How I Started Lifting Weights/Developing Mindset

The picture above is of my brother and I, my final high school game.

I want to preface this post: I completely understand sports, especially high school sports are not life and death, and although when you're there they might seem like the most important thing ever, life goes on.

But the things they teach you can change your life forever.

"Write Your Narrative" - CoryG

I have never been gifted physically as an athlete, like many aren't. Athleticism was almost in the negatives for me, along with strength and speed. My problem was, it took entirely too long to become aware of these glaringly obvious things.

In high school I played soccer, basketball and kicked for the football team. Soccer always came natural to me mentally and physically and while I worked hard at it, I was too often complacent with where I was at. The same happened with basketball, after being a starter on the freshman team, yes I said freshman team, who won the championship I thought I would just step up the ranks like I was supposed to, no questions asked. When sophomore and junior year came around, things changed. My lack of self-awareness and complacency in basketball caught up with me. One day in practice we got punished for not following direction and had to stay after and do push-ups. We got in a circle and did sets of 10 on the coaches count and I couldn't complete the first set of 10. We did those for an hour, one of the most excruciating hours of my life. Failing on ten pushups then crying to myself in between sets over and over for that time is something that I still remember vividly to this day. I began lifting weights the next day. I couldn't bench 95 lbs and a lot of the girls that I liked at the time were stronger than me, I would put money on it. That was how I became self-aware. That led me on for a while and I enjoyed lifting weights, I was getting stronger and began putting on a little weight, but then I began to fall into a plateau. I was beginning to get more playing time again and my confidence was high, so I stopped lifting weights. 

That next season, my junior year, when (I thought) I was poised for a important role on the varsity team coming off a regional final appearance, I sat the bench the entire year and my brother who was a freshman, started every game. How's that for a punch to the gut? I pouted for a while, was very negative and didn't talk to anyone much. But after I stopped feeling sorry for myself my life changed. I got back into the weight room everyday after 3 hour practices. I busted my butt and wanted to be "the best practice player in the country." And in my head I was, the amount of work I put in that year exceeded the previous 15 years of my life combined. But I had been content and satisfied with not getting better for so long, that it might have become too late. 

I wanted to write this in hopes that I can help some people identify some of these things much earlier than I did, so here's a few takeaways you can think about:

  • Are you doing EVERYTHING in your power to get better in your craft everyday?
  • Have you sat down with yourself and honestly assessed what your strengths and weaknesses are?
  • Have you addressed those weaknesses?

If you become complacent you WILL get passed up. If you don't develop a mindset of getting better everyday you will stay the same. I urge you to think about these things, but they are not easy. It's not easy to tell yourself that maybe you aren't as good as you thought and that there are others who are superior to you at that point in time. BUT once you become self-aware, you can change that. You can identify what you need to fix and then strive to improve yourself and ultimately become that person that you thought you were long ago! 

But then..... you keep going.

To prove that its not impossible, I worked my butt of all of 09-10 and 10-11, in the weight room and at practice. I rode the pine the first 17 games of my senior year too. That finally changed when I took a shot and spoke out during a halftime speech when coach asked if anyone wanted to work and I simply said," I will coach." I started that second half and played as hard as I could and we still lost by double digits. The season wasn't going extremely well as we only had a 10-8 record. But our opponent for senior night was a team we had lost to by 20+ earlier in the year. Even so, the coach started all four seniors and my brother. We kept that line-up for the last 3 regular season games and the playoffs which we eventually lost in OT to a team we'd lost to by 20, 1 month earlier.

The 3 year climb is something I will never forget, and those last five games were so special to me and my fellow seniors, whom some of which were in the same boat. After I stopped feeling sorry for myself and decided to work... everything changed. I even got some recognition for it at the end. I was given the MVP award at our basketball sports banquet and to be quite honest it was a shock to me. Obviously I was no where near the top player on the team, but I truly believe the mentality I brought everyday, for a year and a half to practice was contagious to the players around me. I take pride in that, and almost more so than if I was the most talented player on the team, because if that was the case I'm not sure any of this would have happened. So I encourage every athlete, who is unhappy with their situation or believes they deserve more, to take a hard look in the mirror because life will show you time and time again that you only get what you earn. So go out and earn it.

-Heal By Moving-