Today’s post is dedicated to Nelson Mandela, a man who inspired the world to see beyond challenges, overcome fears, and never give up in the face of adversity.
When you think of “fitness icons”, images of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jane Fonda, Chris Powell, and Jillian Michaels come to mind. Just because of who they are, and what they have shown the world about fitness and health, fitness icons and advocates motivate thousands of people every day to change their lives and get healthy. Nelson Mandela, without question, also belongs in this group of respected and revered individuals.
Nelson Mandela, former South African President, who also served 27 years in prison for his involvement in activities against racial oppression and was a world renowned philanthropist, died at the age of 95. Although he may not have been recognized as a “fitness icon”, his life story, his accomplishments, and his moving words have inspired people, from all walks of life, to persevere and make changes in their lives … for the better. Below are some of the many memorable and moving quotes by Nelson Mandela, that have helped many get off the couch, get to the gym, work a little bit harder, finish that extra repetition, and strive to be better versions of themselves through fitness and exercise.
For more information on Nelson Mandela, click here.
Nelson Mandela Quotes That Inspire Great Workouts
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
Nothing is impossible. If anything, Nelson Mandela’s life is a testament to what a human being (alone) can accomplish with hope, faith, and a strategy to succeed. If he can do it alone, imagine what can be done with the support of friends, family members, and fitness professionals by your side?
“I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.”
Be positive and don’t let negative thoughts get in the way of the progress you are making with each grueling workout. The more positive your thoughts, the more positive you can expect your outcomes to be!
“Difficulties break some men but make others.”
Life is inevitably filled with obstacles and challenges, some more difficult than others. Every challenge that we face provides us with a unique opportunity to learn about ourselves (i.e., our strengths, our weaknesses, our limits), grow as a result, and improve our overall situation. As we overcome one obstacle, it prepares us for the next challenge that comes our way. Embrace the journey and become the best version of yourself as a result.
“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
We should not feel ashamed of falling down in the face of adversity. Missing workouts and eating poorly (from time to time) is inevitable. Having the strength to look yourself in the mirror, being accountable to your mistakes and starting over again is a true test of a person’s character and strength to succeed.
“If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.”
Unfortunately, many of us (who are unhappy with our bodies) see it as the enemy. We dislike what we see in the mirror, or our performance, and treat it like the “enemy”. Be accepting of the body you have and what you can realistically accomplish with hard work, good nutrition, and dedication.
“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”
Don’t be afraid to dream big and have a goal in mind. Whether it is mental, physical, emotional, or spiritual, many of us don’t reach our true potential. It could be due to lack of motivation, excuses, or sheer laziness. To have true joy and happiness in life, we need to have something worth fighting for in our our lives (something we are passionate about pursuing).
“One of the most difficult things is not to change society – but to change yourself.”
Why is it that we can justify spending the majority of our day helping and doing things for others (i.e., at work, at home, in our community) but have every excuse in the book to avoid doing things to help ourselves? Take a step back and put yourself as priority number one. When you are at your best, you can then do your best for others in your life.
“I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.”
If you have a fitness goal in mind, the only person who can make it a reality is … YOU! You need to do the work required. You need to learn from each experience. Self-confidence and self-respect only come from knowing you have what it takes to prevail! Your worth is dictated by you … and you alone.