Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What's really important.......

I liked the article by Scott Yard on elitefts a lot.  Scott did the Warrior Dash a week out from a meet.  I love this attitude.  He didn't let something like a meet, something he puts a lot of sweat and effort into preparing for, deter him from doing something else he wanted to do.

He didn't close his life off.

I watched a documentary of some sorts a few years ago about Flex Wheeler.  If you don't remember Flex, he was a successful bodybuilder back in the 90's.  He had all the genetics in the world but Flex's work ethic was questioned at times.  As I watched this documentary I had trouble fathoming how.  The guy packed food around with him everywhere he went.  He couldn't take vacations, he couldn't do things we take for granted because of meals, training, and other shit to do with that lifestyle.

Yet Flex was knows as having a poor work ethic.  Even if he had a poor work ethic in the gym, that kind of dedication is fairly remarkable.

And it's also quite sad.

You get one go around in this one.  Just the one.  Whether you believe in reincarnation or Carnation Instant Breakfast, you still just get the ONE for this life.  I can't imagine missing out on experiences that I may never get a chance to have again, to lift some weights.

"Well Paul then you will never be as good as you can be."

My answer?

I'm ok with that.  You know why, because I don't want my legacy to be written around the time I spent in the gym.  Shit man, I'm lifting more often again now, but even less time in the gym than before.  At 36 now, I crave life and living it than living the iron.  I still love lifting, and fighting and lots of things like that, but it's not what drives me.  If someone told me I could compete and total the highest raw total ever, but my family couldn't share in it with me, or I could total less than I was capable of but they could I would take the latter everytime.  Because even when I suck my girls tell me how awesome I am.  No total can beat that.  Ever.

What's a life or its experiences without someone to share it with?

I'm not saying your experiences are empty if you can't share it with anyone.  There are definitely some things that you do or experience that feels meant for you, alone.  I grew up in the backwoods of Mississippi, and I spent plenty of days deep in the woods walking trails or fishing or hunting alone, and those are experiences that I don't think I could share with someone that they would appreciate.  Nor would I want to share those.  But that's the point as well.  I wouldn't want to give up those kind of things for things less important.

Likewise, I often find so many parallels in training and life.  I think that training can and is similar.  If you are in the gym, spend time doing things that are REALLY important.  In your programming, remember what is really important to get you where you want to be.  I mean, if you write your own programs ask yourself how important everything in that program or routine is.  If something takes away from the main goal in any way, just discard it.

Prioritizing things in life and training make things far easier than you probably imagined.  You ever notice when you can't make a decision about something, that you writhe around in turmoil?  Then when you make the decision you feel like a load of bricks has been removed from your chest?  This is simply because making something a priority provides you with direction.

No direction in life means you waste energy doing unproductive things.

No direction in training means you waste energy doing unproductive things.

Just ask yourself in both instances, what's really important?


  1. Wow! That was excellent writing!

  2. Paul,

    I've been following your blog for a couple months now, just wanted to say it's excellent... keep up the great work. Do you still do any fishing?

  3. Not really, and that makes me sad. I grew up fishing about every other day. If my southern brothers knew I didn't fish much anymore they would come up here and try to beat my ass.

    I need to take my girls fishing.

  4. this is adam. this blogger doesn't work the way it used to. i can't seem to post here the way i did before. so from now on, i guess i'll just have to post as anonymous and then begin my posts with my name. paul, i am furious. i have seriously bitchy elbows. i read a lot about guys having tendonitis on the bicep side of the elbow, but i get it right above the elbow on the tricep side. i get this from squatting. on monday, on my back off set of squats, i did 6 reps. today, my elbows are destroyed. this happens every few months, or AT LEAST twice a year. no one has been able to help me with this. i get the standard answers. the only way i have ever been able to prevent this is by never doing more than triples when it gets moderately heavy. i squat low bar with my index finger slightly outside the rings. i have a really long torso and really short legs. this form is the most comfortable way for me. so i'll gladly read any advice you have and would love to know what movement or combination of movements you would recommend to replace squatting for reps. i just can't take this anymore.

  5. Adam - Blogger has had some bugs the last month or so.

    I feel your pain on the elbows. You know I do. Your problem is easy to solve.

    Your hands are in too tight and too far under you I bet. If you sent me a vid I bet I'd be right. You're getting real tight back there and squeezing in real good, then the elbows get locked in. This stresses the tendons and then the weight of the bar comes right down the forearms and stops at the elbows.

    Take your hands, and put them OVER the bar so that your palms are essentially on top of the bar. Second, move them out wider. You won't be as tight feeling at first, but after a while you will get the hang of it and it will feel fine.

    If you have a video send me a link.

  6. Couldn't agree more. I just finished the warrior dash myself a few weeks ago. It's a good time for those interested.


  7. Article couldn't have come at a better time. I was upset with myself today because I was asked to be in on a big meeting and I was the youngest guy there by about 10 years. I was worried the whole time because I didn't want the older workers there to treat me like shit. I worried all last night, this morning and then worried after the meeting and overanalyzed everything. My wife finally said, "You are wasting more energy than you need to. I'm proud of you, but your job is not nearly as important as your family and your sanity. Stop worrying!" Works every time. Thank God for my wife...

  8. The fact that you were asked to be there should have been enough to let you know you've been doing something right.

    99% of the things we worry about, never come to fruition.

    Good looking out by the wife.

  9. You are very wise for your age Paul and I really like reading your posts.

    Sadly many people are well into senior life before they ever find the true meaning of what's important in ones life. It took the death of my father several years ago to wake me up and appreciate everything around me.

    Love your life and your family.

  10. Only spend time with the ones who will cry at your funeral.