For the most part, it’s pretty simple – Love and respect your parents, eat your vegetables, don’t lie, study hard in school, don’t do drugs, stay away from idiots in gangs, be positive and be a good role model, and be a good friend. Those few rules will get you pretty far in life, but in my opinion they are lacking a couple of important ones. If you want to achieve success and achieve it with no regrets you will add these two to the list.
Don’t cheat and don’t quit… ever….
Don’t Cheat – Cheating is just that, it’s an unfair way to turn the tide in your favor. Now in situations of life and death, there may be some fudging room -i.e., “if you go to a gunfight, bring a gun. In fact, bring two. Then bring all your friends with guns.” But I assume the vast majority don’t need to worry about this as much as someone with my job and oddball luck, so let’s just keep it simple and apply the rules to sporting endeavors, which subsequently leads to our life endeavors. After all, personal sporting efforts are an extension to a higher quality life through lessons learned and notions gained.
The truth of the matter is, at some point you will be beat. You will encounter a person who is better than you at something, be it lawn darts, accounting or running fast. YOU WILL GET BEAT! Get used to that concept now and accepting defeat will be less of a painful ordeal when it comes around. It’s like dying -it’s gonna happen, so friggin’ get used to the idea now. If you accept the notion of death, life becomes that much sweeter.
In the same vein, if you accept the notion of defeat, victory is that much better. It is earned and hard fought. You can taste it and feel it and it is beautiful. If you enter a CrossFit workout or any other event with a positive mental attitude and put 100% into it and come out on top, good on you. If not, still good on you – you fought the good fight and you will improve incredibly for your efforts through the physical and mental lessons you learned. Think about it for a second. If you were always on top how would you improve? You would never learn what it takes to be truly good.
Don’t for a second contemplate cutting reps, rounds or range of motion short, just so you can catch up to a competitor. It’s not worth it. It’s cheap and it really does nothing for you in the long run. You will gain nothing from it since in actuality you did not push yourself to the brink. Your competitor did, and they will get better. The cheater will just stay in their false world of hope and delusion and stunt their forward growth.
Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Your will be exploited in both the positive and negative manner. Embrace it and grow from it.
Don’t Quit – A quitter never wins and a winner never quits. It doesn’t matter that you are dead last, you are still ahead of the person that quit. Barring true injury, quitting will not make you a better person or make things better in the long run. The notion that you can call “Kings X” whenever the going gets tough will carry over into whatever you do. Unfortunately society and leaders these days make it all too easy to bail out early and that means too many people truly think it’s an option. If you bite something big off, chew it up and swallow it. It may take a while, but who cares.
Shake it off, take a deep breath and finish the job, regardless of how long it takes. Some folks may argue that at some point the effort becomes futile and it’s like beating your head against a wall. The continued work will yield no gains due to it’s drudgery and slow pace. That’s bullshit. That’s just an excuse to quit. It may not be perfect, but you will gain something from it – trust me on this. You ever heard the term, “Die trying”? That’s a whole helluva lot better than the term, “Live failing!”
I won’t quit. It’s not an option. Not in my gym, not when I was a competitive athlete, not in my job. Quitting means failure and in what I do, failure can mean a closed casket funeral. I don’t even want the thought entering my head, so I don’t let it happen at the gym or anywhere else. Come Hell or high water, a true winner will always get through the trials and tribulations put in front of them. And when they do, they are stronger for it. Those are the people you have to watch out for – the ones who don’t know the meaning of “quit”. They will rise to the top because they have tenacity and desire to succeed against all odds.
Dead last? Who cares. I’m last but I won’t be dead…
You want to be a better athlete and human being? Then learn to lose and finish dead last once in a while. You can thank me later.