November 2, 2012

Goals Aren’t Met, They Are Smashed

Life to us is all about setting goals.  Then, you don’t just achieve it, you smash it to oblivion and move on to the next one.  Take moving house for example, we wanted to move and do something different, so we moved to the other side of the planet.  That’s how we roll here at Dawes HQ!

My goal for 2012 was to get fit again, having lived the good life for too long, my ‘chunky monkey’ stature wasn’t doing me any favours and lack of regular exercise wasn’t a good example for Bethany.

The back end of 2011 was when the ‘get fit’ journey began, and like all life-changing moments it takes a catalyst.  That catalyst for me was an outsourcing of IT from my company to external providers, which ultimately meant redundancy.  Not one to sit on the couch and play PlayStation all day (although I did once) I got my ass into gear and started on a journey.  There were several factors which drove me to smash my goal this year and I’ll try to cover them all.

I was only out of work for around 4 weeks and in that time started an eating plan from the book The 4 Hour Body by Tim Ferriss.  I know, I’m a sucker for things like this, but having read his previous book The 4 Hour Work Week I was impressed and keen to see if it would work.

4 weeks in, 7.5kg down I was on a role, blasting through Christmas and New Year easily and 12kg down by the end of January, I was happy plugging away at the weight loss part of the fitness goal.  It was then that factor #2 kicked in.

Working for a company who supplies technology services to NZ Police was enough of a connection to volunteer for the 2012 Police v Fire Service charity boxing event.  Our good friend Justin fought in this in 2009 and we were in attendance to support, it was a great night.  The idea is Police and Fire representatives go head to head in 3x 2 minute rounds and all proceeds go to charity.  The beneficiaries this year were Wellington Free Ambulance and the Life Flight Trust, both well deserving and always in need of extra funding.

I used the fight training as a means to compliment the diet, meaning getting fit was not only a goal it was becoming a reality.  The road to getting fit again has ups and downs as many of you will know, which is where other important factors played a part.

First and foremost I couldn’t have done any of this without the support of Marrisa and Bethany.  They were the ones telling me all along the way that I could do it.  Even when it seemed like there was no light at the end of the tunnel, when things got hard they picked me up, pushed me to do more and supported me all the way.  Even when I felt guilty for not being there week in week out, they assured me what I was doing was the right thing, so onwards I charged.

The other motivating factor is a website called Fitocracy.  Fitocracy is a game, it’s a game where you do exercise and get points, points don’t mean prizes, but points = motivation.  I used the site to socialise what I was doing, making it public helped to make what I wanted to achieve realistic.   I plugged it in to Facebook and Twitter so each workout I did was shared with friends and family, and the more people who knew what I was doing, the more committed I became.  Not that I would, but I can’t make excuses for not going through with it if I’d put the effort in now can I?  Fitocracy is also full of like minded people who are working on personal goals, be it weight loss, weight gain, sporting achievements or just there to share their own experiences – if you’re not a member already, what else do you spend your internet time on?

Helping drive the social-media campaign to motivate me were the guys and girls at The Collective Dairy NZ.  Their t-shirts proved to be the best training gear and their yoghurt was a big source of protein as I blasted through the 9 months of training.

So, 11 months down the road, the day of the big event came.  Nerves were a feature, but having been coached by Sasha and Doug at Heretaunga Boxing Club, pre-fight nerves were short lived.  I was more concerned about making a tool of myself by tripping over on the way into the ring.

About 15 minutes before I was due in the ring, my training partner was out there and I could hear the audience screaming.  I was warming up in the stairwell with one coach while my opponent warmed up in the room down the corridor. The security guard came up and called our names, on went the game face and down we went to glove up and get ready.

The music started, 9 months flashed before my eyes, about 25 kg down, fitter, stronger….and it was on:

Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

So… what do I do I aim for next year?  Not sure yet, but if you have a goal in mind, don’t just aim to do it,  smash it to bits.  One thing I’ve taken from the whole experience, if you want to do something, you can, end of.

Having attempted to get fit again so many times I have also taken on an ancient Japanese proverb as something which sums up 2012 – “Fall down 7 times, get up 8″.


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