Today is Day II in this series of blogs from 2009 taking a whimsical look at ‘The Philosophy of SO. Yesterday we covered the goal-setting process, which sets everything else into play. Why? Easy…without a plan, nothing comes together. Or, as you’ve probably heard or read somewhere, “When you fail to plan, you plan to fail” (Winston Churchill & Ben Franklin among others).
Before we get to the blog, as I was reading through it, I realized that this was written right after the deaths of the 4 police officers in Tacoma, WA who were gunned down while sitting in a coffee diner having breakfast. One of my current clients actually used to own that very diner. We talked a bit about that situation today. I find it interesting that the country mourned them then, and now literally persecute police officers around the country for doing their job. While this isn’t a political blog, I’ll simply say that there are always a few bad apples in a barrel. Are there some officers that take things a bit too far and abuse their power? Absolutely. But it’s my belief that there are more good ones who follow the Officer Code of Conduct. And I’ll say this much…as far as I know, police officers don’t shoot to wound, they shoot to kill. It’s either that or run the risk of being killed. So if you don’t want to get shot, don’t do anything to get shot!! Simple as that.
Now…as far as the knuckleheads that provoke officers by doing dumb stuff, saying dumb things, acting in dumb ways, and just being dumb in general, there’s a way to avoid getting the proverbial beatdown or getting shot – DON’T DO ANYTHING DUMB!! Sheesh! Listen to the officers. Do what they say. Avoid conflict. Chances are if you do what you’re supposed to do, you won’t run into the one or two bad officers. Better safe than sorry. But I digress…I decided to leave in the part about the Officer’s to remind everyone that it’s not just the few cops who can be dumb or bad. We have bad people on our side (the civilian side) as well. On to the blog!!
THE PHILOSOPHY OF SO
America, this morning I had a revelation! As far as life is concerned, don’t sweat the small stuff, because it’s ALL small stuff! I left my house this morning at 7:55 to go to my chiropractor’s. As soon as I entered the on-ramp onto Hwy 512 I was in log-jam traffic. Wasn’t moving at ALL! I was pissed…until the first police motorcycle drove past me on the outside median. Then another…and another…and another. I realized that the memorial for the 4 fallen Lakewood police officers was going to be starting in a couple of hours and that these officers were on their way to McChord AFB for the procession. I calmed down. But then more police cars drove by…and even more! At one point I counted over 30 cars that drove past me in less than one minute, lights on but sirens silent. Inside median, outside median…whatever it took to get by. I saw Renton cars, Bellevue cars, Auburn bikes and cars, Kent cars, and other towns and cities that I don’t remember. In all I probably saw 100 cars and bikes drive by us drivers. I couldn’t help but shed a few tears as I realized how quickly our lives can be taken. Wives lost husbands, a husband lost a wife, and 9 children now have no father. Sad!
A little later I was out and about and saw the procession of close to 2000 police cars making their way down South Tacoma Way to the Tacoma Dome. Again I shed tears – the solemnness of the procession – hundreds of lights but not one siren…kind of surreal. I ran into a King County Sheriff buying stamps in the Post Office. I commended her on a job well done and thanked her for keeping our streets safe. She simply smiled and said, “Thank you, that’s what we do!” Y’know, it kind of re-opened my eyes at 55 years old that life is short, and our bodybuilding/fitness/figure careers are even shorter. For many years I’ve had the philosophy that I’m in this to have fun and never take myself seriously, because in the big scheme of life, it really doesn’t matter. Today reinforced that belief. I pray for the families of the fallen officers, that they will find peace and comfort in their tragedy. I ask that you pray for them as well.
With that said, I came home and prepared for my workout. Even though this morning was sad, I still have a contest to prepare for – the 2010 EC! Today was legs. At 8 am I had my choice of training with either Steve or Melissa on legs. By 3:30 I was on my own. Steve couldn’t get here because of the procession – all roads were backed up coming from his house, and Melissa had her windshield shattered while driving here. For about 30 seconds I felt like waiting until tomorrow to train with one of them, but then I said, “Hey…this is MY contest! I don’t need no stinkin’ partner ‘cause I know how to train, and with or without a partner, the only one who can get me into contest shape is me!” So I drugged up…no…not THOSE drugs…two aspirin and the Costco Green Tea Fat Burners (mostly caffeine for the push), wrapped up the knees, and it was off to the races! I actually had one of my best leg workouts in months – went hard, fast, and heavy (for me…). I have a few goals that I want to accomplish in 2010 and the only way to reach them is to kick my own butt in the gym. Speaking of goals, hope you enjoyed Part I of The Philosophy of SO. Today is Part II. So without wasting any more time, let’s see what’s happening is SO’s world today…
The Philosophy of SO: PART II – The Laws of Excuses
As we delve into the hidden recesses of our inner selves, let’s explore over the next few days SO WATT’s five laws of excuses, those being time, money, patience, discomfort, and sacrifice. Today we look at time.
