That was the exact thought that came to my mind this afternoon as I hustled up the steps, determined to beat my previous best time on this route.
I was sweating like a racehorse, puffing like a locomotive and panting like I'd just swam an ocean (or darn near close to it) - but after passing about ten people that had started the climb before I did, I finally had to pause for some much needed breath.
I breathed in deeply, making sure to breathe "into the stomach" as opposed to the shallow breaths that it's so easy to get suckered into when one is out of breath. And soon enough, I was fine, and ready to continue again.
(That's a tip for you right there - breathe the right way, and you'll find your performance in most physical activities improves without you even actively trying. I've written about the importance of proper deep breathing before, so I'm not going to get into it here - - just know it's something well worth keeping in mind at all times.)
But while I was gasping for air, I knew I still had a GOAL to attain - that goal being bettering my last climb time, and that meant resuming the climb ASAP.
I look up above me, and all I see is the sun shining down angrily, and a vast imposing row of steps as far as I could see.
Well, not as far as I could see, actually, but the top seemed far, far away at that point. You know how it is - that last bit always seems to be the toughest!
And all of a sudden, I remembered.
"Eat a bear - but ONE bite at a time!"
And in my current situation that meant one thing.
Go for the goal - attain it - but remember that it's the little steps that add up to the big thing.
So, I tackled the steps in sets of 15, as opposed to thinking of it as one long arduous set of steps I had to get through, and get through fast. And before I knew it, I was at the top, and I had bettered my previous time by one second.
Not a lot by any means, but again, it's the small things that add up. That one second will turn into 30 soon, and then 60, and then more, and so forth.
And why do I mention this in an email to you, my friend?
Well, because fitness follows the same principles, my friend.
Take the case of a person that can do only one pushup before collapsing. Show him the ultimate goal of 100 at one go, and he'll likely sigh and throw in the towel before even starting on the long and arduous path ahead of him.
Other than, set a goal of 10 for him, and chances are, he'll get to this goal within a few days with a bit of will power and lots of properly applied effort.
He'll then progress to 20, and then 30 even before he knows it.
And soon, within a couple of months, he'll get so good at doing pushups that he'll crack off 100 plus in a row.
And what did he do to get to this goal? Well, he broke down the goal into gettable "bites" (parts), and ate the "bear" slowly, one bite at a time.
The same thing applies to losing weight, getting stronger, and so forth.
You might say "elementary, my dear Watson (Mookerjee)", but the fact remains that this elementary piece of "wisdom" is ignored by many on a daily basis.
"Oh, I'm too out of shape to do 25 pushups"
"Oh, my knees hurt so bad, how could I possibly go for a run?"
"Oh, I'd rather sit on the couch, and shove potato chips into my mouth - easier than getting down on the floor and cranking out bear crawls, or whatever the heck that Mookerjee guy is on about"
Ok, so maybe the third was a bit of an exaggeration (although many do prefer gobbling up potato chips by the dozen as opposed to exercising and following a decent diet), but the first two sure aren't.
I'm sure you can think of a couple of examples yourself too.
So remember, the next time you think a target is too tough to achieve, you just need to say one line to yourself (or others).
Eat a bear - - one bite at a time!
All for now - - back again later.
P.S:- It's easier to simply ignore this email rather than to take action and improve your fitness levels NOW. Remember, words don't rock the boat - - ACTION does. And the first step to take towards reaching your fitness goals is to grab a copy of Fast and Furious Fitness right HERE: - http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/articles/83-fast-and-furious-fitness-the-book