When can I finally win?

Life is never easy for those who dreamIf you grew up like me, you were taught that hard work pays off.  We seem to have lost touch with this principle in our instantaneous society that we live in.  With the recent rise of 10 minute workouts, 30 minute interval training, DVD’s promising 90 days to a new body, cleanses, and supplements that promise to rid the body of toxins; no wonder why we have made our health and fitness something that’s purchased and not something to be appreciated.  When someone walks into Blitz with a list of things they want to change about their bodies, I always tell them that this isn’t a buffet where you can walk a line an pick whatever you want and slap it on the plate.  It takes time to see proper and long lasting results.  Sometimes what we want to see doesn’t happen.  Our bodies didn’t get to it’s current state overnight, or even over the span of a few weeks, so how can we expect goals to be achieved in such a short period of time?  It takes effort, patience, and discipline.

The desire for the instant win isn’t only found in fitness.  Take University or any post secondary education, students finish their schooling and walk out with a degree and the realization that it’s just the beginning of their journey to finding a profession.  It takes work to find a job that fits both the vision of our lives and our qualifications.  Sometimes the first, second, third… career doesn’t fit what we actually want.  It may seem disappointing but ultimately it means that we’ve been equipped with lessons from our past experiences in order to find the right path.  It takes effort, patience, and discipline.

But sometimes even after we’ve worked ourselves to the bone the results don’t come.  Sometimes it feels like we’re spinning our wheels and, try as we might, the results that we want don’t happen.  I’ve suffered this multiple times in life and in fitness.  I’ve come to learn that even after I think I’ve given it my all, there’s still always that little bit left in the tank.  I’ve learned that in order to stimulate my muscles to grow I can’t half-ass a workout.  I need to put everything I have into it, and then some.  If I want a bodybuilding physique, I need to devote my mind and my body to building muscle.  My nutrition needs to be exact, I need to bludgeon my muscles at different angles to grow properly.  I need to constantly switch up the routines and make them increasingly challenging.  I need to be as passionate about the process as I am about the result.  It takes hours and hours, not 30 minutes, to achieve a goal.  Most people just don’t want to do this or the discipline simply isn’t there yet.  Weight loss, for instance, is about establishing a routine, a discipline that’s outside of your comfort zone.  If it was comfortable, you wouldn’t have to do it, or you wouldn’t change.  But on top of the discipline, it’s about challenge.  We practice going to the gym consistently, that’s a win, but do we change the challenge during this time enough to see results.  Do we gear up the intensity and give it our all every time?  These principles are the same in life too.  Most people are comfortable with their living and don’t want to upset the boat even if they’re miserable.  The desire to change needs to be coupled with an uncontrollable passion to execute actions that cause that change no matter how uncomfortable it would be.  But we need to be patient and see the small wins.

Sometimes that small win is just getting up in the morning.  Sometimes that small win is making it through 5 minutes of an hour long class when we didn’t even last 30 seconds the first time.  Sometimes that small win in life is simply taking a step forward without glancing back for security.  Effort and discipline must be balanced with the notion that very few of the good things in this life are instantaneous. That belief that victory is just around the corner, even when we’ve turned thousands of corners with that thought in mind, needs to be engrained into our very being.

So when we state or ask ourselves: I just can’t win; or when is it my turn to win?  It’s possible that we should simply stop looking so far ahead and look at that single step that we just made towards the goal, hunker down, work some more?  Let’s focus this week on finding those small wins and using them as momentum towards bettering ourselves and our community.

About Chris Tse

I’m a scientist turned owner of Blitz Conditioning, a Fitness Columnist at CBC Radio on Thursdays at 8:20 am, and owner of Tse Social Strategy. Follow me on Twitter or Read my full bio.


  1. Sean Sinfield says:

    Great post spot on! That same thought can be said for almost everything in our society today from fitness, to jobs, to relationships. It takes time and hard work, how much time is dependant on the individual and their desired results. I too had one life path when I went to school, but found I did not like what I was trained for so I changed my path and worked hard to achieve results in a new endeavour.

    Thank you Chris for being an inspiration to all.

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