There is only one way to become stronger mentally and physically, and that’s through adversity. Without being challenged, you will never grow stronger. The person who you see as a success—the person living the life of your dreams—has overcome more failures than you can imagine.
You can’t compare your shortcomings either. What’s challenging for you may not be so challenging for another. Instead, the person at the top has strengthened their mind to endure whatever hardships are thrown at them. You need to be a gracious loser if you ever hope to become a winner. The champion sees the opportunity in the struggle; there is no success without failure.
Winning doesn’t create champions. True champions first believe in what they are pursuing, then they set a plan of action to reach the top. There will be hard times on the way up. Instead of breaking, like most people, champions know that they have to face the challenges head on. They don’t pity themselves. Disappointment is natural, but quitting and giving up is not an option. Just when you think you won’t make it, keep going because there’s a breakthrough in the end. This process happens over and over until you reach the goal you set out to achieve.
I’ve always believed that there is no end. Once you achieve one goal, set another goal that’s bigger than the last. I always say, “It never gets any easier, you just get tougher.” Becoming self-aware is absolutely crucial. You have to recognize who you are and who you want to become. What kind of person are you now? Are you living as a champion? Or do you let adversity take control? Rise to the occasion and be a champion.
We are in a constant physical, mental, and spiritual evolution. Whether it's how we approach training, the thought process behind getting ready for a show, or the overall outlook on life, we're always changing, fine tuning, and improving. Derek Lunsford, who has quickly shot from amateur to the upper 1% of the pro ranks, dives deep on how his training has morphed over the past few years.
Not too many people can say they’ve placed second twice at Mr. Olympia. Derek Lunsford can. But in true champion form, these runner up spots are not enough for him. He’s after the gold. To come up short two years in a row is a hard pill to swallow, but those that are destined for greatness are the best at looking introspectively and making adjustments, both physically and mentally. Derek catches us up on the changes he’s made going into the 2020 Olympia with plans to nail this one down.