It’s been about 3 weeks since I have written a post and I know all my dedicated readers are probably wondering what has happened to me (I know I probably do not have dedicated readers but I like to play pretend). The first 2 weeks I was busy working, getting ready to go back to school, and trying to enjoy my last days of summer. This week I am back at school. You may think it is pretty early to go back to school, right? I know you probably weren’t thinking that at all but I will tell you why I am back so early anyway. I had to go to school early to do Resident Assistant (RA) training. For those of you who do not know what an RA is see below.
Starting this journey excites me and makes me a little nervous. I am nervous because I know that I am going to be tested throughout this process. I am really going to begin to see if the things that I write about stick with me. I am going to be put into situation that I have never experienced before; situation that I may not know how to handle. This excites me.
This may sound a little unusual, but ever since I really got into my blog I have been waiting for adversity to strike. Not because I want my life to become messed up but because I want to be tested. Students always complain about tests, mainly because they make up half their grade, but tests are important. They let you know if you are on the right track, especially tests that life throws at you. I believe life is the greatest teacher that teaches the most important lessons. This results in life having the greatest, yet most difficult tests.
This is what excites me but it also makes me nervous. I usually don’t get nervous for school tests because I am always well prepared. However, life’s tests are much different. It is a lot harder to prepare for them and I am unsure if I am ready. I am unsure if I am really ready to take all my words into action. This is the point of the test though to see if I am ready. There is no other way to see if I have made any progress in become the man I want to be unless I am tested. Yes, I might fail but I believe in myself and my character and trust that when the time comes I will do the right thing.
The next couple of weeks of training are going to be a little hectic for me so bear with me if I do not post for a while again. Don’t worry though I did not forget about my dedicated readers that hang on my every word (I know you’re out there somewhere). However, in my possible absence test yourself. If you have been working on your skills to meet new people, test them. Go out and try to meet new people. So what if you fail at least test your skills and see where you still need to improve. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in trying to improve something we don’t see if it is actually improving. Sometimes, we just need to be tested.
Has there ever been a time when you were tested by life? How did it work out for you?
It was only a couple of hours before the match and the champ was ready. He was not nervous at all and he had no reason to be, he was the champ. This was his match to win. His competitor got a lucky knockout which was the only reason he ended up in the championship match in the first place. However, unknowingly to the champ, his competitor knew how to win.
Fight time finally arrived and the bell rang. The champ came out of his corner hitting harder than ever. After a couple good shoots he knocked his competitor to the floor. However, his competitor got right back up and kept fighting. Round after round the match was dominated by the champ with his competitor getting in a couple good hits here and there.
The last round came and the champ was surprised that the match had lasted to this point. He knew he could just cruise through this round to get the win; or so he thought. His competitor had a plan thought. Once that last bell went off his competitor came out with a fire the champ had not seen before. His competitor was saving up his energy for this point. Shot after shot the competitor was going off on the champ until that one fatal blow to the chin. The champ went down in the middle of the ring. Once that had happened the competitor knew he had won and he was right.
The competitor didn’t win because he knocked the champ unconscious; he won because the champ did not know how to get up. You see, the champ was so good that he had never even been knocked down in his life. This is why the competitor knew he could win. He knew that all he had to do was knock the champ down and he wouldn’t be able to get up. This is the reason why we fall. We fall so that we can learn to pick ourselves back up.
So many times in life we get knocked down, we make a mistake, and we fail. This causes us to look down upon ourselves but we shouldn’t especially since it is harder to get up when we are looking down. The truth is, unless you are the spitting image of perfection and you have never and will never fall down (there is so many of you out there), we need to learn how to pick ourselves up, how to fix our mistakes, and how to come back from failure. This is when our true strength shines. Anyone can hold it together and make a good decision when faced with no adversity at all but it takes true strength to do that in the face of adversity. So do not run away from adversity face it head on, do not be afraid to fail or to make a mistake because the more you do it the easier it will be to pick yourself up. It doesn’t just get easier though, you get stronger making it easier and if you do it enough one day you will be strong enough to stop yourself from fall in the first place.
There are times in life when we are going to fall and sometimes we are going to fall hard. I know this and I will be ready by learning to pick myself up now and facing adversity head on. Have you ever face adversity head on? Has where you learned to pick yourself up?
The gym is such an easy place for you to push yourself and really test how mentally tough you are. When you are feeling exhausted, you can keep pushing to last that extra minute or bang out that last repetition. However, it is also an incredibly hard place to push yourself. It is so easy to give up and say you cannot do another one or you cannot go on. This is especially true with the last rep.
This morning in the gym, I bench pressed. For those who may not know, a bench press is when you lay flat on your back, bring the weight down to the your chest, and lift it back up. Benching is the manly man’s exercise and since I like to pretend I am a manly man, even though I’m not, this is my favorite exercise. Aside from the manliness of the exercise, it is my favorite because it is the exercise where I can push myself the most. Today, I got pass a huge mental wall: the 8th repetition or the last rep. The last repetition is always the hardest for me but not just physically; it is the hardest mentally. The last rep of the bench press is the hardest repetition of any exercises for me. Here is the reason why: on the 7th rep, I usually struggle and barely get it all the way up. When I do get it up though, instantly in my head I think, “I could barely get that one up. I will never get this last one.” Without trying to, this is what I tell myself and like I tell myself, I never get the last one up . . . until today!
Today I was able to stop myself from thinking I was not going to finish the last rep. Instead, I told myself that I was not going to stop until I got the weight all the way up. I sat there with the bar about half way up for about 5-10 seconds, but it felt like an eternity. I kept pushing and pushing (my face was probably as red as an apple at that point) but I finally got it up to the top. When I was done I was physically worn-out but I felt great because I mentally succeeded. That was one of the hardest things I could remember doing and it felt great. Pushing beyond that mental barrier that has been holding me back for so long put me in a great mood for the rest of my workout and the day.
This is why I love sports and exercise and think they are so important because there are so many lessons to learn from them. They are not just full of physical benefits but mental ones as well. The lesson that I learned today was that the hardest things are the most rewarding. When things get tough, keep pushing and do not give up because even though you may feel terrible while doing it, you will feel great for having done it. There is just something about accomplishing a goal that has a great deal of difficulty attached to it that brings people to a state of euphoria. So just remember no matter how hard the journey seems, no matter how long it is, no matter what it takes to go through; it will all be worth it in the end. In the end you will feel amazing, you will feel like you can do anything and that is because if you did not give up; you can do anything.
I am beginning to push myself to new limits, have you started?