Sunday, December 8, 2019

Compete with yourself - and be a winner !

I enrolled in a gym a few years back, with a goal of becoming fit and build stamina. During my first day at the gym, I was super excited to see many body builders training their muscles. They were all bulky and lifting heavy weights. I was so passionate to become like them... soon! I met a man, a Malayaleee, whom I thought was in his mid 30s. I had more reasons to envy him - he was super fit, looked like an athlete and had thick black hair on his head. I introduced myself to him and he responded by saying "Hi! I'm Jacob and I work for a logistics company". We shook hands and exchanged pleasantries. I asked him "Are you married?!" He said "Yes! I'm married and I have two daughters". He continued "My elder daughter is doing her final year at SRM and my younger one is doing her 12th standard". I was shocked when I heard that. I immediately asked his age. He smiled and said "Saro! I'm 50 years old". I was awestruck. He laughed and said "Saro! I've been exercising regularly since I was a teenager. I even won some state level body builders competition when I was young. That's the secret of my youthfulness". 

Since I met Jacob, I thought I also wanted to be like him. I started competing with him. I told myself "Saro! If a 50 years old man can do it, why can't you?". I started doing whatever he did at the gym. I started lifting some heavy weights on the first week itself. My trainer warned me that it is not wise to lift heavy weights too soon. But, I ignored the warnings from my trainer. In a few days, I sprained my elbow and I couldn't go to gym for more than two weeks. During those two weeks, I wasn't even able to lift a computer mouse, let alone any heavy weights. I had set a high bar for myself, and was pushing myself too hard. 

Instead of competing with Jacob, I should've kept him as my role model and a source of inspiration. That would've helped me to slowly make progress towards my goals. This experience taught me a very valuable lesson - "In life I shouldn't be competing with others - but with myself". Since that time, I changed my goal at the gym. I told myself "Saro! Every visit to the gym, should take you one step closer to your goal of becoming fit. You don't have to beat anyone's record. All that you've to break, is your own record from yesterday". So, I started taking one step at a time and gradually increased the weights. While I admired other body builders, I tried not to treat them as my competitors. I tried to have them as my role models. With continuous practice, today, I can lift heavy weights with ease. 

Dear friends, treat your life as a one man race. All that you've to do, is just outpace your previous performance. All that you've to do, is just break your own past record. All that you've to do, is just keep raising the bar for yourself, one step at a time. When you do that, you're surely going to be a winner.