I can’t tell you how many times I’ve received messages from women who want to come and train with me. Seriously. It happens all of the time. I’m always thrilled when someone tells me that they’ve been creeping my profile watching my lifts, but the reality is that it rarely turns into an opportunity to have a new training partner. The highlight reel is an easy way to underestimate the amount of time and energy that goes into working your way up to a 540 lbs yoke carry. You should never look at an Instagram profile thinking that you’ll be able to accomplish in a week what someone has trained months, sometimes even years to achieve. If I had a dollar for every woman that’s said, “It’s so badass that you can pull a semi. I want to pull one too!” Oy. I get it. It looks super cool and perhaps it is badass, but my ass trained hard to cross that finish line. I think it’s great to have some folks to look up to and to have aspirations of one day following in their footsteps, but before you decide that you’re going to start training like your WCW, here are a few things to consider:
The really great ones are pros
It’s true. I remember looking at a few IG profiles when I first became serious about Strongman training. I could look through profiles for hours at a time, looking at every single one of their lifts, trying to figure out how I would ever get to their level. I would find myself getting discouraged because the very thought of having to work my way through another 30, 40, 50 lbs to reach their log lift PR was devastating. I kept comparing every single one of my event bests to some of these incredible athletes, all the while forgetting that unlike me, they had been lifting for years. Training for years. Competing for years. It took me a while to figure out that there will ALWAYS be someone better. In my case, there’s a long list of women who are better, but that doesn’t matter. The one and only goal you should have is to be better than you were yesterday. It’s totally cliche, but it needs to be your focus. If you’re serious about trying a new sport, whether it be running, powerlifting or even Strongman, the only way you can gauge your success, is if you work at improving your own score. Period. And I promise you, it’s far more rewarding.
(Side note/Friendly reminder; I’m not a pro or an expert. And while I appreciate that I have inspired some of you, I am very aware that even after 3+ years, there is so much more for me to learn AND accomplish.)
You don’t see the grunt work
Some athletes take the time to share some of the dirty work that goes into their training, but often times, you’re just getting to see the highlight reel. It’s easy to be impressed by someone throwing 175 lbs over their head for reps, but would you be as interested to see that same person doing their accessory work? Probably not. Some occasionally keep it real, but they are far and few between. After all, how would you like to see someone work through their sets of lat pulldowns? I hear a foghorn…boooooring. Truth is, these women are spending hours every day working on their weaknesses. They are literally shedding blood, sweat and occasionally tears into their sessions. If you’re serious about wanting to tackle a sport like Strongman, just know you’re going to need to put in the work before you too, look badass pulling a 15,000 lbs truck.
They love the sport
Let’s circle back to all of the hard work and dedication it takes to compete. These women are making sacrifices daily to be able to compete at their level, but they do it because they LOVE the sport. If you’re focused on how cool it would look on your IG profile to post a 400 lbs farmers carry, you’re doing it for the wrong reasons. I started training Strongman because after the first time I was finally able to press a log, I was hooked! I was on an unbelievable high after months of working towards getting that first lift. It fueled me to get back to the gym to work on my weaknesses so I could get better at it. I didn’t do it because one of my friends looked cool AF making it happen. I did it because it was incredibly satisfying to complete a task that just months before I couldn’t do. If you want to stay motivated make sure you give many fucks about the task at hand. Then, and only then will you be motivated to strive for more!
Oh, and while I may have covered this from a Strongman point of view, I think this all applies to various other sports and even hobbies. We get caught up comparing ourselves to what some of our favourite people are sharing on social, that we forget to take the time to figure out what really matters to us. Just because your gal pal is making gorgeous handcrafted jewelry and looking like she’s having a blast doing it, doesn’t mean it’s the right thing for you. Unplug. Read a book. Figure yourself out. And if something sets your heart on fire, go for it!
Coffee Count: If you’re still counting points, you’ve just collected another 10! Keep this up, and we’ll be sharing a cup by the New Year!
Next week: I’ll be sharing details on what’s in my gym bag. I can barely zip it up, so you know the list is going to be detailed! Stay tuned!