Throughout our journeys in training, we all have had these thoughts pass through our minds:

  • I'm still sore from training yesterday.
  • I didn't get enough sleep or eat like I should've today...
  • My progress is at a snail’s pace.
  • My lungs are screaming from this damn cardio!
  • I think I may fail on this next rep...
  • My goal is so far off...I'm beginning to doubt myself...I'm losing hope
  • Sometimes it feels like I hit a reset button each day.

Then, I look in the mirror, and I realize that this has not all been in vain. The person staring back at me is the only person to which I have anything to prove. It is at this point that I hear that inner voice saying, "I have just learned to take myself to a new level physically and mentally that others haven't, or that others didn't even know existed...or who, quite simply, were afraid to go." A new hope has been reinvigorated within. These are the most important days of training—where true success is achieved.

Sometimes, however, personal accolades are not enough. Sometimes it is imperative for success to be defined as an ideal rather than a tactile acquisition. Sometimes you have to train for something that is more significant than yourself.

My football coaches used to relate sports to life in the sense that in order to W.I.N., you sometimes have to carry the flag for those who carried it before you, or for those who may not be able to. Sometimes you have to look at the bigger picture and apply the "What's Important Now" philosophy. You must use the lessons you learned from your training and apply them to life. Lessons like pushing through one more rep, completing one more set, or finally getting that personal record you have been chasing, and then looking back on what that journey has taught you.

Sometimes those lessons are all you have to assist you in adapting and overcoming obstacles in your life. Sometimes those lessons even teach you to value what you have earned in life and show you that you have been more fortunate than others—others who may have been victim to one of life’s many misfortunes. Sometimes, too, those lessons prepare you to apply the law of reciprocity—the act of using positive actions as a response to positive actions. To reciprocate the positive actions of others who have assisted us along the way because we could not have earned our spot in powerlifting, or even in life, by ourselves. And to help build hope for others while selflessly doing so without the expectation of the favor being returned.

I hope that I have stimulated some thoughts for you to ponder.

I hope that we all realize What’s Important Now in our lives and apply it often.

I hope that we all realize that hope really does spring eternal.

I hope...

Initiate the power of hope within yourself.