Monday, November 01, 2010

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Reining it in ...

TO be successful at things we need to hang in there for the long term – and the key to hanging in there, is to take an approach that is sustainable.
I cannot count the amount of times I have witnessed a newbie (on the mat) catch a healthy dose of the BJJ bug and suddenly turn their whole lives over to BJJ practise; and only in rare cases, are these people still training a year or two later. The same thing happens to people when they join a gym to get fit; all too often, the newbie starts training five days a week, only to burn out well before their membership has run it’s course.
The healthy approach (to work, training, etc) is to take an approach that is sustainable; this allows us to wed the activity more seamlessly into the fabric of our everyday life. When our practise becomes an integral part of our LIFESTYLE, we are less likely to stop, give up or burn out.
I am reminded of Cliff Young, an amazing middle-aged sheep farmer who lived and worked in the coastal foothills not far from the town where I live. He used to trot around his hilly farm all day, wearing gumboots (shin-length rubber work boots) rounding up his sheep. The one day he decided to enter the 1000 kilometre Melbourne to Sydney footrace; a well-known event that attracted professional runners from far and wide.
As the race started, everyone took off with a bang. Old Cliff Young began his shuffling trot at the back of the pack. Come half way, the sprinters had all dropped off – yet Cliff shuffled on. And yes, you can probably guess it by now … he won the thing. Eventually, in his steady but sure, shuffling style, Cliff past them all, including the pro’s and went on to become a local Australian legend. I would bet with confidence that many of the people in that race have since given up running – and I also bet that Cliff can still be found chasing his sheep over the hills of his farm. Long is the race – train in a way that is sustainable, diet in a way that is sustainable, exercise in a way that is sustainable … the middle road rules.

Best wishes
JBW

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5 Comments

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Hi John,

Thanks for the words of wisdom...
I have so many times in life done exactly that.. GONE HARD and soon had to GO HOME burned out...

This time I am taking Cliff's approach to BJJ... Slowly but surely.. Consistency is king..

CHeers,
rav

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Anonymous 4:41 pm

It reminds me of an old saying I heard once, "slow and steady wins the race". Thanks for sharing.

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Thanks again for these wise words. I am recovering from a small injury and this helps me to see the big picture and let my shoulder to heal. :)

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Very wise. My training has been through the wringer lately - we've had problems securing a venue to train in and it's put me out several weeks this year. I used to freak out whenever injury or circumstance prevented me from training, but lately I've come to realize that BJJ will always be there and it doesn't require my constant vigilance. I still hate being away from training, but if I have to take a break every now and then I can enjoy the vacation and come back with more enthusiasm.

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Long is the race ... particularly if we are investing in life-style. This approach has worked for me in almost every aspect of my life so far, training, fitness, relationships, finances - I am healthy on all fronts - largely due to my approach of 'chipping away' ...
as they say in combat pistol shooting - slow is smooth - smooth is fast!
JBW

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