If you’ve been in the fitness arena for any length of time, you’ve inevitably heard the saying “Hard Work Pays Off” or seen the acronym “HWPO.” Popularized by five time CrossFit Games champion, Mat Fraser, we now see this on Nike apparel, gym letter boards, and hashtags on social media accounts across the world. But is it true? Does hard work REALLY pay off, or is this just another cute internet saying?
The short answer? Yes, in most situations, I believe it does. That being said, it doesn’t happen overnight. Many times it may take weeks, months, or even years to see the results.
Probably the better question to ask yourself is “Am I REALLY working hard?” Take your diet for example. You’ve been crushing it for two whole weeks; abstaining from alcohol, fast food, even your daily latte is on the back burner. But now it’s the weekend and you’re going out to celebrate your friend’s promotion at work. You order a of couple drinks and have the dessert with full intention of getting back on the wagon tomorrow. But the next day, you realize you don’t have any food prepped, so you order pizza and breadsticks for dinner (because hey, supporting small businesses is important too). Wednesday, your coworker brings in a homemade apple pie their wife made and you have just one slice. After all, you’ve been “working hard” at your diet and one piece won’t hurt. When you step on the scale the next Friday, those 5 pounds you initially lost are back and staring you in the face. Why? Because at the end of the day, you didn’t REALLY work hard to lose that weight. It’s not your nutrition plan or your exercise program. It’s not your coach’s fault and you definitely aren’t a special snowflake who’s the exception to the rule. You just really didn’t put in the time or effort to see success. You didn’t want it enough. You didn’t work THAT hard.
Hard work takes discipline. Hard work means doing things you may not always enjoy in the moment knowing that the pay off will be worth it down the road. Hard work might sometimes mean doing something that people around you think is crazy but knowing it’s a stepping stone toward reaching your goals. Hard work is just that…..it’s hard.
So yes, hard work DOES indeed pay off….if you’re willing to actually put in the hard work.