I laid on the flat bench getting ready to complete my final set of the pyramid, 185 for 10 reps. I stood back up and made sure that the bar was where I wanted it. I looked my spotter in the eye and said, “I’m getting 10.” I sat on the edge of the bench and adjusted my headphones. I closed my eyes and took a few deep breaths. When I opened them, my mind was ready and it was time to get it. I laid back down and grabbed the bar. One……two……three…and the bar was now over my chest. The first three reps were easy. But after the fourth rep, my body screamed ENOUGH! I held it for a moment, and then completed a fifth rep. That was it. That’s all I had. I gave it my all. I was going to rerack it, but then I instantly reminded myself that I buried that version of me a long time ago…..
We are not born quitters. Quitting becomes a habit if we continue to do it over a period of time. You can do it so often that it becomes your automatic response to adversity or a very challenging situation. Instead of finding a way to get through it, you give up and walk away. It may start off as something small when you’re a child, but then it translates into us becoming adults who quit the moment something becomes hard. That could mean quitting on a project, quitting on a sports team, quitting a job, and quitting on relationships. Now you’re living a life of mediocracy because you have refused to persevere through the adversities that will help you to become a better person. Habits are hard to break. But it can be done. The only way to break the cycle is to do the thing that you have avoided for so long, go through adversity. Thankfully there is a place you can go where can now learn how not to quit, the gym.
The gym is more than just a place where you train your physical body. It is also a place where you can teach your mind how to push pass barriers. Adversity now becomes your friend. You welcome the challenge. The gym helped me to become the man that I am today. I use to have a weak mind and body. I lacked self-confidence. When things got hard, I would quit. Even when I did make progress, I did not allow myself to reach my full potential because I was afraid of the work that I would have to put in to get there. Even though I stepped into the gym for the first time in August of 2004, it took me years to break a habit that took me a lifetime to learn. What’s great about the gym is the culture. All the people that I trained with played a part in me becoming who I am. The people help to create the atmosphere. And because of each and every one of them, I broke the cycle and learned how not to quit anymore. I developed the ability not to quit by learning how to finish. And because of that I have developed a will that can help me push through things that would have broken me in the past…..
…..The sixth and seven rep moved better than I thought. Any explosiveness that was in me was now completely gone. As the bar touched my chest and I began to push it back up for the 8th rep. The momentum stopped. My spotter reached down to grab the bar to help me, but I told him that I had it. Only 2 more to go. I could have stopped right here and there would have been no shame at all from anyone. But this was not about them, it was about me and I don’t quit on myself anymore. This was no longer about what my physical body could do. I’d given 100 percent. My will took over and I was absolutely determined to finish. The bar went down for my 9th rep and I could feel the tightness in my chest and arms. I was pushing it at the speed of a slow-moving elevator. Now my arms were shaking and my grip was not as strong. As the bar went down for my final rep, I went deep within myself for internal motivation. The bar hit my chest and it immediately felt as if I was pushing against a brick wall. I begin to think about the reason I do the things I do. I also thought about the times I just gave up and quit on myself. Nothing, and I do mean absolutely nothing was going to be able to stop me from finishing what I had started. Through sheer will alone, I pushed that bar back up and re-racked it. I stood up in a daze, but I stood in victory. I am proud that I have developed the ability not to quit. It is a lesson that I have learned from the gym that I have applied to my everyday life. Even when 100 percent isn’t enough, I find a way to still give more. Learn how to encourage yourself and to become someone who is known to finish what they start. Develop better habits and find a way to make things happen. Don’t Quit! You got this!