Don’t Wish It Was Easier, Wish You Were Better.
I have been thinking a lot about that quote recently. In my own life I struggle with my bike fitness, my business, and my motivation in general. I may struggle but I never quit. We all tend to look to the outside for reasons or blame.”They have good genes” or “They have a rich family”. We also look for others with the same struggles to make us feel better about our shortcomings. This is human nature and it is wrong! That quote even has it wrong. It should say “Don’t Wish It Was Easier. Make Yourself Better!” Look inside. If you live in America or any developed country and you are not where you want to be it is entirely on you.
In my own narrow view of the world I see a whole lot of lowering the bar and inclusion when what we should be doing is raising the bar and excluding. In the mountain biking world there is a massive effort everywhere to dumb down the trails. Crews are out there right now removing rocks and obstacles. We have paved roads and spin classes for people who can’t be bothered to learn how to really ride. This is the cycling equivalent of T-Ball. When I see a rider who is better than me ride a section that I have to walk I am inspired by it. I am not inclined to smooth it out so I can ride it next time. I will either work on my skill so I can ride it or just admit that it is beyond my ability. That is a hard thing to admit but it is honest and takes a lot more character than trying to change the trail to fit my lack of skill. Not all trails are meant to be ridden by all riders.
I see the same thing in the fitness world. Go online and you will see tons of articles with titles like “Run A Sub 3 Hour Marathon On 3 Hours A Week Training”, “6 Pack Abs In 5 Minutes A Day”, “Lose 30lbs In 30 Days Without Changing Your Diet Or Exercising”. Why? Because no one wants to hear that unless you are a genetic mutant you are gonna need to run 10-15 hours a week, sleep 8-10 hours a night, and eat clean to run a sub 3 marathon. Don’t keep asking questions until you find the answer you want to hear. Ask someone who has done what you want to do and do what they say.
Stop diminishing the achievements (or lack of) of others to make yourself feel better. In Planet Fitness we have an entire company based on the premise that if you work hard you are a Lunk. These are the same type of people who remove obstacles from mountain bike trails. Places like Planet Fitness can do what they want I really don’t care as I don’t go there but they are sabotaging their own members by instilling in them that it is not ok to push yourself. I respect anyone that will commit to training to improve themselves and I will never make fun of them for that. On the flip side no one should make fun of those who are really pushing the limits of what they can do. Fitness is not a destination it is a process and a journey. That journey is different for all of us. I train with elite military operators, NFL players, stay at home mom’s, fund managers, fighters, climbers, bobsledders, runners, pro cyclists, etc. We all have very different goals and reasons to train yet we all understand and respect each other.
Standards matter. If you tell me you can do 50 push ups then in my mind that is 50 perfect chest to floor push ups. If they aren’t then why bother? For my current clients I offer an apology and a warning. I have been pretty lax lately in some of the form I have been allowing. Especially in the warm up. This is a huge disservice to you all and I am sorry. Moving forward there will be no room sloppy technique. I used to cringe when I would hear my yoga friends talk about “their practice”. It just sounded so forced and pretentious. Now I see the wisdom in it. Each move is a practice. The number one rule I have with my athletes is to not get injured in the weight room. Using the deadlift as an example. Barring any pre-existing injuries or conditions it is impossible to injure your back if your technique is solid. Knowing that why would I allow myself or my athletes to sacrifice their safety in the name of a PR? No winning ugly.