To be great, stand on the shoulders of giants

This is a saying that I often use when talking to people at work about how they can achieve whatever it is they want to achieve.  It also intimates that we don’t have to reinvent the wheel at every step.

There is much theory about the value of surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals.  In fact we mostly do it instinctively, we align and group around common interests, beliefs, values and situations.  However this can also trap us.  We may find ourselves a victim of geography or circumstance wherein we’re not ‘like’ those around us.

For me, living a healthier lifestyle that includes regular exercise, activity based social interaction, healthy food choices (mostly) and limited alcohol consumption, can be difficult.  Particular so when the people around me are NOT doing these things.  Their choices come into direct conflict with my own choices and I’m forced to work harder to make the ‘right’ choice.  I’ve managed with food to avoid temptation, rather than resist it.  Subtle distinction but otherwise very similar.  Avoiding the temptation means not bringing the temptation/s into the house.  Resisting means having them available and still choosing not to indulge.  I’m better at the former than I am at the latter of those two behaviours.

Like making food choices, making the right activity choices works the same way.  I’m more likely to go for a MTB ride if I’ve got 2 o 3 friends coming along who are keen to see me than I am if it’s just me and I have to leave the party on Sat night at 9pm so I can get up early.  Just too hard for me to do.  So the message for me is to make sure I surround myself with people who are interested, or at least supportive, of the lifestyle decisions I’ve committed to.  When I was doing triathlon all my friends were seriously challenged by my level of activity and restrictive diet (no booze either which was the real shocker).  Once I joined a tri club I was surrounded by people doing exactly the same thing I was.  And how wonderful it felt to no longer be the OCD person in the room.

So, how are your relationships helping or hindering your progress to a fitter, healthier you?  While some of mine need some work, some are already excellent.  Take Tony for example.  He’s got a lot on his plate.  Thriving business, new child, lovely wife, his own hobbies and interests just to name a few.  He’s just competed in the annual Noosa triathlon.  Perhaps the sports biggest event here in Australia (and well worth checking out).  He likes the bike ride and enters as a team with some of his clients.  Mostly it’s about them achieving some sort of goal but Tony’s always working on his.  After placing on the podium last year this year his team managed to take out 1st place in the mixed teams event.  Well done Tony, you’re an inspiration and an absolute asset to have in my corner.

Congratulations on the win!!


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