“Just remember: somewhere, a little Chinese girl is warming up with your max.” – Jim Conroy, Olympic weightlifting coach
The above quote is really about ego. Don’t be one of those guys in the gym. You know who I mean right? The guy who slams down the weights, spends 15 minutes walking around in a vest that surely must have shrank in the wash and won’t stop talking? Gym tourism aside…I like this quote a lot. The point is that no matter how strong you are, there’s probably someone much younger than you using your PB …Just to warm up!!
Humility prevents us from the blindness that our ego can present. When we think we’ve “arrived” or can no longer improve we hit a wall of our own making. Humility allows you to realise that there are others out there better than you at certain things. That isn’t a negative it’s realistic and also inspiring.
I think this quote works in another way too. It’s not just about being humble. I think this should actually be a motivator. You’re staring at that bar thinking “can’t do it” but someone else is doing it right now!! She can do it. OK, so we’re not all enrolled on Olympic programs with a sporting super power. But there’s not really too much difference biologically between you, me and a guy with a gold medal around his neck. I’m not saying you go and challenge Michael Phelps to a race. Unless you’re part of the Justice League, you’ll likely lose. BUT, what about if you challenge yourself?So, if it’s possible for someone to do something and you’re not really that different, then what’s limiting you?
“Do not think that what is hard for you to master is humanly impossible; and if it is humanly possible, consider it to be within your reach.” – Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
We can’t all win gold medals or lift 1000lbs (please don’t!!). BUT, we can push ourselves and our capabilities further than we realise. If you’ve ever ran a road race, the best part isn’t the beginning when you’re fresh. It’s the part at the end when you’re ruined physically but keep going. The miles put in when your body and mind are telling you to stop. There’s a rare satisfaction from that. Discovering you’re not made of glass or that there’s much more in you than you ever realised. It’s in our moments of pushing our limits, working outside our comfort zone that we grow the most.
But if you don’t try or think you’ve “arrived” – well then…you’ll never know what you’re truly capable of.