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Owner of Nordic Total Fitness

As usual, something came along that inspired me to write something for this week’s column. Usually, it’s one of the gym members at Nordic Total Fitness who has done something incredible, but this time it was a quote from Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. 

As you have probably figured out by now if you have entered the gym or from my Facebook posts, "The Rock" is pretty much my idol. The guy has built himself up from nothing to a college football player, then to a professional wrestler, and is now the biggest action star in Hollywood, if not the biggest star of the them all.

Back in the 1990s, Rock had a dream of being an NFL football player. He had played at "The U," which, of course, is the University of Miami. He even sacked a Heisman winner, Charlie Ward, one time. But, things didn’t work out and he tried playing in Canada. 

Sadly, he blew out his knee and his football dream died. He had to move back in with his parents and had a choice to make. In fact, he was down to $7 — yes, the man who is now making $20 million a film was down to his last $7 — so he had a choice to make. He could either accept being broke or he could do something about it. The rest, as they say, is history.

The quote I read today from The Rock went a little something like this: "Success isn’t overnight. It’s when every day you get a little better than the day before. It all adds up."  

This is from a guy who gets up at 4 a.m. daily to do a workout I couldn’t even imagine, and then spends 12 hours a day, or more, filming a movie. The guy puts in the work and is probably one of the biggest success stories of all time.

The quote not only made me think of myself and how far I’ve come, but about my gym members and the success that they have had in here when they don’t think they have done that much. It will take time, and even if you only go up 5 pounds on a bench press, or go 30 more seconds on Jacob’s Ladder, it’s an improvement and adds up over time.

I had a person join up the other day who was concerned about their weight and stated that they couldn’t even walk down the hallway without losing their breath. I told this person to start out doing what they could on the treadmill, take a break when they got tired, and then try again. I told the person when they were done with their workout to try to go a little bit longer each time and before they know it, that hallway will be a distant memory. 

That person came in the next day and was able to do better than they did the first day. That’s what it’s all about. The person didn’t finish a marathon on their first day, or even their second, but they did better the second day than they did the first. That is success. This person is gaining confidence and is believing they can do better and better, and it started by just going a little farther than they did the day before.

This quote can not only help with fitness, but with everyday life as well. No matter what challenges you have faced or continue to face, just try and do a little bit better each day and you will eventually get past it. 

So many people deal with depression, weight issues and more, and they don’t realize that if they just try to "get a little better than the day before" they will be a success in the long run. Very few people can climb a mountain in one day. But if you just keep pushing, keep climbing, you will eventually get over that mountain. Take each day, each workout, each meal one step at a time and try to do a little better than the day before and you will start to notice what you have accomplished, if you are willing to look at the overall goal instead of what’s right in front of you.

So, success doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a long time to get there. But with motivation and determination, you can reach your goal, whatever it may be. Just challenge yourself daily, and be better than you were the day before. Don’t worry about the end goal, because you can’t get there without doing the steps that lead to it first. 

If a man can go from having $7 in his pocket to being a worldwide superstar, can’t you be a success, as well?

Sam Erwin is owner of Nordic Total Fitness in Paxton. Have a question or topic about health or fitness? Email

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