This past weekend I had dinner and drinks with one of my high school teachers at the Elora Brewing Company, an awesome local restaurant and bar just north of Guelph.
It’s been over 10 years since I was in high school, but this teacher, Mr. S., made a tremendous impact on me.
I reached out to thank him for the time he put in with me, and the inspiration he gave me to always try to learn more and understand better. It’s partially thanks to him that I dig deep into the things I want to learn to gain an understanding and appreciation of them to allow me to teach others.
I hadn’t talked to Mr. S. since high school, and a lot has changed, so we caught each other up on the last 10 years of each other’s lives.
I have a family, a business, and have grown up a lot since high school – thank goodness!
He’s now retired, and now builds airplanes – He built his own and flies it regularly.
(Yes – you read that right. Builds them. Piece by piece. Incredible.)
Then we got on the topic of mentorship.
In the same way that I told him how his mentorship made an impact on me and indirectly helped me create my business, he told me about one of his mentors he had for a long time.
They grew close, and had lots of stories and wisdom to share.
The challenge with a mentor is that they are usually significantly older than you are. Mr. S. has over 30 years on me, and unfortunately his mentor had some years on him too and had passed away recently.
Although this gentleman lived a long life, it got Mr. S. thinking about his heath. With me bring in the health field, we started to talk about health, fitness, life and death.
Mr. S., now in his 60s, has friends who run and lift and train, and as a result of it feel years younger.
And he has friends who do the opposite, and feel their years.
We deal with a lot of clients who are going through that. They are in their 40s or 50s and are at a time where if they don’t take action, it might not be matter of life and death, but it’s definitely a matter of quality of life.
This industry is tough, though. It’s really hard to get people to care about their health – until something is really wrong.
As you can guess by someone who is able to build their own airplane, Mr. S. is a very intelligent man.
He knows he should do something about his health, but it’s hard. Even when he has the patience to build his own plane, it can still be hard to say no to a couple beers and a great burger and fries (which is what we both ate that evening together).
But in a world where everything is instant – we even get frustrated when Netflix has the audacity to make us wait while it loads – it can be hard to care about our health when we might not see the return for a couple years.
If you think about it, when we purchase a product or service we immediately get what we bought. If I buy a new pair of shoes… well I go home with them. They’re mine.
If I buy groceries… I load them into my car and then into my fridge. They’re mine as soon as I buy them, and I might even eat a few grapes on the way to the car.
But eating right and being active… well you don’t “see” those results right away. In fact, you can spend an hour running or lifting weights and you literally see no difference. You don’t seem to get anything immediately from your effort.
At least when you are building an airplane you can see that you added that one more part.
It’s a complete mind shift really.
When we buy something like a gym membership or a healthy eating program… we want immediate results.
We tell ourselves that it’s a process and that we’re in it for the long-haul, but deep down we all want to see the scale go down 15 pounds after a week.
We know that’s crazy, but we all still want it to be true. Myself included, and I’m in the field!
The thing is… it’s the preventative stuff like being active and eating right that make the difference.
Just because we can’t immediately see it doesn’t mean it’s not worth it.
I’ve thought about my conversation with Mr. S. a lot.
Talking about life and death was only a minute or two in a 2.5 hour conversation, but it made an impact.
We have clients who have had family members pass recently, and it’s a reminder that life is short.
When I think of my family and friends I want to do all that I can right NOW to ensure that I’m here for as long as I can be – even if it means doing the preventative work that doesn’t yield immediate physical results that I can see.
When it’s someone who has made such a positive impact in my life, I always want them to do everything they can to be around for as long as possible.
We might not see or feel the impact every piece makes, but in the same way Mr. S. built his plane, we can build our lifestyle to support our goals with one small change at a time.
Swapping extra starches for veggies at dinner.
Passing on dessert.
Having a glass of water instead of another glass of wine.
Getting a good bedtime routine – and sticking to it.
Managing stress in a positive way.
Doing the hard work without seeing immediate results is one of the major reasons people quit their routines. They lose motivation, they lose direction, and they lose their reason “why”.
These little things add up, and in addition to health and quality of life, they help improve mood, increase energy, and even boost your immune system.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
In 10 years, it can make an incredible impact on your health, and enable you to make an incredible impact on those around you, just like Mr. S. has for me.
If you aren’t sure where to start, check out our post on 7 Steps of Fat Loss to help you get started.
And if you need a hand, that’s what we do. Click here to get in touch and we can book a free consult to see if working with us is right for you.