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What Exactly Am I Doing This For?

Here you are. toiling away at our gym and you have maybe a plate or two on the end of the barbell and you think to yourself, “This is great progress!”  Then you examine social media from IG to FB and everything in between.  Suddenly, you are thinking to yourself, “You lazy, weak sack of shit.  A 13 years old girl in China is out lifting you and some 84 years old grandfather just smashed your best squat.”  You post your progress to said social media and even your mother doesn’t give you a like.  C’mon, right?
In our society, that is merit based, you have so many choices and so much information and so much of everything that you are burdened by a constant fear of being inadequate.  You know the drill:  the need for better grades, a more attractive mate, a more attractive body,  the need for cooler hobbies, more friends, more money, etc.  That is one heavy burden when all you want to do is squat with a couple of plates on the bar!  Or snatch your age and never mind your body weight.
These are big challenges to keep your own progress in mind.  Take pleasure in how far you have come.  Remind yourself that a few weeks or months ago you were not lifting the weights you are today and not moving as well as you do now.  These are simple things and oh so important to keep telling yourself.  You are going to lose every time if you compare yourself to someone else because you can always find someone bigger, stronger, faster, richer, smarter, etc. than you.  And making assumptions about where you “should be” at a particular point are not very helpful either.
If you have been something for x amount of time and you are at Z position, what’s bad about that for you?  No need to “should” all over yourself.  If you are starting out in the sport of weightlifting, I consider you a toddler.  It’s gonna take a while until you get to the steady walking stage.  The fact that you are a growed-ass adult is irrelevant.  Five or 6 or 7 years from now, you will be further along the road.  The most experienced lifters in our club didn’t start out where they are now when they each walked into the gym 10+ years ago.  It takes time to get to that inflection point and everything comes together.   It is a great feeling when it does happen and it will.  In the meantime, make sure to take pleasure in the simple and mundane things of “Tight.  Close.  Finish.  Feet flat on the floor as long as possible.”
Before Nick Mangold went to Ohio State on a full scholarship and then got plucked from college to play for the New York Jets and got a huge signing bonus, his mother said that it took him until he was a junior in high school before he was coordinated enough and athletic enough to do what was required of him as a football player.  Mind you, he was 17 at the time.  He had been playing football for 10 years.
“You know what I’m saying,” the Platform said.
Ready.  Steady.  Go.

About the author: USAW National Coach President and Head Coach Cincinnati Weightlifting Club Numerous Master Weightlifting national and state records Silver Medal World Championships, Masters 2013 National Championships Meet Director 2013 National Championships, Bronze Medal, 56 kilo 2012 Ohio Club Champion 85 kg 2011 Team Champion Ohio Weightlifting Championships 2011 Best Overall Male Lifter, Ohio Championships 2010 American Open Championships Meet Director 2010 Asian Games Gold Medalist 2010 Best Female Lifter, East Tennessee State University Open 2009 Ohio Club State Champion 69 kg 2008 Ohio Club Champions 2008 Ohio Club State Champion 77 kg 2007 Ohio Club Co- Champions 2007 World Weightlifting Championships 7th place 2008 National Junior Champion 75+ kg now a 2012 Olympian

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