posted on February 26, 2020
I am currently around 7 weeks out from my next Powerlifting meet, and things are beginning to ramp up. With training becoming more challenging, it is important to make sure that I am doing all of the small things outside of the gym that make the biggest difference. Nutrition needs to be in line, sleep needs to be adequate, and stress needs to be under control. I’m very fortunate to have a family back home who has always been extremely supportive, even now that I live 6 hours away. They understand that I am very passionate about my goals, and know that during these times, I may not be able to make it home as often as I would like. Traveling seems to take a lot out of me. Not so much physically (although that does come into play), but more so mentally. It is a lot to cram into 36 hours. As a matter of fact, the last time I traveled home for a day to visit my family at 8 weeks out from a competition, I ended up injuring myself during a training session the morning after a 6 hour drive to my parents. Fortunately, with the help of my good friends and training partners, I was able to compete at my highest level. I’d be lying if I said that didn’t cross my mind every time I’ve thought about going home to visit.
I had my mind made up that I wasn’t going to travel during this meet prep. But when I woke up last Thursday and felt homesick, I had to look myself in the mirror and ask if it was really worth it. Was my goal of a 2000lb total more important than spending time with my family? Some people would say yes. Some would say no. Some people would say it has to be one or the other. But I’ve come to realize that you can in fact accomplish both. Yes, it is extremely important to dedicate yourself to achieving your goals, but at what cost? 99% of us reading this are not professional athletes. We do not get paid to exercise every day, compete in competitions, or run marathons. We do it for fun and recreation. It helps us to be a better person physically and mentally. At some point, things are going to slow down, and training may become less important to us than it is now. If we put so much effort into one thing for so long and we choose to shut out those other people and things in our lives that bring us fulfillment, what will we have when it’s all said and done?
Sure, you achieved your goals, but what did that really get you? I can promise you that it’s not the equivalent of those other things in life which make it full. I did in fact travel home to see my family last weekend. And I did in fact get to have a quality 2 hour training session. Afterward, my brother, sister, and both of their families all got together at my parents for a cookout. We laughed, cried, told stories, and hugged each other as if we would never get to do it again. It was the best decision that I have made in a very long time, and I am in a better place mentally than I was before I decided to go.
Bruce Lee once said, “Become like water my friend”. He believed in forming to whatever scenario you find yourself in. Flow effortlessly and be completely captured in the moment. If you are training for an hour on a Tuesday night after work, then you are only focused on that one thing, nothing else. If you go home to spend time with your family for a day, then dedicate every minute of that day to being will them, and enjoying the small things. If you choose to do this, you will in fact achieve all of your goals, and live a more fulfilled life in the process.