Photo by Alex E. Proimos
"You can't push anyone up the ladder unless he is willing to climb himself."
- Andrew Carnegie
FIGHTING UNSEEN OPPONENTS
Imagine you are in a ring or facing an opponent who you are confident that you can beat. As you are facing him ready to attack, suddenly twenty of his friends show up to offer their assistance. You have no where to go, you have to fight.
Such an experience would be devastating to anyone's confidence in their ability to fight and win. Being outnumbered in this way, you might as well just give up right there and take the beating.
Now imagine that after those twenty opponent's showed up, one of your own friends showed up, or perhaps two, three, or enough to match them one for one. Your friends would suddenly level the playing field and reduce the fight back to just you and your opponent.
Photo by Cea
"What set Thomas Edison apart was that, with all his boundless exaggeration, he conveyed the feeling that he would succeed. No matter what the obstacles, he would pound away until they were demolished."
- Robert Conot
REMIND YOU OF ANYONE?
Reading that quote above, do any boxers come to mind? When I first read it, I though immediately of Floyd Mayweather Jr. I can't think of a recent boxer who has a bigger mouth than he does. While I think a good portion of it is acting to inflate ticket prices and pay per view views, he is extremely vocal (boundless exaggeration).
The thing is, that unlike other boxers, Mayweather Jr. accomplishes what he says. He walks the talk. He pounds away until his opponents are demolished.
Can you imagine what a world would be like where people worked tirelessly to live up to what comes out of their mouths?
"Persistence without focus is a train on a circular track. Focus without persistence is a stationary train on a straight track. Focus with persistence is a high speed locomotive that doesn't need a track."
I'm going to ask you a question and I need you to come up with an answer to illustrate something important. If you're truthful with your answer, you might learn something about where you currently are in your life. Here it comes...
Why do you train?
Now, look at your response and put yourself into one of the following groups:
Group A - Your answer included an action and a time limit. Examples include specific responses such as:
- To lose 10 pounds in 3 months
- To gain 10 pounds in 1 month
- To decrease your bodyfat percentage by 3% over 6 weeks
- To win a fight that is scheduled in 6 weeks
Group B - Your answer was general and lacked either an action or a time limit or both. Examples include general statements such as:
- To get in better shape
- To lose weight
- To gain weight
- To learn boxing skills
- I don't know - but I know I train for some reason
Is it Better to Be in Group A or B?
Did you honestly think you could stick to your training plan or eat perfectly 100% of the time?
I'm currently sitting in a hotel as I write this. I started a new macrocycle just over three weeks ago and have diligently followed my meal plan for the same period of time. However, I am now in this hotel for a week on business. I have no access to cooking facilities or food preparation. I have a very limited fitness facility. I have to attend social functions and eat in restaurants and pubs. How hard do you think it is going to be for me to stick to my meal plan and training program?
Training wise, I have modified my program to suit what I have available - resistance bands I brought with me and the equipment the hotel does have. Although full boxing workouts are going to be on hold until I get back, I know I am going to be able to continue training.
It's going to happen. It's going to happen and it's going to keep happening. Inevitably it will rise up and slam you straight in the face without warning. One day all will be good and the next day you will crumple into a whimpering, drooling heap in the corner. Despite your best intentions, one day, if it hasn't happened already, you are going to wake up and discover yourself making every excuse possible not to train. You will turn on yourself. It may be happening to you right now.
You will think about the road ahead, your life, and panic will set in. The thoughts of everything you have to do: the work, the training, the nutrition, the learning, trying to fit sleep in there somewhere. Boxing is probably not the only thing in your life. You have relationships, classes, school, interests and hobbies. Your kids are being neglected. Your wife or girlfriend complains you are putting them second.
Have you had one small success today? Perhaps, getting out of bed has been the pinnacle of your day. Well, build on that. That one small thing is the beginning of the downhill roll. Take that small success and strive for another and another. Once you get the momentum going, those small successes will turn into bigger successes until you are moving so fast that nothing can hold you back.
If you woke up today and have experienced nothing but frustration and heartache, then keep going. Look for that one thing that has gone right and move in that direction. Take a look at what you did right to achieve that success then change your behaviour to match.
"Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. " ~Samuel Ullman
"Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children." ~George Bernard Shaw
"Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many. " ~Author Unknown
"Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty." ~Henry Ford
I'm currently 34 and I don't consider myself old. Sometime around the age of 29-30, people around me starting blaming their injuries and various calamities on their age. Especially in the gym, it is so common to hear the "my body doesn't respond like it used to" or "it takes me twice as long to recover as it used to in my twenties." I think the day you start considering that age is what is causing your aches and pains is the day you actually do get old.