SO’s first law, the Law of Time, states that a person will spend more time making excuses for accomplishing difficult tasks than he/she spends on the task itself. In our fitness world, what this means is that for every minute the average individual spends training, he or she will spend at least two minutes making excuses as to why there is no time to train! The excuses are too numerous to list here, but take a minute (or two…) to think of some or all of the excuses you’ve come up with in the past to skip a workout or cardio. Now imagine how much better you could be looking, feeling, and functioning RIGHT NOW if you had taken all of your excuse-making time and applied it to your training! I wonder what a conversation would be like if SO had a conversation with a potential competitor? Perhaps something like this…
“In the very ancient time in the land of The Hood, SO was approached by a young lad who sought SO’s wisdom and knowledge in training and possible physique presentation (the term bodybuilding had not yet been coined in the very ancient. SO coined that phrase a few years later although Joe Weider took credit for it and is most famous for making it popular) The lad stated that he wished to do a ‘physique transformation and presentation’ in a few months in the Land of Competition. The young man asked many questions of SO, of which SO patiently answered. The man asked SO for the best training program that would maximize his muscular development and leanness in the shortest period of time. After several minutes of deep contemplation and thought while stroking his silver-white beard, SO devised such a plan. The program was long, for back in the ancient, the science of training was not as it is today. And it was hard. Very hard. For SO knew that much time and energy would be needed to facilitate such lofty goals as the lad had asked for. The young man looked at the program, and with great disgust, threw it on the floor and started making excuse after excuse as to why there was not enough time in the day to train in this manner. Excuses such as work, relationships, friends, social gatherings, family get-togethers, and gladiator sporting events were just a few mentioned. SO sat on SO’s stool listening ever so patiently, all the while stroking his silver-white beard and nodding.
After almost 45 minutes of ranting and raving, the young man asked, ‘Aren’t you going to say anything? This workout is way too long. And it’s way too hard. I have a life outside of the gym, y’know. I just don’t have this kind of time!’
SO nodded slowly, took a deep breath, and with one final stroke of his silver-white beard, simply answered, ‘So?’
The young man was stunned! He’d heard that SO was the wisest of the wise, and this was all he got – a stinkin’ ‘So’? SO continued to look at the young man, leaning back on his stool with hands clasped behind his head and feet crossed in front of him. BAMM!!! It suddenly hit the young man!
‘I get it,’ the lad replied, nodding his head in complete approval. ‘So what you’re saying, SO, is that if I want to do this physique presentation, then that is my choice in life. Since it is my choice I cannot complain about it. I cannot complain about what I choose to do, ask for, or allow to happen. I must find out what is necessary to reach my goal, and I must do the necessary well. Even though this is a long workout, it is necessary. Even though this is a hard workout, it is necessary. I must find time and make time to train; otherwise I will not reach my goal nor my potential. No one can take this journey but me, and regardless of how much time it takes I must be task-oriented. I have to re-prioritize some things for the sake of my transformation, but this is necessary at this point in time, and I know that everything will balance out in the near future. It will be challenging as I will have to move things around in my life, but if I strive to be my best, then this is what I shall do!’
The new pupil looked deep into SO’s ancient eyes. ‘Master,’ he said. ‘You have given me great wisdom and knowledge. I shall go forth and make it do what it do.’
‘Weedhoppah,’ SO replied, ‘You have discovered a great truth today – the truth of time. We all have the same 24 hours in a day – how we choose to use them is entirely up to us. Go forth and be successful, and yes…make it do what it do!’
The new pupil left, realizing that he was wasting time talking to SO when he could be training”…To be continued – End of Part II. Peace…