It’s easy to feel like all the little things we do to work toward our goals don’t really matter.
After all, you can only do so much in one workout or one day of work. It’s easy to get discouraged and feel like no matter how hard you work, it’s never enough.
But as the sensei asks the student in the fictional but powerful Chop Wood Carry Water: How to Fall in Love With the Process of Becoming Great,
“Do you know what separates the most successful people from everyone else?”
“Inches. That’s all that separates them.”
And it’s true: every little thing we do, no matter how seemingly small, adds up when we do it over and over for months, years, or even decades.
The work you put into your training, career, relationships, or life may not feel like you’re making much progress today.
But keep going, inch by inch, and over time it will add up to something great.
What I’m reading —
The Inner Game of Stress: Outsmart Life’s Challenges and Fulfill Your Potential by Timothy Gallwey
Gallwey’s most well-known book, The Inner Game of Tennis, is one of my favorite books of all time (you don’t have to be a tennis player to get something out of it). This book, part of a whole Inner Game series on building mental strength and flexibility, focuses on how to manage stress in order to maintain mental stability and achieve long-term success.
What I’m listening to —
Breathe: A Life in Flow by Rickson Gracie
Rickson Gracie is part of the Brazilian family that developed the style of jiu jitsu known today as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. In this book, he talks about his history, including his experience growing up through jiu jitsu and how the connection between mind and body can be harnessed for success both inside and outside of the dojo.
A quote that inspires me —
“A very wise person once told me, “When it comes to overcoming obstacles, there are three kinds of people. The first kind sees most obstacles as insurmountable and walks away. The second kind sees an obstacle and says, I can overcome it, and starts to dig under, climb over, or blast through it. The third type of person, before deciding to overcome the obstacle, tries to find a viewpoint where what is on the other side of the obstacle can be seen. Then, only if the reward is worth the effort, does he attempt to overcome the obstacle.” — Timothy Gallwey
What I’m training —
I’ve mentioned before that sprints have become a staple in my training. I’ve noticed that consistently doing sprints once or twice a week helps keep my conditioning levels high.
I try and mix up my sprints a little for variety. Sometimes I run hill sprints and other times I just run sprints in a park. I try to avoid doing too much running on concrete because it’s not great for your joints. Whenever there’s a beach nearby, I’ll do a set of beach sprints, which typically look like this:
- ~10 second all-out sprint
- Jog or walk back
I usually do ten sets of this. The entire workout takes no more than ten minutes.
Three new workouts —
Heart Pumping Bar HIIT Workout (12 minute, pull-up bar)
Equipment-Free Full Body Challenge Workout (Time challenge, equipment-free)
Sprint + Bodyweight AMRAP Workout (AMRAP, equipment-free)
And here’s a pull up bar workout I posted on Instagram.
Remember, you can get these and all future workouts right in the 12 Minute Athlete app when you subscribe as a Super Athlete (this is WAY cheaper than joining a gym or hiring a personal trainer! In addition, you’ll be helping to support the site and making future features to the app possible.).
As always, I value your feedback, so please feel free to reply directly to this email if you have any questions or comments (yes, I am a real human). I get a lot of emails and messages, so I can’t reply to all of them, but I do read everything you guys send me!
Here’s to continuing, inch by inch,