If you talk the talk, you've got to walk the walk - Goals & Determination

When growing up, my parents had a certain saying: It’s better to get a B or C after trying really hard than getting an A without trying at all. That being said, I was a very good student but it showed the values that were important to them. I guess it’s in line with the saying ‘Hard Work Beats Talent’ and I couldn’t agree any more. If things go too easy for you, then you never learn determination, the satisfaction and rewards of hard work.

The point is, you have to work and you have to try hard. If you put a lot of effort and determination in something, good things will come your way. The road may not be always full of sunshine and there will be bumps in the road but nothing ever goes perfectly. This absolutely applies to training as well. If you train hard (and smart but that’s for another article), then you will see progress. If you don’t put 100% in, then don’t expect all your goals to come true. 

Now that has absolutely nothing to do with performance. As a trainer, I never expect our clients to perform the same or compare them to each other. For example: I prefer much more that a person is giving a 100% lifting a 20lbs. kettle bell than the person next to him/her lifting a 50lbs. kettle bell without breaking a sweat. Everyone works at their level and gets the equipment suited for them. However, we do expect everyone to do their best and to give a 100% in their workouts, whatever their fitness level allows.

GoalsBlog 1

My family is not one of the most athletic families (sorry guys but you gotta admit). I do have one uncle who ran marathons and is now still biking many miles with the road bike. Besides him, nobody really practices any kind of sport so I was a pretty odd duck. For some reason, I did get into sports. When I started karate at the age of 7, my parents told me that if I signed up, I had to do it for a full year. Quitting was not an option. When I first started, my obvious goal was a black belt. In 2004, I reached that goal. When I started road biking, I wanted to do well and I did, especially since I only started when I was 18 years old. I wanted to gain muscle and over the last 4 years, I gained 30lbs. of lean muscle. I wanted to heal my injured back and today, I barely have any issues anymore. Today, I’ve made martial arts my hobby, job and a big part of my life. I am still biking on a regular basis and challenging myself with races and new goals. I always put the work in to reach my goals, no matter how easy or hard it might be. Even when I fail, which happens, I know I did what I could.

I believe in perseverance or as the saying says: ‘If you talk the talk, you’ve got to walk the walk’ (last saying I promise). Of course, if you don’t enjoy something it is likely that you will quit at some point which is fine! There is so much out there that enables you to choose what you really love to do. Also, you will fail at some goals in your life and that is normal. Everyone does but as long as you gave it a fair shot and put your energy into it, then there is nothing to feel bad about.


I’m sure you see where I’m going with this blog. You simply have to put the effort in. Don’t quit and be persistent. Reaching a significant goal will never be a walk in the park. But one thing is for sure: if you persist you will see progress, you will reach your goals and you will feel GREAT!

My family was always very motivating in every hobby I had but also very strict. I could not be any more appreciative for that. It taught me discipline and determination. At the same time, that is why I was able to reach my personal goals. If they didn’t bother putting rules in place and taking the time to enforce them, I would not have learned the lessons that I did. So find motivation in your training, no matter what it is, be confident and persistent. As your trainer, I will do my part as well as I can but I need to see the focus and determination in your eyes.

By Sander Vanacker, owner, head instructor and personal trainer of Define Defense Martial Arts & Personal Training.

Define Defense in Boulder, CO
- Modern Martial Arts
- Brazilian Jiu Jitsu & MMA
- Self Defense Classes & Workshops
- Personal Training
- Cross Training / TRX Classes

1805 11th Street Suite B
Boulder, CO 80302

(720) 340 6254



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