Success Is a Knot

I'm by no means the most successful guy out there, but I am a big student of success and I have been ever since my youth sports career. This concept that I'm about to explain can be used for anything in life (i.e. business, finance, family life) or in training (i.e. hitting a new PR or winning your first bodybuilding competition).

I became obsessed with basketball when I was in high school. The only problem was that I was a six foot tall player from the suburbs. I set out to alter my limitations by shooting 500 jump shots every day. After roughly one year, I developed a pretty damn good shot. There were many days when I didn’t feel like going out to shoot, often battling the elements of snow, rain, or 100-degree heat. It was during those times—the knot on the path—that I developed my mental fortitude. “The hotter the heat, the harder the steel.”

Too often, athletes will see a professional athlete on television and think that he just ended where he did. They're only seeing the finished product though, the part after the knot in the line. People don’t just wake up one day and find success laying in their laps. Athletes aren't any different from guys who want to start up their own gym or small business. There are going to be many times when you have to wake up at 4 a.m. to get some work done on the computer before your family rises or, heck, before the rest of the world rises. You sure as hell won’t feel like getting up, but you will find a way.

There are going to be times when it would be much more fun to go out and hang with your boys instead of working on your marketing or reading up on the latest in business or exercise science, but you will find a way. The people who find a way are the ones who are built for success. They realize somewhere in their hearts that success should not come easy. They know that someday, they will reach their peak. I always said when I was bodybuilding that if it were easy, I wouldn’t be interested because everybody would be walking around ripped. If success were plentiful, it wouldn’t be special.

When I was building my gym, I learned the most during the times that I was driving around with a few medicine balls and dumbbells in the backseat, training people in their cold garages, listening to Tony Robbins’s tapes on the way over and thinking about how badly I wanted to succeed. It was during the ‘squiggle’ in the line that I became who I am today. It was during my time traveling on the weekends, leaving my wife behind, that I sought out mentors and leaders, knowing the whole time that I was in a jumble but that I would come out on the other side someday.

During bodybuilding, I never really learned too much on the day of the competition. It was always when I looked back on the grueling preparation, the starving mornings, and the dog days of training that I became a champion at heart. I found that if I could deal with that, I could achieve anything else in life. It's funny how sport and life mirror each other. I often think about how bodybuilding has set up my life to be successful because I learned far more in the gym than I ever set out to. The world is your classroom. Soak it up…

“There aren't any diamonds without pressure…”