I’m a gym-rat. And if you’re not, you might not quite get the implications of discipline in my life because of the time I spend in the gym.
We gym-rats — or people who workout, or your kids in PE — are a people who regularly and intentionally put ourselves in situations that we literally cannot do until we can. We systematically find things that are too hard to do, and then practice the mental and physical strength to do them. And then do them. And then every day, every day, every day, set another standard too high to reach today.
Don’t think that you can replicate this discipline any other way than in the gym. You can’t.
Of course, we all admire people with the discipline to get through school, or a level of professionalism. But there is an obvious and vital piece missing: Physical training
When shift hits the fan, and it will! we need to be as physically strong as we possibly can!
We will not BE our best possible self without physical strength. We will DO your best, do doubt. But we will not be our best possible self without a significant amount of muscle, and tendon, and ligament, and bone strength.
Physical strength cannot be gained without riding through discomfort. Literally, lifting heavy things, or moving really fast, hurts. Sometimes, when I’m working out, every brain neuron is telling me to turn off the heat because it is so uncomfortable. But shrouded over those quitting words is the memory that I must get better, and the only way to do that is to do what I said I was going to do.
This is discipline that is not replicable in any other situation. It’s not “have to,” it’s “Must do!”
I must train my mind to do the things that I don’t want to do! I must train my mind to withstand pain! Because I am human, and humans experience things they don’t want to. And humans experience pain. My goodness how imperative it is that our world exposes our children to this type of exercise!
They are learning, We are learning that, YES, I can pull through this (whatever life situation) because I’ve done it before! Or Yes, I believe my body can adapt to this change (I don’t like) – I do it every day. I’ve done it a million times in the gym! It’s not just time staring at ourselves in the mirror or shallowly bragging to our SM how much we lifted today, it’s genuinely getting better every day for the sake of (at the risk of getting too dramatic) survival!
What I’m asking you to take home today is to Be cognizant of the fact that when you’re getting cozy with those cold iron bars, grunting past a rep that you couldn’t do yesterday, you are gaining discipline that could quite possibly save your life.