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Guest Blogger, Iron Mike Stone
 
As Bruce Springsteen once said… glory days, they’ll pass you by… did you ever feel that way?  Kevin played baseball in high school and was always a top athlete… that was 20 years, three kids, and several jobs ago. Sandy, was always active as a kid, but the demands of college changed her priorities fast. Kim, used to love to run and often entered 5k races, but motherhood took her energy in another direction. Weather your glory days were many years ago or just months ago, you can get them back. Whatever your story, and whatever your previous fitness level, you can make a comeback. Here are seven steps that you can use now to get back to those better fitness days. Try them in your own personal sports and training routine to stay motivated and to train well.  
1. Start at your own pace – but START
Don’t be afraid to start slow. Getting out and starting is what counts. Don’t become distracted by what other people are doing or what level they are at. If you’re a runner, start off with a short comfortable distance and pace and increase your mileage each week. If you weight train, begin with light weights and add weight and reps slowly. Make your training your own.
 
2. Set goals and keep a log
If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll probably end up someplace else! Pick a small goal to start, and after you hit that goal move to a bigger goal.  Next, track your training- it will help encourage you when you see that you’ve been making progress. Be patient with yourself. Some days you may feel happy with your improvements, and other days you may feel slow. Focus on the big picture and always keep up with your workouts. Hint: Check out http://www.dailymile.com for a great way to keep track of your training.
 
3. Join a training group and find a friend
 
Having company and accountability is important. It’s easy to become unmotivated when you know what your body used to be capable of. Some peer pressure can help keep you on track and make great friends. Join a gym, find a training partner, and join a local club. When they run local events, join in. A good group will support you every step of your comeback.
 
4. Make training a priority
It’s easy to become distracted with the various demands of life. When we fall out of the habit of training, other things start becoming more important and it’s hard to get back into the routine of training. Schedule your trainings and make appointments with yourself or with your group. Resist the temptation to skip anything pre-scheduled.  Creating a regular routine for yourself can change your life.

5. Change your diet

Now that you are back to training you need to think about how you fuel your body.  Remember garbage in equal’s garbage out.  Start with slow changes and focus on adding protein and complex carbohydrates to fuel your body. Don’t focus on cutting things out at first as that can sabotage your enthusiasm and your attitude. Put good fuel in your body. Check out “Fast Nutritional Tips” on my blog: 
http://mikes-tri-moto- blog.blogspot.com/p/nutrition.html 
 
6. Setbacks beware-treat them as guideposts not road blocks
Defeat may test you, it need not stop you.  Before you begin your new training plan, be prepared for the day when you will lose focus, miss training, and get discouraged.  By understanding that these obstacles are inevitable on the path to success you can change your reaction to them when they arrive.  Consider them a guidepost to success, check them off as old friends you expected to see along the way. Just be sure to keep moving down the path.
 
7. Believe in yourself–you can do it 

This is the most important step. You were once there and you can get there again. Often we crave instant results, even though we know better. Staying focused will pay off in the long run. Believe in yourself—have faith. Motivation can be a funny thing and it does come and go. Write down some inspirational quotes. Listen to music. As Zig Ziglar once said, “People say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”  

Implement these seven steps right now and you’ll be on your way to your own personal comeback or even more. Who knows, maybe your best glory days are yet to come!
 
Iron Mike Stone is an Ironman Triathlete–  High Performance/Personal Development Trainer/Coach/Motivator — as well as an Independent Financial & Tax Advisor  (MBA & RFC with 22yrs experience) — Check him out at: Mikes Triathlon, Fitness, and Motivational Blog    & http://www.freedomtandf.com/— email him for a complimentary newsletter at mjjstone@yahoo.com

 

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I’m lucky when it comes to working out. Three people hold the title of workout partner—one is my husband, Bill. On the weekends we start our days working out together. Even though his ten years in the Army and four years of high school athletics make him way more physical than me, I find working out with him by my side pushes me that extra mile, literally. Not to say I don’t feel a little frustrated from time to time when I see his 12 miles up against my 3. But I learned long ago that it’s a bad idea to compare my exercise regime to anyone else’s.

During the week, shortly after my teenager heads off for her morning commute to school, I make my way to the gym in my apartment building. Many mornings one or both of my friends, who live down the street, pop in and join me. Afterwards we chat about our plans for the rest of the day, and occasionally make a special trip over to our local Starbucks.

The ladies support me and my workout efforts. It’s nice to have a team cheering me on the days I’m not feeling it. And of course, I’m always glad I made it and worked through the blahs. I do the same for them. We’ve got a good thing going.

But then there are mornings where schedules collide and duty calls. I waltz into the gym, only to discover I’ll be dancing alone. This morning my workout partners couldn’t join me and neither did anyone else in the building. I had the entire gym to myself.

For a moment I paused in the center of the room. I placed my water bottle on the elliptical, turned up the volume on my iPod, and spent time on weight machines and doing left lifts. Endurance became my companion. I worked out alone, feeling strong and dedicated, and it pumped me up to go at top speed longer than I ever have before on that machine.

Holding myself accountable for a healthier lifestyle is the most important key to my success. It’s great to have partners and support, but it’s crucial to depend on the one person who makes it all happen.

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