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Two Sides Of Us
By Donny Shankle 

A few weeks ago, I watched a Star Trek episode where Captain Kirk is split into two halves due to a malfunction with the transponder. One is meek and indecisive, while the other is cruel, decisive and strong. The crew are stranded on a planet and cannot be beamed up until the transponder is fixed and the remaining crew on board stop Kirk from his mischief. It’s a classic good vs. evil story and shows how each side of a person's personality completes the man.

After watching, I began to think about the feelings I get when I am not productive. I sometimes become irritable and cold; and have to remind myself to stop and work. The work eventually makes me happy. My unproductive side does not become evil (I have known evil men), instead it leans towards being cruel. There is a difference between the two.

To give you an example, I enjoy going to the zoo. Friends I have gone with have expressed how cruel it is to keep such beautiful animals locked in a cage. True. It may be cruel but these animals usually are well taken care of. Evil men would have it another way. They would hunt these animals for sport or kill them to sell pieces of their bodies. It is up to good men to do what is necessary (and sometimes cruel) to stop this evil in its tracks.

Productive work for the weightlifter is making personal records in training and winning gold medals in competition. Cruel feelings or indecisive feelings may emerge when you are not accomplishing this, or you are not training consistently. Decisiveness is required to win. It is necessary to be strong. The Marine Corps teaches you to act decisively in combat in order to stay alive. Weightlifters require it to train with diligence and not skip out on training. The side of you which tells people assertively, “No I am not going out tonight because I have to train tomorrow,” is the side you need to be a champion. Without this side, you would be unproductive and a loser.

Do our emotions derive from this cruel side of us? I’m not sure. I do know aggression lies here and this emotion is a must for any weightlifter on the platform. Aggression will make you move decisive and not hesitate. It will keep the back tight and force you to move your feet. It will turn you into a fighter and keep you moving towards greater achievements. This will almost always be the deciding factor between winning and losing. The champion weightlifter knows this and the good man keeps it under control when he is not lifting.