home
RSS
November 8th, 2011
07:56 AM ET

Human Factor: A goal is a direction, not an end

In the Human Factor, we profile survivors who have overcome the odds. Confronting a life obstacle - injury, illness or other hardship - they tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn't know they possessed. This week meet Kyle Maynard. Despite being born without arms or legs, Maynard has played football, wrestled, and he's hoping to hike Mount Kilimanjaro.

Since I opened the doors to No Excuses CrossFit, a small gym in an Atlanta suburb three years ago, I’ve come to learn that fitness instructors are closer in their roles to being a life coach or psychologist than someone solely focused on a workout regimen. The best trainers understand there is a massive amount of motivation required to start, let alone stick to, any plan.

One of the reasons we require so much motivation to start on the path to improving our health is that we build up a huge lie in our minds of how improbable or even impossible reaching our goals will be. We think about how hard it’s going to be to resist dessert or how much time exercising is going to take away from our lives. Then to make matters worse, we say things like “I have to lose 10 pounds in the next month.”

Have you ever thought about the bind that puts your mind in? Let’s say you succeed in that goal and lose the weight, now what do you do? Stop working out and go back to your old habits, eventually putting the weight back on? What happens if you don’t succeed - do you call yourself a failure?

Your goals should serve you, not work against you. They should provide you with a general direction and not be your end all be all.

I’ve coached people who lost several pants sizes, but because they didn’t reach their weight goal by a few pounds, they became so discouraged they quit. And I know of several more who reached their goal, but since they didn’t know where to go after that, a few weeks later they were back where they started.

If I choose to enjoy the ride and concern myself less with a specific outcome or goal, then I cannot fail. If my goal is to enjoy the path I’m on, whether that’s in my health or really any area of my life, then all I have to do is show up.

Several years ago I became very interested in mountaineering and around six months ago I set the goal to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa. Climbing Kili is a challenging goal for most people, and being a quadruple amputee without anyone to consult on how to pull this off doesn’t make it much easier.

Dating back to 2006, my first pair of hiking shoes were made from a pair of hotel towels that I tied to my arms using a rope I cut off the back of my wheelchair. The towels enabled me to crawl on all four limbs without cutting my arms open on the rock. And after obliterating a pair of blue jeans, I made it up to a peak that was somewhere around 1,500 feet high.

Kilimanjaro’s summit is a little bit higher... right at 19,340 feer. I never said I wasn’t one of the people thinking some of my goals might be improbable or even impossible at times.

Throughout the whole process there have been close to a dozen different attempts at adapting equipment and many of those resulted in painful failures. Each time we failed trying something new, we moved on to try something else. We’ve made small, incremental improvements over time and the whole process has been a rewarding challenge. Now we’re about two months away from our time on the mountain and we’ve finally gotten to a point where the gear is beginning to work.

It’s always going to be the same in your life too. We’ll never be where we want to be until we learn to slow down and enjoy our individual journey. As long as you are doing something to move towards the direction you want to go in your life and your health, you cannot fail.

If you’d like to learn more about my trip, please visit www.missionkilimanjaro.com

Watch Human Factor weekly on "Sanjay Gupta, M.D.," Saturday and Sunday at 7:30 a.m. ET


soundoff (98 Responses)
  1. canadian pharmacy tadalafil viagara cialis

    buying canadian cialis https://canadacialisstore.com/ canadian viagra cialis

    April 27, 2021 at 00:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. online erectile dysfunction prescription

    what does erectile dysfunction mean https://canadaerectiledysfunctionpills.com/ erectile after prostate surgery

    April 29, 2021 at 17:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. dapoxetine

    dapoxetine tablet price in india priligy cost

    April 29, 2021 at 19:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. canadian pharmacies ed pills

    canadian customs pills vitamins https://canadapillstorex.com/ canadian diet pills

    April 30, 2021 at 14:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. what is the brand name for the generic drug for viagra in canada

    is it safe to get viagra from canada https://canadaviagrastore.com/ organic viagra in canada

    May 1, 2021 at 22:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. aralen price usa

    chloroquine side effect https://chloroquineorigin.com/ malaria skin rash

    May 4, 2021 at 17:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. brimonidine

    combigan coupon buy brimonidine

    May 16, 2021 at 09:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Tembepteriope

    tadalafil cost walmart https://tadagatadalafil.com/ cialis without prescription tadalafil blood pressure tadalafil cost walmart

    May 23, 2021 at 15:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. cyclomune

    cyclosporine pharmacology cyclomune 0.1% eye drops cost

    May 23, 2021 at 20:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. tausAffessy

    buy cialis https://tadagatadalafil.com/ – where to order tadalafil tablets tadalafil blood pressure tadalafil online with out prescription tadalafil daily online

    May 24, 2021 at 02:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. tausAffessy

    tadalafil generic https://tadalafilol.com/ cost tadalafil generic side effects for tadalafil tadalafil side effects

    May 25, 2021 at 01:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. combigan

    buy combigan online combigan generic

    May 25, 2021 at 08:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Tritreviewifind

    where to buy cialis without prescription https://tadagatadalafil.com/ – tadalafil blood pressure tadalafil online buy tadalafil https://cttadalafil.com/

    May 25, 2021 at 14:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. tausAffessy

    https://tadagatadalafil.com/ tadalafil dosage tadalafil daily online buy generic cialis online with mastercard buy generic cialis online with mastercard

    May 26, 2021 at 06:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Soosteemocush

    where to get tadalafil tadalafil side effects prescription tadalafil online https://apcalisetadalafil.com/

    May 26, 2021 at 14:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. tausAffessy

    tadalafil cost walmart cialis at canadian pharmacy buy tadalafil buy cialis https://tadalafilol.com/

    May 27, 2021 at 01:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. UqcPIuCAXtxeDz

    fMAsNLlkiPxeBC

    May 27, 2021 at 14:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. cheap cialis

    cost tadalafil generic buy cialis online tadalafil research powder

    June 3, 2021 at 17:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. hydroxychloroquine sulfate corona

    hydroxychlor 200 mg aralen buy online hydroxyquine side effects

    June 4, 2021 at 17:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. canada generic tadalafil

    purchase peptides tadalafil tadalafil sublingual tadalafil troche cost

    June 5, 2021 at 12:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. side effects of tadalafil

    tadalafil tablets tadalafil online with out prescription tadalafil 5mg

    June 5, 2021 at 13:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. ItWoVvySMwj

    DKXIAkgWhFBH

    June 5, 2021 at 15:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. bnf online nice

    natural chloroquine fda hydroxychloroquine chloroquine phosphate tablet

    June 6, 2021 at 14:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. SqDNgItjXfsQbu

    VawHguIqk

    June 12, 2021 at 02:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. www.pharmaceptica.com

    hydroxychloroquine use https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 25, 2021 at 03:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. pharmaceptica.com

    sildenafil online india https://www.pharmaceptica.com/

    June 25, 2021 at 10:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Latarsha Hun

    The first thing to consider when looking for the best shoes for CrossFit is what type of sport you are participating in. There are some sports where support is even more critical than in others, such as rowing and running.

    https://bestproductlab.com/tag/adidas-crossfit-shoes/

    June 26, 2021 at 01:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. pharmacepticacom

    tadalafil drug https://www.pharmaceptica.com/

    June 28, 2021 at 23:05 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.