Never Give Up - AKA No Participation Awards For Life
Over the weekend I competed in a powerlifting meet where I injured myself while squatting. After the injury I decided to continue with the meet even though everyone was arguing with me otherwise. In fact I didn’t have much of a rebuttal as I was lying on floor with a bag of ice over me knowing there was no real point to continuing on. My bench press would suck without any leg drive and my deadlift and total were shot for sure. There was no real evident reason for completing the meet. However I knew I had to get up and finish the meet even if I didn’t know why. In retrospect there was indeed reason behind deep desire to continue on. It comes down to living your life with discipline, and the results you achieve by doing so.
Let’s take this story back a couple months. In September I was competing, and just as in this meet my goal was in chasing the All-Time Raw Squat and All-Time Raw Total records. The day of the meet was one of the first few days of a very nasty flu followed by viral infection that ended up taking me down for well over a month, including missing a week of work as well as tons of gym time. Due to the combination of the disappointment in missing my squat goals and the sickness I ended up pulling out of the meet. Ever since I made that decision I have been disgusted with myself and the weakness of character I displayed. Sure I spent the next several days in bed sick, but there are always excuses. I showed weakness yet again this weekend when I gave up on my weight cut down to the 220 class and ended up coming in as a light 242. It may have been an aggressive cut, and by the time I made the call to call it quits it was the right call. But I was the one who didn’t set myself up correctly, or allow myself enough time to complete the cut. Once again I didn’t follow through, and once again I was disgusted with myself.
It is simply not ok to become comfortable with not following through on commitments, just like it’s not ok to become comfortable with loosing. You don’t want to become that guy that always gets walked on. The guy that loosing just becomes a way of life and is the norm you come to expect. In that same thread you certainly don’t ever want it to become the norm to not follow through on what you commit to. I have established my success in my life, in the gym, on the platform, and in business around doing what I say I’m going to do. I don’t care if I can’t walk. It’s not time to lie down and let this become the pattern I live my life by. I am not continuing down this slippery slope. It’s time to drag myself over to the bench press and say “Fuck You!” to everyone telling me to lie back on the floor with my garbage bag of ice. Let’s get this on. I may not be winning, breaking records, or even setting PR’s, but God Damn it I’m finishing what I started!!!
Living your life with discipline creates success. You may not see it every day, but by making your actions becomes practice you don’t even have to think about it when the hard decisions in life approach you. In fact you may not even recognize that you actually even had a decision in the matter. When you’re knocked down, the sooner you get back up the less it will affect you in the future.
Here is another video from a meet several years ago. In this meet I dropped 630lbs on my face with a shirted bench press. Everyone was ready to run me to the hospital, and just like this time it was a given that I wasn’t finishing the meet. And just like this time I had to piss and moan and get confrontational to say, “No, not only am I continuing on I want my third attempt, AND I want the weight increased to 650lbs!” You’ll even notice that the 650 wasn’t filmed as no one would turn my camera on for me. My wrist and elbow may have bothered me for close to a year after that meet; but I’ll tell you what didn’t bother me, and that was fear of the bar. After taking a dump like I did at that meet I needed to get back under that bar and immediately WON. Otherwise I would have let fear and doubt get the best of me every time I got under the bar for who knows how long.
You don’t make difficult or hard calls out of the blue, you make them out of practice. And practice comes from discipline of action. To be a champion, to achieve what you are fully capable of, you must have and display that discipline every day. That’s the discipline to follow through on your commitments, the discipline to continuously push yourself and see what you have the potential of achieving.
There is no ‘Participation Award For Life’ so don’t be that man that becomes comfortable with not winning, not following through, and not seeing what you are capable of.