You Can’t Start Earlier Than NOW…

Adam Farrah doing a Kettlebell Get Up

“Make Haste Slowly”

-Stuart McRobert in “Beyond Brawn”

It’s a funny thing when you look back on the last year or so of your life and say: “What the fuck was I thinking?”

The last year has been a blur of stress and activity. At least half of that stress was the final “clean up” of my old life which included some legal, financial and real-estate nightmares that needed to be put to rest. They’re done, but the process wasn’t easy.

And I’m still pretty tired from all of it.

Last year was a time when I had to make a mess, stress myself to the max and work my ass off. I had to put my positive goals and passions on hold or slow down on them significantly so I could create a safe and clear place – a foundation – to build those positive goals and passions upon now.

I had to let go of a lot of things this past year. Some were things I wanted to let go of – or couldn’t wait to – and some were things I wanted to keep or would have kept if things could have been different.

An Empty Cup…

There’s that old Zen saying about having to “empty your cup” before you can take in new knowledge. In the same way, my life’s cup is pretty empty now. I’ve made room for all the new, positive and wonderful things I wanted and envisioned for years. And here we are – ready to start.

Start. Fuck.

That’s the downside of spending a few years primarily putting out fires and cleaning up messes. No matter how positive REMOVING those things from your life can be, the end result when they’re gone is a blank slate. A blank slate at best. Back to zero.

I worked hard. And now, I get to start working hard. Fuck.

I get to start training seriously and intensely again. I get to start really focusing on eating and living Paleo 100% again. I get to start working toward making this blog one of the best in the World.

I get to start.

All the working and stressing over practical stuff like houses and moving and paperwork didn’t help my training. It helped create a nice, empty space to START hard training in, but it didn’t leave me better trained today than I was two years ago. If anything, I’m in worse shape today as I write this…

Let the Self-Talk Begin…

This is where I start to wonder why I didn’t do things differently. Train more, have a few less NorCal Margaritas, be Paleo 99% instead of 89% or 79%.

Couldn’t I have handled the last two years better? Couldn’t I have moved a little more? Couldn’t I have been a little more graceful and composed under pressure. Couldn’t I have done better?

I could have made better decisions.

If I really let this spin I can get furious. Furious about the time I wasted. Furious that I’m not someplace other than where I am right now. Furious about all the things I did and all the things I didn’t do or could have done differently. Furious about all the sacrifices I made that were either in service of someone else’s needs or just plain bad judgement on my part.

I could be someplace better.

Now Is All There Is…

I’m a huge fan of Eckhart Tolle’s book “The Power of Now.” That book changed my life back in 2010 and was actually the catalyst for this whole journey – the blog, the book, the move back to Old Saybrook, the daily meditation and yoga. It inspired me to follow my passions and live to be happy NOW. Not at some imaginary end-point in a future now. Now.

“The Power of Now” convinced me to live in the present and experience happy feelings there. It taught me to do what I love now – as opposed to suffering in the present to create a happy future that might never materialize.

That’s always an imaginary future.

All we ever truly have is now. We take action now, we’re happy now or we’re miserable now. Anything can only happen now.

Again today, the message of “The Power of Now” rings true for me: Stop resisting what is.

This is where I am and, for better or worse, the decisions I made brought me here. I could have made better decisions, but I made my decisions with the best information and judgement I had available at the time.

I did the best I could – as poor as that might have been at times.

But, now is all there is. Nothing I can do will change one single thing about the past. The only way possible is forward.

My life at this moment is all there is. I can relive the past in my head as often as I want. I can fantasize about an imaginary or ideal future all I want. I can wish and demand things be different.

They are not different and they won’t be different. Ever.

Some days at CrossFit Ironworks I have the slowest time on the board. Sometimes a few of the supermoms are training with more weight than I am.

And, yes, this is massively frustrating to me.

But this is where my life is at this moment. No amount of resisting what is or anger with myself or mental masturbation will change any of it. In fact, doing anything other than accepting where I am at this moment – the good, the bad and the ugly – will only delay getting to the better place I want to get to.

Start Where You Are…

Everything worth doing takes time. I never truly realized this before – as silly as that sounds.

