Health and Fitness – Don't Defeat

Sun Tzu was a conflict management philosopher in China who lived long, long ago. He laid out many grand things in his writings, but we shall focus on only one of his wise sayings: “Every battle is won or lost before it is ever fought.” My task today is to make this relevant to your health and fitness.

You are on your lunch hour, driving down the boulevard of broken diets. You are hungry. Three of your best work buddies are in the car with you. “We don’t have much time and we need to just grab something now” is the consensus from the backseat and shotgun positions. You’ve already lost this battle and you’ll end up eating out of that fat trough with Ronald, Hamburglar, and Grimace. This could have been avoided with a little pre-lunch menu planning or a sack lunch from home.

You haven’t run in more than five years, but you used to be the All-Conference runner back in your university days. You grab those dusty Asics shoes and decide to give that charity 5K race the old college try at the old college pace. You’ve already lost this battle and will end up limping and muttering obscenities for the next four score and seven hours while you nurse that sore Achilles. This could have been avoided with a gradual training regimen and the purchase of some new shoes before entering the race.

After one round of José Cuervo, you announce your retirement from cigarettes, beginning tomorrow. After three rounds of José Cuervo, you announce with mucho gusto your intention to banish Joe Camel from your life, beginning tomorrow. After five rounds of José Cuervo, you boisterously and vehemently declare your partnership with nicotine to be dissolved, beginning tomorrow. You’ve already lost this battle even before the seventh round. This could have been avoided by making a signed declaration to stop smoking while you weren’t half in the bag with agave juice. The sober power of pen to paper has a great effect on action.

Your class reunion is three months away and you want to shed that freshman 50 that you’ve put on since being named most likely to blah, blah, blah. You’ve joined the health club and you want Donna Dixbottom to rue the day she turned you down to prom. You’ll show her the error of her ways with that great body and that rented Sebring convertible. You’ve already lost this battle, and Ms. Dixbottom will only treat you to a haughty cursory glance at the festive soiree. You need more than just a health club membership and a desire. You need a daily workout routine and a trusty companion to guide you to your fitness goals.

Think about what you want to accomplish in life. You don’t need to be Chinese, have a two syllable name, or be a philosopher to achieve successes in your time. You only need a well-
prepared plan and action.

This health and fitness entrée is brought to you by that guy who likes to read his fortune cookies between the sheets. That guy is Ron Blake and he can be unwrapped at

Ron Blake

Ron Blake, a personal fitness trainer in Phoenix, has been training individuals and groups for 15 years. He has also coached high school cross-country and track teams in Indiana and California. He was born in Gary, Ind., and Indiana University awarded him bachelor and master's degrees (as long as he agreed to quietly leave the state!) Visit his website, for more information.

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