YouTuber Chase Barron regularly creates content where he puts himself through various physical challenges, and in his latest video, he finally reveals the inspiration behind his constant drive: Super Mario. Barron explains that, despite what many parents might say, a childhood playing video games has helped instill in him a worldview which keeps him motivated in his personal fitness.
“Whether I’m working, training, or trying to live my best life, these philosophies are always running through my head,” he says.
“His main goal is to rescue a princess from a castle, and that’s what his actions always reflect. The princess-rescuing thing is a really big goal, and that’s going to take a long time to achieve.”
Barron explains how the structure of the game, where the overarching mission to save the princess is broken down into a series of smaller, increasingly difficult tasks, creates a “positive feedback loop” which holds many parallels to working out. “Every time we achieve something, no matter how small, we get a little hit of dopamine,” he says. The goals start easy, so we can get it, and then they get harder and harder over time. You have to keep putting in more work to achieve each goal… That’s why I knew I had to take my big, long-term goals, and break them down into smaller, manageable goals. That’s what smart trainers do with their fitness plans.”
Learning from failure
Anyone who has played a Mario game has fallen into one of those deadly pits, and had to start the level over. On the second attempt, you know that pit is there, and are able to avoid it. Barron approaches his fitness with a similar attitude to Mario when it comes to making mistakes and benefiting from the experience.
“There’s no guilt, there’s no shame, there’s no insecurity,” he says. “I get off track, I eat too much, I drink too much, I sleep too little… I say ‘whoops’, then I drink my water, do my morning mobility routine, go for my morning walk. Doing a morning workout hungover is not optimal, but now I know not to go drinking before leg day ever again. Everybody falls off the map, but we’re all still in the game.”
Don’t compare your progress to anybody else’s
When he started playing video games as a kid, and when he started lifting weights later on in life, Barron had the same mentality: “it’s me vs. me.” And he lives by this when it comes to tracking his own progress, resisting the impulse to obsess over how ripped celebrities and influencers look and adopt their fitness routines.
“You need to be setting goals, tracking your progress, and focusing on just being a little bit better today than you were yesterday,” he says. “Focus on you, focus on your plan, and when you screw up your plan, you can just say: whoops!”
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