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."
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?