Consistent effort over minor details

Here’s a very short story I like to share with clients that can get frustrated during a prep and lose sight of the progress being made. I felt this was particularly relevant right now since I’ve just had 3 of my own clients recently tell me about how “the weight just suddenly started coming off”. It didn’t just magically happen. The work you’ve been doing over the past weeks and months did that. It can just take some time and perspective to notice the changes.

Story of the man hitting the concrete block….

A man spent most of the day hammering away at a large concrete block in an attempt to break it down into smaller, more manageable pieces. Despite hours of continuous effort, only small pieces of the block were being chipped away. As time wore on he became frustrated, exhausted and impatient – not being able to see the return on his time invested on the task. He was ready to give up and felt he was wasting his time.

About to pack it up for the day, he put the sledgehammer down and started to walk away when he heard a large crash behind him. He looks back at the block he had spent most of the day working on and noticed several large pieces of the block had broken off and were scattered over the ground, leaving behind a much smaller, more manageable piece of the block. A large smile consumed him.

What he failed to realize was that with every strike, he was weakening the structural integrity of the block, making significant changes to the internal foundation of it. While not entirely noticeable on the outside while he was intensely hammering away, these changes were enough to eventually cause the block to break and crumble to the ground. His efforts were not wasted after all, but had he given up just 30 minutes earlier and given up, the block would have remained intact. His problem was that he was just so focused on each individual strike that he failed to realize the cumulative sum of his efforts and he lacked the right perspective to appreciate the changes that were occuring. He came back the next day and finished the job in half the time. The hard work was complete.

This analogy does somewhat translate to the human body. As we start a transformation or prep, there are many times we may feel like nothing is happening on the surface level if we over analyze and only look at the day to day changes and not the month to month changes. What’s key to remember is to continue pushing every day, focusing on the end goal and the work to be done. The changes WILL happen and you WILL get to your goals. If we let a few moments of discouragement get the best of us, that’s when you can count on failure.

Keep hammering away,

Coach Sean

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