Today I want to speak to you about patience and farming. Patience and farming? What the heck does that have to with fitness?
Patience and farming have everything to do with fitness! Obtaining results in the fitness world is not something that gives us instant dividends. We all want results instantly, actually we all want results yesterday. But fact of the matter is, whether we want to hear it or not, reaching optimal fitness levels takes enormous amounts of patients coupled with extremely hard work. Period!
I started thinking about this process of patience and farming recently because it is about this time of year when people begin to get frustrated with the exercise process in terms of seeing results. It reminded me of an article that I read years ago by a very successful strength and conditioning coach, Mike Boyle. I went to the wonderful land of Google and have included this article below for you to read.
In the article Boyle uses the farming analogy in regards to fitness, but I also like to think of farming in regards to our attitude and our thoughts. Our brains are like a farm. I often tell my clients that every day they have to wake up and “chose your attitude”. We all have bad days, don’t get me wrong, but we still have a choice to how we respond to those bad days. If you chose to “plant” negative seeds in your head every day, negativity will eventually sprout. And that will not only affect your outlook on success but it will also affect the people around you. We need to make a practice of planting positive seeds into our brains on a daily basis. Positive seeds of thought grow positive actions. Alwyn Cosgrove summed it up best by saying, “Psychology trumps physiology every time”.
“Plant the seeds. Feed and water properly. Wait for results; they will happen, not in days, but in weeks and months.”
Living Life with No Excuses… No Regrets!
I think I remember Stephen Covey in his book Seven Habits of Highly Effective People making reference to what I believe he called “the law of the farm.” The reference was meant to show that most of the truly good things in life take time and can’t be forced or rushed. Covey described the process of farming and alluded to how it requires patience and diligence to grow crops properly. In addition, farming requires belief in the system. The farmer must believe that all the hard work and preparation will eventually yield a long-term result.
As a strength and conditioning coach, business owner and personal trainer, the concept has always stuck with me. The process of exercising is much like farming or like planting a lawn. There are no immediate results from exercise and there are no immediate results from farming.
First, the seeds must be planted. Then fertilizer (nutrition) and water must be applied consistently. Much like fertilizer in farming, too much food can be a detriment to the exerciser. Only the correct amounts cause proper growth. Overfeeding can cause problems, as can underfeeding. As I sit and wait for my lawn to sprout or crops to grow, I feel many of the same frustrations of the new exerciser. When will I see results? How come nothing is happening? All this work and — nothing.
The key is to not quit. Have faith in the process. Continue to add water and wait. Farming and exercising are eerily similar. Continue to exercise and eat well and suddenly a friend or co-worker will say, “Have you lost weight”? Your reaction might be, “It’s about time someone noticed.” Much like the first blades of grass poking through the ground, you begin to see success. You begin to experience positive feedback. Clothes begin to fit differently.
When my friends or clients talk to me about their frustration with their initial lack of progress in an exercise program, I always bring up the farm analogy. We live in a world obsessed with quick fixes and instant results. This is why the farm analogy can be both informative and comforting.
An exercise program must be approached over a period of weeks and months, not days. The reality is that there is no quick fix, no easy way, no magic weight loss plan, no secret cellulite formula. There is only the law of the farm. You will reap what you sow. In reality, you will reap what you sow and care for. If you are consistent and diligent with both diet and exercise, you will eventually see results.
However, remember, much like fertilizer and water, diet and exercise go together.
Try to grow crops or a lawn without water. No amount of effort will overcome the lack of vital nutrients.
The law of the farm.
Plant the seeds.
Feed and water properly.
Wait for results; they will happen, not in days, but in weeks and months.
Learn More about Mike Boyle:
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