Rock Frigging Bottom! Enough already! It was time for a change.
I had succeeded in going full circle to polar opposites. In the blink of an eye I took myself from a miserable fat slob, to on top of the world in mind and body, to withered away in body, mind, and spirit. Equally or even more so miserable as I was in my initial starting state.
At this point I had no further down to go. I had ran myself to the ground. Life was not being lived, but existed in. My health was shot. I questioned any and everything I did, or worse, of was pondering doing. The only thing I was good at was making myself Hurt. Inflicting self pain and deprivation. Much the same as the confidence built from my initial transformation and positive/athletic and bleed into the rest of my life. The hurt, the pain, the doubt and deprivation bleed into all aspects of my life from simple stupid dietary and nutritional choices. Its like a Bad drug, you just get sucked in and soon it takes on all your being. Your only worth and mission in life, the only thing you know how to do is make yourself feel further pain expecting the pain to bring you joy. it's a sad disgusting state and a VERY HARD one to kick.
Ironically, During much of this I was preaching to others what I wouldn't allow myself. Due to my constant reading, research, and questioning of fitness and nutrition I had gained a position of helping and aiding other people in their mission to reach their fitness goals in an intelligent manner. Helping them accept themselves. Make wise choice. Confident choices. Pick their goals. Live an athletic lifestyle. HA J It's likely the best thing that's happened to me. Helping and learning from those I helped. Listening to what I knew and was telling others but not implementing in my own life. It took a while but it was finally a smack in the face. To admit and see yourself in those you help who have problems is a tough but powerful thing to do.
No regrets. Only live, learn, and move the hell on. I learned, and continue to learn my lessons. I've hit highs, and I've hit rock bottom, and I've learned from each and every step and that's what we got to do. There are two things we can take from any situation; memories and knowledge. That's what it took to get me out of the hole, and to stay out of that's hole for GOOD.
Above all take home the importance that action has in reaching any goal in life, be it physical, mental, or professional. Not a damn thing is going to happen unless you Act.
That's what the whole of my first transformation was. I was blind. I had No clue what he hell I was doing but I did it. What happened? It worked. I made killer progress. I kept it simple, basic, and effective. I did what I had to do and did it every day. I learned as I went and fed off of the progress and through out what didn't.
Why did I falter? Reaction took over for action. I was no longer leading myself where I wanted to be, I was reacting to where I thought I should be. I was over thinking. I was in paralysis from over analysis. I was spending all my time questioning and reacting to things I felt, read, or contemplated; instead of taking a stand and acting.
Reading, learning, thinking, and reacting are good, but they at very least need come shortly preceding to action, or even follow action. How does one learn in life? Largely from ones actions. From ones mistakes. From falling down, picking yourself up, and saying "Damn" I aint going to do that again." Your actions in life follow reactions from lessons learned in life.
Read and learn. Take every chance and opportunity to make yourself more knowledgeable. But, if you ever start to reach a point of saturation, As I did, where all the incoming message are starting to cloud and slow your actions. Shut it off. No more reading or learning. Its time to just act. You have more then enough to shift through. Its time for nothing but action. Take a stand or you'll be stuck in a spiral of constant questioning and wheel spinning.
If a tennis player reacts to a serve its to late, they lost the point. If they continue to think they lost the match. They've done there thinking prior. They get on the court and use those lesson and act.
Fun and Confidence.
These come in second just due to the fact you cant have either truly if your in a constant state of reaction. Other then that they are top dog and the truly beautiful thing is they breed one another. Meaning the minute you are confident or have real fun its all that much easier to have more of it. Take every chance you have to have fun. If something is Fun, Do it again. Build on that. Build on that and confidence will follow and a life of fun and confidence is a beautiful thing. Anything is then possible.
In the same turn the opposite is true and almost more so. If something SUCK, truly in not quality times STOP IT. Don't do it again. It does the same thing and has the same power. It sucks you in. The more you live in a state of misery, deprivation and depression the worse it will get. Sadly, for some reason people seem to repeat this much more the former. We have some odd attraction to pain. Exercisers, they jump on a treadmill or a machine and say man that really sucked. That hurt. That sucked. But, if I keep doing it some day its not going to suck.
What the hell are we thinking?? If I keep doing something that really, really sucks. Something I hate. I bet I can get to a point where its tolerable. It wont suck so much. It wont be enjoyable, but it will no longer suck. Man when I get there. That'll be the day. Then guess what? I can search for something else that really sucks, and try and make it not suck so bad.
Get off the suck mobile. Have fun and don't feel bad about it. It should be fun. Life's not supposed to suck. Were not supposed to go through life facing things we hate. Find what you love and do it and be happy about it. If you like jogging, god help us, by all means run like the wind my brother. You'll excel at it for the simple fact you like what your doing and your confident in doing it.
Stop the deprivation. Stop the struggle. Stop kicking you own ass, and start kicking some ass. Become an athlete. We all have the ability, and it can be applied to any goal. Being an athlete is a mind set. Its something we choose to be, not something we earn. Awards and accomplishments are what you get for first being an athlete, not the other way around.
Phillip Stevens, BFA, MFA;
Director of Operations, Staley Training Systems
About The Author
Phil, while attaining both his Bachelors and Masters degrees in studio art found another passion, that of training and nutrition. A constant student, his real-world under-the-barbell and behind-the-fork approach has led to many an opportunity, experience, and change in his life as well as those he has worked.
Phil currently, aside from his varied work with Team Staley, is a working and showing artist [http://www.philstevens.com] His current personal fitness goals are to become a competitive force as middleweight strongman competitor, while building upon his power lifting experience in which he has seen as high as a top ten national ranking; with a two year goal of obtaining an elite ranking as a 242 or 275lb weight class RAW power lifter.
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