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The Art of Ruthless Consistency

“You’re too fat to play.”

I remember those words because it was the first in my life anyone had ever called me fat.  I was in first grade. I don’t remember what game we were playing, or who the girl was who said it to me, but I remember the words.

“You’re too fat to play.”

Now I don’t think she meant anything overtly cruel by it. After all, she wasn’t much older than I was. But it was always something that stuck in the back of my mind, for many, many years.

It’s really hard to say if I let being overweight hold me back or not. Because on the one hand, I knew girls were never going to find me as attractive as some of my friends. So I developed a personality to compensate. And that personality has become a huge part of the witty, kind, sarcastic, level-headed Jorden that you either love, or find annoying and are probably going to stop reading what he has to say after this sentence anyway.

So in a way, having felt like being overweight was going to hold me back, helped me grow into the person I am today.

But at the same time, it was my denial – or rather my lack of desire to actually take control of my life and do something about my weight for many years – that for so long held me back from becoming the person I felt like I wanted to be on the inside.

I was stuck. Stuck between the pain of accepting who I was and the pain of admitting that I was the only one who could change that, and become the person I felt like I was on the inside. But for so, so many years the kid who was “too fat to play” kept winning out.

The ease of ordering pizza at midnight after a half dozen Jack and Cokes won out over going to bed at a reasonable hour after a well-balanced meal that fit my macros.

Playing Call of Duty every afternoon was much, much less painful than the ten-minute walk to the campus gym; to do exercises that I didn’t enjoy.

I skipped out on playing pick-up basketball games, because I would have been too embarrassed to play if I got put on the “skins” team.

All of these things hurt. They hurt like hell inside. But evidently, they never hurt enough.

Because for years I lived with the pain. Lived, wanting to better myself. But through a perfect storm of wanting to impress a girl I had a crush on, and having waaay too much free time on my hands, something finally clicked.

I wish I could say I had a moment like a lot of people do, that sparked action. But I don’t. Not one I can pinpoint, anyway.

If there’s one thing I can attribute it to though – and that helped me transform from the fat, shy, introvert who didn’t even want to walk a couple blocks to the gym in college; to the still-introverted-but-masquerading-as-an-extroverted man that today you love/hate/tolerate, and as Alex Mullan’s puts it, “Seems to have descended from a pack of rhinos.” – it was this:

Ruthless consistency

When I first started this journey, all I did was show up to the gym. Every day. I didn’t always workout. Some days I just sat in the hot tub or the steam room. Some days I rode bike or did the elliptical. And occasionally I ventured down to the other end of the building to walk around the weight room and pick things up.

I wasn’t consistent in what I did, other than showing up.

And when they say showing up is half the battle, they’re wrong. Showing up is a majority of the battle. Showing up puts you in a position to win. If you don’t show up, you can’t win.

Ruthless consistency is about showing up. That’s it.

You’re not going to be perfect every single day. You’re not going to want to train. You’re not going to want to weigh and measure your food. You’re not going to want to go to bed at 10 pm when you’re friends are sending you texts to come out to the bar.

You’re not going to want to make those changes. But for a while, you’re going to have to. Because like any habit, if you want to develop ruthless consistency, you need to practice showing up. You need to practice saying “no.”  You need to practice making different decisions and choices other than the ones you have been, because those decisions got you to where you are now. Those decisions are responsible for that pain. And only by making different decisions will you develop the ruthless consistency you need to take that pain away.

The thing about habits – both good and bad – is that once formed, they’re very difficult to break. If you’ve ever gotten into a groove at the gym – going consistently for weeks and months – then all of a sudden missed a week, or even a few days, you probably don’t feel as good, right?

So once that habit is established, that ruthless consistency comes easier and easier; thus creating a snowball effect that makes seeing progress easier and easier.

But, you still have to show up. You still need to build that habit and establish a foundation of ruthless consistency upon which to build your empire.

If it were not for that ruthless consistency I established by just showing up to the gym every single day – regardless of if I worked out or not – I would never have been given some random weightlifting program by one of the other members.

Then I never would have learned how to squat and deadlift, and discovered how much I loved feeling strong.

If I had never discovered how much I like strength training, I never would have been inspired to do my own research on strength training programs.

If I had never done my own research, I never would have discovered intermittent fasting, and combine those two things to help me lose a majority of my 80 pounds.

Had I not lost 80 pounds, I would never have chosen a career in fitness after I lost my job.

Had I never chosen a career in fitness, I would never have found John Romaniello, and applied for business coaching with him.

Had I never applied for business coaching with John, he may have never asked me to join his Mastermind, and accelerate my career.

Had I never joined John’s Mastermind, I likely may have never developed the relationships I have with John himself, and the likes of Eric Bach, Tanner Baze, Nick Sorrell, Robbie Farlow, Alex Mullan, and a bunch of other amazing, like-minded people who have helped me become a better coach, entrepreneur, and person.

Had I not developed those relationships, I may have never been able to hone my skills as a coach, and gotten the chance to work with hundreds of clients, helping them reach their goals.

It’s scary to think that there’s a chance all of that may have never happened, had I not shown up every day. Had I not developed that habit of ruthless consistency

And along each stage of that journey, I got better. Because I showed up. Because even when I wasn’t at my best, even when I didn’t feel like it or wanted to give my best effort, I showed up.

And I learned.

With every lesson I learned,  it helped me further develop that ruthless consistency. Which in turn helped me learn, not only how to keep going, but how to make keeping going easier, and how to further ingrain that consistency into my life.

It’s not about being perfect. Hell, sometimes it’s not even about being good. It’s about showing up. Somehow, some way. Every single day. And developing a pattern of ruthless consistency to help get you where you want to go, no matter how long it takes.

Ruthless Consistency is the foundation any goal. If you want help developing your ruthless consistency, with a personalized plan built for you, to help you accomplish YOUR goals, apply for one of the open spots in my 1:1 Fitness Consulting program.

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