How 4:44 Teaches Us About Consistency

“You run this hard just to stay in place.” – Jay-Z

When I heard Jay spit that bar on Legacy, a track he described as a verbal will found on his new album 4:44, the first place my mind went was the gym.

The desire to be, or at least appear fit is at an all-time high in America. Want proof? Open any of your social media applications, I promise within a few strokes of your thumb you’ll see someone on your timeline lifting, posing in a mirror after working out, or doing some #mealprep. The overlap of the social media age and health awareness has given us more posts and tags about the body than ever. I personally buy in to this culture, as an engaged man I’ve felt a special motivation to get myself right before I walk down the aisle. But let’s be honest, if you consider yourself a workout warrior, or just a person that wants to maintain a healthy build, it’s not always easy. You aren’t always feeling it once you get to the gym and some days the lack of motivation may keep you from working out altogether. So you take a day off, which makes it easier to take two days off and before you know it, the struggle becomes so real.

You know how it goes, you have periods where you work out consistently, incrementally increasing the amount of weight you can lift and you feel great about yourself. And then life happens. Consistent periods are followed by late nights at the office, happy hours with friends, holiday cookouts and deliberations that almost always end in staying home. Guess what happens? All previous gains are wiped out. I know this is the case, I’m telling my story. When I finally make it back, the weight I could lift easily three weeks ago feels three times harder to lift, and the runs at a 7:30 pace have my lungs feeling like HahaDavis.

Then I thought on a deeper level, about how we progress and recess in other areas in our lives. Areas of our lives that aren’t popular to post about on social media, or even bring up in conversation.

Maybe it’s a group of people from back in the day that are restricting you from being on your way. Maybe it’s an unhealthy relationship you keep going back to. Maybe its fear that keeps you from going all in, your greatest enemy after all is your inner me. Perhaps it’s material things that are keeping you away from your savings goals. Whatever it is, just remember falling off ultimately makes it harder for you in the end. It’s almost like a basketball team that plays great defense, forces a tough shot but is unable to secure the rebound, you just have to do it all over again. And much like basketball, life is a possession game, you only have so much time and so many chances to put yourself in a position to win.

Lost ground takes extra time to make up and our people already have far enough to go. So let’s keep our heads down until we get to where we want to be. Don’t let a moment delay your moment, listen to Jay, stop running hard just to stay in place.

Ron Simpson

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