There was a programme on recently discussing the myths about sports products broadcast on BBC1. The programme researchers after a lot of surveys and research came to the conclusion that most of what we are told by the marketing companies who sell us sports drinks, shoes etc are a bit untrue. All of a sudden people were on twitter and facebook to say how disappointed they were to learn these things but the furore surrounding this programme and this long debated issue got me thinking. Were there any surprises with the programme maker’s findings? What they were really saying was that your sports drink didn’t necessarily make you stronger or your running shoes make you run faster, in essence there are no shortcuts to improvements in your fitness. If you want to be Faster, Stronger and Go longer then you’ve got to train for it. You can invest in the best shoe on the market only to find your running gets worse and you are no faster than before, then the real reason could be that you only train once a fortnight!
It reminded me of when I first started running, once I became addicted, like most running enthusiasts, the first things I did was spend money on expensive gear, the best sweat wicking top, 2 pairs of trainers, ipod, headphones, gels and bars, waist bags, bottles and on and on. None of these things made me run better or faster but I suppose I got a good feeling from them which may have improved how I felt about running.
I think the bottom line is this, most people know the truth. If you want to be good at anything, you need lots of practice at it. There are no shortcuts to fitness, no easy way out. It is a long hard slog but it is so worth it when you achieve your goals. Look at the Olympic athletes; they train for years to be ready for their one moment in time. Days, weeks, months and years pass by as they prepare their bodies to be at its absolute best on the day.
So it should be with us all. We need to constantly keep working hard, small steps at a time with the big picture in mind. Losing weight, getting fitter or healthier, toning up or sculpting your body, becoming a better runner, swimmer, cyclist etc any of these and more could be your goal, Whatever your goal, spend time doing it and doing it well, learn about it from those who have been doing it longer than you, read up about it, buy books, go on the internet, go to the library, enter competitions and keep remembering that the small changes start to happen almost immediately within your body and may not necessarily be apparent for a long time, but eventually the big changes will happen and you and everyone around you will be able to see what you’ve worked so hard for.
Just keep remembering, there are no shortcuts.