10 Lessons in 10 Years

10. You can go farther than you can imagine. Just look back at this picture of CrossFit Ireland. Now CrossFit Ireland today. It’s really hard to see the future and how far you can go. We all tend to think of the future as being similar to the present, but you can grow well beyond what you are now.

9. Believe. The “best” athletes I’ve coached, in terms of making the most dramatic progress, just believed in what they were doing, regardless of how a given day went. I think this carries over to everything else. Constantly questioning every microscopic detail has it’s place, but if it’s your default, you won’t progress as quickly.

8. You really can’t out train a bad diet. In “The Tallaght Days” initially I didn’t look at diet. I’d been paleo before on and off and maybe with the stress of starting up a gym and the challenges it possessed I took comfort in eating. But I know I felt crap. I understand that talking about food sparks off more emotions than religion and politics combined, but I know personally the better I eat the more even my energy and the clearer my focus is.

7. Mobilise in the gym for a few minutes after class. This will have a greater impact on your longevity and performance than anything else you do. I get that we don’t come to train for the warm ups and cool downs. Strength training is fun, metcons are fun (maybe afterwards) but mobility and movement are the catalysts to getting your best out of them.

6. Help others. Pretty much all my troubles have been when I’ve been focused on my own shit. The best times are when I’ve focused on others. In the moment you feel great because you feel worthwhile being able to help someone, and not thinking of your own struggles. I also think because of helping others when I needed help I’d so many people willing to take a shot on me too. Thanks!

5. It’s meant to be hard work. Like, a lot of hard work. When you forget this and think the weights are meant to feel lighter, or it’s meant to get easier, it doesn’t. Building a gym, working on your handstands, running faster, all require hard work. Learning to fall in love with this hard work stops it wearing you down.

4. Mental game is Win. We all “know” that mental game/self talk/self image/self confidence are important, but how much time do we devote to it? I understand that we can achieve great mental victories by working on our physical selfs. At the same time we’re leaving growth and fulfilment on the table if we don’t devote some time to our inner coach and critic.

3. Enjoy it! I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve wanted to rush through parts of this journey that on reflection were the best parts. Once I get this, then I’ll be happy. Then the next thing. Enjoy each moment as much as you can, because as cliche as it, they’re gone too soon.

2. There’s no end goal to fitness. Or indeed business. Or anything else of true worth. Sure there’s milestones, and goals. But you’ll never be “fit” and then you’re done. That’s okay. I think realising this helps make us less obsessed with achieving the next goal on our list (which is always only replaced with another one)

1. It’s not really about Fitness. Fitness is really just a conduit for deeper connections and fulfilment. Suffering and laughing together is what it’s all really about. Consoling each other through sorrows and celebrating each others success are what you’ll remember long after the workout is over 🙂

And Derek is BAE 🙂
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