The Contrast

The Contrast
Lift Big, Sing Big, Look Great Doing It.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Love the Obstacles

The obstacles are sexy.

Walking to the campus gym where I train the students of the OCU Opera and Mt program, it's cold, wet, rainy. A sky burdened with black, dropping sheets of of icy tears. The first of many cold mornings where the elements offer up their blockade. This morning is no different, just less convenient. I feel like Rocky Balboa. I walk with that hungry look in my eye, hood over my head. Each step takes me closer to the goal. The rain that was blowing on my windshield now gusts across my face, and now I'm smiling again. My devotion to my practice is tested once more, and I'm excited by this prospect.

I have many fond memories of times I was trudged in ice and snow, rain and sleet to get in my training sessions. I remember times when I'd start my car with thick stacks of snow laying atop it, turn the heat full blast just to have to step out with my ice scraper and clear the windows. Hands freezing through my cheap gloves, now soaked with melted frost. The heater was of little immediate help so I continued shaking like a leaf until the temperature became bearable, all the while looking through frosted windows, my dodge caliber scooting carefully over the icy streets.

I'd get to the gym and like always it was a ghost town. A person here or there had braved the streets, a few grumpy employees. But for the most part it was me and my drive that filled the floor. The metal is rusted, cold, and it's knurling bites extra hard into your chapped and dry hands. I keep all of my layers on through my warm up sets all the way through my initial working sets. Pealing a layer each time it became invasive of the flexibility or the range of motion. By the end of the training session I'd be overheating in a T-Shirt.

After packing up my gym bag with the tools of my betterment, I'd walk out into the cold day with a sun greeting me. I embraced the chill as it now cooled my fevered skin. The feeling is that of victory. Victory over the obstacles set before me by the elements, but also victory over self. But this feeling of achievement is only the result of the obstacle that came before it. Now that I've become addicted to the iron and have found ways over many obstacles, I relish the challenge over the reward.

It wasn't always this way...

I used to have to force myself to get my ass up before 8am with mantras like "successful people do what they have to do whether they feel like it or not." These mantras had their place. It forced behavior that was otherwise out of the normal and transformed it into habitual practice. 

Some people think their mere attendance is enough. That's why places like Planet Fitness are multi million dollar business. It gives you a low barrier of entry and no real obstacles to over come. But they aren't the only ones to blame. I witnessed a lady the other day come to the gym wearing street clothes, sipping on a 44oz soda just to sit on a recumbent bike and barely peddle while texting on her phone. I hope she didn't consider that an effort on her part, and I feel that very few would disagree. She certainly overcame no obstacles, she didn't even change out of the clothes she wore for work/school/whatever. She let the comfort of the outside invade a place where the discomfort is purposefully manifested.

To grow you need to overcome obstacles and observe marked improvement. Complacency is a slow dirge to the burial grounds of life. Cowards die many times before their deaths. The valiant never taste of death but once.

Before I adopted these principles and created these habits, the many times I quit was each in itself a death. It was only when I finally stopped allowing myself to give up, to embrace the discomfort and fall in LOVE with the obstacles that I was finally able to shed the cloak of cowardess and wear the armor of bravery.

Until Next Time,

Lift Big, Sing Big, and Look Great Doing It.

The Opera Bro

No comments:

Post a Comment