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The biggest lesson I have learned from working out is that it not only makes you physically fit but also gears you up for another level of life. It makes you learn to stretch beyond your limits, and test your true abilities. It shows you when you suck at something and when you are getting better at it. But that’s besides my point.

It’s 4.42am. My phone vibrates from the stool beside my bed and scares me off my almost ending sleep. I clear my throat to sound as if I am awake. Herman is asking if I am gearing up for the morning run. It takes me 4 minutes to get ready and run downstairs.

“By the way, someone would like to join us, she should be on her way,” Herman says when we meet. “Sure, that would be great,” I reply and just then, I hear steps along the stairs.  She’s here. I say hi and Lavender hands me her keys to the gate and off we go. It’s her first time running after a long time I guess. Herman and I decide to make forward and backward moves to let her keep up. We have developed a pace.

“Herman joined me, I talked him through the first time, let me say a few words of encouragement to keep Lavender going. This is hard stuff,” I think amidst my breaths and slow down to let her catch up with me. She seems to be doing well after the short pep talk. We have a few more blocks to cover to get back to our apartments.

The first round of the work out is done, check. Here comes the hardest part, at the roof top.

I turn on a motivational video, but really, we listen only to the sound, “Everybody’s got a dream, a goal, but what’s the plan?” goes the video. We do about 20 push-ups, a few lift ups and frog jumps, and then start the boxing drill. The video is reaching the climax,

 “You cannot give up because it ain’t what you see. You cannot give up! Never ever ever give up! You can’t let them get you down. You can’t get the critics and the naysayers get in the way of your dream.”

We’re getting tired, but little did we know, that we were just getting started. It caught Herman and I by surprise. This is where Lavender gets to shine. We’re men and we got used to doing things the crummy way as long as we felt the pinch and the acid in the muscles. She takes the lead, gives us a few tips to keep our spines safe and out of strain when doing push-ups, sit ups or any other form of body movement.

This is when I realize, we had been too comfortable doing same things day in day out. Thinking it was all we ever needed. She takes us through 30 donkey kicks from each leg, 20 squats and the other one that I seem to have forgotten the name. What!! I had a hard time.

Herman seemed to catch up fast on that. 27 squats and counting. I couldn’t hold it past 20. That was it for me. And then came squatting in one position on the toes for 40 seconds. I did 50+. I was proud of myself.

A tinge of headache and sharp pain on my right shoulder are coming up. I am all sweaty and it starts sipping into my eyes even though I try to prevent it. “I think this is great,” I say and continue “We’ve all learned new stuff today, thank you Lavender.” We now decide to wind up and start to walk down, “Lovely day guys,” Herman shouts as he rushes down, and Lavender quickly replies.

You know, getting comfortable makes you think you have it all taken care of. It makes you not see what you’re doing wrong, or what you can do better. It makes you embrace mediocrity and settle for less than you deserve.

Now, here’s the deal. Take on a new challenge, talk to someone. Everyone has got an experience you know nothing about. You just need to have the right trigger and join the right accord to keep you rolling with new experiences every day.

In whatever state you are, you can be better than that. Beat the odds, knock yourself out before someone else knocks you out. Break your own record, do not sympathize with yourself. Keep doing it but keep doing it better. It’s the things we do every day that make up who we are. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. So, keep GRINDING ON.


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