Yesterday I was talking with Sheena Potts, the owner of Pure Performance24. We were talking about what keeps some people from being consistent in class.
I had brought up an incident from a few nights ago where a client had texted me about being too tired to come to class that night. For the record, she's an accountant who runs her own small office, so this time of year is hell for her.
I knew she would be better off just coming in - even if only mentally, and I also figured she was looking for someone to give her a nudge - so I told her she should come and at least do a scaled down program.
This led to Sheena talking about a concept she called the Alter Ego. The guy she pulled it from wears fake glasses because he always associated wearing glasses with being smart, so his wearing glasses is his smart Alter Ego.
Laugh, or roll your eyes, but the brain, perception, and association are powerful things.
So, anyway, she was talking about helping others find their Alter Ego. When they're too tired, too sore, too disinterested, too whatever to show up and train - they step into their Alter Ego and show up, put in the work, and build a better version of themselves.
It may seem weird, but if you think about it, it's kind of a cool idea.
There's a duality in everyone - the part of you that has dreams, plans, visions, and goals, and the part of you that wants to dash it all on the rocks, set fire to it, and walk away.
What happens when apathetic you wants to call the shots? How do you fight that desire to push off commitment?
You need to summon that part of you that wants to fight, struggle, and prevail against the gravitational pull of resistance to self improvement.
This is the side that doesn't want to settle into comfort, convenience, and slack, but would rather rise above your current state, rise above the status quo, and accept the challenge to be the best you can be.
As I'm sounding off here, I'll let you in on a secret, and maybe a little insight.
My Alter Ego wants to drink too much, hang out late at night listening to bands in dive bars, waste the day chasing entertainment, and generally kick back.
I could, and have in the past, drink every night. I could spend my nights on the couch or hanging with friends.
While any and all of these are enjoyable in the short term, where is it going to get me?
Even if I changed my training - decided to shrug off the onerous mantle of progressive strength and conditioning - where I have to put in time, effort, and planning - with the expectation of doing a set amount of work each session - in exchange for something less structured that would let me get away with a varying level of commitment, and a lifestyle that called for less discipline - what then?
Maybe I could stay in relatively good shape - whatever that means.
Maybe I could still make some progress and get stronger.
Would I be able to coach others to better things - coach them through the difficulties of lifting and share with them the value of strength and the lessons learned in the training room?
Would I be able to keep young athletes from injuries that could effect the rest of their lives while helping them perform their best?
What could I teach or share about hard work or being committed to excellence?
Would I have any passion or purpose in what I was doing?
Perhaps I'd be just another guy selling BS with a cool job.
Here's the deal, O, gentle reader...
We don't need any more mediocrity.
We don't need any more weakness.
What we need are more people who are willing to drag themselves from the morass to become something better.
We need people courageous enough to fight for greatness.
We need people who will take control of their lives and refuse to be told "it's all downhill from here, or whatever other BS gets jammed between their ears about their health, strength, and fitness.
It is not over. You're not too old. You're not too weak. You're not too uncoordinated. You're not too fat. you're not too out of shape. You're not too injured. And, Good Lord - You are not broken.
We need bold souls who will stand against the ever encroaching darkness of ease, comfort, and convenience - leading to apathy which bleeds the strength and self sufficiency from our hearts, minds, and bodies, and replaces them with fear, weakness, and dependency.
We need people who will refuse this downward spiral, rise to the challenge of pursuing excellence and become examples to themselves and those around them that there is a better way.
Your Alter Ego is waiting, anxious and restless, ready to take you into a glorious new territory.
Eric Chasko is the head of Redemption Fight Club. He is a Performance Enhancement Specialist and Progressive Fighting Systems Full Instructor. From young athletes to busy professionals, he helps people develop the physical, mental, and emotional strength to win on the field, on the street, and in life.