Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Me Today vs. Me Yesterday


So many of us "float" through each day. We don't look at each day as a tool to better ourselves. Each day is an opportunity to discover, challenge, or learn something new. We become to busy or caught up in the mundane. We become infatuated with others' ideology or perception of the world. We spend less time on self-betterment and spend more time as amateur paparazzi. Today, I only compare myself to one other person: Me....yesterday. I suggest you begin to do the same. 
I remember being a young guy in the gym. Remembering walking in at 5 o'clock on a Monday night and "feeling" the anticipation in the air. Back then, we had to sign in--way before there were key tag scanners--upon greeting the main desk staffer, I would walk onto the gym floor and everyone's eyes would always check out who was entering. I was nothing to look at, but every person in the gym (back then it was mostly males), the object was scouting your competition. You can feel the tension in the air. Loud grunts, yelling, and iron banging filled the atmosphere. This is at a time when it was okay to make loud noises, deadlift, and drop weights without getting any double stares.

Fellow lifters greeted each-other, others made sure you noticed the amount of weight they had loaded on a bar. The art of punking or psyching each-other out was so entertaining back then. Don't get me wrong there is still some punking out when you walk into a commercial or school-type fitness facility. Comparatively speaking, its the animal kingdom. Everyone goes in hoping to be the lion, and you have your entire workout to prove it. But many fall short and leave the gym as the antelope.

There have been plenty of times I have left the gym feeling like the antelope. There have been other scarce  times in my memory, where I left feeling like a lion. Those days are far and in between and looking back,  the competition wasn't really anything to be cognizant of.
I believe that some people have a sense of competitiveness in them. Some people--definitely not all--have a fire in them that seeks out challenges to overcome. They can range from lifting weights, pedaling faster in a Spinning class; or running faster to hit a new time. Some challenges can be made fun and enjoyable with friendly competition. While other challenges are more internal in each of us. Some of us use exercise as a way to unwind from the stresses of each day, or to let out steam from life's unforeseen obstacles. Some use the gym as a means of unleashing aggression in a safe, positive way. Those motives are internal and not really meant for everyone to understand. Demons comes in everyone's lives that are dealt with in unique ways. Some release anger, frustration, and hurt by slapping more plates on a bar and setting a new personal record. The quiet ones always scare me. I don't blink an eye when I walk by a huge meat-head with a tank top bought at "Baby Gap" and a bandanna. I get scared of the quiet guys that walk the gym floor keeping their gaze down and bending bars without a peep. Those guys are fighting a war and I'm going to let them do their thing.

Through the years I have matured in the gym. When you befriend countless fellow lifters, spot several others, and fail a few attempts--you begin to understand that you are just a lonely leaf blowing through a windstorm of epic proportions. You begin to understand that as the body ages, you have to deal with things differently than you would have 10-15 years ago. You make adjustments, planned rest days, and modified workouts. You work around injuries, deal with personal matters, and manage time differently. There was a time when I'd walk into a gym and want to out-lift every person in there. Today, I only want to out-train one person: Me. As I mature, I realize that there is only one person that can keep me motivated and committed to the iron game. Its not the group of teens standing at the squat rack. Its not the girls bouncing on the ellipticals. Its not the guys hogging all the plates at the bench press. Today its about me and my investment in my life.

3 comments:

  1. Powerful!
    "Today, I only want to out-train one person: Me."
    THAT is the essence of the competitive spirit.

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  2. Thanks for checking out guys! I appreciate you reading it and glad that you can relate!

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