‘The only time Success comes before Work is in the Dictionary’. Vince Lombardi. I love a good quote, me.
One of the things I love about the gym and weight lifting is that we seek to fail and your celebrated for it. If you’re not failing you’re not working hard enough. If you can lift whatever is front of you, there’s no opportunity for growth, you can’t get stronger lifting the same weight day in day out. If you continue to lift weights you can already lift, there’ll be no progress. There’s no stress, no opportunity to adapt.
In actual fact you become LESS able to adapt. You can’t adapt to stress, because there is no stress.
You might think that sounds great. No stress! No pain!
Which is worse? The pain of trying, the stress of doing something extra? Or the pain of living your life the same day in day out, in fear of what could happen because you have no experience for overcoming challenges.
There’s a point when you’re lifting weights that your muscles simply cannot move any more. No amount of positive thinking will help you lift the weight. That’s true failure.
We celebrate when people fail, because they tried. They stepped out of their comfort zone (and trust me, it feels very uncomfortable!), put their body on the line and gave it all they had.
If they fail again, we still cheer them on. Having a go is half the battle. If you’re prepared to lift the weight, you’re likely to succeed at some stage. As long as you have another go.
And that’s what we do. Have another go.
Steph Reid, a GB track and field Paralympian, said when she appeared on Dancing on Ice “I’d rather give it all I’ve got and fail epically, that not try at all”.
Having supportive gym friends is crucial. Knowing you can have a go at something, fail massively and still have your friends cheer you on feels fantastic. It makes you want to have another go.
With another go comes the opportunity to adapt, the opportunity to grow the opportunity to be stronger than you were and withstand more than you did before.
You can only succeed as long as you’re trying. If you walk away and don’t try again (even another day), you can’t succeed. The weight won’t lift itself, you won’t get stronger looking at it. The only way to lift it is… to lift it…
The only way to get stronger is to do the work, to put yourself on the line, to face a challenge.
For me, the pain of trying and failing is more tolerable than waking up every day not knowing if I will be able to face whatever comes my way.