THE hangovers might just be starting to subside for O’Connor’s soldiers or Joyce’s warriors. It will have been all worth it. The gruelling training schedule. The discipline to say no when you’d rather say yes. The discipline to say yes when it would be easier to say no. It can all be justified with that Celtic Cross.
When you have finite goals it can be a whole lot easier to justify the difficult.
The difficult conversations you have to have with yourself to get up early, the difficult decisions you have to make when it’s time to dig in and push harder and the difficult choices you’re faced with when you have to bring your best even when you don’t feel like you can.
When you’re playing to lift Sam Maguire it’s easy to justify. When you’re playing to win a championship for your club, it’s easy to justify. Even when you’re training to stake your place in your team and be a leader within your group, you embrace the difficult.
So why do so many of us struggle to apply that mentality to the biggest game we’ll ever play? Life.
Why even when we know how much better we feel and perform does it seem like a huge challenge to do the difficult?
I’ll ask you another question that might help answer my last one.
What does fitness mean to you? There’s no wrong answer here by the way. Because just like the goals and ambitions you have, your response is personal to you.
And I think therein lies the breakdown. That’s the gap an awful lot of people struggle to bridge. They’re stuck seeing fitness as being in the shape of their lives. They compare where they are now to what they were like at the peak of their playing powers.
They don’t consider what fitness actually means to them right now. For me, fitness isn’t something you need a goal for. You don’t need to be training towards a championship. You’re training to be fit for whatever lands at your feet.
You’re confident in your ability to put your hand to anything. Lift weights, go for a run, hike a mountain, jump on a bike…be pain free after a day’s work.
And acknowledge it’s more than a physical term. Appreciate the incredible impact it has on your mental health. On your energy. Your mood. On the lens you view the world through.
If you’re overweight, unfit and not doing any sort of consistent training you best believe you won’t see your day the same as someone who is fit, healthy and comfortable as they look in the mirror.
You’re now a player in the most important game you’ll ever lace your boots for – enjoying a healthy, fulfilling life.
And to win that game, every now and again you’re going to have to tap back into that player mentality and embrace the difficult.
The Reignite Online Coaching programme kicks off in a few weeks’ time.
If you feel like you could do with a bit of help with your training, your diet and your approach to making progress, drop me a message.
It’ll not be the easiest thing you ever do, but good things don’t come easy.