I Can't Stand Excuses (or health clubs): fostering a "never quit" attitude every day by John Sifferman

This is my second post today, so make sure to check out the video in the post from earlier today about a cool pushup sophistication. I don’t normally post twice in one day, but I have to let off some steam.

You see, I’m sick and tired of people giving me excuses as to why they aren’t achieving their goals.

Just an hour ago, while I was training at the local YMCA (where I go to get away from my office, and enjoy some peaceful training during the afternoon lull), a young trainee walked straight across the gym to where I was practicing a threading hand bridge into an elbow lever for fun. While my body was inverted in space, he proceeded to speak directly at me.

So, why did this kid walk all the way across the gym? To tell me… “if I did exercises like that, I would injure myself.”


Just my presence in the room caused this young man to feel as though he had to justify his lack of athleticism. He was so convicted, that he walked across the entire room, stood in front of a complete stranger while I was bridging and trying to concentrate, and starts explaining that he’ll never be able to do what I’m doing. Keep in mind I have never seen or met this guy before, and I’m usually not in a good mood when people interrupt my concentration.

He began telling me about his shoulders and how both have been dislocated from high school football… blah blah blah.

As much as I wanted to grab this punk by the hair, smack him around a bit, and shout “You just DON’T get it, do you!” – which I might add is a completely inappropriate action – I calmly told him that he could improve his natural abilities one step every day. I showed him that if he could achieve a full range of motion at a joint, that he could then add resistance to that range of motion with an external load. I told him to progress slowly with baby steps – that a little more done each day can go a long way. I gave him a clear message that I did not accept his conclusion of being weak and “incapable.” I said that he was strong, and could achieve what he sets his mind on.

I told him a brief story about how my body was an absolute mess 3 years ago – that I had several injuries from my spine to my feet, and that daily, consistent practice is what has enabled me to enjoy pain-free health and athleticism. I spent close to 3 years in physical therapy – I saw 6 different PT’s over that time, and each day I had to choose not to give up. I never stopped hoping no matter how tempting it was to accept failure. I don’t say this to toot my own horn, but to show you that a never-quit attitude is sometimes the only way to make it through life’s trials.

I hope I inspired this young man to seek the best for himself and for those around him. If it didn’t sink in right away, I hope that others will send him on the same path.

We all make excuses from time to time, it’s just part of being human. Throughout my life, I have learned that there is no excuse for not seeking after abundant health and athleticism. It is available to everyone!

And with that said, here is one of the most inspirational videos I have ever watched. I guarantee that you will not have any excuses to seek your goals after hearing the message from Dustin Carter:

Functional Fitness Session with Dustin Carter

Dustin has got that never-back-down attitude that I love, and he is someone who focuses on the positive things in life. He doesn’t moan and groan about his situation, or the cards he was dealt in life, he asks himself “what can I do today to better myself?” – and that’s the reason why he dominates on the wrestling mat. Way to go Dustin!

To your health and success,

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