Lessons from US Swimmer Ryan Lochte

Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past couple of weeks you’ve probably heard the name Ryan Lochte. And if you’re not familiar with the name than you may have heard something about a US swimmer at the Olympics fabricating a story about being robbed in Brazil at the Olympics.

You can google the story later if you’re interested. Otherwise I’ll you’re up to speed let’s see what take-aways there are from this train wreck.

ORG XMIT: USPW-GRP-58 Aug 1, 2012; London, United Kingdom; USA swimmer Ryan Lochte (front) and Michael Phelps (back) compete in the men's 200m individual medley during the London 2012 Olympic Games at Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports ORIG FILE ID: 20120801_rvr_usa_095.jpg

Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

So with that in mind here are 6 Lessons from US Swimmer Ryan Lochte to help with your health & fitness.

  1. Have Fun – I would guess Lochte might be a pretty fun guy. He’s always seems to have a smile on his face, he has a funky hairstyle and enjoys a night out celebrating. His decision making might need some work. The take-away lesson would be to enjoy the process. Choose workouts that you enjoy doing. Train with people you like. Eat healthy foods that you find appetizing. Life’s too short to not enjoy the process.
  2. The Company You Keep – This example has less to do with Lochte and more to do with the swimmers that were hanging out with on the night in question. You may have heard the expression that you are the average of the company you keep. If you’re a student you’ll want to hang around with the smarter kids. If you’re looking to grow your business you’ll want to connect with leaders in this area. And with health and fitness you’ll want to train with people who are stronger, faster and fitter than you are. Or at minimum you’ll want to associate with people who are committed to a healthy lifestyle.
  3. Be Honest – I’m not sure who Lochte thought he was fooling? There were so many contradictions in his story, that of his team-mates, video footage and others involved, that eventually he had to come clean. For ourselves it shouldn’t come as a surprise when goals aren’t achieved. Do we have 1-2 drinks when we go out? Or is it 3-4? Do we train intensely for 60 min 5 days a week? Or is closer to 38 min 3-4 times per week? In other words, do we overestimate the good things we do? And do we under-report or underestimate our indulgences?
  4. Late Nights – I remember a coach from my days in university and if we crossed paths with him before a night out on the town he would also say ‘remember, nothing good happens after midnight’. And we would all laugh at him and carry on for a night of celebrating. Looking back though, he was right. If I’m still up after midnight I’m not getting the best rest possible. I’m therefore not recovering from my last workout and won’t be ready for my next one. At this time of the night, I’m probably having an extra drink I don’t need. And if I get hungry at this time of the night it’s probably a craving for pizza, poutine or a greasy burger. The take-home message is be careful with late nights.
  5. Get Back on Track – What should you do after a poor night’s sleep, a cheat meal or a missed workout? Or in other words, after doing of the things that don’t bring us closer to our goal, what should we do next? The answer of course is to get back on track. Success is in the future. And your most important meal is your next meal. You most important workout is your next workout. Your most important sleep is your next sleep. We’re all going to make mistakes. There will be fun times to indulge and celebrate. Recognize these but then also get back on track as soon after as possible. You might feel tired. You might not have your best effort. But you’re resetting your focus and getting back on track. And in the long run this leads to success.
  6. Grow Up – We all make mistakes. And in my case, lots of them when I was younger. But after you stop being a teenager and enter adulthood there’s an expectation you grow and stop making stupid mistakes. 32 years old is a little bit old to be getting drunk, vandalizing property, falsifying police reports and paying off authorities so you can flee the country. Hopefully we’re not making mistakes as big as Lochte. But we can do better. One way that comes to mind is as our friend Dan John likes to say is to eat like an adult. Eat protein, veggies and healthy starches. Drink enough water. We know the value of exercise and fitness. We can look down our noses at younger generations that are glued to their tech devices and not out there playing. But do we take our own advice? Do we have act like kids not wanting to get to bed on time?

There’s an expression that success leaves clues. And on the other hand we can also learn from the mistakes of others. In this case we can learn from Mr. Lochte’s situation at the Rio Olympics. Going forward remember these points to help you through the times when you might get off track and away from your goal.





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