When you’re getting started in just about anything, especially in fitness, the prospect of actually hitting long-term goals can be intimidating. We often tend to look beyond the immediate task and try to take in the scope of what’s ahead all at once. This leads to anxiety, discouragement, and being overwhelmed. Those kinds of feelings are counterproductive to progress.
What can keep you focused on the now? Consider this popular quote by former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt:
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
Who Was Theodore Roosevelt?
Roosevelt served as the 26th President of the United States, often being called “Teddy” during that time. Prior to his presidency, he was a renowned military hero, leading a charge of the Rough Rider Regiment in the Spanish-American War.
After a period of time as the Governor of New York, Roosevelt become President, serving from 1901 to 1909. His presidency was unexpected, since the role fell to him at just 43 years old after the assassination of William McKinley.
As President, Roosevelt is credited with ushering in the construction of the Panama Canal, expanding government to mediate economic conflicts, and revolutionizing the U.S.’s international relations.
He also was well-known as an advocate of living through hard times. This was largely fostered by his upbringing involving a great deal of sickness, and he spent much of his early life on a ranch.
What Does This Quote Teach Me?
There are many iterations to the real gist behind this Roosevelt quote. However, when you consider the different challenges faced by Roosevelt in his life and tenure as a political and military leader, this quote brings more depth as we consider how we can attack our fitness routine. Let’s break it down:
“Do What You Can…”
When you walk into a gym, do you get intimidated? Are you discouraged by the sight of other people who seem in way better shape than you? If you are in better shape, are you struggling to keep your motivation to progress even further?
You don’t have to worry about being able to perform beyond your capabilities. For every person you see crushing their fitness goals, there are dozens or more who stayed at home. It’s crucial to define achievable objectives that align with your current fitness level, schedule, and lifestyle.
Whether it’s committing to a daily 10-minute workout, opting for the stairs instead of the elevator, or choosing healthier meal options, every small step counts. Progress in fitness is a journey of many steps, and each one brings you closer to your ultimate goal.
“With What You Have…”
You don’t have to have a gym membership, a full weight rack, or a bunch of expensive equipment to make your goals a reality. In truth, getting fit is a lot more about your effort than it is your resources.
Bodyweight exercises, a simple set of dumbbells, or even household items can serve as effective workout equipment. Additionally, take advantage of free or low-cost fitness resources like workout apps, online tutorials, and community fitness classes. Your fitness journey begins with making the most of what you have access to.
“Where You Are.”
Perhaps the most critical aspect of this Theodore Roosevelt quote for the fitness industry is the emphasis on the present moment. Waiting for the “perfect” time to start your fitness journey is a common pitfall.
Whether it’s waiting for Monday, the New Year, or a more convenient time in your life, delaying action can hinder your progress. Instead, recognize that the best time to start improving your fitness is now, right where you are. Your current circumstances, no matter how busy or challenging, can be the starting point for a healthier lifestyle.
Wrapping It Up
Perhaps the most renowned moment of Roosevelt’s life was when he led the Rough Riders’ charge at the Battle of San Juan. In the same spirit, use this Motivation Monday to do just that—charge.
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. This Theodore Roosevelt quote is a philosophy that empowers you to embark on your fitness journey today, using the resources and opportunities available to you. In the end, it’s the consistent effort, regardless of the scale, that leads to lasting fitness success.
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