You Ain't Shit But Neither Am I

TAGS: struggle, reality check, instagram, Help, fear, check yourself, average, david allen, failure

I think we could all use a reality check. The current state of the training culture consists of an absurd bombardment of Instagram selfies, ongoing debates over Raw VS Gear VS Classic Raw VS Drug Free, and a constant output of articles, videos, and seminars. While half the folks out there use the internet to brag, show off, or make their name as a totally awesome exercise superhero, the other half feeds those egos while grinding away in self-loathing (there is probably a small percentage that actually lives in blissful unawareness of this). This article will be a smack in the face to the fools on both sides of the coin. Prepare to check yourself.

You’re Not That Special

Although some parents may not want to admit it, none of us are really that special. Sure, some of us flounder on one side or the other of the average fence, but most apples haven’t fallen too far from the Adam and Eve tree. The old saying, “even if you’re one in a million, there are still 714,900 people just like you in this world,” lets you know where you stand.

david allen powerlifting not special 052014

If you’re struggling to lose weight, gain strength, or put on muscle, just remember one thing: you’re still human. You don’t breathe through your skin or reproduce asexually. Your body works the same way as the body of the lunk you admire on the cover of the magazine. You must have to figure out how to best manipulate your own body to the best of its abilities. If you’re the guy or gal that this comes easy to, remember that there are a whole host of genetic freaks waiting to compete against you at the highest level. Your records will eventually fall. There will always be another Jordan, Gretsky, or Nicklaus, and your best will, at some point, become par for the course.

So sit back and enjoy another piece of fat-free humble pie. The next time that you admire yourself enough to think that the world needs a reminder of how gifted you are, remember that the greatest and the worst among us all turn back into dirt.

All Things Come to an End

At 28 years old, I don’t spend an exorbitant amount of time thinking about the end of my powerlifting career. I know that it will come; I just don’t know when or what I will do when it does. I’ve given thought to a handful of ideas, but at this point my focus is on the task at hand: being the best powerlifter I can be. However, part of that process is the realization that it is not infinite. With that in mind, do not give any more stress, emotion, or vanity than necessary. If you experience success, enjoy it in the moment. Do not relish in it. Be thankful for the opportunity and the experience and realize that the king of the hill will eventually come down, either of his own accord or by the feats of others. If you are the king, how do you want to step down? How do you want to be remembered when your time is up?

If you’re struggling, at some point you will either reach your destination, or you will find a different journey. Whether you succeed or fail, you will come away with something from the process. Fear of failure will keep you from fully appreciating this experience, but the assurance of success will also fail to provide the right mindset. Sometimes you have to jump into the black without knowing the outcome, with the knowledge that it isn’t going to come easily for you. Understand that you will come out of the darkness as a new person. At some point, everything comes to an end.

david allen teaching ltt8 052014

Someone Else Needs Your Help

The current temperament of the American public is improvement of one’s self. Someone is going to ask you for help. It might be to ask for a spot, for preparation for Olympic gold, or advice in losing weight. When people see you improve or when they admire you, they will seek out your advice, your knowledge, and your help. When that happens, I hope each of you will remember the time that you started your journey and needed help. You weren’t always Mr. Olympia, a world-record holder, or a professional athlete. At some point, someone took the time and energy to help you. Even if that person just took the time to write an article that you read or posed in a photo with you, they helped you in some way. How will you repay them?

Maybe you’re the one holding the trophy. Maybe you’re the overweight guy or gal plugging away on the treadmill. No matter what someone is watching you. How will you affect them?

Be humble, but not self-deprecating. Provide knowledge, experience, and support. Give encouragement. Be truthful. Be respectful. Do these things not because you’re special, but because that person you’re helping is just like you. Do this because at some point your time will be up and someone else will take your place. Do this, because someone did the same for you.

Be proud of your accomplishment, but keep your pride in check. Instead of feeding your own ego, take the time to build the self-esteem of someone around you. Instead of looking in the mirror and feeling shame, look in the mirror and sense opportunity. Whether you have the world’s biggest biceps or are trying to curl something heavier than the pink dumbbells, realize that your situation is not unique. Someone at some point has faced the same adversity and accomplished the same things. Whether you’re beginning your journey or are well into your travels, realize that time is limited and you will someday have to hang up your boots.

Someone is always going to be watching you. What do you want that person to see?

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