Glory Days by Joel Slate

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Glory Days

by Mash Mafia Online Team Member Joel Slate

Follow him on Instagram: @joelslate

Glory days, well, they’ll pass you by
Glory days, in the wink of a young girl’s eye
Glory days, glory days

“Glory Days” – Bruce Springsteen

On my way home from a weightlifting meet in Houston yesterday, this classic song came on the radio. Almost inadvertently, I caught myself singing along to it out loud as I enjoyed the Southeast Texas “scenery” go by on I-10. If you grew up in the ‘80’s no doubt you can sing along with it too. It tells the story of guys, who are probably in their 40’s like I am, who can’t stop talking about “the good old days”, when it’s assumed that life was better and they were better.

This got me thinking about old times and it didn’t take me long to come to the conclusion that my glory days are now, as in today, and hopefully tomorrow. Don’t get me wrong, I was a baller back in the day. I was All-League and All-State in high school, a National Junior Olympian thrower, and I played college football for a great program. While I’m very proud of those achievements, to me, they pale in comparison to what I’m doing now. What do you mean Joel, what exactly are you doing now that’s so special? Honestly, I’m setting LIFETIME PR’s in nearly every lift, and training harder and most importantly smarter than I ever have. And best of all, I’m doing it while I have 4 kids age 8 or under (and a 5th on the way), a great wife whom I love supporting in her activities, I’m managing well over $100 million a year of business, and I’m a servant of Christ.

Now, to be honest, it’s not always easy fitting this much in, but it’s possible. It’s all about priorities. For me, as much as I love the barbell, it’s not my first priority and that’s why I’m doing so well. How can I be doing so well at the barbell if I’m not making it my highest priority? Here are my priorities, in order. Number one, I need to be a Christ-like example of a husband and father for my family. No doubt, I fall short in that effort every day, but I strive to do my best. Number two, I do my best at my job. I certainly won’t have time or money to train, buy bumper plates, or travel to meets if I don’t. Number 3, I am my kids and my wife’s biggest supporter. I coach youth football, track, and whatever else is going on. I drive them to gymnastics practices. I support my wife’s marathon training and racing. With all of this, it’s easy to say there is no time left in the day to train, so it can’t be a priority, even a low one.

That’s where I differ. I get up and train every day, starting between 4:15 and 4:30am. Sometimes lifting, sometimes mobility or conditioning. I know it’s not ideal to train that early, but I have no other option, so my choice is already made for me. I certainly don’t have time after work. The kids have homework and practice. The grass needs to be cut and dinner needs to be made. I don’t have time after the kids are in bed. I might want to spend some quality time with my wife. Nope…If I want to train, my only option is to get up and get it done first thing or not do it at all. Believe me, there are plenty of mornings that the alarm goes off and I don’t want to get up, but I just do it, sometimes just to prove to myself that I can. Most importantly, I’ve finally learned to train smart. Economics 101 taught us about allocating scarce resources, and for me, time and energy can be scarce. I’ve got to make the most of it. Fortunately, my Mash Elite Performance coaches Travis Mash, Jacky Bigger, and Becca Gerdon keep me on the straight and narrow with programming that is tailored for my needs and technique analysis so I’m always getting better. I can’t afford to waste time treading water with my training. I’ve got to constantly improve. They make sure I’m on the right track.

You can make these days your Glory Days too. Train with passion and perspective. Train for something bigger than yourself. You are inspiring others when you excel in the face of adversity. Your spouse, kids, and co-workers see you putting in the work and being passionate about ALL that you do. Not just training, not just work, but your whole life. For me, the rewards I get now far exceed any award or accolade from years past. There is nothing better than seeing the look on my kids’ faces when I crush a lift on the platform. It makes all of those 4:30am sessions worthwhile.

Are you going to join me? Let’s make today and tomorrow our Glory Days. Let’s put in the work, laugh, play, cry, and pray. Let’s lead and inspire others to be their best and live their best lives too. If we do that, there will be no need to reminisce and long for the old days. Today and tomorrow will just keep getting better.

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