3 Life Lessons P90X Has Taught Me

I awake to the sound of my iPhone alarm clock ringing. It’s 5:15 AM. Are you kidding me?

I lay there for about a minute. Then, my dog Lexi, who is 15 years old and losing her mind, comes to my side of the bed and begins her ritualistic, and unbelievably annoying, routine of turning in a circle and barking under her breath.

It works. I crawl out of bed… walk to the kitchen and feed her.

My other dog, Buddy – who is also 15 and lost his marbles a long time ago – just lays there. I’m guessing he wonders why anyone in their right mind would get up this early.

And so it begins

My next move is to pull on some workout clothes, grab some water, and walk to my dimly lit living room.

It’s just me and my psychotic – but ever so loyal – dog Lexi.

I turn on the TV, press play on the DVD player and begin approximately 60 minutes of pure pain called P90X.

If you’ve never seen the infomercial or heard of P90X you can learn about this extreme home workout program here.

I’m several weeks into the program and am seeing results. I’ve lost around 10 pounds, I’m back a belt notch, and I feel better than I have in years.

But, equally important, P90X has awakened a part of me that has been dead for many, many years.

In fact, the things I’ve learned since starting the program are definitely applicable to all aspects of my personal and professional life. And, I contend, they’ll likely apply to you as well.

1. Stop making excuses

The hardest thing about making a change to a business or manufacturing process, or your life, or really anything for that matter is the first step.

Being honest, I bought the P90X package a few months ago and sat it in the corner of my bedroom where it commenced to collect dust.

I made every excuse I could as to why I hadn’t started to my wife, and most importantly, to myself.

Finally, enough was enough. I grabbed my drill and mounted the pull up bar above my bedroom door.

I then put on some shorts and started the journey that very day.

The Lesson: The only way to make progress of any kind – in any endeavor- is to stop making excuses and start.

2. Weakness Leaving The Body

With a tremendous amount of sweat, and definitely a few tears, I made it through that first workout.

Truthfully, it nearly killed me and I definitely hit the pause button a few times to collect myself.

A day later I felt pain throughout my body like I hadn’t felt since my days as a high school wrestler in Greenville, Ohio.

I groaned about it on Facebook looking for a little sympathy from my family and close friends.

What did I get? I’ll tell you what I got.

My big brother replied with this simple, yet profound statement, “Ronnie, that’s just weakness leaving the body… keep at it.

The Lesson: Progress of any kind will almost always start with some type of pain – physical, psychological, or financial. Those that can persevere through the pain will have a chance to win. Those that run from the pain will almost certainly fail.

3. Progress is Contagious

I did keep at it. The first week was brutal and I did skip a few days since certain parts of my body simply wouldn’t move. But I didn’t quit.

Instead, I kept at and slowly began to get the hang of it. And now that I’m seeing results I’m starving for more.

I can honestly say that I’m looking forward to the workout tomorrow morning since, I know with 100% certainty, my getting out of bed each morning at 5:15 and bringing it as P90X apologists like to say is making me a healthier, happier, and more productive person.  And, you know what?  That totally motivates me.

The Lesson: Progress is contagious. Once you get past the initial pain and begin to taste success, even just a little, you’ll want more. So, assuming you’re venturing towards something worthy and feasible, this motivation is nothing but good.

To Be Continued

Obviously, this story has just begun. Stay tuned as I’ll share my thoughts and progress over the coming months.

Oh, and for the record, please don’t expect any “before” and “after” pictures. Don’t get me wrong… you’re the best readers of the entire blogosphere… but posting shirtless pictures of myself on this blog is really pushing our relationship to a level I am not certain I’m comfortable with just yet!

What do you think?

What do you think? Do any of the 3 points above resonate true for you? Why? Why not?

12 Comments

  1. Sheila Andrews

    February 25, 2010 - 10:30 pm

    Ah come on. We want to see some pictures! It is ironic how you wrote about this since my colleagues and I were talking about this P90x today. It seems to be all the rage. My neighbor has the DVD (or DVD’s I am guessing) and said we could borrow them so perhaps I will give it a go!

