Written by: Paul Emmick
You can’t teach heart.
This can relate to so many things to so many of us. Would you give up a sure thing to chase a dream?
What are your goals? And what are you doing to achieve them? What matters most to you? Sometimes this has different answers, or they could all be related.
Recently, I took a chance and made a major life change after asking myself these questions. Looking deep inside, it was actually a very easy decision with an easier answer.
I began training in martial arts at the age of 7. Fast forward many years of drills, practice, forms, practice, fighting, practice (you get the point), I earned my black belt. Before you could test, it was required that you had a certain number of hours assisting instruct lower ranks. The class I was working with were young kids, between the ages of 8 and 10. I absolutely loved it. I took on multiple classes of my own as soon as I was able to. It was such a rewarding feeling to help these young kids build the confidence, coordination, speed, strength, and so many other valuable life lessons and skills that I myself had worked on so hard for so many years. It felt so natural to be in that coaching position, to this day, that was one of the most positive times in my life.
I eventually moved in a different direction, and over the years trained and competed in bodybuilding, then powerlifting, and dabbling in OCR. During this time I had many different jobs, ranging from hockey to retail. I started dating my wife the day I started my contest prep for my bodybuilding show, and we were married in 2011.
Recently, I ended up working for a large banking corporation. Being married and having a steady job, things were comfortable. I had time to train, compete, and we were looking into buying our first home. Things were ok, but something was missing. I soon found out we were going to have a baby. That was the single best thing that had ever happened to me, because it got my mindset to where I am today. I am now going to be responsible for raising this child. I believe it is every parent’s dream to want their children to be more successful than they are. The best way to do that is to lead by example. Show what it means to work hard. If you want something, you need to earn it. I was taught good work ethic by my parents, and I was going to do the same for my daughter. To never settle for less than the best, and do what it takes to make yourself happy.
I had an ‘ah ha’ moment. I was working a job I didn’t care for. The hours were very inconsistent, and I was home late all the time, and that would never change. I completely missed my daughter being dressed up for her first Halloween (my wife’s and my favorite holiday, we even had a Halloween themed wedding), and this was NOT acceptable to keep happening. I was missing out on time with the people that mean the most to me for a job I hated. How am I supposed to be a good role model when I was doing the very thing I would tell my daughter not to. This had to change.
During this time, I was training part time at ChrisFit in Niagara Falls, A full time position had opened up, and after having a conversation with the owner, Chris, as well as my wife, I put my two weeks in at the bank right away.
There were obvious concerns with this. I was going from a guaranteed 40+ hours a week job, into an initial schedule FAR from that. I would have to build up a client base, get my name out, and really be successful and work my ass off if this was going to be a good move for my family. It was a big gamble.
Or was it.
Anyone that knows me knows how passionate I am. Passionate about training. Passionate about my family. This was no gamble, this was me doing exactly what needed to be done so I knew that I would have a roof over my daughters head, and food in her belly. This was a chance to follow my dream. Was I crazy for giving up a ‘sure thing’? Giving up guaranteed hours?
Failure is not an option. I will continue to grind, and do what it takes to provide the best life for my family that I can. There are things that you cannot control in life. But if you are prepared well enough it should not derail you from your goal. This could be something as simple as meal prep. At the bank, I could be ready to leave, get one bad phone call and be at the office for another 3-5 hours. Now, Id miss dinner with my family but I did not miss a meal. The same could be related to your job, the gym, etc. There is no luck, only when being prepared meets opportunity.
This mentality is what separates people from being successful, whether it be in the gym or any other aspect of life. There is a saying that there is always someone out there that is better than you at <insert goal or objective>.
So my question is what are you doing to become that person?