Mental and physical obstacles could be blessings in disguise. Ashley Conrad says overcoming them makes your results far more satisfying.

You know those people who are effortless with everything they try? They’re effortlessly good-looking, athletic, intelligent and cool. While it’s easy to look at them with envy – I don’t. Being forced to struggle is truly one of life’s greatest blessings, depending on how you deal with it.


Planning for obstacles

So often people ask me how they can achieve their dreams and the answer is not in the ‘how,’ but in the ‘what.’ What have you done to put yourself in a place to succeed? What are you willing to go through and endure in order to succeed? What will you do when obstacles and issues arise? What is your plan of action on the day you don’t feel like doing it? The reason most people don’t succeed has nothing to do with talent and everything to do with what they do when issues arise.

“I want to change my lifestyle and body but the last time I tried I didn’t succeed.” Didn’t succeed? So you fail once and give up? What if the Wright brothers gave up on their dream of flight the first time their airplane prototype wouldn’t take off? What if Michael Jordan gave up when he didn’t make his high school basketball team?


Embrace your tenacity

The truth is, I’ve never really been naturally good at anything my whole life. Not sports. Not school. Not business. The only thing I’ve ever been naturally good at is trying to be really good.

It took me three months of relentlessly harassing 24 Hour Fitness to get my first job as a trainer. I started working on launching a supplement line when I was 26 – I’m 32 now and just getting it off the ground.

The truth is, there are so many people in this world who are more talented than I will ever be but the question is: where is that getting them? What creates success is a person who is willing to get beat down 99 times and rise every time. A person who can stay focused on the goal every hour, of every day, for years on end in the face of massive obstacles.


Winning mentality

Despite the fact I almost failed math every semester of my entire life, I now run a successful company. Even though I couldn’t memorize a basketball play, I trained while everyone else slept and went on to play at the University of Southern California. Even though no gyms wanted to hire me, I’m still a world-renowned fitness expert. This is because I refused to allow my weaknesses to define my future.

I want to encourage you to do the same thing. It doesn’t matter where you are today or what you believe you’re not capable of. What matters and defines what your life, body, career and future becomes is what you choose to do next. Don’t be that person this New Year that commits to a ‘new you’ and gives up three weeks later because what it takes to change is simply too hard. What’s hard is getting to the end of your life and looking back and knowing that you didn’t give it your all. Regret is worse than any failure.


Find fitness advice and more in every issue of TRAIN magazine.