Whether it was an inspiring book or a motivational talk, there must be at least one time in your life where you thought to yourself, “Wow, that is so awesome! I can do it too!”
The first memory I have of being inspired to do something amazing was the afternoon I watched a copy of Bill Phillips Body Of Work video my dad had borrowed from a friend when I was 14. He had mentioned it was worth looking at but I, being your normal rebellious teenager, was so used to cutting my nose to spite my face that I’d grown accustomed to being desensitised to things of real worth. This video was one of them.
I must have watched that tape more than thirty times since. Half of those times were after we had upgraded from a VCR to a DVD Player, requiring me to hunt through our garage for the old Tape Player (which shows the value I placed on the video). Even in my latter years, I would watch that worn and blurry copy because of the feelings of excitement, inspiration and nostalgia it invoked in me.
I’d never gone through the body-for-life challenge myself but this tape was responsible for my gaining a tremendous amount of self-confidence between the years of 2001-2004. In that period of time, I went from being a scrawny 82 kg young man, with a body fat percentage of about 15% to weighing in at an average weight of 96 kg with a body fat percentage of 11%.
Again, I didn’t do the body-for-life challenge but I certainly endeavoured to live the lifestyle. I went from struggling to do two sets of 4 rep chin-ups to doing 3 sets of 10 reps each time before I started training, just to prove to myself that I could do it, one of the most straight forward yet difficult exercises. The heaviest I could bench went from 6 reps at 50 kg, to 8 reps of 160 kg. But most importantly, I’d found my place and found a confidence that served me well socially and personally. I was still unfocused when it came to my career and the direction I wanted it to take but I absolutely loved going to the gym for the same feelings of excitement, inspiration and nostalgia it invoked. I was addicted. And I liked it.
The reason I mentioned the Body Of Work video is that I had the chance to watch another body-for-life video tonight, called Success Stories. It created the exact same feeling in me that watching the first video and going to the gym did so many years ago. The anticipation and encouragement that stirred within me may be difficult for some to relate to but substitute my example for yours, whether it be a career or personal motivating experience. I found myself reliving all the times I’d enjoyed working out, reading health and fitness magazines, going to bodybuilding competitions to support friends in their own and hanging out with others who shared that same passion.
However, being the person I am today, I have this insatiable desire to do the Bill Phillips Transformation for real. Since the first time I ever watched his video, he’s gone on to create his own site that promotes a 16-Week Transformation Challenge. The site is amazing and I encourage everyone to check it out. I, myself, have been going through the great content contained in his articles and videos (I love videos) and it’s definitely something I highly recommend.
Bill also has a new goal, after challenging himself to help a million people gain a new body for life before the end of 2001. This new goal is to take America’s health and fitness from worst to first in 10 years. Once again, a goal that revolves around him giving of himself and his services, in an enterprising manner. And yes, if it weren’t already evident, I think Bill Phillips is awesome.
This, of course, got me thinking…I mean, how awesome would it be to get an interview with another of my mentors, the one and only Bill Phillips, the man who first instilled in me, a feeling of hope and desire for great achievement. I’ll help you finish that thought with “It would be pure awesomeness Josh!”
So, yes, I’ve decided to put my thinking cap on to find a way of thanking the man who inspired me so much initially and serves as a great example of success in business and personal fitness. I mean, come on, couldn’t we all learn a thing or two from the co-founder of EAS, winner of the 2001 Entrepreneur Of The Year award and fitness advisor to many top athletes? I think YES! No, actually I know yes, so after sending the order to my subconscious mind, I’ll now let it get to work on figuring out how to realise this next mini-challenge.
I’ll also add it to my 2010 list too as he’ll need to be added to my Mentor List of people I wish to meet face to face and shake hands with, all within the year.
The important thing I’d like you all to recognise is that we all have moments where someone we’ve respected or admired has shown us the possibilities, if we only give ourselves over to the process. My success was found in proving to myself that I wasn’t destined to be the skinny geek in class and had the potential to build a better body just like Bill promotes in his best-selling novel, Body For Life. You may have similar examples, I encourage you to share them because in times of great struggle, where people are starved of love and attention, motivation and support, we should all endeavour to follow the example set by West Berlin and contained in the following message, “Each gives what he has to give.”
So let’s start giving!