39 Lessons in 39 Years

Can I confide in something with you? At first, realizing that I’m entering my last year in my 30’s, I was kind of sad.

Where does the time go? Why does each passing year go by faster than the last? 

Then I realized at how truly blessed I am. After all, I  may be 39 now, but I feel like I’m around 24 (except after too much basketball).

And that’s just one blessing. Skyler, a Finishers Freak Inner Circle Member, posted this in our Facebook forum…

“Let’s all send Mr. Pancakes Whitfield a very happy birthday!!”

Everyone then posted everything you can think of that has to do with pancakes.

I LOVE my Finishers Family (sounds cheesy, but I really do).

Now that I’m officially in my last year of my 30’s, I’ve realized that I’ve learned some amazing lessons… some appear small, but had a huge impact.

Some have to do with fitness… most do not. Hopefully, one or two will resonate with you and will help you to keep pushing through. Brace yourself… these are really random as they come  to mind.

And by the way, I’m REALLY grumpy with some of these (sorry)

39 Lessons in 39 Years…

# 1  Intermittent fasting can work, but people make it way too complicated

Take a break from eating. That’s it. “Mikey, can I eat an egg when I fast?” “Mikey, can I drink a protein shake in my fasting window?”

How about no? Then you’re not fasting. Geez dude, c’mon. Don’t eat. Eat. That’s intermittent fasting. You don’t gorge after, either.

# 2 Step out of your comfort zone

It truly is where the magic happens… this is in relationships, fitness and business

# 3 Time goes by fast

Tomorrow is too late. And with kids, I’ve realized that time goes by about 43X faster.

# 4 Tell your kids you love them every day

Maybe I’m older so I’m a sucker for my boys… but yesterday, I told Deakan and Champ (my 8-mo old and almost 3-yr old) I love them 20 times.

# 5 Finishers rock

No, not because of the calorie burn… that’s just a bonus. I’ve discovered what they do mentally is even better.

# 6 Talk to your parents MORE

I’m better than I was… but I need to improve it. Trust me, you don’t do it enough either.

# 7 The Total Body Extension is one of the best NON-impact conditioning exercises you could ever do.

Here’s how to do it:

# 8 Box Jumps – You’re doing them WRONG

Do me a favor and reap the rewards of the box jump… it’s a great exercise and you don’t have to destroy your knees doing them. Land on the platform like a Ninja (soft).

# 9 Go for a brisk walk

You’ll clear your head and even gain perspective.

# 10 Encourage someone EVERY day

I need to get better at it… but this feels so good

# 11 Don’t skip your warmup… PERIOD

# 12 Coffee is awesome… I mean REALLY awesome

I didn’t start drinking it until 2 years ago, thanks to Rick Kaselj (long story)

# 13 Drink more water (it’s the #1 appetite suppressant and it’s almost FREE)

# 14 Pancakes can turn a bad day into an epic day

# 15 Canadian maple syrup is the best… I’ve yet to find a better syrup

# 16 Find a coach or mentor

I’m surround by people who I hold myself accountable to as well as 2 business coaches, Bedros Keuilan and Craig Ballantyne.

Coaches will make you do things you thought were impossible.

# 17 Do the mountain climber exercise SLOW

Yeah, the norm is to shuffle the feet quickly… but do them at a slow tempo (take 1 sec to bring your foot in and keep your hips low) and I guarantee your abs will work a lot harder. Watch this video:

# 18 Life is hilarious – LAUGH

Laugh at yourself. It’s ok.

# 19 Quit mixing and matching workout

I think I’ll do this workout from ____’s program on Monday and then _____’s program on Wednesday. Then on Friday, I’ll play Marco Polo in the bathtub with my rubber ducky.

Follow the program as is – if you’re not a trainer and you try to put together some random workout, you’ll hurt yourself.

# 20 Intermittent fasting does work and I’m an idiot

I literally called intermittent fasting a hippy movement (just being transparent here). And now I use it all the time. D’oh.

# 21 Having an internet business is HARD

I love seeing ads with people driving BMWs and claiming they work 90 minutes a week. That’s not how it works. It’s actually one of the toughest businesses you’ll ever do.

But if you have enough passion behind it, it won’t seem like work.

# 22 Remove yourself from negative people

Friday night – wah, wah, wah our jobs are horrid. Mmmm, beer and wings. That was the norm when I was in a corporate job. I no longer attended those nights and my attitude improved 130%.

#23 Keep a training journal

If you’re going into the gym and randomly selecting exercises and reps, you’re wasting your time. How do you know what’s working? How do you know if you’re getting stronger? How do you know where your weaknesses are?

# 24 The cardio machines are packed in January with “resolutioners”

See you in January… and I won’t see you in February. You realized it’s harder than you thought and you can’t lose weight watching episodes of The Price is Right walking at a pace of “blah”.

# 25 It’s hard to come up with 39 lessons. I’m old. 

# 26 Work out with your family when you can

It’s a Whitfield tradition that our family goes to the gym on Saturday mornings. If we don’t do that, we do something active. I want to teach my boys to take care of themselves.

# 27 When you inspire someone, you’ll be inspired

Everyone inside the Finishers Freak Inner Circle and readers inspire me every day. They make me do better. So thank YOU.

# 28 Density finishers are THE BEST

How many rounds or reps can you do is a wickedly fun approach.

# 29 Be in the moment… not just “there”

I’m guilty as you are… but recently, at dinner, I would put my phone on “do not disturb”. And I purposely don’t check emails when I’m with family. I suggest you do the same.

Don’t just be “there”. Be there. There’s a difference.

# 30 Be more open-minded

See the intermittent fasting mistake I made above.

# 31 I didn’t realize how powerful this quote was until you told me…

“If you take a layer off a roll of paper towels, you won’t see the difference. Even if you take 3 layers off, you won’t see much of a difference. But if you keep taking off layers, all of a sudden the roll WILL look smaller. Your fat loss journey is the same.  Stay the course. Keep working hard…one layer at a time.”  – Mikey

# 32 Set process goals, not outcome goals

Go for 12 workouts in a month instead of a certain scale number… you’ll keep yourself sane.

# 33 Use a gratitude journal

Every day, I write down 3-5 things I’m grateful for. It is an instant attitude changer.

# 34 Quit reading your emails so much

I used to be an email junkie, but now I check my emails twice a day and I’m about 50X more productive.

# 36 Quit comparing yourself to celebrities

The best person to compare yourself to? YOURSELF. Aim to improve something each week. Who cares what the celebrities are doing.

# 37 You’re never too old

I’m 39 and play basketball with 20-year olds. I’m not that good, either. But that doesn’t stop me. Because I play, I feel younger and younger.

By the way, I had a client named Judy that would rock out 20 burpees at the end of her session sometimes (HER CHOICE). And she was 61 at the time.

# 38 Don’t forget to appreciate how far you have come as you face how far you’re going

# 39 Keep going – right when you’re on the verge of greatness is when most people give up.

Whew, that’s a lot of lessons. I have more, but perhaps we’ll do 40 next year 😉

Have a great weekend… I’m off to see my folks and get my mom’s famous banana nut cream cake.

I better do some finishers next week?
Mikey, CTT

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