The big difference

 

Here are two pictures from my workout yesterday. There is huge difference between the two. The difference may escape the eye, but it is there.
The difference is fear, and success. The first photo is full of fear; apprehension; fight or flight; doubt; jitters.
It’s about sitting on the bench, looking at the bar. The warm up, bench press work, and practice squats are all done. Everything has gone as planned so far, but this is 10lbs heavier than monday. Will I hit parallel? Should I wear a belt this time to help out? Will I get stuck in the hole? Will I get hurt? Why am I doing this? Can I make it to 20 reps, or will this beat me? There is even a moment where putting this one set off till tomorrow seems like the best thing to do. The “fight or flight” mechanism kicks in, and for a moment you even feel weaker than before.
But the moment you grip the bar, body tensed, and the weight set across the back, everything, including time, stops. You have done this before and have trained up for this moment. The choice to “fight” is made, and all your energies become focused.

The second picture is totally different. It is full of relief, accomplishment (or failure) and new-found knowledge.
The set complete, and the bar racked. All the thoughts that nearly kept you from this moment have gone and seem silly now. The racked bar no longer laughs, and the overwhelming sense of relief and accomplishment set in. The small mistakes during the set are still fresh in the mind, and already ideas begin churning on how to make next time closer to perfect, and strategies form on how to shore up weaknesses both physical and mental. No one else cares about this, but in your mind, this is huge, and it was a milestone in your life.

The fact of the matter is, we run into this day in and day out in life. Meetings, job interviews, school exams, deployments, and even the girl you may have wanted to talk to. They all loom on the horizon. The mental showdown with your doubts and fears happen every day to one degree or another. Some are mundane, others life and death. Your level of experience, training, and maturity directly affect the outcome going into any endeavor.
The two most important moments are:

 1) After all the mental excuse generating, you grip the bar. You say to yourself “I have been here before, and I have learned from my mistakes, screw it, let’s do this!” Once you have begun, you can make the adjustments, react to changes and complete the task. You’ll never do anything, if you never start anything.
2) When you finish, whether you succeed or fail, you look at what you did, or didn’t do, and learn from it. This moment, after all is done, is what makes the next time easier and your life that much fuller.
Your Faith in self, others, your training, equipment, and God grow stronger by continual learning and striving. Grip the Bar, and never stop learning.

Take care, and good lifting,

Tim

 

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