Hey everyone, hope you are having a bright and sunny June. In this post, I want to talk about a guy by the name of Derek Jeter. If you don't know who I'm talking about, please stop reading immediately and google him.
I'm not a baseball guy at heart, but damn; that dude could play. Some of the Yankees haters up here in New Hampshire may disagree about him being one of the best ever (Insert all of my bros), but I think we can all agree that Jeter was a great player. He built a Hall of Fame career based on intangibles: hard work, integrity, and leadership. He wasn't the most powerful hitter or the fastest guy on the field, but he added a level of class to the game that nobody could top. Here's how you can build a hall of fame "career" too:
1. Hit for contact, not the Home Run
Jetes racked up 3465 hits during his career, placing him 6th All Time. He didn't get there by trying to hit everything to Times Square. A typical Jeter at bat consisted of him fouling some pitches off and then lacing one to the outfield for a single. While he did have some home runs, much of the time he was hitting to get on base. This is how you should approach health.
Remember the old phrase, "Life is a marathon, not a sprint." I have no idea who said it, but that's kind of what we're going for here. Everything adds up over time. For example, choosing vegetables over the fries, making sure you get some exercise in, or investing in your nutrition by choosing good quality food at the grocery store. Each time you make a good choice, you are instilling healthy habits that will help you down the road. Making a series of good decisions, no matter how small they seem, goes a long way in helping you gain momentum on the path that reaches your goals. Tallying up hits is how you create consistency and progression.
Imagine that every time you faced a challenge, you went for the "home run." You are more likely to strike out and be unsuccessful, and that's not going to build you a Hall of Fame career. Just get yourself to one base at a time, and eventually you'll end up at home.
2. Know Your Strengths, and Use Them to Your Advantage
I can't think of one thing that Jeter was "the best" at. But, he was pretty solid at a lot of things. He was a great leader and great at hitting the ball. He had intangible qualities that helped create a cohesive team that won a bunch of World Series titles. That's how the guy impacted the Yankees the most. He just went about his business with work ethic and integrity, and knew that his teammates would follow suit.
What are you good at? Cooking? Organizing? Running? Public speaking? Lifting couches? Whispering to dogs? Melting faces (guitars, duh)? It doesn't matter what it is.
Find your strength and use it to better yourself. Practice it. Learn about it. Own it. It will get you pumped up and eager to improve. And as you get better, you'll gain confidence each day. Not only will this help you succeed, but you'll eventually be able to help others. Wouldn't that pretty awesome?
I'm a firm believer that chronic stress- either emotional or physical- is the underlying cause of why people are so jacked up these days. Using your strengths and feeling damn good about it will help you reduce stress and fight illness. If you feel good about yourself, then something is going right in your life, and that has more power than you know.
3. Get After It
Pretty simple stuff folks. If you want to get better, you need to put in the time. It takes effort and persistence, period. Jeter put in the work, which is why he had a great career.
You have to be willing to make some sacrifices in order to achieve your goals, time being one of them. My first marathon will be in October in the great state of New York. So, I'll be racking up the miles and eventually laying off the Heady Topper's (which may be the biggest sacrifice of all). But, at the end of the day, that's my goal, and I'm willing to take on that challenge.
So, if you want to:
Get a better deadlift: work on technique and lift.
Crush your 5k time: Work on speed endurance.
Build a Dad-bod: Eat better, work out, and cut back on the #Margs.
Obviously these are not the only rules to follow. At the end of the day, you won't have a great health career if you aren't work hard at keeping yourself in the game. Focus on what you want and go for it. When the dust settles and you have reached ultimate glory, it will feel that much sweeter knowing how hard you worked for it.
No, I don't have a man crush on Jeter. I simply find a lot of parallels between how he played baseball and how you can get yourself healthier. Consistency, self discipline, and pride. All of these play an integral role in shaping your future. Take pride in how you go about your day, what you eat, and how you bust your ass at the gym. If you do that, you'll never have to worry about wondering why you make decisions. The answer is for yourself.