Cooper Hanson is an 18 year old weightlifter from Alaska. I love this kid as I do all of my young ones. He has written a blog that will make you think. Some of you won’t agree with him and some will. I will preface his article by saying one thing. I love weightlifting, but if weightlifting is all you have, then you don’t have much. I suggest using the gifts that God has given you to inspire others, lift up others, and all together make the world a better place. I didn’t do this as an athlete, and I spend every day regretting wasting my opportunity. With that being said, enjoy:
It’s Not That Big Of A Deal
Day in and day out we come into the gym and train hard. Some days we triumph, but there are always struggles. Very seldom do we train a whole day without missing, and there is no one that has “perfect” training every single day. We live on earth, where gravity still exists. Weight has a natural tendency, to stay on the ground… yet, we find it fun to come into the gym and try to throw it over our heads. It is almost unrealistic to expect every single day to go as planned. Some people however seem to not understand that. I see videos and posts of people punching walls, throwing chairs, or having extreme meltdowns just because something doesn’t go as planned. The law of Inertia (Newton’s First Law) states “An object at rest will remain at rest unless acted on by and unbalanced force.” So basically… you just punched a hole in that wall because you did not have enough force in your lift to hoist 150 kilograms of rubber weights and a metal barbell above your head. Come on now… its not that big of a deal.
Now when I say “It’s not that big of a deal” do not take that the wrong way. I am not saying that missing a lift should not frustrate you, because it will. You put in hard work to progress and not seeing that right away can be aggravating. What I am saying, is that being able to snatch 150 kilos does not make you any greater of a person then someone who can not snatch 150 kilos. Lifting a certain amount of weight does not define your character. Travis Mash once said “At my funeral, if all they say about me is that I was the greatest powerlifter of all time, then I failed.” This has always stuck with me. Think about it, what name is known by more people in the United States? Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.… or Naim Suleymanoglu? People are remembered for what they can offer the world. If you choose to pursue world records in the sport of weightlifting, then great! I want nothing more then to see you reach that goal. However, you must acknowledge the fact that the greatest men and women to ever live, lived for something much more then a number in a record book! Strive to offer the world smiles, or laughter. Strive to progress yourself, both mentally and physically! Push the people around you to become better themselves! Every night when I am laying in bed getting ready to go to sleep, I ask myself the same question. “What did you offer to the world today?” If at the end of the day I only feel like I produced some decent weightlifting, then yes I am happy I trained well… however I feel like I missed an opportunity to offer something to the people around me. Something greater then putting weight over my head.
To bring this back to the concept of “its not that big of a deal” I just want to say that there is much more to your life then missing a snatch or clean and jerk. If missing a lift is the worst thing to happen in your day then well, thats not a bad day to have. There is a fine line between good, intense training, and stupid, unnecessary hissy fits. Remembering this will lead to two things. The first is a much more precise approach to training. Instead of freaking out and letting yourself become overly-frustrated with your chosen sport, you can remain calm, and set yourself up for long term success. The second is you will realize that you are still you, wether or not you can lift X amount of weight. You MUST know that you are a person who can offer the world great things, beyond the barbell. So next time you do not produce enough force to hoist an amount of weight over your head, don’t forget. It is not that big of a deal. You will wake up tomorrow, and the earth will still be spinning. You will have another chance to lift the weight, or prepare yourself further in order to lift the weight. You will have another opportunity to bring good to the world we live in.
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