Fit For Life: Marathon – or Sprint?

Saturday, May 20, 2017


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Matt Espeut

High School Football ended in December for our team, since we went to the Division 2 Super Bowl, but I got to relive the season last week when they passed out the championship rings. Seeing and wearing that ring has brought me a lot of joy this past week, not because of the way it shines, or the fact that it feels really cool to wear it, but that it symbolizes 4 years of hard work, and I couldn’t be happier for the kids that are graduating this year with a championship. This experience will last them a lifetime.

I started coaching 4 seasons ago, and every year but last year, we came up a little short of the title. We were always the fastest and most explosive team on the field, but we always lost to the more disciplined, and fundamentally sound teams that played closer to perfection and executed better than we did. I always told the team that regardless of how fast or strong we were, we still had to execute, or the more disciplined teams would beat us. And they did.

What was different about last year you might ask? Well, we were not only the most physically dominant team on the field, but after working with the same group of players for the last 4 years, I noticed that the maturity and discipline level was much higher. At the end of the year, the head coach congratulated the team for working hard "this year." I quickly stepped in and said “Coach, it wasn’t this year, but an accumulation of the last four years that these kids worked hard”.

Although we work hard every year, this season was different. This was the year that we meshed and gelled together as a team better than past years. The last three years we didn’t; and I feel that it was due to the team being a little immature, and the lack of experience we had working together.

I am telling you this story because I want to hit home that everything we do in life that will net us a positive return takes time, hard work, and consistently taking action. Kind of ironic that the most impatient man on this planet is telling you to be patient, and that all good things take time, but it’s true. As much as I don’t want to wait for things to happen, I also know that most of the time I am being unrealistic and impatient with my expectations.

When I opened my business, I had high expectations. I still do. Although everyone around me keeps telling me that I am doing great, I don’t think I am where I should be, and that discourages me. Even though I know that it takes time to grow your clientele, build your team, and get your systems dialed in, I want it to happen yesterday.

But instead of getting discouraged and quit, close my doors, and walk away, I try to work not only harder but smarter, so I will become successful in the end, I am trying to take positive steps every day. I invest in my education, hire coaches, work hard, and stay focused. Because I know that it will all pay off someday, and good things take time.

I see it all the time with people and their fitness and health routines. They come in here with 40-50 lbs. to lose, workout like crazy, eat properly, lose the first 20-25 lbs., then fall off the wagon, because they don’t hit their overall goal fast enough. Although at Providence Fit Body Boot Camp we get people results faster than anywhere else, building muscle and losing body fat is still a process that takes time. I always ask folks, how long it’s been since they were in ideal shape? For many, it took years of slow progressive weight gain to get where they are, and I tell them that it’s impossible to reverse the damage with a quick fix, and it will take time and consistency to be successful.

I trained a woman for a couple of years, and every week she would get discouraged that the weight was coming off too slowly. One day after a weigh in, I gave her a high five and congratulated her for losing 30 lbs. She was so happy, she started crying. Perfect example of how consistent hard work and discipline will net you a positive result.

You see, most people quit before they get to enjoy the satisfaction that hard work and discipline will pay them back. It’s like running for 25 miles in a marathon, and quitting before the last mile is finished. I am here to tell you today that nothing comes easy, and anything good that happens to you will be a result of consistent hard work. Will we have setbacks in life? Absolutely. I wrote about adversity last week, and that each, and every one of us will face adversity regularly in our lives, but you can’t quit. When you get derailed, and fall off track, it’s much easier to correct things than it is to start over from square one, so when we fall we need to get back up, brush ourselves off, and jump back into the game.

Remember, you can’t build a championship team in one year, it takes time. The same goes for your fitness and financial status. You need to keep taking small, consistent, positive steps toward whatever goal you set, and you need to do it with the mindset of a champion, and leave the quitters behind. A quote I hear all the time is that life is a marathon, not a sprint. But sprints get you great results, and long distance running doesn’t, so I am going to rephrase that quote by saying, life isn’t a marathon, it’s a bunch of sprints - combined. You need to work hard and briefly rest and recharge. Do this over and over, again, and whatever it is you are doing, will bring you success.

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Matt Espeut, GoLocal's Health & Lifestyle Contributor has been a personal trainer and health & fitnesss consultant for over 25 years. He is the owner of Fitness Profiles, a one on one, and small group personal training company, as well as Providence Fit Body Boot Camp, located at 1284 North Main St., on the Providence/Pawtucket line. You can reach Matt at (401) 453-3200; on Facebook at "Matt Espeut", and on Twitter at @MattEspeut. "We’re all in this life together – let’s make it a healthy one


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