I often find myself reflecting on my past. I believe to be better, I have to constantly seek the truth by peeling back the layers of lies I've constructed for myself and fix them.
It is so easy to live in lies because the mind has the power to rationalize and justify any myth into irrefutable fact.
My 4-year lifting journey is the perfect example.
Ask any experienced lifter and he or she will tell you, the first few months maybe even the first whole year is a bliss. You couldn't go a month without PR'ing in some shape or form.
(For context, this happened in 2013; a male snatching over 200 lbs was cool and being Instagram famous means having more than 500 followers.)
That was when I first lied to myself as a lifter.
"You're amazing at this," said me to myself.
Then the expected happened.
The PR's stopped coming. To borrow the speech from my young friends, I was ghosted...by my own lifts. I had doubts. I started questioning my coach's program. Often times I would go off the program, add more things into my program or lifted heavier or more reps than I needed.
I lied to myself again thinking I know more than a coach who created Olympians and national champions.
Arrogance and hubris.
I had the punishment that I rightfully deserved. My lifts kept on getting worse.
You see, being "strong" isn't necessarily about doing more reps, adding on more weight or doing a vomit inducing, laying-on-the-floor-flopping-like-a-fish metcon. It's the strength of character and humility; admitting to the fact that you know nothing.
"Strong" is doing the trivial things like paying attention to your diet, put away your social media while you're working out and warm-up with a specific purpose in mind.
It also means gracefully accepting the losses such as bad training days, not hitting PRs, or someone beating your time. Learn from these instances, that's when we grow. Growth is the most important form of winning.
How do we get stronger in this sense?
We start with something small and can be done easily. It doesn't even have to be about the gym. For me is drinking more water each day and keeping my car clean. (You can ask my girlfriend what it was like - a moving dumpster!)
Jordan Peterson, a clinical-psychologist and an author, has been advocating to "set your house in order before criticizing the world" in his book "12 Rules for Life, an Antidote to Chaos" which I absolutely LOVE. To summarize his point, start improving ourselves by doing the small things. That will enable us confidence to take on bigger tasks while instilling a sense of humility that no action that leads to improvement is too small.
These small, "unimportant" actions have compound interests over time and will lead to amazing successes.
Friends, I am not preaching or thinking that I am better than you. Far from it. I am only looking to make myself better for myself and the people around me.
I'm only striving to be stronger than yesterday.