A lot of you may not know this about me, but my life is sort of like a miracle. Now, I know we are all God’s creation and we are all technically miracles. But, what I am referring to is a bit different.
I’ve shared a number of time that the reason that I got into fitness was because my dad died at the age of 36 of Colon Cancer and rather than allow folks to convince me that I was basically doomed to the same fate through genetic predisposition, I choose to do my own research and found tons of data that proved although we all have a cancer gene, lifestyle is what usually triggers it.
Most of us have experienced tragedy in some form or another, and I am nothing special in that regard. In fact, it makes me more like everyone else than it differentiates me. Where I think the miracle in my life is and where God has truly blessed me was in getting me out of ghetto “hood” mentality. You see I’ve lost more friends and family members than I can count on both hands and feet to gang violence. I have close relatives in prison right now. Being that close to people who have been consumed by drugs, violence, and disease, and not becoming a statistic is a true blessing. It’s like God had a protective veil over me and kept me focused on enough good things that I never was swallowed up by ignorance and poverty like some many of those close to me. I feel those blessings everyday and I try not to take life for granted.
One of the many lessons that I learned in the Hood is to make decisions by what your eyes see. It’s how you survive. You see someone or something that looks out of place you automatically go into defense mode. So in a sense, my miracle is composed of consistently making the right choices based on what the options where at the time. It’s because of this I find that life basically comes down to choices.
Is a thing right for me or is it wrong? Sometimes, it’s more like a grey area and we have to choose the “righter” thing to do, relatively speaking.
So what does all this have to do with Fitness you might ask? Well, it’s not so much about fitness as it is about making decisions. Making the right choices about our health and fitness. But more than a choice, I’ve looked back on my life and identified a few other key elements that allowed me to live a miraculous life.
The 1st is that I was committed to a goal. I can remember being no more that 8 or 9 years old when I exposed to gang life up close. I never gang banged, but this was the age where many of my playmates that didn’t have a strong father figure began being recruited by older seasoned gang bangers. Basically, the younger kids look up to the gangsters and admired them for being tough and having status from criminal activity. I was also young and impressionable and very much enticed by the teenagers just like all the other boys my age.
Then, my dad signed me up for football and I was instantly hooked! While my other friends hung out on the block and soaked up that gangster mentality afterschool, I was learning X’s & O’s and having dreams of becoming a professional athlete. I knew and committed right then and there that I would not be a victim of the streets. That commitment and the ability to continue to do or not do what I had decided to when I was 8 years old is what allowed me to stay in school long enough to earn a Bachelors degree and forever change the course of my family name.
There were plenty of times and occasions where I wanted to act like a thug. Remember, in my neighborhood that can be acceptable behavior amongst the youth and in particular young men. But, I was committed to “Not” being a statistic. It kept me safe and along with Gods hand, my commitment kept me alive.
So that’s the 1st thing we need to do in order to succeed in any aspect of our life and in particular fitness or weight loss. Set a goal and be committed to your RESULTS! Don’t just say a thing. Commit 100% to your goal. That way when distractions or temptation comes along you are able to stay focused on your commitment.
The next thing that needed to take place after I made my commitment is that I needed to have a plan to get out of the hood. My plan was to follow “Snooky.” Snooky A.K.A Robert Walker wasn’t a gangbanger. He got the name Snooky form his mom. He was a star running back for the Hamilton High School Yankees. He earned a scholarship to the University of Hawaii. I decided that I too was going to earn a football scholarship. Again, this gave me a specific target to obtain and even though things didn’t go exactly as I had planned them, I still eventually got someone to pay for me to go to college and play football for their school.
Now, at the time I lacked the mechanics of planning. I didn’t have the anatomy of creating a solid game plan. I did have common sense though. I kept it simple. Just do what Snooky did. The simplicity in my plan was perfect. Follow a proven method of success or see someone that has what you want and do what they did.
I began to align my everyday actions with that of a football player. I didn’t identify with gangbangers or drug dealer. I identified with athletes. My friends were athletes. I wasn’t the best, but I was committed and I had a plan. I worked on my plan daily. I ate, drank, and slept sports. It kept me safe and gave me hope. In fact, sports saved me from myself. I never strayed too far from the path of being an athlete. Even when my dad passed when I was a very young man, I kept pushing forward because I had a football game to look forward to.
The point is, without a Goal, Commitment, & some sort of plan to reach your goal. We are like a rudderless ship sailing across the ocean. We will end up in the Bermuda Triangle or something. Just floating across the sea with no purpose and no control. Conversely, with the proper destination in mind, a map, and decision to get somewhere, we will reach our destination 99.9% of the time.
What’s your goal? Are you committed? Do you have a solid game plan to get there? If you’d like some help with developing a solid game plan to reach your fitness goals, and someone to hold you accountable. Visit www.myfitranx.com/tarzana
We will be more than happy to spend our time and energy assisting you with reaching your destination!
Yours in Health,
Victor Sykes, SBBC