I am fifty years old, now. Fifty. I can't believe it. Seems like yesterday that I was getting dropped off at Cherokee Lane Elementary for kindergarten in 1972. Yes, 1972. Vietnam was winding up, the country was in turmoil, but all was well in Adelphi, Maryland.
Now, I wake up in the morning and take inventory of how everything is feeling.
But one of my first thoughts upon waking is always, What do I have for my training today? I have been doing that since 1979. I hope that never changes, and I doubt that it will. Thoughts do enter my head such as-What happens when I can't train anymore? I know the answer-That it'll be it for me. It is like a Labrador Retriever that isn't able to retrieve anymore, or go hunting to retrieve ducks. And if I can't train and hunt? Forget about it, I am outta here.
You ever wonder if you make any difference at all? Ever wonder if you die right now, just what you will be remembered for in this life?
Will it be a lasting legacy or just a blip on the screen that fades away so much faster than you would want it to?
I think of my military friends and they are so focused and they know their job and what their objective is and they know each day that they are fighting for their country, family, friends and fellow soldiers.
Or a writer like Hemingway, who, after being gone for 50 plus years, still has books written about him. That's what I am talking about, that is a life that was truly lived.
It is probably not enough just to be liked, that seems pretty easy. Just be nice and don't make waves. That's easy. If you gonna put yourself out there, you need a thick skin. But at least you are out there!
And how do some people just go through life without making a dent in anything at all?
And all the material things that you have, the clothes with a popular logo on it, the fancy car, the money, the house, do not matter at all. You can't take it with you, so what does anything like that matter? Why trample over each other at Christmas time when the doors open at Walmart? For what? A deal on a toy? A new pair of shoes just released? Who cares? It's crazy.
I have learned a few things in 50 years, and here are ten of them that I have learned in half of a century. There are many more, but here are the first 10 that came into my head.
1. Be humble. Bragging, poor sportsmanship (very popular today, everywhere), should never be tolerated, and it always backfires eventually. Act like you have been there before, or that you expected to be there.
2. Shut up and learn. You ever be around those folks who ask a question but then you get the feeling that they really just want to tell you what they know about the subject? You can see it, they don't care about your answer, they just want to share their knowledge. And some young coaches are the worst. Seriously, you don't know a damn thing, just listen. You may have been a personal trainer for a month or two, and that's great. But until you coached a whole mess of people for many years, you have a lot to learn.
3. Get up early. For years I was rushing around in the morning like a chicken with his head cut off. Then one day I decided to get my ass out of bed and get organized and do all of the things that I usually put off until the end of the day when I really don't feel like doing it at all. And when I started doing that, getting up, my life changed for the better. I found out that I was a morning person and I ain't worth a damn after 12 pm.
4. Diet is everything- It makes a huge difference in sleep, recovery, inflammation, muscle growth and energy level.
5. Avoid "analysis paralysis" Yes, learn good form, no question. But don't worry so much about what you read or what the guy in the gym tells you that you are doing wrong. Just do it and learn by doing it .
6. Box or train muay thai- the conditioning that these sports offer is amazing. Other benefits include hand eye coordination, footwork , and awareness of where you are when moving.
7. Avoid meetings at all costs- Most meetings are a waste of time , set by people who have to justify their administrative position.
8. Choose who you listen to wisely. If the coach has never done what you have done, or played what you have played, its tough to listen to what they have to say.
9. Train anyway. Just do something, get started. The moment when when you say, Alright, I'm going to the gym, just go right then. Don't look at your phone, don't talk to anyone or do one other damn thing, just go. And if you are working out at home, go go go right then and there. Don't hesitate, go.
10. I got this from Jocko- but when your mind is being weak, and you are questioning whether you should train or not, tell yourself that your mind is being weak and doesn't get a vote. So on those days, grab the bar or the dumbbells or your running shoes and get going with your body in charge.