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Fitness: Intending to Make the Goal so One Can Make the Goal to Plan…

May 2016

My goals have always been fairly simple.  Break 3-1/2 hours on a 100k bike ride.  Crushed it.  Break five hours on 100 miles.  Smoked it by more than 23 minutes.  Then there were broader goals.  Look better shirtless, lose 10 pounds…  Again, simple.

What I did avoid, and will continue to avoid, is talking about intentions.  Another fitness pitfall that I won’t partake in is making plans for the sake of procrastinating.

What comes first?  The intention, the goal or the plan?

This is the concept I live by:  Action comes first.

The problem with creating goals and plans or working with intentions is that I often have a tough time thinking outside of my little box.  I can’t make a plan to lose weight if I don’t actually know how to do it.  I can’t set goals if I have no idea what I’m actually capable of to begin with.  No, I have to buy the bike before I can set a goal to ride it 100 miles.  In fact, I had to ride it around the four mile block before I could make a goal for eight miles.  Heck, I had to buy a better bike before I could even make a goal for 15 miles (my first bike was about 3 sizes too small).

Everything I’ve accomplished with running, triathlon, cycling and overall fitness, and it’s a lot, has been done with action first.

When I saw a double-chin in the mirror, I didn’t formulate a plan to start running.  I didn’t buy a bunch of crap (clothing, shoes, etc.).  All of that came after I dug out an old pair of leather tennis shoes, put on some loose shorts and a cotton tee shirt and started running.  With cycling, I grew bored with running so I bought a POS bike at a garage sale for $20 and I rode it…  That day.  I didn’t formulate a plan of attack.  I didn’t make a bunch of goals I didn’t know if I could or couldn’t live up to…  I just rode – and the plans and goals came later.

I didn’t waste any time trying to figure things out, I just did them and sorted the rest out in the wash.  Eventually I learned how to make goals for events and how to train for them.  I learned how to enjoy my time with friends that I met through running and cycling…

Action always comes first though.

Oh, and don’t get me started on intentions.  They’re about as useful as politicians.  I look at intentions as my dad suggested long ago:  Put an intention in one hand and shit in the other.  Tell me which hand fills up first.

Ride hard my friends.  You only get one body, one model year.  Treat it well.


  1. rexathletics says:

    Great post! I once went out with a girl who had a goal of losing some weight. She literally had a weight loss “shrine” in her bedroom with motivational quotes and pictures, all arranged in this sophisticated collage. I couldn’t help but think “how long did it take to build this thing? She could’ve been working out during that time.”

    We ended up not being compatible enough to date. Fast forward to about 8 months later, I got a birthday text from her and we got to talking. I asked her if she had reached her goal…she had GAINED 30 pounds instead!
    Keep up the good work!

  2. OmniRunner says:

    While I agree that intention without action is pointless and planning and never acting are as useless, I do believe in goals.
    If I never set the goal to complete my first marathon I never would have kept up the training. I would have quit the race and never crossed the finish line without that goal in mind.
    It’s true we don’t know what we are truly capable of until we challenge ourselves. Goals help us do that. You set goals for your self and smashed them. That’s what we all want.
    Once a goal has been achieved, it’s off to the next one. Guys like you and I do not hit our goals and sit back and relax. We set the next goal.
    Anyone who plans to tackle a challenging goal also needs to plan. I do agree that intentions and planning alone will get you no where. Action!

  3. Gail says:

    I once offered to burn a friends vision board (note: I did NOT know what a vision board was until I asked her what the bristol board loaded with celebrities with fit and toned bodies was doing on her kitchen wall). She had spent all that time gluing and pasting when she could have been running and biking. My offer of burning was greeted with stony silence…..

    • bgddyjim says:

      Ah, vision boards… I suppose whatever works but I have no idea how that would. Seems more like clutter to me, and a nice way to sell a How To book.

  4. so many good lines in this… they should be on tshirts or jerseys!

    Action always comes first

    Ride hard my friends

    one body, one model year. Treat it well.

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