So it felt good to get that 405 incline this week. That's been a goal of mine for some time, and it always feels like you just banged your first hot chic all over again when you hit a meaningful goal after this many years under the bar.
At least for a while.
One of the best and worst things about being friends with a lot of freaky strong guys is that it motivates you constantly to get better, and at the same time makes your own accomplishments feel quite meaningless at times.
Seeing Sam Byrd crush some upper 700 raw squats is incredible to watch, and at the same time makes that 660 I'd like to hit this year seem pretty paltry.
If you're not careful, you can let this kind of thinking actually fuel a negative energy into your workouts and life that bring you down, rather than make you better. It's up to you what to decide to do with that energy, and how you let it effect you.
That's right, it's UP TO YOU.
One thing people don't often realize is that they have all the power over their own emotions. I know that seems like a Captain Obvious statement, but you can change how you handle stress, negativity, and positive energy in this very moment. It's not something that takes time. You can change those things on a daily basis. It's no one else's fault for how you act when someone has wronged you. As a human being you get all of the power over that.
There's going to be times in your life when you are put down, rejected, made fun of, back stabbed, heart broken, and demeaned. The power you have is that you get to decide what you are going to do with that kind of energy when it's hurled your way.
Matt Kroc has talked several times about how after he tore his quad squatting 545x10 that someone wrote on a message board "stick a fork in this guy, he's done", and how it fueled him to get better and make that guy eat his words. Matt went on to squat 1014 at the UPA Pro-Am that year. All fueled by those words and by that negative energy.
In your personal life, this is much more difficult. When I was 17 my 3 year relationship with a girl I loved very much ended when she left me for someone else. Anyone who has loved and lost, knows how deep those wounds can be. Rather than get drunk and "fuck and forget" a bunch of women, I went into my training and playing music. Did I cry and hurt and all those normal things a human being dose? Yes of course I did. There's nothing "bitch" about that. That's just being human. And it's healthy.
However I took time out for myself, to let those wounds heal and think about the things I would want out of my next girlfriend. And the ways I needed to get better in order to be a better dude to her as well. A year and a half later I met my wife. We celebrated 15 years of marriage together this past December.
I've been told by some people I got lucky. Maybe. I prefer to say that I was smart. I could have easily went into a party mode for that year in a half, banged a bunch of chics and ended up missing out on my soulmate because I was in a bad place. All fueled by negative energy. But I made a good choice then, and I believe that choice is a big reason why I got "lucky".
You need to accept that there are going to be people you come across in life, that aren't going to like you. But how you view those things is entirely up to you.
One of the things you need to understand about human nature, is that people don't really reject YOU. They reject what you give them. This is important to understand. Whether it be by the chic at the bar you're trying to pick up on, your boss, a friend, or whatever. People will reject what you give them, and sometimes that means they even reject your positive energy. And you have ZERO control over them doing that, just as they have zero control over how you handle them doing so.
Using these moments to get better, whether that's in the gym, at work, or in your personal life is what will make you a stronger human being. A better you. Remember the saying that hard times don't build character, they reveal it. Make sure you use those circumstances to reveal a better man. Not a bitter asshole that thinks the world is out to get him.
When I was younger I would often be jealous or envious of a guy that was stronger or bigger than me. I think it's natural to covet when you have deeply embedded insecurities. Most people won't admit to these things, which is why they constantly fail to use negative energy to their favor. Now that I'm older and secure in the man that I am, I see someone that blows my shit away and think "god damn that's awesome!"
This is a trait I acquired over time and experience. And one I am thankful for.
It's important to keep things in perspective as to how they apply to your life. I have worked for 23 years to get that 405 incline. Some guys do that in a year, and some guys never do it. It's not really about comparing yourself to the accomplishments of others. It's about keeping things in perspective to your own individual journey. In lifting and in life.
Try to use those times where you feel like the Tsunami of shit has just rolled in on you, and you feel like it can't be overcome, to try and get better. Is it hard? God damn right it is. But I write this not as someone preaching to you, but as a reminder to myself as much as anything. The last three weeks in both my personal and professional life has been tremendously hard. But I am doing my best to try and get better from these experiences.
The one thing I remind myself of is this. No matter what, eventually the wave subsides. And what you are left with, are your actions during those times of troubles. Were you stout? Did you have integrity? Or do you look back with regret?
If it's the latter, it can often linger for a long time, and you lose out on the good shit thinking about how poorly you handled those situations. Remember that.
Appreciate the roses. You don't get to smell em' at your own leisure too often. When you're having to smell the cesspool, remember that no matter what it's temporary.
It is. I swear that it is.