Always go for your goals, no matter how small or unreachable they may be

When my high school running career started 13 long years ago, one of my high school coaches said I’d always be an average runner, with no chance of sniffing the success my peers were having.

Two varsity letters, numerous medals, a regional championship, an appearance in the New England championships and two years of being a captain later, he was proved wrong.

That just goes to show you, that there will always be that one person in your life telling you that no matter how small or lofty your goals are, they will never be reached.

Only a few things can shut those voices up: Hard work, determination, and doing whatever it takes to reach that milestone.

I’ve encountered numerous types in the world of Group Fitness in my two years of teaching BodyPump: Those who come to the class religiously (at least 3 times a week), those who are trying group fitness for the first time, and those who are looking to enjoy a workout in a social setting.

But those three types of people have one thing in common: They enter the room looking to set a goal, whether that is to lose 5 pounds, gain a little more muscle mass, or maybe gain a little more confidence. And while trying to reach those milestones, they are looking at the instructor as a role model.

One of my favorite cues in class as of late has been, “If that muscle is telling you no, I can’t do it, then tell it to shut up, because YOU CAN!” While it may sound as if I’m talking like a drill sergeant, the word “can’t” should never be in an athlete’s vocabulary. The truth is, if your biceps are screaming at you to stop, or your quads are burning during that last set of bottom-half lunges, just remember that you have to be just as strong mentally as you are physically, and believe that you can push through it.

That is something I’ve been noticing over the last month in some of my PUMP regulars. The releases are certainly getting tougher, but they’re ready for whatever we throw at them. Why? Because the goals my participants are trying to reach are just as important, if not more, to me than going up on any of my weights.

Even if the goals you are trying to reach seem unreachable, they are only unreachable if you believe that they are. If you keep on pushing and working hard, and have that desire, then you’ll reach them, and then some. It works for every athlete, and it can work for you as well.

Recently, in talking about my upcoming AIM with one participant, she said we know you’re going to do awesome. In turn, I said, that’s because I’ll be representing you guys, trying to reach my own goals. For once, the participants will be the ones cheering on the instructor, albeit from 10 states away.

No matter what the goal is, always go for it, because if you don’t, you’re always going to wonder “what if.” Whether it’s doing an entire set of push-ups on your toes, rising up to do those propulsion lunges, or becoming a fitness instructor yourself, go for it! After all, who knows where I’d be if I didn’t go to PUMP training myself a couple years back?

Remember, the unreachable milestone is only unreachable because you’re not going for it, or your listening to that one nagging voice in your head telling you that it’s impossible. Tell it to shut up.

“This is your time. Now go out there and take it.” – Herb Brooks.

Ryan McLaughlin

About Ryan McLaughlin

BDN sports reporter Ryan McLaughlin grew up in Brewer and is a lifelong fan of the New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins. In "The Boston Blitz" he'll be sharing his perspective with BDN readers about what's happening on the Boston professional sports scene.