On September 12th, 1962 President John F. Kennedy spoke words to me that forever changed the way I see the pursuit of health and fitness. Mind you, I am too young to have heard the words in person; in fact, it was some 20 years after his famous speech that I first heard the words that would profoundly impact the rest of my life.
You see, President Kennedy was talking about going to the moon. He asked “Why choose this as our goal -And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain?” to which he responds “We choose to go to the moon and do the other things…not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” It is these very words that have motivated me for many years and which have also served to differentiate between those who would be wildly successful in their journey and those who never will.
Nearly every day I meet people who are at the beginning of their weight loss and fitness journey. I listen very carefully to their words. Most say “I need to do this.” Few say ‘I want to do this.” And, as it goes, I rarely choose to work with those who only claim to “need” to do this. That may seem harsh, but I think my reasoning becomes clearer when you look deeper into President Kennedy’s words.
At the time the President gave his speech, the Soviets had already made great strides in the “space race’ and were nearly four years ahead of us. Clearly the President could have made the case that we “need” to go to the moon, but he didn’t. His words reflected an attitude in our country that was greater than that. Nowhere in his speech do you hear that we “need” to go to the moon, but rather we “choose” to go to the moon.
Perhaps an even greater treasure found in President Kennedy’s words is the reason behind “choosing” to go to the moon. Plain and simply put, he said we choose to go to the moon not because it is easy –but because it is hard. Think about that for a moment. When was the last time you chose to do ANYTHING because it was the harder thing to do? Perhaps now is your time.
Make the choice today to do something great for yourself for two basic reasons: because you CHOOSE to and because it is the HARD thing to do. Oh, and one more thing. If you truly read this and get it, you will discover that these words apply to more than health and fitness. These are words to apply to life! Here is a part of the President’s speech. Read it then get ready to launch on your journey!
"It's hazards are hostile to us all. It's conquest deserves the best of all mankind and it's opportunity for peaceful cooperation may never come again. But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And many may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago fly the Atlantic? Why does rice play Texas? We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one we are willing to accept, unwilling to postpone and one which we intend to win..."