All playground, no principle.

Back in the 80’s and early 90’s most young jocks enjoyed Samuel Slater Junior High School (Pawtucket RI) for one reason and one reason only – the gym teacher!  He was as down to earth as any man can be.  We all looked at him as a mentor, NOT a school employee.  His office was always clouded in cigar smoke and that just made him more believable.  More approachable.  More real.  More human.  And for most kids – more cool.  There’s only one problem, as cool as he was, he was still “just” a gym teacher.

When I think of all the ways my life has been shaped, the gym teacher has never once made the list.  Sure I have some good memories of slinging dodge balls and stealing bases.  I often think of the most athletic kids and wonder why they never turned pro.  Gym class provided a chance to form friendships, laughter, and a few scrapes and bruises.  At the end of the day, you either loved or hated physical education – REGARDLESS of the teacher.

Gym class, like recess, mostly takes care of itself.  Kids love to run around and are able to find something active to engage in.  But what happens next?  Eventually, we all become adults.  Our taste buds enjoy the onslaught of flavors a prosperous country affords, and, if we aren’t careful, slowly expand our belt size to the circumference of a small planet. 

To sum it up: the gym teacher only provided a playground, not the principles!

Next time you encounter “eye candy” pay attention to your thoughts.  If you have graduated beyond the level of carnal appetites and passions – congratulations – but now what are you thinking?  Maybe you ponder something along these lines:

“I wish I looked like that!”

“They must have a lot of discipline.”

“I wonder how much time they spend in the gym.”

“I would like to know what kind of diet they are on.”

“I wonder how they stay motivated.”

“How long did it take to get a physique like that?”

You get the idea.  Not once in the history of mankind has anyone said in a fit of jealousy, “I wish I had their Junior High School gym teacher!”

THE CHALLENGE:  Get off your butt.  YOU ARE the gym teacher now.  YOU are the one who must dig deep and search from within to find the motivation necessary to master your pursuit.  YOU are responsible for your own destiny.  YOU, YOU, YOU… get out of your comfort zone and BE the thing you are thinking about.  Yes YOU!

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