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I Suck At Surfing

“It makes a difference in our life and the kind of person we become when we learn how to distinguish between cheap thrills and meaningful, lasting rewards.”

So yeah… I suck at surfing.

I'm not used to this feeling.

I went out by myself yesterday – rented a board from a tank of a Rastafarian named Tico – and hit the waves in the late-morning while Rozanne and the kids were at a workshop.

It was humbling…and I wasn't used to not “getting it”.

I grew up riding a skate board (a Christian Hosoi for those of you late-80s/90s kids).

And it took me all but 2 runs down a ski hill for me to learn how to snowboard.

But surfing, for some reason, I just can't get.

I surfed last year here in Costa Rica – I was OK.

I surfed in California in the summer and kept slipping off the board because it didn't have any wax on it… or so I told myself.

But now I'm coming to the realization that surfing doesn't come to me as easily as most sports.

So it's a big ego check.

I have to exert patience and perseverance like I've never have before…

It reminds me of working towards getting strong.

Increasing your strength involves time, patience and a plan.

Shoot, achieving any goal involves time, patience and a plan.

Sometimes it may not seem like its working or that it's too easy to work.

And then one day – BOOM! – the 40kg flies up.

These days when I teach kettlebell workshops to trainers I always talk about having a BIG PICTURE outlook.

This means emphasizes PROGRAMMING, over “workouts”.

It means embracing the process as opposed to the end result.

It means training and not trying to kill yourself every time you pick up your kettlebells.

With the surge in popularity of bootcamps I find this punishment mentality especially true.

Most of the people that come to bootcamps – and most people in the mainstream fitness industry – are looking for a quick fix… “a good workout”.

They want to feel like they got their ass handed to them after 45-minutes because, to them, that means that they did something.

And so trainers oblige – mostly out of fear of losing business – and give people a “good workout”.

But when did a “good workout” become synonymous with the words “punishing”, “kill”, “pain” and “sore”?

But if you've been reading my emails and blog posts for any extended period of time, YOU KNOW BETTER.

YOU know that it takes work…

…That you're not going to lose 20lbs in a week.

This is why I write and sell programs and NOT individual workouts.

Because planning through a proper program – having a big picture outlook and steering away from the instant gratification mentality – is how you achieve goals.

No doing hard workouts each and every time you train.

Variety in your training is great and it's an important element.

But there's a difference between “variety” and “random”.

A couple of years ago I released a Kettlebell Finishers Manual with my good friend Mikey “Pancakes” Whitfield.

Finishers are a great way to add variety to a program.

It's the part of the training session where you'll feel like you “worked out”…

…without diminishing the integrity of the program because you do it at the end.

That's why I call Kettlebell Finishers a great compliment to my Kettlebell Evolution Strength & Fat Loss Program.

Which brings me back to having that BIG PICTURE outlook…

When you train, remember that you're training for a goal.

If you've stalled or if you feel like you haven't made any progress don't fret.

In a proper program there are days when you're supposed to feel like you worked your ass off…

…BUT most days you're supposed to feel refreshed and rejuvenated.

Stop thinking that training is supposed to be punishing and consistently pushing you to your limits.

Stop looking for instant “workout” gratification…

Stop looking for cheap thrills.

Stay the course and keep at it.

Remember where you started and how far you've come.

You can do it… I believe in you.

And I'm here to help.

OK, I'm going to go rent a surfboard now and hit waves.

I'll get this surfing thing one way or another…

I just have to enjoy the process and stop thinking that I “should” get it by now.

You should do the same too 😉

Because anything worth achieving always takes some work.


#AlphaDad to 5 kids (all with the same woman, because you have to say that these days), Chris Lopez is a strength coach and lifestyle entrepreneur. Focused on living a simple life, Chris & his wife uprooted their family from the city of Toronto, Canada and now live in a small beach town on the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica.

Published in Habits Inspiration Lifestyle


  1. Richard Richard

    Love that photo! Good luck with the new project, I’ll be following with interest as we’re on the verge of doing something similar here in New Zealand.

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