Recently I was engaged in an interesting conversation with a young gym goer around his dissatisfaction with his progress.
There’d been good beginner gains during in his first year, but was now at a point of stagnation where progress suddenly wasn’t so visible.
He was obsessed with getting bigger, but muscle growth takes time – with his youthful impatience all he wanted was the result being like a fitness cover models and six-pack flashing reality stars.
The answer, he felt was using steroids to get that ‘jacked’ body he wanted, which I strongly discouraged, reminding him of the great progress he had made.
It did make me think about the impatience of a young person, the same impatience I had as a teenager who didn’t have the lived experience of life to appreciate how fast time goes when you become an adult.
When I was 16 I was stuck with a life changing decision:
“What do I want to do with my life?”
A question even with two decades more experience, I still can’t answer.
I’d been presented with the opportunity to take-up an apprenticeship at a printers – a process that was to take five years to be fully qualified.
I thought, in a way I imagined involved two exclamation marks.
“In Five years…I’ll be twenty-one! I’ll be really old then!… That’s way to long to do a job where I only get paid £50 a month!”
My ignorant teenage brain continued processing…
In hindsight I appreciate the irony of talking myself to live a life on a pittance wage, while learning a trade and yet this was the same mind that thought paying £3000 a year for the most expensive toilet paper on the market – a University degree, was a good idea.
How old is too old?
If you are under the age of thirty then you are not old!
You don’t have to make snappy decisions, you can do things that take time, you don’t have to worry about balancing whatever you want to do with other commitments.
Embrace the long game and enjoy the journey.
Going back to the gym…
I’ve learnt there is always another day.
There was a time I would perform lifts even though I knew I wasn’t ready.
But because of ego I had to show off doing a big lifting resulting in one of the following:
- perform a shitty half rep
- have shitty form
- end up aggravating my body with injury
All resulted in, you guessed it – no gains, if only I had been more patient and built up slowly.
As in the gym, the same is true in life.
Have your goals, have ambitions, respect time and as Gary Vaynerchuk always says – learn to enjoy the process, it’s all character building.