Rest Day Read (SR-22)
Failure by Mark Twight of Gym Jones
"The gifted athlete who sails from one success to the next with little effort or training knows nothing of himself or how he might behave when truly pressured."
Whenever I think I know what it is all about, whenever I think I have reached an acceptable, comfortable level and the good I am doing is good enough, I always seem to find a way back to Mark Twight's essays on the Gym Jones web site. He always slaps me back into reality, back into challenging myself and pushing forward. Gym Jones always reminds me just how behind the game I am.
Back when I was training athletes, I lived by the philosophy of the Fail Cycle. I give you a task, first you would cuss me out and complain, then you would try and fail, beaten and broken. Then you would go home and it would eat at you all night that you failed. Then you would come back and work your ass off until you complete the task. Then a new, more difficult task would be handed out and the cycle starts again.
I admit, I used to worry about some of the stuff I would ask the athletes to do. But I knew that we weren't big, fast, or terribly athletically gifted as a group, so we had to prepare with maximum effort mentally and physically to turn our bodies into weapons. Their jelly-legged, exhausted, dead-ass tired bodies would drag themselves off the floor or dusty ground, give me that "you SOB" glare then go home. But the next day, they would come back fresh and ready to go.
It may sound weird to most, but seeing kids fight through those demons and push their mental and physical barriers, seeing them get up after being beat down and move forward a better man, is the one thing I miss the most about not coaching anymore. I do miss Friday nights, but I REALLY miss summer mornings at 6:30 AM.
No wonder the mothers worried so much...
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