  2. Tim McMahon

    February 26, 2010 - 8:12 am

    Nice lessons. Good for everyone to reflect on. I bet you also learned about time management and procrastination. Those are convenient excuses for so many people.
    To achieve any result there must be a goal and some periodic measure of attainment. What is your goal and how are you measuring this?

  3. Ron Pereira

    February 26, 2010 - 8:16 am

    Tim, I don’t have any 90 day weight loss or strength goal or anything like that… I just want to be around to see my kids grow old.

    My family has heart disease on both sides so if I kept on going like I was going I am certain I would have failed in this area… and that is not acceptable.

    Also, I don’t plan to stop this program after 90 days. But that is for another blog article down the road!

  4. Ron Pereira

    February 26, 2010 - 8:18 am

    @ Sheila – Go for it! You won’t be sorry.

  5. Chris

    February 26, 2010 - 11:26 am

    -Sheila
    Like Ron said, just take the plunge and go for it, you will not regret it, everyone I know who has done any of the P90X routine agrees that is is amazing in every way. How many workouts not only meet your expectation, but exceed them? Well P90X does. You will improve your strength, flexibility, balance, and you will also improve many aspects of your health too!

  6. Ken Loskamp

    March 1, 2010 - 8:22 am

    Keep ‘bringin’ it’ Ron! P90X is the real deal. I’m a P90X grad two times over, and a lean change agent at work. P90X has delivered everything advertised and I’ll add a few more ‘P90X/Lean parallel’ lessons I’ve learned. 1) The journey never ends, it’s about continuous improvement, and 2) As Tony Horton says “Do your best and forget the rest”.

  7. Ron Pereira

    March 1, 2010 - 8:48 am

    Wow, Ken! Two times over. I am very impressed. I did Plyo yesterday and then back and biceps this morning… and I feel great, great, great!

  8. Dave Campbell

    March 23, 2010 - 8:11 am

    I completely understand where you are coming from. In 2002, I was a burnt-out plant manager weighing in at 220lbs. Due to a plant consolidation, I found myself with some time on my hands and decided to get in shape with my ultimate goal of completing an Ironman triathlon. Two years later and 60 lbs lighter, I crossed the finish line in what was a life changing journey. Fitness had become a new lifestyle for me. Shortly after, I began study for and became a licensed personal trainer to help others achieve their dreams. I find many similarities in implementing Lean.

    Most people can’t conceive of swimming 2.4 miles, riding a bike 112 miles, then running a marathon 26.2 miles. Similarly, most can’t comprehend just how you can implement Lean. In actuality, its the same, 1 stroke, 1 pedalstroke, 1 stride at a time until you reach your goal. Likewise Lean thinking has become a lifestyle for me also. Both involve having the vision to set an ambitious goal, the commitment to learn and train and practice, and the determination to not let anyone convince you it can’t be done.

    I get it!!

  9. Philip

    March 26, 2010 - 9:18 am

    The P90X article was right on target. I started the program 4 weeks ago at the age of 40 and I have never felt better. Your observations regarding the relevance of the P90X life lessons applicability to Lean thinking are so true. One of the lessons, not mentioned in the article, which has had the biggest impact on my approach to business, is Tony’s mantra “Breathe – Do Not Hold Your Breath”. In essence, take the time to assess your lean progress by appreciating and understanding “The Journey”. Do not go through the process with teeth clenched and blinders on as you will miss some of the most rewarding and enlightening aspects of Lean. The goal is to be accomplished but the journey is to be remembered and learned from.

  10. J Sherman

    February 28, 2011 - 8:40 pm

    Barely made it thru half the exercise on the first day (chest & back)… I hope this is the feeling of weakness leaving for I am literally toast! Hope to get back at it again tomorrow!

  11. rohan

    September 2, 2014 - 1:22 pm

    Hi there ..
    Am 28 year old..
    Started the program on august 6 .
    Got to know about p90x through a friend
    My body was in the worst shap and on a verge of developing high bp . I have turned it a full circle in thr health zone through this program
    Am feeling so much better now .
    I hope to see each and everyone of you in the best shape of your life so that you can enjoy the
    Happiness of being fit and stress free.

    I wont give up and neither should you.
    Do it for health , family and a better quality of life.