Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Being Mediocre Is Easy. Being Great Is Not.

I’ve been here before. It all feels oddly familiar, since I have done the same thing multiple times. It’s the bane of my existence, and my greatest flaw. But where am I? I am trapped in the desire to remain mediocre.
Wait what? The desire to remain mediocre? Why would anyone want to stay mediocre? Don’t we all want to reach our potential? Of course we do. I know I personally want to be the best I can be. However, being the best I can be is, well, hard.

That’s right. It’s hard. It’s not easy. I don’t get to fall asleep at 50% and wake up at 100%. I have to work my way through each and every failure and every setback. Every painful moment of it and guess what? It’s hard. It’s very hard.

The perfect example is my own personal health. As anyone who knows me, follows me on Twitter, connected to me on Facebook or on Foursquare can tell you, I work out. My fitocracy account (Adjective_J if you’re curious) is a testament to that fact. My workouts are not light. In fact, my workouts are pretty much my own personal attempts to push myself beyond what I’m comfortable with every single time I walk into the gym. I’ve actually passed out in the gym three times. Some people would tell me that I need to be far more moderate in my workout endeavors. I would respond the same way Leonidas did in 300, with kick in the chest into a deep well as I yelled, “Madness? THIS IS MY WORKOUT!!”
Lately, though I’ve been far less Leonidas and far more Ephialtes (you know, the guy who sold the Spartans out). I’ve given in to the Persian principles of oversleeping my morning workout and eating the richest foods. Side note: Little Caesar’s five dollar large pizza is surprisingly tasty. Also, it is the devil. The result? Two weeks with moderate workouts, and a noticeable increase in a gut that was previously on the decline.

And here I am. Again. The fight is hard. The odds seem insurmountable. I know I’ll never be amazingly thin. I know that the chances of me looking like my body goal (a young Dwayne Johnson, you know before he turned into a muscle bound monstrosity with two percent body fat) are slim, in fact far slimmer than I will even hope to be. However, the odds shouldn’t matter.  All that matters is when I walk out of the gym after leaving everything I had inside, I feel good about myself. About my life. About who I am. In those moments, I’m not a man who quits. I’m not a man who gives up. I’m a man who perseveres. I’m a man who has drive, the motivation to be great.
The key, for me at least, is realizing what an easy life leads to. It leads to diabetes, being overweight, unfulfilled and most importantly, it leads to me not being able to look at myself in the mirror with pride.

The same is true of any endeavor in life. At the end of the day, you won’t be able to look yourself in the eye if you know that you took the easy way through life. Life isn’t meant to be easy. Fight for what you want. If it gets hard take pride in knowing that you are alive.

No comments: