Things To Think About
By Donny Shankle CPT
“Ai En Aristeuein” - Greek Proverb (Ever To Excel)
Once you make the decision to become a great weightlifter, and in your heart it is truly what you want to be, then you elevate that pursuit above everything else in your life. Whether or not it is an admirable decision to others does not matter because to you it is admirable.
“Your highest moral purpose is the achievement of your own happiness.” - Ayn Rand (The Virtue of Selfishness)
I made the choice to be great at something and I have made no sacrifices along the way to get to where I am. Never sacrifice anything in order to be what you want to be. The moment you begin thinking that way you are doomed for failure. Also, do not listen to others who say you must sacrifice things in order to be great at something. These types of people are typically attention seekers who live off the approval of others instead of self accomplishment. Their is no reason why you cannot achieve your dreams and in the process have everything else you have ever wanted. This includes an education, the girl of your dreams, money in your savings, and a soft bed to sleep on. All it takes is the will to act and to treat every area of your life the same way you attack the bar, with determination and the intelligence to capitalize on all of your hard work.
If winning on the platform is what you intend to value most then understand what that means. Never let the idea of fame cloud that idea, or the love of a woman cloud that idea, alcohol and drugs, friendships, or the deaths of those closest to you etc. This does not mean you have to be a heartless man who is unable to display compassion. On the contrary, this type of man knows what love truly is by first knowing himself. He admires something so much he is willing to let nothing get in his way in order to have it. His compassion lies in his selfish passion for excellence. By way of example he is the man who teaches others to fish.
A sacrifice is giving up something of greater value in order to obtain something of lesser value. I value nothing in this world higher than becoming a great weightlifter. I never need to step back and re-examine my plans. I never need to think twice about my choice. I never need to take a break from my training. All of my thoughts and energy continually go towards how I can become better and what avenues I can take to ensure responsible living and disciplined training. Never think for a moment you have to begin sacrificing things to live your dream. If that is the case then you are not truly pursuing a dream. You do not understand what a dream truly is and you are living daily in a nightmare of duty. In your mind you will think you are going somewhere but you aren't. Soon you will lose your focus because you were never focused in the first place. Weightlifting is a commitment that requires years in the gym in order to become great. To achieve that greatness, by dedication to something beautiful, you must want to be there above anything else. If your goal is to merely go into a competition and place well, or make an international team, then becoming a great weightlifter is not your dream. If your goal is to open up in competition with a total well above your competitors, and to never settle for anything less than a gold medal brought home, then you have the makings of a great weightlifter. You have the makings of a hero, or at the very least, a resilient son-of-a-bitch who is as fearless as a badger and as strong as an ox.
The weightlifter is the greatest of all athletes. His struggle is the most demanding because, he not only must show grace in the fight but, he must be the strongest and display the most courage everyday. He must never let up. No other athlete embodies what the weightlifter stands for. He is able to achieve so much because his ego never allows him to recognize sacrifice. The mentality of all for one and one for all is not in his mind. Instead, he thinks only of accomplishing his purpose and to let others see his example. He cannot do this without placing the idea of becoming the best on the platform above everything else. Once he does so then that becomes what he values the most in his life and he will not cease in his efforts until that purpose is accomplished. Recognize ego in the gym as a weapon against your opponents which can be trained until it becomes intimidating. Use it everyday and build on it until you never allow negativity into your thoughts. Like I have said before, your intention in competition and training should not just be to win but to crush your opponents will. Weightlifting is war. If you want to win that war give nothing to anyone. Move to the top by way of attrition, remain focused, never for a moment sacrifice anything along the way, and avoid those who believe it necessary. Sacrifice nothing and you will gain everything.