Friday, June 12, 2009

Work Hard, Be Nice

My husband, 15 year old son and I were visiting with a lady the other day. She asked our son what he thought was the most important thing to his parents. Without missing a beat, he pointed to his dad and said "Work Hard" and to me and said "Be Nice". She started laughing and showed us the book she was reading..."Work Hard. Be Nice" by Jay Matthews. What a funny coincidence! The book is about 2 inner city school teachers who have developed a very successful curriculum based on these two principles.

What is the type of person you admire most? My guess would be that it would be someone who works hard and is nice to others. Sure, there are lots of other attributes that make up a terrific person, but they probably all boil down to these two characteristics. We always wonder if our kids pay any attention to what we say and do. I learned that they do from my son's answer. He knows the values that are important to us...whether he puts those values into practice is another matter entirely!

So, what does this have to do with "getting lean?" I'm not really sure. I love the concept of "Work Hard, Be Nice" so much that I wondered if it would apply to EVERY aspect of our lives. Obviously, success in a healthy lifestyle requires hard work, but being nice? Or maybe these two concepts are independent of each other--you work hard at everything you do, and you are nice to everyone you encounter--and they don't always overlap. What do you think? Any ideas? I would welcome the insight.

After reading the comments, I just have to say "Duh" to myself! Thanks Julie and Shanna for pointing out that we should Be Nice to OURSELVES. Take the time to acknowledge and appreciate your hard work and also to take care of your tired, hard working body. Now get out there and Work Hard, Be Nice!


  1. ON first read - yes, I think work hard at your workouts and at your eating habits, but for me, and I would guess nice to yourself. Not to say not being nice to others, but in my world - I'm way too hard on myself and don't appreciate the accomplishments I've made, just always seeing what's wrong and what I should be doing/eating better. It never seems to be good enough. So I think - be nice to yourself - and realize that hard work is good and that we should be happy with where it takes us in this journey called life.

  2. i think everyone knows how to apply "work hard" to getting lean. now "be nice" is the part we often overlook, ignore,whatever you decide to call it. we don't stretch enough, foam roll, get enough sleep, ice, and most important take an EXTRA rest day when we need it.

    yes i feel like we should work our bodies hard but also being nice to them is just as important. otherwise we end up worn out, overtrained, injured...none of which are good. (or optimal for training).

  3. And this is why I asked for input! I had not even considered being nice to yourself--but in the case of fitness, how TRUE! And you have both hit on different aspects of being nice to yourself. Julie, to acknowledge the hard work and results and not beat yourself up. Shanna, to be kind to your body and give it the rest and rehab that it needs to keep performing.

    So...Work hard, be nice DOES carry over into fitness! I knew it was a great philosophy. Great thoughts ladies!