It all happened in December 2008, just a few days before the new year. My brother was putting me through my first ‘real’ workout. I had just started exercising on my own a week prior but it wasn’t anything close what I was being put through now. Up against a lifetime of inactivity, I could feel my body pulling me back to being comfortable. Looking at my brother, half way into the workout, I told him “This isn’t for me, I’m done.” I quit.

A Lifetime of Comfortable

In October 2008 I had landed my first, full-time job as a Web Designer. The company that hired me had also hired a Graphic Designer and we were going to be a major part of the marketing department.

As the months went by, I began to notice I was growing a bit of a belly. I had never been overweight but I was far from in shape. Although my Italian mother always made sure I had well prepared meals for work, my years of late night raiding in World Of Warcraft, never consistently playing any sports and 8 hours of design work were catching up to my body. Foreseeing I was heading down the wrong path right, by December 2008 I decided to start working out, again. For real this time. Honest.

Korona Hits Bombs

My brother had been an amazing athlete all his life, an excellent baseball player and absolutely loved working out. At the time, he had just begun training coworkers in his spare time. Many of the people he worked with were drawn to his diet and he built most of his initial clientele from the many health related questions they had while visiting his desk.

I on the other hand, was a self taught designer/developer/tech geek and an extremely avid gamer. As someone who never worked out for more than a couple weeks tops; I was beginning to notice how my sedentary ways were catching up to me and wanted to do something about it. Like most things I’ve done, I decided I would learn about fitness on my own from trial and error; that didn’t last long.

It’s About Where You Finish

One night, in December of 2008, I was in the basement performing a ‘killer’ workout with whatever equipment we had from years of impulse Shopping Channel purchases. It wasn’t exactly Gold’s Gym but if it was good enough for my bro, it was more than enough for me. This particular night my brother came to the basement, which was unusual because he never did visit the bottom of the house much. Jesse stopped halfway down the stairs, staring at me attempting to workout. Before he proceeded further he asked me what I was doing. With a smirk of confidence I told I was working out, duh.

“Stop whatever it is you think you’re doing and I’ll train you tomorrow.”

I didn’t put up much resistance.

“Yeah sure, whatever.”

The next night, there we were in the cold basement mid way into my first training session when I told Jesse I had enough. I was in rough shape; my strength was worse than some women I knew and was struggling to finish a set of 10lb dumbbell curls. Just how deep of a ditch did I dig my body into? My mind was overflowing with negative thoughts. I could never build an athletic, strong body like the bodybuilders and athletes I looked up to. I didn’t have the genetics to be muscular. Working out just wasn’t for me.

I told Jesse know I was done; I was ready to quit. Before I could even attempt to walk away, he gave me the perfect piece of advice.

“It’s not about where you start, it’s about where you finish.”

That one line started the chain reaction of molding everything I’ve built since; it changed my entire life.

Champion Of Your Lifetime

No one really remembers where you start, most people only think about the polished, final product. We blind ourselves from the years, the thousands of reps and the setbacks that created our champions. Lying to ourselves, we believe that the must be some sort of genetic monster, who was built in a lab to be the ultimate athlete. These athletes must have never had any mistakes and blissfully walked through life, easily getting ahead and making any team they tried out for. The truth couldn’t be any further from these assumptions.

Champions are made from a lifetime of conquering there fears, there setbacks and working for decades to manifest there dreams into realities. They are as human as the rest of us, maybe with a little extra talent but whatever talent they were blessed with alone would never have made them into the champions they became had they not put in the constant effort.

Quitters are certainly never remembered and my brother prevented me from continuing a lifetime habit of quitting. Without Jesse’s guidance I probably would have continued a habit of a comfortable, average life. Telling myself if something was too hard or took too long to accomplish, it wasn’t for me. Without my brother, I would have never started own path of becoming a champion of my lifetime.

Thanks to the mentoring I’ve received, I look for ways to return the favor when possible. If you want to kick start your own journey to an extraordinary life, I’d love to hear from you.