(Also, editor's note: the original title for this was just "What's Your Excuse", and then Paul Carter released a blog post that absolutely destroyed that, so...)
Everyone has an excuse these days. Everyone has some sort of limitation that prevents them from doing what they need to do in order to succeed. Bad backs, bad knees, tendonitis, scoliosis, hangnails, gingivitis, had a bad dream, color blindness, the list goes on and on. Here’s the thing: no one cares. Excuses are for YOU to feel alleviated of the guilt of failing to perform, so you may as well keep them to yourself. No one else cares to hear them.
Excuses never get made for something you REALLY want. Men with “bad backs” would low crawl through broken glass if a billion dollars was waiting on the other side. Somehow, adversity gets overcome when the reward is enticing enough. Our limitations are not external but internal; they are the limitations imposed by our WILL. Whatever ailments we have are simply matters of fact, it is our reaction to them that creates excuses.
I know I've already made this "CROSSfit" joke but...crossfit
Jesus, I’m going so sideways with this. I can’t even think straight. Here is what I’m getting at.
How often do you see someone take MONTHS off of training for the smallest of injuries? Sprains, strains, muscle pulls, aches, DOMS (SORENESS?! We stop training because we’re sore?!), bad weather, etc etc. One small part of the body gets injured, and yet ALL training stops. Why? This has nothing to do with the ailment and everything to do with the will of the person; they are unable to train because they don’t want to train. They are looking for any excuse available.
Short of death and being maimed, it is a lack of will that determines the failures of all people. The reason one is unable to perform is because they do not want it bad enough. A strong enough desire overcomes all adversity. “Desire” should not be confused with “pleasure” here, as it is rarely the case that people will go to great lengths to experience pleasure. In point of fact, as Machiavelli has taught us, pleasure (love) is rarely a powerful motivator, and it is instead FEAR that inspires action. The fear of failure, the fear of pain, the fear of confirming one’s own self loathing, THIS is what overcomes adversity and eliminates excuses.
I bet all 4 of these guys set Olympic qualifying times...and none of them were "too tired to run"
Pleasure is sloth; it is decadence and hedonism. Pleasure is the pursuit of the lazy, who endure no ails on their path. Pleasure is the avoidance of pain, of fear, of suffering. Pleasure is mediocrity and the norm. But those who fear with ever fiber in their being the possibility of being average are those who overcome: who surpass and become greater. For these people, there are no excuses, only obstacles that WILL be overcome.
This isn’t about lifting weights; it is so much beyond that. When someone wants ANYTHING bad enough, they do whatever it takes to get it. Some people decide they’re going to master the guitar, and practice 10 hours a day until their fingers bleed, blow the rent money on amps, skip meals, and become a god. Others pick it up, learn a few chords, and then put it back in the closet forever because it’s too much work. Some kids shoot freethrows for hours a day by themselves while their friends are cramped in their rooms playing virtual basketball. Some are driven by fear, and some driven by love of pleasure.
Don't mistake something taking a lot of time for something that accomplishes anything
I can’t fathom these people who let any sort of injury keep them out of the gym. There is ALWAYS a way to train. There is always SOMETHING to train. Why would you possibly quit training your entire body for a localized injury? I ruptured my ACL and meniscus and fractured my patella and I was squatting 7 days later. It was a super high box squat with just the bar, but it was still squatting. I was doing dips and chins 2 days post ACL reconstruction. Before that, I once pulled a deadlift PR less than 24 hours from being discharged from the hospital for severe dehydration from gastroenteritis. And I’m nothing special! Let me make that clear: I’m not some sort’ve super badass. For every story I have, there are much bigger and stronger guys with much crazier stories. Matt Kroczaleski was squatting after having a testicle removed, and tore the stitches! Chuck Volgephol got into a car accident on the way to the gym and had the cop drive him to the gym so he could still do his workout. He also crutched his way into the gym after tearing both of his hamstrings so that he could get in an extra workout of lat pulldowns. Did you now that the Paralympic world record bench is 629lbs? Raw! With no goddamn leg drive!
We like to call people with excuses “pussies”, implying that they are wimps and fearful, but it’s the opposite; these people don’t have ENOUGH fear. They’re not terrified ENOUGH about being average. They’re not terrified about failing to live up to their potential. These people are completely unafraid of never achieving greatness. All their excuses show us is that they don’t want it bad enough, they aren’t willing to make the sacrifices and would instead choose to find ANY available avenue to give up.
This is just a short-cut to the end
There are NO excuses; there is only too little fear.