Fitness, Health & Wellness
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(photo: Victor Freitas)

I’ve always equated working out to retirement in the sense that the gains are not realized until ample time has passed. 

Little bits over long periods of time equate to large sums. 

A mom I know wanted her son to start working out and learn to care for himself. The son wasn’t obese or depressed — she wanted him to be healthy, and she knew it would help with his confidence and teach him to enjoy working out like she did. 

She would try to encourage him to do it, but to no avail. He’d rather play games and watch TV. She decided to make a deal with him. 

She told him that if he did the “75 Hard,” she would take him airsofting as a reward. He loves airsofting more than anything, but as a cherry on top, she said she would airsoft with him. Airsofting is a game played with guns that shoot plastic BBs. Needless to say, it hurts. 

For those of you who do not know what the “75 Hard” is, it is a lifestyle/fitness challenge that lasts 75 days where participants workout twice a day for 45 minutes each, with at least one session happening outside, read ten pages of nonfiction, consume zero alcohol, and take a progress picture every day. Needless to say, it is hard. 

The son agreed. Not only did he agree, but he smashed it. I asked him if he was going to continue working out. He said yes, but only once a day now, smiling. 

I saw him three months before starting his challenge. I saw him struggle playing soccer with his mom and sister in the park. The funny thing was, he didn’t want to play, not because he didn’t like soccer, but because he was so out of shape. He couldn’t run for more than three minutes before being keeled over, panting for air. 

Fast forward three months post “75 Hard,” and I am watching him play in an actual soccer spring league where he is now the lead defender running nonstop for 60 minutes, smashing into other players, and not keeling over panting for air. I’d say he is a changed boy for the better. 

I think incentivizing exercise is a helpful tool to get people started. The incentive or reward keeps people motivated to go and achieve said “goal.” In the process, you are teaching discipline and delayed gratification, which, in my opinion, are the keys to success when you want to steer your life in a healthier direction. 

It’s seldom that people are motivated to work out. The discipline to work out is the key to long-term success.

If you lack the discipline to start your “journey,” maybe it’s a good idea to incentivize yourself with a little challenge. Look up the “75 Hard” and see if you can do it, too. Be like the boy in my story, who I saw turn into a little stud in a little over three months. I can tell you now he does not regret doing it one bit. spt


Eddie McKenna

Eddie McKenna is co-owner of Heyday Elite Fitness. For more info, visit