Over the past couple weeks I’ve been able to talk with a few people in a few different disciplines about “wanting it”. Having the privilege of being around a few pretty high level athletes in my time I have been able to see the rather distinct line between those athletes who really want what they are going for, and those who are just hoping to do really well. Additionally, I get to hang out in a gym, coaching athletes every day, and I get to see the exact same thing. Those athletes who give it their all, they are the ones that see the greatest gains and end up making it to the next level.
Not this is pretty self-explanatory when you think about it for a few seconds: the athletes who put in the best work see the greatest results. Duh! But this is about something a little deeper than that. This is about committing every single aspect of your life to the thing you want the most. If you do you put yourself in the greatest position for success, if you do not, well, chances are pretty high that you’ll come up short.
So what do I mean when I say “wanting it”? Well, I really think it should be pretty simple to understand, but it turns out most people have a tendency to lie to themselves about what they really want, and what they are doing to get it. I’ll be so bold as to say that about 99.9% of the people reading g this right now fall right into the “not smart enough” category. If you feel a tad defensive, would it help if I put myself into that category as well? Eh, probably not, but maybe I’ll use myself as an example rather than insult you all any more.
I wanted to play professional baseball after college. I wasn’t good enough to get drafted so I decided I would do whatever it took to get there. I “wanted it”. Every chance I got I was working on pitching. I studied the body and how to make myself function better as a human and as a pitcher. I trained each and every day for it. I researched how to program throwing to get better at what I did and I filmed myself on a daily basis throwing against a fence because I had no throwing partners or coaches who could help me. I ate as best I could, I trained as best I could, and every second of every day after I graduated college was focused on how I could make it to the next level. And while I never played in the big leagues, it worked, and I made it enough to play three years of professional baseball.
Flash forward to this the 2013 CrossFit Games Open. I wanted to make it to Regionals after just missing a shot at the Games last year with a team. I trained hard, sure. I ate well, sure. I studied up on programming and what it took to be that level of an athlete, sure. I did all that, but did I do it with the same intensity and drive as I did back when I wanted that baseball contract? Nope. And if you remember my sappy, self-pity party post from post-Open failure, I lied straight to my own face about the work I put in. I got stronger, better, and all that great stuff. But I took rest days when I probably shouldn’t have, I slipped up on my diet good amount of times, and when I should have committed to dropping down to a better weight of 220 or so, I allowed myself to stay around 235. That did NOT help and the two workouts that involved a ton of body weight proficiency had me finishing far enough behind to miss regionals by only a couple spots. I was pissed. And I was so pride-filled that I refused to see the holes in my approach. I chose instead to blame something external and avoid the pain of taking responsibility for not doing the right things.
I didn’t “want it”. OK, enough of the quotations. If someone truly wants something they will do whatever it takes to get there. They wont take weeks off, or extra days off. They won’t find excuses for not staying focused. And that’s exactly what it is that gets in the way of people making it to that next level, excuses. You’ll always be able to tell the people who want it because they never make excuses and just do the work. There’s no talking about it, no bragging, no cheat days, no extra days off. It’s all dedication, commitment, and intelligence. I used to keep a note in my wallet and looked at every morning and night, it said: “what did you do today to make yourself and better baseball player”. Jason Khalipa (just finished 2nd in the CrossFit Games today) wrote on the wall of his garage gym: “what’s Rich Froning doing?” (Froning won, his 3rd straight year).
Whatever it is that motivates you, use it. If you feel like making excuses, don’t. If you really want something, ask yourself: how bad? If you really want something you will find a way. If you just sort of want it, you’ll find yourself making excuse after excuse and blaming other things rather than being honest with yourself and taking responsibility for your failures.
If you want something, go GET IT!!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
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