(If you haven't done so, read Awakened to Discipline, part 1)
So, I was fat. I was discouraged. I was defeated before I ever thought to start anything. You know the story.
I used to love to play soccer. I played on our local competitive team, but I have asthma. I was fat. Although I was tactically strong, I couldn't run a lap. I played defense ( and was pretty effective), but I mostly sat out. They didn't invite me back.
Another personal failure. But it helped motivate me.
One day, my brother brought home an unusual video:
Soccerobics, hosted by Yale's soccer coach, Hubert Vogelsinger.
The idea? A soccer-related workout. Every exercse involves the ball in some way. Vogelsinger had this crazy idea, that if one exercises with the ball, one becomes very familiar with one's body and one's relationship with the ball. Vogelsinger's system is as dedicated to mental training as it is to physical rigor. He takes it as seriously as any martial art.
And it is art, to see Vogelsinger with a soccerball. Strength, skill, focus, and beauty.
Eight months later, I had lost nearly all my extra fat. I have kept it off for six years. During that time, I learned discipline. The same kind of focus that I employed to control the ball completely, I employed to keep from overeating. I learned nutrition. I became the health nut of my family and started to ride and race bicycles.
I still do soccerobics from time to time. It's good to feel the control and precision again. But my body was not the main beneficiary of Vogelsinger's expertise. I realized for the first time in my life, that I could actually accomplish things if I worked hard. This was a completely new way to view the world. It changed my life.
Through Vogelsinger, I learned to discipline my mind, my body, and my life to great effect. Although I tend to be a scatterbrained dreamer-type, I have become very disciplined.
I still struggle to find balance, or a sweet spot in many areas, but I am thankful. I wouldn't be who I am without his superb soccer training system.