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Persistence Pays

This is Selva, one of my gym clients.  His story might sound ordinary to you:  A regular uninspiring story where a man lost 15 kilograms of body fat.  Lo and behold!  It’s more than that. He has truly mastered the art of persistence.  The word “persistence” is a big word with deeper implications.  As Napoleon Hill said, “Persistence is to the character of man as carbon is to steel.”  In this world of instant gratification he has truly persisted.  I see numerous clients who commonly have short term goals.  However, this man has stood the test of time.

His goal was to show up in the gym consistently for a long period of time.  He didn’t talk about any specific goals with me. He told to me that he just needed to embrace the fitness lifestyle.   However, I didn’t believe him.  His big-fat claim sounded fake to me. Because I hadn’t come across anyone claiming a similar goal—a long-term goal. People who join the gym come with specific goals.  Little do they realize that it’s the change, one step at a time, in the lifestyle that deliver results.

However, he proved me wrong.   After 2 years of frequenting the gym, I saw that he had lost considerable amount of weight:  A whopping 15 kilograms.  I said to him that his progress was remarkable.  However, he wasn’t convinced and said to me “No big deal, as so many have achieved this in the gym.”  He said that the fat loss was secondary and what mattered to him was to persist living the fitness lifestyle.  Moreover, he also brought to my notice that right from the day he started frequenting the gym (November 2016) he had written the workouts, dieting schedule, diet cheat days, and gym bunking days.  I believe Selva still continues to do this, for he wants his notes to act as a constant driving force.  Also, he wanted his jottings to indicate his pitfalls and to encourage him to continue the journey.  What he has achieved is the need of the hour for people who should thrive for similar sustainable results.

Moreover, while Selva was carrying the excess weight around his midriff, it had a rippling effect on his elder son.  Although at that time he was a 10-year old child he was getting fatter day by day.  The lifestyle of Selva had influenced this young man.  Fortunately, his younger son was physically active and lean for his age.  That was a year before.     Selva had also enrolled his children in a football team, as he thought that the vigorous game would assist them in keeping them fit, lean and healthy.  I insisted that it was necessary for him and his family to follow a healthy eating plan, and to avoid junk foods.  (His older son was in fact addicted to certain junk foods).

Selva was compelled to set an example at home.  The burden was on him to follow a healthy lifestyle.  Fortunately, what transpired in the following year was that his two sons became physically active and Selva too had lost the excess weight.  His children visited me in the gym and were feeling proud about the transformation; especially the elder son who had become lean.   I remember that when Selva’s elder son met me for the first time in the gym he was in tears, as I was willfully nasty to him.  I had chided him in front of my clients about his addiction to junk food.  Those stinging words hit him hard.  However, all is well that ends well.   Selva, as you see in the picture has become lean and looks fit.  His children continue to kick the ball every day in the stadium and are thus enjoying their new lifestyle.  It comes naturally for children to be physically active, so allow them to be.  Physical activity nurtures them and is essential for their brain development too.

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