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This Is Tough

30 September

This is Tough

The hardest part of an exercise program can be getting your head into it. In any program you undertake there will be parts of it you absolutely despise, but there will be parts you absolutely love or look forward to, or eventually fall in love with as you realise how good you are at certain tasks.


There are days, and I will admit more than you might think, where I just come up with every crap excuse to not workout. I need to get these forms filled in, I just have to pay the phone bill, once I finish the BAS I will get to it. And that is all these are; excuses. I am putting these up because I know that the workout I have planned for myself will be particularly challenging for me. I might fail at my clean or snatch. Oh there are heaps of burpees today; I just don’t want to face that, and so I come up with things, anything.


I am telling you this so that you can see you aren’t alone, that even the coaches struggle from time to time. And sometimes we struggle a lot. If you rewind to just after the open in 2016 I was at a loss. I wasn’t training well, I had added on a few kilos and I was simply unmotivated.


I had zero motivation, I was not wanting to train, I just wanted to do anything but. It all seemed too tough, I felt I wasn’t good enough, I felt I didn’t look or perform like a CrossFit box owner should. But Jodie and close friend put me straight. They reminded me why I work-out. It has nothing to do with anyone looking at me from the outside, it has little to do with what others think of me at all. It is about being the healthiest version of me I can be. So that I can be there for my family, so that I am not a burden to them when I am unwell, so that I can help them and not have them have to help me, so that my little one sees that her dad is capable and he looks after himself and that she can do that too.


I had forgotten my why. Why I was doing all this, why it is important to me, why I must be better than yesterday. Without a why there is no reason to continue. It is true for most areas of life. If we don’t have a good, solid, realistic reason for doing something, anything will get in the way of it.


And there for me is the reason I set goals that are not at all appearance based. With the goals of being as healthy as I can firmly set at the top, all others drop in to line with them. I want to be healthy so I am a good example, so that in her adult years my grown daughter will not have to take care of her frail old man.

From that my performance goals all lead to the health goals. Does that mean I no longer have appearance goals? Not entirely, I know that with the more important goals at the top, looking better will be a nice side effect. I still do want to look good for my spouse, I mean, who doesn’t want to be desired more by someone else? J But it isn’t my primary driver, and when it has been in the past it has been very easy to fall off the wagon and revert to unhealthy habits. Appearance is a very poor motivator, my why needs to be much more important than vanity. And personally my health and wellbeing overall is the strongest motivator and driver I can think of.


Who doesn’t want to be able to run up a flight of stairs without getting puffed? Do I want to be at the GPs every two or three months or once a year or so for just a check-up? I don’t want achy joints from lack of movement and use. I want my better posture from being stronger in my core. I enjoy not getting colds and flus anywhere near as savage as other people. I love sleeping soundly and waking refreshed. I love being able to share an amazing, fulfilled life with my spouse on a daily basis. I love being able to keep up with my daughter.


Yes the workouts I plan and do are tough, yes it is tough to get into them in winter, etc, and yes I am sometimes really sore and sorry. In comparison though the alternative of not being able to enjoy time with my spouse and my daughter to its fullest it really is quite easy.



About the Author

Jim Ridley is Armidale’s accomplished personal trainer. Having lost over 25 kilos and becoming a PT, Jim knows where you are coming from. He is the owner of Gym Ridz Personal Training and CrossFit Armidale, 2012 Winners of the Health, Beauty and Wellbeing section in the Armidale Chamber of Commerce Business Awards. The only private training studio in Armidale and Armidale’s only CrossFit gym. He is also an avid if not tragic St George Illawarra Dragons fan.