Obstacles don’t prevent success, they make it.

Achieving success can take an incredible amount of drive and determination, and let’s face it, sometimes we just feel like giving up. In times like these, the obstacles that stand in our way are clearly seen, while the rewards and benefits are blurred. I am relating this to fitness, but it can pertain to about any aspect of life.

I can tell you all about it first hand. In the past, I had the determination of success with fitness, and today I struggle with the obstacles.  In college, I took a large cooler to campus daily so I could eat healthy and never missed a workout, as I was focused on training to become Mr. Cincinnati.  Now that I am older and have different priorities, I often struggle with the mojo needed to workout.  I catch myself focusing on the obstacles that can prevent the workouts, rather than keeping the vision of success.

Here is a great little story that I am plagiarizing about obstacles:

“Yesterday I watched a small bird, flying very fast, disappear into the canopy of an oak tree. So dense were its leaves that it was impossible to see what happened next, though I can tell you it remained inside.

I wondered how the little bird found its opening through the leaves at such a speed, and then managed to gently align its fragile body on the branch it chose to land upon, all within a fraction of a second. Not to mention the impossible to imagine flying maneuvers required: the banking, the curling, the vertical and horizontal stabilizations, the deceleration and landing.

Memory? Calculation? Not in that tiny brain. Instinct? Maybe, but how does instinct know which way the branches of a tree have grown when no two are the same?

That little bird just knew. It had faith, in spite of not being able to see how things would work out, that if (and only if) it stayed the course the details would be taken care of; that an opening would appear and a twig would be found. In fact, had she slowed down enough to carefully and logically inspect the tree first, the prudent thing to do, she would have lost her lift and fallen to the ground.

Kind of like reaching for your dreams. Neither memory, nor calculating, nor instincts are the deciding factors, but faith coupled with action.”

Taken from daily inspirational emails from: TUT…A note from the Universe.

As a personal trainer, the most predictable part of my job is knowing that I will hear all about the obstacles, and the toughest part is inspiring people to quit focusing on them.  The obstacles that prevented the two pounds of weight loss for the week, that prevented the client from showing up on time, or that prevents them from pushing harder in a given workout.  The small bird, with a brain smaller than your pencil’s eraser, does not see the obstacles, but we, the most intelligent beings on Earth, struggle to look past them.

I know there is a victor inside of each of us, but we all too often focus on being a victim.  We are not the victims of obstacles because obstacles do not prevent success. They are what success is made of.  Without obstacles, it is simply handed to you, and what is successful about that?

“Faith coupled with action!”  Faith and action are two key ingredients needed to succeed in about every aspect of life, including fitness.  You first have to believe in yourself, and then you have to take action.

If that small bird can see past the obstacles and find a branch at full speed, you can top that.  I’ll meet you in the oak tree to celebrate.


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