Imagine busting your rear for years and you qualify for Olympic trials. You make it. You go. You get 23rd place. In the world? Pretty good. Afterward, you slave for your sport for 4 more years, show up again, get 35th. Hmm. Seems to be going in the wrong direction. Not a lot of payoff for 1,400 workouts. That’s right. ONE-THOUSAND FOUR-HUNDRED training sessions, YEARS, and you got WORSE. “I’m not getting any younger,” you say to yourself. What do you do?
I’ll tell what the average person does. They dip their toes for 6 weeks to 6 months, become infuriated because they didn’t turn into one of the X-Men, and begin actively shooting themselves in the foot.
Make all the rationalizations you like. Make all the equivocations and excuses. But do you have any idea what it must feel like to train at the absolute limit of human potential for A DECADE only to get a worse result? “Yeah, Jonathan, but he knows he’s still one of the best in the world,” you may pipe back. Really? You’re telling me that as time goes on, while getting a worse outcome, the human mind will logically place advantages and gratitudes in the right context? No way. Get real. Being a literate English speaker in the modern world, do you persistently acknowledge your great privilege and abilities? Absolutely not. That just isn’t how people operate.
That is, until they get their heads right. Then, all of a sudden, duty, honor, responsibility, obligation, and purpose rise above our impatience, our childishness, our unrealistic expectations.
In the prime of his life, as a young stud, this athlete couldn’t get near the podium. But as a silver-haired mid-30s athlete in an explosive sport (specifically the category of sport we “KNOW” people CAN’T do as “they age”) he finally donned a gold medal (video here: https://www.instagram.com/p/CIAyOhmnznP/).
Everyone thinks they know what’s impossible before they try. Everyone thinks an effort is pointless; and so they quit. They make the lie into truth. What if someone told this guy it would take 12 more years and no guarantee that he’ll get to that gold? What if someone told you it’ll take 12 more years to get a shot at your goal? A shot. Not a guarantee.
Get your head right.