Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Goals and Deadlines

Looking through many training logs and blogs I am very surprised I do not see more young guys competing. In whatever their chosen sport. Hardly any TSC competitors and those who do it seem to rarely repeat. Same with GS, although I totally understand not wanting to undergo THAT torture.

But( here we go old man) when I was in my teens ,twenties and thirties I LIVED for competing and ALWAYS had goals and deadlines. ANd ways of seriously testing myself if not for comps. I figured the best way to get the best information that was available on physical training was to live like, and try to become like those pros that did it for real.

"GO to the racetrack" Dr Fred Hatfield wrote, "if you want to learn how to drive fast."Better advice I had not heard so I went to the race track; which at various times was pro bodybuilding, olympic and pro cycling, elite level powerlifting and now the best KB teachers in the world.

So I am a bit suprised in how little interest there seems to be. My motto always has been : First you live like a Pro, THEN you get to be a Pro."All I've ever wanted was to be a Pro,an Olympian, Elite. Thats what I lived for.And sacrificed,mightily, for.

SO I comitted to living like a professional athlete(to the best of my ability) in my chosen sport or physical art at the time. ANd I still try to live that way today, although being an old, broken down ex competitive athlete makes that difficult. You recognize soon that the time available to BE that Pro is WAAAAAY shorter than you ever thought. ANd it goes by much faster.

My job now is to train but NOT push , something I am as uncomfortable with as not brushing my teeth.To be a pro at NOT getting hurt and being able to work as much as possible, as pain free as possible.
No where near as much fun as what Nick is doing training for a 600 Pound squat at APC Nationals.

Now my job is to force myself into though gym each training day even though I freakin HATE training last, when I am already shot;only to have to put the brakes on as soon as I get there.

I would freakin KILL for the bodies and youth of so many of those out there who have all the physical skills but so little athletic ambition.I truly understand the concept now that "youth is wasted on the young" ,lol!

Of course they are probably much smarter than me and not destroying their bodies in pursuit of some old fashioned romantic notions of Heroic acts mixed with insecurity( the basis of all "self improvement" acts).

This weekends flush down the pain toilet was also a great reminder for me of how precious the most basic movements of life are and how inconsequential my all time squat pr really is in the grand scheme of things. But on that daily scheme of things it sure is a hell of a lot of fun.

OK rant over. Training on next entry.


Royce said...

Rif I think all elite or very high level competitors feel a lot like you do. Competition is natural for you. Winning one of the most important things in your life. None of that is bad, it is probably through that very mechanisim that we as humans have improved and learned so much. You know, Og develops a better spear point and becomes the best provider of meat in the village, so Mug develops the atlatl and beats him. I have never really had the desire to compete even though I did for a year in full contact karate. It was mostly local intra-school matches with beginner divisions, My instructor pushed me to do it.
For some weird reason those memories are haunting me now and I am starting to have a desire to compete at something ( haven't found a fit yet ).
Oh and I feel ya on the GS thing being torture I did 5 rounds of 12/12 on snatches and bag today ( form definately broke down some I wasn't snatching on the same groove each time toward the end of the workout.) The whole workout took 27 minutes, I puke pretty easy when I get to a certain point in my workouts, like today, LOL. Plus it was almost 100 degrees in my garage. Jared snatched a 53lb'r 275 times in 10 min on the SSST. INSANE INSANE INSANE.
I am glad you are feeling better, I am glad you could workout today, I really get a lot in inspiration from reading your posts. I have that stupid procrastination thing to always fix but when I actually touch the 'bell or barbell it's on.
I hope you find the balance you need to be able to improve and stay healthy all at the same time, although from reading some of your old posts you have improved a lot.
Not being able to jump? Wow that had to suck.
Anyway peace and good health to you.

Franz Snideman said...

Great Post Rif. your comment about not enough people competing is so true. Very few people have the "heart" to compete in anyting. Sad but true. I have always had the heart, just not always the spinal health. Now at 32 I feel like I am more motivatd than ever to compete at SPRINTING, yet I realize I have more family and business responsiblities than ever. But that's what makes it more fun, now I really have to be ORGANIZED, DISCIPLINED and on purpose.

You are so right about how fast those "GLORY" years go by. When I was in my early 20's, I thought I had so much time to get my act together and compete on a very high level. Wow - time is a very good teacher!

Joefitness said...

Beautiful, profound and true because I am that young guy you are talking about. It has been almost 2 years since I last trained to compete and I miss itterribly. I have to find the passion for the sport. I miss the sports I love the most and need to get over it and find something. I have to admit being "on stage" at the RKC with the Tame The BEast challenge was AWESOME!!! and I loved every minute, every second and crave the moments

Mark Reifkind said...


since I have been competing since my teens it's hard to disagree with you about being a "natural" competitor but whether the comp is organized or not the point about goals and deadlines is critical.
In order to defeat the "procrastinator " in you must set goals and deadlines,no matter how modest,and make yourself accountable to those-even if it means failing to obtain.
I failed many many times trying to meetmany of my goals. Immaterial to the long goal of Mastery of Body ,Mind and SPirit.
The comp is just a test to assess how your physical and mental training is going.
Win,lose or draw the next day it's back in the gym!Your 5x12/12 is just as important as jared 275. its justone step on the way to the next.but, do NOT let yourself procrastinate.Set up a MINIMAL committment and STICK to it or PUNISH yourself.NOt kidding.

Joe you are WAY to talented NOT to compete.You should have won the TSC this year regardless of situational are truly wasting huge talent, as you saw with the Beast Challenge.You should( and really are) be right up there with the big boys. BUt you have to choose it.

Franz, I am so glad you are sprinting again! and I ,more than most, understand about trainng and competing with injuries.But Goals and Deadlines does NOT mean you have to be World Class and sacrifice the body for that. Just that you put pressure on yourself to do slightly better than last time.
Tons of great sprinters DONT squat or dl I bet.My best lifts were done between ages 35 and 40. Nuff said!

Royce said...

Never thought about competing as a check and balance to see how the training is going. And your right whenever I have a deadline to meet, I.E. a certain work quota to meet in a certain time frame, I become very, very motivated.
Very interesting Rif, thank you.

Mark Reifkind said...

I have always trained to compete, and tried to think that way even if I didnt have a meet coming up immediately. I always planned on competing as soon as I could. It was easy as a powerlifter, harder as a cyclist and easy as a runner.

But it was the mindset that was important. I trained AS IF I was competing and had to test my training theories. Still, win lose or draw I was back in the gym the next day so the results werent as important as the deadline.

as you said royce, it forces you to get things done and figure things out for real.

Plus, if I competed it would justify all the time I spent training ;))

Joefitness said...

thank you Rif. I just have to incorporate the deads and I think I am going to start to go back to Golds.