I WAS ONCE AN AMATEUR
TIME TO READ: 3 minutes
2015 was my breakout year. Like dominos, the momentum I had built over the years as a struggling trainer started knocking the chips down one by one. A fully booked schedule, two sponsorship deal within a month of each other, an online training program built off a newly acquired 10k following. Life exploded all within a few shorts months, and I was quickly catapulted into the place I had dreamed about but never thought would materialize.
For the next year, I went on a rampage. Grinding from sunup to sundown, riding the high of glory. I finally felt recognized for my wild passion toward fitness. I became the trainer and went from barely being able to cover my rent, to buying a Range Rover in cash.
Then, like all things, the dust began to settle and the question I began to ask myself at night was, “What now?” Had I gotten lucky or was this just the beginning of something special?
The buzz wore off and I got lazy and comfortable. I screwed around on Facebook a bit too long each day. I took the occasional nap and yet still felt entitled to the fruits.
I found myself having less oomph in the mornings. Natural yes, but I still felt guilty about the fire in my belly that was beginning to simmer. I tried to stoke the flame until I realized that motivation is delicate.
It wasn’t until a late night drive home from the gym when I woke up and called myself out on my shit. If I wanted to live life on my own terms, doing the thing I loved most, for the rest of my life, I had to drop the drug addict behavior and stop relying on the next high, searching for the next “thing.”
I had to perform—no matter what the fuck happened that day—forever. I had to become legit.
Following a calling—a goal, a north star—requires you to enter the pain zone. It’s hard and it hurts. This is true for building a business, embarking on a fitness journey, or falling in love. Sweat is necessary for all of it. So many have the mountain of a dream with a mile-high climb, and yet would rather sit and imagine the summit, not climbing at all.
Our life is entirely up to us, but instead we often act like amateurs. We pretend and become bullshit artists; full of excuses and rationalizations. Until you have the uncomfortable conversation with yourself and flip the switch of your mindset, you will never achieve anything your mouth spits outs. You’ll be distracted and displaced, forced to point fingers and stay shallow. I believe ambition is primal and essential to our being, and to act is to embrace our unique purpose, while to ignore it is to turn our backs on ourselves.
The amateur calls in sick or shows up late. They screw around on their phone and watch Netflix too much. They make excuses. They create a personality, a story, as to why they “can’t.” Always talking, never doing. They’re boring. No one believes them when they announce their goals. They rely on results to drive them. They quit after 30 days.
The professional shows up, on time, ready to work. They happily endure adversity and difficultly, all while never taking their wins or loses too seriously. They commit, relying on the process to drive them. They’re in it forever. I’ll never forget the night I became a professional.