To achieve a higher level of greatness, you cannot be afraid of hard work. You have to allow yourself to go into those places that others fear and avoid because of how difficult it is to thrive in that environment. The approach you take when faced with new challenges will set the tone for the remainder of that experience. When you are willing to tackle situations that truly test your character and push you to your physical limits, then you are ready to be great. If you are inviting of the positive pain that can ensue while you train, if you can employ a degree of intensity unbeknownst to most and if you can conquer the urge to quit when you reach your threshold, then you are prepared to take your physique and self to that next level.
Intensity and what that looks like will differ from individual to individual. You don't always have to be the loudest on the gym floor or the most animated for your intensity to take over, although for some this is exactly what it looks like. You might find your intensity while sitting quietly in the corner with your hood up and headphones on whilst getting lost in your own thoughts and emotions. True intensity means having the guts to take what you know you are capable of doing to a new level and setting a higher standard for yourself. Whether this occurs as a result of anger, fear, aggression or the innate desire to never experience failure, all that matters is you can call upon your intensity at will. Once you can do this, the possibilities for what you can accomplish are endless.
Enduring the Pain
Overcoming hardships builds character and one of my favourite sayings is "tough times don't last but tough people do". A certain amount of pain is good for you and allowing yourself to experience that pain so that you can finds ways to overcome it is necessary for growth and grit. When you can tough it out and grind through the positive pain of training and when you finally meet your threshold level (because many people have yet to really do so) you'll know how deep you have to dig to surpass it so that you can move onto the next phase. Pain is a regular part of life for a bodybuilder. Pain during your sets, pain in the aftermath of a great workout and pain that accompanies the sacrifices you have to make to live this type of lifestyle. But what you'll eventually find is that your threshold for pain will increase as you build your physique and mindset to the point where enduring pain becomes second nature to you and something you look forward to.
When you become aware of the fact that you are in charge of how you approach everything that you do in life, you become empowered and dangerously good at what you do. Do not live in fear, do not live in regret, be strong willed and accept challenges that come your way knowing that nothing will get in the way of what you're trying to achieve. And when your Heyday(s) arrive(s), you'll be ready for it/them.
Author: Dana Bushell
AST Sports Science sponsored athlete/writer, sponsored by Schiek Sports Inc.