Don’t do your best. Be your best.

Johnathan Barber

Growing up, I was one of the few who at least got a “father visit” every week.  On Saturday’s, my father and I went to the Regal  to watch karate movies.   Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, and generic, subtitled heroes performed leaps hundreds of feet into the air.   I was fascinated by the unlimited ability of the good guys who always won every battle.  I imagined myself as the good guy who would ride off into the sunset, but, most of the time, at the end of the day, the Saturday visits were painfully short; when I was delivered home, I was regularly reminded that life doesn’t always have happy endings.

At an early age, I learned the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic influences and motivators. I learned that the greatest reward came from looking in a mirror, setting a difficult goal, and accomplishing it.   Fitness was my outlet—my personal treasure that helped me forget about many of my problems.

I started running.  I set goals, met them, and pushed myself to run farther each week.   I created a punching bag out of an old carpet and pushed myself to punch harder and longer.   I found a cushion from an old sofa and used it to practice roundhouse and front kicks.   I set and accomplished fitness goals in high school—setting a record for the most pushups during the high school physical education test.  I felt better about myself, finished high school, and graduated from Mount Saint Joseph with a degree in English.

Today, I set daily fitness goals, and regular exercise helps me stay sharp, energetic, and POSITIVE.  When I am not exercising, my spirit is vulnerable to negativity.  However, because I have two children, I sometimes trade a visit to Planet Fitness for homework time, cooking, or cleaning.  Finding time—stealing time–  is my hardest obstacle, but I try to go to the gym at least three times per week.

I mainly focus on weight training—upper body (push ups, bench press, lat press, curls, rows, tricep extensions, and dips), but I mix in lower body (leg press, calf raises, and leg extensions) secondarily.   I take GNC SPORTS POWDER, and I have to admit:  I feel rejuvenated when I take it.  However, nothing replaces a good hearty meal of Honey Nut Cheerios, Tang, fish, pork, ground beef, vegetables, milk, and an occasional glass of wine.  Now, in addition to feeling better about myself, I am determined to stay fit so that I can continue to remain healthy for my family.

I can not fly through the air with unlimited strength like the heroes I admired on the silver screen, but being fit gives me the confidence to accomplish my goals.  To those who are procrastinating or  just beginning, I can confidently tell you that you will see a change in your life as you continue your fitness journey.


Please feel free to follow me on twitter at @johnathanohio or visit my website
  1. Julianna says:

    Thank you for this – so true that this stuff shifts everything!

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