"Shit happens... all the time.
So get over it."
That's what I tell myself at least three times a week. Life, in general, doesn't always go to plan.
In business, shit happens which you can't control.
In relationships, shit happens which you can't control.
In exercise though, you, and you alone, are in control.
That's why some of the most successful and resilient people are also the healthiest. They understand the benefits of exercise, not just from a 'superficial' point of view, but also for all the emotional and psychological effects it has on the mind and body.
The Magic of Exercise
Exercise is an easy win.
Whether it be going for a 5km jog or getting into the gym for a strength training session, you can't lose.
Sometimes, an easy win is exactly what you need. Imagine this (it may have happened last week):
It's reaching the afternoon after a slow Thursday. You glance at the clock. 4.17pm. The phone rings. Bad news. News that's going to make a lot of people unhappy, and you're the one who has to fix it. Your division will lose money over this, from one person's stupid mistake.
This would boil many people over. I know for a fact it would stress the hell out of me. It's a loss.
The thing is, you WILL sort it out. You always do. But right now, in this second, get an easy win and restore balance.
Too many losses can end you
Score something on your side of the board
In every single instance, exercise is something you control.
Going to the gym, as soon as you step into the room, you win. It doesn't matter what you do. Even if you don't have a program, you have already accomplished what you needed to by being there, so do some exercises that make you feel good and get out.
It's always a win because you know you need to exercise. Not just for the physical benefits, but for all of the mood-enhancing, motivational, psychological, spiritual and emotional effects.
Exercise boosts your mood and energy, and sometimes that's exactly what you need to even the score.
Who are you winning against?
The thing that made that phone call happen. The thing that holds you back. It doesn't want you to achieve anything but stay in the comfort of victimhood.
In his book 'The War of Art', Steven Pressfield writes,
"Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance."
Anytime you feel like nothing is going right, that's Resistance kicking you in the balls. It hurts, but you can fight it. Get easy wins on the board and generate the momentum to kick it back even harder.
Who are you winning for?
Anyone who depends on you.
It's not about major accomplishments
It's true, sometimes you can walk into the gym and really not feel like training. In this position, get the super easy win. Something is better than nothing.
What do you like training? Screw the plan today. What do YOU like doing?
Want to get a good arm pump? Pick up some dumbbells and start curling.
Enjoy just busting into a jog to get a sweat on? Do that.
Feel like working your chest? Superset some dumbbell chest presses and flyes.
YOU WILL FEEL SO MUCH BETTER.
This, in many cases, will give you mental clarity, lower your stress and allow you to get over whatever shit just happened.
Exercise is not all about looks.
For the elite, it's the problem solver. It's the stress reducer. It's the clarity to think. It's the energy producer. It keeps them grounded.
It allows them to get over shit.
Chalk it up as a loss, exercise, get the easy win, use the momentum from the win to chalk up another win. Soon enough the wins you gain will surpass the loss.