Brandon Ames – @Brandon.W.Ames
After 20 plus hours between traveling and layovers, I have arrived in Italy where I will be doing my job as a print journalist and photographer for the next year under U.S Army Africa (no it isn’t anything like Joker in Full Metal Jacket.) Despite now being six hours ahead with the time zone change, I slept off the jetlag and have a slight sense of feeling settled in. Finding myself in a completely different country and in a place where authentic pizza and pasta is easily accessible, I would say the odds to consistently fail (or at least veer away from my routine) were stacked against me. I say consistently fail because I’m not that naïve and there will definitely be a time and place to indulge in some Italian dishes.
After establishing what I have and what I need, I walk to the commissary here on base and purchase groceries for the week along with a George Foreman grill, which will most certainly get the job done. I had previous success working with Jay Azeltine on nutrition and was able to get every item on that list with no trouble. Unsure if I would have access to the internet initially, I downloaded Volume One of the Power Shredz E-Book ahead of time. Upon returning to my room to put everything away, I assessed what equipment I had to work with at the gym and got a killer chest and back workout in. Not only did having a familiar routine to incorporate into my new life save me some time, but it saved me the stress and hassle of having to figure those things out and as a result, I was able to hit the ground running on day one.
We’ve all heard the popular term in that of “failing to prepare is preparing to fail” and this could not be truer in this instance. Having a plan does much more than we realize, and it is something that should not be undervalued. Unless you’ve experienced it first-hand, it’s something that I really can’t put into words, but by having an established plan I was able to skip over that feeling of being “lost” and continue going to work on my goals. When you feel lost over an extended period of time, it’s something that can consume you very fast and overthrow your entire body and soul. When I don’t have a plan, I feel as though I am lacking a purpose. When I don’t have purpose, I lack confidence. When I lack confidence, I think the worst of myself. When I think the worst, I do the least. When I do the least, I set myself back and feel like I have to double down when I “come back around” to make up for lost time and just end up burning myself out. It can be a snowball effect from hell. I’m no psychologist but I’ve put myself through enough mental punishment to identify that a dark feeling can come from operating without a blueprint.
I love how Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson describes waking up at 4 am and working out as his “anchor” or identifying his purpose. In a previous post, he says “The more complicated our lives get, the more we need something simple to keep our shit together. Whatever it is that gives you ‘your edge’ over everyone around you, then that’s what you do. You find it, you apply it, and you protect it.” The main takeaway? Make a plan if you don’t have one, it is more crucial than we realize. Form short term and long term goals. Go to work on them daily. They don’t have to be fitness related. It’s crazy to think that formulating a plan seems to be such a small piece to the puzzle, but as you execute on it daily, you find out in the end that it is the puzzle. I wanted to become a contributor to IVB to tie in personal trials with a solution, and touch more on the mental aspect of things. Even if I get through to one person then I have achieved what I have set out to do
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