Sunday, October 08, 2006

Goals, Deadlines, Balls and Heart.

Maybe I am just weird. Ok, I know I am weird but maybe I am even weirder than I thought. I have a hard time understanding those who have mucho talent but little drive to compete and excel. It probably has much to do with having LESS feeling of inadequacy. I believe that most desire to accomplish and achieve things, in men, come from an innate feeling of not being enough, as they are.

Most bodybuilders started as underweight and scrawny. Many rich people overcame severe poverty with the vow never to be poor and go without again. I know my desire to build and control my body stemmed from adolescent feelings of inadequacies. Being short and small isnt the best postition to hold in male society. Tom Platz once told me it was not enough to want to be a champion. One needed to NEED to be a champion, to need it in their soul,to HAVE to have it in order to do what is necessary to overcome all the obstacles they will encounter on their way to the top. I agree.

I have seen so many with so much talent but no will. My high school friend in gymnastics was like this. TONS of talent but always coasting. He got a full ride to Iowa, with me and never accomplished anything. He was always holding back, afraid to committ his heart and soul to the task of becoming great in case he didnt succeed. It was far easier, after not accomplishing his goals, to say he "really didnt care" that much, than to lay it all out there, full desire and all and miss the ring. Then what could he say? That he tried his best and still didnt measure up?

To me thats preferable because there is nothing to stop one from trying again. And again. And again. And.....

So is that desire to achieve that which seems unachievable healthy? Probably not. Normal? Possibly. Desireable? I wouldnt wish my obsessions on any one. But what you see depends on where you stand and the few moments when I have achieved that which I so sought with every fiber of my being provided a view that was worth every moment of pain and suffering that it took.

At least to me.It would be a far easier, and probably more sane, life to take the middle road as the Buddha taught and enjoy that which you already have, and not push so hard.I just don't know how to do it.Even now after all this pain and hardship.

I heard Matt Serra, BJJ Black belt say that the competition wasnt about beating the other guy but testing oneself and that's exactly how I feel. The goal, the deadline, the pressure is all about taking yourself to where you wouldnt go by yourself and seeing what you are really made of.
Of stepping onto the edge of the cliff,looking into the dark void below and stepping off. With a smile, knowing you will get a glimpse of something almost no one else gets to.

And it will bite you. Hard. But the ecstasy of that wholeness you feel when it doesnt bite, and you conquer it, and within that conquer yourself, is indescribably beautiful and keeps me going back to the gym and the pain, day after day after day.

I beleive you never get what you want in life but what you choose. One's wanting of a thing produces just that; the wanting of that thing. In order to GET it, you must choose it, and all the actions that that requires, over and over again, until it is had.And then you must choose again.

But then again, no one ever accused me of being normal. I am just thankful for all the highly talented guys with no work ethic who's asses I got to kick through the years. I never would have been able to beat them otherwise.They helped me strengthen myself in ways they never knew.


The Dymmel said...


I like what you say about "choosing" versus just wanting or desiring.

Good stuff, bro.


Geoff Neupert said...

Most, if not all of us feel inadequate, Rif--you're not alone. This is an issue I've struggled with my entire life, especially with my hip and knee injuries.

I read a great book which challenged me to confront my inadequacies and my ability to deal with them. It's called "Wild At Heart," by John Eldgredge. Check it out--it's good.

Mark Reifkind said...

thanks tim, its a core beleif of mine.

thanks bro, I will check it out.