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The Bullhorn, Issue #041 -- Monthly Motivator for August 2009
August 15, 2009

Just the right push to succeed!

Goal + Hard Work = Success

You’re probably thinking that this is an absurdly obvious equation…but most of us continually try to find ways to avoid the hard work part. Goals are easy to come by. We all wish we were in better shape or could run a faster race, but how many of us make the commitment to give it all that we have to get there?

A recent article on CNN Health detailed the life turnaround of a man named Rich Roll (pictured above). At his 40th birthday, he hit a plateau of disgust with himself and made a plan to change. His journey has taken him to a very different lifestyle of that of a super-endurance athlete and recently named one of the Top 25 Fittest Guys in the World (Men’s Fitness Magazine).

The most intriguing part of this story is that he is not super-human. He’s a father of four with multiple jobs and hobbies…yet he dedicated himself to this transformation and worked hard to attain it. The other part of his article that hit me was the section where he advised taking it one day at a time. This is great advice! How often do we all get overwhelmed with our life and goals and just quit out of intimidation. By taking it one day at a time…one push-up at a time…one snack at a time…we need not conquer what seems insurmountable.

There is no accomplishment in life that’s worth a darn if you didn’t work hard to get it. That’s why diet pills and electric pulse exercise machines are a farce. Hard work is the key ingredient to success. It will drive your plan; build momentum over time; increase your overall confidence; and ultimately get you to where you want to be and beyond!

Flexibility Matters

I have a confession to make...I stopped stretching to save time…and it worked until now?! A few months ago, I felt as if my whole body was going on strike. My knees hurt. My Achilles ached; and I would walk down the stairs each morning as if it was the day after the Boston Marathon!

At first I just accepted this new achy state and thought I’ll just plow through it. And one day I stopped to touch my toes for a quick pre-run stretch when I noticed I could no longer touch them?! Since that time, I’ve added stretching back in (morning and evening) and have noticed a lot less pain and creaking of joints. I’ve also noticed a bit more speed in my workouts which makes complete sense. Stretching does more than just warm muscles up. It lengthens and strengthens our muscles, tendons, ligaments, and connective tissue. As it increases our flexibility, it also increases our ability to get stronger.

Stretching is more than a pre-run / post-run formality…it’s a necessary part of our fitness routine. It also does not have to be done adjacent to our workouts. It can be a workout of its own. The Achilles stretches and toe curls that I’ve been doing at night have had a immediate and positive impact on my morning mobility. Check out the stretches page for some good flexibility exercises.

Semper Gumby, my friends – flexibility matters.

Product Review of the Month:
i-gotU GT-120 GPS Logger

i-gotU GT-120

I had the opportunity to try out this neat little gadget for the past several weeks and really enjoyed its capability for its small size and price. It neatly recorded all of my workouts and mapped it for me on Google Earth along with listing my running time, pace, and exact distance. It is only 20 grams and can get lost with your pocket change. It has a 30-hour battery life and came with some pretty cool software to boot. If you’ve been looking for an inexpensive way to measure your running routes, check out my full i-gotU GT-120 product review for features and details of this cool running gadget.

Exercise of the Month:
Take the Stairs!

Do you take the elevator or escalator on a daily basis? Do you pile things at the bottom of your steps to “save” yourself the trip? If so, than the stairs may be an easy and convenient calorie-burner addition to your daily routine. You can burn 100-150 calories for every 10 minutes of stair-climbing that you do. By walking up stairs for only 10 minutes a day, you’ll be burning 10-15 pounds of fat per year! Look at your daily habits and see where you can fit some extra stair-climbing in through your day. Take the longer path to your office…walk up and down a few sets of stairs at lunch….take one pile of laundry up the stairs at a time (instead of 3 baskets ;-)….think about your day, and I’m sure that you’ll be able to find lots of ways to add some stairs. Taking the stairs may seem like a small and insignificant task, but the benefits of this exercise really add up over time and could be a real difference-maker in your life.

Sound Off!

If you have any feedback (positive or negative), success stories to share, or suggestions for future articles, please feel free to drop us a line. We’d love to hear from you and we take all feedback, suggestions...and yes, even criticism very seriously. We’ll use this information to improve our newsletter and The Fitness Motivator site to help you and others like you attain your fitness goals.

Encouragement to Succeed!

P.S. - Please feel free to forward this to a friend!

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