This weekend, myself, a handful of MMF athletes, and thousands of other obstacle chasers will take over Kualoa Valley for this years Spartan obstacle race. For many, this is an opportunity to prove to themselves that they are capable of more than just meandering through life with the same motions day after day. It makes you feel alive and that even though you're faced with a challenge, if you put your mind to it, you can conquer that challenge. I love to see this pure joy and confidence on people's faces as they cross the finish line. At that point they feel as though they can take on the world! This week however, is what is referred to as a "taper" week. Meaning you let the body rest to ensure your muscles are fully recovered come race time. I normally wake up at 4am to make sure I have enough time to get in my workout and get breakfast. However, being that this is a taper week and I'm not exercising, this morning I could have slept in and enjoyed a couple extra hours of sleep. As my alarm went off at the normal 4am, I contemplated staying in bed a couple more hours, but thought to myself, "I'm not going to improve by giving in to immediate gratification." This reminded me of things that I hear from clients all the time. They say they started to exercise and eat healthy and they were doing well for a couple months and then one day they just stopped. If someone is seeing progress and feeling better, what would cause them to stop? It's that immediate gratification. It feels good to sleep in. It feels good to have a piece of chocolate cake. It feels good to sit on the couch and relax. I like to do all those things too. But if you start to let this happen too often, that's when things get out of control and before you know it, you've gained all the weight back, if not more! This is why on week's like this when I could be sleeping, I still make myself get up out of bed at 4am, and although I'm not exercising, I still get things done. I force myself to stick to that routine. Then when I do start training again, it will be just another normal day. It won't be me having to drag myself out of bed after hitting the snooze button four times. So create that routine of excellence in your life with whatever you do. If you're unsure of what to do at the gym, its ok, just start going to the gym at the same time every day and make it routine. If you're always rushing out the door in the morning and never have time for breakfast; then get into the routine of setting that alarm 15 minutes earlier. You make progress by continuing to push yourself even when things are comfortable. As my Dad always said, "Never settle for just OK". Sometimes you need to hold off on that immediate gratification in order to get that true finish line feeling!