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.


What did you think of this article?

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  • 12/3/2012 9:12 AM Steve Denison wrote:
    Great post Chris!
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  • 12/3/2012 9:29 AM Brian Abers wrote:
    Well written and a solid philosophy. Quitting only teaches us how to quit, and goals should not come easy, because they are NOT supposed to be easy.
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  • 12/3/2012 2:51 PM Jay W wrote:
    Dude. Yes!!! Funny that I just read this minutes after having to write a very long email to upper management about why it's not ok to make decisions for me like I'm not in the room. People will treat you exactly how you let them. It was hard to write because it's confrontational and very blunt about some past mistakes. But it has to be done. Because getting comfortable with mediocrity sucks the life out of a person. One of the reasons I actually listen to you is because I think you truly understand how important attitude is and how to never get locked into a singular perspective. There are a lot of ways to look at what happens to us. But finding the most constructive one is a gift. You have that in spades. (Also, the last time someone told me I was being too hard on myself I responded, "the fuck I am, I'm not being hard enough on myself or else I wouldn't feel like this!")
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  • 12/4/2012 4:39 PM Alex wrote:
    This article just made me set a new goal which I have teetered on for years, but now it is set in stone. You are a true inspiration, Chris.
    Reply to this
  • 12/5/2012 9:11 PM Brandon Senn wrote:
    Awesome post Chris
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  • 12/7/2012 7:32 AM Samsons Pro Gym wrote:
    What an inspiration, and admire your philosophy. Full Respect!
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  • 12/31/2012 10:31 AM Seth wrote:
    Awesome message going into the New Year! The biggest regrets I've ever had in gymnastics or professional stunt skating were the few times I got injured and DIDN'T go back to show the apparatus who's boss.

    Thanks for the inspiration!
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  • 1/13/2013 10:40 PM Zuupdesign wrote:
    Hello, I would like to subscribe for this website to obtain most up-to-date updates, thus where can i do it please assist.
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  • 1/17/2013 9:51 AM TITLE Boxing Club wrote:
    I agree, I feel like a failure if I didn't complete or follow through on something I set out to do. Good post!
    Reply to this
  • 1/21/2013 2:24 AM Doug wrote:
    Wise words, and something I try to live by myself. I've seen all to many people give up over the years and expect something from it. I'm actually sharing this post with a few of them to try and get them out of their rut - I don't think I could say anything here any better myself. Well written!
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  • 1/21/2013 2:58 AM webpagefx wrote:
    By reading this post, I learned a very important thing i.e. we should never give up. You have indeed shared your life experience very well. I am really impressed by your hardwork and sincerity.
    Reply to this
  • 1/24/2013 11:03 AM DeeDee wrote:
    Excellent articles. I so agree with it is not alright to become comfortable losing. You have to have a certain drive to continue with anything and who the heck wants the drive to lose?!
    Reply to this
  • 2/19/2013 12:03 PM Karim wrote:
    This post puts the champion mindset in a nutshell!
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  • 2/28/2013 8:32 PM Stacey Jennings wrote:
    Great post! I totally agree with you, no pain no gain! I have adapted your mentality for my next workout and I know this will work! Great ideas and thanks for the advice. Cheers!
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  • 3/4/2013 6:50 AM MikeH wrote:
    Hey Chris,

    Great philosophy. In many ways, I agree with Jay W. Sometimes I hear people talk about how hard it is to do whatever it is they're trying to do and all I hear from them is negative reasons they're using to give themselves permission to not put in the effort required to reach a certain goal. Attitude is everything and without a positive attitude we (they) tend to sit on our complacency and yell "it's not fair" while grabbing another bag of potato chips.
    Reply to this
  • 3/7/2013 6:55 AM Brandon Elijah Scott wrote:
    Great blog mate!
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  • 3/7/2013 3:03 PM Jeff wrote:
    That last video of bench press is crazy as hell, I don't feel so strong anymore.
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  • 3/17/2013 10:20 AM Jessica wrote:
    I totally agree with you. It's all about perseverance. Never Never Never quit. Focus on your goal and accept failures as lessons to achieve success. Get inspirational post. Time for me to get to work.
    Reply to this
  • 3/23/2013 12:01 PM Joe wrote:
    Very inspirational, hope you heal fast and never give up!
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