Last week I had one of my sales reps in a market we consult send over a video from the Big Ten women's 2008 Championship 600-meter run. It's about never giving up and never letting up. What makes the story more interesting is it came over from a rep who just lost 43 pounds from a 365-point frame. My rep is heavy not only in weight; he also dwarfs me in height, though 365 is no laughing matter. My sales rep had thought about losing weight before, though I don't think he ever took it too seriously until now.
I showed this video at a training meeting at a property in California, and it got a standing ovation from the sales reps and management. When I first saw the video, I had to make sure it wasn't fake -- it was so unbelievable that I had to look at it about three times to see it was real. But I did some research and found not only was it real, it featured one of the most decorated female track athletes in Minnesota history and a nine time All-American in women's indoor and outdoor track and cross country. Her name was Heather Dorniden, now Heather Dorniden Kampf.
Heather was in the lead coming up on the third lap of the indoor 600-meter run. She crossed over to get into the inside lane and tripped over the Penn State runner who was in first place at the time. There were four women in the finals of the race. All three of the other runners had to see Heather had fallen down with only 200 meters to go -- 30 seconds or so in real race time.
So go figure. These are championship athletes in the race, and Heather spots them 30 meters with about 200 meters to go. They are in full stride, and she is getting up after falling down flat on her face. She's out of the picture -- literally out of the video picture --when she makes her remarkable comeback.
When she was interviewed her after the race, she said," I think anyone else would have done the same thing if they found themselves in my position." I don't think so, Heather. Most people would have stayed down and probably used some excuse, maybe grabbing a knee in pain, to justify staying on the track. Most people don't get up. And if they do, they certainly don't win the race.
The producer of the video finishes it with Winston Churchill's line: "Never, never, never give up." You should never, ever give up. I think you should never, ever let up either. Imagine the feelings of the other runners when they were getting ready to cross the finish line, and here comes Heather -- whom you know they counted out in their minds. After all, they saw her fall with one lap to go. Nobody comes back from a fall like that.
There may be some sales reps who are reading this who might be down on the track. But it's only April, with eight months to go in the year if your fiscal is calendar-based. Maybe you think it's impossible to make up the year or the quarter. I also think of my rep who lost 43 pounds during the last 13 weeks.
I personally lost 45 pounds in a nine-month stretch early in my media selling career, and I've kept it off. Sometimes it's not the amount of the weight you take off, it's whether you keep it off, and whether you decide to even try.
Maybe you are deciding right now whether you're going to get into shape so you can make that one extra call per day. Maybe it's about looking your best. Whatever your motivation is, use the Luce three-step plan when it comes to exercise:
1. Frequency: You don't have to exercise seven days a week. All it takes is exercising three or four times a week. Think about spreading your exercise routine over Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays -- four times a week. Once you get into the rhythm, it becomes habitual, which leads to the next step.
2. Consistency: It takes 21 to 28 days to create a new neuropathway in the brain. In other words, in getting rid of bad habits or creating new good habits, it normally takes three or four weeks to burn it in or burn it out. It's no different with exercise. Make a commitment to try your program for at least 21 to 28 days.
3. Intensity: There are many ways to figure out your heart rate. The American College of Sport Medicine recommends that you calculate both 55 percent and 90 percent of your maximum safe heart rate. If you're a beginner, you should work at the low end of this range. (Only competitive athletes like Ed Ryan, editor of Radio Ink, should work as high as 85 to 90 percent.) Once you establish your target heart-rate ranges, during your exercises try to keep your heart rate between 55 percent and 90 percent of the maximum range for 20 to 25 minutes minimum. Remember, if you're a beginner, you want to keep this down at the low end of the range. Make sure you have a five- to 10-minute warm up, work your heart rate for 20 to 25 minutes and have a cool-down period for five to 10 minutes.
Do you want to be the best in the business? When you think about quitting after a tough sales day or in your exercise routine or weight loss program, you will want to watch this video.