One of the things that I love about powerlifting is the passion that people have for the sport. From training to competitions there is no shortage of passionate people in powerlifting. People love this sport, they love the way they feel when shattering a personal record or reach a goal that they’ve been working on for a long time. These accomplishments fuel the powerlifter, but what happens to individuals that have the fuel dry up; what happens when passion isn’t enough to get you through the rigors of training? As someone that’s going through a lot of personal passion slayers, I will be the first to tell you that the passion-well can and does dry up if you don’t feed it consistently. I’m still going through things that make working out almost a burden rather than the thing that gets me up in the morning and excited about the day. Everyone goes through challenges in life, and I’m not an exception, so I want to concentrate on what has helped motivate me to proceed and press through stress and continue the pursuit of my passion.
Recently I had a conversation with a member of the gym about training and their need to change from one program to another so that passion doesn’t dry up. This member said that, “everybody needs to change things up sometimes to keep motivated, well I guess not everyone because you don’t.” This member implied that the powerlifting team didn’t have to change from one sport to the other just to keep the motivation necessary to come to the gym. That made me think about what is so different between me and this member that keeps me powerlifting while they switched from bodybuilding, to running, and etc. I’ve determined that there are four things that I use to keep me passionate, even when the world around me seems to be crumbling or I feel stuck and want to change.
When I’m passionate about something I want to learn everything I can about that thing. If you want to raise your passion then pick up a book or read an article and try it out. I remember when I first started working out I bought every magazine I could and tried every pro training day that I could get my hands on. I was so passionate about it that sometimes I would spend up to 3 hours in the gym training. My mind was focused on getting everything out of my body that I was capable of. David Allen recommends reading an article every day and I recommend the same thing. Expand your knowledge base and see if that won’t raise your passion.
Vision is a powerful tool used to help you generate and capture passion. When you envision your goals what do you see? Do you see yourself standing on a platform in front of hundreds of screaming fans as you lock out a deadlift? If you don’t see that then what is your mind focused on? When I have a clear vision of my goals I know exactly where I’m headed and I can see the path that I need to be on to reach those goals. I can tell when my passion is high because I will daydream about squats. When I’m at church I think about deadlifts. When I lay in bed before sleep I evaluate my bench form in my head. Vision is powerful. Find your vision and watch your passion grow.
Make sure that you have a great group of friends around you to support you and keep you honest. It becomes easy to phone in the tasks of training when everything in life seems like crap. You have to have a great base of support from people that understand what you’re going through and respect your privacy but not your weakness. These people will be your best ally against passion leaches. Separate yourself from people that just want to detract you from your goals; you know exactly who those people are. I bet you can think of one or two people that are completely distracting you from what is important to you. Remember you set the goal, not them. True friends realize that it’s a goal you set because it’s important to you and real friends will take you to task when you need them to. I can’t stress enough the importance of training partners and people that will pull you up the hill of success when you feel like you have nothing left to give!
Concentrate on you successes. If your passion is failing don’t beat yourself up more by saying I didn’t make this lift or life is going the way you planned. You take a beating all day and can’t afford to keep losing, even in your own mind. Find some success no matter how moderate it is. If it’s just making a list and checking a few items off of it, you have to have some success. Use that to springboard you to your bigger and greater goals. Every success counts when you’re in the dumps of depression or stress. You woke up today; congratulations you’ve accomplished something that a lot of people struggle with. You’re reading an article right now, that’s a success as well. Count them up and see if your perspective doesn’t change. You are capable of changing so much in your life, if you will concentrate on your successes instead of your failures.
At times passion just isn’t enough to get you where you want to be. You have to have steps to recover your passion. These four steps are a few of mine that I’ve used to help me maintain my passion. I won’t give up because life has been difficult, because I know in the long run if I give up I will regret everything. If you are able to push through and reach your goals you will have nothing to regret. Capture the feeling of reaching your goals and setting personal records by learning more about your passion through study and reflection, visualizing your joy when you reach that goal, reaching out to your friends and workout partners for support, and by concentrating on all of your successes regardless of how small and insignificant they may feel. The passion is in there, recapture that feeling you had when you first started lifting.