Damn, I’m Lucky

Walking home from the library tonight after a 5.5 hour study/work session I kept catching a glimpse of a beautiful orange sunset between the passing buildings. Down each alleyway my gaze instinctively wandered to my left and I was continually drawn in by the late summer sunset.

Having no pressing plans I decided to wander behind my house towards the water of the Cornwallis River. I quickly found a previously unknown path to the waters edge, where I was able to snap this picture looking back towards town.

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Unfortunately, I only had my cell phone to try to capture the beauty but… as I stood there I could help but think of Travis Tritt’s “It’s a Great Day to Be Alive”

I’m feelin’ pretty good and that’s the truth
It’s neither drink nor drug induced, no
I’m just doin’ alright

Turn Off Your Brain And Shut Yourself Up!

I just finished listening to episode 171 of the Barbell Shrugged Podcast with John Broz (go to barbellshrugged.com right now and sign up for the newsletter. I’ve learned so much from these guys it’s ridiculous). God did it ever hit home for me as I start seriously training.

The gist of it was: how you feel is a lie. Basically John, Mike and Chris talked about how the limits you set on yourself are a joke and can be easily overcome if you shut your brain off. John’s athletes squat up to 13 times a week… pretty much 2 times a day, every single day…without fail. And he doesn’t have them doing light weights, his top guys are up to 200kg+ twice a day… serious weights for damn sure.

Listening to this podcast (for probably the third of fourth time) came at a perfect time for me. School is just starting, along with the hockey season beginning to ramp up – a pretty busy time. But thanks to John, I’ve come to realize that just because I am busy, or a bit tired doesn’t mean I can’t hit the gym and get some work done. I won’t hit a PR every time I touch the bar, but as Broz says, “each time you touch the bar is a positive, and every time you don’t it’s a negative”. This is something I really need to remember.

Even if I just go into the weightroom and do some technique work, or positional things it’s a positive. As a result, I’ll be better for it. Ya, maybe I could have stayed home and “recovered” by spending hours on my computer instead, but I won’t be any better academically or athletically because of it.

They also discussed the idea of goals. Broz is not a fan of having small, easily attainable goals. Instead he looks at your goals as what you want to REALLY accomplish. Even if you don’t get to your goals though, you should still accomplish something. For instance, he says you shouldn’t set your goal to make the Olympic team because if you fail you have nothing to show. However, if you set your goal to win Olympic Gold, even if you don’t meet that goal there’s a damn good chance you still made it to the Olympics.

The same goes for the numbers you put up. We all want to be strong and lift heavy ass weights, because we want to be able to tell people about it (humility be damned). We also have a very short period of time to reach those numbers, usually until we reach about the age of 32-35. Assuming you live to 80-ish, you have 45 years where people are asking about your numbers. You don’t want to look back and know you could have done more, so you may as well set your goals high. For instance, maybe you want to snatch 105kg (231lbs)… but do you want to repeatedly tell people that was your max snatch for the next 45 years. Or would you rather tell them your max was 120kg?

The answers to those questions will tell yourself a lot about the type of athlete you are, and you will be.
…I know I’d rather put in the work to tell people 120 instead of 105