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What would a Champion do?

September 12, 2016

Two years ago I did my best ever deadlift of 200 kilos. Today, two years later, my best lift is still 200 kilos. Since 2014 I have torn the ligaments in my ankle which had me off my feet for 10 weeks and unable to do sumo deadlift (my style) for 4 months. I’ve fracture dislocated my elbow which goes without saying had me out for quite a while. I’ve had a couple of flare ups of my Ulcerative Colitis which, while they haven’t stopped me training for great periods, interrupted my programmes, and caused me to go backwards week on week. All this time I have been taking corticosteroids which catabolise my muscle making it hard to put on size or strength.

I’ve watched all my competitors get stronger and widen the gap between them and myself. I’ve watched records fall making my long term goal even further away than before. I am about to start peaking in my current programme in an attempt to qualify for nationals. But once again my Colitis is rearing its ugly head and I have to choose between upping my steroid dose (and negating all the work I’ve done once again) or pushing through the blood loss and fatigue and pain for possibly no gains anyway and a likelihood of hospitalisation. I am going with the latter for one simple reason: it’s what a champion would do.

Mantras are very useful things. A lot of people use them to succeed. Some to promote themselves or their brand. Some just to get through their day. I am using it to keep motivated. Everytime I feel like I can’t be bothered, or I’m too tired, or it won’t make any difference; I ask myself: what would a champion do? Champions have off days. Champions fail all the time. Champions have injuries and self doubts as well. What a champion always does, though, is put the work in. I have to be smart; I’ve been on life-salvaging therapy before and have no intention of getting back there. But I also know what won’t kill me. A champion would draw the line under a bad session and make the next one that much better. A champion will train when all they want to do is sleep their morning or evening away. A champion will be honest with themselves about what will make them better, and work towards that constantly.

I am not a champion yet. But if I work and act and think like one; it is only a matter of time.

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