As I was opening CrossFit Crusade, I spent a lot of time obsessing over my current lifestyle and the things I needed to change to make opening a gym possible. Things that were once so easy and fluid, like managing the cost of living, slowly became a burden. Sammie and I realized very early on that our old day-to-day life would not be sustainable on the path of entrepreneurship. Whether it was scheduling business meetings, navigating income changes, or creating marketing content, our lives were moving at a rapid pace, and we needed to make changes along with it to get our bearings and feel confident in our path forward.

If you’ve known me for a while, you might remember that I used to drive a Tesla Model 3. I LOVED that car. I purchased it in 2020 when I was working my ass off doing personal training and coaching CrossFit. During that time, I coached almost 12 hours a day, five days a week. Having a nice vehicle felt good. It helped me stay motivated during my long days, and I felt confident about my work. However, those feelings quickly changed when the time came to start a business. What once was a sense of pride and accomplishment now felt like a burden and a stressor. Monthly payments, charging costs, and, on top of that, insurance! The question, “How can we make these costs work with the rising costs of our business?” became front of mind daily. Something had to give.

To cut down on our monthly cost of living, we decided to trade in the Tesla. This was tough because I had worked so hard to get this vehicle, just to have to say goodbye three years later! As I navigated car-selling sites and the Facebook marketplace, the sense of loss I felt slowly morphed into a sense of accomplishment. Once I set my ego aside and understood what needed to be done, I knew I was making the right decision for my peace of mind and future success.

After receiving an offer from a dealer, I walked into the dealership knowing two things: I needed a truck to haul equipment and as low of a monthly payment as possible. I ended up trading in my Tesla Model 3 and drove away in a 2007 Chevy Silverado 1500. The young man who helped me was surprised. Not every day, someone comes into the dealer wanting to “downgrade” with a smile! As I got to know this salesman, we discussed our plans for the future. I told him about the gym, and he told me about his goal of becoming self-sufficient and starting his own business.

During our conversation, he said, “You seem like the kind of guy who eats the frog first.” Puzzled, I asked him to explain. He said, “If you were at a five-course dinner party, and you were given a live frog to eat sometime during that dinner, when would you eat it? Before, during, or after the meal?” I immediately told him I would eat the frog first. No brainer. I’m going to need a palate cleanser after that damn frog! “Exactly,” he said, “You are coming in here making sacrifices now to move yourself forward in the long run.” This is what I needed to hear.

If you wait until after the appetizer and the first few courses to eat the frog, you can be sure it will make the meal pretty unpleasant. If you wait until the end after dessert to eat the frog, that will be even worse. Because now you have nothing to get the taste of frog out of your mouth! This mirrors procrastination in our lives. If we wait to get up and work out, make that tough decision, eliminate the clutter, or have that conversation we’ve been putting off, we only make things harder on ourselves.

At CrossFit Crusade, we are a space for you to make adjustments to improve your life. Coming in, eating that frog, and knocking out your workout first will make the rest of your day seem like a breeze. The annoying phone calls, stress with kids, and whatever else comes your way will feel easy compared to the frogs we eat in the gym.

So the next time you have a hard decision, ask yourself, “Am I putting off eating the frog in favor of enjoying my dinner?” The decisions we make to do hard things will be the decisions that matter in the long run.

P.S. I can’t decide which would be more difficult, doing Fran first thing in the morning or actually eating a live frog. Probably Fran, which is exactly why I will force myself to do it.