As I finished another ball buster of a workout up there on the hill – people “passing by” stared at me with a mixture of awe struck looks – and looks where the awe was mixed in with sheer BEWILDERMENT – and approval as well – especially when I was completing the last portion of my Eat Less – Weigh More routines.
It was a look that plainly said “Wow – what IS that foreign devil up to” – and as the sweat poured off me, the number of people that gave me this look increased exponentially.
‘Twas to be expected, of course, and IS to be expected until February 10th when the Chinese New Year holidays officially end. We’re towards the end of the holidays (officially, at any rate), and there are still hordes of people out and about …
Anyhow, as I finished climb #4 up the hill – non stop – I saw a little girl and her mother out there.
The little girl was probably no more than 2 years of age – maybe 3, but certainly no more – and while she was literally doing all she could to get up the hill, even outpacing some of the paunchy adults doing their version of an “ancient steam locomotive puffing its way up a particularly steep hillside” – – her Mom was the exact opposite.
Every few steps, her mother would stop – rest – and call out to her little girl to do the same – but she wouldn’t.
Every time her mother told her to “man yi dian” (walk slowly) – she’d increase her pace!
And she kept this up until she reached the top of the hill – a bedraggled Mom in tow – and raised her hands up in the air triumphantly – a kiddie version of what Stallone’s character Rocky does in all the Rocky movies.
Twas a nice thing to see – and it brought memories FLOODING back to me – 2016 to be precise, I believe.
We were on a trip to the Indian Himalayas, and decided to step away from the beaten path – and decided to hike a hill – that turned into another – and another – and another – and kept going on until we could see snowy peaks in the distance (literally!).
And leading the way for the most part was my little girl – then 3 – exhorting us to “keep going” – and she made the cutest picture, replete with a stick to “scare the wild animals off” – and every time I heard her say “come on, Daddy”- I couldn’t help but wonder about ONE thing …
… that being, that we as adults have so much to learn for young kids and toddlers – bloody minded perseverance being one!
My little girl was damned and determined to climb ALL The hills that day – and much like the first little girl I mentioned, she would well have done so if it weren’t for the fact that we’re talking the Himalayas here as opposed to ONE hill!
Have you ever noticed that when little kids want something – they usually up getting it?
It’s no accident that they DO – and while NO, I’m NOT recommending you as an adult to throw a hissy to get what you want, it’s worth noting that little kids keep at it – and keep at it – and keep on keeping on, in other words, until they get what they want – or accomplish what they want!
If there is ONE thing that the Ford’s, Rockefellers, Jobs’, Bezos, and Edison’s of the world (to name but a few) have in common – aside from a host of admirable qualities – it is the quality of PERSISTENCE – in SPADES.
Backed up by a fierce desire and the determination to keep on keeping on no matter what, bloody minded perseverance breaks down even the most stubborn of obstacles on your path to whatever goal you choose – and results in eventual and LASTING SUCCESS!
Read the above carefully, my friend. There is no escape from the FACT that this applies to any goal you set – fitness – life – relationships – or anything in general.
And talking about fitness, specifically?
Well, since we’re on the examples train …
Many years ago, there was a sickly little boy with a severe case of asthma, that wouldn’t go away no matter what.
The doctors tried everything – all the medication available at that time – but nothing seemed to work. If anything, the boy seemed to cough even more, and the docs gravely pronounced that this boy would need to be on medication his entire life – and also that he’d never be able to do anything “strenous” – or close to it.
In fact the doctors actually WARNED his parents against allowing him into any sort of even remotely strenous physical activity.
When this kid heard the doctors say what they did, something SPARKED inside of him.
He REBELLED internally – and the next day he slipped away from home a bit earlier than usual, and started to RUN.
It was hell, of course. He was panting and out of breath pretty soon – and his lungs were burning and so were his legs – and soon all he could think of was to sit down and take a breather.
But he didn’t.
He kept pushing himself to go further – hit certain yardsticks during the run – and keep surpassing them – and hell though it was, he MADE it through the first day.
The second day was even worse, as his entire body was racked with pain from the run.
But he kept at it, mile by bloody mile, he KEPT AT IT!
As he did, he noticed something beginning to happen.
His asthma improved – bit by bit – until it finally disappeared!
The little boy went on to be a fierce high school Greco Roman wrestler – and as an adult, he not only wrote Dinosaur Training – one of the “eternally evergreen” training manuals out there – but also won no less than FIVE national bench press championships – drug free by the way.
That little boy was Brooks Kubik – a man I first came to know in 2004 when he published a little routine I sent him “Rahul’s hill walking workout from China” in his daily newsletters – and I still remember what he asked me.
“Are you from the miltary? Thats a great training routine!”
Often times, when I climb the hill – or do a 1000 pushups – or engage in one of my long “endurance-strength” workouts – I’m tempted to quit.
I was today when I was out there, for that matter, and the looks the people were giving me as I clambered up the hill yet again didn’t help one bit.
But I remembered the little girl. I remembered MY little girl as well.
I remembered Henry Ford, poor and penniless, a man that stood by his dream until he got what he wanted, and then some.
And I remembered the VALUE of perseverance – and I completed my workout – tough as it was – as I have all these years!
I don’t know if you remember or have seen the Steve Austin starrer “Chain of Command”, but there is a part where Austin’s character is seen berating a man that betrayed the team.
He goes on to tell the man in NO uncertain terms about his past military career – and an encounter with the Taliban where the soldiers were greatly outnumbered, and taking bullets from all sides.
One of the guys got hit and couldn’t move – and Austin’s character goes on to say how he braved the bullets – “took one in the gut” , “took one in the shoulder” , ” took several rounds to the ….” (all quoted verbatim” … “but he did his damn JOB!”
In other words, he got the damn job done – and if there is ONE note I can end this rather long email on, it is THAT!
So that’s that for today. Several stories for you to read- and ponder – and learn from – and then apply!
P.S. – By the way, if you haven’t grabbed “Eat More -Weigh Less” by now, why not? What are you waiting for, my friend? Hurry on over HERE to grab the little gem – https://0excusesfitness.com/eatmore-weighless/