Friday, June 10, 2011

Sometimes you get the sweet AFTER the sour....or

Ever have one of those days where, as soon as you roll out of bed,  you know this thing about to be totally fucked from the start?

Crick in the is that?  The dog shit on the carpet.'d I forget to get coffee filters...son of a.....where are all of the protein shakers at?........SHIT!

You get into work and it's just a continuation of the shit, literally, that you stepped into from out of your bed.  It's like that scene out of Office Space where he gets memo after memo that his TPS reports are due, and he's told, upon showing grumpiness about said bullshit, that "someone's got a case of the Mondays!"  

These times make it difficult to muster up the energy to create a positive environment.  For you and those unlucky bastards that happen to be around you and get to enjoy your negative energy.  

Everyone around you sucks, shit can't get done on time, everyone sucks, fuck that guy who cut me off in traffic if I ever see him again I'll crush his face into the front of his car, everyone sucks, suck it suck it suck it!!!!  

Have you ever been having one of these, and something positive happens that you can't deny, and the whole face of your day changes?  All of a sudden, you have some life and energy breathed into you.  You're knocking shit out at work with a smile on your face, and suddenly hey, things don't seem so bad.  

Or you fight off that positive energy and spend the rest of the day in that funk you woke up in.  You fall further into the shit sucking abyss and try to make sure you drag as many around you down as well.  

Sometimes we get so stuck on the sour in our life that we start to enjoy the taste of it.  It's better when we have the misery and negativity and the chicken little attitude.  We can get there can't we?  Where you know someone is about to take a shit on you and try to tell you its really candy.  We not only get there, but we can't wait for it to happen.  You know why?  So we can say "TOLD YOU SO!  I TOLD YOU I WOULD GET SHIT ON!  LOOK HOW RIGHT I AM!  HE SAYS ITS CANDY!!!!"

The thing we all need to be cognitive of when life hits the "on" button on a whup ass machine against us, is the little things that can turn that sour into sweet.  A little sweet to get you started can do the same thing that little sour can.  

I'm lucky.  I have a wife who can be tough and tender.  She knows when to tell me when to suck it up and quit being a little bitch, and when I just need some words of encouragement.  Not everyone is so lucky however.  But something will indeed present itself if you are looking for it the same way you are looking for that next bitch slap.  

The funny thing about all of this is that we tend to judge our day based on how it ends.  That same shitty day can end with something really great, and you will say "man what a great day".  Yet 10 hours prior to that you were ready to staple the guy in the cube next to you to death.  And that's a bad way to go.  

Or, you can have an awesome day and get a bit of bad news, and let it ruin that whole day.  You can let it wipe out an entire awesome day in seconds.  We've all had this.  It doesn't seem fair does it?  If you got that news at 7 a.m. then had the awesome day, you'd say "this was an awesome day."  Now you're saying how the day sucked ass.  Negativity is winning.

Training is no different.  

Just this past week, three shitty workouts in a row.  All in a row.  After my deadlift session turned out to be crap, I unloaded the bar and went home.  Did I have a sour attitude?  Nope.  I said to myself "I am a little overtrained right now, I need to rest for a few days."  I knew that since I was good for a triple with 605 just the previous week when I felt bad, that if 605 was heavy tonight, it wasn't about strength, but about rest.  So I am taking the next 4-5 days off and will have another 3 bad ass weeks of training before I run off to Chicago.  

It's a hard thing to be positive all the time, and personally I don't know if that's healthy either.  To me, everything in life has a good and bad scale.  It's up to you to weigh it.

For example, I was offered a job many years ago by a company and the pay was a nice increase over what I was making.  I loved where I was working, however I was slightly underpaid and the benefits weren't the greatest.  So I was swooned into this new position with a window and a raise and a bonus and all sorts of shit.  First day on the job I knew I screwed up.  I hated it right out of the gate.  Totally corporate America in every way, rat race, clock watching manager assholes who did not respect you or your life.  

