Hills and valleys

In the long-term, like any other sport and even life itself, a lifting career is filled with ups and downs, steps forward and backward. There are times when we abandon our goals when downturns come our way and the valleys obscure our view of the hilltops. There are even times when it feels like we've entered a convergence of valleys and nothing is looking up. In all cases we should beware actions borne of despair, and we must not lose sight of our goals. This isn't to say that we should never switch paths, or that it might be true that we can't achieve what we set out to, but many have bailed on what could have been successful ventures because they were disheartened.

Lifting has been difficult for me the last couple of weeks. I have been tired, my technique feels like it is backsliding, and I'm finding it harder to see myself making the gains I expected even a month ago. Couple that with a bit of a difficult time period in my day-to-day life, which coincidentally could be contributing to lackluster lifting, and it's difficult to keep my head high. Ostensibly I know that this is normal, and that I will find my way to higher ground as long as I keep striving to do what I know is best (or to learn what is best!).

It wouldn't be fair of me to characterize this as a terrible time. Really, it's only a mild setback in the lifting, and my world has not gone sour. My major reason for this entry is because it made me think about how many people quit when pursuing their goals. It's so easy to do, and there are no immediate repercussions. How simple would it be if I just stopped training and saved myself twenty hours a week, no longer having to get my ass in gear whenever I was tired, not having to watch my weight so closely, allowing myself to spend more time playing other recreational sports...

But don't worry about me. I have definitely set a high bar for myself, for sure, but I've always been a person who went and did my own thing, and I don't dedicate myself halfway. A scene from House, perhaps the only TV show I regularly watch, has a doctor telling an air force pilot: "I've known a few people who had dreams. One thing they all had in common was, they got laughed at, and they didn't care." That idea resonates with me, mostly because I am unorthodox in my approach to life, and it's nothing new for others to think I am strange for it. I wouldn't be unusual to stop because I didn't think I could finish, but I'm definitely too stubborn to quit because things aren't always looking up. I have no idea how well I will end up doing in the end, but I can guarantee that WON'T do well if I quit.

As usual, it seems I have just given myself another pep talk. I hope it was insightful!

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