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“Discipline equals Freedom”
 – Jocko Willink

Summer is just about in full swing, and that season brings with it a new set of challenges when it comes to fitness.  For those of us that are parents, the kids are out of school and now have camps, swimming lessons, and play dates that must be attended to.  For those of us in school, summertime might mean a part-time job or maybe even the start of a new career.  All of these things are pulling from our limited resource of time in new ways, which can be frustrating!

Don’t let these summer plans derail your fitness goals.  Use the value of Discipline that you have begun to forge in the gym to recommit to your top priority – your physical and mental health – even if that means that your workout schedule has to change a bit.  Your usual 4:30pm class is right when you need to pick up the kids from camp everyday, and after that is dinner and family time.  That sounds great — you are now a 6am workout fiend!  The sun comes up well before 6:00 this time of year, so it’s not like you’re slogging to the gym in the pitch-black December darkness.  We all know there will be days this summer where despite your best efforts, you can’t get to the gym for a CrossFit WOD.  Find a way to make fitness happen!  See if you can scale today’s CFKI WOD with equipment you have around you – which might be nothing!  Go for a bike ride or a run, knock out Tabata Burpees for 4 minutes, do 15 minutes of yoga before bedtime.  It’s all good stuff!

Find the Discipline to make it happen every day, and you will receive (at least) two benefits.  First off, the personal satisfaction from continuing to meet your physical fitness goals.  Secondly, the daily practice of Discipline towards a worthy goal (your health) will continue to build your mental toughness and decision-making skills.  Every day that you choose to go to the gym at 6am rather than sleeping in reaffirms your commitment, strengthening it for the next morning, or the next challenge in your life where you need to make a decision to go the hard but positive route, rather than taking it easy.

What Jocko Willink’s quote “Discipline equals Freedom” means to me is that if you choose to value Discipline, making the right choice in a daily crossroads like going to the gym or not becomes easier and easier each time you do it.  When it’s no longer something you have to think about each day, then you are Free to spend that precious mental energy on other more awesome things!