There is a demon every lifter must face before starting a training program. It must be faced at the beginning and then again, in one form or another, as we continue to train. Over time and with practice facing this demon will become easier, but it never fully goes away.
Those of us who have trained for a while know this. We’ve made our peace, we understand the struggle and recognize its value. This is an internal battle, one that can only be faced alone. In the end, you either deal with it, or you don’t.
As an evangelist for Physical Culture, Self-Reliance and Personal Growth, I want you to win. This is why I have a gym and I run it the way I do. I don’t care about your six pack abs, your “extreme” endurance, or how much you can lift. What I care most about is this demon and how you face it.
This demon has a name. That name is Fear.
Fear takes many forms, but in the gym its three faces are Fear of Failure, Fear of Rejection and Fear of Injury.
Whenever I talk to anyone about starting a training program I am confronted with Fear. I hear, “I really need to work out, but I’m not in good enough shape to start. What can I do to get ready?”
They never like my answer, a variation of, “Show up.”
This forces them to face Fear. Extra steps, a pre-program, things to do before you start are ways of putting off Fear to delay the confrontation.
That delay has a way of growing. The more we think we have to do before we start, the less likely we will. As with most confrontations the event is usually much less than we’ve built up in our minds, but we’ll never know until we face it.
Now, here’s another truth. This is not a one time battle. Sure, the battle to actually walk in the door is usually the biggest, but once that demon is defeated, there are other, subtler, more insidious fears you’ll have to face.
“Get comfortable, being uncomfortable.”
Believe it or not, this can be done. You can find comfort outside your comfort zone. In order to progress and grow, you have to figure out how.
Whenever I face a weight I’ve never lifted before, Fear kicks in–Fear of Failure, Fear of Injury, Fear of Disappointing, others and myself. An inner voice begins to question whether or not this is such a good idea. I have no choice but to banish those thoughts. If I don’t I won’t make the lift and my chance of injury is magnified. It’s impossible to maintain a stable, upright posture when your mind is thinking negative thoughts.
Conversely, with strong, positive thoughts, my body reflects my mind and I am more secure in my lift. In this state of mind I benefit, even from failure.
And so will you.