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by Craig Hysell
Let’s say you put in your time here. Or in any gym. The universal average wash out rate for gym clients is 6 months. That’s about the time it takes for the average person to plateau, lose interest, go on to the “next” thing, simply quit, whatever.
But that’s not you.
Let’s say you’ve been doing this for 18 months to 2 years now. You’ve begun to understand the theories we discuss all the time in here about “technique”, “real work”, “disciplined practice”. The 20-30# PR’s don’t come around anymore because you have begun to get strong, really strong and now that you have gotten past the initial adaptation phase (also known as the honeymoon phase), you must work that much harder to get to the next level. Nobody ever said it would get easier and you’ve accepted this. You have become a devotee. You are proud of how far you have come and that you still get after it 4-5 times a week to explore, learn, become. You should be. You are in the minority.
Now let’s say you have also begun to understand the theory of “training intelligently”. Putting you in an even greater minority. You understand that training “hard” is more important… and more applicable, than training “often”. Each session is a practice in intensity or recovery. You practice 4-5x/week. You have learned how to listen to your body and you understand that “the breakdown is done in training, the growth is done in recovery: stretching, eating, sleeping” so that you can effectively apply what you have learned at the next training session. You have finally understood to put a premium on BOTH training and recovery.
You still do not understand your power.
How do you get better? You support the person next to you. When you help your teammate, coach your teammate, show your teammate, cheer your teammate you have become a rock for others to lean on. This in turn makes you stronger because you will feel empowered by this, invigorated by this, inspired by this. What you do for others, they will do for you!
Notice that I said teammate. In this facility, we are all teammates. We understand each other and our philosophy. Strangers, unless they ask of us, do not get the same treatment. They might not understand it or want it. Thousands upon thousands of people pack the stands at The CF Games because they understand, to some degree, what the men and women in the ring are going through. The CF Games are still unique in that most of the competitors and the fans support EVERYBODY. Sure, it’s competitive but, in the end, most of us are cut from the same cloth just practicing at different degrees.
How can you be a better teammate? Never put your gear away until the last person is finished. Once you get your breath back, cheer everyone on until the end. Call them by their name. Hearing one’s own name causes the individual to react more swiftly, to focus; hearing their name accentuates their individuality and shows them respect. (Ever see your name misspelled? How’s that make you feel? Ever hear your name from far away in a crowded party? What happens?) Be a motivator. You will inspire them. You will push that person further than they would have otherwise be willing to go. As a result, they will grow, and they will push you and cheer you on. And you will grow.
Once you are finished, do not workout alongside the person finishing as “encouragement” unless they ask you to. You have already put it in your work. Rest. It is time for them to put in theirs. It is their journey, you must let them fight through it how they choose. By all means, cheer them on. Support them with your words and your energy. But you must let them climb their own mountain to some degree. They must learn how to push past the boundaries they have put on themselves with their own fight, their own actions and your unwavering support. You cannot do it for them physically or with them physically. But you can help them get it done mentally.
Do this for the next 12 months. Watch what happens to you and all those around you.