Patience, Axl Rose, and Comebacks

Originally Posted on Tuesday, February 21, 2012 10:17 AM

My only barely musical talent is whistling, and Guns 'n Roses "Patience" is my favorite song to badly whistle too  I can get the melody, but I have yet to ever know if the notes I hit- in singing or anything- are ever right or wrong.  I've compensated for that with my enthusiasm.  Sometimes, you just do what you can as good as you can, and hope everything else falls into place

I'm doing that now with my snatch.  I still have those visions of snatching 300+ pounds, doing a power snatch with 140, generally being what I would consider a strong human being.  I entered a meet yesterday at Ironsport (Steve Pulcinella's place in Gleinlden, PA: tune me up for Master's Nationals in April; I've been training more or less seriously for a few months now, and thought I should go into a meet and have some fun and see what I can bring to a platform outside my home.

All things considered, I did well.  I've been sick with a nasty cold all week, my diet has been crap all week, and I drove 110 miles through four Pennsylvania counties and one in Delaware to get to the meet.  And my real purpose at the meet was to help my athlete Stephen set some State records.  He did that, set some PRs, and more than hit the qualifying total for next year's Junior Nationals.  So all we have to focus on the rest of this year is having fun, lifting more, and getting him ready to medal one of these days.

As for me, I power snatched 105 pretty easily.  I would hesitate to say impressively; I nailed it and caught it extremely high and tight; I should be able to hit 115-120 in a month or two.  If I can figure out how to catch progressively heavy snatches deeper the way I did that 105, I'll Snatch 140+ in 2013.  And I know I'll be able to do it if I keep pushing.  And that push is where the need for patience comes in.  I've had so many comebacks, times I've qualified for Americans or Nationals after not doing any lifting, blah blah blah that I know I can do it again with serious training.  But there's a humility I have to embrace; people who couldn't hold a candle to me a few years ago are close, or even better, than me now.  I feel a deep emotional need to beat them. But I can't let that need control my focus.  What I need to do is to Keep the Main thing the Main thing.  And the Main thing is to train, day in and day out, and stay healthy.  I do those things and I will achieve my goals, eventually, and I will win the things I want to win (winning is pretty fun, I'll admit).  But all in all, winning isn't why i train.

I train because it's an essential part of me.  The challenge physically, the need to have a goal, the drive of competition are what I want in life.  When I haven't had the crucible of training, my self isn't complete.  And that's where I need to humbly accept my age, lack of training the last few years, and the differences in my goals now versus when I was 27.  For me now, every day I lift is a good day, better than the days I don't lift.  I have a family and a business to run, and the business relies on my ability to teach and create a community, not my ability to squat heavy.  And my family needs my business to be successful.  So, all in all, my goals have changed.  And still, the basic driving force behind it all is that desire to have trained today, to have worked smart and hard.  And if I'm patient, it'll pay off.  

Maintaining that patience and controlling my pride isn't as difficult as it seems.  While I'm very good at showing off, I'm also very good at not giving a crap about what others think.  

Michael McKennaComment