Just Do It

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Big time kudos to Nike for their efforts of leveraging the Colin Kaepernick protest frenzy by making him the face of their latest ad campaign. It appears that Colin Kaepernick has a multi-year contract with the infamous shoe and athletic apparel brand for what is reportedly worth more than $50 Million!

Additionally, I am getting a real kick out of all of these posted social media videos that shows people (every one of them are non-African American) burning their Nike gear—who clearly are in opposition to the marketing strategy. My thoughts are that those are exactly the people Nike is not trying to appeal to anyway, but Nike sure appreciates all that free advertising.

Speaking of Nike…

Not too long ago I was purchasing new Nike workout gear. There’s a Nike Outlet Retailer not too far from where I reside. Once I secured my few items to purchase, I began to make my way to the check out line.

Now if you’ve ever been to a Nike Outlet store before, you’re familiar with the long waiting line that wraps around the aisles within the store. But it goes fast because there’s easily 10-12 Nike cashiers ready to scan your items and credit card to get you out of there. While in line, I noticed others making a purchase. Unlike the Nike personnel working at the store, most of the patrons there appeared to be un-athletic. But hey—no judgment! I’m getting myself into shape and maybe that’s their goal too. And in some cases, perhaps they are making purchases for someone who is athletic. Not that I thought long and deep about it—well, ok. I did. But I still came away with the same conclusion—they are likely getting in shape or maybe they are making a purchase for someone else.

But then I go about my way—running errands and handling business. Then I notice that several people are wearing athletic gear (not all Nike—but athletic gear) and my personal observation is that they aren’t exercising. Some were significantly overweight, and they had all kinds of items in their grocery carts that would suggest that they aren’t into health and fitness (soda, ice cream, chips, etc.).

However, let’s say I go to the grocery store at night.  It’s not uncommon to see people buying groceries after they work out. And you know they are working out because you can see the sweat embedded in their athletic gear.

Now let’s compare—one person simply wears the athletic gear for presumably comfort purposes and the other wears the gear for working out. Sounds like to me somebody should just make up their mind to JUST DO IT.

Now let’s make a comparison for relationships—either that you’re in or aspire to be in.

My grandmother used to tell me—Boy, if you always do what you always did you’ll always get what you always got. She didn’t have the best command of the English language but what she said made a lot of sense. And especially now that I’m an adult.

You know, being in this space where we as an organization are always evaluating the reasons why relationships work and fail, I hear a lot of what men and women saying what they will or won’t do. Some women have very strong feelings of what they won’t tolerate, and I’ve heard some men drive their stake in the ground about a variety of things they aren’t going to do or put up within a relationship. It goes both ways for sure.

Well, here’s one thing for sure that’s a fact. I don’t care how much in love you are, if you two plan to be together exclusive in a relationship and especially in marriage, you’re BOTH going to have to change.

This isn’t an opinion, it’s factual.

Many people think that they can simply airlift themselves into a relationship JUST AS THEY ARE and never change. Not so Grasshopper. Further, this isn’t a statement related to your personal dysfunction.

We all come from very different backgrounds. Each person is representative of the sum total of experiences they’ve lived through. And if you think you can just maintain the integrity of all your ways, standards and norms with another human being who also brings their own ways, standards, and personal norms and have a viable relationship, you are highly mistaken. I’m not just referring to changes just to enter into the relationship. I’m saying these tweaks and refinements are always needed. We are ever evolving and organic beings that change in EVERY way.

Talk to anyone who appears reasonably happy in their marriage. Especially if they’ve been married for five years or more. Ask them about their take on marriage. I can assure you in one way or another, they will tell you that it’s a lot of work or that it’s a huge adjustment. And that work/adjustment challenge is associated with the difficulty of having to always bend and deviate from what you thought were all the changes that needed to be made. Then there’s more. And more. And it seems it never ends.

This is difficult because as much as we might want to believe that we’ll do anything for our spouse, the types of changes and adjustments that are needed to co-exist are an act of our will. This isn’t to suggest that marriage isn’t good or desirable, but much more of a commentary that you will have to continuously make lifelong personal modifications to live harmoniously with your spouse.

One of life’s greatest challenges but greatest rewards is looking outside yourself to be in tune with your spouse. It’s like you can’t just do what comes naturally anymore—much is about making that leap of compromise to ensure you can both go in the same direction. Just another reason why pre-marital counseling is absolutely paramount. And even with counseling, it is impossible to prepare for every possible scenario you will encounter together. But if you do make the leap and live together selflessly, there is a remarkable and amazing life the two of you can and will enjoy together.

So, in summary, don’t just wear the athletic gear as a fashion statement. If you’re going to wear it, put it on, go work out and get/stay in shape.

Just do it.



Photo Source: Colin Kapernick via Twitter


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