You can’t become fit in a week. You can’t loose 50lbs in a month. You can’t get healthy and reverse a lifetime of inactivity and bad food in a summer. You can’t build a social circle in an evening. You can’t build a successful blog in a day. You can’t write a book in a week.

You just can’t.

It’s not even that most anything is that hard to do. What’s hard is making the decisions every single day to do the easy things that lead you to your ultimate goals – over time.

No matter how much time you’ve wasted in your life the only thing you can do is decide – right now – not to waste any more.

“I’ll be back baby, I just gotta beat this clock
Fuck this clock, I’ma make ’em eat this watch
Don’t believe me watch, I’ma win this race
And I’ma come back and rub my shit in your face, Bitch.
I found my niche, you gonna hear my voice
‘Til you sick of it, you ain’t gonna have a choice…”


Just Start…

If nothing else, this time of working to get “back to zero” has made me a much better coach. I can now deeply understand what it feels like to not be where you want to be in some areas of your life and not be able to get there in an instant.

True success is built slowly, one little bit at a time. The little successes and good decisions add up over time. I’ve seen it in my own life and I’ve seen it in those I’ve coached.

The only starting point you have is now, though.

Decide where you want to go and then get moving.

Just start. Don’t wait. Start. No matter how small a start. Start.

Get to work.



P.S – I wrote a post a few years ago that complements this one pretty well. Here it is: Is it Time for An Intervention?

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About Adam

Adam Farrah has been studying and experimenting with Paleo approaches to health, eating, living and moving since 2005. Connect with Adam on Google+



  2. Been following you for a couple of years now (at the suggestion of a mutual friend of ours). Have your paleo e-book. I missed your blog when you didn’t post. I think you inspire others as you are very generous is sharing your troubles; makes you relatable. Nice post, Adam.

    That said, I want to slap you upside the head right now though. (in a nice way) ‘Wherever you go — there you are.’ You mentioned something about where you were now, is where you need to start. Great. But then you end up comparing your WOD performance to others. Even Supermoms. [No — I am not going to be the women’s libber that takes offense to that comment as I am sure you didn’t intend for it to sound that way (and you might get a few who do take it that way!)] As far as I know, unless you are in the Games, the only person YOU are competing with is YOURSELF. No one else is in that box. No one else is doing that WOD….. the only person you should be comparing yourself to is ‘YOU’ — the person that did the WOD the day before. YOU.

    Wherever you go, there you are. :-)

    I eagerly await to read about your next chapter and next inspiration. You have inspired so many in a few short years and I hope you continue to inspire yourself.

    • Thanks, Kathleen! I missed when I didn’t post too :-(

      Thanks for proving to me that I’m missed if I don’t show up. It’s one of Seth Godin’s axioms for determining whether or not your work matters. Your work matters if you’d be missed if you didn’t show up. Thank you! :-)

      As far as the “supermom” comment – any male reading this will understand what that feels like. If you don’t have a male ego, it’s less understandable and might even sound sexist. It’s really not.

      But, yeah, I can TRY not to compare myself to those training around me all I want, but sometimes it happens in an unguarded moment. Honestly, I kind of “get into it.” Having my ego beaten up I mean. I just let it happen and keep coming back over and over again. I try to smile at my ego when I can. When I can’t, I write :-)


  3. From the ‘everything worth doing takes time’ department, I usually tell people something along the lines of, “You can’t undo in a few weeks or months what you’ve spent a lifetime doing to yourself.” When I lost 75#, it took me 2 years. YEARS.

  4. Present. Present. Present. You know what I think….let the past go. Looks like you’re getting there. 😉


  5. empty cup indeed.

  6. Thanks, it’s nice that your share where you are at and how you move forward from there. I have been where you are and am right now also reconciled to the fact that all I can do is do my best right now…and that acceptance feels really good and is actually very positive. Have a great day.

  7. Ha! All I can say is that I could have written that post. Right there with ya. Start. Fuck.

  8. Great post. No time like now to get started. It is so easy to keep putting stuff off. This post really motivated me. Good luck as you go forward.

  9. The f word and eminem….just my cup of tea!!!!! LOL BTW I am one supermom who will not outdo you at xfit!!! NO worries there! This is a great post!! Good luck “starting”!


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