This piece is for all of you who are on the path to compete this year and go toe to toe with your peers. Everybody wants to be a beast until it’s time to do the things that beasts do. I’m sure you’ve heard that before. You’ve put that into your social media highlights. You write that line in your bios and captions like a punchline, but have you ever thought about what that really means? Sure, we can all flex our latest PRs and coolest snapshots from our training, but those are the highlights that we use to beat our chests with. 9The things that beasts do are things that your opponents are doing. They’re doing the things that will separate them from their competition. They’re the ones doing the things that winners and champions are doing. What are those things? What exactly is it that beasts do? What are my opponents doing?
My opponents are getting up early in the morning before the sun comes up, before anyone else is awake and putting in the hours to get better. My opponents are the ones who are meticulously planning out their next step. They’re the ones who are learning and studying and trying to understand everything they can to get a leg up on me. They agonize over every little detail. They’re obsessing over the process, and the day of the competition is only a thought in the back of their head. It’s just a quiet whisper in their mind. A pilot light that keeps the fire hot in their drive. They don’t even know who I am, and I can assure you that they don’t give a damn, because until the day comes that they have to face me and all of the other people in their class, it doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is the hunt, the grind, the process. A lot of you are bigger, stronger and faster than me, so if my opponents are like this, I can guarantee you that your opponents are, too.
The greatest mistake that anyone can make is to not give their opponents the proper respect and underestimate them. Whether it’s below freezing or so hot you could puke just walking outside, the other guy is pushing through it. When their joints are hurting and there are days when they’re feeling tired and down on themselves, they take a hit of that ammonia and fight through it. When you’re feeling tired and want to take it easy, the other guy is scrapping. When you sleep in because you stayed up too late and drank too many beers, the other guy went to bed early to make sure not to miss the alarm clock and do what needs to be done. They aren’t making any excuses for themselves, so why would you?
I’m not saying that anyone should go out there and push themselves to the point of exhaustion or possibly injury. However, we all could stand to be uncomfortable more often. How else are supposed to get better? At the end of the day the weight we put on the barbell, how far we can walk with a yoke, how many times we can press a log over our heads and all the other metrics are only a small part of the equation. What I think matters more is how much suffering we are willing to endure. The truest test of champions and winners is their will to endure uncomfortable circumstances. The people with the most success are usually the ones that are willing to put themselves through difficult challenges the most. Even if those challenges are small. Actually, especially if those challenges are small. Your opponents are doing the small things all of the time. They aren't doing things right some of the time. They’re doing them right all of the time. So, what are you going to do? Are you satisfied with what you’re doing now? Are you satisfied with the path you’re on? Are you doing everything you can to realize your objective? Do you think you’re ready to face your opponent? If the answer is no, then you better get your head in the game, because I promise the other guy is hard charging.
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“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” -Mahatma Gandhi