Hand two motivated individuals the same hammer and neither will create the same thing. But how do you find that motivation to build? Whether we understand it or not, are aware of it or not, discontent often lies at the heart of change. For me, feelings of inadequacy coupled with an irrepressible need for self-improvement got me motivated pretty early in life. A bench and barbell set that could serve as a heavy-duty clothing rack and dust collection unit for one guy, allowed me to transform myself both physically and mentally. This is for the one who helped me get started. Thanks, Dad.
A champion shouldn't be judged solely on outcomes. In fact, their reaction to defeat is more indicative of what caliber of a winner they are. When someone learns, adapts, and overcomes, that is when they will truly shine. After falling a bit short at the 2019 Mr. Olympia, Derek Lunsford reflects on what he's learned and how he's moving forward.
Walt Disney's newspaper editor told the aspiring cartoonist he “wasn't creative enough.” When you first get into bodybuilding, it is in its purest form. It’s you, the weights, the gym, and the obsession with progression. It truly is “you against you.”
I have to admit that I haven’t always been great at finding balance in my life with bodybuilding, but I’ve learned how to get better through the years. It’s not an easy thing to do when you’re competing to be the best at something. I’m pulled to capitalize on every minute of every day to set the standard of what it means to be the best bodybuilder in the world. When I “give up” one day of training, I feel like it’s one day I’ve lost. I constantly think about how I can be better today for tomorrow.
Maintaining a routine while traveling is probably one of our most challenging obstacles. We as humans are very into a set routine when we are at home in a controlled environment but are easily thrown off. Things can fall apart rather quickly. One reason is that it’s difficult to create a new routine within 24 hours, especially since most routines are developed and perfected over a much longer period of time. Another reason is that it takes a great deal of discipline. Staying on a routine or starting a new modified one when traveling takes more effort than usual. Lastly, fatigue from travel can weigh heavily on us making it more difficult to stay motivated.
The off-season allows you to be a bit more flexible with your eating compared to pre-contest. This does not mean it's a free-for-all, but there are ways to incorporate variety to break up the monotony of a bodybuilding diet. John Jewett explains in his latest article how to properly execute a flexible dieting strategy.
I believe anyone can be great, even you. All you have to do is find your way. When we’re born, we start out with a unique set of skills and talents. By finding the right combination of these two things, we can reach our potential. To find your sweet spot, you just need to be patient and keep experimenting. After that, it’s time for you to put in the long hours and hard work. The more you are willing to give, the more you will ultimately get.
While Thomas Edison is best be remembered for his achievements, he also delivered many important insights into the idea of invention. For example, Edison often stressed doing over thinking. He’d say that genius was 99% about hard work (“perspiration”). One of my favorite quotes is the one used in the concluding post of this campaign: “I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
I still remember that day like it was yesterday. It was early in the first year of my PhD program in Physical Therapy at the University of Miami when my advisor and committee called me into a formal meeting. You have to maintain a high level of work to stay in the program and I was right at the line. I remember sitting in that room with all of my male professors.
There are many lessons to be learned from the Iron but one that sticks out prominently is overcoming adversity—the ability to bounce back after a setback or disappointment. Many talented athletes have fallen to the wayside because they never stood back up once they fell. Champions are defined by how they handle these hardships and still triumph. Derek Lunsford has something to say about it in his latest article.
To imagine the Self in contrast to the expectations of Others is always a challenging balancing act. For instance, when a parent doesn’t support your passing hobbies, you can overlook it. But what happens when passions and dreams are involved? Stef had little interest playing tea with other girls when she was 8, despite her mother’s best efforts. She didn’t like dolls; she didn’t want to dress up. She just wanted to play soccer with the rough and tumble boys. Numerous playdates later, Stef’s desire didn’t waver.