“There is no turning back now bro”… were the words of wisdom that Satnam Chana inspired in me this past week. Last week marked the end of 5 weeks of training under the tutelage of Satnam. Over the past 5 weeks, I have been challenged both mentally and physically to levels of intensity that I honestly cannot remember enduring….not even as a young teenager playing for my high school basketball team – and boy, were those ever grueling basketball practices….had to be at school for 7a.m. for drills, exercises and endless “suicide runs”….however, my current training is taking the “cake” on this one….every week, Satnam has strategically been pushing me towards higher intensity workouts…he is certainly encouraging me not to underestimate what one may be capable of achieving when it comes to fitness. During week 4, I had completed 4 days of circuit training with a day of cardio. Week 5 was a different story…not only did I have to do circuit training 4 days a week, but I was now to follow up the circuit with ½ hour of cardio, and on the cardio day, I was to double my time on it to an hour! Initially, when Satnam had advised me of the routine for week 5, my immediate reaction was, “this looks intense and challenging”. After re-gaining my composure (lol), I began the process of mentally preparing myself. I have to say, mental preparation and focus is such a key for any fitness, be it physical, emotional or spiritual. I also have to say, it was great to hear the feedback from Satnam after 4 weeks. He was happy with my progress and has been nothing but inspiring and encouraging. Moreover, his words last week of “there is no turning back now” basically became ingrained into my consciousness….those words literally lit a fire under me and I was determined not only to continue proving my commitment to myself but to stay true to my word. It is now becoming more and more clear and reaffirms how important it is to have a coach… a teacher….a guide… a motivator. Last Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, I got through the circuits and cardio each day focusing on the vision…the goal….just to be optimally fit…I am not setting any “deadlines” but just nurturing the process with as much dedication as possible…through the pain and sweat, I found myself with a surge of immense energy around 11p.m. Wednesday night! Last Wed, I was on the stairclimber for 1 hour…that was the first time I had attempted that long of a period on that particular cardio machine….for those of you who have been on the stairclimber, you can attest to the fact that it is a full body workout and you will be sweating buckets! There was a time when I could only barely do 20 minutes on that thing….now, by no means am I going crazy intense like some of the people I see on the climber…Satnam advised me to do slow to medium pace, but non-stop. I decided to increase the speed every 5 to 10 minutes….So by the 40th minute I was definitely at a high-medium speed…sweat had now enveloped my dastaar (turban) and I could feel my clothes drenched from top to bottom….my legs were starting to give out….it was hurtin! There were many moments when I wanted to slow the speed to a minimum….just yearning to do so just even for a minute to get some reprieve….then the mental focus thankfully kicked in, “there is no turning back now Onkar”….words of Satnam that kept resonating within me… I said to myself…”get through it, get through it….” At the 55th minute, I slowed that baby down and was in heaven! Back to Wednesday night….so it was 11p.m. and I found myself having a surge of energy! I honestly wanted to go back to the gym and lift some weights! So through a somewhat exciting restless sleep (normally I am such a great sleeper) I could not wait for the morning to arrive….On Thursday morning, I looked at the clock….it was 5:15 a.m. Got ready for the gym and was there by 5:45a.m. It was such a great feeling! Arriving at the gym at this hour meant there were many positives….it wasn’t busy so I could do my circuit “araam naal” (with ease) and with no waiting in between sets for others to finish….I almost had the gym to myself….by 7a.m. I had finished my routine and headed home to get ready for the day…the wife was surprised to see me all decked out and ready by 7:30a.m. J Normally, I workout in the afternoons, so that particular morning was a rare occurrence….there is certainly a great feeling of accomplishment when you can finish your workout routine before your day even starts. Friday’s routine completed 5 weeks. At this point, I am fairly pleased with my progress and the process of the same. Hitting the gym 5x a week is indeed something that is possible. We all have busy lives, we all have “so much on our plate”…..but I feel committing at least an hour towards your physical fitness at least 4-5x a week will result in optimal mental, emotional and spiritual “fitness”….a key if you want to pursue your journey of life being ambitious, interested, creative… but without the sense that “your plate is full”….rather, with the sense that, your plate will never feel full J….