Sunday, September 6, 2015

CC Project #6 - Vocal Variety - Lessons from the gym


“An apple a day, keeps doctor away. Doing exercise every day, keeps Lord Yama away”

Good morning fellow Toastmasters and guests,

8 months ago, I enrolled in a gym to improve my fitness. I learned a number of lessons in my fitness journey. Today, I’m going to share with you the 2 most important lessons.

Lesson 1: What you do outside matters much more than what you do inside

Many people enroll in a gym thinking that exercising daily helps them to lose weight. When you start exercising a few weeks and step on that sleek weighing machine, you start realizing “OH BOY! THERE IS SO MUCH MORE TO LOSE”.

If you continue to eat Pizzas and Burgers … If you continue to drink Coke and Pepsi… If you continue to sleep at odd times and wake up at odd times you aren’t going to reduce weight… no matter how long you run on the treadmill.

Before joining the gym, I used to eat like how a Camel drinks water. I normally eat for the next 6 hours. Guess what, 3 hours later I become hungry. I again eat for the next 6 hours and the cycle continues. The more I ate, the faster my digestive system worked. The faster my digestive system worked, the faster I gained weight. The faster I gained weight, the faster I was getting a hump like the Camel. The only difference was, the Camel had the hump at the back and I got it at the front.
After joining the gym, I learned from my trainer that my eating habits has to change, if I have to reduce weight and become fit. He recommended having 5 small meals instead of 3 heavy meals. He also suggested to cut down on the sugar in my diet. I started noticing the change immediately, after I changed my eating habits. In the last 9 months, I’ve lost 7 KGs.

Lesson 2: When you are not GOOD at doing something do it more often to become GOOD at it

My gym got a new trainer a few months back. The first thing he asked me to do was to do pull-ups. I looked at my new trainer Thiru who was in his early 20s, and asked “Thiru! Are you sure you want me to do that? The last time that I did that was during my teenage” Thiru looked at me and said “Yes Sir. You can do that. Give it a try”. So, I started giving it a try. The bar was about 7 feet high. I was clinging to the bar and trying to lift my body up… like an ant trying to lift a huge mountain. I started swinging back ‘n forth like a monkey on a tree branch, but couldn’t pull my body up. After a few tries, I gave up. I said “Thiru! My arms haven’t gained enough strength to pull my body weight. Once my arms gain enough strength, may be after a few months, I’ll give it a try. For now, I don’t think I’m GOOD at it this and let us pass it on”. Thiru smiled at me and said “Sir! If you are not good at something, you should try it more often. From tomorrow onwards, as part of your warm-up exercises, you should do 15 pull-ups. If you are not able to lift your body weight, at least jump up and start coming down by clinging to the bar”.

I started doing the pull-ups every day as part of my warm-up exercises. The first few days, I was just jumping up and down by clinging to the bar. In about 2 weeks, I was able to lift my body weight up. Today, I can comfortably do 6 continuous pull-ups. Still I have a long way to go to reach the 15 count. But, I’m confident that I can get there.


Dear friends, did you realize… there are more similarities between my Gym and our Toastmasters club. Both the places provide a platform for you to train yourself, to make you come out of your comfort zone and to make you discover your best.

It is not just the speeches that we do in Toastmasters club meetings that transform us… but, the number of books that we read to write speeches, the number of times that we do rehearsals at home, the amount of time that we spend with our mentors. These are the things that play a crucial role in transforming us. So, what you do outside of the club matters much more than what you do inside the club.

I’ve seen budding Toastmasters staying away from Table Topics session thinking that they aren’t good at it. If you aren’t good at it, you’ve to do it more often to be good at it.

Dear friends…

1. What you do outside matters much more than what you do inside
2. When you are not GOOD at doing something do it more often to be GOOD at it

Let us apply these 2 learning from the gym to excel in our communication and leadership journey, in Toastmasters.

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