saw the confidence transfer outside of those walls.  I walked around with more confidence and talked to strangers more often.

When I work with female athletes, I don’t care much about their numbers – I mostly care about their confidence.  I think it’s awesome when a female can walk into a gym, especially in the free weight section away from the cardio area where mostly males are, and go about her business without any fear or feeling of intimidation.

2. Kuleana: Responsibility

The gym teaches you become more responsible.  If you want to see results, then it’s up to you to be responsible for your actions.  Going out to the bars and eating late night fast food, is not a responsible thing to do when you want to lose weight or even build muscle.  Or when you have a bad training day, who’s fault is that?  I’m sure there was something you could have done to make a difference.

I remember, I made the decision to go out and have a few drinks with friends.  I wasn’t going to stay out late because I wanted to workout the next morning.  But instead, I decided to drink more than I should have and ate like crap.  No one made me do these things, it was my choice.  Long story short, my workout sucked and I’m sure I wasted away my hard work and gains I had from the last workout.

When working towards your fitness and strength goals, it’s totally your responsibility.  You must take responsibility for your actions and not blame others for your shortcomings.  It’s all you.

Aloha.

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