Whimsical Wednesday brings a story to all those on the interwebz. Behold! I shall recount the “Tale of Two Athletes.” One named Ursula,
The other, named Pippin.
Pippin is a semi-pro baseball 30-something male athlete. At first glance, he seems strong and a decent athlete, leaving one to wonder why he isn’t above the semi-pros. Then, one can see it. There’s always a few steps left in his Farmer’s walks, the extra squeeze at the top of his squat is left unsqueezed (he rarely fully cracks the walnut) and the extra half inch between is chin and the bar during his pull ups is left unpulled. He works hard…but always leaves a little bit undone. He’s a classic example of how far “talent” will get you but how hard work is difference between a good athlete and a great athlete.
Now, let me tell you about Ursula, a 17-year old female lacrosse player. We have two kinds of weight plates in SAPT: one kind is silver (the majority of our plates) and the other (just a handful) are black. The black ones are every-so-slightly heavier (which makes a BIG difference when you’re overhead pressing, trust me.) Ursula was told one day, as she had mismatched her plates on the barbell, that the black ones were slightly heavier. What does she do? She hunts out all the other black plates (even down to the 2.5 pounders) to use. Now, she exclusively uses black plates. Ursula, on her Farmer’s walk, walks as far as she can (the entire length of our gym. I think she would walk out the door if she could) every time. Her chin is well over the bar in every pull up and held longer than needed at the top. Every walnut is cracked (or should I say, disintegrated?).
And you know what? Ursula is going places after high school. She’s going to be a killer D1 athlete, student and eventual Super Woman when she graduates college. Pippin, our semi-pro, will never rise above where he is because he cuts corners. Ursula makes her corners BIGGER. Ursula is a force to be reckoned with and will continue to be unstoppable.
Folks ask me, “How do I get better at ‘x’?” or “How do I lose this?” (pointing to the offending body part)…
Train like Ursula. Go the extra inch, squeeze extra hard, push a little bit more. I know I say “keep it simple” and all those seem like little, insignificant details, but these types of details are the ones you should pay attention to. Keep the big stuff simple and you can focus on the details that make the “keep it simple” principle work.
Training, nutrition…anything in life really, demands those extra inches to be taken if you want to succeed. How else do you expect to move forward?