Working out, being a competitive athlete, being a gym rat or a fitness fanatic is easy for some people. Many of us, and I include myself in that group, find it easy to be motivated to do physical things, to be able to push ourselves to do things that are difficult or challenging. Some people, and again I include myself in this, may have issues of laziness or distraction in other parts of their life but when it comes to the gym it’s a different story.
Most of the time.
My history is a long one of competitive rugby, competitive powerlifting, Soccer, Diving, Swimming, Fitness Instruction and Personal Training. I am fortunate enough to have had exposure as a coach and trainer to many different disciplines including my second greatest athletic passion, gymnastics coaching. I call it my second passion because I put my own physical fitness journey ahead of everything else I do. I have to. If I didn’t then it would get swallowed up by other things and that would affect everything else in my life.
As I get older, people occasionally ask why I still work out like I do, why I don’t dial it back to walking a mile or two and doing some situps like most people my age. Well, that’s a easy one to answer, I don’t want to be like people my age. In fact, I refuse to be like most people I know my age and that is the point. My abject refusal to capitulate to my age is what drives me as much as anything. I know I won’t be able to bench 400lbs forever and with my back issues I know my squat will never go back over 500lbs but I am not about to step back from the edge of my ability for the sake of feeling comfortable.
This is the problem I have with most people however. For me, the times when it’s not easy are the times when I can prove what separates me from everyone else. Sometimes it’s easy, but sometimes it’s just a giant pain in the ass to have to do the work. The difference between a competitor and a recreational athlete is how they approach those times when it’s hard, when you just don’t feel like it, when you are in pain or have an injury. Those are the times that count.
I tell my kids all the time (not that they listen) that it’s not the 90% of the workout that matters, it’s the last 5 reps, the last 2 routines, the final push past the comfort zone that creates magnificence. Anyone can do the 90%, only the dedicated can get the last 10% done. I have a quote on my white board at gym that I feel reflects this perfectly and it’s the image above. Everybody likes to think of themselves as a beast or a high performing athlete but very few actually are willing to do what it takes to make the grade. I have high hopes for my girls this year that they will make it to level 6 for competition, but even though they know how far they need to go, unless I tell them to get to work, they are happy to stand around and go at their own pace. The normal pace, the pace of someone who is just there for fun, someone who doesn’t care about the competitive aspects of sport, someone who is average. I am not referring to the actual competitions where they will ultimately be judged, at their age they can’t really use that for motivation because they can’t create that urgency in their mind. However, I am referring to the internal competition, the contest with who you were last week, last month, last year. It’s the fuel inside a competitive person that makes them want to succeed, that makes them get on the bars when nobody wants to take a turn, that makes them ask for spot to do the skills they don’t like so they can get better at them, that makes them simply WANT to be better.
All day, every day.
I miss my competitive days, and I have to come up with new motivating factors all the time to fill that void, to give me something to focus on, something to achieve. I try to instil that in people all the time, from online forums to people I work with that they need something to drive them physically to do the work. But mostly I try to encourage that feeling in the young kids who can use it for the rest of their lives. We should all strive to be our best, but we should realize that the journey never ends, that there is always room for improvement and searching for those weaknesses and addressing them is bravery, it’s sacrifice, it’s uncomfortable and it’s the road to being the beast that resides in your heart.
|Wednesday, 10/22/2014||61||Clean only 135 – 60 reps|
|Thursday, 10/23/2014||62||Squats Oly to 135 Power to 185 120 reps|
|Saturday, 10/25/2014||63||Walk Cardio 40 min|
|Sunday, 10/26/2014||64||Walk run 40 min plus 200 reps 135 bench|
|Monday, 10/27/2014||65||DL day 135 x 1234567891087654321=100 plus pullups|
|Tuesday, 10/28/2014||66||Kettlebell clean and press for shoulder day. 75 reps|
|Wednesday, 10/29/2014||67||Clean Day|
Just a quick note on my rep count for Monday. I did deadlifts and pullups and in the process remembered these counts:
1-5 is 15 reps
1-10 is 55 reps
1-10-1 is 100 reps