Honing the Edge

Real regrets only come from not doing your best. All else is out of your control. You’re measured by results only. Trade excuses and “trying” for results, and expect half-hearted results from half-hearted efforts. Do more than is expected of you. Life’s easy when you live it the hard way… and hard if you try to live it the easy way.

-Joe Polish

The body is like a blade on a fisherman’s knife, or woodsman’s axe. If you’ve neglected it, abused it in any number of ways it shows. Intended effort is met by embarrassing inefficiency. Like the rusted, dull, and abused knife, which when needed is incapable. Our bodies are no different.

Like the axe used diligently by the woodsman, or the filet knife used repeatedly by the fisherman, it takes care, respect, and reliance on that tool to efficiently complete the task. As Abraham Lincoln exclaimed, “give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” This time honored approach, which when read or heard is recognized as the wise way to proceed is the neglected answer.

Physical training is the beginning of enlightenment. Approach the matter as an adult, void of all excuses. If a willingness to express unhappiness or disappointment in current physical condition and appearance is communicated, then have the maturity to rectify immature decisions.

In my daily life I’m in the position to gauge effort levels. How much of one’s self is given to the stated goal, direction, or objective? Some display a fevered intensity, while others give what they give and justify why that is acceptable. In the end, I can’t make anyone want it. I can’t make dreams come true. Motivation is clear, cut, and dry… either you have it, or you don’t. Behavior is learned. Self-limiting decisions, repeated over many years, yield a complacency that no quote, or motivation video can rectify.

As trainees we learn, over time, to repeat the training sessions that continue to yield results, and discard those that don’t. Being OK with repetition, and honest in effort and self-assessment is the way to progress.

Keep your blade sharp. Keep the edge honed and ready. Make it glisten with shine and beauty. Honor the tool that completes the task. Life is worth living, and living well. Be the best representation of yourself, always, for these behaviors you will never regret.

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