Fitness changed my life.
by Ryan Hansen

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Fundamentally, it made me a different person and rewired my brain. I began to overcome fear and weakness. It built my character and taught me valuable lessons. I believe the success in my career and life is directly related to my ability to create a fit body.

Exercise not only makes you look good, but feel good as well. Sure, your clothes will fit better, your mood will boost, you will be protected against disease, etc., etc., etc., but the true value of exercise, at least for me, is that it made me the best version of myself…

So how did it happen?

1) Step foot in a gym and you realize you have to put in the time to get results. A lot of time. You have to put in the hard work and it depends solely upon you. Everybody wants the quick and easy solution. “You’re telling me I have to exercise for months and years for this shit to work?” YES, sorry.

Most want to “buy” the body…or better yet “buy” happiness. We live in a society of instant gratification. We are ‘soft’ (both literally and figuratively) and lazy. We do less, expect more, and complain.
Fitness takes effort, planning, focus, persistence, and dedication. There are no short cuts, so stop looking. The same attributes can be applied to a family, a career, and life in general.

I believe in a balanced life, but I also believe in prioritizing and sacrifice. You may have to skip out on the Tuesday happy hour with your buddies to hit the gym. You may have to skip the weekend party to put in some time building your career. Time is the most valuable resource in the world. Don’t waste it.

You can’t escape the rule of effort. Outwork your competition, then you will become successful. Well that’s not a guarantee but it makes reaching your goals a hell of a lot easier. People probably think of me as the guy that doesn’t have a life…that I don’t do anything but work…but I really don’t care. There are feelings that can’t be described when you truly have found your purpose and change lives. I’d rather be productive and successful than getting drunk on the weekends or spending hours in front of the TV. I have a different definition of what “fun” is.

2) The journey is more important than the prize. Most people live in some fantasy world. They think “what if…” or “I wish…” Everyone wants the result and they want it now. Why do you think I see the same 500 people at the gym on a weekly basis when we have a 10,000-membership enrollment? Everyone starts off strong but they soon realize that success, no matter if it’s fitness or career related, takes a LOT of work. It will take 10x longer than we originally imagined.

So we have to love the journey and the lessons we learn along the way instead of focusing on the gold. There is lot of satisfaction in DOING.

Your journey will be slow and steady. You will have ups and downs. Stop weighing yourself everyday. Stop asking yourself “why am I not there yet!?” Just get into a consistent rhythm and make shit happen.
When you love the process and focus on ARRIVING, and not HAVING then your life will change. Trust me. Achievement lasts a moment…the journey lasts a lifetime.

3) #Youarestrongerthanyouthink. We all have a story. I hear it everyday. “I can’t.” “It’s too hard.” “I’m weak.” These stories we tell ourselves can be loud and very convincing. They will knock you down, if you let them. Your mind can cause a lot of resistance and make you doubt yourself and your abilities. Just look around…how many people are truly confident and happy? The stories we tell ourselves in our heads convince us to play small and that we are not worth it. Playing small is safe so we fold and crumble.

Fitness not only taught me self confidence but it taught me I was literally stronger than I thought. My body began to change in a way I didn’t think possible. I was weak but I created a beast. I became in control of my body and myself. I realized I was in the driver’s seat and my success was dependent upon me and only me so I had to make shit happen. You can’t make excuses and expect to change. There are many times, even today, where my mind will tell me, “I don’t feel like working out,” and I have the ability to tune that out. That ability to turn off the story you tell yourself is a huge asset in my life. I basically tell myself to do it anyway, even when I don’t want to. That’s the difference between an amateur and a professional. A professional performs in the dark, when no one is watching, and goes that extra mile every time. I don’t wait for inspiration. I don’t wait for motivation. I’ve become a master of my mind.

Bottom line: physical health and fitness go beyond a 6 pack. There is a greater transformation that takes place on the inside. I know I would be a completely different person if I didn’t exercise regularly.