by Cameron St. Amand
In sport we find enjoyment from the many aspects of the nature of competition, from adversity, challenge, and especially in strength sports the objective result of success; knowing our work pays off by seeing our numbers rise or seeing our bodies change. I think anyone would be lying if they didn’t find this almost euphoric!
As strength athletes, we all know how difficult training can be mentally and physically, with the perks of sport feeling like they are only found in that 0.1% of our time while we may be standing on the podium or winning some sort of prize. For such a short amount of time, sometimes it seems crazy we can dedicate entire years to achieving it.
Photo Credit: LVD Media
As it is in any sport, athletes who use the motivation of wanting to always be on top of a podium – something that is only a tiny portion of our training - never actually seem to stay on the top for very long. It’s the people who go to the gym for the love of getting better and seeing results that find themselves year after year getting better and coming back. If you train for that specific goal and nothing else, and you don’t achieve it, what else is left? Your hours spent training were leading you up to that moment and now you’ve failed. So, really in my mind it is the difference in mindset between those who compete for glory and those who train for more than just recognition that differentiates athletes, as the later person looks at what they have gained in more than just medals or numbers.
When I first started lifting when I was 16, it was because I was disgusted with myself. I was made fun of for being over weight and was literally pushed around every play in football because I was so weak and unconfident. I decided I didn’t want this anymore and looked for change. I fell in love with the actual scientific fact that “Hard work pays off”. Time spent training led to results I could see, I was getting better at sports, started loving my body and what I was able to do, and I was hitched with this idea of being in control of how I felt and performed. For someone who feared getting hurt every play and never liked taking their shirt off at the pool, this was an incredible feeling for me.
Photo Credit: LVD Media
Whenever I get too into my training now I take a step back and remember… it never was consuming myself and training to win that got me to the national rugby team or a football scholarship or IPF worlds gold. It was my passion for the process, a process that never really ends but always evolves that drove me.
What I’m trying to communicate is: remember where you came from and why you are training. Never lose that young boy or girl you once were who got excited every time they got to squat or went into a competition not looking for a medal, but to feel the adrenaline of competition. If you love it you’ll never stop. Remember those moments always.