I headed out to the local park this morning to pound out some dips, pull-ups and handstand pushups.
The park is normally pretty deserted at the time of the morning (or sometimes afternoon) when I train, which is a GOOD thing, hehe – I’m not much of a fan of having selfies taken when I train or gabbing nineteen to the dozen and generally being aimless in terms of actually getting a good workout in.
But there were more people there today than there usually are. All good though – perhaps because of the weekend? Not very sure, but either way – a crowd gathered around pretty quickly to watch the foreign devil train, none more so than when he was doing his dips.
As I progressed on to the third set of 15 reps, a voice piped up in the background – a vaguely familiar voice I felt, but I couldn’t quite place it.
“You train here, huh?”
“Uh huh”, I responded politely, not really in the mood for chit-chat, but in a GOOD mood nonetheless. I smiled at the guy, and turned around, but something was amiss …
BAM! It hit me – as those flashes often do and I whirled around.
“I’ve seen you somewhere. Yes … I have … Oh! You’re Money!”
“Ha Ha, indeed I am!”
Now, strange as it might sound, his name – or his English name at any rate, is indeed “Money”. His real (Chinese name) is “Qian” (which is Mandarin Chinese for money) – hence the English name.
Funny part is, the first thing he said when I met him last year at one of the numerous language centers “rife” in mainland China was “But I have no money….”.
Such as it goes, but anyway, I did some work for them – NOT fitness related though – last summer. When I say “them”, I mean “Miss Mao” (his wife) and him. They run an English learning center somewhere around “yonder”, and were in need of an English teacher last summer to teach some of the neighborhood kids – and though I do NOT teach English in China as a general rule of thumb – I made an exception for these guys.
Tried my best to convince the kids to call the lady “Mrs Mao” instead of “Miss Mao”, but nothing doing. A few giggles and glances were all I got in that regard – apparently foreign devils can only be given so much latitude, hehe. Ah well. Can’t win ’em all!
Anyway, as I did my dips, I noticed a couple of little girls milling around “Money” and a lady that had accompanied him.
“Oh, Money. I thought you had one daughter – but seems like two now?”
“No, that’s not my daughter”, he said, pointing to the tinier one. “This is my sister in law”, he said, pointing at the lady next to him.
And back it was to doing dips. But as I did ’em, I saw the older girl (probably around 3 years of age) do something that really caught my attention so much so that I stopped my workout for a while just to observe her.
This girl is just 3, mind you, so she can barely reach the dipping bars with arms outstretched over her head. But, boy, did she TRY!
She jumped up and down – over and over again – over and over again to do pull-ups like the “wai guo ren” (foreigner – yours truly) was doing before he did the dips.
Jump. Fail. Jump. Fail. Jump. Fall down on to the sandy area. Back up. Repeat.
Her aunt finally picked her up and lifted her on to the bars where she did her best to do pull-ups. She tugged. Pulled with all her “mite”. And so forth.
This girl, my friend, didn’t know the meaning of QUIT. She quite literally kept falling down and getting back to accomplish what for her is seemingly impossible due to size etc – but just didn’t give up – so much so that she had to be finally physically coaxed away by Daddy for lunch or something.
Compare that with two other cases.
A couple of fat Brazilian ladies were walking by while I was “monkeying” around on the monkey bars and attempted to “ape” me.
Great thing to do btw – getting good at the monkey bars is one of the VERY BEST things you can do in general for your upper body, and yet these ladies tried – failed – and gave up after the first try giggling in a self conscious manner.
Then there was this older Chinese lady who was doing her version of stretching nearby – but ended up banging her head on something the first time she attempted it.
Ok, no problemo, I thought – and I smiled at her to encourage her, but yet – she smiled back in a self conscious manner as if to say “I don’t want to look silly”, and bailed shortly thereafter.
And that brings me to the moral of this story – or the point of me telling you all this for that matter.
WE as adults have a LOT to learn from Miss Mao’s daughter – and kids in general.
My daughter was already doing assisted headstand “flip overs” on the bed by the age of 1.5. In fact, the first thing she’d do after a shower was clamber on to the bed and place her tiny little cute head on the mattress, getting in position just waiting for me to flip her over – which I did – and back in position she was again.
Kids don’t know the meaning of giving up, my friend. Kids don’t know what it means to QUIT – until they reach a certain age. Kids know none of that – and look at what they accomplish.
In terms of fitness, compare that with the average adult who starts out on a fitness program with good intentions.
The first time he tries some of the exercises he might fall flat on his/her duff – and others might “stare” at him for doing something out of the ordinary.
He / She blushes, and retreats back to the safety and privacy of his own home where he does these again.
He tries to make progress – quickly – and though he’s MAKING progress daily just by trying hard – he doesn’t realize it. Before long, he gets frustrated.
“I’ll never reach a 100 reps”. “I’ll never get to 250 squats in a row”. And so forth.
Pretty soon he/she throws in the towel – and its back to square one.
When I first started doing handstand pushups – I could barely get into the handstand position, let alone hold the position for time.
And reps?? Forgeddddd about it….
And now – well …
Key here, my friend, to remember that life is not a sprint – it’s a marathon – and its never over until it’s over!
You try – try – try HARDER – and eventually you WILL get there. Trust me. There’s no other way.
To encapsulate then here are the key takeaways from today’s rather long note –
a) You have to start SOMEPLACE – remember that. Don’t be shy about taking that first step. Stop worrying about what the “gym bros” will think of you for having adoped a bodyweight regimen. Just take that first step – and do so right HERE – https://0excusesfitness.com/0excusesfitnessystem/
b) Train – and do so daily – and REMEMBER that it’s NEVER over until it’s over. You may not get to 10 handstand pushups in a set in a week – or month – or even two – but you WILL get there provided you keep hammering them out daily. Ditto for everything else I teach.
Train the way of the kid, my friend – and adopt a similar “never say die” – or “it’s never over until it’s over” attitude – NOT just in terms of training, but in terms of life as well.
Watch yourself SOAR to giddy heights you previously thought unimaginable.
P.S. – Another course that’s a must grab is my course on pull-ups. Let’s face it, we all want to be the guy that knocks out 75-100 pull-ups per workout, don’t we? And if you can’t do a single pull-up at this stage, or can barely hold on to the bar – not to worry. I’ve got you covered right HERE – – https://0excusesfitness.com/pull-ups-from-dud-to-stud-within-a-matter-of-weeks/