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Fit For Life: What I Learned in 50 Years

Saturday, September 15, 2018


So, I turned 50 last week, and it still hasn’t hit me. Where did the time go? And more importantly, what did I do with the time?

To this point, I have had a pretty good life, and if I were to die tomorrow, don’t cry and feel bad for me, acknowledge the fact that I died a happy man that had many great experiences in his life. So, if I have accomplished anything, its experiencing life on many levels.

Experience is a great teacher, and most people get wiser with age. Yes, there are some old fools out there, but they are a lot smarter than when they were younger. Living, and experiencing are the best ways to grow and evolve as a human.

I am not formally educated. Just talk to me for 5 minutes, and you will figure that out for yourself, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t gained lots of knowledge from the years and experiences that I have lived through.

Although I do not have a college degree, and don’t have the letters PHD after my name, I do like to help influence people and motivate them to live better lives. I attend a lot of seminars, workshops, read books, listen to podcasts and hire coaches to gain knowledge and learn tactics and strategies to become more successful, so I can share the knowledge that I gain.

Here are a few examples of things that you WON’T learn from any college or textbook. You need to either live it or listen to someone that’s been there.

Here they are.

-Mistakes are essential for growth.

You can either learn from someone else’s or from your own, but when, (not if) you screw something up, don’t blow things out of proportion. Take a step back, reassess, and make the necessary corrections so it doesn’t happen again. Making the same mistake over and over again becomes your fault and you are the only one with the ability to correct it.

-Embrace change.

Everything changes. The weather, the leaves on the trees, technology, and humans. Evolve or die is a great term because you need to stay current with what’s happening in the world. If you are struggling in any area of your life from your health to your finances, it’s time to change and roll with the punches. If “you always did it that way” and it’s no longer working, you need to change in order to grow and move forward in life, or you will be left behind.

-Turn discouragement into determination

When you fall, get up fast. We will all encounter setbacks, just like we will all make mistakes. Most of the time setbacks are caused by mistakes, so after you figure out where you went wrong, be determined to adjust, get up and do it again. Only get up fast. Staying in a state of discouragement and despair only adds fuel to the fire, so brush yourself off, lace up the gloves and get back in the ring.

-Be proactive not reactive

Find solutions, don’t enhance problems. We all have problems, and always will. It’s how you handle them that makes the difference. Many folks over dramatize little problems, rather than try to fix them. I tell this to my team all the time. When they say something is wrong, I say “Ok, we have identified the problem, now what’s the solution?” Then when you find a solution to one, another one will be around the corner, so don’t dwell. Fix it and move on!!

-Emotions, moods, and attitudes are contagious.

When I encounter someone in a bad mood, or is mad at me for something, I turn on my “nice, friendly, and happy” mood, and kill them with kindness. I don’t get confrontational because that will elevate the negativity and bring you down too. Someone may be having a bad day, and if you are the opposite, most of the time they will lighten up. Try being nice to a stranger and say hi with a smile. You will be amazed at how fast someone’s attitude or demeanor will change for the better.

-Go all in on everything

Nothing will work with 1/2 ass effort. From fitness to business to parenting to playing sports. If you are half in, you will get half the results. Now don’t get me wrong, you will still make mistakes, and take a few setbacks, but you still need to keep exerting 100% effort. I went all in with my business, and I still struggle and face setbacks, but I wake up every day with determination to be successful. This still doesn’t guarantee me success, but it increases my chances.

If you start a workout program, you won’t see results eating well “sometimes” or working out “once in a while”.

By going all in with 100% determination and effort, your chances for health and fitness will be far greater than a lackluster effort.

So, there it is.

Advice from a 12th grade drop out that learned many lessons from the streets of Central Falls and other “situations” that I put myself in, as well as listening to high level entrepreneurs I call mentors.

Sometimes the best lessons in life come from experience and “doing” things as opposed to sitting in a classroom reading text books. Note: I am not knocking formal education, and wish I had some, but I feel life is the best education and will teach us the most valuable lessons.

Committed to your success. 

Matt Espeut, GoLocal's Health & Lifestyle Contributor has been a personal trainer and health & fitnesss consultant for over 25 years. He is the owner of Fitness Profiles, a one on one, and small group personal training company, as well as Providence Fit Body Boot Camp, located at 1284 North Main St., on the Providence/Pawtucket line. You can reach Matt at (401) 453-3200; on Facebook at "Matt Espeut", and on Twitter at @MattEspeut. "We’re all in this life together – let’s make it a healthy one.


Related Slideshow: The 7 Best Health and Fitness Apps

Here is a list of some of the most obsession worthy health apps.

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MapMyRun is the number one selling running app for a reason:  it is easy to use, offers community support if you want it, and tracks and stores your exact routes for you.  If you are training for a race or a serious runner, users say that the extra perks in the upgraded paid version are well worth it. 

Made for iPhone, Android and Blackberry 

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MyFitnessPal seems to be the clear favorite amongst everyone polled.  It is helpful not only for the fitness tracking aspect, but everyone polled mentioned how much they loved the food/diet aspect as well. From carb counting for diabetics to recipe ideas to complement your fitness goals, users love this app. 

Made for iPhone and Android

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JeFit is another fitness app that has rave reviews.  It not only tracks progress for you, but offers a huge database of workouts.  While many apps offer community support, JeFit allows you to sync workouts with friends who use the app, offering a (real) virtual buddy system.

Made for iPhone and Android

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Strava gets the highest mark of all the cycling apps.  While it is also great for runners, the cyclers seem particularly inclined towards the fierce competition that can be ignited by this app.  You can track all of your rides via GPS, then you can compare your efforts to those logged by others in the community on the same stretch of road.  You can also join ongoing challenges that can net you great prizes (in addition to bragging rights). 

Made for iPhone and Android

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YogaStudio gets the top vote for Yoga apps.  It has a lengthy collection of full class-length videos available at your fingertips.  Unlike many other apps, this one also allows you to customize your own video yoga class.  All of the poses are done by qualified yoga instructors, and you can find classes suitable for all levels of yogis.

Made for iPhone only

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SimplyBeing meditation app offers the best of both worlds.  You can choose to run this app as a background for your meditation with soothing music or natural sounds that run for a set amount of time.  Conversely, for those of you who have trouble focusing during meditation, you can choose a soothing voice-guided meditation. 

Made for iPhone and Android

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Fooducate is an app all about educating people so that they make healthier food choices.  Although not perfect, this app is easy to use (you can even take pictures of bar codes to instantly find foods in their database).  It gives food a letter grade, tells you the pluses and minuses, and gives you better ranked alternatives.  You can also use it as a weight loss tool by tracking your daily calories. 

Made for iPhone and Android


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