My goal as a personal trainer is to always be helpful. This can be a struggle, but much of life is, and it makes being a trainer and a person rewarding and frustrating at the same time. We discover a lot of things along our journey, and what has been coming through to me lately is the depth of discipline.
Every word carries a particular connotation. These are usually based on certain feelings and then tabbed as good or bad. A lot of people may understand discipline as punishment, strict, or mean. A bad thing. Certainly, if discipline is used as a weapon, it could be seen as this. There is something much greater to it though. Something very good.
When you are devoted to a purpose it takes something much more than a vague time-commitment. This is because there is error in our beliefs, judgments, and conceptions. Which is perfectly okay. Devotion means commitment to being in touch with how you feel about yourself emotionally, mentally, and physically towards a cause.
Being devoted to a purpose, yet playing it off as not a big deal is a fundamental breakdown in discipline. It confuses other people when they too commit and find it difficult to follow. There is a large amount of this breakdown happening. Not just in exercise, but in our society as well. Creating a chaotic and confusing lifestyle.
Discipline is the key. It will help you to discover what you are devoted to and also to settle unnerving nerves. What keeps me going amid the people who start but rarely finish, amid frequent cancellations and re-scheduled sessions, is seeing those people still hoping and trying. The same people who struggle are the same who always fight for the best possible outcome. If they, if you, could only see how strong this makes us already, it would be the only thing to exercise for. Not for weight loss or any other picture perfect goal.
There is no substitute for discipline. It requires patience, courage, and resiliency. Saying yes when you need to say yes. Saying no when you need to say no. It is so simple that we over-complicate it. Which is okay. Get back to simplicity. Understand your devotion. Understand your strength. Know your discipline.
Trey Tompkins is a local resident who writes fitness columns for The Record-Herald.