The Lost Art Of Hard Work

I admire those that work their asses off.  Surprisingly it’s a rare trait.  I’ve come across far more individuals that do not give it everything they’ve got then do.  For the past year and a half I’ve watched my wife transform her body through diet, working out, running all kinds of races and Tae Kwon Do.  She’s an absolute warrior when it comes to fitness, and it was a decision she made to work incredibly hard to achieve her fitness goals.  I’m constantly in awe at her tenacity and dedication, and it certainly inspires me to do so in my life.

The whole premise of this blog post was actually inspired by an email my wife copied me on from her trainer.  His name is Spencer Gates and not only is he a tremendously awesome trainer who we’ve both worked with, but he’s an incredibly smart and has an old school, no nonsense approach that I love.  My wife was having some frustrations with watching others utilizing fad diets successfully and wanting to hit her final goals quickly, she sent him an email about this wanting to get his take and be reminded how hard work is the way to go.  Here’s an excerpt from his response he allowed me to share:

“The most important narrative to this discussion is that skinny does not equal healthy in ANY sense. Rapid weight loss via ANY method has been irrefutably shown to be unhealthy from a cardiac perspective, endocratic (hormonal) perspective, and performance perspective; this doesn’t even include the fact that people who rapidly lose weight will almost always, on a 5 year time line, regain more than 70% of it, only to crash diet again, causing more damage. If you’re interested, I can provide you the negative scientific implications with no-carb diets and more importantly the horrible long-term metabolic side effects we are beginning to see from the HCG diet. My point? You are watching people ruin their bodies; ruin their capacity to exercise; implicating themselves in long-term adverse health risks; and set themselves up for a vicious cycle, all because we generally only measure success in terms of how quickly one can lose weight and disregard most everything else.  My views on the matter, while grounded in legit, peer reviewed scientific research, are hotly contested by those who have a stake in these fads, or are so brainwashed by contemporary culture that they’ve shut off their rational thought process.”

I LOVE everything about this.  It’s amazing how many times I’ve seen or had to hear about some “amazing” diet someone went on, watch them actually lose the weight quickly (and unhealthily), only to put it back on over time.  There’s only one diet that has stood the test of time, a healthy diet and regular exercise.  Don’t get me wrong, their are certainly a few healthy diet plans out there, but the ones that are, simply incorporate a routine of healthy eating and exercise.

We live in a world of the need and expectation of instant gratification, taking any shortcut we can get our hands on to get the job done, even if it means negative long term ramifications.  It applies to all facets of life and not just diet or fitness.  Just do a search for “add twitter followers” and you’ll get pages of results promising thousands of Twitter followers instantly.  There’s an entire industry of black hat SEO providers promising front page results.  Their tactics (while possibly proving usefully initially), can lead to damaging long term ramifications.

The fact is, nothing replaces hard work, and their are no shortcuts in life.  The number one trait I look for in those I hire in any capacity is their work ethic.  I’ll take a tenacious hard worker who possibly needs a little training, over an “expert” who calls it in any day.  They’ll pay off in spades in the long term every time.

Thanks to Spencer for allowing me to use a portion of his amazing email, and seriously, if you happen to live in north end of Seattle or higher, I highly recommend his personal training services.  He’s the best.