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Athletic Supporters Come In Four Varieties…

December 1, 2009

In the seventh grade I was first introduced to the term “athletic supporter.” It was listed as a prerequisite to We all need support!purchase as part of our gym uniform. I was horrified but relieved on that first day in the locker room when I found out I wasn’t the only one who had no idea how to put the thing on that day… but I digress. I’m not talking about THAT kind of athletic supporter!

Whether you are starting a new job, purchasing new electronics or a first time parent, you know you need support. You need someone who knows the equipment, who can provide advice and who can offer an ear when things go good or bad. And so it is when you start a workout program, whether it’s the first time or tenth time.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, here are four ways to define support:

  1. to endure bravely or quietly
  2. to hold up or serve as a foundation or prop for
  3. to keep from fainting, yielding, or losing courage : comfort
  4. to keep (something) going

Sometimes we need support from others simply by knowing they are there, rooting for us.  We all have friends or family like this.  They don’t have to say a thing, but we know we have their support.  Other times we need more than a non-verbal cue – we need those around us to help prop us up.  Sometimes people around us may not even know it, but we look up to them because of the high bar they set.  They’re a role model by example – and in that way they support us.  When we are weak, there are those who let us know we are doing OK when we stumble and they comfort us.  Then, finally, there are those who support us by pushing us to simply keep going.  And boy, do we need these people from time to time!

If you are looking to embark on a difficult or long journey in your life – whether it’s a diet plan, a workout routine, a self-improvement process – include seeking support in your plans.  Let’s face it, Man was not made to be alone.  God gave Eve to Adam.  Religion aside, it’s human nature to lean on another for support.  So where do we find it?

Support can be found in many places.  First, consider your friends and family, but put an asterisk next to them.  Your friends and family can only be considered IF they have your best interest at heart and can push you to your goal.  Look at definition #4 – to keep something going.  To me that means an aggressive approach.  As I recently mentioned, I called upon the services of Haley, my 13 year old to push Dear Ol’ Dad.  I needed her assistance because I wasn’t feeling well and I knew her encouragement would see me through – and it did.

Will your friends or family really push you?  Will you give them permission to do so?  If the answer is no, then don’t waste your time with them.  A kick in the butt is needed, so perhaps your friends or family can simply provide the positive affirmation.  For the butt kickers, find other support systems.  Find online communities where like-minded people also need your support, advice and encouragement.  The great thing about a total stranger is they can push you and you can push them without hurting feelings as much.  Seek out these folks on Twitter or any social media site.  Search for them by looking up the program you are on.  They are easy to find and in time you’ll strike up new friends and new networks that will provide the support you seek.

Someone is reading this right this very minute and guffawing at the very idea of being weak and of needing support.  To you, my friend, I congratulate you.  I congratulate you on your internal motivation and the experience you’ve had to not need support.  But I also would call you out.  Perhaps you can truly move forward without support.  Perhaps.  But just think how much stronger you could be with some extra foundation around you.  You’d be even stronger yet.

A sweet tool I discovered while doing P90X is at  Here you can view daily videos from their own network they’ve created, you can also find new friends as well as a multitude of message boards for you to get or give advice, hold yourself accountable and know that you are not alone.  Whether you are doing a BeachBody program or not, the site membership is free and you can tweak it to your tastes.

Good luck with whatever program you may be considering or involved with.  I truly mean that.  Just as many have supported me, I’ll be your support – try me at  Together, we can both be better people – simply by supporting one another.  Now that you have a support system in place – hit the switch!  Life is On!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 1, 2009 4:55 pm

    Excellent post.

  2. December 2, 2009 12:24 am

    So, when I saw the title, and read the first couple sentences, I thought “is he really talking about ‘those’ athletic supporters? LOL. And of course, you are much deeper than that. I loved this post. I am totally a person who loves to give support and motivation to people. It’s one of those things where there truly is more happiness in giving than receiving, for me. And I love to be supported in return. It’s the ‘knowing that people are going through the same thing’ thing. That you’re not alone, that someone out there understands. I really feel bad for someone who thinks they can do it alone. What fun is there in that?
    Awesome post.

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