You're crazy! Overcoming others' negativity in training

Will Cleveland takes a quick break from training during the Fit Nation team's midway trip to Florida.

Story highlights

  • People often blurt out negative comments without realizing their effect
  • Will Cleveland simply uses the negativity to motivate himself
  • Follow Cleveland and the CNN Fit Nation group as they train for a triathlon
"Whoa. How are you going to pull that off?"
"That sounds really difficult!"
"You're a crazy person!"
These are the types of comments I've heard from friends and family when I tell them about the CNN Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge. People often blurt out these phrases without thinking, unaware of the negative effect they're having on my decision to better myself.
I hope my son Jaedon will one day look back on my triathlon journey and be compelled to accomplish his own dreams and ambitions. Yet I fear similar phrases from well-intentioned loved ones might discourage him.
Fit Nation team keeps eyes on the prize
Fit Nation team keeps eyes on the prize


    Fit Nation team keeps eyes on the prize


Fit Nation team keeps eyes on the prize 01:53
So how do I teach him to take these remarks with a grain of salt? People tend to blurt out these comments because they don't know what they are capable of. With these negative words, they are just projecting their own fears.
It's difficult to listen to someone else's doubts as you deal with your own. The stresses and hassles of everyday life -- from work to child care to household chores -- will often distract someone from their goals.
But I beg you: don't let anything be the excuse that stops you from what you want to do. It is far too easy to find a reason to say something is not possible!
It does seem easier to get to bed at a reasonable time if I avoid a scheduled workout. Or maybe there's extreme weather that I wait to ease up.... for an entire day. Life events will diminish your motivation if you let them.
The last thing I want to hear from my own or anyone else's mouth is "It's too THIS so now I can't THAT." Or, "I feel this way so it's a bad day to try." Or "It won't work because this method is too blah, blah, blah."
Those are all excuses to fall short of your dreams. The time is now to let go of the things that are holding you back and keeping you from achieving what you want.
My Fit Nation teammates and I have empowered ourselves by letting go of any negativity that may intentionally or unintentionally be given through thoughtless comments. Several have told me that they even had to write off certain "friends" because they were constantly being pulled down. I am proud of them for that!
Now when I sense a bit of doubt in anyone's voice, I just let it replay over and over in my head all the way to the finish line. I simply use the negativity as motivation to push harder.
See you in Malibu!