Work Hard, Be Smart, Build a Life
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Life Lessons from An Unlikely Source Also Applies to Fitness

I’ve been a little lackadaisical about writing blog posts lately.  But my daughter, Kaitlin, shared a video with me last night that warranted me weighing in on a very inspirational speech made by a very unlikely celebrity, Chris Kutcher.

Who is Chris Kutcher and why was he making a speech? Well, you probably know him as Ashton Kutcher.  As he reveals in the video, “Ashton” is really his middle name.  He was “Chris” until the age of 19 when he got into acting.

You see, Ashton was an awards recipient at the 2013 Teen Choice Awards earlier this week.  Instead of bringing out his goofy persona that we’ve come to know through his movies and televisions shows, he actually delivered and excellent, well-thought-out, 4-minute piece of advice for today’s youth.

But upon watching the speech a couple more times, I realized that his advice is for anyone of any age.  And more importantly, it can apply to health and fitness.

Before you read my thoughts, take a few minutes to watch the speech.

Pretty motivating for a Hollywood celeb, huh?

So, how does what Kutcher said translate into the fitness world?  Follow me, here.

1. Opportunity – “Opportunity looks a lot like hard work.”  The same goes for getting the results you desire through exercise and eating healthy.  Getting and staying fit looks a lot like hard work.  There are no quick fixes, magic potions, or short cuts.  You set a goal, reach that goal, and set another goal.  When you see someone and think, “Wow! They look great. Must be nice,” just know that person most likely busts their butt in the gym and watches what they eat.  Sure, some people resort to extreme measures like plastic surgery, liposuction, gastric bypass, and other cosmetic solutions.  But most people spend time exercising and eating healthy.  Every day, you have an opportunity to live healthy.  Opportunity does look a lot like hard work.

2. Being Sexy – “The sexiest thing in the entire world… is being really smart… and being thoughtful… and being generous.  Everything else… is just crap.”  He says that “crap” is stuff that people sell to you to make you “feel like less”.  In fitness, we are bombarded by images of perfect bodies.  These images of beautiful women in bikinis or lingerie and men with bulging biceps and perfect pecs can discourage us and make us feel like we’ll never be pretty enough or handsome enough.

We also see television and print ads for exercise equipment to get six pack abs, tiny waists, perfect legs, toned arms, and more.  But as Kutcher says, “It’s crap! Don’t buy it!”

Being “smart” will make you sexy.  Being smart about exercise and nutrition will make you even sexier.  This goes back to “opportunity” and working hard.  Be smart about exercise.  Be smart about what you eat to fuel your workouts and to recover.  Hydrate properly.  Get enough sleep.  Reduce stress.  When you are smart, you will be sexy.

3. Build a Life – Kutcher reflects on his portrayal of the late Steve Jobs, Apple co-founder, in an upcoming move.  He says that “Everything around us that we call ‘life’ was made up by people that are no smarter than you.” His point, while maybe a bit of a stretch, is that we all have potential.  “Build a life. Don’t live one.” This is especially true in fitness.

No matter what age we are, we can make improvements to our body through exercise and healthy eating.  You are no different than the person who is a perfect physical specimen. The difference is, they applied themselves more.  They learned how to exercise properly.  They understand nutrition.

You can build a healthy life by using your potential. If you are overweight, get winded walking to the mailbox, don’t sleep well, or feel sick and tired, then you have the power to do something about it.  Every day, people are taking their lives back by exercising and making healthy food choices. Don’t just live a healthy life… build a healthy life; do it for you and for your family.

Chris Kutcher was just a normal kid that worked hard.  We’ve gotten to know the goofy characters that “Ashton Kutcher” portrays.  But make no mistake, he’s turned hard work into opportunity, he’s smart (some would say that’s sexy), and he’s built a life as a successful actor by not accepting that people in his profession were any smarter than him.

Starting today, seize the opportunity to work hard.  Be smart.  Don’t accept mediocrity.  Work for that body and for your health.  That’s what I’m going to do.

To your health!

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