Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Greater than my own personal glory

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There’s been some advice I’ve given younger people I’ve crossed paths with in the gym over the years – the state of mind they cultivate before attempting a challenging fitness effort. It is advice I have followed in my own training pursuits over the years and believe it has served me well.

I personally discovered this many moons ago when my son ran cross country in high school. At a meet one day, I suggested that he offer up his race effort for Jason’s father, one of my former karate buddies who had recently died too early in life from a heart attack. We both had fond memories of the time Jason's father invited us to accompany him and his son to a WWF wrestling show during the glory years of Hulk Hogan who was on the card that night.

My son ran a good race that day. By offering up his race effort for Jason’s father, he gave it meaning and purpose. His good race day performance was for something greater than his own personal glory.

Recently I’ve given similar advice to a young man I know who trains in the Olympic lifts at my former gym, telling him to not only work on his platform presence skill set – the way in which an Olympic lifter approaches the platform and mentally prepares for an attempt – but to also offer up his attempt for something greater than his own personal glory. I told him that this mental preparation and “offering” should not be limited to competition day but to each and every lift he attempts.

Yesterday I posted a similar comment on another cyberspace fitness brother’s blog where he chronicles his Olympic lifting training journey. He’s in the final stages of preparing for an upcoming meet. This is the I posted:

"I'm cheering for you in cyberspace. Offer your attempts for something greater than your own personal glory such as a deceased family member or a sick friend. It'll give meaning to your performance and a PR will be like frosting on the cake.”
My experience in following this advice is that it gives me comfort and support that I’m not alone in those dark and lonely moments of maximum mental and physical exertion.

Give it a try the next time you are making a pedal to the metal attempt to set a new PR in your training - be it a single set of pulllups for maximum reps or tackling a one-rep maximum barbell squat. You may find, as I have, the true joy of offering my effort for something greater than my own personal glory.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum


Anonymous said...

That's a great idea.
Thank you. :)

Do I really need to sign my name anymore?
It's me, Donna :)

Tom said...

I like that. It's a prayer with sweat.

I'm sure you told me about the race back when it happened, but I forgot. Thanks for bringing back a memory of a good man. One of the toughest I've met - sets of 400 lb squats BEFORE a tough karate workout. My thumped face is sore thinking about it. Control wasn't his strong point.

Jason said...

Thanks for sharing this! This really means a lot!