Fear, Grasping at Straws, and Introspection

Kind of a bit to talk about here but it should all tie in together nicely.

Fear. Fear comes in many forms and can have many definitions for many people. In this context, fear is something that you put upon your self. It may drive you, or it may hold you back. In the world of performance, fitness and athletics we have a fear of failure, of getting beat by the guy next to us, of letting our teammates down. We have a fear of pain, of temptation, of slipping and not meeting our goals. All of these fears can be good and bad. They can motivate us or break our spirits. They can drive us to our greatest heights or our lowest lows. To be successful you must meet that fear head on, see it, smell it, feel it, and then deal with it. Learning to deal with it comes from the experiences that we have during our training and throughout our lives.

Often this fear will lead to grasping at straws. You know, “Hey I just read that (insert bad ass here) works out fifty times a day and eats only duck liver for dinner. And I also heard that (insert next bad ass here) rows a 10k every day and does 48 hour intermittent fasting….what do you think if I put those together? Do you think it will work?” My answer…”Hell NO!” Stop grasping at straws. Understand that if it is on the fringe then it probably only works for a select few and might not work for ANYONE. Stick to the basics. Eat well, sleep a lot, and train hard with good rest days mixed in. Sound complicated? Not really, but can be hard to stick to. Sticking to a solid plan for months on end can and is harder than jumping around to the next great gimmick or fad. Do you know why we grasp at straws? Fear. When I first entered into the pursuit of elite fitness, I defiantly grasped at straws. I would spend 3 or 4 weeks trying something out then move on to the next best thing. I wanted to be bigger, faster, stronger and have more endurance at the same time. What I found is that that is not possible. Everything has a price and everything is a tradeoff. I was in fear of loosing one to make the other better. So then I had to make a choice and make priorities. Choose to improve in an area, get better, and THEN you can move on to improving the other area. Don’t be afraid to loose 10 lbs off your deadlift if your goal is to run faster.

So that all leads back to introspection. Know what your limitations are (mental, physical, emotional, time etc). You must know where you stand before you can move forward. You must know what kind of fear drives you. Then you give that fear a healthy dose of respect, set it aside, and make a commitment. Commit to the plan. Then do the plan. Commit to not letting the fear run your life and your training, but always being aware that the fear is there. Commit to not fooling your self into believing you are better than you are. Just believe that you are and then work TOWARDS being better. Throw the gimmicks in the trash. If it’s easy, it doesn’t work. If it’s complicated, it won’t work for long. If it fits into the context of your life, challenges your fears, works towards your goals, and is sustainable for YEARS not weeks then you are on your way.

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