Column: Consistency is key


Commentary by Bill Dean 

Do you remember a guy named Reggie Miller? No. 31? Some would argue he’s the greatest Indiana Pacer in history. Well, for seven exciting years, I had a front row seat to Reggie’s greatness.

Prior to opening my personal training studio in 2005, I was the strength and conditioning coach for the Pacers. Without a doubt, Reggie was one of the most consistent, hardest-working athletes I’ve ever trained (you could also add Austin Croshere, Derrick McKey, Chris Mullin and Al Harrington to this short list). According to my rough calculations, Reggie spent 2,500 hours per year perfecting his craft, rarely taking a day off. He was the first player to arrive each day and one of the last to leave – without fail.  The sharp shooting (and trash talking — yes, he also practiced that skill) that Pacers’ fans witnessed on the court for 18 years had a direct correlation to Reggie’s meticulous preparation before each practice, shootaround and game.

Sure, there were doctors, coaches, therapists, trainers and staff at Reggie’s disposal. Yes, we flew on chartered jets, ate catered meals and stayed in 5-star hotels. However, there was something else that made Reggie great: Consistency. He was one of the best to wear the jersey because he focused on his craft each and every day. People are best at the things they do most often – and that’s not something exclusive to professional athletes.

Gone are my days in the NBA. It was a fun ride while it lasted and I do miss the competition, but my current role as a personal trainer is much more challenging and just as rewarding. I still consider myself a part of a team, although it’s most often a team of two. I’ve helped people complete half-marathons, ski down mountains after back surgery and live pain-free. I’ve been told, “You changed my life” on several occasions because of the work I do with my current clients. And they have something in common with Reggie: They’re consistent. They each exercise at least 30 minutes a day, three to five days per week, sticking to that schedule long term.

So, I challenge you to make an appointment with yourself. Schedule your fitness like you would any other important matter. Just as eating and sleeping are non-negotiable, so is your health. With consistency, we can all be fit enough to get off the sidelines and confidently pursue our passions.

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