Wednesday, September 28, 2011

You Think That You Are So Great

One thing that drives me nuts is the "condition" of self importance. To put it simply, you aint better than anyone else. Period. A maintenance worker is just as important as anyone else. The guy that pumps your gas is just like you. He has struggles, a family, bills, kids....the whole thing. I pumped gas in high school and used to laugh when someone would come in and treat me like I didn't exist. I figured out then that these folks had some sort of low self esteem issue where they felt the need to raise themselves above someone else.

There were only two professors allowed behind the equipment counter in the Physical Education Department at the University of Maryland in the 70's and 80's- My father and my Uncle George. I worked behind that counter in 1987 and I asked the guys why only those two were let back there. They explained that everyone else thought that they were better than they were and my dad and uncle treated them as equals, as friends. I see it all the time. When I delivered pizzas in the early 90's , not very long ago, people treated me as though I was less of a human. Meanwhile, a few hours later, I was coaching football for a college and players were calling me sir and running through walls when I told them to. I hadn't changed a bit, but the uniform had changed. Of course I have done it also and continue to at times- I have to catch myself and remember how it felt when someone treated me that way. What is very interesting is that the smartest people I know, my son's doctors, are the friendliest of all. Maybe because they are beyond needing to prove that they are someone. They are humble and self-deprecating.

There is a line from the movie, All The Right Moves, where the football coach blackballs a player from the going to college and generally treats everyone around him like they are peasants and he is the king. The blackballed player yells at the coach one day,"Who do you think you are?? You are just a football coach!" and its true. You aren't performing an operation on a ten year old, you are coaching a game. That line has always stuck with me, and it has kept my ego in check for a long time.

All About Being a Lifer

What's a Lifer? Someone who isn't in to something for just a day, a month, a's for life. Whether its training or your family or your doesn't matter. You work at it, you build on it, you see the big picture . You don't miss workouts because it means something to you. You are like a Shakespearean actor- no matter what is going on in your life, you block it out when it's time to train. You walk into the weight room and all else disappears. Worry about it later.