Saturday, June 16, 2018

The Thrill Is In The Doing - By Jim Duggan

     Why do you train? Everyone who begins a weight-training program does so for a reason. From the very first time we wrap our hands around a barbell, there is a motivating force which drives us.  For many of us, the motivation is to get bigger and stronger.  This applies to the great majority of teen-age trainees who take up the sport. For older lifters, the reason for training may be to "get back in shape," after years of inactivity.   Then there are those who use weight-training as an adjunct to another sport.  There are countless athletes who lift to improve their performance in a chosen sport.  And, of course, there are those who lift competitively,  in either Olympic Weightlifting, Powerlifting, or bodybuilding.
     Naturally ,as we get older, our reasons for lifting change.  It's only natural. Our goals, our view of the world, and our priorities change, so it follows that our motivation for lifting will change too. A trainee of forty will not have the same goals and aspirations of a teenager.  Nor should he/she.  But that doesn't mean that we should all approach our training with a plan of action and a willingness to train progressively and consistently.
     For older trainees, there are many fine examples of lifters who have demonstrated that age is merely a number.  Legends like Norbert Schemansky, Jack LaLanne, and Sig Klein are but a few of the legendary Iron Game figures who defied Mother Nature, and showed what "hoisting the steel" can accomplish.
     What about those who lift competitively?  Is it a worthy pursuit?  As someone who competed for many years, I can say that it certainly is a worthwhile endeavor. Setting a goal, developing a plan of action to achieve your goal, working hard to accomplish your goal, and being able to achieve what you had set out to do are just some of the rewards that you can derive from lifting.  Incidentally,  if monetary gain is your motivation to compete,  then I can enthusiastically recommend that you try your hand at another sport. But if you wish to develop discipline, and the ability to set and reach goals, then competitive lifting will certainly be worth the effort.  And competitive Lifters, like all athletes, want to win.  Sometimes this desire to win will lead some people to an attitude of not caring how they win, just as long as he/she wins.
     Don't get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with competing, and wanting to win.  But competing should be something to be enjoyed.  One of my favorite athletes of all-time is Al Oerter, the four-time Olympic champion in the Discus. Mr. Oerter once described his Olympic pursuit as "very internal...a self-fullment, not an acquisition of fame and fortune."  He viewed sports as "a joyous personal challenge." I couldn't agree more with his assessment of his Olympic career.  I've always felt that Powerlifting- or and strength sport-  was a competition with yourself.  Your opponent is your potential.
     Years ago, in one of the first contests that I ever did, there was a former world champion who was scheduled to compete in my weight class.  Even though I had no chance of beating him, that did not stop me from training hard in preparing for the upcoming meet.  On the day of the contest, the former champion not only won his weight class but also pickedmup the Best Overall Lifter trophy, too. But, I had set personal records in my Squat, Bench Press, and Total.  I was very happy, and felt that I had a successful  contest. And my friends and I, the four of us battled a blizzard to drive to Pennsylvania, each of us had a great time. Looking back at that meet, and many others in which I participated, I think about the training, and preparation, and how much joy it brought.  This brings me to another favorite quote of mine: "The Thrill isn't in the winning. It's in the doing."
     How many lifters have that attitude today?  For many, anything goes.  Their drive to win "at all costs" sometimes leads to taking drugs.  "The end justifies the means" is a philosophy that, sadly, is widely accepted today.  Far too many athletes rely on an assortment of drugs to reach their maximum performance.  But at what cost?
     Don't be afraid to lift without drugs.  Your own drive and incentive will suffice if you train properly.  And when you succeed without the aid of drugs, you'll last longer and enjoy greater longevity than those who cheat.  It's up to you to lift the right way now, so that in the future, you can look back and know in your heart that you did your best. And if you do your best today, then years from now,  you will have the good fortune to be able to reflect upon "the good old days" and be proud of what you did. And how you did it.
Does modern bodybuilding make you sick? You should write for Natural Strength! I always need good articles about drug-free weight training. It only has to be at least a page and nothing fancy. Just write it strong and truthful with passion! Send your articles directly to me: bobwhelan@naturalstrength.com
BODY • MIND • SPIRIT

Bob Whelan

Bob Whelan

This site does not provide medical advice. We assume no liability for the information provided in NaturalStrength articles. Please consult your physician before beginning any exercise or nutrition program. Copyright © 1999-2018 NaturalStrength.com | All Rights Reserved.