**Before I begin, I wanted to offer up a contrasting thought to everything I’m about to say. To be human is to be emotional. In many ways, it’s the feelings we have that are the defining difference between humanity and anything else. Regardless as to what it would mean for performance and efficiency, a life without emotion would be bland and meaningless.
Don’t shoot the messenger, but your feelings don’t change a thing. I was reminded of this harsh reality when I came across a quote from prize fighter Manny Pacquio that read:
“Boxing is not about your feelings. It’s about performance.”
I’ve often said that the best baseball player would be an emotionless robot unaffected by past failures or potential future outcomes, and it’s true. Our emotions can’t be redeemed for anything real. It’s a buzz kill, I get it, but when I see and hear people explain away their responsibility, especially when it comes to health and fitness, someone has to be the bearer of bad news.
I think what Mr. Pacquiao is talking about above is that harsh reality of performance. In his world, winning is damn hard and though I (and everyone) can understand reasons for losing, those reasons don’t make you a winner. Make sense?
No amount of injustice, bad calls, “I tried my hardest” statements, or otherwise can change the reality of performance. As humans, we often like to talk about our feelings, especially when justifying less than remarkable outcomes. We like a pat on the back. As a coach, I’ll admit there are perfectly suitable times to offer a pat on the back, but many times I think we’d be better off facing the objective reality.
In fitness, this is pandemic. Your health, the weight of the bar, and your body composition could care less about all the great reasons why you’re unhealthy, not strong enough, or overweight. That might sound harsh. It is. But, as humans we need to hear it.
Regardless of how normal it may be to work the job that you work, drink the beers that you drink, have the immobility that you have, and smoke the cigarettes that you smoke, there’s not an amount of justified emotion in the world the change the real outcomes of those behaviors. Even though I think we all can empathize with the father of three who works hard, can’t find time to eat well or exercise, and has some alarming blood work, it doesn’t change his pre-diabetis and his hypertension, for example. So, rather than ignore reality by looking at all the perfectly good reasons he has to be unhealthy, I think we should be able to accept reality no matter how hard it is to swallow.
No one likes a slap on the wrist, especially one that doesn’t offer a solution. So, here’s a good strategy. Rather than try to decrease an feelings of disappointment or failure around an area of weakness for you, face it full on. Let it hurt. Let the reality of the situation burn enough to take action against it, because it you don’t you’re always going to explain away your responsibility.
This is hard. It’s supposed to be. Suck it up, buttercup, because we’re all on this trip together and we could use your help. Let’s go!
Complete the following for time:
3 Min Bar Hang
25 Deadlift (225/155)
20 Hang Power Clean (135/95)
15 Shoulder to Overhead
**If athlete drops from bar before 3 min, pay a penalty in burpees