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True Expectations of a Champion
Everyone wants to be an Olympian, but no one wants to lift these heavy a#* weights. This article, I am going to keep it real for you guys. Every week, people email me with dreams of dominating one sport or another. I am not just talking about weightlifting this time. I am talking about making it to the top of any sport, or anything for all that it matters.
When people tell me their dreams and hopes, a lot of the time it isn’t their genetic makeup that will hold them back. It is their willingness to do everything that it takes. I am going to define true expectations for you guys today. I don’t want you to fill your chest full of air, beat your chest with your hands, and get all pumped up. I want you to go in a room all by yourself. I want you to look yourself in the mirror, and then ask yourself the following questions:
1. Are you willing to hurt almost everyday of your life? I am not talking about a little tweak. I am talking about knees, back, and shoulders feeling like they are injured. True champions will find ways to work around and deal with the pain. I know that this sounds crazy, but I am just being honest.
When I was a powerlifter, I was told to retire before paralysis. Donnie Shankle has to sleep in a chair. I have news for you guys. Tendonitis isn’t an injury. It is a fact of life for a strength athlete. Your back and your shoulders are going to hurt like crazy. A champion will hire the best soft tissue practitioner in town. They will take ice baths and salt baths on the regular. Ace bandages will become your best friend. They will find a way!
I am on the couch right now with my back killing me. I can barely walk. Am I injured? No! I just need to take an Epsom salt bath, and loosen my hip up. I know that I will see Dr. Gray Tuesday, and then I will be ok. My partner Will Hall takes more time to warm up then he does to train, and he is only 23-years-old. This is the life of a champion. Is it what you still want?
2. Are you willing to train while everyone else is having fun? I am talking about staying home on the weekends. I am talking about skipping vacations. Why do you think that Olympians party so hard right after the Olympics? They have sacrificed all of that their whole lives. That is why I didn’t get that mad at Michael Phelps.
It seems glorious, but picture this. Your best friend wins a 7-week all expense paid vacation to Aruba, and he wants to take you. You are training for the National Championships. Are you willing to skip that trip? Really?
3. Are you willing to train 9 times per week, visit a Chiropractor at least once, a massage therapist once, take 3 ice baths, take 3 Epsom salt baths, 9 mobility sessions, 6 stretching sessions, eat 5-6 times per day, sleep 10 hours each night, take a one hour nap three times per week, and all of this for a minimum of 10 years? This is what it takes to become great at anything.
All of this doesn’t leave a lot of time for much else. If you want to run a business or start a family, then it is going to be even harder. Organization, time management, and focus are going to be necessary. When you tell me that you want to be a champion, think about the time investment. Are you really willing to do it?
I am not trying to scare you guys away from becoming great in your chosen strength sport. You can still perform weightlifting, CrossFit, or Grid without this type of sacrifice. You simply won’t be the best in your chosen sport. I am all for this kind of commitment if it is a thought out plan. I just want athletes that are fully committed to their goals.
I am a 42-year-old athlete, devoted husband, father of two, and a business owner. My life is not exciting, but I love it. I love being at home with my family. I am used to my back, shoulders, and knees hurting all of the time. I have Dr. Gray on my team to keep me put together, and I have a wife that is unbelievably supportive. She fell in love with a determined athlete, so she is used to it.
Every day of my life is scheduled and planned out. I know that days that I am going to podcast. I know the days and time that I am going to write. I know exactly when I will train, and I know the prescribed workout. Personally I like structure. The question is do you like it?
I will say that the pain is worse now, but a chance to inspire others is worth it all. That is what keeps me going. I just want to use my skills as an athlete while I still can. I want to Glorify God, inspire others my age, and lead my son by example. If that means that I have to hurt a little, I am ok with it. I just want all of you guys to think about your own goals, and know everything that goes into it.
Look guys join our online Mash Mafia Team! We are just a bunch of athletes wanting to reach our own specific goals. Some of these guys and gals are weightlifters, powerlifters, bodybuilders, CrossFitters, and some are just trying to get jacked. Go to www.MashElite.com/join-the-online-team/.
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