√√√ Motivation is a slippery animal. Most people who don’t possess it think that it’s kind of like a bus that will politely stop in front of the house one day soon and honk for a pick-up.
Personally, I think of the thing more like a hungry dog chasing a postman madly pedaling his rickety bicycle down the road oblivious to the large oak tree looming up quickly that he is on a collision course with. √√√
The following is an excerpt from a larger piece that we are going to make some time to write, one of these days.
The problem with really getting the gym thing right and ensuring that your training sessions are going to be as productive as possible is realising that you’re more often than not, very likely to be working under suboptimal conditions and with situations that will offer you challenges of some description or other. And sometimes the Gods of Fortune toss a very nasty surprise indeed along your path, when you least expect or are ready for it.
Silly Examples: you’ve finally got access to a great gym, but your genetics aren’t brilliant; you’ve got good genetics, but your wife’s just about to produce another baby (the 2nd one in less than 2 years); you’ve found the perfect training partner who is supportive and always shows up, but you’ve also just bought a house and are struggling with mortgage payments; everything is really going great, you’re making great gains in the gym and really putting on some buff, then you get injured. So on and so forth.
Your success in the gym may not depend, or may depend a lot less, on whether your hero and training role model is Arnold, Zane, Dave Draper, Dorian, Lee Priest, Kai, Nadine Skinner, Ben Pakulski, Larissa or Rich Piana. And I hope that I don’t get a knock on my door from any of these guys’ (or girls’) hit men (or hit women) or their lawyers, because I think that they’re all great. But living on someone else’s kicks and smart moves is a pretty cheap date that ultimately won’t propel the person that you want to become to stardom.
Unless you are incredibly fortunate and have a little good luck angel glued securely on your shoulder-reality’s usually going to be a rather devious and unjust bitch.
That may be just the way it is, get used to it. And if you somehow manage to hack and hew her into something else, through persistence, blood, sweat, force of will, tears, voodoo, or whatever…don’t take it for granted that she comes with a lifetime guarantee.
If you think she might and that and that you’re good, you’ll sort of maybe sit it out tight and perhaps wait until the stars are aligned, all the omens are just right and the Great Cornucopia of Plenty is somehow going to open up and sluice you in Greatness & Good Fortune, all I can say is ‘well, good luck with that’. You’ll be waiting yourself into the grave, most likely.
Am I just some bitter, miserable, disappointed aging gym rat trying to throw a couple of litres of dirty water on your parade? Gee, I hope not. That’s certainly not my intention here. Really, that is the last thing that I want to do. I would like to think that it’s more like pouring some ‘tough love’ on something that I truly care about, hoping that it will grow into something beautiful and substantial.
Although knowledge and experience are always helpful, what is absolutely essential are the 3 R’s: resiliency, relentlessness & ruthless optimism. These are the main mandatory survival assets necessary to leverage against all obstacles that are threats to you, your progress and your ambition to get on in the world.
And, uh, almost forgot, one more thing. You need to be selfish. I don’t mean that you need to be a Selfish Bastard. I do mean that in order to win against the mighty devils & evil spirits of adversity and self-doubt, and in order to succeed against all the odds not stacked in your favour, it is a rather good idea to be convinced that what you are doing in the gym is very important & matters a great deal. Not that it is just some self-indulgent pastime that you are sheepishly sneaking around doing this week because you haven’t grown up yet or have nothing better to do.
In other words, train like you give a fuck and make it stick.
Nothing else is likely to work, at least, nothing that I know of.