Belief creates opportunity, not reality.
I got the flu in 5th grade. Missed a week of school. Just happened to be the week that we were introductions to the concept of fractions.
I came back to school to find myself lacking fluency in a mathematical language my classmates seemed like they had known all their lives.
Up to that point, I had excelled at math. After that point, I began to struggle. By the time I finished high school, I was getting a solid C in math and had started telling myself (and others) “I’m not that good at math” as a way to explain the years of struggle and slowly but steadily feeling increasingly out of my depth with what we were learning.
But there was a big problem.
I’d chosen a major (Astronomy) which requires more physics classes than it does astronomy classes. Math is the language of physics. It’s more than a pre-requisite – it is foundational. I took a summer school math class between high school and college so I could start catching up on my math education and take pre-calculus in the fall at the start of college.
Calculus 1 was exceptionally difficult, but I managed an A. And most importantly, I began to believe that I might be actually able to learn this stuff. Calculus 2 was hard but is really just calculus 1 on steroids. By the time I got to Calculus 3, I mostly taught myself since my visiting professor from overseas spoke English with an accent to heavy it might as well have been his native tongue.
Years (and years) later, I often think about that time in the context of people I come across who “can’t” get in shape. The reasons often sound like “exercise doesn’t work for me” or “I’ve tried everything” or “everyone in my family is heavy.”
What’s all this got to do with the Funtensity concept?
I’ve seen people about as far from healthy as you can imagine make a permanent turnaround and live a life that moves ceaselessly toward health. I’ve seen the opposite too – people who are just a few minor changes away from a fit lifestyle who just “can’t” seem to make it happen.
At the extremes of belief are people who enjoy emotional junk food like the “The Secret” and other such infantile silliness. Belief never creates reality. It creates opportunity. You’ve still gotta put in the work. But you’ll never do the work if you don’t believe it will…work.
If you believe fitness is only gained through suffering and drudgery, then the pursuit of fitness will feel like a chore and a burden. If you bring a sense of fun, playfulness, and adventure to fitness, then it can lighten your spirit – regardless of whether it lightens your bodyweight.
Yes, the effort has to be there. But that effort can be a chore to be ticked off a to do list or a challenge accepted to learn and grow from the process.