Under The Bar Ė Relentless Pursuit
To hate is to show you still care, who needs that, focus on whatís really important.Ē
- Henry Rollins
Did you ever really think about what this means?
It doesnít mean pursuit until things get hard, or give up at the first sign of misfortune. Itís easy to talk the talk when the sun is shining and everyone is telling you how awesome you are. Focus is easy when you can clearly see where youíre going, or your goals are clearly defined and your confidence is locked. But is this really relentless pursuit?
Type of Lifters
Over the years Iíve seen all types of lifters, from the truly gifted, to those who have to claw and fight for every pound they gain or add to the bar. The trait Iíve come to respect the most doesnít always lead to the most weight they can lift or how jacked they end up. Itís the way they approach training and the process of gaining strength. They may not be the most dramatic, loudest, or craziest BUT they will not back down in their pursuit of strength REGARDLESS of what they run into along the way. They have an ability to strive forward through sticking points, injuries, bad calls, poor training cycles, illness, family issues, and everything else that gets in the way. They know in their mind that the chaos is a test, a test of their strength, a test to see how bad they really want it!
On the other side, you have those who spend countless hours coming up with excuses as to why their training isnít going well, why the meet didnít go well or why they havenít been making gains. I donít have the time or desire to write all the excuses Iíve heard over the years and there really isnít a need. If you spend much time online you can find more than you need. If that doesnít work, just eavesdrop next time you are in the gym. This plague is everywhere Ė except for those who are too busy to really care. They are focusing on whatís really important, the pursuit of strength.
Last week I was speaking to a lifer who just hit his first 405 bench press. This is a number he was training for in college 20 years ago. Through the years heís come up short, time and time again. He has also endured the death of a brother, a serious car accident, back surgery, three shoulder surgeries, a tricep tear, one year of missed training due to illness, two years working overseas with awful training conditions, and a host of other things. After speaking with him a year ago, it was no mystery that his life was still in chaos, but he was still committed to hitting his goal of 405 pounds. He knew he could do it if he could just train for 3-4 months and not re-tear his pec. Not once did he suggest he wasnít going to be able to do this. Everything he said came across as a matter-of-fact, so I knew there would be a day Iíd get a call or e-mail saying he hit his goal.
That day came last week, and it was a great reminder of what can be accomplished with Relentless Pursuit.
Under The Bar
I began writing these columns (UTB) to illustrate that the skills learned ďUnder The BarĒ are the same ones required to move forward in business and life. Having Relentless Pursuit isnít just a motivation tool or cool statement, it is NECESSARY in business. In powerlifting we have people who will bitch and say your squat was high, that you use better gear, you cherry pick your meets, etc. Itís pretty much a given that if someone is stronger than somebody else, itís because of ANYTHING other than strength. In business if your turn your back for too long, you will find a knife in it. If you lose your focus, donít worry about your goal because it will be a thing of the past. Itís beyond brutal and you will be tested in ways I canít begin to explain. If you stay relentless in your pursuit, you will know how to stay patient when others panic. You wonít get frustrated when side swiped by knee jerk reactions from people who may be less strategic. You will learn how to think several steps ahead and use even the worst situation to your advantage. When in the calm, youíll seek conflict because you know with the greatest resistance comes the greatest strength. No resistance is like training with an unloaded barbell and expecting to break world records.
We move forward and break PRís after we learn to control our fears, expand our comfort zone, embrace the pain, control conflict and overcome adversity and to do so requires Relentless Pursuit.
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