Thursday, January 16, 2014

You Suck. You Have To Suck. If You Are Not Willing To Suck, You Fail

In October of 2006, Greg Glassman gave me the most important lesson of my life.  It has nothing to do with barbells or pull-ups, sweat or pain.  In fact, it has very little to do with exercise at all.
His words, paraphrased and non-profound: The pursuit of excellence is rewarded.

Simple and axiomatic, it would be easy to dismiss this lesson as self-help drivel.  Yet put into action, it is the most powerful thing on the planet.  It’s taken me two years to appreciate its potency, and ten short months to see its effects.

I’ve pared it down for my own use, coining a three-word phrase that reminds me that today is not just another day:  Better than yesterday.

From my friend and Again Faster owner Jon Gilson.  There may be a better approach for competitive athletes, I've never been one or coached one so I'm not the one to say.  But for a senior athlete, who trains to live vice living to train, there is no better mental alignment than "better today".

What you used to be able to do is just a fun memory.  The secret to being where you want to be is by focusing on daily effort.  The way to run faster is - run today.  The way to be fitter and feel better is - train today.

What if you suck? What if you are fat and out of shape?  What if you fear your own feelings about lack of performance?  No body cares about that.  Those habits of thought are the obstacles that are stopping you from being your better self tomorrow.  In fact, you have to suck.

You have to suck.  You have to suck, and tolerate sucking, in order to be better tomorrow.

There is no better tomorrow if you don't have the gumption to tolerate sucking wind today.

Do you have the guts to suck?  I'm going to suck today and relish it, it's the red badge of courage in life.  Face the demon, get to work, make an achievable goal and chase it.  Celebrate every win - even if it's just scratching your ass better than you used to - like you just won olympic gold.  Become addicted to making goals and accomplishing them. Your life, and your ability to influence other lives, is the stakes.

Be better than yesterday!

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