We don’t get lost too often these days. Most of us are endowed with some sort of handy GPS gizmo, either on our smart phones or in our cars, which help us to seamlessly navigate even the most remote parts of our worlds. Take a wrong turn or miss an off-ramp? No problem. A helpful voice, well-meaning but often with dubious pronunciation skills, will chime in and reassure you: “Recalculating Route.” Before you know it, you are back on track. If we ever thought there was only one way to get between Point A and Point B, our GPS navigation has dispelled this myth. In fact, there can be dozens of ways to get where we want and, quite often, you can chose between the fastest, the shortest or the way with the least tolls. It had never occurred to me to apply this knowledge gleaned from everyday technology to other facets of my life until I read “The Struggle Is Real: Finally Break the Dieting Cycle, Transform Your Mind & Body, and Evolve Into The Person You Have Always Wanted To Be” by Karol Brandt and Robby D’Angelo, in which the authors use this exact metaphor for navigating the missed turns and roadblocks that arise in our lives.
Life loves to monkey with our plans – this much I know to be true. We set a goal, we create a roadmap for how to achieve it then life steps in like three year old with a jumbo box of Crayolas and makes an indecipherable mess of our carefully laid-out map. So often in my life, when obstacles arose, I would throw my hands up and say to myself, “well, this is impossible.” I became so focused on the route that I lost sight of what really mattered: the destination. When going to the gym became difficult or inconvenient, when the way I shopped and cooked changed, whenever any aspect of my pathway to achieving my fitness goals was altered by circumstance, I suddenly believed my goals were unreachable. These setbacks always seemed like legitimate “reasons” for why I couldn’t work toward my goals. But when you think of those words… recalculating route… you realize your “reasons” are just more excuses. They are ALL excuses. We have all seen the stories of runners with prothetic legs completing marathons, athletes confined to wheelchairs dominating at court sports, etc. and if they teach us nothing else, they teach us that all your reasons are excuses. You simply need to recalculate your route. The route is inconsequential; finding your way and getting to the destination is everything!
I have been struggling lately to meet my weekly weight loss goals. When I stepped back and objectively looked at what was going on, what were the possible culprits in hindering my progress, I realized that one of the major things missing was consistent, vigorous cardio workouts. Because getting to the gym for workouts in Bay Area traffic was eating up all my time and becoming a hassle, I solved the problem by creating a home gym (recalculating route), installing the TRX and stocking up on equipment like a kettle bell, medicine ball, core ball and dumbbells. Initially, I planned on running for my cardiovascular workouts but my fitness level is not where it was when I was running daily making it brutal on my joints (for now). I have been walking on my lunch break and sneaking into the gym on the occasional Saturday morning for treadmill time but, obviously, that hasn’t been enough. So earlier this week, I thought to myself, “there is another way to get from Point A to Point B… recalculate the route.” Then, yesterday, it hit me like a bolt of lightening. Most cardio equipment (treadmills, elliptical trainers, stair trainers, etc.) are huge, heavy and expensive pieces of equipment and; therefor, out of the question for our small home gym space… but a rower? A rower can be compact and lightweight. A rower can torch calories while working your arms, legs and core in an easy, fluid, non-impact motion. I took to Craigslist and a few hours later, we were picking up my new hardly used basic rower for the home gym. I knew from experience and from the testimonials of others in “The Struggle is Real” that there absolutely would be a way for me to get where I needed to go.
So what are your reasons (excuses) for not moving towards your dreams and goals? What are the obstacles that seem to be standing in your way and, more importantly, how can you maneuver around them? Think about where you are, think about where you want to be, visualize the two points in your mind as a map with highways and city streets and ask yourself “how do I get there?” Recalculate route.