We live in a very interesting time. We live in a time when social media dominates everything we say and do. We pull up our favorite celebrities, athletes, and even our friends to see what they are up too. Most will leave an inspirational quote or some other cliche statement about achieving their dreams or chasing their goals. They are meant to inspire others or more than likely just there to get “likes”. What happens when we set goals that we don’t achieve, however? What happens when the road we are taking is harder than the road someone else has taken? These thoughts make it seem that some have it easy or are just lucky or gifted. This is far from the case. The fault lies squarely on you.
First off let me just say that everything is about perception. What appears on social media is a facade. You may think someone has it easy or someone is genetically gifted, and that may be the case, but that is not the sole reason for their success in life. People’s success in life comes from hard work. It may not allows be soul their hard work and they may have others help them but it does come from hard work from someone. In the world of athletics we like to say, “oh this person was made for this” or “it’s easy for them they are 6 foot 8”. That’s fine and dandy but at the professional level, everyone is at the same ability level. So what separates the good from the great? Hark work! And it’s not hard work for the sake of working hard. It’s understanding a system that works for you. It’s understanding that 1 hour of hard work is better than 4 hours of aimlessly following a program. It’s understanding your weaknesses and systematically attacking them and not just jumping on a pull-up bar and “practicing” kipping chest to bar pull-ups and say “I worked on them”. What separates the Mat Fraser’s, the Tom Brady’s, and the Micheal Phelp’s from the rest of professional athletes is they attack their weaknesses without neglecting their strengths. No one is genetically gifted at everything. They each have their weaknesses and they have to know how to attack them. This same understanding of attacking weaknesses applies to us everyday athletes as well. Someone isn’t just better than you, they are better at attacking their weaknesses than you are. What are you doing to strengthen your weaknesses yet still accentuating your strengths? You are responsible for getting better at your weaknesses, it takes the coach to show you the way and develop a system for you. But the work lies in you. What are you doing to attack your weaknesses? What system are you following or are you blindly following and hoping for the best? This is where online programs built for the masses fail. Weaknesses are on you but can not be worked on so much that they diminish your strengths.
An example of this is a workout involving the assault bike. Larger individuals have an advantage on that machine. No matter how hard a smaller person goes on the bike, no matter how often they are on the bike, they will still have a disadvantage on the bike. This doesn’t mean to not work on it. You can always get better. So you study what watt output works best for you for short workouts and long workouts. You find your ideal watt output and when against a larger competitor you just hold your output. You then attack a part of the workout that you would have an advantage in, such as a gymnastics movement. But if you focused solely on the bike as a weakness developer and neglected to work on your strength of a high skill gymnastics movement you may have just negated your advantage in favor of just getting slightly better at your weakness. The onus is on you. When you are beat ion a workout, the responsibility to fix your weaknesses is on you. Don’t say “I only got beat because he/she is naturally gifted. They put in the work to be better, now it’s time for you to do the same.
Each one of us has strengths and weaknesses. Even pro athletes have these. They have to be able to attack their weaknesses with a purpose, not aimlessly running around a facility or swimming in a pool. There has to be a purpose with everything you do. If you are not getting better, what are you doing to be better? Don’t look around and blame your coach, programmer, or fellow competitor about why you aren’t getting better. Remember while your pointer finger is pointing at them, three more fingers are pointing at you.
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