I learned from that, that anytime something bigger and better is promised to you, that you better come to terms right then and there that you are about to take a bigger bite of a bullshit sandwich.  That's a fact.  You don't get all of these perks and phat money and a window without having a larger slice of the BS served to you hot and steamy style.  

So you have to weigh what it is that makes you happy.  For me, it's about working with people I like and doing a job I believe has merit.  I gave that up for money and benefits.  If I were someone who valued money and benefits more than a great work environment and projects I liked, then it'd be a good trade.  I'm not.

Again, training is no different.  More time in the gym also means a loss somewhere else.  No matter how you slice it.  Less time could mean a loss somewhere too.  Or a gain.  Again, you have to weigh these things and how they effect your and your happiness, you and your progress.

The main thing to remember is that 99% of the things we worry about, never come to fruition.  I have to tell myself that a lot, but it's one of the most true statements I've ever heard about life.  

So the next time you wake up to some dog shit and no coffee filters, remember to look for the sweets that day too, and not focus too hard on the sours.  


  1. Bad training days are maintenance days. You are maintaining a strength level and acclimating your body to your current status. As long as you don't beat yourself to death trying to make up for missed lifts, you are just in a holding pattern while you wait for the better days to roll around...

    Oh, and some days just suck, period... :D

  2. Dan John has this think he calls "Rule of 5", I think. Out of 5 workouts 1 will be great, 1 will be shit and 3 will be so so. I try to keep that in mind when things go in the crapper. BTW, my wife was just like yours. Tender and tough. She would say "man up, bitch" when I was being a pussy. Now, my girls say the same thing.

  3. That's my 80% rule IB. 80% of the workouts we do are just getting the work in. 10% are awesome, and 10% suck ass. I've had at least 2 suck ass workouts this week so that's a sign to me.

    And a good wife knows when to tell you to man up. Awesome.

  4. Good post Paul that made my day a bit better.

  5. Paul-

    Great post. I have to say, I dont really care for my job, but taking care of 4 kids and paying a mortgage, I have to stick it out for the money and benefits. My babies spent the first 2 weeks of their lives in the NICU, that would have been a $50000 bill had I not had great benefits. Sometimes you just have to swallow the shit sandwich and thank god you have an awesome home life to come home to every day. Seeing my kids every day at 5 pm makes the bullshit of the work day worth while. There are people who work with me who hate work AND their home lives...I feel bad for those type.
    When I come home and train, I look at it as gained time as the wife works out with me and I drag the kids out there as well. They cant train yet, but they can at least be around it and I can laugh at them while they try and mimic me. It is great family fun!
    Hopefully I will begin workin on my masters with the goal of getting to a job that I enjoy. Until then, I will eat the shit sandwich with a smile knowing that it is all for something.


  6. Always for the greater good Rick.

  7. hay paul just wanted to thank you, ive been training the bench the way you prescribed in your articles and went from a 225x4 to a 225x7 with a close grip in the first cycle..while loosing some bodyweight in the process

    here is the video

    i think i can call that a close grip

  8. Great post, really made my day! I am a teacher and that is an all consuming job. I constantly remind the younger teachers I mentor that, yes it is a consuming job but it is still a JOB. Just like everyone else. Put in a good day of hard work and get home. Drives me nuts to see people who could leave work at 4 or 5 and stay until 8 or 9 then complain to the others that they work harder and should get paid more than they do. Fuck that, my family is to important!

    Off topic...around Christmas I used some of your diet advice to drop about 20 lbs. and keep or raise my strength level. My wife is doing it now and has dropped 5 lbs. in about 2 weeks. Just had to let you know. She is now an avid reader just like me!


  9. Dave - Spot on. Work to live, don't live to work.

    That's awesome on the weight loss for you and the wife. Keep me updated.

    Carlos - Awesome job man. And yes that's def worthy of being called a close grip.

  10. Paul,

    Not posting this on the right thread on your blog, but i figured putting at the top will guarantee you seeing it. It would appear that the world is now training for zombie apocalypse