Have you ever had a moment, in the midst of your workout, where you zone out? You don't stop, or slow down at all. You're under control, focused on the task at hand. The space you're in is serene. The only things present are you and your actions. A space in which time is infinite, and your senses are at the peek of their sensitivity. Your stride is impeccable. Your technique is lustrous. For all intensive purposes, you just got it like that.
Throughout our lives, we all have had moments in which we felt like we were at our best. Invincible, like we owned the world. Maybe God could stop us, Maybe? Does this space sound familiar to you? Determined to progress, unrelenting and disciplined. You moved with purpose, and a rather unerring rhythm. Whether your accomplishments were being whispered, and your failures broadcasted to the masses, you persevered.
Imagine Michael Jordan on the 96' Bulls, with 6.9 seconds left on the clock and the game tied. You knew what time it was. It was almost a certainty that Mike was hitting the game winning shot. The man wouldn't be stopped, but the question I want to pose to you is, how'd he get to that point? How was he able to revisit this space, this zone, and have so much success in these moments?
As a runner, personal trainer, and High School Football coach, I am often faced with the challenge of having to compete. As a runner, I am competing against myself. As a personal trainer, I am competing against a shady industry. And as a coach, I am competing against other teams, and the minds of the young men I coach. What allows me to beat the competition is devotion.
You see, Michael Jordan had a reputation for being a tireless worker. Many of the greatest athletes, and people in general, share that one common factor. Now, this is not me saying that all you need to do is work hard. But this is me saying, that you'll never reach your goals if you're not willing to DIE achieving them.
The zone I spoke of earlier isn't as much about being in it, as it is about preparing for it, and persevering in it. For every game winning shot Michael Jordan made, he took thousands more in practice, that we'll never see. You see, the person you are in these testing moments. The person who finds themselves in this zone, is a mere affirmation of the person they were prior to that moment.
You want to be a better version of yourself? You want your "swag" back? Are you missing the confidence you once had, or that fast pace you used to run? Are you searching for that body you had 5-10 years ago? You can have it, it's right there. How hard are you willing to work for it? Are you willing to maybe give up drinking, or smoking? Are you willing to stop eating your favorite snacks? Will you be overcome by your vices, or are you going to invest in yourself to highlight your virtues?
Are you going to look yourself in the mirror and admit that you've fallen off, and that you're unhappy? Then proceed to envision yourself in your supreme state, and devote your time and resources to getting back to that space? It's not easy, in fact, the difficulty of such a task may very well be the reason why you have yet to reach it.
But before you make up your mind, remember this. There will be a moment. Things, opportunities, spaces in time will arise. At work, on the track, in the gym, somewhere at some point you will be feel tested. Will you be prepared? Will you succeed? Or will you have to look yourself in the mirror and admit that you missed out, and leave things up to chance? For as mystical a zone that Michael Jordan appeared to be in at times. Reality suggest that his zone was a result of real, tangible efforts, that he committed himself to.
Commit to yourself, invest in yourself. Because leaving your narrative up to chance won't put you in the zone. You'll likely be left out.