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When spring is in the air, I am reminded of a story I heard when I was a child told by legendary motivational speaker Zig Ziglar.

To paraphrase, two men were walking in the hot Texas sun and came up on an abandoned farm house. In the back of the house was a water well. One of the men started pumping on the old hand pump in hopes of getting a drink. After several minutes of pumping, there was still no water flowing, and the second man says, “Sometimes you have to prime these pumps,” meaning water had to be poured down the well before the pump would work. They poured some water into the pump and began pumping again. The man pumping began sweating badly. After several more minutes, he dropped the handle and gave up. The second man quickly graded the pump handle and said, “You can’t stop. If you stop the water will go back down and you will have to start all over.” After a few more minutes of pumping the men were rewarded for their work by getting the well to produce cool water.

Have you truly been consistent in your training and more importantly with your nutrition?

Mr. Ziglar’s point was that just when you think all your effort is for nothing and you’re about to give up, don’t stop. Success comes to those who pump just a little longer, are willing to do a little more and do not quit.

This is the time of year when the gym crowds start to thin out. Many people feel like they have put in a lot of work for minimal or no results; frustration sets in and they quit.

Don’t quit! If you quit pumping now you will have to start all over.

Rather than quit, re-evaluate where you are. Has your level of fitness improved? Have you truly been consistent in your training and more importantly with your nutrition? Have bad days of eating outnumbered the good days? Have you established what your training goals are? Because if you are only going to the gym to move around a little, rather than training for a specific goal, you should not be disappointed that you have not hit a target that you never established.

I have always been a firm believer in the theory that if you want to be good at something, surround yourself with people who are better than you at that activity. Soak in their knowledge. Ask questions. And most importantly, do not be afraid to admit to yourself that you don’t know it all.

Have you established what your training goals are?

I say this because you may have come to a point in your training where you need to ask someone for help. YouTube geniuses and infomercial gimmicks are only going to get you more confused and frustrated. Do some research in your area and find a qualified trainer who is knowledgeable and looks the part. Most people have heard the phrase “Don’t ever trust a skinny cook.” Well I have a hard time trusting trainers who don’t look any different than the average person in the pizza buffet line.

Being fit is a lifestyle that takes some level of commitment every single day. Getting in shape is a short-term, non-specific objective that almost always ends with frustration unless you are content with round being the shape you are trying to achieve.

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