Everyone starts somewhere. Each and every one of the professionals you see on TV, whether a professional hockey player or professional body builder; was once a little kid. Just because they’re successful now doesn’t mean they were always the best at what they do. One of my mistakes I made when I first starting lifting was comparing myself to the professionals on a daily basis. I wanted to be as big and as strong as them, and I wanted it to happen overnight. But that is just not realistic. I didn’t necessarily understand that it would take me years and not weeks or months to develop into what I want to become. Although it’s good to aim for results like your idol, it can be really discouraging to compare yourselves directly to them. Rather than comparing yourself to them, try comparing yourself to yourself. It seems so simple, but it can make all the difference. Nearly everyone has access to some sort of camera and I suggest taking advantage of it. Even a camera phone is all you really need. I didn’t start taking pictures until only recently and I really regret not taking some progress pictures earlier. I suggest taking pictures and measurements every two weeks. Maybe you won’t see the results in the first two weeks, but I’m willing to bet after a month or two you will start to notice a difference. It can be really tough to actually see if you’re improving or not and sometimes it seems like you’re maybe even moving backwards. By taking pictures and looking back at them, you will be able to see the real progress you’ve made which can help inspire you to keep pushing you forward. Jack Burdick is majoring in Neuroscience at the University of Minnesota and along with his weightlifting workouts, he competes in marathons and ultra-marathons (50 mile races) and is looking to earn a Cross-Fit title or to be recognized with The World’s Fittest Man title which is reserved for an ultra endurance power athlete.