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Articles.elitefts.com-EFS Classic Discipline and Regret

Articles.elitefts.com-EFS Classic Discipline and Regret

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Published by Thomas Aquinas 33

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Published by: Thomas Aquinas 33 on Sep 03, 2013
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EFS Classic: Discipline and Regret
elitefts™ Sunday edition
Discipline and Regret
I was first introduced to powerlifting in 1983 by my sixth grade geography teacher, Mr. Spero Tshontikidis. Inaddition to teaching, Mr. Tshontikidis, was a competitive powerlifter in the ADFPA. He brought powerlifting toour school and convinced the principal to allow him to start a powerlifting team. The first day he mentioned itto the class I thought
sounded cool, so I decided to give it a try. After all, what 11-year-old boydoesn’t want to grow up to be big and strong?Mr. Tshontikidis taught us how to squat on the first day of powerlifting practice. I had never touched a weightbefore…let alone squatted. I remember my hips and hamstrings were so tight that I had to put my heels on a 2x 4 in order to hit proper depth. I did three sets of 10 reps with 95 pounds. On the way home, I noticed my legsgetting a little sore, but I thought nothing of it. The next morning, I woke up and tried to get out of bed. I tookone step and fell flat on my face. My legs were so unbelievably sore that I thought I had seriously injuredmyself. I never experienced such excruciating muscle soreness. I convinced my mother to let me stay home thatday.The following day, I crawled back to school. I told Mr. Tshontikidisthat I didn’t want to be on the powerlifting team and that I wouldnever squat again. He tried to change my mind, but I didn’t budge. Later, he would coach me on the junior varsityfootball team where I blossomed into the team MVP as a freshman. Meanwhile, he continued to encourage meto lift weights. Although our school had a powerlifting team, strength training was never emphasized for the athletic teams.Occasionally, after practice, some of us ventured into the weight room. We were clueless. Typically, without aproper warm-up, we tested our manhood on the bench press, each of us trying to out-perform the other. Wenever considered squatting or deadlifting. After a few sets of bench presses, we usually grabbed somedumbbells and did some curls. We reckoned, “What could possibly be more important than working your chestand biceps?” All we cared about was making our t-shirt muscles look bigger. We were all young and ignorant about proper strength training. We lacked a focus. More importantly, we lacked discipline because we weren’t consistent.Contemplating my youth, my shortage of focus and self-discipline was a colossal mistake. A lack of strength training at an early age is one of my biggest regrets.When I graduated high school in 1990, I began training with purpose. I wanted to get bigger and stronger for college football but didn’t know how to proceed. I asked around and finally met my uncle’s personal trainer. Atthe time, Victor Furnells was a competitive bodybuilder. All I knew was that he was big and strong. I trusted himand followed his advice. He soon became my mentor. He always told me that the two greatest pains in life arediscipline and regret. At the time, I didn’t understand those concepts. Most 17-year-olds lack discipline,especially when it pertains to training. Likewise most high school kids have few, if any, regrets in life.
He regularly admonished me about the peril of not taking strength training seriously. He said it was unrealisticto expect continued progress if I wasn’t disciplined enough to remain consistent with my training. He remindedme that if I lacked self-discipline, I would regret it later. Reflecting upon my youth, it all makes sense now. As thefamous 1972 hit song by Johnny Nash goes, “I can see clearly now, the rain is gone.Webster’s college dictionary has eleven definitions of the word “discipline.” For the sake of this discussion, Iprefer to use the meaning of discipline as “the rigor or training effect of experience or adversity.” Regretmeans to feel sorrow or remorse for an act, disappointment, or fault.Experiencing life without ever exercising self-discipline ought to be a crime. Obdurate behavior comes back tohaunt you and remind you of where you could have improved. Most people resist challenges and want things tobe painless. Exercising self-discipline is an arduous task. Undisciplined people are usually devoid of self-respect and respect for others.If you last a lifetime without regret, consider it a miracle. Discipline hurts. However, exhibiting discipline duringworthy pursuits is only temporarily painful. The pain only lasts amid your journey toward the objective. Onceyou have achieved your goal, the pain is obsolete. While the pain from self-discipline is transient, the agonyfrom regret is perpetually hurtful. Remaining remorseful for a wrongful act or sometimes for the lack of actiongashes you like a knife wound. Once you think you have vanquished your regret and your laceration heals, youlook down at the scar only to be reminded of a missed opportunity.Success in athletics, achieving supreme fitness, and staying healthy all require self-discipline. Remainingdisciplined necessitates steadfast persistence. In the arena of achievement, you either stand unwavering inyour quest or falter and succumb to the pain of self-control. Discipline connotes repetitive behavior. Moreover,it routinely obligates one to either deprive the self and/or go the extra mile. Being on time for work everymorning, preparing your meals in advance, double checking your homework assignments, staying after practiceto work on your skills, keeping meticulous financial records, spending adequate quality time with loved ones,sticking to your diet, not missing workouts, going to bed at a reasonable hour, reading your bible every day,and keeping your word are all prime examples of exceptional discipline. $19.95EFS Foam Roller 36×6Work out the kinks with our tough roller. A-EFSFOAMROLLER-366 Add To Cart View DetailsTo me, discipline is doing what you’re supposed to do even when you aren’t up to the task. Although I’m not afan of competitive bodybuilding, I appreciate and respect the discipline that is required when dieting for competition. In organized team sports, anyone can stay after practice when the coach releases you early andyou have spare time. The real indication of discipline is staying late after practice when you’ve just played your best game. Anyone can succeed during the good times when the obstacles are few. The true measure of aman’s character is when things go badly, the odds are against you, and your back is against the wall. This iswhen you find out what you’re really made of.It has been said that life is a journey, not a destination. Fixate on and appreciate the process rather than theoutcome. I played football at many levels, from boys’ club as a youngster, through high school, my freshmanyear in college, and one year of semi-professional. Of the time I spent playing and practicing, traveling togames, and watching game film on our next opponent, it was the camaraderie I shared with my teammates onthe practice field and in the locker room that I enjoyed the most. Even today as I compete in powerlifting, asmuch as I relish the competitions, I prefer training hard in the gym. The countless hours centered on thesingular goal of becoming as strong as possible make it all worthwhile.

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