Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Lil' Crazy

The Husband and I have a language all of our own. I think most couple do.

The Husband and I will be watching shows, sports or politics and discuss the “level of crazy” the particular person needs to be in order to be driven to the level of success that person achieved.

For example: George Clooney.  George Clooney, Mr. Hollywood, has some of the greatest success out there. Most everyone knows who he is. And although there was probably a fair amount of nepotism in his beginnings, he had to be talented enough and want success enough to move forward. He also had to disregard the naysayers who may have only considered his career on the coattail an of his famous aunt (Rosemary Clooney). 

Let's look at someone that doesn't have any nepotism in their background, Tom Cruise. Raise your hand if you think Tom Cruise has a special kind of “crazy” . He has no famous parents, siblings or friends to leverage in the beginning of his career but something drove him forward (yes probably Scientology but that should only prove my point). 

One more, Michael Phelps. This is fitness blog after all and not a blog about acting.

Let's just put his physical attributes aside for the moment without denying that they made him a very special athlete. He was not born in Hollywood under bright lights but in Baltimore, MD. His mother was a middle school principal and his father a state trooper.

Phelps Parent are divorced (which could have led to a whole different set of issues). And although his father was a very good football player, neither of his parents were Olympic swimmers.He claims to have just fallen in love with the sport itself.

What drives a person after that to move their career to the top? “Super special crazy” no doubt.Phelps career is well documented and you can see that he was swimming most of his life (minus the first 7 years). We can go a lot of place with this story but I want to focus on the part nobody talks about.  Not the glory but the pain and the suffering.

You hear stories of athletes waking at 4am to go the gym/pool/track but do you actually know anyone that does that? We “everyday” athletes go about our lives wishing we were in better shape, thinner, maybe more muscle mass maybe more tone but what does it take to get there?

You get up at 6, think about going to the gym, hit snooze next thing it's 7am and all there is time left for is a 5 min shower before heading to work. Or you did not hit snooze but only made it as far as the sofa with a cup of coffee.  Lunch hour? Starving! Plus showering and changing in the middle of the day, oh the hassle. After work? It depends:  did your boss make you stay late? A client calls just at 4:45?  Invitation to happy hour or dinner? 

Sound familiar? I find with lots of my client before they met me this was their scenario.Not everyone has the internal discipline to get to the gym.  Some of us do.

Which leads us to the original scenario which is where your inner crazy might be found.

Back in 2000, I worked from home with my partner as a stock broker (Long story, different blog). I wanted to lose weight. I signed up for something called eDiets (similar to weight watchers but with calories, not points). I LOVED it. I didn't have to tell anyone since I worked basically alone.  Every Saturday morning, I would create my menu and head to the grocery store.  On Sundays, I would prepare my food for the week so I didn't have to think about what I was going to eat for the rest of the week.

I was also training in mixed martial arts.  I had made friend there and every day we would email one another and ask if the other was attending (eventually we worked out a schedule and didn't have to ask). I attended two classes on Monday, one on Tuesday, off Wednesday, two classes Thursday and off again until Monday and both of us ran on weekends.  

I had no idea what anyone thought of all this discipline because I lived with someone who ignored me, trained with someone who “got it" and I had no co-workers or other close friends at the time.FF -> 2003.  Without going into the very interesting details... Ticker tape and partner now in the past, I started working at a staffing company. This was the first time I had worked in an office in 3 + years.  Excited about my new fresh start, I planned my outfit and my lunch and packed my MMA bag for commuting the next day, my first day.

They sat me across from what I can only recall now as an awful woman (for those who know me, no it was not BK).  At lunch time, I broke out my lunch: two ham slices, lettuce, carrot slices on a mini pita with a Li’l Milk and 8 almonds (yes, this was my actual lunch). The awful woman saw what I brought for lunch and proceeded to make fun of my lunch: first the size of it and second the fact that I brought a Li’l Milk. 
I was so upset, I almost quit. I called my mom. I cried. I have never had anyone make fun of me like that. It was mean and it was cruel.  

My mother reminded me that I could kick her ass and not pay her any mind.  Since then I don't.  

During my 15 years doing MMA, I missed a lot of social functions and dinners out (but did I really?). I was doing what I loved with like-minded people who "got it".

These days I have turned my crazy from the heavy bag and mitt drills to the pool, the bike and road.  
There is lots of sacrifice in triathlon.

There are many hours swimming and biking and running and as you get deeper into the season, there is less and less time for social anything and more and more in the pool on the bike and on the road.No one makes fun of me anymore for making those types of sacrifices because it is who I am. During my corporate years, I caught tons of grief for not attending sales functions because I was training for a tournament. Or attending a happy hour because I promised to help someone with their grappling technique.  

On Wall Street, it was staying with a market position when the market was going the wrong way. In sports & fitness its sacrificing time with family and friends for your own personal goals. Wouldn’t you be “extra special crazy” if you were trying to achieve someone else's goals?  Wouldn't you be heartbroken if you followed the crowd and never achieved what you set out to achieve?

So, if you want to be a little successful, you just need to be a “Li’l Crazy”. Up at 4:00 AM to get into the pool? Probably not. Work out 3 times a day? If you don’t want a life. Find an hour 3 times a week with a fun activity on the weekend with friends? Li’l Crazy.