Excuses, excuses…

29 08 2012

Livin’ the life in the Bozone.

We were on vacation in Montana earlier this month, and while visiting my favorite coffee shop up there, I acquired the latest copy of Outside Bozeman.  It’s a great little magazine that helps keep me in touch of much of what I love about that area.  As it’s title implies, it covers all of the great outdoor activities that the Bozone has to offer, from hiking, biking, skiing, and running, to hunting, fishing, and snowmobiling.  It also plays on the local/native/tourist genre, as various authors make jokes or commentary about all the tourists and “newbies” from the perspective of a local.  The nature of this banter  is not lost on this fourth generation “native,” and I find the irony of such thinking highly amusing.

One of the articles in particular hit upon a subject close to my athletic and coaching-minded heart.  “Born to (Eventually) Run”, by Jeff Wozer, had me laughing to tears – and verifying the condition of my internal organs.  In it he logs his “training” as he prepares for an upcoming race.

In addition to being funny as hell, his was a great expose’ on the human condition.  I suppose that is, in part, why it was so funny.  All too often, we sabotage our ability to be the best that we could be by making excuses as to why we can’t do the very thing we know we should.  We see what we want to accomplish, and understand the steps we have to take in order to do so, but then we “excuse” ourselves right out of ever getting it done.

Here’s one of my personal favorites.

When I still owned a martial arts school, I would often hear from former students who wanted to get back into training.  Of course, I was always very supportive of such a goal, and would do what I could to help them initiate said change, from giving them a current class schedule to offering them private lessons to help with the transition back.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “Yeah, I’d love to, but I’ve got to get in shape first.”

I just love that logic: I’d love to get in shape, but I’ve got to get in shape first.  Let me see if I understand that correctly.  You can’t begin to do something until you do it first.  Now THAT makes perfect sense.

“I’m not smart enough to go back to school.”

“I’m too overweight to lose weight.”

The fact that these statements defy logic doesn’t really matter, however.  I realize that these excuses are just the cover story, beneath the surface of which lie the true, but unspoken reasons.

“I’m afraid.”

“I’d be embarrassed.”

“I’m just too busy.”

“I don’t know how.”

“It’s too far.”

“I can’t afford it.”

Here’s the logic that matters most: in the end it is OUR choice that decides, not anything else.  We can focus on all of the excuses for not doing something, or we can focus on the reasons for doing something, but in the end it’s still OUR choice.  Instead of making a long list of excuses why we can’t do something, we need to get in the habit of making a  list of reasons why we should, and then get busy.


Learning to tackle and grapple.

Werneck Family Jiu Jitsu

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Musings of an aspiring martial artist and father