TAKING THAT FIRST STEP
Roxanne Shepherd is back, sharing more about her inspirational journey to health and wellness! This time round, she shares that its only human to have all the best intentions in the world but, somehow, never get started. Most importantly, she shows us that there’s no silver bullet and no special ingredient – just inspiring people like her coach, Jacob Boikanyo, and good old consistency!
Read on and discover how you can start over again for the last time.
You know how it goes – you want to be fit, you want to be healthy, you even know everything that you need to do to achieve to that aspirational ‘fit and healthy’ status… but you can never just seem to get started. Or, maybe, starting isn’t the issue. Even with all of the best intentions in the world, it quickly becomes impossible to stick to the rigid routine that you’ve set out for yourself and you end up falling off the proverbial wagon!
Then you decide to try again – the only difference is that, this time, you will be better at it. You know it! But then tomorrow becomes Monday, Monday becomes next week, next week becomes next month and, eventually, next month becomes never.
Before you can even blink, not only are you neither fit nor healthy, you are quite probably worse off than when you thought about starting the first time.
What exactly is so daunting about that first step and how do you even get past the initial spark of seemingly superhuman motivation to turn ‘fit and healthy’ into a proper lifestyle instead of just the seasonal ‘new year, new me’ mantra that lasts maybe a month or two before quickly slipping back into your same old bad habits?
How do you start over again, for the last time?
Having ‘started over’ so many times it is incalculable, I considered what I did differently when I once again stood at the precipice of taking back my health – but successfully this time. After much contemplation, I came to realise that, for the first time, I did not try and do it alone. I started a group exercise class and, by joining KAOS boot camp, I unknowingly (at the time) chose a mentor who became fundamental in supporting me as I progressed slowly, but steadily, throughout my journey towards health. Today, even though I have achieved fitness goals I never thought possible, I still look to my mentor for support on those days that I doubt myself.
It was meeting Jacob Boikanyo, the founder and head coach of KAOS Fitness in Weltevredenpark, Johannesburg, that completely changed my life. while I know essentially that I did the work, I accredit a massive amount of my success in achieving my health and fitness goals over the past three years to Jacob, or “Coach Jakes” as he is affectionately known to all his clients.
Jacob is quite possibly one of the kindest, most caring, and compassionate people that you will ever meet, while somehow still being firm enough to make sure you put in the necessary effort to get amazing results. He motivates you through every tough “I can’t do this” moment and then celebrates even harder than you when you do make it through what you had first thought to be unattainable. He lets you know right from the start that, with commitment and consistency, you absolutely can do it.
As a naturally athletic and active person, Jacob noticed so many children and adults lacking the motivation to train and keep active due to low self-esteem and a lack of confidence in themselves and their abilities. He realised that he could provide that motivation by teaching children, and adults alike, the power of discipline and consistency. As a result, in 2015, KAOS Fitness was established, offering fun and varied outdoor classes for children that were geared towards agility, speed, strength and core training. These allowed children to build their self-confidence and fitness from an early age.
Then there were twice weekly boot camp classes for adults concentrating on building strength, balance and endurance.
In addition to the kids and adults weekly training, KAOS also runs rugby, soccer and cricket sports clinics at least three times a year (pandemics permitting) where children get to learn the basic skills of the sports and increase their overall fitness levels because, as Jacob says, “with any game that you play, you need to be fit – mentally, physically and emotionally”. KAOS does not stop there, and regularly gives back to the community as well.
Jacob believes that being a fitness trainer means ‘walking the talk’ and makes sure that he maintains an active healthy lifestyle himself. He has fairly recently discovered, after years of playing different sports, that cycling is his passion and he loves the fitness levels it has allowed him to attain in his own life, so he encourages others to try as many different modes of activity as they can. He says “you have to love what you do to live a long term healthy lifestyle.” This is what makes him such an incredible coach and mentor, he harnesses his own strengths and passions to inspire ordinary people, like me, to work towards reaching their full potential and most importantly to never give up.
Jacob stays inspired as a trainer by his clients’ determination and dedication to their training and will tell you that “it is the habits that people hold onto that stop them from improving their lives. It is only when a client is committed and consistent that you see the lifestyle change.” His motto is “the biggest thing is don’t give up. If you start you must finish. You need to make time for your health.”
Jacob’s advice to anyone looking to change is: “If you want to start, honestly, you can’t give up, you can’t start something because you like the idea of it. Sometimes, we forget that we don’t always like the training and we don’t always feel like doing it but, if we push through and we do it, afterwards it makes us feel so good and powerful and gives us confidence”.
Simply put, when you set a goal, you have to be fully committed to taking control of your own life and you alone are responsible for achieving any challenge that you set for yourself. But, rest assured, you can always make use of resources that are available to you to help you maintain discipline, especially on the days when motivation is low.
When all is said and done, it turns out that the magic ingredient you seek is not so magical after all. It is not your motivation that is failing you, nor is it a lack of willpower. What you are missing is consistency. Consistency is not about being perfect because, let us just face it, you will never be perfect.
Consistency is about showing up again and again after each and every you time you think you have failed. Consistency is what will allow you to slowly change your habits, set up an attainable lifestyle and make sure, within a realistic time frame, you reach any goal you set yourself. Then, for those toughest of days when consistency feels impossible, just know that having a healthy role model and support in place will boost you through.
No attempt at anything can be considered a failure until you stop trying. Stay committed and focused while remaining realistic and, before you know it, your actions will turn your dreams into the goals that you will be proud to have achieved.