Consistency can make you, see what lack of it can do!
The game of football(soccer) is such a thrilling sport. Year after year, it continues to be rated the most popular and exciting sport in the world. That feeling of being unstoppable as you run down the flanks or dribble past opponents is priceless! That feeling of joy after scoring is out of this world! That feeling of disappointment after losing is humbling! Win or lose, every player and every team must go back to doing the one thing that’ll determine their future standing— practice.
I grew up playing the wonderful game of football(soccer). I always wanted to make it big in this sport and did what I thought was an adequate amount of training to improve. Alas, it was far from sufficient and I remained a mediocre player throughout my career. Mediocrity has an interesting characteristic. It attracts other mediocre performers. My team was mediocre, our performance was mediocre and victories were rare. Rare enough that I could count them with my fingers. It was frustrating, often depressing.
The end of the road
No, this is not about a turnaround in my performance. I continued to practice when I wanted, take days off when I was bored and wished my way to betterment.
Success doesn’t respond to wishes.
On one ill-fated afternoon, I tore a ligament during a match and that incident signaled the end of my career.
Recovery is much like success.
Soon after, I began my journey to recovery. Little did I realize that it wasn’t going to be a walk in the park. The road to recovery is much like the road to success. It demands consistency. It’s about doing those simple daily tasks, however boring or uninteresting they may be. It’s about winning everyday or healing a little everyday, that will eventually land us the victory cup (or in my case, a victory run).
I would do my exercises when I felt like and skip sessions when I was bored or unmotivated to travel to the clinic. I wished to be able to walk straight again but far from it, I kept hobbling around with supporters.
6 months passed, a year passed and I was still unable to walk up a small flight of stairs. Depression kicked in, anxiety set in. I was down in the dumps. Only my poor work ethics and I were to be blamed for my lack of improvement.
Repetition, repetition, repetition
It is a requirement for success; a requirement for betterment. It is a non-negotiable part of our lives. I knew what had to be done to fix my condition but needed a mindset change. I was fortunate to have met a doctor who had a plan to help me achieve that. I owe my ability to walk again to her. Here is her website if you’re looking for a good PT).
Her words are embedded in my mind and I often bring them to the fore when I find myself floundering. She said, “Your condition will not improve one bit if you don’t understand the value of being consistent.” My lack of consistency with my strength training routines was preventing me from being able to walk straight again, to run again, to explore the world again or even to help my loved ones again. I was in your early twenties. I needed to get my life back!
And so it began, the road to recovery was boring, yet I persevered. It was mundane, yet I persevered. It meant no laziness, and I persevered!
A year of diligently doing my PT exercises enabled me to finally briskly walk, sparingly jog and another year later, feel the breeze against my cheeks, feel energized and free as I could resume running!
Injuries must be aggressively treated. You won’t recover from them unless you give it the same attention and dedication as you would in say getting yourself a new job.
These principals are certainly applicable to other areas like our career paths or academia. Have you ever wanted to:
- Get that next promotion?
- Get into that FAANG company of your choice?
- Get that much needed raise?
But haven’t achieved your goals even after months have passed by? I certainly have. I remember how often I would sink into my recliner, exasperated that I was nowhere close to where I wanted to be. I would turn on the tv to distract myself from those thoughts, and it worked like a charm. Repetition, repetition and forgotten was my future desired state.
Now, each time I want to move ahead, I recall the younger version of myself. The version that wanted to achieve but didn’t. I remind myself of those words that got me off my hindquarters, “…understand the value of being consistent.”.
Rise up, set aside boredom, set your agenda, repeat.
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