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Keeping Things in Perspective [important]

Child worker at a Turkish Coal mine (1908)

Although many of you may think of me as the personal trainer guy, I actually spend a significant chunk of each week working as a strength and conditioning coach at my old school, St. Andrew's College. While a lot has changed in that weight room since I began training there nearly 10 years ago, a lot has remained the same too. On the wall above the rowing machines, there is a black and white picture of a man with both legs amputated, rowing. Under this photo reads, "What's your excuse?".

That photo always stuck in my mind. It was the fuel for completing some of the more gruelling rowing workouts we did as kids. As a teenager, we all experience feelings of being fed up with our lot in life, whether it be a breakup or the stress of the Leaving Cert. During those times, that photo always served as a stark reminder to me of just how luck I really am.

Coincidentally, yesterday after I saw that photo I also happened upon a video on Instagram. This video was one of the most sickening reminders of nature's brutality that I've ever seen. The video was of a female impala being attacked by wild dogs as she gave birth. I won't go into the grisly details, but the short of it is that no mercy was shown for the impala or her baby. Here is the link but be warned, do not watch this if you are in any way squeamish.

So what does all this have to do with training? Well, most people give up on it because it's 'hard'. I'm here to tell you that 'hard' is relative.

If getting off your ass to exercise is 'hard' then what does that make having both your legs blown off by a landmine? What about if you were an animal where every second of your existence is a paranoia of being mercilessly and slowly torn to shreds by a predator? If you'd been born 150 years ago, you could have been working gruelling manual labour jobs from the age you were strong enough to pick up a shovel.

We all have problems. We all may encounter mental hurdles that make exercise seem like the last thing that we want to do. But ifyou that if you have a pair of working arms and legs, a healthy brain and heart, and the freedom to choose to engage in physical labour, then exercise is something that you should regard as a PRIVILEGE, not a chore. There will come a day for all of us when we won't be able to run, jump, climb, lift, etc. It would be a damned shame if you never got to experience those things while you can.

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