Darin St. George: Success doesn't come before work

Darin St. George

I spent the better part of the winter getting ready for the Boston Marathon. For, me, it is an extension of the fact that I love exercising and figure it wouldn't hurt to have all my hard work pay off once in a while. The marathon isn't a contest for me, nor is it something I had to do "once in my lifetime." It is pure work; working is my business and business is good.

I want to finish a marathon and expect to do so. Here's where things can go sideways, as I'm prone to say: Expectations are indirectly proportional to serenity. If I expect the world I will probably end up disappointed. If I expect to be beat up during the race and have it feel like it lasts forever, I will have made one person happy.

No matter the endeavor, the only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary. Strap yourself into your boots and hold on tight; I learned long ago that life is only mastered by those who get up earlier, push the biggest rock up the hill and then look for a tree to uproot for dessert. If fitness happens to be your target, don't fire your arrow from far away; run up and hit the bull's eye with your fist for some extra cardio.

Do what makes sense (exercise hard and eat clean) for the sake of being rational; don't do it to lose a pound, fit into a dress or win a contest. Leave that for the people on television or in the office pool -- real fit people are fit because of who they are, not what their scale says.

If you do what's right for the sake of being right, you'll never go wrong. Just make sure that when you tear a tree out of the ground you plant two at the same time, OK? And have a Happy Earth Day on Thursday.

Darin St. George is a personal fitness coach at Gold's Gym in Natick, Mass. Visit his Web site at