It’s a word that many people like to throw around but it’s a concept that rarely endures. So let’s consider what it really means to those of us in the world of fitness and bodybuilding.
As defined on www.merriam-webster.com :
Commitment noun com·mit·ment \kə-ˈmit-mənt\
Simple Definition of commitment
- A promise to do or give something
- A promise to be loyal to someone or something
- The attitude of someone who works very hard to do or support something
But what does it really mean to us and how does it manifest itself?
It’s 4:30 in the morning, you’re all comfortable in bed, you can hear the wind outside and your senses just tell you it’s a cold day. But regardless, you know it’s time; it’s time to see how committed you are, just how badly you want it, how far you are willing to go to get it and how much you are willing to sacrifice to move closer to it. This is where you see how truly motivated you are to your chosen quest. Yes, it’s time to get up and head to the gym for that morning lift.
Commitment is a strange thing. It’s something many people like to claim they have. It’s something that is so much easier to talk about than to actually achieve. And most interesting of all is that commitment is a perishable thing. That is to say, it must constantly be renewed as it expires and disappears rapidly if left unchecked. It is a renewable state but it takes a conscious decision and effort to renew it. For many of us, commitment has a price and visible results are the payment.
Every day, we are all confronted with choices. We can choose to do something or not, choose to buy something or not, choose to eat something or not and choose to prioritize things. It is those choices that help define and shape our commitment to the things around us. Our jobs, our families, our loved ones and yes, of course our desire to improve our physiques. It’s the choices we make that fuel and shape our commitment. And as a result, a common denominator for commitment is “choice”.
A number of years ago, I had made an acquaintance in a then Mr. Maryland and had the pleasure of being able to train with him. One thing he talked about as we grunted and pushed each other through a workout was commitment and what it took for him to achieve that title. He described how the months leading up to that comp were all about sacrifice and giving up some things he wanted in pursuit of his goal. He described going on a cruise a few months before and how he was not able to participate in all the celebratory lifestyle often enjoyed on such a vacation. Instead, he chose to stay on the course he had plotted and as a result, he feels he didn’t really even enjoy the trip. It was after hearing that story that another piece to the commitment puzzle was clear; “sacrifice”.
So now we fast forward to more current life and again we all find ourselves having our commitment challenged. There are so many things in all our days competing for our attention and time. Things like work, relationships, hobbies and even desires all continually fight for our focus. And with only 86,400 seconds in a day, and constant distractions from the world around us, it boils down to priorities. How badly you want something and what you are willing to do, or not do, in pursuit of it. With that, “prioritization” too finds its way into our formula that defines commitment.
So flash back to 4:30am and you’re lying there in bed, contemplating if you are going to do what it takes in pursuit of your goal. Your brain quickly analysis how comfortable you are in your bed but that burning desire deep inside you that pushes you to be more than average drives a greater desire. And with that, you kick of your covers and find yourself donning your gym clothes to join that elite group of athletes that hold their workout above the warm comfort of their bed on this gloomy day. And before you know it, you’re getting out of your car, grabbing your gear and headed into the gym. You have done it. At least for that day, for that session, you have renewed your commitment and with that, you have moved closer to your goal. The kicker is, you know all too well, that the next lift is going to take the same process and require the same decision making to happen again. It is not a foregone conclusion that you will do it, it cannot be taken for granted. It takes you to consciously make that decision in the face of easier options. Yes, you must renew your commitment each time and it is with that “dedication” to the goal that we find our final piece of the puzzle.
In the end, it is up to each of us at the many crossroads we are faced with each day that both us and our commitment are put to the test. There are many times every single day that we have options and it is how we choose to respond that our commitment is both tested and defined. So with that, remember how lucky we are to have these choices and always remember where you came from so you can see how far your commitments have taken you already.
CHOICE + SACRIFICE + PRIORITIZATION + DEDICATION = COMMITMENT