Exercise – A Fundamental to Greatness!

I’m at Kingsley Airfield in Klamath Falls, Oregon. I just got done speaking to the Juniors and Seniors at Mazama High School. Now comes the hard part of being a speaker – waiting for my flight home. Kingsley Airfield is home to the 173rd Fighter Wing of The Air National Guard. Sitting outside on the tarmac is a beautiful sight. More than a dozen F-15’s lined up in perfect formation with snow-capped mountains and a clear blue sky for a surreal backdrop. I love our country. We live in the greatest, most prosperous and most generous civilization throughout the entire history of the world.  The Ottoman, Roman and Greek civilizations pale in comparison to the amazing accomplishments, freedom and opportunities available for everybody in this great nation. What protects our freedom?  These amazing fighter jets and the brave volunteers who fly them. Together, they keep all opposing forces away.  We are safe!

As I write these words, the F-15 pilots are repeatedly doing fly-bys and practicing basic maneuvers. Nothing fancy.  They are simply doing fundamental exercises to maintain their basic skills. Simple repetitions, over and over again, honing every nuance to be excellent fighter pilots. That’s what exercise is and that’s what it does.

I’ve been asked by other speakers what I do to become a better speaker.  The answer is simple – continuously work on the fundamentals: eye contact, vocal inflection, pauses, hand gestures, body language, etc.  Nothing fancy.  Just the basics.  All of you reading this can think about the fundamental skills you need to practice as part of being the best in your field.

Fundamental exercise is a key to success in the gym.  A lot of people are looking for the next fancy gimmick or fad to get in shape.  What they really need is to master some basic exercises. I’ll admit – as a trainer, I mix in a lot of creative and fancy exercise just to keep my training routines interesting and dynamic.  The truth is, we simply need to practice the fundamentals on a regular basis.  Many people fail to approach exercise as an opportunity to improve and enhance their technique.  They just go through the motions; blast out a couple of sets and go home.  In the meantime, their posture is bad, they’re off balance, they jerk the weights, the weights jerk them around – they’re completely out of control.

Exercise is more than just sore muscles and a good sweat.  It’s more than simple sets and repetitions.  It’s an opportunity to enhance your skills, improve your sense of control and awareness and improve  your overall athleticism.  When you exercise, practice proper posture. Maintain good balance.  Hone your skills with each repetition.  Focus on your control.  Maintain proper speed.  Move the weight – with control!  Don’t let the weights move you.  If you will approach exercise as an opportunity to improve your technique, you will quickly become stronger and more versatile.

Practice the fundamentals – again and again.  It’s the key to GREATNESS!


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