Wednesday, August 11, 2010

When My Deadlift is Not Good Enough

There is something to be said about striving to be better than something or someone else. There is something to be said when trying to shed your former self day after day. Every day is another opportunity to better yesterday and keep thriving towards your goal. 

 When I purchased my first weight set in 1990, I didn't know what I was getting myself into. My sister was 18 and had possession of our father's car. She brought me to the department store where I purchased 2 boxes of DP cement filled weights. I think it came out to 160 pounds worth of weight. At the time, I purchased them because I wanted to build some "quick" muscle for a fight I was going to have with a bully. I lifted for 3 days and on the fourth day when the bully messed with me, I didn't walk away. I was confident in my physical capabilities after just 3 days of bench presses, barbell curls, shoulder presses, bent-over rows, and squats. 

Did I get huge? 

Nope...but I gained something that would inevitably define me as a person. I gained confidence and a willingness to "throw myself" into situations that would challenge me physically and mentally. The bully never threw a punch. It certainly wasn't muscle or veins that scared him, it was the lights of my eyes and the intensity seen in them that made him freeze time for a mere 5 seconds. In those 5 seconds, he saw a kid who was "hungry" to test his new found confidence. And in those 5 seconds he made a choice. And he chose to leave this one alone.

Weight-lifting has given me as much as I have given to it. Everyday, I walk into the gym and I see the same iron and steel within the same dust-covering corners. Everyday, I lift as much as I can to better myself from the session before. Some days I win, some days I fail. Somedays I ache and other days I am elated. Each time I reach a personal best, I become fixated on making that best, even better. Why? Because it is proof to me that I can and still have the ability to improve myself. I still have the "choice" to be better. I can choose to walk in everyday and do nothing more than what I did yesterday. I can choose to sit and blindly go through movements and drills without reaching deep within myself and choosing to try harder---just enough to get me by. But that is not me. Its not the 15 year old kid that started lifting weights simply because he knew he was going to need more confidence in himself to face a bully bigger, taller, and older. Today, I think I have logged in more hours weight-lifting than most people spend talking about it. After 2 surgeries, countless injuries, and many a gyms...I still thrive to be better:

I still have a long way to go. But I really don't have a destination. This "crazy stuff that I do" (what my Italian mother calls it), is what I do to keep myself in control of my choices, in control of myself. Its the confidence replenisher that I use day in and day out. Its the very machine that gets me through life and if you treat it right, it gives you all that you ask in return. 

I have made a career of training individuals to give as much as they can to bettering themselves. I teach them how to look inside of themselves and shed themselves of yesterday's self. It takes time...but its an awesome journey and one that rewards you while doing it...not when you reach the end.

1 comment:

  1. Honest introspection, John. I admire your attitude and determination. Success is already yours.

    Rick Kaselj


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