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It’s a Process
This article is for all of you that have a dream to be the best that you can be. I am going to give you advice today that I wish someone had told me. It’s up to you to take the advice or not. However once you’ve read it you can’t say that no one told you. Becoming great at anything or even becoming the best that you can be at something is a process. It’s a long process, and that process is going to require a lot of blood, sweat, and tears.
You might have heard the “blood, sweat, and tears” thing before, but did you really hear it? Did you really understand that all three of those items would be required to become the greatest “you” that you are capable of. It’s the truth, and there is no way around it.
You will experience:
• Long suffering
• Aching joints
• Sleepless nights
• Poor conditions
• The list could go on forever
Every great athlete, entrepreneur, and politician has experienced the ups and downs of the process. It’s how you respond to these negatives that will make you a champion or not. That’s is a fact.
Some people succumb to the process, and they turn to an easier path. That’s totally understandable. The road to greatness is hard, and it’s paved with a lot of sad days. It’s the ones that can survive those sad days that one day get to stand on the podium staring out at the world in victory.
Let’s look at weightlifting because I want to give all of you a dose of reality. Right now there are about 22,500 registered members of USAW. I have no idea how many the entire world has, but seeing that China is way bigger and weightlifting is way more popular there, I am assuming that there is at least 100,000 weightlifters around the world.
Now out of that 100,000, only 260 competed in the 2016 Olympics. Of the 260 only 45 were medalists, and of the 45 medalists there were only 15 Gold Medalists. That means of the guesstimated 100,000, only .015% are going to be Gold Medalists. Only .26% of the guesstimated weightlifters around the world are going to make it to the Games.
What’s the point to all of this? I am trying to show all of you that the road is long. The road is paved with dreams and good intentions, but only a tiny percentage of all of you will have what it takes to make it to the top. What’s crazy is that once you’ve reached the top, the process is the one thing that you will cherish.
Once you’ve made it to the top, you will realize that it was your ability to embrace the process that led to your success. A lot of the people competing right now will succumb to the darkness of the process. The aches and pains will be too much. They will suffer an injury that is just too much mentally to overcome. Their mundane lives will bore them to the point of madness and suddenly they will crack. Their friends will want to party all night in the middle of a training cycle, and they will choose to party. I get it. It’s the easy path.
However there will be one or two in the group that hangs back from the parties. There will be one or two that can mentally overcome the aches and pains. There will be one or two that does what it takes to recover from the rigors of training.
There will be one or two that will put their hoods up and keep their heads down as they trudge down the long and lonesome road that I am calling “the process”. A lot of people talk about it. However the numbers tell the real story. In America alone only four of the 22,500 weightlifters made it to the Games in 2016. That means that 22,496 did not make it.
There are a few that have the genetics to make the games. It probably won’t be your talent level that keeps you away from Tokyo in 2020. It will probably be your ability to handle the process, so this article is a gut check for all of my athletes and the other USA lifters.
I want all of my athletes to look themselves in the mirror right now. Are you really willing to crawl down this long road? I say crawl because I want to emphasize your willingness to do whatever it takes. If that means crawl, will you crawl?
This article might seem harsh, but I just want to be honest with all of you. That’s why making it to the Olympics is so special. Only a few people are really willing to put in the work and make the right decisions. What person will you be?
I am writing this article for all of my lifters, but there is one in particular that inspired me to write this. She knows who she is. I believe in her and all of my athletes. However it doesn’t matter what I believe as a coach. It doesn’t matter how bad that I want it for any of my athletes.
Ultimately it will be up to the athlete to weather this storm that I am calling the process. Ultimately it is up to the athlete to make the right decisions, overcome adversity, and survive the process. All that I can do at this point is provide some guidance.
Here’s the light at the end of the tunnel. If you embrace the process, the outcome doesn’t really matter. If you can look your child or grandchild in the face one-day knowing that you didn’t let the process break you, you will be able to share advice with them that leads to victory no matter the path they choose in life. You will posses a set of skills that only the top .1% of all humans posses, and that’s the one thing that no one will ever be able to take away from you.
That leaves you with one question. Will you embrace the process or let it crush you?
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