“Make sure your worst enemy doesn’t live between your own two ears.” – Laird Hamilton (Professional Surfer)
When you’re in the middle of your workout and you drop the bar, come off the rig, or kick off the wall because you just can’t do any more – are you really done? Have you reached your absolute limit – or is that voice in your brain ” STOP YOU CAN’T” when in fact you CAN!
Here is a quick story about me to help facilitate what this blog is about. I had the privilege of wrestling in college at Minnesota State University. I will never forget showing up my third week and pulling my coach aside and saying “I don’t think I belong here.” I told him that no matter what I did everyone out lifted me and everyone out worked me. He asked me if I was sure that I was giving it everything and I said that I thought I was giving it my all. ( notice I said thought) that mind can be a terrible thing at times. So my coach said ok meet me after practice and we can work on some things.
So after practice we met and he began putting me through some workouts that progressively got worse. The final workout was to put the 175 lb dummy used to practice our throws with on my back and go up and down the arena stairs all the way around…twice. About halfway through this I realized there is no way I am going to get this done so I sat down. This was a bad idea. Coach came up and said “what are you doing” – I told him I was done I can’t finish.
He was quick to point out that there is someone out there working harder than me. That didn’t sit well so I immediately got up and began working again. After the first round I remembered I had to go again and sat down again. Coach came up again and said “Wood! What are you doing?” I looked up in defeat and said “coach I am done, there is no way I can go around again.” Coach didn’t say another word he just walked to his office.
After about 20 minutes lying on the floor wondering what would be better, cutting my legs off or death I realized coach really wasn’t coming back. Now I wish I could tell you I got up and finished like a true athlete, but I didn’t. Instead I walked into his office and asked why he left. And what he told me has truly helped me become the person and athlete I am today. He said ” you’re right maybe you shouldn’t be here. I gave up trying to push you because you gave up.”
“Did you get up and pick up the dummy to walk down here?” Me “yes” ” so what you’re saying is you had enough energy to walk down the stairs with the dummy to quit, but don’t have it in you to finish what you started.” At that moment I realized that I did have enough in me to finish I just gave up because I thought I couldn’t. I kept looking at the big picture instead of taking it one step at a time. Ever since then I always think back to that when not only training gets tough but when life gets tough.
As coaches our job is to teach, motivate and inspire you to do better than yesterday. We are not there to babysit you but to help you be a better version of you. When Sarah, Casey, Shelby, Tim, myself, or any other coach comes up to you and says don’t give up – you have three more in you, or put 10 more pounds in the bar – it’s not because we are trying to kill you it’s because we see your potential.
We are all human we all have that voice that says ” yeah I don’t think I can lets just stop.” But as humans we have this ability to push past that and make our bodies and minds adapt to what we are doing and not only train our bodies but our minds. (Whoa that was deep). I know that to many of you this is all just to come in and be healthy, but so much of what we do in the gym translates to our personal lives. This is functional fitness for body and mind and I can’t say that enough. If everyone just takes a minute and thinks back to when you started what are some of the things you thought you would never do? Heavy lifts, pull ups, muscle ups, losing a certain amount of weight .
How many of you just said out load ” wow I can do more than I initially thought.” We as coaches get to see this progress first hand and believe it or not you all impress us everyday with what you accomplish. My favorite part of my job is coming in everyday and seeing the progress all of you have made and to help you push past your limits. Just remember when you are dead tired and you want to stop because you are done, are you really done? I’ll end it with this quote from Henry Ford
” Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.”