I read my email right away.
I know it would be smarter to set a block of time and read it all in batches, but I’m just not that disciplined.
Perhaps I’m still a big, impulsive kid at heart, secretly hoping that this is email is finally the one from Nick Fury and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and not yet another $300 cable bill.
Yesterday, while at the gym, I received an email from a prospective training client. A proverbial tire kicker I’d be going back and forth with. While anything related to money or Star Trek typically gets my immediate attention, the truth is I resisted reading this one.
Cause the subject line annoyed the hell out of me.
I don’t have time for this.
The emailer in question is a busy guy.
Way busier than me. Mid-forties, executive-type career, two teenaged kids in high-level sports, and part owner of a winery out west.
So not just busier than me, way cooler than me. Alas.
He’s also overweight. While he says used to be jacked — I seem to attract these types — lately he’s anything but. By his estimation he needs to lose 30 pounds; I thought closer to 40. And he’s dreadfully inactive, both because he’s so busy and because at his size, moving just isn’t that fun anymore.
But being a very successful businessman, he’s also a pragmatist. The type who learns quickly from his mistakes. He’s tried to lose weight before and failed. Mainly because, in his words, it “took too much of his day.” So whatever I might have for him would “need to work around his schedule and his career.”
I know, more red flags than dating a “dancer.”
Certainly, I could’ve said I had what he’s looking for. That I had The Answer — something “new” and “cutting edge,” designed to “melt fat off in mere minutes a day.”
I could’ve punctuated it with recycled buzz words like “lactic acid” and “growth hormone” and references to “Tabata” or better yet, “lost methodology from behind the Iron Curtain.”
All I’d have to do to clinch the deal is include a few specious references to “hundreds of satisfied clients that have achieved six-pack abs in as little as (enter ridiculously low number) minutes a day.”
I couldn’t do it though. Instead, I sent him this:
“You don’t need hours a day. But you will need 45 minutes to an hour in the gym, at least every other day. And ideally some type of exercise on the other days.
“You’re also going to have to take ownership for how you eat. No more eating like, well, a child. You need to make healthy eating your new passion or at least your new hobby. And certainly do a lot less wine tasting.
“And you’ll need to do it for months, maybe even the rest of your life.”
I suppose I got the response I deserved.
I don’t have time for this.
You might feel the same way.
But I say, you don’t have time not to.
I admire The Rock.
At least I admire his brand. In part it’s because, at 42 years of age, he’s the most jacked he’s ever been (stuff like that tugs at my heart strings) but it’s mainly because he just seems to get shit done.
Up at 4 am to do cardio. At the gym and under the bar by 6. Then fed and on-set by 8. So while 99% of the working population is still scrounging for a donut and coffee, The Rock has done two workouts, inhaled 100-plus grams of protein, and probably flirted with half the make-up crew.
Granted, The Rock has a serious financial incentive to do what it takes to be in that kind of shape. His physique is inextricably linked to his brand, and his earning potential. The bigger the body, the bigger the paycheck.
He’s not the first movie star to sign this deal — non-thespians like Stallone, Arnold, and Jean-Claude Van Damme all had similar arrangements before him. But it’s not just a Hollywood thing. Many people have their income linked to their physique.
Actors and models often do too. I knew a fitness model in NYC who claimed to count every macro he ate, year round. Not surprisingly, he could be ready for a photo shoot in as little as 3 days.
Personal trainers typically do as well. And most will admit that not matter how smart or “good” you are, being in great shape helps build your business. Trying to do otherwise, while noble, is like swimming upstream. Interestingly, the only one’s I’ve had dispute this are those that could stand to drop a few kilos. Go figure.
But it’s not just about money and vanity. It’s taking ownership for what’s yours. And protecting it.
The story goes that early in The Rock’s new film career, director Phil Joanou offered some interesting advice:
“Always protect the thing that allows you to do what you do.”
Now The Rock isn’t dumb, so he obviously determined that what drives his career is not his ability to paint in watercolors but his 6-foot-5, 275-pound body.
So he protects it. Fiercely. And when things like age, travel, fatigue, a tightening schedule, and non-stop competition all conspire to de-throne him, he works that much harder.
He gets up earlier. Does more cardio. Trains heavier. Hires another coach. Gets another personal chef and eats cleaner.
It’s a profound lesson that I’ve come to rely on in my own life. I don’t earn a living off my body per se, but it is a huge part of what I do and what I’m passionate about. And most importantly, what makes me happy.
So instead of taking it for granted, I protect it.
I train harder and more often than I probably “need” to, and feed myself better (six days a week) than what’s maybe “necessary.”
Is it overkill? I’d say. But with so much at stake, I’d be a fool not to.
Cause I have to protect what’s mine.
Now, are you protecting what’s yours?
You’re probably not a Hollywood actor or a model or even a trainer or coach.
But the state of your body – how it looks and moves and especially how healthy it is – will be among THE most powerful determinants of your future happiness. For some, more than money, sex, children, or whether they actually make a film spin-off of Breaking Bad.
It’s your most valuable investment. You have to MAKE time to protect it.
I know The Rock is.