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Sean Luce

Awesomeness Is Being And Feeling Fit


Never let success go to your head, and never let failure go to your heart.
    -- Old Chinese proverb

Im not sure about you, for me failure can be not staying in decent shape physically.

After some long summer months of road traveling, I felt recklessly out of shape. No excuses! Back to the gym. From time to time, I get some re-grouping time and, over the past three weeks, Ive been able to hit the gym hard. Not easy keeping up with energetic reps in the field either as a sales manager or as a sales consultant! You need to be in shape. I get the reps best day when Im out in the field with them calling on advertisers. The rep sometimes gets me for a day -- I get them for a week, one rep after the other and they are pumped up giving their best. Cant be dragging along. Back to basics! Back to the gym!

Starting to get back in shape meant taking some of my own medicine that I give out in my seminars. Understanding the four components of motivation came in handy. They are: Passion, Drive, Risk Taking, and Commitment. In exercising, all of these components come into play. In order to perform your best, you must feel your best. On those long days where you dont feel like making any more sales calls, you have to be mentally tough to make that one more call when you dont feel like it. Mental toughness equals being physically fit in my opinion.

Often when it comes to mental toughness, I refer to the late Bobby Fischer. Hes not a football player; hes the former world chess champion who defeated Boris Spatsky for the world chess championship in 1972. (Yes, I know many of you werent born yet.) Its a good lesson on why physical fitness is important to being mentally on your game every day.

This American hero started working out every day for three hours in a gym in upstate New York. He started swimming underwater laps, playing tennis, and doing aerobics and running, all to build up the power of his lungs. Bobby Fischers coaches had thought he had lost his mind. They couldnt understand what he was doing swimming underwater laps when he should be at the chess table studying the great Russian chess player, Boris Spatsky, who he was to play for the championship.

According to Bobby Fischer, he found out something about Boris Spatsky that his chess coaches had not noticed: he only lost between the 9th and 10th hours of a match. Fischer had pictures of Boris Spatsky always sitting in a slouch, thereby cutting off his lung capacity. When you lose lung capacity, reducing oxygen to the brain, your brain works slower.

So what is significant about Bobbys Fischers remarkable victory over what was then the greatest player who ever lived in Boris Spatsky, is that when Fischer started his exercise routine, it gave him the ability to outlast Boris Spatsky in the final hours of the game, which is when Spatsky made uncharacteristic mistakes, thus losing.

Bobby Fischer said something else about the mental toughness that it takes to be a champion. In his book "Bobby Fischer: Profile of a Prodigy" Frank Brady says this about Fischers exercise program: Fischers routine was Spartan. Like Steinitz, who was the first chess champion who trained as an athlete, Fischer too believed that he had to be in superb physical shape in order to play his best. Your body has to be in top condition. Fischer is quoted as saying in the book. Your chess deteriorates as your body does. You cant separate mind from body.

Maybe, you like me, sometimes get out of physical shape. Its tough to get started on that Spartan routine again. The holidays are coming and many people wait until they are over to get started on their exercise program. Start now. No need to wait. Its starting thats the hard part. Just remember the three keys to any exercise program:

1) Frequency: Three to four times a week. It doesnt have to be every day. Once you get into the rhythm, it becomes habitual.
2) Consistency: 21-28 days to create new neuropathways in the brain. No different with exercise. Make a commitment to try your program for at least 21-28 days. Youll never be the same mentally and physically.
3) Intensity: Keep your target heart rate between 55 percent to 90 percent for 20-25 minutes minimum during your workouts. Beginners start out at the low range. Make sure you have a good five- to 10-minute warm-up, work your heart rate for 20- 25 minutes, and then have a cool-down period for five to 10 minutes.

Kobe Bryant, all-star NBA basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers recently said, I need to get my fat #@& (expletive) back in shape." Hes been undergoing rehab for an injury. I concur Kobe, thank you for the push. I needed to get my #@& back in shape (and back into martial arts shape too). One cannot be walking around in YouTube Behind the Scenes videos and be out of shape, thats for sure!

Sean Luce is the Head National Instructor for the Luce Performance Group International and can be reached at or

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